ISWSC logo

The International Society of
World Wide Stamp Collectors

ISWSC Stamp Answer Person Question — inhereted international stamp collection

Showing posts for the question inhereted international stamp collection:

Asked/answered by:

created on:
Feb 26 2017
11:58:43 PM
Hello, My husband's father passed away last year. We inherited his international stamp collection he began in the late 1940s. We would like to find a collector who would be interested in providing information about finding a buyer please. Can you please help?


created on:
Feb 27 2017
02:37:01 PM
This is a difficult question with no easy answer. Just about everyone who collects stamps (or anything else for that matter) has to face this issue. Without knowing exactly what your father-in-law collected or how extensive his collection was, I cannot be specific, however here are some possibilities you might want to consider:
1. If he had philatelic friends, you might ask them to recommend a dealer or an individual who might be interested in purchasing the collection. 2) If there was a particular dealer that your father bought a lot of material from, you might discuss it with him. 3) Many local stamp clubs offer a free service to family members of deceased collectors where they will give you a rough idea of the value and recommend ways to dispose of collections. These individuals will usually give you advice but will not purchase the collection. 4) You might find someone in the family who is interested in taking over your father-in-law’s collection, perhaps a grandchild. 5) You can donate material to charitable organizations, such as the Postal History Foundation in Arizona. Believe it or not, sometimes the value of a tax deduction can be greater than what you would get by selling the collection outright, and you are helping the organization.
A few other things to consider: You may be shocked at the low offers you get from dealers. They’re not (usually) trying to take advantage of you. Dealers are businessmen, and they have to buy low and sell high to make a profit. They may also have to tie their money up for a long time before they can sell their purchases. But if you don’t like what one dealer offers, take it to another. In many areas there are periodic ‘stamp shows’ or bourses where dealers can be found.
A stamp dealer has to estimate value based on a fairly brief examination. If you want a detailed appraisal, be prepared to compensate the dealer for his time.
‘Catalog value’ is an artificially high number which often has no relationship to value. Most stamps sell for a low fraction of catalog value and common stamps even less.
Try not to sell off the better items in your father-in-law’s collection. This is called ‘cherry-picking.’ You may get a good price for a few stamps but it will be a lot harder to sell the rest of the collection once it’s been picked over.

And finally, remember that the real value of your father-in-law’s collection is not the money his heirs receive from selling it. The real value was the enjoyment and satisfaction he got when he was putting it together.

Ben Termini
ISWSC Stamp Answer Person