Valuing a large collection
Any thoughts on how we might come up with a value for a rather large collection of very old and likely very collectible stamps?
edited October 10
"Old" doesn't mean anything. Most stamps are not worth much, including "old" stamps. It depends on the condition of the stamps, whether or not the stamps are in complete sets, or missing the higher-valued ones from the set, and much more. If you want to figure out a wholesale value, for all stamps count 1 cent for each stamp (undamaged; damaged stamps are worth nothing in this process). If you have complete sets, add 25 cents (0 for damaged). If you know that there are truly valuable stamps (value over $100) add $25 per $100 (0 for damaged).
It sounds that this may be an inheritance. If so, and if the collector was a member of the American Philatelic Society, you can request that the APS refer you to an APS Estate Advisor, of which I am one. It is a free service, and the advisor will come to the location of the collection and give you an overview of what you have. If you want a more detailed analysis of the value of the collection, then the advisor may charge for that service, or refer you to a dealer. Remember you always have the option to keep the collection and continue to collect more stamps to add to it. The APS web site is
. The link to the Estate Advisory information is
. You do not need to be a member to access the web site. There is also more detailed information regarding what to do when you inherit a collection.
Ok this is helpful. I get your comment on age. It is an interestingly well developed collection with good international depth in the period from say 1852 to say 1920. A nice bit of German stuff before 1940, a strong showing on Canada and the vaticane. Early us and airmail is good too. Sheets are ok.
Are you trying to buy that collection or trying to evaluate an collection for other purposes?
If I try to buy something I ALWAYS ask this first: What are you trying to get for this stuff? Also throw in the: Stamp values have just imploded due to the internet as there are very very few truly rare stamps out there and everybody is online now.
If they have an astronomical asking price I usually casually decline and tell them, that we are just a long ways apart and I am not gonna insult them with an offer more comfortable for me.
However, I noticed MANY times people just wanna get rid of stuff and their asking price is WAY below what I am willing to pay. I then tell them: That's more than fair, I can do that price. Pay and run before they change their mind.