Stamps (Philately)/stamp collection

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Question
How do I go about getting a stamp collection appraised?

Answer
Pat,

First decide what type of appraisal you need.  Insurance appraisal, retail value, wholesale value, tax man's idea of value, or do you really want an offer of purchase?  The collection needs to be well organized.  There will be an appraisal fee for insurance, retail, and wholesale values.  Most competent stamp dealers, if not overly specialized, can and do perform appraisals.  Specialty collections are best appraised by a dealer specializing in that field.  The tax man will provide his own appraiser.  Typically the dealer/appraiser is a competent authority but not a registered appraiser.  Registered independent appraisers frequently know less about stamp collections than they should (usually a better choice for art and antiques).

Next, check for dealer/appraisers in your area.  Best done by checking the on-line resources of the major dealer organizations (in the USA):  APS, ASDA, IPDA, NSDA.  Or simply search for a dealer in your area and check that they are members of one or more of those organizations.

If there is an active stamp club in your area they might be of assistance in determining if your collection is worth appraising.  Condition and demand are all important as the stamps themselves only have the intrinsic value of scrap paper.  

Stamps (Philately)

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Bill Lehr

Expertise

Almost any question relating to US postal stationery

Experience

Member UPSS 19th century catalog ediorial committee; member UPSS 20-21 century catalog editorial committee; member of APEX examiner committee; published author including regular column on US postal stationery in US Stamp News

Organizations
APS, APEX, IFDSA, IPDA, NSDA, UPSS, PSS

Publications
Postal Stationery, journal of the UPSS; Precancel Forum; US Stamp News; EFO Collector; Air Post Journal

Education/Credentials
Bachelor degree plus

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