APS Interview: A Youthful Perspective on Philately

At the First Day Ceremony for the Mister Rogers forever stamp, APS Editor Martin Miller had the opportunity to talk with Jessica Manack. Jessica, in attendance with her husband and their children, offered a modern perspective on Mister Rogers, stamps and collecting.

Listen to that interview here:

After the event, Jessica explored the APS website (www.stamps.org) and became one of the newest members of the APS. She has become a vocal proponent for both the hobby and the society.

Get Ready for a Beautiful Day in Our Neighborhood

BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania – Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is coming to our neighborhood.

It’s sure to be a beautiful day when the neighborhood from the groundbreaking children’s television show will be the theme for an afternoon of children’s activities. The special day will include a very special guest – Mr. McFeely, who was the postman on the PBS show that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The American Philatelic Society and WPSU-TV, State College public television invite you to join us at the American Philatelic Center, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte to celebrate Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and a new stamp issued in his honor. Activities for the whole family will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2018.

The event occurs the day after the new Mister Rogers forever postage stamp will be formally released in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Fred Rogers produced and filmed the show about his neighborhood. The show ran for more than 30 years on PBS.

Mister Rogers PhotoMr. McFeely – the postman from the Speedy Delivery Service portrayed by David Newell – will be in character. He will arrive aboard the Penn State trolley and invite everyone inside, where at 2:15 p.m. he will dedicate the new Mister Rogers stamp to become part of the American Philatelic Center’s collection. He will then visit with children and sign autographs.

Other planned activities include an opportunity for children younger than 12 to color a design on an envelope, address it to someone special, affix a stamp to the envelope and mail it (limited to one per child). The APS, through its historic Headsville Post Office, will have Mister Rogers stamps available for purchase.

WPSU will bring its cutout trolley, reminiscent of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Trolley, which is a nice backdrop for photos. Also, Daniel Tiger, star of an animated Mister Rogers spinoff show, will be present via a life-size cutout (more photo ops!). These are set pieces that WPSU uses in live broadcasts.

WPSU will hand out Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Activity Booklets to children 8 and younger along with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood coloring sheets.

In addition to decorating and mailing an envelope, the APS Education Department will offer other stamp collecting activities, including an opportunity for children to create their own free stamp albums.

Children of all ages will be able to reminisce as we share video clips of Mister Rogers Neighborhood during the event.

Tours of the American Philatelic Center will be available.

Deborah Kris Farmer offered the following on the PBS web pages dedicated to Mr. Rogers (www.pbs.org/parents/rogers/the-timeless-teachings-of-mister-rogers-neighborhood):

“Fred Rogers was always addressing two audiences. First, he offered children lessons about friendship, emotions, and growing up. And he also offered parents simple strategies for helping their children grow and thrive: how to talk to kids, how to listen, and how to use song, story, and make-believe to communicate important ideas.

“Fred Rogers’ techniques were grounded in his study of child development, said Angela Santomero, the creator of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. “There was a reason behind everything he did. It was all very child centered.”

Public broadcasting station WPSU Penn State is a collection of innovative writers, storytellers, teachers, producers, designers and technicians — using 21st-century tools and media to bring information, education, and entertainment to viewers, listeners, and larger communities throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. WPSU engages communities in the heart of Pennsylvania with educational and commercial-free programs that reach across generations to inform, intrigue and inspire.

StampStore or eBay?

Original column by Wendy Masorti, APS Director of Sales, republished from The American Philatelist, February 2018

New sellers will often contact the American Philatelic Society with the question, “Should I sell on eBay or StampStore?” Both services provide a way to sell online and charge minimal fees and commissions. Therefore, in order to answer the question, it is important to understand how StampStore differs from eBay.

With emerging technology in the late 1990s, the APS realized the importance of branching out our mail sales program to offer members a way to sell their philatelic material online. Specifically, we wanted to tailor a program to provide members with a hassle-free selling experience. After researching other online services and knowing our clientele, in September of 2000, we launched StampStore with a specific goal in mind – to offer an easy, affordable way for members to sell online without needing internet experience or special equipment.

On eBay, a seller is responsible to upload each listing with a description and has an option to add images (practically a must for philatelic material), which the seller must provide. The seller can choose methods of payment, which can include everything from checks to the electronic PayPal system. The seller must handle all shipping and returns. Sellers on eBay can set their own fees for shipping, which range from free to several dollars per item.

