"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed." Carl Jung
CALL Trish at 1-302-422-2656 or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly 50 years of experience as a professional philatelist, in the stamp business since 1973, coupled with a continuing reputation for integrity and honest dealing, provides you with the security necessary to complete a mutually satisfactory transaction. The great extent and experience of transactions means there's very little that I haven't handled before. This expertise translates into a better deal for you.
My specialty is Confederate States and Civil War postal history and stamps (a collector since the 1960s)
Tell me...how much time and money has been spent in acquiring the collection to date and from what specific sources the collection was acquired (auction, bourse dealers, etc.). If it was inherited or given to you by a friend, tell me that too. How active have you been? Are you a specialist? To what collector organizations do you belong? Describe your collection as completely as possible including major highlights. How is the collection housed, i.e., 25 specialty albums, stock books, glassine envelopes?
Please describe what you have for sale along with the catalog value - if known - which catalog and edition, and your estimated value. Remember that catalog value is a good estimate only for difficult to obtain stamps in very fine and sound condition. Common stamps or those with condition problems sell for less than catalog - often far less.
Thank you for the opportunity to help market your collection. I buy individual items too, so don't hesitate if you only have one special item or small lot of stamps or covers.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS - supply, demand, grade and condition
Grade and condition play a large part in the evaluation of a stamp collection, as do supply and demand - demand being the more important consideration of the two major market-driving factors. Grade refers to the centering of a stamp, and if used, to the cancellation. Condition refers to other factors that affect value and desirability. Values that are found in catalogs usually are for very fine (well centered - the grade) and sound (free of faults and damage - the condition) copies. If canceled, the cancel would be readable and well struck. Faults and damage detract from the value, as with all collectibles. Damage can include, but is not limited to tears, thins, scuffs, creases, stains or soiling, and attempts to alter a stamp such as regumming, rebacking and reperfing. Faults include, but are not limited to, natural gum creases, paper inclusions, straight edges and the like. Heavy hinging vs. never hinging is another consideration, although this is less critical on Confederate issues than in more modern areas of collecting.
Three-cent sheets and diligent research
Bond king Bill Gross of PIMCO Investments, one of the world's wealthiest stamp collectors, recounts the story of his modest background and how his mother saved 3-cent mint sheets she bought at the post office in order to pay for his college education. As others in this position have unhappily discovered, the sheets had not appreciated at all when the time came to sell. I have heard many heirs rail against dealers and collecting in general as a "rip off" after being told their 3-cent stamps were best used on the mail. Gross says his mother's experience taught him the valuable lesson of researching that in which you invest - a lesson that has made him a billionaire.
OTHER THAN CONFEDERATES
I have a working knowledge of U.S., although I no longer deal in it and I don't buy it unless related to the Civil War in some way - and then only maybe. Foreign is not "my thing" at all - I am not the right person to talk to on that. If you have or are looking for something other than Confederates, you may want to check the geographic and specialty dealer listings of the American Philatelic Society and/or American Stamp Dealers Association. Both organizations have strict codes of ethics for members.
