Throughout your journey of forming your collection you will find that you develop a philatelic relationship or partnership with just one or several selected stamp dealers. You will develop an element of trust and should be able to discuss any philatelic aspect with these fellows. I cannot stress how important it is to talk to your suppliers. Discuss what you have seen elsewhere and at what price so that you can take advice on whether or not to follow through with that purchase.
I can offer free impartial advice, I deal with major international trade dealers and auctioneers around the world. If you see a major piece overseas we may be able to help you with an introduction to that philatelic “partner” I cannot give advice on items seen on eBay as there are many “mom and pop” traders that I know very little about. Just be careful when you see something that appears to be an utter bargain as invariably it’s not what is seems. I have seen some unbelievable howlers on the web and I’ve also seen utter bargains where obviously the person selling it hasn’t got a clue about philately.
These selected partnerships can offer you much help in later years. Instruct your family to contact dealers that you believe to be ethical or trustworthy when the time comes. Don’t let your collections out of sight because certain companies operate a stealth system of taking collections away to carry out valuations at their offices and once the collection has gone few beneficiaries have the inclination to pay for the collection to be returned. Any dealer worth his /her salt can carry out a valuation at your home or office. We are competent at valuing one specialised study up to a house full of albums. I recently saw a collection consisting of (and I’m not joking!!) 1200 matching albums.
We have some clients that prefer to keep their spending on their stamps a secret from family and friends, I understand this but please let someone know that there’s a “stamp collection”. I have seen several collectors over the years amass amazing amounts of material and these collectors have no interest in joining societies or exhibiting, (if they did, they would blow most exhibits away). Yes, this is a very private hobby at times but please form some kind of philatelic partnership with whoever that might be.
We look forward to seeing you at Stampex during September. Dennise will be at the stand Wednesday/Thursday. Chris will be there throughout the entire show and I will be on hand for advice and valuations.
Wishing you all the best.