Monday, September 19, 2016

"What are worldwide stamp collections worth?"

This is the title of a new thread on StampCommunity started by dealer KReleya. (Thanks to Jim Jackson for alerting me.) KReleya (who is also a dealer) looks at various categories of worldwide material sold on eBay and has come up with low, high, and sample prices per stamp (or per pound, in the case of bulk) to use when estimating value. When I was buying Blue Volume One collections on eBay I kept a similar list for a couple of years, and came to roughly the same figures (for collections of under 20K stamps--there weren't any larger ones that I knew the size of).

What KReleya confirms, is that you cannot use a single value per stamp that will work with every type and size of collection. That is, two or three cents a stamp makes sense for a Volume One with a few thousands common stamps, but would seriously underestimate the worth of a large album.

Unfortunately, unless we have a count of stamps (preferably by country) and a lot of photos, it is still something of a crapshoot. And without a mess o'photos, you don't know whether the album is padded with stamps that don't belong. But it is still a helpful metric to know where an item is worth more serious consideration. Many thanks to KReleya for taking the time to compile the data and share his experiences.


ChrisW said...

Interesting discussion. I am interested in this idea of how the presentation of a stamp collection affects its selling price. I left the following message in the discussion board:

So, in your opinion, would one do better selling a classic-era (up to 1940 or 1950) world-wide collection that was housed in 2-3 binders of Scott International Vol. 1 (BigBlue) (plus suppl pages) that was say 95% complete OR if the same collection was housed in say 12 binders of Scott Specialty or Vintage Reproductions ("Browns") that were only 40% complete? Or 30 binders of Steiner pages that were maybe 25% complete?

Or would it matter since it was the same collection of stamps?


Joseph Rockne said...

I'm going through an old Brown right now. There are some real finds. Stamps that would not find a place in a Blue. I think a partially filled Brown would be more valuable than a more complete Blue.

ChrisW said...

"I think a partially filled Brown would be more valuable than a more complete Blue"

One would think so based on common sense, but the evidence doesn't seem to bear it out when you look at the prices realized on some auctions of some WW collections...I think, as Jim suggested in his blog and responses, there is some psychological element to this.


Joseph Rockne said...

What about auction venues? Does that change a valuation? Would I expect to pay more or less buying on e-bay v. buying Alan Blair Stamps Auctions from the stamp auction network?

Where should I shop for my next feeder album?

ChrisW said...

Good question, I don't know. Also brings up the question of the differences between breaking up the album and selling by country vs. trying to sell the whole thing as a worldwide collection.

Bud said...

Having had some experience at selling BB albums, I think KRelyea has come up with the over-all best approach -- that is, breaking up the album and selling by country with, nearly as possible, full pages. Psychological appeal has been mentioned as a contributing factor for the success of this plan, but also there are a number of relatively new collectors in the West Pacific area who like full pages. KRelyea has become the go-to person for selling this way, and I'm most pleased with his services. Selling the entire album reduces the number of potential bidders to those who can afford 10K or more at a time. That's out of my league.

jamshed dadabhoy said...

I don't think it is just about the money...the other essential issue that I see is that for some countries the material is just more scarce - eg - Hatay or Hawai....much more difficult to find than say Colombia or Cayman Islands. So by breaking up the album, you can sell the basic countries really cheap and then make the 'jam' on the tougher to source material. I say this from personal experience...I was the high bidder on several lots on an album that Ken broke down and sold in the fall of last year.


David Creson said...

I have bought and sold stamp materil for 60 years. The more stamps in a lot the less you get per get more do a research page or a cover or a document, make it interesting. A 1902 to 1914 lot will do way better than a 1902 to 1974 lot. A lot of it is presentation. But good material helps a lot too. Dont buy or sell cheap lots (less than 9 usd)