How Do I Know if My Stamps are Valuable?
Stamps generally fall into two categories…
- Stamps issued after 1930
- Stamps issued before 1930
Basically, stamps issued after 1930 are worth face value. This means that they’re worth the value of the denomination that’s printed on them. So, if you have a United States postage stamp that is from the 1950s, which says “3 cents” on it, then it’s worth 3 cents today.
While you may think that stamps issued in 1930 are old, they are considered to be modern in the world of stamp collecting.
Stamps issued before 1930 are generally worth more than their face value. Some stamps can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars more. Usually, collectible stamps were issued before 1930.
But, this doesn’t mean that all stamps issued before 1930 are valuable. Many stamps before 1930 are common and don’t have any value. There are many though that are rarer and demand high prices from stamp collectors. So it’s not just the age of a stamp that determines its value, but also its rarity.
If you think that you may have some rare stamps in your collection, you could consider having them appraised by a certified stamp dealer.
Best Places to Sell Old Stamps
Okay, so now you understand a little bit more about what stamps are worth, let’s get started with the list.
Here are the best places to sell your stamps for the most money.
1. Sell Unused Stamps
You can sell unused postage stamps and forever stamps to Sell Unused Stamps.
What’s great is that the company offers a few different payment options, including PayPal, check, and bank wire transfer.
2. Apfelbaum, Inc.
Since 1910, Apfelbaum, Inc. has been buying and selling quality stamps. You can get an immediate cash payment and ship your stamps to the company for free. The best part is that Apfelbaum, Inc. will even give you a comprehensive appraisal on your stamp collection for free. It also travels to view and evaluate stamp collections.
3. West Coast Stamp Company
The West Coast Stamp Company purchases stamp collections of any size and from every country. It offers a free stamp collection appraisal as well. The West Coast Stamp Company will pay to ship your stamp collection or it can travel to you. The best part is that you get paid the same day via bank wire transfer.
4. Miller’s Stamp Company
Miller’s Stamp Company purchases stamps with value, especially “well centered classic U.S. pre 1930.” According to the company, no collection is too large. You can mail your stamps to the company or you can make an appointment and bring your stamps in-person to sell them. It’s a legit place to sell, as the company is a member of the American Stamp Dealers Association (ASDA), The American Philatelic Association (APS), and many other reputable organizations.
5. Mystic Stamp Company
The Mystic Stamp Company has been in the stamp marketing industry since 1923! In the past five years, the company has spent more than $70 million dollars and is looking for more stamp collections to buy. You can ship your stamps to the Mystic Stamp Company, and the company will pay you on the spot.
If you have some rare stamps in your collection, then contact Sotheby’s. Sotheby’s is an auction company that specializes in fine art, jewels, watches, wine, real estate, and collectibles.
With Sotheby’s, you can sell rare stamps on consignment. The world’s most valuable stamp, the British Guiana 1c Magenta, was actually sold at Sotheby’s New York for $9,480,000. On the website, you can get a stamp collection estimate.
WorldwideStamps.com purchases most intermediate to advanced worldwide stamp estates and collections. This includes unused US postage stamps, old letters, and correspondence.
It’s mostly after individual country collections with just one country in one album, or a narrow group of countries. It also likes large multi-volume worldwide collections, which are most often Scott Blue International albums or Minkus Global albums. You can find more about what types of stamps the company is looking for on its website.
8. American Philatelic Society
Are you a member of the American Philatelic Society? If so, you could sell your stamps through the organization.
The APS helps members to buy and sell philatelic material. It has two options for selling, which are through its Circuit Mail Sales or online at StampStore.org.
You can learn more about how these selling options work on the American Philatelic Society website, which is linked in the heading to this section. Now, if you’re not a member of the American Philatelic Society, then you’ll need to sign up for a membership, which costs $45 annually if you’re in the US and up to $65 annually for those who’re outside of the US. New members who are under 30 pay just $25 annually for their membership.
9. eBay and other online auction sites
If you don’t have a large collection or your collection is particularly valuable, then you may want to sell them on eBay. You can set your own price, which is great, as you have more control over how much money you make from selling your stamps. Do keep in mind that eBay does charge you a commission on your sales. So do factor that in when you’re pricing your stuff for sale.
- Sell stamps on eBay here.
eBay isn’t the only auction site around either.
Here are a few more places to consider:
I actually wrote a post recently about the best online auction websites, so do check that out here for more places to sell stamps.
Where to Sell Stamps for Cash Near Me
Okay, so if you don’t want to sell online, then you might want to know if there are any places that buy stamps near you.
Now, some of the companies above allowed you to sell stamps both online and in-person, with companies like Apfelbaum, Inc. even traveling to view and evaluate stamp collections.
In this section though, I’ve included more places to sell stamps near you.
10. Yard sales
Selling your old stamps at a yard sale can be a great option.
11. Stamp dealers
Selling to a stamp dealer near you can get you cash quickly.
Here are a couple of websites that you can use to find stamp dealers near you:
- American Stamp Dealers Association, Inc.
- American Philatelic Society
- National Stamp Dealers’ Association
12. Stamp Shows
Stamp shows are another option to consider. However, because you’ll need to rent a table or a booth at the show, this isn’t the best option for those who have small collections. If you have a large stamp collection though, then this is definitely an option to consider.
You could do a quick Google search for the term “stamp shows near me” to find local shows.
Or you can use these sites to find stamp shows near you:
- Stamp News Now
- Stamp Shows Worldwide
13. Pawn Shops
I usually advise against selling valuable at local pawnshops mainly because you can get more money for your stuff from other places. But if you have exhausted all the other options and can’t find anyone who wants to buy your stamps, it wouldn’t hurt to give local or these online pawn shops a try, even if it’s just to get a quote so you can get an idea of how much your stuff is worth.
Give the websites above a try and make some cash from your old stamps!
And also consider the in-person options if you’re looking to sell stamps locally. Do you have any tips on where to sell old stamps? If so, share them with us in the comments section below.