Since its inception in 1957 as the philatelic agents for the two newly independent African postal administrations of Ghana and Togo, the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation (IGPC) has made the work of stamp dealers intent on serving their customers much easier.
Prior to the creation of IGPC, a stamp dealer had a very difficult task in providing recent new issues of postage stamps from foreign nations to satisfy the interest of collectors who wanted to collect stamps from exotic nations.
If there was a particular stamp issue that was especially colorful or fascinating, an enterprising stamp dealer might arrange to purchase a large quantity, which he would then offer wholesale to other stamp dealers. Otherwise, each individual stamp dealer desiring to satisfy his customers, would have to make his own arrangements by contacting the philatelic division of a postal administration.
However, this was a costly and inefficient method, as he had to calculate the cost of the stamps and arrange for the purchase of a foreign money order and calculate the cost of postage and shipping. If he had just a few customers who would be interested in a particular issue, the dealer would probably write off the transaction as simply being too much effort for the meager financial reward.
This was especially true if the postal administration was for a nation in which English was not the official language. If there was a mistake in the order, it would often require a number of letters before the issue could be resolved, if indeed it was.
For the postal administration, having to deal with dozens of small stamp dealers with insignificant orders was a nuisance. They simply did not have the budget to employ the properly trained philatelic sensitive staff to efficiently handle these orders.
It was to fill this gaping need in the stamp collecting world that IGPC was created in 1957. The New York based firm began to approach individual postal administrations and offer to serve as their philatelic agents. For some nations, this was a global arrangement and for others, it was more regional as their official agent for the Western Hemisphere.
Being based in New York City, IGPC was able to develop contacts with all of the important stamp dealers - both large and small - throughout the Developed World. The firm began mailing out monthly order forms, which clearly advised members of the philatelic trade as to what stamp issues were available.
And best of all, these new issue stamps were offered to dealers at the wholesale face value. In other words, if a set of four stamps celebrating a Boy Scout anniversary in Kenya was selling for 300 shillings (the equivalent of one U.S. dollar), that was the price that IGPC charged its dealer customers. The postage and handling charge was much cheaper than for a dealer to have to pay airmail charges from the foreign country. Members of the stamp trade greatly appreciated the fact that they did not have to waste precious time in writing correspondence to individual postal administrations.
Dealers and their regular customer collectors were guaranteed dependable delivery of new foreign stamp issues on a monthly basis. Moreover, dealers could choose those issues they wanted to order to satisfy particular demands of their customers.
For the postal administrations, IGPC's services were a blessing from heaven. They need only deal with one efficient agent in New York and were spared from having to answer letters from dozens if not hundreds of individual stamp dealers or collectors.
IGPC has for almost 50 years developed strong relationships with stamp dealers in North America, Europe, Japan, Australasia and other parts of the world. These ties have assisted IGPC to understand the contemporary collecting trends of philatelists and this knowledge has been most effectively utilized in the suggestions of possible stamp issues that IGPC has given to the many postal administrations around the world.
In addition, IGPC has from its inception represented its clients at major international stamp exhibitions in all of the important cosmopolitan centers of the world. Again, this has allowed IGPC the opportunity to interact with thousands of stamp collectors and dealers.
As we approach our half century mark of service to the philatelic community, IGPC looks with gratitude to the loyalty of its hundreds of loyal customers from the international stamp trade. We also aim to find better ways to improve our service to this important segment of the stamp world.
© Copyright 2003 IGPC