Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 111

It would surprise you to know how many times I have been ushered into the home of a person interested in selling a stamp collection, shown a pile of albums and asked, “How much will you give me for them?” This to my mind is the very poorest way to sell any collection except one that consists of only the very commonest stamps.

All collectors and dealers will agree that condition is the most important factor in determining the worth of stamps. To be sure of their condition, important items must be examined in a laboratory with black light, enlargers, and other scientific equipment. To assume off-hand that there are no repairs of flaws in a valuable stamp is to invite possible future regrets.

We all know that many imitations and counterfeits exist. No stamp authority can carry in his head all the points that must be checked to determine the status of a large variety of material.

Some collections are figured by catalog value, some by Face value and some by the buyer’s reference to his records of prices realized on past sales. A hasty cataloging or counting can never be accurate. To be done correctly, such work requires both time and patience. Certainly the price records of the purchasing dealer are apt to be voluminous and not readily transportable to wherever the collection may be.

In our opinion the only kind of valuation that is apt to be given under hurry-up circumstances in surroundings removed from a reference library is one that is on the low side. After all, one cannot expect the buyer to overpay on a gamble.

We recommend to those who have stamps to sell that they choose a responsible buyer and then permit the buyer to take a reasonable length of time to examine the material involved, preferably at the buyer’s headquarters where, by the use of his laboratory, library and office equipment, a conclusion of price can be reached that is not the “Stealing Price” of many deals.