Found or Inherited Stamps?

If you have inherited or found a stamp collection, our hope is you will decide to take up collecting because it’s such a fascinating hobby. However, your first question will probably be “I wonder what it's worth.” In rare instances there might be some value, but most such finds are beginner collections on which little money and time was spent. Such collections often were put away in a closet or up in the attic. Below are some descriptions of typical collections that might help you determine your odds of having something truly valuable, plus your options, whether it be taking up collecting yourself, or disposing of the stamps.

Note that there are some collections that will defy any neat categorization as listed above.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do so many of the stamp collections described above have little value? The first four types of collections described above were either assembled by children or accumulators. They only bought the cheapest stamps, which are still cheap today [or even cheaper today considering inflation].

Is there a way I can look up the value of a collection on my own? The Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, often available for loan at larger public libraries, provides pricing for stamps. Note that these are suggested dealer selling prices, not dealer buying prices. Dealers usually pay a small percentage of selling prices for stamps they are interested in buying for resale. Stamps with the catalogue’s minimum selling price of 30¢ [25¢ or less in older catalogues]; have virtually no resale value whatsoever. Ebay, Hipstamp and Delcampe are popular websites for buying and selling stamps; look there to find collections similar to what you have.

Why are dealers not interested in buying my stamps? Dealers will only purchase stamps they can resale over a reasonable period of time. Some dealers only sell particular types of stamps, ones that may not be the type you are offering. If they spot items that might be of interest to another dealer, they will probably refer you to that dealer.

Some stamps I have look to be quite old. Why aren't they valuable? The value of stamps is determined by the demand for them. Many U.S. stamps, even a century old, were printed in quantities of a billion or more. So many were saved, the quantities available far exceed the number of collectors who need them.

Where can I get a collection evaluated? There are no longer any traditional store front stamp shops in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where one can walk in to have a dealer take a look at a collection. Some dealers operate in offices, and an appointment can be made to visit them. There are also stamp shows where dealers will be happy to look at your holdings. For upcoming shows, see the schedule of events on our home page. If you can’t wait until a show, go to our stamp dealer tab under “resources” above, for dealers that are willing to look at collections. Note that if you want an appraisal on the value of a collection, dealers will charge for doing the task.