Making money from world class stamps

Business, Normal

The National, Tuesday, June 7th 2011

STAMP collecting is a billion kina industry in some countries, but in PNG, people rarely see postage stamps as having much in monetary value, the Post PNG Philatelic Bureau said.
Bureau manager Ba­nian Masiboda said yesterday that most PNG stamps get international recognition because of expatriate collectors living in PNG.
The stamps are used to make money for the bureau.
The current stamps feature PNG icons in arts, flora and fauna, environment, the industries and the go­vernment.
Masiboda said most of the PNG stamps were collectors’ items, which were demanded in all over the world.
He said the stamps were sent to their six agents,  in the US (two agents),  Australia (two), the United Kingdom (one) and Germany (one) who then resell the stamps.
“Last year, our German agent sold more than K90,000 worth of stamps for us, which was so far the biggest amount we’ve received from our agents.
“We normally get K6,000-K8,000 from all of them but since 2007, the money the bureau has made in the sale of PNG stamps is close to K1.3  million,” Masiboda said.
According to the bu­reau, a sure sign of PNG stamps scratching into the big stamp market was when in New Zealand, at the pride in print awards, the 2010 PNG Spider won the gold award 2011.
These stamps are uniquely shaped and were printed with a specially designed perforated printer from Canada by the New Zealand printers.
Masiboda said no other printers in New Zealand could print and perforate in the octagonal shape.
“The printer had to bring in the perforating machine from Canada just for this job and it paid off
in the end.
“Because of its uniqueness, it was chosen as an entry by the printer for the exhibition.
“Judging by the quality of art and technique used in printing, it blew the rest,” he said.
Masiboda said among other initiatives, the bureau was now looking into ideas to counter the worrying trend also experienced the world over about the loss of interest in stamps.
“One of our first gestures (shapes and fragrance) are already creating waves. Just like other postal agents around the world, as manager, my emphasis now are also to boost sales from outside through agents.
“As we are in the process of revamping and revita­lising, more exciting pro­ducts and services can be expected in the near future with the interest now in breaking into the South-east Asia region beginning with China ,” he said.