Getting Slowly stamps for Foreign Countries ?
How to get stamps for countries missing in your Collection?
There are a few different ways. So, I thought of making a post and sharing some tips and notes. [ originally posted as a topic on Reddit ]
I can think of 3 good Options or methods to get those missing stamps — some are faster and easier, as long as you have the Slowly Coins to fund the purchase.
Others take a bit of effort and some skill in searching for potential pen pals, but anyone with some experience using the User Explorer (see “Getting Good Penpals – 2. Three Ways to Go” here for it if unsure) — to search for local users to contact and make a request for their local Stamp(s).
In some countries, this can be up to 5 stamps! That would cost you 125 Slowly Coins, equivalent to about $ 2.50 in cash , if done via “World Explorer”.
Plus take a while, as it's a Random selling mechanism. You would have to buy a whole lot of random stamps to get the five for a particular country.
Option 1 : The wonderful “World Explorer”
“World Explorer” is a great added feature in Slowly Stamp Store.
This is a nice one, and if you are shy but have some cash, it can get you ALL of the World's Location Based national Stamps.
Please note that some stamps you might see in the middle of the collection might NOT be available here — for example, in Italy's case :
- There are 4 Location stamps.
- There are also 2 Special Edition stamps and a National Holiday stamp — which are NOT available via World Explorer. (those are the three shown in the upper row in the image above)
The World Explorer works wonderfully — it will NOT sell you a stamp you already OWN (but that does not count the ones received from a pen pal in a letter for example). In the case you have a copy, received in a letter, it's possible that it could come up as the random selected stamp when you make a purchase.
While this is not as nice as a whole new one, which might fill a 'hole' in your collection, it's part of the game — and in the end a positive, since you CAN now send that stamp to anyone. :)
Each stamp purchase in World Explorer is a very affordable 25 Coins. We can gather those in one day from hitting the Watch Videos for a Free Coin feature — better yet if you keep a Timer set and running on a 15 min interval as a reminder.
There are 122 Countries, and some have multiple stamps, but given enough Coins you could get all of their stamps. :)
Buying Coins -– the impatient user way, each stamp would cost me about 50 Cents of a Canadian Dollar (based on buying the 500 Coins pack at $9.99 CAD; it's a bit lower in USD, maybe 8 dollars). At half a dollar per stamp, you can see it will take some money to use this method extensively; or quite a bit of patience if you go for the Free Coins method.
Option 2 : Travel there
And in some cases we could do that and enjoy multiple new stamps along the journey.
Always carry your mobile device when traveling. The first time you cross a border, finding a wi-fi hotspot in a store, or a cultural center, is all you need to activate Slowly and let if see you are now in a new Location. Aha! You will get ALL of their Location stamps (not the Special Edition ones, like in Italy's case explained above). Plus, the nice and unique Traveler's Stamp.
Only problem is, pandemic. Not a good year to Travel, so this method is here for completion. Maybe next year we can enjoy Travel and seeing other Cultures again?
Option 3 : Ask the Locals!! :)
Since Covid, we are up to either World Explorer or asking a local user. And since we have the wonderful Filters in the User Explorer, in the mobile versions of Slowly (both iOS and Android — User Explorer not yet available in Web Mode), since we have the Filters we can use them, find some interesting local person and send them a nicely written letter.
The Most Awesome Stamp Collector I know, who is a pen pal of mine, did this Extensively -– building up a huge collection with sheer dedication. My Kudos for the great job and inspiration — this topic is dedicated to you, dear friend (who I shall not name).
One of the last times we discussed Stamp collecting was mentioned in my Hello Kitty Stamps Blog post -– my friend sent 90 letters chasing for some of those stamps. And since they are SO RARE, the net result was Zero.
Don't Despair -– the Hello Kitty ones are very uncommon and only sold in certain Countries. But National stamps are much EASIER.
Been There, Done That !
Inspired by my friend, I used that method and sent letters which got me the missing stamps for Cuba, Ecuador, Belize. And even my friend was impressed that I managed to get the Belizean stamp with ONE single pen pal contact.
Please be super nice to those people — sadly we can only have 100 maximum penpals in Slowly (which can be doubled to 200 if you pay for the new Plus membership). But we can't be rude and simply ghost those gentle new friends, after getting what we asked for, right? (it would be SO Wrong.)
I still keep contact with people in these 3 countries I mentioned above.
And had just decided to close one of the gaps in my own collection, shown in the snapshot; a missing SN — a Senegal stamp was needed. So, again I went and Searched. And wrote a nice letter, copied below.
A sample letter requesting Local Stamp :
Hello (username) !
Good evening, I am a Canadian user of Slowly and very interested in collecting the nice stamps that Slowly offers us. I have been using Slowly for a year now, and have many stamps but not one for Senegal yet.
I searched for users in Senegal and found your profile – could you send me your country's stamp to fill that empty spot in my Stamp Collection? :)
I would be happy if you can. I have written to people in other countries like Cuba, Ecuador, Belize for the same reason. I am sending you one of our Canadian Stamps with this letter, hope it's a new one for you. We have a couple more, and I could send them if you like as well.
Thank you for your attention,
I had used similar letters for my contacts in Cuba, Ecuador and Belize — in some cases, written in Spanish since it's the local language and I am somewhat fluent on it as well.
Notice that I offered to send more of my local Stamps — even if they only had one local stamp, I think being the one requesting the favour, I should offer them all of mine. There's no cost anyway. :)
Hope you find this useful — as I wrote, it expanded and is almost ready for a Blog version; which I will do in due course. [ Ed. note : Done. :) ]
Any questions or comments, please feel free to ask! :)
And someone in Reddit Asked !
Soon after the topic was posted, a local user posted a very direct question :
Can I use VPN to fake my location?
Does it work?
Lol, ooops... This is the one topic we try to avoid in the sub and in public discussions in general. Being the Topic Author, I felt obliged to reply.
Being the Sub's Moderator I also have to consider other aspects — including legality of any comments or posted content. But I like to be honest, and while I would not have touched the topic until then, now a clear question was posed; and the best in my opinion is to be completely honest and provide a detailed reply.
And here's my reply :
LOL, that didn't take long. :P
Thanks for the direct question, and bear with me as I need to explain some things as part of my reply.
In a nutshell, yes, if you have a vpn service and know how to use it, it does work. I did not include it on the guide above for a good reason — the same one why you don't see people talking about it openly here in general.
Changing locations could be seen as detrimental to the company (and it is, as they lose 50 cents for each stamp you acquire that way – and the loss can add up). So, there's a general concern that this could be seen as a violation of Terms of Service.
That is a big booboo -– as the Terms of Service for Slowly app is long, and detailed, and written by their own lawyers in language that clearly favours the company.
If someone irks a company, it can resort to the Terms of Service violation and terminate the user's account. We lose a lot — all your contacts, all your letters, all the stamps. It's pretty scary.
A partial quote from Section 9 – Availability of Service :
We may without prior warning or subsequent notice terminate your account and access to SLOWLY for any or no reason. We may decide to terminate your account for a number of different reasons ... (continues on to enumerating some clauses)
I am being completely honest here, the best is not to discuss this in public, knowing the consequences could be harsh. Not that I have heard of it happening, so far, but the potential is there.
Slowly Communications is a small company, employs a few talented people, and we absolutely NEED them to stay solvent, to stay funded, so the service can continue.
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... or post a comment in the Reddit thread for it here.