Stamps (Philately)/Stamp Collections

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Question
Dear Mr. Tipton,   Is there a "general rule" for pricing a collection of first issue stamps and their post marks? other than looking every single one up? ... both used and unused envelopes.  I am attempting to acquire information for an acquaintance, but really know nothing about the stamp world.  I looked up a few ... A couple big names like Girl Scout & Kennedy averaged about $5, general interest stamps averaged $1 or less.  Is this accurate enough to make a guestimate for selling or simply your own personal knowledge? I've heard there is a huge variety in what stamp collectors look for.  Also ..  I do know that the VALUE of something can have little to do with what it's SELLING for ... is this true in the stamp world as well?   Thanks a lot for anything you care to share.   Nancy H

Answer
Hello Nancy,

Thanks for your question.

The only way to know what you have is to keep plugging at it, stamp by stamp.  The one other option is to find someone who collects stamps and they would be able to tell you rather quickly what the value is of your collection.

A word of caution about the prices you are discovering--they are a rough guide as to what you could expect to pay for an item if you were 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 value depending on condition and demand.

Good luck and let me know if I can be of any more help.

Terry

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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