Tips when Selling
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 dealer whom you do not know. If a
dealer is buying by mail, you may be responsible for shipping and insurance both ways. What happens when you get a call with a low offer? What happens if not all of the stamps are returned? 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. 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. 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 perforations with a 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 should have a certificate from a reputable stamp authority that confirms it's identity and condition.
Tip #6. 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 5% of catalog value.
Tip #7. Gold foil First Day covers do not contain any gold. Sadly they were printed with gold-colored foil on cardstock. These were sold as an "investment" to those who were not familiar with stamps. Just like plates from the Franklin Mint, Precious Moments, and Beanie Babies, these sell for a fraction of what they originally sold for.
Tip #8. 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 #9. Ask a professional philatelist. Fox River Stamps can help you get a fair price for your collection.
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Fox River Stamps
P.O. Box 6
Salem , WI 53168-0006
As a Dealer member of the American Philatelic Society and the Midwest Stamp Dealers Association, you can be assured that you will be treated fairly, and ethically. Professional philatelists are bound by a code of ethics. Fox River Stamps adheres to the following code of ethics as it pertains to buying and selling stamps outlined below.
1. I abide by all federal, state, and local laws relating to philatelic matters.
2. Valid current photo identification is required for all in person buying transactions.
3. I will conduct myself so as to bring no reproach or discredit to the societies in which I hold membership, or to philately.
4. I will neither buy nor sell philatelic items of which the ownership is questionable and report promptly to the proper law enforcement agencies information on suspected stolen material.
5. I will correct promptly any error I may make in any transaction.
6. I will immediately refund on any item sold by me where the description was either inaccurate or misleading if the return is made within a reasonable period of time.
7. I will publish and make available my terms of sale so that all clients have an opportunity to become familiar with them.
8. I will properly, carefully and honestly grade and describe all merchandise offered for sale by me and indicate any faults, defects, restorations or alterations that may exist, to include the indication of canceled to order material.
9. I agree to assist in the prosecution of violations, of which I have the knowledge, of laws pertaining to philatelic matters.
10. I will hold intact, pending written acceptance from the seller, all merchandise sent tome
for an offer, and should the offer be unacceptable, promptly and carefully to return it to its proper owner.
11. I will not knowingly sell, trade, produce, or advertise repaired, altered, or otherwise modified philatelic items unless that condition is clearly stated.
12. I further agree not to sell, produce, or advertise counterfeit material, in violation of any law.
13. I agree to fulfill all contracts made by me, either orally or written, to make prompt payments upon delivery, and to return promptly any item that is not satisfactory.
14. I agree to bring known examples of irresponsible or unethical tactics to the attention of the societies in which I hold membership.
15. I will conduct myself in accordance with accepted standards of morality and courtesy in philatelic activities.
16. I agree not to participate in any way in the advertisement, sale or trade of any philatelic material using any deceptive practices including, false or misleading claims of sales scarcity, value, condition, or investment potential.
17. I agree that any philatelic items while in my possession for inspection and possible purchase are insured against loss or damage while in my possession and in transit back to the original owner if no purchase is made.
18. I will provide all consignors or merchandise on consignment with a contract to the owner stating my legal commitments and a detailed receipt detailing the items in my possession.
20. I will advertise for sale only those items that are available to me at the time the advertisements are placed.
21. I will give advice to my clientele in philatelic matters to the best of my ability.
22. I will purchase philatelic material from the public at reasonable prices, with due allowances for my risk and prevailing market conditions.
23. I will be truthful in my advertising, and refrain from denigrating my competitors. I will make no false claim to a policy or practice of generally underselling competitors.
24. I will honor any buying prices that I have published within a reasonable period after their publication. Price lists will include a statement as to expiration of the offer, and an explanation of any limitations.
25. I will submit any dispute, controversy or claim concerning philatelic transactions in which I may become involved to arbitrators mutually agreed upon by the parties. The decision and award of the arbitrators will be binding on all parties and judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrators may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.