Having Your Stamp Collection Appraised:


Having Your Stamp Collection Appraised:

Unlike a ring or a watch or an old baseball card, a stamp collection is one of the most difficult things to appraise, especially if you have no experience dealing with stamps. Why? A stamp collection can contain thousands upon thousands of stamps, with each one having its own value. With years of experience, one can easily flip through an album containing thousands of stamps and know the value of the album in just minutes. On the other hand, if you have no experience in philately and want to figure out what your stamp collection is worth, you just might be in for some long and grueling nights.

With all the research and due diligence that can be done online, you will more then likely come across 20 or so different prices for the same exact stamp. Aside from condition and rarity, which play a factor, stamps like anything else will always be sold for whatever a person is willing to accept or whatever a dealer will pay for them. Without at least 5 good years of experience dealing with stamps, most people will just give up and have a professional appraise it for them.

The Stamp Appraisal Dilemma:

Every dealer has their own way of appraising a collection. Different dealers have different connections in the stamp world. Depending on the type of material you specialized in, you may end up with a few offers that are very far apart from one another.

I recently spoke to a gentleman who had his collection appraised for $8500 earlier this year. He had it appraised by an antique dealer that based the value of the collection on catalogue prices as oppose to what he would actually get from the market. After showing his collection to various stamp dealers, he finally heard the same story enough times to believe that you can not value your collection based on catalogue prices! He ended up selling it for $750 to the highest bidder.

This dilemma also had a reverse effect with collection of Chinese stamps that sold back in 2007. At the time there was a huge demand for Chinese stamps and collectors in China were willing to pay beyond top dollar for anything Chinese related. The owner was kindly asking for just 15% of the catalogue value for his collection. Now with some countries selling at near 10% of the catalogue value it could seemed like a fair price to ask. The catalogue price for his material was just over $8000 and it sold for $1200 within minutes. At the time some stamps from China were selling for 500% more than the price listed in the catalogues. Unfortunately, he was unaware of current stamp market and sold the collection for approximately $6000 less than what he could have sold it for.

If you have a stamp collection that you want to get appraised you have two viable options: Spend a few years learning how to correctly identify your material and the current stamp market or get multiple offers from actual stamp dealers, like ourselves, and take the best offer on the table.





The content of this article is freely licensed under the terms of Nicholas Vespucci


Nick’s Stamps was established in 2002 and  is located in San Diego California.

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I found my first stamp collection 13 years ago at a Salvation Army in San Diego and I was hooked from day one! I began to amass more collections and spent a few years researching the stamp market.I started advertising and making offers on stamp collections.

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  1. james stevens

    i do have a stamp collection , obtained over 40 years of collecting, wondering where in central or northern calif. to get it appraised or how to go about it.

  2. Rachel Bouret

    i have collected for about 50 years. I have mostly US stamps, but I also have many foreign.
    I am looking for a reputable appraiser in the Oklahoma City area. any ideas would be greatly

  3. Michelle Enigenburg

    My husband is figuring out his stamp collection. His father started it when he was a boy. We have stamps from 1851, Columbian Exposition Commemorative Issue, Pan-American, Louisiana Purchase, Alaska-yukon issue. There is so much, we don’t know where to begin. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Michelle, If you would like to contact me to discuss the matter you can at (619) 672-0434. Or you can visit our FAQ and Sell Your Stamps pages for more info.

      Nicholas Vespucci

  4. I have a collection of stamps for many countries that I want to sell.

  5. I have a stamp that could possibly be worth millions. The 1986 Ben Franklin Z Grill. Please help me someone, I’m in Alabama where they have no stamp collectors 2067655533

  6. Merle Acoman

    My mother inherited a set of Federal Duck stamps, along with his Federal hunting & fishing licenses, from the 1930’s,1940’s, & some from the early 1950’s. She was trying to find a buyer for them in Anchorage, AK, as they were issued in Alaska Territory. Could you reply by my email address above? I would like for her to get the best deal she can find. Thanks.

  7. Whitney chapman

    I have old letter said from 1934 that talk about the exchange of the stamps that I also have with the letters. I have foreign and us stamps.

  8. Donna Engmann

    Hi: We have a book (32 pages) of beautiful Chinese stamps we would like appraised. None were used as postage. I understand that you include the San Francisco area also for appraisals.

  9. Donna Engmann

    Hi: I would like to get an appraisal on a Chinese stamp collection. It belonged to my husband’s grandfather who lived in Shanghai for decades. There are about 32 pages, and almost the entire book contains stamps that were never used for postage. We live in San Francisco. Thanks

  10. I really would like to find out the value of my stamp collection please. Thank you my friend.

  11. The ones that I have are very very old U.S. postal stamps…starting at 1cents 2 1/2 stamps, 3cents 4centsi can send you pictures of all the different kinds of you would like. Thank you…

  12. Terry Todd

    I have my personal collection of just US issues and possessions,as well as Ducks, I live in southwest MI. I am looking to sell, do you know a reputable dealer in this area?

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