In 1984 I established a standing order account with the Korean Philatelic Center (KPC) for all new commemorative and definitive stamp issues including souvenir sheets. This account was initiated by writing a personal check in $US to the KPC with a payee as instructed. I am not fluent in Korean so the process used was obtained from the English publication of the Korean Stamp Review magazine. Over the intervening 30 plus years funds were added to the account using the same process although the check payee changed from time to time. Incidentally, my account is number 20.
The KPC will not ship any stamps to customers unless there are sufficient funds in the account to cover both the cost of the stamps and shipping charges. In August 2019 my account was reaching the point where it would no longer cover new shipments so I attempted to add to it using the exact same process and payee as was successfully completed in 2015. That letter along with the $US check was sent to the KPC and it simply disappeared.
A second attempt was made and almost three months passed before the check was returned with a letter (it was really just a note) without a date from the KPC. It stated that the payee on the check was not correct. A new correct payee was included in the note and is shown below.
So a third letter using the new updated payee information for the check was then sent to the KPC. After about two months the check was cashed and the funds were correctly added to my standing order account. The entire process took eight months.
Other experiences with the KPC are noteworthy. Early on the new issues were shipped quarterly. Currently that has been changed to semi-annual shipments. Despite my order requesting definitive issues be included that has been a hit and miss affair. Recently I have received very few of them. Receiving souvenir sheets can also be erratic although I have received most of them.
Another problem has been shipping costs. I have repeatedly asked the KPC to send the shipments using regular mail to save on postage. However the KPC insists on sending the shipments by registered mail which increases the cost dramatically. In some cases the postage charges have been higher than the face value of the stamps. A shipment just arrived that contained the first six issues of 2020. The attached letter stated that because of COVID-19 the shipment was made using international express mail. Shipping charges were 24,000 Won. The face value of the stamps was 7,810 Won!
In summary my experience with the KPC has declined over the years. The shipments are very accurate, packaged well and include a detailed invoice of the order contents and the remaining account balance. However the KPC service has diminished greatly compared to 30 years ago. Correspondence by email is very ineffective often going unanswered. The KPC website is next to useless unless one is fluent in Korean and at least for now I do not see that as a viable alternative to the standing order account option.
To put it mildly, it has become a struggle in recent years to keep a South Korean stamp collection up to date.
I have been told that the KPC is no longer accepting new standing order accounts. My suggestion to the KSS would be for some member that is fluent in Korean to contact the KPC to find out if that is indeed the case. If standing order accounts are still being accepted then the KSS should publish the details of how that can be accomplished. A standing order account is a very convenient but cost ineffective method for collecting new issues so it is somewhat of a mystery why the KPC would not encourage collectors to use that option.
Lastly, for those that might be interested the latest acceptable payee for using a personal check in $US to establish a standing order account is:
The Philatelic Agency Seoul Central Post Office
Beware there are some currency exchange fees imposed on the transaction that are not very apparent. The KPC address is:
The Philatelic Agency
Seoul Central Post Office
Seoul, 04535, South Korea
14 thoughts on “Korean Philatelic Center – Standing Order Accounts”
Hi Maynard, I contacted the KPC a few months ago before the virus outbreak and they told me that they no longer will accept any subcribtions. Many years ago, I too, did have a subscriptions for new issues and it was an excellent service by the KPC, but they seem no longer interested in doing that service for collectors of Korean stamps. Thanks for the excellent article. Robert
I guess I am not surprised to hear the KPC is no longer accepting subscriptions for new issues. As noted, it has been a real struggle to keep the one I have going. Very unfortunate. Maynard
Questions about how/where to buy South Korean stamps are the second most common question the KSS receives through the contact form. You’d think the Korean Philatelic Center would be very happy to help all those people, but somehow it seems as if they just don’t care.
In case you’re wondering: the most asked question is about stamp dealers and where to buy Korean stamps in general. Robert and I have been trying to contact stamp dealers in Korea, but in the end no contact was actually established. Why they don’t answer is something I can’t understand, those guys could make quite a lot of money (because I know quite a few people who would be very happy to buy from them!).
I have been having the same problem since 2019. My account still has funds in it yet I have been receiving any stamps or correspondence from them. Sent a check to them in 2019 never cashed. Looked at there web site and found this address: korean Philatelic Center CPO box 5122 Seoul, Korea. Address does not match letter head. Anyway called them and sent emails. Will be calling again. I have been with them since 1970 and never had this problem.
Good luck Ed, they seem to not want to sell to collectors outside of Korea. And you cannot order on line unless you have an old explorer search engine. The newer Microsoft Edge and Chrome will not work. I have tried contacting them numerous times and most of the time, they do not even reply. I don’t understand it as they used to have excellent service. Best regards, Bob
I am still receiving standing order shipments twice per year although some of the definitive issues are sometimes missing. The shipments are also being sent by courier so the cost of shipping it well over the cost of the stamps. I am told this is because of the KPC COVID protocol.
I do not expect to attempt to add any more funds to my standing order account. Once it it depleted I will let the account lapse unless the KPC manages to demonstrate a marked improvement in service. It is very sad and frustrating that KPC collectors are not receiving decent service.
Hi Maynard, thanks. I wrote to them and they responeded that they are not doing any more standing orders. I do not understand their lack of service, either. Bob
I just received a shipment from the KPC. As with the past several shipments it was sent EMS so the shipping charges were more than the face value of the stamps. There was also no itemized invoice on this shipment and that has never happened before.
A letter was included that stated my next shipment would be my last and that the KPC is closing my account and will no longer accept any additions. So they beat me to the punch because I was going to let the account lapse anyway due to the pathetic service. So ends 35 years of Korean stamp collecting. Very frustrating and sad. Maynard
Hi Maynard, thanks for the update. It is amazing to me how they seem not to want to promote their own philatelic items, especially not being able to order online. At least you got one last shipment! Bob
I am wondering about the access to Korean philatelic materials on line. It appears that you good folks are not aware of:
I was just browsing the new issues available from their internet postoffice. I do speak Korean, but this site can be managed through English. It looks like you can order directly.
Hi Kevan, no, it doesn’t look like this will let foreigners order fromt this link. When I clicked on the site to buy the stamps, when I hit “English”, it takes me to the online ordering for the Korean Post stamp shopping site. And then we have the same problem as before, you can try to add things to your shopping cart, but it will not do that. So it appears it is the same old problem. Thanks for your comment. Robert
And, I’ve been blocked from joining. Anyone know why?
Dear Kevan, I have checked our members’ list and found you are still not KSS’s member yet. However, you are still able to read articles on KSS website, some are complete articles (list this one), some are incomplete. I think maybe you didn’t join though the normal (usual) route.
Joining KSS’s membership part, you have to a). go to kroeastampsociety.org main page b). find “about the KSS” c). find “KSS membership” and d). fill the form in below.
Then someone in KSS website back platform will receive your application and forward to me, then you will receive your temporary username and password for first time log-in.
If you just click “log in” and enter your username and password (your own choose) directly, since you are still not a member yet, your log-in action will be considered as a spam or fraud and you will be blocked.
Currently KSS is facing a difficulty that we have no staff to deal with any IT issues. And we don’t want to hire a full time one yet because of high cost. But as a visitor, you can still freely read some articles and leave your comments.
I’m not so sure if this block was permanent or temporary, you can turn off your PC and wait a period of time (maybe 1 week) and revisit KSS main pages and try joining again through normal route. That’s what I did. I was blocked by KSS too when I simulated application procedure but didn’t follow the normal route.
Hi Kevan, blocked from joing what? Best regards, Robert