Selling Your Stamps? - cont. Part 3 - Tips Of The Trade

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SELLING YOUR STAMPS? (Continued) Part 3:

Summary Tip #20:  5 Different Ways to Sell your Stamps: Dealers 'runners' / Private Treaty

Dear Collector,

In Part 2 of 'Selling Your Stamps' we discussed the advantages of direct sale to dealers and how with careful handling and awareness of the 'strength of your collection' it is often possible to obtain more for your collection selling directly to dealers than by selling through auction.

In Part 4 of 'Selling your Stamps' we'll discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of selling through auction on your own account .... but in this article we'll deal with two lesser known but nevertheless important aspects of selling your stamps .... the first being Dealers 'runners'.

Before you even start to try selling your stamps; preparation is all. Make some research:

Draw up a list of whom you consider as a possible target to sell / handle your collection.

..... then consider -

Why have I chosen those dealers/organisations ?

Here's something to think about ... for the best part of 20 years I watched the same advertisements extolling the merits of selling to this or that particular dealer ... but try as I might - I never once saw an advertisement by those companies to sell stamps. This was in 'pre-internet' days ... nowadays people trade on the internet with all manner of weird and unusual trading names, sometimes to disguise who they actually are - but in those days traditional selling 'avenues' were shops, stamp fairs, auctions, approvals, and retail/mail-order lists ....

... so why was it impossible to find out how those dealers actually conducted their business? The answer was simple - they sold to other dealers - they rarely if ever sold to collectors - they were Dealers 'runners'. Now for you to part with your beloved collection to the first dealer that you contact does not necessarily mean that you have made a mistake ... but, if that dealer writes you out a cheque ... and almost before the ink has even dried on it - (probably before you have presented the cheque at your bank) ... he or she is at the nearest big dealer 50 miles away being paid a profit upon the price you sold your collection for - this is NOT in your best interest.

So what should you be looking for? You should be looking for an organisation / dealer that you can see and understand how they conduct their business. Dealers that sell to other dealers are unlikely to be paying the best price.

Private Treaty: What is it?

The idea of Private Treaty is that collectors 'place' their collection with a dealer or auction that charges a small commission to sell their collection outright. Sometimes it is claimed that the Buyer will pay the commission so that the collector pays no charges whatsoever.

Historically 'Private Treaty' has acquired notoriety as an excuse for the company handling the transaction to 'buy-in' the collection for themselves. Maybe collectors and dealers should forget the concept of private treaty in favour of an open approach whereby the dealer/auction explains that they are purchasing on their own account ... or will charge a small percentage for handling/passing the collector/collection to a more appropriate buyer.

In Part 4 of 'Selling your Stamps?' we'll discuss consigning your stamps for sale by auction.

Happy collecting from us all,

PS. If you find this 'tip' interesting please share it with a philatelic friend or visit our website to sign up to receive our Free 'Stamp Tips Of The Trade' series

Andrew McGavin

Managing Director: Universal Philatelic Auctions, Omniphil & Avon Approvals, Avon Mixtures, UniversalPhilatelic (Ebay)

STAMPS! WE LOVE THEM! Buying or selling your stamps? Collectors - we have four different departments that can help you find all the stamps you want. Our Auctions have up to 16,241 lots in our famous quarterly auctions.

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