Getting an "education" in US stamps

Discussion in 'United States Stamps' started by ScandinavianStamps, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. ScandinavianStamps

    ScandinavianStamps New Member

    My stepdad passed away a few years ago, at age 93.

    Since I'm a lifelong stamp collector, he left me his stamps. Although he was from England and lived around Europe most of his life... he got interested in US stamps (and possessions) when he and my mom retired and started spending half their time in the Phoenix, AZ area, between 1981 and about 2000. Before that, he'd only collected as a kid.

    To call him "a collector" is perhaps being "kind;" he was more of a chronic accumulator who'd buy stock books, envelopes and album pages and just enjoy sifting through them. Can't say I blame him, I have fun with that, too.

    So anyway... I don't collect US; so I'm basically piecemealing these out-- slowly-- through eBay. Well, at least the better stuff, as I find it. I have two large moving boxes full. Hopefully I'll get enough out of it to help with our grandson's college fund (he's three-- I've got a few years!). The couple of dealers I originally showed the stamps to said they were worth "about $500." But that's the nature of a chaotic "job lot." The first group I sent to eBay represented just a tiny fraction of one stockbook and netted $420. There's definitely "value" but it's a ton of work to "extract" it.

    So what's my point? US stamps are "tricky." Even with 40+ years experience and being a pretty advanced collector (Scandinavia is my area)... some of the banknotes, Washington-Franklins and others are just really time consuming to identify correctly. The watermarks-- where sometime the entire watermark is no more than a line in a margin-- drive me nuts.

    Maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew here... normally I can list auction lots at a pretty good clip. These? Not so much. It took me two days to put out 80 lots. But I feel like I "owe it" to my stepdad (who was a pretty thrifty kind of guy) to get the most for his treasures.

    Just "venting," I suppose... and sharing some admiration for you US collectors for whom all these stamps make "perfect sense."

    Steve Robinson likes this.
  2. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    I think that's definitely more than venting. You mentioned some very real issues, about pricing and selling. Certainly, there are many people here who could help you too, if you ever need it. Keep us updated on how it goes! Good luck!
  3. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    It takes some time to understand paper types, watermarks, colors shades, secret marks, printing types, and grill types of the older U.S. stamps not to even bring up the confusing Washington/Franklin run of stamps. LOL! I understand your lament perfectly, but if you perservere you will be rewarded.
  4. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    Stamps in bulk are often less priced, better to sell per set or per piece although more work. :)
    Slowly but surely better possible earnings for the college fund. :D
  5. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    I glanced through them, some very nice stamps for sure. I"ll have to take a look later, when I have more time.
  6. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    I also visited the site, great deals for those who want classic US collection. Very generous seller for making bids start with only 1 cent. :)
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