I wanted to share a realization that came to me last week about the demographic trends affecting this hobby and the implications that I think it has for the business in general.
I have noticed that we are starting to get sales from younger collectors now, as well as female collectors, which were virtually unheard of 20 years ago. The sales are not large, but there is some repeat business that is beginning to develop. I can tell that these customers are younger by little clues, such as their e-mail addresses, or the fact that they move frequently. I can also tell by the stamps they are buying and their lack of fussiness in regards to condition. Last month, for the first time, sales of post 1952 stamps exceeded the sales of classic stamps, which are normally the domain of the older, collector from the boomer demographic or the few collectors left from the Greatest Generation.
Many people are of the perception that the hobby is dying. They are only partially correct in that the hobby in its old school form is definitely dying:
- Membership in stamp clubs is declining.
- Circulation of stamp periodicals like Linns is dropping.
- Most collectors at shows and exhibitions are older.