In my summer 2014 pricelist comments, I wrote about a doctor in New Castle who was looking to sell his stamps. He bought them at inflated prices from a major stamp company and my offer was significantly below what he expected to get. I felt that he would take these stamps to the grave because no dealer would come close to his asking price.
I had another phone call the other week from a collector living in Pittsburgh. He paid almost $9500 for a mint set of Columbians (to the $2 value, Scott #242 and not a complete set) and a set of Trans-Mississippi issues, Scott #285-293. We only talked on the phone and I didnít see the actual stamps. From his description though, I said that a ballpark figure would be about $3500 depending on inspection.
He is looking to get no less than $8000 and said that I would have no problem getting $10,000 for the set and I would make a quick $2000 profit. I respectfully declined his generous offer.
During our phone conversation, I learned that he has been taking his stamps to local shows and no one was interested in buying them. I was the latest dealer on his list and I wasnít biting either. You can ask any price you want. Getting someone to buy at that price is another story.
I asked him if he tried selling the stamps back to the company he bought them from. He said yes, but they told him that they have a policy of not buying back the same stamps they sell. Once again, I wonder why? (Yes, there is sarcasm on my face. You just canít see it). I should have suggested to him that he have a trusted friend/relative contact this company with their stamps and see what they offer to someone who they think theyíve never done business with that person.
Maybe I should call the doctor in New Castle and those two can start a club and commiserate over their over-priced purchases?
When a dealer isnít interested in buying stamps back at any price, that should be a red flag to you. Yes, if you buy from me, I may be interested in buying your collection when you sell it. Whether we can agree on the price is another matter. But I will entertain the idea and maybe we can negotiate a fair price.
If you take your stamps to several dealers and they canít meet your asking price, you have to consider if your asking price is too high. Could there be a dealer trying to low ball you? Maybe. When many dealers arenít interested in your stamps, you may have a problem.