We have not had any freezing weather since the middle of February. Today it hit 82 degrees. My indoor plantings are almost ready to put outside and I am ready to outside a bit more.
February was a good month for us and we stayed busy just keeping up with orders. As a result we did not get as much done fixing our web site as we planned. We still have large sections of our listings without many images. I worked all day checking the images for Danzig and still haven’t finished that one are. Next on schedule is Saar. It is a painful process and we have to scan many hundreds of images – again.
We have acquired some very interesting collections this past month and add many items to our web site listings this month. We have again acquired lots of new stamps from the early Deutsches Reich. During the past two years the early Germany proper issues have been our best selling area. A lot of our customers have very advanced collections of this area.
We continue to watch auction sales of German and Austrian material and continue to see that demand for better stamps is higher than ever. Everything sells and sales for substantial prices. Collections continue to be in high demand and making sellers very happy as all good collections attract multiple bidders. Sellers are doing better now than they have in the past fifteen years.
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.
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 for 48 years and have bought back the same collection more than once!
SOME NEW ITEMS ON OUR WEB SITE
MARIENWERDER SC 24 – 31 * LIGHTLY HINGED VF $500.00
MI 94 AI** VF exp $200
MI 300U ** exp VF $120.00 MI 154 Ia AF IIIUsed exp $175
WESTERSTEDE MI I – XV ** VF $150