Stamps (Philately)/Stamp Collection Inheritance
I just got a 7000+(as many as 10k) stamp collection. I have valued a few of them to get an idea and went and asked a few dealers. Though several were worth $100 ,I checked, (I only brought 1 album with me) I was offered $85 for the lot by one guy and $75 from another. How can I get a rough idea of value without being ripped off. How do I sell this big a collection.
Usually if a collector knows their collection will eventually fall into the hands of the heirs, they will leave some instructions as to the value of the stamps and what to do with them.
I suggest getting in touch with the president of your local stamp club and ask if there is a knowledgeable member who would be willing to make a quick assessment of your holdings. With a brief scan, an experienced philatelist will be able to estimate the value of the collection to the nearest order of magnitude (i.e. its worth hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, etc). At that point you might ask for a more complete appraisal for a fee, usually $50 to $500 depending on how much material there is, and how much value was figured in the estimate.
Following the estimate or appraisal, you can decide the disposition. Your choices are 1) Keep the collection, 2) Sell the collection privately to a stamp dealer or collector, 3) Donate the collection to the stamp club, or 4) Consign the collection to a stamp auctioneer (or post onto an on-line auction like ebay.com) for public sale.
You also can find dealers interested in buying your stamps in a stamp publication like Linn's Stamp News. You could sell the collection to such a dealer for little effort, but it would yield equally little value. There's usually a copy floating around the stamp club, otherwise you can find a copy at a stamp shop or find them online at:
Here's where to find a stamp club in your area:
I deal in United States Stamps
American Art Glass
and Halloween Costumes!