We BUY OLD MAIL!   The envelope below illustrates why you should not cut the stamps off the corners of every old envelope!  The stamps that are on this envelope, a pair of 3c Jefferson from the 1938 Prexie series are some of the most common stamps you will find, used to mail countless letters. You could get a nice mint copy of this stamp for 25c, and as many used ones as you would ever want at a nickel! This envelope has a pair of the stamps (one stained by the tape on the right) paying the 6c rate for the oversized envelope.  Why would this old envelope be worth far more than the stamps had they been removed?

The envelope was canceled at 8 AM in Honolulu on December 7, 1941, the exact date and time that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  The tape at the right?  Evidence that the letter had been opened and resealed after being checked for content.  WIthin 2 hours of the bombing all mail leaving the island was subject to military censor and would remain so until August 15, 1945. This envelope is on display at the Postal Museum at the Smithsonian. 

Here are some tips if you have stamps to sell.  

Tip #1.  Sell to a reputable dealer.

Membership in a philatelic organization as a dealer member means the dealer abides by a professional code of ethics.

Tip #2. Don't sell your stamps to a coin dealer, an antique dealer, or a car dealer.  Stamps are a specialized collectible that requires specific knowledge. You won't get the best price from a coin dealer, a flea market trader or your mechanic. 

Tip #3. Don't ship your stamps to a far away dealer whom you do not know.  If adealer is buying by mail, you are on the hook for shipping and insurance both ways.  What happens when you get the call and a low offer? Too many things can go wrong. Once the stamps are out of your hands, are they insured?  What assurance do you have that you will be treated fairly or paid on time?  

Tip #4.  The condition is important! 

If your stamps were stored in a basement or garage and have evidence of moisture or worse, mold and mildew, there is little that can be done.  Store stamps in areas where they will not encounter drastic changes in temperature or unwanted visitors. Stamps in albums should be stored upright, on a shelf, and not stacked on top of one another in a box.   Stacking them puts pressure on the stamps, and any change in humidity can cause mint stamps to stick.  Stamps that are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars can be ruined if stored carelessly.

Tip #5. There is nothing that can be done to correct the damage and staining from cellophane tape.  Many people who put together stamp albums in the 1950s used tape to adhere the stamps.  Over time, the adhesive breaks down, and stains and ruins the stamps.  The small pieces of folded glassine, called "hinges" that most collectors used from the era were a much safer and recommended method of mounting stamps in albums.

Tip #6.  I found one of the stamps in my collection on eBay and the price is $5,000.  How do I know if the one I have is worth $5,000? First, check completed and sold items to see what the same item has sold for.  Have you checked watermarks and the perforation gauge?  Does the stamp have a cancel?  How about gum?  Does the seller specialize in stamps?  If the stamp truly is a $5,000 stamp, it will have a certificate from a reputable stamp authority that confirms it's identity and condition. 

Tip #7. Professionally repaired stamps are difficult to spot. I have over 20 years experience and can identify repaired stamps.  Damaged and repaired stamps sell for a small fraction of what a truly sound copy would sell for. Damaged stamps routinely sell for as little as 3% or 5% of catalog value.  

Tip #8.  Gold foil First Day covers do not contain any gold. They were printed with gold-colored foil and were sold when there was a huge market for "collectible" items. Just like plates from the Franklin Mint, Precious Moments, and Beanie Babies, these sell for a fraction of what they were originally sold for. 

Tip #9. Old mail.  If you have old mail, don't cut the stamps off the corners.  Many times the envelope and cancel tells a story and can be worth much more than the stamp itself. 

Tip #10. Ask a professional philatelist.  Fox River Stamps can help you get a fair price for your collection. 

Do you have stamps to sell?

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P.O. Box 6

Salem, WI 53168

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Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial


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March 22 - 23 - 24, 2018


Garfield-Perry Stamp Club

LaVilla Conference Center

11500 Brookpark Rd.

Cleveland, Ohio

Thursday  11 am to 6 pm

     Friday       11 am to 5:30 pm

Saturday   10 am to 4 pm

March 25, 2018


VFW Post #7505

331 Mars-Valencia Rd.

Mars, Pennsylvania

Sunday   10 am to 4 pm

April 7, 2018


Flossmoor Community House

847 Hutchison Rd.

Flossmoor, Illinois

Saturday   10 am to 5 pm

April  8,  2018

Crowne Plaza Hotel - Madison  
4402 E. Washington Ave.

 Madison, Wisconsin 

Sunday   10 am to 4 pm

May  4 - 5, 2018


St. James the Less Parish Hall

9640 Kennedy Ave.

Highland, Indiana

​Friday        10 am to 4 pm

Saturday      9 am to 3 pm

Tips when Selling

Specializing in United States Stamps and Covers

Buying Stamp Collections and Accumulations of stamps, envelopes, and documents.

Contact us for a no obligation evaluation.

​​​​​​​We are members and proud supporters

of the following philatelic organizations.. 

​American Philatelic Society - since 1997

American Philatelic Research Library

American Philatelic Writer's Unit #30

American Revenue Association

American Topical Association Chapter 5

Chicago Philatelic Society

Garfield-Perry Stamp Club (Ohio)

Midwest Stamp Dealers Association

Milwaukee Philatelic Society

Philatelic Club of Will County (Illinois)

Plate Number Coil Collectors Club

Precancel Stamp Society

State Revenue Society

United States Stamp Society

​Wauwatosa Philatelic Society

​Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs

​Youth Philatelic Leadership Foundation