Appraisal and Marketing of Your Collection

We service all of Scotland and UK wide. When the time comes to consider the sale of your collection of stamps, coins, banknotes etc. Philatelink Ltd and our specialist Dave Waldie is here to help you; he will be delighted to advise you on every step of the way..

The first step is appraisal of the collection giving it a careful search through to establish if there are any hidden gems worth selling as individual items. Most valuations are carried out at our office in Galashiels, where we have access to our library of reference books and catalogues and large database of information concerning recent auction realisation prices.
Warwick and Warwick Philatelic Auctioneers - Marketing
Once we have examined and valued your collection, we will either write to you or discuss in person advising you of the estimated valuation and recommended best method(s) of sale. 

Currently there are five options you to consider when selling a property.

Option 1 - Direct Purchase by Philatelink

Often collector’s or property owners simply want a quick valuation and sale with immediate payment up front.  This can be arranged subject to the overall value and saleability of the collection. However, we do strongly advise that you allow sufficient time for a full and proper valuation to be completed.

This option is ideal if you have a collection of modern mint decimal stamps for sale, especially GB, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Alderney or Jersey. Other European and World Countries can also be purchased and sold on as postage as well. This type of material generally has a fixed selling price and can be resold relatively quickly at a small profit to individuals and businesses who require postage stamps for their letters and packages.  Choosing this method will definitely realise the best price for your modern stamps as there are no auctioneers selling fees to be deducted.

The key advantage of this method of sale is that you know exactly how much you will receive for your collection and there are no commission fees to pay.

Feedback from Paul Godley (Glasgow)

I found Dave very approachable and he provided honest and sensible advice on how I should go about selling my late father's stamp collection. He provides an excellent and trustworthy service. Highly recommended!"


Option 2 - Internet Selling Service - Vendor Provides Descriptions.

The combined selling fee is 25% of the final selling price. This fee includes all Internet site charges which can be as much as 13% of the sale.

This option is ideal for stamp collectors or stamp dealers who have a good knowledge about the stamps they wish to sell and can supply their own item descriptions and catalogue values. We are looking at individual items/lots with a value of £20+

In addition there is a £1.00 per lot listing fee and the vendor is charged postage and packing of their items to the buyer at cost.

Internet commission selling is our main speciality and what sets us apart from many other stamp dealers in the trade. We recommend you choose this option to achieve the best financial return for any items of individual merit that reside within your collection.  By individual merit we mean any item with an estimated selling price of £20 and above. Currently we have over 70,000 online purchasing customers in the UK, Europe and Worldwide, therefore we have a fantastic following, which ensures high realisation prices for your valued items.

This option is also recommended if you have items which are unusual, perhaps seldom seen and hence difficult to give an accurate valuation.  Sometimes it is often best just to let the millions of worldwide bidders decide what an item it truly worth. Please don't be fooled by specialist catalogue prices as these are often misleading giving very high unrealistic prices.  For example we recently auctioned a lovely French miniature sheet which had a catalogue value of £375 and it realised £47 purely because there are a lot of them around and they are not that popular in today's market.  Generally though you can't go wrong with early classic stamps like the Penny Black from 1840.

As each year goes by Internet selling just gets stronger and stronger and the COVID-19 pandemic has only enhanced the power of the Internet further. Listed items can be searched for, seen and purchased by millions of potential buyers from all corners of the planet, not just those in the UK. Importantly our auctions are offered for sale on every eBay site in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, Russia, Asia, Africa, plus Central and South America. It does cost us significantly more to gain this coverage but it does ensure that our clients get much more for their treasured collections. Also having an excellent feedback rating helps greatly.

We are one of eBay’s ‘Top-rated Sellers’ which means that items we list get priority searching and buyers can trust our accurate descriptions, knowing they will get good reliability and we have earned a consistent track record of excellent customer service.

Another great thing about Internet selling is that you can see your items selling in real-time as each item progresses through to sales completion. This means that you can share in the excitement of selling from your armchair at home and see the actual selling price of each item sold. We have many regular clients including retired stamp dealers who choose this method as the most profitable way to sell their items.

Left:  This GB 1840 Penny Black (the first stamp ever to be issued) I recently sold for a client.  It realised £102 on eBay. Penny Blacks can sell for anything ranging from £35 to £200+ depending on condition and they are always very popular.  This example has four lovely large margins.

What does it cost?  Our commission rate for selling items by Internet auction on eBay is 25% of the final selling price, plus postage and packing (at cost) for sending lots to the buyer. There are no hidden charges and all eBay listing, selling and payment processing fees are included in our fee. There is a £1.00 per lot listing fee to cover basic administration costs.  For this service we do ask our clients to provide a description that we can use for each lot otherwise if more work is required from us then Option 3 below might be more appropriate especially if we have to do some research and search through catalogues.

The 25% (VAT included) commission rate applies to all items which sell for £2 and over. Lower value sales are less cost effective hence why we have the £1.00 per item listing fee. It takes us on average around 15 minutes to list and process a single item and considerably more for multiple items which often require up to 12 images to be produced, either by scanner or digital camera.

