Friday, 31 May 2013

Where to Sell your Stamp Collection?

Stamp collections can be veritable goldmines if you know where to sell them. Unfortunately a lot of inheritors of collections don’t know where to find the best stamp collection prices or even where to start looking for a buyer. There are three main avenues that most sellers consider before choosing the one that suits them best.

1. Specialist Auction Houses  

There are specialist auction houses in most large cities so it is rarely difficult to find one close by. The experts that work at an auction house will be able to say which stamps in your collection are worth selling, which should be sold as a collection, which would make more money as an individual sale and what price your collection as a whole should bring.

Of course stamp collection prices have been hit quite hard since the recession started but a specialist auction house will always work hard to get the best price possible for your collection. This is mainly because they take a cut of the sale price as commission (normally 15%) but it is also because they care about the auction pieces that come through their doors.

2. Stamp Societies

Stamp societies are another avenue to explore when selling a stamp collection because the members will be amongst the most knowledgeable philatelists in the country. Society members are also often bound by a code of ethics that stops them from taking advantage of sellers who are uneducated in the world of stamps and stamp collections.

Two societies that have dealers and collectors within their ranks are the Philatelic Traders Society and the National Philatelic Society. By contacting both societies you can quickly find out the names of members in your geographical area that might be willing to give an estimate of worth for your stamps. A few members will charge a fee for an appraisal but if you know nothing at all about your stamps or what they are worth it is advisable to pay the fee and get reliable information. Some members might even make an offer for your stamp collection if it interests them. If not, they can at least tell you what to do next to get the best stamp collection prices available.

3. Online Auction Sites

If you have the time to research each stamp in your collection and list them on an online auction site, such as eBay, then you could make a decent amount from the collection. You will need some knowledge of the individual stamps though and you’ll need to know how to accurately describe the condition of the stamps for potential buyers.  

If you have no idea of the value of the stamps you own then this method of selling a stamp collection shouldn’t be your first choice. Dealers use online auction sites on a regular basis to find valuable stamps at a bargain price and they have no scruples when it comes to getting a quality buy. If you want to auction your stamp collection yourself then it’s advisable to get a reliable valuation first so you don’t lose out on thousands of pounds through simple lack of knowledge.

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmcarthy99/6621814971/

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