As an experiment I decided to try putting a very rare and desirable item into a renowned public stamp auction.

What I’m wrestling with is the time in which you consign the item and (if) it sells how long it takes to get paid from the house. The item was consigned in January 2018, I received a confirmation email to tell me everything was in hand, I then received a proof description for the item (excellent description) followed by the catalogue for the sale (during June 2018) together with a sheet informing me that we will receive funds (that’s if it sells!) during mid July 2018. So, from the moment I handed the item over to the time that we get paid is close to SIX MONTHS! Plus there’s no guarantee it’s going to sell or if it’s going to achieve the reserve or multiples of the estimate (highly unlikely!) Oh, and don’t forget the charge to me of a 10% sellers commission. (Which I can fully understand).

The moral of this tale, sell your stamps outright to a reputable dealer probably for what you would get at auction or more (and don’t forget you don’t lose the 10% sellers premium) and you would be paid immediately. I’m sorry we are not in the business of waiting six months to do business. I believe in proactive working principles, we find that a client wishes to do business immediately and wants to obtain an accurate on the spot price.

The reason many collectors put material into big public auctions is that they think they are going to get multiples of estimates. This is often not the case. Consignments that achieve multiple of estimates invariably come from deceased estates where estimates are purposely low to encourage high bidding to make the company look remarkable at realisations against estimates (that’s another story we could discuss!)

There’s an old saying “there’s no vendor like a dead vendor”

I will leave that thought with you.

If you require expert advice on your stamps or postal history please contact me.

Simon Carson