The Value of a Stamp Collection Appraisal

Getting Your Stamp Collection Appraised

We believe that every stamp collector has unique needs. Some require estimated replacement valuations for their insurance company. Others need an estimated net value, also known as the wholesale value, and the current Scott value for all or part of their collection.

Before you send your stamps to our philatelic appraisers, call us and discuss why you need the appraisal and your budget. We’ll tailor the appraisal to you and your collection.

Can You Evaluate Your Collection

Yes and no.

The Scott Catalogs, the US’s industry standard pricing guide, are an excellent resource if you’re inventorying your stamp collection or need shipping insurance for a birthday present.

That said, leave the formal appraisals to the experts.

Although we all live for rare 1908 Benjamin Franklins, rarity doesn’t always determine value. Subtle differences, including watermarks, perforations, and line thickness, set each stamp apart.

Even when stamps are virtually identical, an expert appraiser knows that a slightly altered watermark differentiates a $1 early American stamp from a $200 one.

A formal appraisal also protects your collection’s value. If it’s damaged during a flood or stolen, your insurance company may not accept your claim without a formal appraisal accompanied by photos.

Our experts determine your collection’s real value. It’s not undervalued or overvalued.

Philatelic Estate Planning

For end of life planning, a formal appraisal will help you divide your assets as evenly as you wish. By knowing the exact value, you can prevent conflicts among your heirs before they start.

After appraising your collection, our experts will help you create detailed instructions for your heirs. We’ll show you how to incorporate distribution instructions within your collection and draw up an inventory and appraisal for inclusion with your estate planning documents.

Selling Your Stamp Collection

When Should You Sell

For the best price, sell your stamps when the demand exceeds supply. Collections sold during special events like StampShow, the American Philatelic Society’s summer convention, often command a higher price.

Why Consult Us Before Selling

As a professional philatelic firm, we understand the global and national stamp markets. We know when the supply outstrips the demand, lowering overall stamp prices. Our expert advice helps you preserve your stamp collection’s value and sell when its best for you.

We also understand that one sales option does not fit all. Outright sales often offer full appraisal value and better confidentiality. However, rare stamps may exceed their appraisal value if offered for public auction, particularly in a seller’s market.

We’ll walk you through the different sales options and help you find what works best for your collection.

If You Inherited a Stamp Collection

Before contacting us, store the collection in a cool, dry place with low humidity. Do not store it in an attic or basement. Albums should remain upright like a library book and should not stand on their sides or spines.

If you find a list of numbers stored with the collection, hang on to it. These may be Scott numbers for an inventory.

Discuss whether you plan to divide the collection between the heirs, sell it, or donate it to charity with the estate’s accountant before scheduling an appraisal. Inheritance tax appraisal may be lower than a charity deduction.

List Your Stamp Collection on Our Marketplace

Gain access to interested buyers when you list your stamp collection on our marketplace. Showcase your collection’s highlights and let buyers review its appraisal without publicly listing your phone number or email address. Get support from our experts throughout the selling process.

We’ll Buy Your Stamp Collection

As life-long collectors ourselves, we understand that your stamp collection is a member of your family. Each stamp has its own story and cherished memories.

We treasure those stories and promise we’ll match your collection with a good home.

We offer fair prices with same-day payment for stamp collections. Call us for more details.

Sending Your Stamp Collection to a Buyer or Appraiser

If you sold your collection through our marketplace, please log in and print out your shipping labels.

If you’re sending us a collection for appraisal, please contact us first. We’ll email you the shipping labels.

Preparation

  1. Prepare a detailed packing slip with the following information:
  • A list of the enclosed items. If known, include the Scott Catalog numbers for each stamp.
  • Your contact information, including your name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • The recipient’s contact information.
  • If you request personal receipt notification in addition to a tracking number, please include a reminder on the packing slip.
  1. Photograph the collection before packing it.
  2. Estimate the collection’s value for shipping insurance.
    • If you’re not selling an entire collection, use the individual stamp values from the most recent appraisal.
    • If you do not have a value for a stamp, use the most recent Scott Postage Stamp Catalog value.

Packing

  1. Print two copies of your address labels.
  2. Secure albums and stock books with rubber bands or twine.
  3. Place the packing slip in an envelope and slide the envelope under one of the rubber bands.
  4. Protect the stamps from moisture by placing the album or stock book in a zip top bag. Tip: 2.5-gallon jumbo bags work for most.
  5. Pack the collection in 1.5 cubic foot, corrugated boxes (16″ x 12″ x 12″) as follows.
  • For stock books:
    1. Place stock books inside the box in an upright position.
    2. Pack stock books together tightly. Otherwise, the stamps may jar loose during shipment.
  • For albums:
    1. Place 1-2 albums inside the box.
  1. Fill any remaining space with tightly packed paper or extra sheets of cardboard. Do not use peanuts! They are not dense enough.
  2. Lay the second address label inside the box.
  3. Tap the box shut.
  4. Label the box “this side up, handle with care”.
  5. Tape the second shipping label to the outside of the box as directed by the carrier.

Discover your stamp collection’s real value. Please give us a call today to schedule an appraisal.