Your Valuation Questions…
We are often asked the same questions about collections for sale. We’ve put together a list of the most commonly asked questions and Andrew’s expert advice.
If you don’t feel that we have answered your question sufficiently, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with full details of your collection.
How to become more informed about my stamps without paying for a valuation...
One of the most useful tools is the internet, and eBay holds a wealth of information which can be accessed for free! We’ve put together our guidelines for how best to search eBay for information about the stamps you may have collected (or inherited).
How to search eBay…
These guidelines are best suited to Presentation Packs, Year Books and First Day Covers.
1) Click the advanced search link: https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/ebayadvsearch
2) Enter keywords such as:
• GB + year book
• GB + year pack
• GB + first day cover
• GB + presentation pack
• GB + prestige booklets
• GB + post & go
• GB + PHQ cards
3) From the category drop-down, select Stamps
4) Next, tick the box Complete listings
5) Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Search
6) When presented with the results, you can then refine your search by selecting ‘lowest price first’. In this way you can drill down to see how the worst possible scenario may apply to what you own. It allows you to discover what items actually sell and for how much, so you can deduce how good a market it is.
TIP: If you have a collection of GB Postage, use Google to search for “buy mint stamps for postage”. There is a sub-market for this GB postage material – we pay up to 50% of the face value printed on the stamps (provided total shipments are in excess of £200 face value), and we use such stamps on our commercial mail. It is possible to usually purchase similar material online for up to 25% to 30% below face value.
British Post Office / Royal Mail First Day Covers
Although classic stamps continue to sell well, modern (1960s onwards) First Day Covers do not. Typically you can find collections and/or individual covers offered on eBay selling for as little as 1p each if prices are unreserved but often not selling at all if reserve prices have been set.
We do offer to buy collections of First Day Covers but only if you have sufficient quantity. If you have 400+ First Day Covers and you are in the UK, we can arrange to have your collection picked up (free of charge) from your home or office by courier. Please contact us for details.
Presentation Packs / Mint Postage
If you have MINT DECIMAL stamps, these are still valid for postage. We currently pay up to 50% of the face value of the prices printed on the stamps – as long as the total face value of your stamps exceeds £100.
Some sets/presentation packs sell for more but the problem is that the majority hardly sell at all at good prices because there are so many on the market. However, the mint stamps are still valid for postage.
If you are in the UK, we can arrange to have your collection picked up (free of charge) from your home or office by courier. Please contact us for details. We will ask you to confirm the total face value – please use the current prices for any stamps marked 1st, 2nd or E (visit https://www.royalmail.com/current-postage-prices to see the latest prices).
Old / Childhood Stamp Collection
I have an old/childhood stamp album inherited from a relative, containing hundreds of stamps that I have added to over the years. What do you advise?
Before a physical assessment, it is fundamental to the process that you take preliminary photos/scans and email them to us for assessment. We will review and advise – not specific value at this stage, but the calibre of what we see and if there is potential.
I have worked full-time in Philately for the past 49 years. My journey into stamps started when I inherited my father’s stamp collection at the age of 10 years. I added stamps to the collection, but with little access to money, my additions failed to add value. Similarly, my father’s childhood collection did not create value either, so the value today of both stamp collections is virtually nothing.
Through the past 49 years of evaluation childhood collections, it has become apparent that (sadly) money goes to money in Philately. If you have spent significant money well at times of purchase, you may have created real value. But if little or no money has been expended over the years, the chance for value will be low.
Therefore, it is necessary for responsible Stamp Dealers and Auctioneers to establish potential for value without incurring cost to the client.
On this basis – I would be grateful if you could:
• Give us a good idea (if possible) of how much money was spent over a period of time to acquire the stamps (and importantly with whom the money was spent)?
• Email up to 5 representative images of what may appear to be the oldest stamps within the collection. Each image should be a well-filled page of stamps, or loose stamps presented neatly (face-up, facing the same way, up to 30 stamps per group image) into an A4 size arrangement.
Please bear in mind that postage stamps fuelled communication for over 150 years before the internet came into existence, so that stamps more than 100 years old were printed and produced in literally hundreds of millions of many designs and denominations. Even the world’s 1st stamp (the famous 1d black, of which 66 million were produced) is possible to purchase online for less than £20 (albeit for a poor quality example – really nice ones sell for hundreds of pounds).