Iíve reviewed a number of collections over the years. When I make an offer, sometimes the seller is disappointed and declines the offer. This happens most often with collections of modern, mint stamps that are destined for discount postage. The seller feels that the stamps should be worth more. Sometimes Iíll hear, ďNo thank you. Iíll set it aside and give it to my kids. It will be worth more later on. They can sell it and get something out of it.Ē

The truth is, these people are going to leave a collection to their kids. Their kids arenít going to know what to do with it. And the value isnít going to change one bit. In my opinion, the seller is better off taking the money now and doing something constructive with it. Put it in the bank and earn some interest on it (assuming interest rates ever recover). Go on a vacation. Something. Anything.

Let me give you two specific examples.

In the first example, letís say itís a collection of mint stamps that are only good for discount postage. If itís discount postage today, it will still be discount postage in 20 years. My offer wonít change over time.

In another example, letís say itís a collection of older stamps, mainly before 1930. Suppose the catalog value today is $10,000. And the collection is made up of stamps in the $100 and under catalog value. History has shown that, in general, the catalog value creeps upward over time by a few percentage points. In 20 years, the catalog value may increase to, say, $10,500? Holding on to the collection thinking that itís going to someday be worth $20,000 or more is unrealistic. Unless something really drastic and unusual happens to the stamp market, the value isnít going to shoot up.

Iím not saying you have to take the first offer you receive. But if you go to three different dealers and all of them give you an offer of about $1000, then your collection is only worth $1000. Looking for another dealer that will substantially increase their offer is probably futile. Leaving the collection to someone else is going to saddle them with a burden they probably donít want. If youíre lucky, that someone else may get the same $1000 you were going to get. I bet in many cases though, the collection goes to someone else, they have no idea what to do with it, and it ends up in the trash. I know of a few collections that ended up this way. No one knows for sure how many collections meet their demise this way.

In my opinion, sellers are usually better off to take the money and run.