Stamp collecting is wildly popular. It is estimated that there are over 5 million collectors of old, vintage postage stamps. If you are one of them, at some point you’ll want to know how to find certified stamp appraisers, so you’ll learn the value of your collection. Even better than locating a great appraisal is finding one that appraises for FREE!
If you’re looking for a local appraiser, conduct an online search for “certified stamp appraisers near me” or “postage stamp appraisers near me”. Your search will most likely reveal a multitude of results, so you’ll want to narrow them down. Finding those who appraise stamps for free is a great place to begin.
Once you’ve sifted out those who offer a complimentary appraisal, be sure they are a registered trader and that they have third-party reviews that are impartial and positive. Find out how long the buyer has been at their location and be sure they have an online presence.
The Philatelic Traders’ Society is great to share information about getting your stamps valued free of charge. You can visit their website to find out more and to locate a trustworthy local dealer which will help you narrow down your own list of “stamp appraisers near me” or “postage stamp appraisers near me”.
To a certain extent, you can find out the general value of your own stamps. By using the same techniques that certified stamp appraisers use, you will get a good idea of the worth, so you’ll know whether you want to pursue getting an appraisal or not.
Price to buy. Old stamps cost more to purchase than new ones do. They are also worth more.
Identify your stamp. To find the true value, you or one of the certified stamp appraisers you turn to, should look it up in a special stamp catalogue that lists prices and other information about the postal stamp in question.
Value of an old vintage stamp is based on several factors such as:
Age. The older the stamp is, the more it is worth as a rule.
Condition. A stamp in mint condition will be worth more than one in poor shape, even if it is not as old, usually. If perforations on the stamp are missing, colors on it are faded, or it is flawed in other ways, it will bring in less of a return.
Centering. The margin and vignette should be perfectly centered on the stamp. If they are not, points are deducted and it’s not worth as much.
Cancelation. Cancelation is the post mark on a stamp. They come in two degrees – heavy and light. Heavy cancelations decrease the value of a stamp.
Rarity. The number of stamps in the circulation of the specific stamp you are checking will greatly determine its worth.
Material. The material of the aged stamp is vital in determining the value of a stamp too. The material will reveal information about the time the stamp was made.
History. Based on the age of a stamp and the era in which it came from along with other factors such as the material it was printed on, the history of a stamp can be discovered. History plays a vital role in determining the value of an old stamp.
There are many advantages to going to a certified stamp appraiser in person. Once you have located on by searching online for “certified stamp appraiser near me” and have narrowed your search down, it’s time to pay the appraiser a visit. Don’t forget to see who gives a free appraisal and go to them first. Also, remember to get more than one appraisal.
Before you go, make sure your collection is in order. Know all you can about the stamps such as their condition, age, rarity, etc. You should have a good idea of their value when you walk in the door so your appraisal is merely a confirmation of your estimate. To go in knowing nothing is leaving yourself wide open to trust the appraiser.
Once you have gotten an appraisal, you can make the all-important decision whether to sell your stamps or to keep them. Never feel pressured to sell. The stamps are yours until you decide otherwise.
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