Stamps (Philately)/stamp values

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10 cent special delivery
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stamp blocks
stamp blocks  
Hi Terry, I have a smallish stamp collection I want to sell but I have no clue how to value them. Is it best to go to a stamp dealer and just trust that I'll get a fair price? (are there ways to find out if a dealer is trustworthy?) I have some old stamps that are in sleeves and a bunch of US postage stamps that are in blocks of 4, 10, or 20 stamps with the serial numbers mostly from the late 60s and early 70s. Also some misc postcard and envelopes. I looked online and it seems that most of the stamps in blocks have a value of .35 to 1.50 as single stamps. Does the value go up if they are in a block?  Is it worth it to try to sell them as a bundle (or smaller bundles, like all the Christmas stamps together, etc.) on ebay?

I've uploaded a couple of photos so you can see a sample of what I have. I really appreciate your time and expertise! Thanks so much. L

Answer
Hello Leia,

Thanks for your question. It's an important one that comes up often and is good to review.

My area of expertise is in United States postage but my information will help with stamps from any country.

I hear your sense of frustration and being overwhelmed, loud and clear.  Relax, step back and take a deep breath.  As for finding the values of what you have, it's as close as your local library.  Check out Scotts Catalogue.  It is considered the "holy bible" of stamp collectors.  In this user friendly book, you can fin d almost any postage stamp ever issued.  There are pictures to help with identification as well as values for each item in both mint and used conditions.  
The United States one has a section with post cards so you can check those as well!
A word of caution about values in the book -  they are a rough idea as to what you can expect to pay for a stamp if you went to buy it at a stamp dealer.  Selling that same item to a stamp dealer will generally net you 20% to 30% of the list (book) value depending on condition and demand.

The sleeves that the older stamps are in are called "mounts". These sleeves allow you to place an item in an album and at the same time, protect the stamp from dirt and oil on fingers.

On the blocks of four or more, look on the sides for a number.  This is called a plate block.  It is used when a stamp is printed.  These blocks, with the numbers attached make it more desirable to collectors and usually command a little higher price in values.

Selling on E-bay, usually your best bet is to sell your collection as an entire lot rather than piece by piece.

I know I have given you a lot of info to digest.  I hope it helps!

Thanks again for your question and let me know if I can be of any more help.

Terry
P.S.  Please remember to rate my reply to your inquiry.  Appreciate it.  

Stamps (Philately)

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Terry Tipton

Expertise

I have been involved in philately for most of my 56 years. I specialize in United States Issues and Postmarks. I have numerous reference sources to research if I do not know the answer. I am organized and promise swift courteous answers. I am a member of the American Philatelic Society. I also have my own philatelic mail order business.

Experience

As I mentioned, I have been collecting philatelic items for most of my 56 years. I have several albums of United States issues (most of them are pages I designed myself) and I also have numerous albums of postmarks sorted and researchhed by state.

Organizations
American Philatelic Society, All Nations Stamp Club and Harford County Stamp Club

Publications
Linn's, All Nations Stamp Club Website, and local Newspaper

Awards and Honors
Board of Directors for Christmas in April 1990-1996

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