March 22, 2010

When it's time to sell...

Collectors are well acquainted with the buying sides of their hobbies. I think most, however, would collect differently if they understood more about the realities of selling.

Unfortunately, it is hard to find good information about the selling side of collecting hobbies. I think that is why collectors so often misunderstand how much their collections will be worth when it comes time to sell.

Before my readers reach the ends of their collecting careers, I BEG them to spend time discovering what the reality might be. I first recommend they go to Stephen Goldsmith’s site at There they will find well-labeled links with crucial answers about:

  • I your collection suitable for auction?

  • Determining the value of your collection.

  • Who will catalog your auction lots?

  • Setting auction reserves.

  • No-sales, buy-backs and returns.

I am extremely serious about this warning. The more collectors know about where they’re going with their collections, the better their chances of profit. Stephen Goldsmith knows what he’s talking about because he was heavily involved in over 220 auctions while executive vice-president with R.M. Smythe & Co. He is now a numismatic consultant and president of Best Coins and Currency.

Another excellent source is Stephen Datz’s informative and easy-to-read series of books about the stamp hobby. Datz’s stories and advice about the reality of selling stamps is almost 100% applicable to our hobby. I don’t think certificate collectors can go wrong reading any of his books, but I particularly recommend Top Dollar Paid and On the Road. You may buy his books at philatelic outlets, from Amazon and from Stephen Datz himself.

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