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Selling a Stamp Collection

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Dozey, May 22, 2022.

  1. Dozey

    Dozey Air guitar member

    Thinking of getting rid of my childhood stamp collection. Any suggestions on the best way to do this? I don't expect them to be worth much, but you never know.
  2. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    I’d be interested in this too as I have my dad’s which must be 80 years old.
    Alexm2033 likes this.
  3. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    I’ve my dad’s collection for safe keeping. He’s in a care home now. Many memories brought rushing back, as I collected stamps for a few years as a kid, so it’s going nowhere.

    It’s hard work selling stamps as there are so many variables, such as different phosphor bands, different perforations, used stamp postmark condition and coverage of stamp, how mounted in album etc etc.

    Ok, if I discover any stamps are worth thousands of pounds I’ll have a chat with my dad about them, but any proceeds would probably risk being swallowed by his care costs anyway.

    The penny black my mum bought him back in the 90s is going nowhere, however, even though it’s not that valuable.
  4. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    You've probably seen this:

    Useful and give you an idea. Looking at it I guess what i've got isn't worth selling. It's just an album and a few bits and in store at the moment but at least it will give me a steer when I come to look at it again.
    Dozey and Tony Lockhart like this.
  5. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    I’d probably reach out to Stanley Gibbon or Spink and have a chat with them if you think there might be some real value there. Alternatively, look for a local philatelical society to see if any of their members is interested, or a local auctioneer that gets collections through with some regularity - the regularity will have a positive impact on valuation and their database to know whom to target to offload it.
  6. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

  7. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Interesting thread, as I've been a philatelist since I was in short trousers and have amassed a large and very varied collection; more a collection of collections really. Moribund in boxes for at least a decade, I had a vague plan to spend time revaluating it when I could no longer play tennis etc and grow my own crops. At 81, that time is unfortunately approaching and this thread has made me think again, as I've no interested heirs.

    Trouble is, this kind of stuff is extremely time consuming but it's better to have a rough idea of value before trying to sell. I'd be inclined to keep any sale local, although sth like eBay may be okay for individual stamps or sheets but not sure about entire collections.
  8. Bart

    Bart pfm Member

    I imagine it could be a fair bit of work evaluating a collection (depending on the collection of course) so you might expect to have to pay a bit for the service.
    Also you might need to catalogue it yourself somehow to make sure it didn’t come back a bit slimmer.
    I have a collection from a family member myself plus a little collection of random old coins, some of which may be worth a few quid, I think the best bet would be a local collector who might do an honest job for ‘love’ plus a little remuneration.
    (All the specially minted crowns my father-in-law collected assiduously appear to be worth very little, sadly)
  9. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Yes, that would be ideal, as any philatelist who has collected for donkey's years, whether currently or not, should be able to generally assess a collection and note anything of any worth or insterest.
  10. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    Quite a few auction houses get good results from stamp collections.
  11. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    If you just have a world stamps collection, it's fairly easy to peruse a S.G. world catalogue in the library (if they still do these). However, anything more specialised needs the individual country/geographical area catalogues to view the various imperfections, printings, watermarks etc. Also FDCs and stamp booklets are only in these specialised catalogues.

    I've lost touch with the philatelic world, and have no idea about trends in valuations and country preferences since the eighties. Is philately still as popular as ever? No idea.
  12. deanf

    deanf pfm Member

  13. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    well I don't wish to be gloomy, but if you want the real value of the stamps, remove any valued at £10 or more from the collection and sell them separately, one at a time, or as small groups of date of country. Any stamp dealer will want to make a profit, meaning you lose at least half the value, and most will assume you don't know the value and lie a fair bit.

    Use time, research and caution. The gentleman philatelist died 50 years ago.
  14. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    I did? Well I never! I'll be frank(ed); I simply lost a few perforations but no dye yet.:D

    It used to be that S.G. prices were the benchmark. Dealers sold up to 50% below that and for private sales, depending on condition, about a quarter to a fifth.
  15. MikeMA

    MikeMA pfm Member

    Slightly off topic, but it involves stamps : a friend of who needed to leave a certain country in a bit of a hurry was able to move a large chunk of his wealth back home undetected in the form of valuable stamps tucked between the pages of a paperback book. You have to know what you are doing, but he knew people in the stamp business and it was relatively simple.
    Last edited: May 23, 2022

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