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The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
When someone wants to know the value of a stamp or collection, it's easy to check eBay
for the price. But that's not always the BEST indicator of what something's worth.
First, anyone can ask ANY price — and on eBay, they often do. But that doesn't mean
they're going to get it. Many people who have inherited stamps have an inflated idea of
what they're worth, either because the deceased collector bragged about the collection,
or because they figure it's old so it must be worth a lot.
One dealer says he lists his stamps at ridiculously high buy-it-now prices, figuring
that people will make offers at a lower price.
Also, the devil is in the details: A minor difference in a stamp can make a BIG
difference in its value. People who inherit collections always assume they have the
Then there are the sellers who don't realize what they have IS worth a lot, and price
their material too low. You can pick up some real bargains on eBay that way.
And many times, lots don't sell at all.
But even when stamps DO sell, there are often wide fluctuations on price.
I once sold a two-and-a-half dollar stamp collecting card on an eBay auction for 50
dollars! The following week, a similar card didn't sell at all. So what was its value —
50 dollars, two-and-a-half dollars or nothing?
You're better off looking at the stamp catalogues at your local public library, or
asking a professional dealer for an appraisal.
I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
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