Stamp collection
Stamp collection

Collectors buy, sell and trade used postage stamps like any collectible item. The value of these stamps varies greatly based on factors such as the type or condition of the stamps. Nonprofit/not-for-profit organizations take donated used stamps—also known as "charity" or "recycled" stamps—and sell them individually or in bulk direct/through auctions to stamp dealers or collectors to raise funds for various charitable programs.

Stamps removed from envelopes
Stamps removed from envelopes

Collect undamaged stamps—no tears, rips or damaged/cut perforations. Until you know the type of stamps accepted by a charity, do not soak off or cut away your stamps from the original mailing.

Collection of stamps
Collection of stamps

Contact charities that you have an interest in. Confirm that they take used stamps as donations. If these charities don't, contact other local and national charities or any of the many international charities that accept used stamps mailed from another country.

Vintage U.S. postage stamps
Vintage U.S. postage stamps

Confirm your charity's preferred sorting, preparation and delivery methods for the used stamps. For example, charities that sell stamps in bulk often do not accept stamps mailed with more than 1cm of single-thickness paper backing around the stamp. Reasons vary but typically involve shipping costs—extra paper means extra weight during shipping. Additionally, many dealers pay less for stamps with extra backing, as these stamps create extra work for the dealer, who must then prepare the stamps for sale by taking time to cut away the extra paper.

Vintage Czechoslovakia stamps
Vintage Czechoslovakia stamps

Presort the stamps using your charity's checklist of preferred categories (by country, denomination, canceled—postmarked/uncanceled—not postmarked, age, backing type, mix bulk).

Placing stamp into album
Placing stamp into album

Cut your stamps away from their paper backing following your charity’s directions. If your charity doesn't have instructions, cut away all but 1cm around the stamp perforations.

Hand deliver your stamps. If you cannot do so, mail your stamps, but consider the use of postal tracking to confirm that the stamps reach their destination.