In February this part of Texas set winter cold records. We had below zero weather for the first time since 1989. It stayed below freezing for 7 days in a row with a couple days below zero and we had 12 inches of snow during that period. Needless to say that weather was a shock to most long time Texas residents. Fortunately we did not lose any utilities as many others did. The good news is that the weather has turned around has become more kike spring now
Just about everyone in the country has experienced slow mail delivery since
early December. We get inquiries everyday as to where a stamp mailing might be. It has become routine letters to take two weeks for delivery with some taking a month. As an extreme case we received a parcel from a German auction house mailed 30 October on 12 February. The good news is the mail has all eventually arrived at its destination.
This month we have updated our German offices and colonies price list part I. We have done a pretty good job replacing sold put items
from our last list. German offices and colonies continues to be our Most sought German stamps.
Next month we will update the German states price list Part 1 which covers Baden through Hanover issues. We have been able to ad quite a few new items to this list including many Michel listed varieties. We are also working on German offices and colonies price list II. We well may have two lists next month.
2020 Year Sets
We have year sets now for 2020 complete either NH or used. 2020 was another prolific year for stamps issues in both Austria and Germany.
Germany complete ** or U is $173.
Austria ** or used is $366
Liechtenstein ** or used $162
Luxemburg ** or used is $ 104
In March 2019 the Euro was worth $1.14. It is now $121. The Euro continues to fluctuate significantly in recent years. The stronger Euro makes buying in European auctions significantly more expensive for US customers.
SELLING YOUR COLLECTION
I printed this a year ago and several customers said they filed it with their albums – just in case.
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.
If you are 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 have received collections accompanied by printed inventories listing items in the collection. Listing catalog numbers, whether the items are NH, hinged or used and their condition makes valuing the stamps a snap.
If you are not a collector and 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 12 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 close to 50 years now and have bought back the same collection more than once!