Introduction to Kiloware

Kiloware is the name given by the philatelic world for bulk postage stamps that are sold to collectors by weight rather than individually, in sets or by a specific quantity. The weight of a bag or carton of kiloware is often advertised in kilograms which explains how the name came about.

Kiloware is normally comprised of used stamps on the original paper from incoming mail clippings although, sometimes, stamps soaked off paper might also be advertised and sold as kiloware.

Stamp dealer advertisements sometimes describe offers of bulk stamps as mission mixtures or mission kiloware. This is usually kiloware accumulated by fundraising organisations like charities and churches who sell it on to stamp dealers. Mission kiloware can be expected to contain significant duplication of common letter rate stamps.

The UK love of sorting kiloware was probably given its greatest boost by the BBC children's TV show, Blue Peter, which has often organised bulk stamp appeals to support their annual fundraising projects. The first of their kiloware appeals came in 1967 when the show raised enough money to convert and fit out eight flats for homeless people.

Good quality, genuine kiloware will usually be advertised as "unpicked" to let potential collectors know that any scarce, mint, better or more valuable stamps have not been removed from the mix meaning there's an improved chance at least that the collector might find good stamps for a low price.

Kiloware is a great example of how money can be raised for good causes simply by collecting what most people who don't collect stamps would otherwise throw away.