Stamps (Philately)/stamp collection

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QUESTION: Hi Terry
My husband and I I've in the Catskills of NYS  His father left him a stamp collection and we would like to find out if there is any value to it.  Have no idea where to start. I was hoping you can point us in the right direction.
Thank you
Patti and Richard Morrow

ANSWER: Hi Patti,

Thanks for your question.

First, my condolences on the loss of your father-in-law.  I lost my dad in 2002 and still miss him every day.

Okay--onto the stamps.   First, take a deep breath.  It is really quite easy to get a general idea of what you have.  At your local library, check out Scotts Catalogue.   It is considered the "holy bible" of stamp collectors.   In this user friendly book, you can find almost every postage stamp ever issued.   There are pictures to help with identification, as well as list values for each item in both mint and used conditions.  

A word about list values in the book---they are 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.

Hope this info 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.

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

QUESTION: thanks Terry for getting back to us.  Yes I can go to the library and look things up abut what I would like to know is there a reliable place or person who can help us do this.  Unfortunately it is not all in books.  Also where I go to sell anything.

Thanks
Patti

Answer
Hello again Patti,

Thanks for the follow up and sorry for the delay in answering.  I have been away on vacation.  

Here in this forum, we do not recommend specific individuals.  WE try to keep this forum as a information outlet only. However, I have a few suggestions that may help.   

First, look in the local area where you live for stamp dealers.  Visit and talk to several of them.  Make sure that any dealer you deal with is associated with ASDA (American Stamp Dealers Association).  They are an group that holds dealers to strict guidelines in order to remain in good standing.   it is there for your protection and help you from getting ripped off.

Also, do a "Google" search for stamp clubs in your area.  One website that may help you is the American Philatelic Society's webpage.  Contact any club and they may have people that can assist you.

Selling your collection can be a double edge sword.  Selling to a dealer will get you your money in hand quickly but may not always offer you the best return on your investment.  You can sell your stamps through an auction site.  The down side to auctions is that there is a seller's fee and it usually takes a little longer to get your money in hand.

I know that is a lot of information to digest.  Hope I have helped somewhat.  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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