George C. Baxley
PO Box 807
Alamogordo, NM 88311

(505) 437-8707 - (505) 434-1571 (Fax)

On the WWW at:

My Stamps!
What Are They Worth?


Seldom does a day pass without an inquiry from an individual wanting assistance in identifying and determining the value of a stamp or a collection. Generally the stamps are:
  • Inherited,
  • A gift from a friend who found them,
  • Found in the attic,
  • Removed from the rubble of a torn down house,
  • Found in the trunk of a car (generally Arkansas).
The common denominator is that the person with the stamps has no idea about the value and wants assistance in finding out. This is an almost impossible task because if you do not know what you have, it is a major undertaking for me to even get a vague idea of what it is via the iNet. The best and fairest transactions occur when both the buyer and seller know the material in question.

It's almost like you calling a real estate agent and saying -- "I have a house to sell. I don't know where it is or anything about it but will you tell me what it's worth?"

The probable answer from a Realtor would be -- "Sure I will help you just pay me $500 for starters and I will get right on it."


Here are my recommendations to you:

  • Go to the public library and try to look the stamp(s) up in the Scott Postage Stamp Catalogues. You will find these in the reference section of most public libraries. While your lack of philatelic knowledge may make this a hard task, it should give you a rough idea.
  • Take the item by a local stamp shop and "shop" it there. Most dealers (not all) are willing to do a quick evaluation of a stamp or collection and make an offer. You probably should call before you go. You should be able to find any local shop in the yellow pages. Also, the APS and ASDA websites have dealer listings which you can search. Here is information on these organizations:

    American Philatelic Society

    APS.  The American Philatelic Society is the largest, nonprofit membership society in the world for stamp collectors. Currently there are over 55,000 APS members worldwide. You can search the APS dealer member database to find dealers close to you.
  • American Stamp Dealers Association

    ASDA.  The American Stamp Dealers Association is an organization of professional stamp dealers which is dedicated to promoting integrity, honesty and reliability within the philatelic community. This web page outlines the services and benefits provided by that Association. You can search the ASDA on-line dealer directory to find member dealers in your area.

  • Take the material to a local stamp show and "shop" it around. You will find this is a good listing of Stamps Shows Worldwide.
It has been my experience that expensive/valuable stamps and collections are generally well protected and documented by the owner. I realize there are exceptions but, in my experience, they are rare.
After considering all the above, if you are unable to find a value, I am available to appraise (current fair market value - not what a dealer would pay) the material for a fee. I charge $40 per hour and the material must be shipped to me by registered mail and return registered mail included. The material will be returned to you with a written appraisal and paid invoice after you have paid the appraisal fee. If you want me to appraise the material to make an offer, I will do so and waive the appraisal fee but only if I make an offer which is accepted. I may not wish to make an offer. In that event you will be charged for a current fair market value appraisal. I guess you see the situation. Time is money and if you want me to spend time on your material, you will have to pay for that.
Good luck in your efforts. I really do hope the material proves to be valuable.

PS. If the stamp(s) you are interested in selling have Hitler on them, the odds are they are of little or no commercial value.


George C. Baxley, PO Box 807, Alamogordo, NM 88311

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