Stamp merchant and stamp collector

I was born in 1958. According to the Chinese horoscope, it is the “year of the dog”. My hobby of collecting started at Christmas in 1968. Santa Claus brought to me as a present a small bag of stamps and a small folder for those. In that Christmas, no other gift was of interest, because stamps completely enchanted the little boy. It felt like you end up to the “Deep end” where you no longer had a chance to save yourself. The collecting-bug had already bitten. Throughout Christmas night until to small hours, I clued the stamps into my new folder, and admire them. Even then, I thought that stamps would always define my life. Over the next two years, I read a huge amount of philatelistic literature. Everything I could get to my hands. When my inquisitiveness increased and skills improved, I decided at the age of 12 that one day, I’m would become a real stamp merchant.

I walked with my dream doing other jobs, at the age of 25-years old in 1983 I established my current shop, the Merkki-Albert. My expectations were not high at the start. I pondered, that just let’s see a few years, is the shop going to be profitable, and at the same time, get the twelve years old boy’s dream to come true. Now it is 37 years of trading as a stamp merchant in the back, and they have been very eventful and interesting years. Four so-called economic depression has appeared in these years, so there have also been difficult times, but I have been lucky. Very good people have been supporting me and without their efforts, Merkki-Albert would not have succeeded. So, hand on my heart, I pronounce my thanks for them. Unfortunately, not everyone is among us anymore.

Stamp auctions have been strongly present during my time as a merchant. In 1992 we started with Karelia Stamp’s Juhani Kakkinen together shared public auctions. It was great. For six years Juhani was able to do that with me and then he arranged to his replacement a strong collector, from Jyväskylä, Jussi Murtosaari. Jussi brought to the auction philatelic and technical skills. Our collaboration lasted up to 15 wonderful years. Eventually, challenges from Jussi’s civil side work was growing and soon there was no longer time to do the auctions. He negotiated exhibit-philatelist, Juha Niininen from Jyväskylä, replace him. Juha has been involved for seven years now, and with his backing forces, he is constantly developing the Merkki-Albert’s auctions. This is how they are meeting today’s standards. Juha has always had so-called “radars out-there”, that’s how we can hone and improve the operation of the auction. The online business on

eBay has now been pursued for 11 years, and that work has been rewarding. The company’s web site has been on the internet for 13 years, and we are now updating and revamping, to respond to 2020’s challenges. We going to increase the number of items significantly and diversely.

”37 years as a stamp merchant is a long time. I am still living that little boy’s dream.”

Since the start, I have been mainly the collector. In past years, I have collected a wide variety of collections. I have relinquished some, and some new has come instead. Now I’m collecting seriously into ten different collections, which I am actively updating with all my vigour. 37 years as a stamp merchant is a long time. I am still living that little boy’s dream. It started on Christmas night – Once upon a time…

Philatelic best regards,

Harri Kuusisto

Celebrating Merkki-Albert's 35 first years with Kauko Rautiainen (left) and Tapani Somersalo (right).
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