How To Acquire Stamps - Part 3

Having exhausted the possibilities of all-different packets your next advance is to purchase stamps in "sets." Sets are stamps of a single issue put up to sell as a unit. They may be "complete" - every stamp that was issued of a given series; or they may be "short sets" - just some of the stamps of the series. Because sets involve some of the principles of mass production in that you are buying all at one time many stamps which have been prepared into merchandisable units, they offer a lowcost method of adding to your collection. The possibilities of acquiring sets of stamps will never be exhausted, so this is one of the most satisfactory methods of acquiring stamps of any description.

But even having progressed exactly as outlined - which, of course, no one will ever do - there will be blank spaces in your album which you will wish to fill. From now on, you will have to acquire the stamps you wish as single specimens. There are two methods open to you.
1. Visit a stamp store and select individual stamps from the stock books or from stamps that may be on display.
2. Submit a "want list" of stamps you wish. The dealer will then select copies from his stock, mount them on an approval card and indicate the price for each stamp.

The first issue of the Kingdom of Laos
The first issue of the Kingdom of Laos. A stamp issuing country since 1951, the Kingdom was formerly part of French lndo-China.

All dealers submit stamps against want lists through the mail. This is done either on approval, against a charge account, or on direct order. "On approval" or against a charge account means that you have previously established credit with the dealer and the stamps are sent to you on open credit according to whatever terms have been established. "Direct order" is a case where you send your money along with your order for certain stamps. All stamp dealers are well used to doing business by mail and will issue credit slips or make prompt refunds for any stamps you have ordered that may be out of stock. Many collectors, and especially beginners, simply request the dealer to send "approvals." In such cases the dealer will send selections of stamps he has available at regular intervals until such time as you request him to cease. You make whatever selections you wish from the stamps that are sent and return the balance together with your remittance for those you have retained. Very few dealers will send you approvals unless you have asked for them. Actually approvals are consignments and remain the property of the dealer sending them until such time as you either return or pay for them. The responsibility of returning them in good order and promptly in accordance with the stated terms, rests upon you, and this responsibility should not be taken lightly. Remember, you have requested the stamps, the dealer has accepted you as a responsible "credit risk," so do not destroy this credit. As you go along it will become one of your most valuable assets.

Stamps
sent on approval
Stamps sent on approval.