Where to Sell Old Stamps: A Detailed Guide

Are you an avid stamp collector? Perhaps you picked up that age-old hobby as a child. Perhaps you’ve inherited a collection from a relative. Maybe you are even a new participant to the game.

But we’re not here to talk about how you got your collection. We’re here to tell you that quality stamps can fetch a nice price, but only if sold the right way.

If you plan on selling your collections, read this guide to know how and where to sell old stamps.

Where to Sell Your Stamps

Here are 6 of the best places to sell old stamps:

1. A Collector

If you’re able to contact a collector directly, this may save you a lot of time. It can also provide you with the highest sale price for your collection.

Be sure to be knowledgeable regarding the value of your stamps so that you can successfully negotiate with the collector.

2. A Dealer

Selling to stamp dealers is the fastest way to gain immediate money. However, the price may not be as high as it can be if you invest in an auction, for example.

3. On Consignment

You can hire a professional to sell your stamps on your behalf. This can be a good option because stamp consignment services know where and to whom to sell your stamps for the best price. They will, of course, take a percentage of the sale.

4. A Stamp Show

At stamp shows, you can sell your collections at the current retail price. But bear in mind that you’ll need to rent a table or booth at the show, which won’t be ideal for people who have small collections.

5. An Auction House

It may take several weeks or months for your stamp collection to be sold at an auction house, but it can also earn you a high price. On the downside, auction houses will take ten percent of the sale price.

6. An Online Auction

Online auctions sell collections faster than auction houses. Try sites such as eBay. You may specify the price that all bids must meet or exceed to ensure your collection isn’t sold for less than its value. Within a week or two, bidders may start emailing you questions about your collection.


Guide To Selling Your Stamps

Know Your Stamps’ Worth

First things first, each stamp you collect has its own value. Rare and old stamps have a higher value than more common ones. So the question is, how can you evaluate their real worth?

There are a number of things you can do. Let’s go through them one by one.

Assessing Them on Your own

Here are the things to consider when examining the stamp yourself.

Age

Find out when the stamp was issued. Older stamps often fetch a better price.

Rarity

You can determine the rarity of your stamp by checking to see how many of its kind are left. Unfortunately, you might need to do tons of research to know this, especially if you have a large collection.

Demand

Stamps that are on high demand obviously have a higher value because they are more sought-after by collectors.

Condition

The grade of a postage stamp can be either:

  1. Sound: has no imperfections.
  2. Faulty: has minor imperfections, such as small tears or creases.
  3. Defective: has major imperfections, such as largely noticeable creases, scratches, holes, or stains.

The condition can be further divided into seven categories, which are extremely fine, very fine, fine, good, average, fair, and below average.

Material & Centering

Determine the material of your stamp, as well as the centering of its design. By the “centering of the design”, we mean the position of the stamp’s design in relation to its outer edges.

Gum

Examine the condition of your stamp’s gum, which is the adhesive substances added to its back.

Perforation

Determine the condition of your stamp’s perforation, which is the rows of holes on each of its four lengths.

Looking at References

Check out stamp catalogs or encyclopedias, such as The Stamp Collector’s Encyclopedia by R.J. Sutton. These can help you learn all there is to know about a stamp, its value, and its history.

Online Research

Many online sites can help you determine the value of your stamp. These include stamp dealer sites, auction sites, stamp forums, and blogs put up by other stamp collectors. 

StampWorld is undoubtedly one of the must-visit websites. It’s a massive online catalog of more than 650,000 stamps from all across Europe. 

Stamp Shows

Going to a few stamp shows can give you a chance to see the market’s current stamp values. You’ll also have the opportunity to talk to other stamp collectors and enthusiasts who can give you opinions on your collection.

Ask the Experts

Visiting a professional stamp appraiser is a great way to determine the value of your stamps. There are stamp dealers and experts that can offer an appraisal of your stamp for a fee. They can also buy your stamp or collection, and deduct this fee from the total cost.

To Wrap Up

Knowing how to sell stamps is directly related to knowing as much as you can about your collection. 

Regardless, where or to whom you sell your stamps relies on your goal. Are you looking for a fast way to sell your collection? Then dealers and online auctions are the places to go.

Do you want a fair price for a nice, valuable collection? Then auction houses, stamp consignment services, or direct collectors are the answer.

Whichever you choose, selling stamps takes some work and patience, but it can be worth the while.