Displaying items by tag: Stamp Collection

Monday, 27 January 2020 06:54

Selling an Inherited Stamp Collection

If you inherited a stamp collection, it can be an intimidating task to sell it. If you are not a serious collector yourself, you will be unfamiliar with this specialized world. You will have to make choices on how you go about getting it appraised and then selling it.

Know Your Collector

Don't believe the collection is valuable just because of the quantity and age of the stamps. Don't expect much in terms of value unless the collection was formed by a serious collector (let's say for the sake of argument that a serious collector is one who spent $50 to $100 per month over many years) rather than a casual collector who might buy current issues at the post office and go to a couple of stamp shows a year.

The condition, as well as types of stamps in the collection, will have a great impact on the value. Many old collections are made up largely of stamp packet material. Such stamp packets often contained stamps that were reprints of original stamps issued by their governments. These have little value.

Appraising the Stamp Collection

Your local library may have stamp catalogs that would apply to your collection; you may think of going the do-it-yourself route by identifying the stamps and selling on one of the online auction sites like eBay. But if you have a number of older classic stamps, be prepared to expend time and effort. While modern stamps are fairly straightforward, earlier classics have many varieties that take a practiced eye and a level of philatelic knowledge that your catalog may not give you.

Regarding the stamp catalog, don't be fooled by that extremely flexible thing known as catalog value: it has nothing to do with what you will receive when you go to sell a collection to a dealer. The real problem with most collections is the condition. You may have a stamp or two with a high catalog value—say $1,000. If that stamp has serious flaws, the value plummets. If it is actually damaged—a tear, mildew stain, missing perf tooth, etc. the stamp approaches the point of worthlessness. There will be a market for the stamp—but only as a space filler, that is a valuable stamp that a collector will buy at a fraction of the value of that stamp in good condition, to put into his album until a better example comes along.

Bring your collection to a local dealer before sending it off to an auction house. If you don't have a clue what the collection is worth, save your time, money, and aggravation by having him professionally appraise it. He may tell you then and there that there is no sense in sending the collection to an auction house as its contents don't merit it. If he does a full examination of the collection as opposed to a quick once-over expect to pay a small fee.

Of course, don’t neglect to consult any stamp collecting friends you may have. Many collectors are happy to pore over a collection. Just be sure that the friend is knowledgeable enough to know what he is looking at and not miss something of real value. And just as you’ll pay a dealer to appraise your stamp collection, you can reward your friend with a few stamps from your collection.

Selling a Collection at Auction

Be very careful about the auction house you are placing your collection with. Many serious collectors leave a note with their collections about what auction house they recommend their relatives place the stamps with. Don't go directly to that auction house when the time comes. In the recent past, there have been three major philatelic auction houses that have suffered a scandal or actually went out of business due to illegal practices. Make sure you check. In most cases, a simple Google search will give you the information you need, or at least a starting point from which you can do a follow-up to assure the auctioneer is clean and legit.

Don't forget about the fees when you go to sell your inherited collection at auction. Generally, you’ll pay the auction house 10 to 15 percent of the hammer price of your collection. A bargain, really, when you consider the work that has gone into working up your collection for auction. Of course, they also get a fee from the buyer, so with a valuable collection, the house does come out of the deal well.​

Source: thesprucecrafts.com

Published in News
Thursday, 26 December 2019 05:13

Best Ways to Store a Stamp Collection

Stamps are one of the most fragile collectibles. The value of the same stamp can be $100 or $10 depending on its condition, which can vary based on tears, creases, thins, or intact gum. How you store your collection can make all the difference.

There are many ways to store a stamp collection and, unfortunately, most are expensive. There are many fine albums available, but many collectors do not put their stamps in them. The expense of a quality album and the mounts one needs to display mint stamps in the album can take a big chunk out of your budget. The plastic mounts alone often cost more than the stamp's worth.

Most collectors do not necessarily buy stamps to display them in an album. But some may want to access them for their viewing enjoyment while being confident that the stamps are well stored. Many stamp collectors have experienced that heartsick moment when they open a mint sheet file or "safeguarded" album to only find that dampness or insects have wrecked a portion of their collection.

To protect your collection and go the do-it-yourself route, take advantage of alternate methods of storage and preservation.

Basic Stamp Storage Supplies

A manila-paged stock book or pages is the minimum for storage. But beware: The pockets are thicker than a stock book with plastic pockets and can easily bend your stamp slightly and leave a mark, particularly on the gum. Save your manila for used stamps.

Individual pages that can be put in a plain binder with plastic pockets have the advantage of lacking the separation that the back of mounts feature which, while offering ease of entry and exit for your stamp, can also leave a horizontal line across the back of your stamp. Although not as great a concern for self-stick stamps, earlier gummed stamps can lose a significant part of their value from that simple gum disturbance.

