The weather this year is a rerun of last year – an exceptionally mild winter and an early spring. Our daffodils are blooming now about three weeks early this year. It seems to get milder every year.
We will be at the St Louis Stamp Expo again this year – booth 14. We look forward to seeing some of you again this year and hopefully meet some more of our long time customers. The Expo is scheduled for the same place as in past years – the Renaissance Hotel next to the St Louis air port. The show is scheduled for 31 March through 2 April.
We have bought a lot of collections in recent months from collectors who have decided it is time to sell their life long collections. In fact most of our acquisitions in the past four months have been these collections as opposed to auction lots. Several of the collections are very advanced and we are in the process of adding the better items to our web site listings. We have been seeking the more difficult items at auctions and have observed that the really good material commands high prices! On the other hand the more common singles, sets and collections are selling at very low prices.
This month we have updated our Germany Privat Post price list. This list is entirely Michel catalog numbers as listed in the Michel Privat Post catalog. (I have been advised that Subway Stamp Shop in New Jersey has these catalogs in stock. The most recent published catalog was printed in 2006.)
Next month we will update our Germany Part D price list – issues that start with the semi-postals and list all of the back of the book Germany proper issues and Berlin.
Our Web Site
We have been having both software problems and host provider problems with our web site. As a result we have changed our host and much of the software. Unfortunately in the process we lost access to almost 40 per cent of the stored images. I can not tell you how frustrating this has been to us as we have spent many hours scanning and listing images for the more expensive stamps listed on our site.
We are spending a lot more time now rescanning and relisting images. We are doing this one stamp category at a time. We are also expanding the number of images in each category as we go. So far we have just completed listings for Danzig and Memel. Next is the German offices and colonies.
The Euro is much lower than last year.. The current exchange rate now is 1 Euro equals $1.06 US. We are approaching a 1 to 1 ratio!
SELLING YOUR COLLECTION
I receive many inquiries asking me for help in selling collections. Most inquiries come from family members who have inherited a collection. Most often they have no stamp collecting experience and little or no idea of the value of the inherited collection.
As a stamp collector you should maintain an inventory of your stamp collection for no other reason than to provide your family with a clue to the value of your collection. An inventory with catalog numbers and either purchase price or catalog values provides an excellent start for family members to know what to do with the collection.
A smart way to keep an inventory now is using your computer spreadsheet. It is easy to set up, record data, and easy to update. If you maintain a spreadsheet you should also print it out periodically and keep a copy in a safe place like your safety deposit box or home safe. You can also keep a copy with your stamp collection.
I recently had a collection owner contact me with an inherited collection accompanied with a hand written inventory which had catalog numbers, whether stamps were **,* or U, noted flaws on valuable stamps, and included catalog prices. Although the catalog prices were 20 years old it was a snap for me to determine the current value of the collection and make a purchase offer.
If you have no inventory and no idea what a collection is worth there are several places to go to get a start. Look up your local stamp clubs on line and then show up at one of their club meetings with stamps in tow. I am sure there will be knowledgeable collectors there who will like to give you an idea of what you have. You can also take the stamps to your local stamp dealer (if you have one). Most stamp dealers will give you a rough estimate of the value of your collection at no charge. Lastly you can visit your local library and look for the 6 volume set of Scott Stamp catalogs. If your collection is in a stamp album, the stamps are most likely sequenced in the same order that they are listed in the Scott catalogs. You can look for the price of your stamps in the catalogs. Keep in mind that the catalog prices are retail prices for stamps in fine/very fine condition. If you sell your stamps to a dealer you will get 25-50% of the catalog value for fine/very fine stamps and less for stamps in lesser condition.
Once you have at least a ball park idea of the value of your collection you are ready to sell. If you have a collection from a specific country or group of countries seek a dealer who specializes in that area. If your collection is worth thousands rather than hundreds of dollars you might consign your collection to an auction house. Auctions have the advantage of offering your stamps to many potential buyers but most auction houses don’t want to handle inexpensive collections as the selling process is costly.
Another suggestion is see if you can determine where the collector bought his stamps. If you can offer the collection to a dealer who sold the stamps to the collector you well might get a better price. I have been a dealer for 45 years and have bought back the same collection more than once!
Contact us at:
R Schneider Stamps
PO Box 23049
Belleville IL 62223
OFFICE 618 277 6152
FAX 618 277 1050