Preparing a collection for sale

Preparing a collection for sale
By Peter Mosiondz, Jr.

It is a certainty that every stamp collection ever assembled—regardless of size or kind—will one day be offered for sale. This writer has yet to hear from anyone who was successful in transporting their collection to that great stamp club in the sky.

It is also a certainty that one will desire to obtain the best possible price for the collection. We have yet to meet the individual who is indifferent as to the price obtained.

Oftentimes the same collector who strives to obtain the best price possible is not overly interested in making the collection saleable. How does one go about making the collection saleable? It is easy enough!

Simply make it presentable to the prospective buyer. In other words, make it easy for the buyer to inspect the collection in an orderly fashion, quickly and accurately.

Let’s begin with the bane of every stamp dealer – the protective mount. Now that the collection is to be sold, the acetate mounts have served their intended philatelic purpose as have the album pages. Discard them.

Place the better stamps in one or more stockbooks, as needed. The balance can be sorted and housed in glassine envelopes or boxes, labeled clearly as to contents. For example, a large glassine envelope marked “Mint U.S. Singles 1950 through 1969”, with the face value indicated, is a big plus for both parties. An organized resentation will most likely result in a satisfactory price.

Unnecessary time spent in evaluating a haphazardly arranged collection or in the removal of protective mounts will be reflected in a lower price being offered. The dealer’s time is as valuable as anyone else. The dealer may be reluctant to even remove a valuable stamp from the mount for fear of the seller claiming that the stamp was damaged in that manner. Our policy is to have the seller remove all stamps from their mounts.

Speaking of an offer, in our five decades of stamp dealing we have yet to encounter a collector who does not have a specific figure in mind. Our belief is that the seller should set the price. This is a matter of debate though and just as many will suggest that the dealer make the offer. When a seller mentions the price being sought and, if it is close to what our fi gures suggest, a deal is readily made. If the collector is unreasonable in his or her demands, or if the buyer is trying to buy the collection as cheaply as possible, the matter will be settled at a later date, perhaps with another dealer playing the part.

In our experience, a transaction between a knowledgeable seller and an honest buyer stands the best chance of success and a mutual satisfaction—especially in philately.

In short, organize your collection when it is placed for sale and select a dealer in whom you have complete confidence.