While I was going through things in an attempt to pare down my collection pre-move, I discovered some old photopolymer stamps that had yellowed (this is normal) and decided to see if I could still use them.
So I tried to peel one off the sheet and it was like pulling a wad of gum off of a wall. It was mostly solid but it started to stretch and wouldn’t return to its original shape. When I tried to lift the other one, it actually ripped down the center of the stamp without even having to pull too hard.
These stamps were about five or six years old. I have rubber stamps that are over 25 years old that I still use and that still print just fine.
I am not saying don’t buy photopolymer stamps. These are wonderful tools that are relatively inexpensive in comparison to rubber and while they don’t last forever they can certainly give you a lot of great impressions over their lives. Just know that you won’t get the decades of use out of them as you would a rubber stamp.