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

    • I am not aware of any local stamp dealers in the Oklahoma City area, regards

    • Katherine

      Hello we are a family that moved out from Florida back home here to Oklahoma City and when we were in Florida after going through the hurricane God really blessed us a man who was a Navy officer who had a vast collection of different Collectibles was diagnosed with cancer in his last stage and did his Exit Plan and chose my husband to pass his treasures onto we have several several several stamps we’ve looked up some of them and found some of the red stamps we had that have been priced for sale at 18,000 and we have no clue who to take these two who can be trusted ECT… Because I have been warned several times to be careful with that so I was wondering if you found any information on where to go in the Oklahoma City area? And if so if you could please pass on any pointers got.. I have had the stamps 4 months now and I have also coins and I have a few of the pennies that the face is printed outside of the penny and I was told it could be worth boocoo’s and also I have a beautiful tapestry that came from the Orient in the mid-80s it is not hand sewn on the back but it’s still authentic and antique and I’m just holding on to these Treasures trying to find a buyer for some of them as they were given to us to help us get up and back on her feet and our business going after the hurricane… And I’m actually writing a book about our experience through it the year of the hurricane… At any rate if you have any information that might help please let me know again we just moved back from Florida and my husband finally found a residual at 16 an hour at a job base and we’re trying to get our business started and up and going around that and do not want to go into that doing it as we believe God has graced us with treasures to be able to exchange for the provision needed for our vision… Well okay so that was a little deep there at any rate any pointers or even close to Oklahoma maybe in the next state just a few hours drive would be so awesome this has been a dish definite like a treasure hunt and I believe more than wild goose chase still hopeful to find a real appraiser and find the real truth behind the treasures 🙂 God bless Merry Christmas sorry to get into your personal business also I just literally looked up on Google where can I find out how to get my stamps appraised in Oklahoma City and I scroll down this in the first thing I see is someone answering that there is no one in Oklahoma City… So I thought I’d just kind of share my story put it out there and see what comes back…

  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 collection that has many many different countries. I am starting to look into where some places i can get my stamps apraised are. About how long does it take to appraise a collection and does it take longer the more countries there are? Is there a certin way the collection should be presented? I would really like some gidence in getting my collection appraised and possibley selling it. thanks

  6. 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

  7. Hi Nick, I have About 40 stamps 40 years old from the US, Korea, Canada, France, New Zealand, Autralia, Hong Kong.
    How can I know the value of them. Thanks

  8. 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.

  9. willie fields

    I have a few stamps you might want nick you can contact me at 918-404-3756 thank you for your time

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. I have Benjamin Franklin stamps and george Washington stamps on postcards from 1908 thru 1918 can you help me on finding the value of them

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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?

    • No I do not Terry. Trying searching Stamps.org

      • Nicole Caruso

        My husband was cleaning an old shed on the property and came across quite the collection of stamps. We would like to find out what they are worth but it will take forever. Would you happen to know an a]raiser in my area. BR Louisiana


    I have stamps still on a bunch of 1900-1959 military letters to home the stamps are old and good shape but the letters are awesome

  18. Crystal

    I need to find a person that I can talk to about some old stamps.

  19. Debbie Twamley

    I am wanting to know the best way to have a stamp collection appraised. I have a collection from around the world and the us. My grandfather lived in various parts of the world during his lifetime and collected while in the us. Primarily stamps from US, Africa, India, Turkey, China and Europe.

  20. Hi Nick, I have a collection of canceled stamps and would like to have them appraised. The only guy here, no longer does appraisals. Any suggestions? Thanks for your time!

  21. Larae Gundersen

    I have old stamps from around the world during WWI… that have been appraised and are worth alot of money. I’m looking for another professional opinion.

  22. Joseph Coble

    Yes Sir,most of my home(circa 1905),was destryod from Hurricane Katrina and left a big hole in the roof,This also was a part of the attic I never seen before.Looking Around I found an area with some very old things,one of these things was a box of old stamps,I don’t know much about them until I Googled most of the Stamps.If I can e-mail you pictures of them so you can tell me more,I would appreciate that,Thanks Nick…Joseph C.

  23. Lisa schamehorn

    I have a few binders of old and rare stamps. A book of different president S. From the 1800s. I’m looking forward to selling these stamps. My family is in a hardship . I feel like these stamps would help us out a lot. The ones I have are from my grandfather’s stamp collection. He started when he 14 yrs old. He passed away 2 yrs ago at the age of 91. He was very unique and the best grandpa ever. Was a very smart man.

  24. Looking to sell my stamps collection

  25. Keith August

    I need to have a stamp collection appraisal and I’m hoping your firm will do this for me. Some albums were started in the late 50’s and have continued into present day. There are about 24-30 albums to be reviewed. Thank you for your consideration.

  26. I have thousands upon thousands of stamps from around the world. The majority being pre 1900 U.S. the earliest being 1865 I’d say 300 in the 1865 to 1898 range. Most lightly cancelled. And 5 to 6 hundred from 1898 to The early 60s. Then my knowledge slips. The same time periods in Italian and Mexican, Romanian, Russian, and occupied Italy, many African countries and many more. I am not a collector, as I have too numerous expensive habits already. I would love to sell all. I possess a good number still attached to envelopes as I am afraid they could themselves be part of the value. Please advise.

  27. Cameli Cepeda

    I have an album of stamps of all the presidents weve had .is that worth anything?

  28. Joshua creighbaum

    I have old presidental stamps id like to get apraised. Would you have time for that . maybe only 40 or 50 stamps if that. Thank you.

  29. Dean Garrison

    I have a stamp Collection that I’ve had since I was a little boy. I’m 58 now. lol. Different stamps from all over the world. Most are affixed to pages in the original album. I’m looking to get a value and possibly sell them. Any information would be greatly appreciated. The album is “The New Traveler Album” published in 1965. If you have an email address, I could take a few photos for you.

  30. Hi new to this stamp thing.anyway my great grandfather.gave my dad 3 stamp books growing up.he gave them to me before he passed 4 years ago.i would like to see are the valuable.anf get them appraise.or something

  31. Amy Fontenot

    I have a stamp collection from my grandparents and my greatgrandmother amy great uncle who was in the service alot of jfk and the space shuttle and ect and cant find someone to buy r even apprise it

  32. Guy Geest

    Hello Nick, I have a USspecized stamp collection. I have MNH.plate blocks from 1894-2012.Airmails almost complete except for 10issues,11different mint& used Confederates complete 1938Presidental,complete Famous Americans,Liberty Series,Washington Bicentennial HugonotWalloon,all MNH. Plate Blocks of 4-6,imprint strips of 3,plate block of 10 of 294 with inverted wtmk.295 plate block of 6,296 block of 4,285 plate block of 4with imprint All are mint never hinged. #1 on cover with magenta cncl.Newspapers&Special Delerivery.

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