You can find more expensive plastic pocket stock books that look nice on a shelf, although most of these types of books are about 20 pages. You likely have to buy multiple books and it can be cost-prohibitive. If you do decide to get this type of book, go with the white page version, not black. With the white pages, you will be able to see any creeping climate damage, mold, or foxing (reddish-brown staining) immediately. The black pages hide the problem, meanwhile, your collection loses value.

If you take great pride in the presentation of your stamp collection and enjoy showing it off, the fancier albums are the way to go. For a smaller collection, you can get a few binders and pages for a few hundred dollars if hinges are included on the pages. But for those who collect stamps from multiple countries, the outlay for a lot of albums can be significant.

The Challenge of Self-Adhesive Stamps

Current wisdom for self-stick stamps says that to be considered proper mint stamps, they have to be saved on their original backing. This creates problems—and expense—for collectors. The U.S. Postal Service does not sell a single stamp from a self-adhesive sheet. If you are not willing to buy an entire sheet of the stamp you want, you may need to buy the stamps on the secondary market from a stamp dealer. This is usually not a problem if it is only one or two stamps, but for the serious collector of U.S. stamps, the expense can become significant.

In terms of storage, do not use manila stock pages for self-adhesives. With the stamp and the backing paper's combined thickness, the page's pocket edges have the potential to leave a crease on the stamp. Your best bet is to buy plastic mounts and put the stamps in them for display purposes. If not that, then trusty, old glassine envelopes and a sturdy storage box in a dry environment are your best storage solution.

Source: thesprucecrafts.com

Published in News

Stamp collectors have the stuff and the somethings that are similar to securities (issued, as they are by governments) and provide liquidity as they are salable at a moment's notice to a ready and enthusiastic clientele.

But don't forget that the sale of your stamps is dependent upon many things. Condition, rarity, demand (are they scarce enough to be strongly sought after?), as well as other considerations, will all affect your success when you go to sell.

Avoid a Mish-Mosh Stamp Accumulation

One important factor that is often overlooked by the collector is organization. If you've been more a hoarder (perhaps more correctly an accumulator when one speaks of stamps) it might have a real impact on your reselling success. After all, if a buyer can't see your material, on what can he base his offer to you?

Especially when you try to sell to stamp dealers, you must make sure everything is there to be easily seen. If it is otherwise, any premium items hidden in the mix will potentially be missed and uncounted. (This applies to bulk stamps and covers, packed in boxes and bags, what old-time dealers one called mish-mosh. On the other hand, if you are offering stamps in albums I assume you know what's in them, and can point out better items to a dealer, so he offers a better price.)

A Famous Stamp Accumulator

There have been accumulators of note, among them Colonel E.H.R. Green, son of Hetty Green, the so-called Witch of Wall Street. With his remarkable wealth, he is said to have bought the entire stock of stamp stores on the spot. His appearance on Nassau Street in NYC, the center of stamp dealing for many years, would send dealers to their vaults to get out their finest material for Green to consider. Today he is best known as the buyer of the Inverted Jenny sheet, or as most non-collectors know it, the upside-down airplane stamp.

Green's accumulation, when sold at auction, was featured in multiple sessions and realized stunning prices. The material's realizations were somewhat based -- beyond what the philatelic items may have been worth according to the catalog value -- on the fame of the former owner, a true star in the philatelic world at the time.

The Allure of Unorganized Stamps

If you are trying to sell to other collectors sometimes a messy lot of stamps and covers can do quite well. You can find ads in the philatelic press and online for Mystery Lots and Unsearched Collections. Part of the hype is that these are unsearched and that the buyer has an opportunity to find a treasure. Just don't forget the expression "One person's treasure is another's trash" and consider what you're going in for when you purchase a Mystery Lot.

Even if they are over-hyped they are yet another pleasure of the hobby. And yes, sometimes one can find an item that is far from a treasure but can nevertheless be of enough value that it alone can make the experience worthwhile.

Clean Up a Family Stamp Collection

When all is said and done, there are times of financial trouble, such as we are currently going through, when interest in simpler and cheaper pastimes is always welcome. Those who have an untended stamp collection in the family may go to the closet and get it out. They may consider their options -- some may take up the hobby.

But with the price of a movie and its ephemeral entertainment, the relatively inexpensive cost of stamps may start to look like an option for a pleasant diversion. But if no one is interested in taking up the hobby, there should be no compunction in selling and tipping your hat to grandpa -- or whoever it originally belonged to -- in thanks for the windfall.

If it is not in the best state of the organization, you'll be doing yourself a favor by cleaning it up, making sure it has a good appearance, with the stamps well organized properly placed in the album, whether on pre-printed pages or arranged logically by country or topic in a stock book. Doing so will prove to be well worth your time.

Source: thesprucecrafts.com

Published in News