Stamps (Philately)/Revenue Stamps



Found a decent lot of revenue stamps my wife's grandfather collected.  Just would like to know if they are worth selling either all together or separate.  70+ series 1914 1/4 cent 48 on sheet and others are 12 or smaller. and 80 plus 5/8 series of 1898 RB23p sheets of 6 or smaller no plate.  All are not used and great condition.  There are a few hundred stamps besides that used and new and just started going through entire lot.

I am not a collector and would appreciate any info



ANSWER: Donald,
  I love the Revenue series!  (So let me start by saying that).  I think the 1/4 cent 1914 your refer to is a Proprietary (Designation RB as opposed to R), similar to your RB23p (Battleship type).  This is the black stamp, which just has 1/4 denomination in the middle, and some lattice work design around it.  Block of four of this group have a value unused of $1.25, but you mention "On sheet" if you have the block numbers attached, then these become very interesting, not to mention of this is a block of 48 in tact, will carry a much nicer value.  BUT... hard to find multiples collectors.  They are out there, but majority of market is buying in single because it "fills their album page".
  Same as the RB23p, block of 6 unused have a value of $1.25.  I love the look of these old beauties, especially with nice gum.

  Now, all that said, I have found these to be very popular, and in some instances have gotten at or above book value.  If you're trying to "Get the most out of it" I would say sell as "individual items", rather than as a lot.  When people buy in bulk, they expect a discount.  If you sell to a dealer, you can expect to get paid a lot less than to a collector, but the advantage is a dealer will generally take the whole lot, and pay you instantly.  When selling to collectors, as lot of effort must go into photographing, posting, writing descriptions, then processing each order as it comes in.  If you have a lot of time on your hands, then certainly go with a route of selling as individual items.  While the multiples move slow... BE PATIENT!  And get the right value for it.  There is someone out there who's willing to buy it at a reasonable (yet still good) price, and more than what you will get selling it in a lot.  People usually buy lots for the purpose of reselling them, (at least part of them) and want to make something off of the deal too.  But keep your big multiples together.  But be prepared to wait maybe as much as 6 months to sell it.

  If you go the eBay route... you can expect to get about 30% of book value.  Sometimes you will get slightly higher or lower.  I suggest a strategy of starting your opening bid as the minimum you will accept.  Otherwise, you risk selling an item for less than you wanted.  You have to make sure this is worth it.  eBay charge an "insertion fee" for each item, and if you re-post it over and over each time, it incurs a new fee.  You will also lose 6% of the total to eBay when it does sell, and if you accept payment by PayPal, you're going to lose another 3% to that.  So all these things must be kept in mind, and what your objective is... do you want to off the lot in one go, and fast, then sell it as a lot (to collector for maximum value), or to a dealer if you're really desperate.  A dealer will likely give you about %15 - %20 book value, knowing they will get about %30 book in a retail/online auction setting.
Hope that helps, I'd love to see this.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

1/4 cent stamp
1/4 cent stamp  

5/8 cent stamp
5/8 cent stamp  

I've attached a few pictures of the revenue stamps - i can send you more pictures if you would like - I intend to sell the whole lot 300 plus US and 200 Foreign to a collector if i can as i don't have time to sell individual stamps on eBay.

Any advice on where to go to find a collector? forums?

Thank you again for quick reply

 I see from your profile that you are in Maryland.  You're in a good spot... the eastern seaboard of the US, and in particular Pennsylvania is the center of the philatelic universe.  I'm not sure what part of Maryland you are in, but you can easily Google for "Maryland Stamp Dealer" or if you are in Baltimore or Bethesda, I know both have many dealers, just Google for "Baltimore Stamp Dealer" (or whatever town is nearest/convenient for you).  Then I would give them a call first and explain to them what you have, as some may or may not be looking for stock at the moment.  You may also be able to check the phone book, though I think as a media it has declined in popularity over the years, you will probably have better luck with Google.
  Thanks for the photos.  I really like the blocks of 6 in the 5/8's.  I've had success selling them on eBay previously.  They are popular blocks.  It's too bad the 1/4 large block is fragmented.  But it is still a nice piece for its age.  I'm sure you'll have no problem finding a dealer who will buy the set and your foreign stuff as well.
Best of luck,

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Scott Payton


My expertise is in US, but I have a lot of exposure to worldwide, and with wide reference material, I will do what I can to answer questions about global stamps. In US I have extensive experience in all aspects (does include Administrative overprints for Cuba, China, Puerto Rico etc.). Also, Hawaii general issue and Revenue (pre-statehood). Of course still building knowledge but have been collecting since 1980. Air Mail is a favorite area, but not a limitation. Two specialty areas are Large Banknote issues, and Washington/Franklin identification. Strong experience in Carrier & Locals, Private Die (Also known as M&M for "Match & Medicine" but also includes some playing card and perfume stamp issues.) Recently have been building more back-of-book experience, especially around Official, Newspaper, Revenue and tax editions. Some covers, and cancellations, but not my strong suit. Another area I'm recently diving into. What I can't do: Anything non-US, as it's just not an area I focus on.


30+ years of learning the hard way. A lot of passion for collecting and dealing (as I do both). I don't consider it a hobby... I consider it a serious pursuit that I'm able to do in the hours I'm not occupied by annoying things like sleep. I work closely with some of the global leaders in the expertizing and identification field. Have co-authored several papers (with Mr. William Weiss Jr.) related to identification, as well as tool set to help with quickly identifying the more challenging areas of Washington Franklin. Strong experience in paper types and coil validation.

Member of APS #222356.

1870 - 1879 Large Banknote Issues - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr). Washington-Franklin - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr.) Detecting Fakes, Alterations and Counterfeits (APS Summer Session Expertizing Session materials with William Weiss Jr.)

Thousands and thousands of hours of pouring over hundreds of collections. 30+ years as a collector-to-dealer, avid student of philatelic study. Pre-1900 variation is fascinating, and it seems even after all these years, that I make some discovery every time I look at a new example. APS Summer Session - Fundamentals of Expertizing 2014

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100's too numerous to mention.

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