Notes from the Past


The term "sleeper" refers to a stamp or other philatelic item that is considerably scarcer than its price would indicate.

It may well be from a currently unpopular area of the hobby with low demand that will not have made its scarcity obvious.

The knowledgeable collector is often able to pick up a bargain by buying such an item when he comes across it in the course of his collecting activities.

In a related field, when a collector is seeking a new area of interest, he can often build up an interesting collection at low cost relative to the scarcity of the material by selecting a currently unpopular area, merely because he is not competing with other collectors for the available supply.

It should be emphasized, however, that this is best done on the basis of philatelic knowledge and purely for philatelic enjoyment.

Its advantage is not that the collector will make money, but that he will get more philately for the amount of money spent, since he will be outside the field of operations of the investors and speculators and thus be unaffected by the artificially high prices that investment activity will create.

As always, philatelic knowledge is the key to wise and rewarding collecting. 

- Kenneth A. Wood
This is Philately - Volume Three Q-Z
Van Dahl Publications 1982
Posted August 24, 2000

Editor's Note:  A good way to get started on such a collection is to acquire and read an interesting piece of philatelic literature on an unusal subject.  Sometimes older journals can supply well-written articles which can lead you into something interesting.

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

Note:  If the link isn't returned the first try, try again.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.