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Search Hints and Tips

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Searching using the Keywords field

Entering keywords is a really easy way to find what you're looking for. Simply type in a word or phrase into the 'Keywords / lot / item number' field and our search engine will do the hard work for you!

Note on match type

By default, we will run your search using 'broad match' logic; this means that if you type in the word "Imperf" then items that contain the word 'imperforate' will be returned in your search results. This also means that if you searched - for example - on "SG 2" our search engine would find items that contain the text "SG 231" etc.

If you want more precise results, then change the Match Type field to 'Exact'. Using exact match you will only get results containing the exact word/phrase you searched for (so using the SG 2 example, you would only get lots that contain "SG 2" and not "SG 231").

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Searching for lot/item number

If you want to find an item and you know its lot/item number, simply enter this into the Keywords field and the lot/item will be found.

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Associated Words

To get the most relevant search results, our search engine also uses intelligent ‘associated words’ logic. This means that if you are interested in e.g. kangaroo stamps and you enter "Kangaroo Stamps" as a search term (into the 'Keywords / lot / item number' search field) your results will also include items where the term "Kangaroo Stamps" isn't used explicitly, but where we have used an associated term e.g. "roos". Similarly, if you searched for the word "skiing" our search engine would return results with ‘ski championship fund’ in the description (because the words 'skiing' and 'ski' are associated words).

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Searching by Catalogue Number

If you want to search by catalogue number you must use the 'Keywords / lot / item number' field. Please note that there are a few different ways we refer to catalogue numbers - e.g. with our without a space (e.g. "SG2" or "SG 2"). Sometimes we use abbreviations e.g. "Mi." when we refer to Michel. Our associated words catch some but not all of these abbreviations so if you are searching by catalogue number be sure to try different variants!

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Searching by Country

If you only want items from one particular country (or colony/ state etc.) then use the ‘Country’ search field. This is a very detailed list which includes not only countries but also colonies, states, zones etc. Searching by country will give you a more refined set of results than using the 'Keywords / lot / item number'. This is because when you select a country, only the category field is searched - the actual description text is not searched.

. An example will make this clearer: if a lot is in the category 'Netherlands' and the description reads "1852-1913 good to fine used collection" then this lot will be picked up using the Country search field; however, a lot in the category 'Netherland Colonies' would not be picked up if you typed 'Netherlands' in the Country search list. If you searched for "Netherlands" using the 'Keywords / lot / item number' field then both lots would be returned in the search results.

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Searching by Topic

If you are interested in a particular topic or aspect of philately (e.g. booklets or specimens) then our ‘stamps by topic’ feature is a great feature for you! - All the items on our website are categorised not only by country but now by topic as well! This means you can easily find the items you’re interested in even if the ‘topic’ is not specifically mentioned in our description...consider the following examples:

NEW ZEALAND - 1907-08 Pictorial issue with perf 14 to both 6d shades, perf 14 x 13 3d, 4d and 1s, perf 14 x 15 with both 3d shades, 6d and 1s,between SG 374/85, mainly very fine mint. (13 stamps).
This set has a bird pictured on every stamp – so we’ve tagged this lot as a 'birds' topic lot – this means that you can view it under the ‘Birds’ category even though our description does not specifically mention birds!

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Date Range Search

If you are interested in stamps or covers from a particular period, then you will find our date range search facility very useful indeed. If you want to search for stamps from 1940-1945, simply enter these dates into the search fields and you will get results from 1940,1941,1942,1943,1944 and 1945, as well as lots that span these dates. You would even find lots that don’t explicitly mention a date, e.g.
“WWII Excellent selection of stampless Swiss Army covers bearing a wide ranging selection of Feldpost cancels”

If you want stamps up to a certain date range, enter e.g. 1840 in the from Date and 1942 in the ‘To Date’. This way you won’t get anything past 1942. If you want stamps up to the present day, enter 2012 in the ‘To Date’ field.

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