"I just saw the Linn’s listing of the most influential philatelists and was pleased to see you included among all the other greats for your lifelong dedicated service to the hobby. So congratulations for all your achievements and this recent recognition; it is so well deserved. CSA philately wouldn’t be what it is today without you. Keep up the great work." PCP, March 2022
"I just read your entry in the "Most Influential Philatelists" from Linns'. Once again this selection proves that your talents and dedication represent a very important part of our hobby. I have said it before, but once again, thanks for your time and consideration as I continue to learn and add to my collection." DK, March 2022
"This is definitely the best, most informative philatelic email newsletter that I receive! Thanks for all that you do for the hobby and I really appreciate being on your list! I think that you have built your business on such a great model. When you are an expert and share your knowledge, people know where to come to buy. You always make time to share...I heard a catch-phrase recently that I want to promote among this hobby...'Don't take it with you.' I want to help people preserve their legacies by sharing their knowledge with articles, presentations, monographs, books, and e-books. Future generations will sure appreciate it!" SK, February 2022
"I am a first time buyer (with you); just happy to get (a stamp) of this quality and appreciate the superb customer service you have given to me. No wonder you're so highly regarded in the industry. Have seen your ads in the APS monthly publication and articles attesting to your significance in CSA postal stamps and history. Perhaps someday you will once again publish your handbook on CSA!" MG, February 2022
"I never attempted to seriously get into CSA postal history until I discovered your website. I was amazed at the depth and breadth of the selections you have listed, and the wealth of knowledge you have shared there. I’ve always been interested in Confederate postal history, and it’s only fitting I saved the best for last. Never ever thought I would see covers such as those much less own them!" DW, October 2021
"I would like to say THANK YOU for all the help you've given me. I really appreciate it a ton. I learn a little every day. There is so much to dig thru which adds to the fun. People like you make our hobby and the CWPS a great place." LK, February 2021
"I received your check today. Thanks very much. I appreciate your professional approach, honesty and integrity." PT, January 2021
"Thank you very much for your wonderful magazine articles. They fascinate me about things that I never cared about before!" DD, October 2020
"It's so nice dealing with a true professional!" MV, October 2020
" I owe my love of Confederates almost solely to you, and your correspondence and help." DSM, October 2020
"That offer sounds fine, thank you. I knew—KNEW—before I even sent the first batch, I had picked the right person. You have a sterling reputation in the trade, and additional thanks for your patience." DS, August 2020
"You do more for this hobby than almost anyone and more than any other professional dealer." DMK, October 2019
"Thank you for your extraordinary effort. Good dealers help good collectors build good collections." PH, October 2018
"I am still amazed by the extent of your holdings. You are truly safeguarding CSA postal history at museum level." RW, October 2018
"You are the BEST Confederate dealer out there today." KS, March 2017
"If Confederate collectors/dealers were all like you, there would be [more Confederate collectors]. I appreciate all your support." DSM, March 2017
"You are a real credit to our hobby and the profession of dealers. Thank you for running for APS VPs. The Society needs and appreciates such dedicated and capable people. You have my wholehearted support." PMZ, December 2015
"Thank you very much for a pleasant experience. Wish all my dealings with dealers (coin or stamp) were this nice. Disappointed we will probably never meet in person, but keep up the good work. Your website and Confederate Stamp Primer were awesome!" FRM, November 2014
"Your interest, consideration and efforts are appreciated more than can be expressed. A simple 'Thank You' seems so inadequate, but... Thank You! Your kindness is unique in these times." EH, September 2014
"As I've said many times - in many places - you're the best and the brightest!" JR, September 2014
"I just opened my Linked-In app and saw you have been doing business for 41 years. Congratulations. Your honesty, kindness, willingness to mentor and the quality of your material make you number one in my book." ML, July 2014
"You are my all time favorite philatelist and I am not kidding." JO, August 2014
"Check and stamps received in fine condition. Most appreciated. This has been an easy pleasant experience. Until our paths unexpectedly cross again." CF, July 2013
"We received the CSA 10 on cover this morning and we are thrilled with the cover. Thanks so much for the time you took talking with us about it in detail." EB, March 2013
A TIP FOR COLLECTION CARE
For the storage of most collectibles including furniture, paintings but especially books and philatelic material, you must pay attention to the ambient temperature and humidity. Mint stamps are the most critical. Keeping the temperature between 55 and 75 F is best with a relative humidity of about 50 to 60%. In the winter when it is -10 F outside, the air is extremely dry - the opposite when it is extremely humid. Avoid attics or basements, since temperature, both hot and cold, or dampness damages stamps. When storing stamp albums, place them in an upright position. Do not stack them one on top of another, since the weight of other books will tend to make the stamps stick into virtually worthless concreted bricks. And framing stamps or covers and putting them on the wall is an equally poor move as light destroys them, as does mounting them.
If any of the stamps are stuck together, do not attempt to separate them because you may do damage in the process. Leave them stuck together until a professional can look at them and determine whether they can be separated safely. Do not remove any stamps that have been postally used on envelopes. If the stamps themselves have a value, they may have an even greater value when left on an envelope. Leave stamps in multiples intact, whether canceled or unused, since they are sometimes more valuable as blocks or sheets than singles.
For a much more in-depth guide on collection care, see David Beech's treatise on this topic, written while he was Curator and Head of the Philatelic Collections at the British Library.