StampStore Sellers FormStampStore, on the other hand, does much of the work for you. You complete a submission sheet for each item (mounting the item along with description, prices, etc.) and mail them to the APS. We take care of scanning images and uploading item descriptions to the online store, as well as advertising, answering buyer questions, payment processing, shipping, and handling returns/refunds. All communication with the buyer is handled by the APS; the seller remains anonymous and is identified only through a seller ID number. Sellers can view reports, change prices, and receive monthly payments for items that sell.

Also, unlike eBay where the seller or a representative must have online access, many StampStore sellers do not even own a computer; they rely on our sales staff to help them change prices or check on statuses of items.
StampStore can provide one-package shipping from several sellers to a single buyer. Since all items are housed at our facility, a buyer can purchase from multiple sellers when placing an order and receive all items in one package. Standard shipping for an order less than $100 is $2.95 plus 2 percent of the sales cost for handling and insurance. If an order is more than $100, the shipping is free of charge. We also offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all items.

We are not saying that you should not sell on eBay, but rather that you ask yourself these questions:

“How involved do you want to be with the actual sale? Do you have the equipment and knowledge necessary to upload and maintain the listings? Do you have the time to package and ship sold items promptly? Are you prepared to handle unhappy customers and process returns?”
Considering that many of our sellers mail in hundreds of submissions to StampStore at a time, you can only imagine the potential volume of questions and shipments they could be dealing with. Also, buyers who purchase multiple items from several different sellers would receive multiple shipments and shipping charges.

It is also important to point out that all members selling on StampStore are APS members and abide by our Code of Ethics. While the APS provides this selling/buying service, the APS does not own the material being sold and does not guarantee the accuracy of members’ content in the listings. While members price and describe their material, they may unknowingly misdescribe the quality or authenticity of the items being sold. Therefore, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and sellers may be charged fines for their misdescriptions. Seller privileges may be revoked for repeat offenders.

So, only you can answer the question, “eBay or StampStore?” If you are interested in selling with us, request a free seller packet or visit www.stamps.org/How-to-Sell-Online.

YPL Fellow Dani Leviss Interviewed by Lloyd de Vries

Young Philatelic Leaders Fellow Dani Leviss was recently interviewed by Lloyd de Vries for The Virtual Stamp Club. The interview can be heard with the audio player below or on The Virtual Stamp Club interviews page.

The Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship program was founded by the American Philatelic Society in 2009 to identify and support the best and brightest aspiring philatelists. The program coordinates and funds transportation to, lodging during, and activities at: APS national shows, Smithsonian National Postal Museum, and the American Philatelic Center for enthusiastic young collectors between the ages of 16 and 24. Additionally, YPLF connects participating Fellows with seasoned collectors, exhibitors, writers, and dealers to expand their perspectives and exposure in the philatelic world.

June 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

The June issue of The American Philatelist is online for APS members to view. Here are some of the highlights:

Machin by Douglas Muir. This month marks the 50th anniversary for the simple, yet so complex, Machin series of stamps from Great Britain. The author offers an account of the Machin heads’ first appearance and this year’s special anniversary commemorative stamp issue.

My Lifetime Stamp Pursuit by Matthew Healey. The iconic Machin stamps, named for the sculptor who helped create them, were first issued almost at the exact time the writer was born. When he was old enough to learn about stamps, Matthew felt a natural connection to the design featuring a profile of Queen Elizabeth II. He tells the basics of collecting this multifaceted series.

Conquering Early Stamps of the Himalayas by Joseph Iredale. Nepal, a landlocked nation home to Mount Everest, first started printing stamps in 1881. The early issues feature native design elements, marginal inscriptions, pin-perfs and imperforates, and different papers.

Collecting Coast to Coast. Not-So-Counterfeit Cinderellas, by Wayne L. Youngblood. Free franking for soldiers, the privilege of being able to send mail at no cost, started in 1775. But Congress helped establish rules and the postal service has frowned on those who break them, even if for identifying free-franked mail.

British Empire: Gilbert and Ellice Islands by Noel Davenhill. We travel to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, a series of atolls and coral islands that fell under British rule — first as a protectorate, then as a colony — for more than 80 years.

Worldwide in a Nutshell: Mount Athos by Bob Lamb. Though linked to Greece in many ways (including postal) this mountainous entity home only to Orthodox religious men and hermits has some postal history, including contemporary post offices.