As stated above all of the Internet listing and selling fees are included in our 25% commission rate. In reality this means that our own fee is just 12% for our services and that includes VAT.  eBay take the other 13% for their listing, selling and payment processing services.

For your money your items will get top quality images, accurate detailed descriptions, regular communications, customer management, order processing, packing and posting for each sale. Importantly we will ensure that your items stand out from the crowd, attracting more bidders and achieving higher prices.

Our bespoke personal service and low commission is extremely good value when compared to most leading stamp auctions, or just auctions in general.  Auctioneers normally charge vendors anything from 15% to 25% commission for their services.  However, just about all auctioneers these days charge the winning bidder a buyers a premium on top of the hammer price. This can be an additional 15% to 25% plus VAT on top of the hammer price. Some auctioneers actually charge the buyer more commission than their vendor. The buyers premium charge has a direct impact on the final realisation price of an item. Bidders simply reduce their maximum bid to take full account of the additional buyers premium fee. This means you get significantly less as in reality the auctioneer has taken 40% to 45% of the sale. Importantly please be aware that not many auctioneers will tell you, the vendor, how much the buyer has to pay out on top of the hammer price.

It is also worth noting that items sold on Internet into the world market can sell for considerably more (depending on the type of material) as they would if simply sold by public auction, especially large collections, which if broken down can have great potential. Therefore even with the 25% combined commission, selling via the Internet into the world market place makes sound financial sense.

Option 3 - Sorting, Valuation and Description Internet Selling Service.

WE DO ALL OF THE WORK FOR YOU - the combined selling fee is 30% of the final selling price. This fee includes all Internet site charges which can be as much as 13% of the sale. 

This option is ideal for anyone who has perhaps inherited a stamp or coin collection or really know very little about the property they want to sell. This involves extra work for us hence the slightly higher fees. 

In addition there is a £1.00 per lot listing fee and the vendor is charged postage and packing of their items to the buyer at cost.

This service applies to estates and larger collections which are completely unsorted and where the beneficiaries have no real knowledge about the property or the value of the stamps/coins and other items contained within.  Basically we take the entire property from the vendor and carefully sort through it with the aim of making up attractive lots, which are suitable for selling on the Internet. Depending on the size of the property and how it is presented this can take many weeks or even months to complete the sale. During this time the vendor can opt to receive a monthly income from the ongoing sale until everything has been sold. Waiting a little longer is normally rewarded by a higher financial return. In this situation, because of the extra work created the combined  selling fee is 30% (including VAT) to our business. This fee is negotiable depending on how much work is actually involved. We do try to be very fair with clients. Once again this does include all of the eBay listing, selling and payment processing fees. This means we get around 15% to 20% (inc VAT) for the extra time and effort we ourselves put in. Basically we do absolutely everything for the client/vendor from start to finish. In addition, unlike auction house's we do not charge the winning bidder(s) a buyers premium giving the vendor a higher financial return.
NB - The vendor can also choose to receive a monthly income from the sale of the property.

Feedback from Andy McKay (Glasgow)
I found Dave on the Yell website search under stamp dealers. After meeting Dave at his office it was apparent that he had the resource and knowledge to help me dispose of my stamp collection, we agreed that he would sell the stamps on my behalf on eBay, creating groups of stamps that would sell. I found Dave's approach very open helpful and I was able to watch the actions online, after which Dave transferred the funds - minus commission - directly into my bank.  Would I use him again - yes, would I recommend him to someone in a similar situation - absolutely!"

Case Study: China 1980 ‘Year of the Monkey’ Stamp – Sold for £1,070

Last year a client came to me with what he thought was a run of the mill low value collection.  As I turned page after page I was forming a similar conclusion until I spotted this unusual 1980 Chinese ‘Year of the Monkey’ stamp (shown right) which was partly hidden in a page of used stamps.  As I had not seen this interesting stamp before I enthusiastically opened my Stanley Gibbons China catalogue and to me great surprise I found that the stamp had a listed catalogue value of £1,600. 

My initial excitement was slightly dampened when on close inspection I found the stamp had some small black marks on the gummed side. I explained to my client that these marks would affect the eventual market value, but on a positive note, I still estimated the stamp to be worth between £400 and £500. I advised that best option for maximising the financial return would be to auction the stamp on internet, setting a low starting price. Often it is best to let the worldwide market decide the true value of an item.  With millions of bidders out there they very seldom get it wrong.

Selling Tip:  From experience I find that setting low starting prices helps to generate much interest often triggering a bidding frenzy when desirable material is offered for sale. Some bidders are very competitive and don't like to be beaten once they have started. 

These days there are some very keen collectors in the Far East, Russia and USA and I am often pleasantly surprised with realisations achieved. In this case the low start strategy worked a treat as within a couple of hours many bids had been received (I noted good interest from China). Two days later the highest bid had risen to an encouraging £600, already above my UK estimate. To my delight the stamp eventually sold 8 days later to a genuine collector in the USA for a resounding £1070.

This example clearly demonstrates the power of internet selling and the excitement generated by good internet marketing and advertising.  I would surprised if the stamp would have sold for any more than £500 in most UK public auctions.

Incidentally the remainder of this collection was sold through a well-known Scottish stamp auction and made £30 which was £5 more than my client thought he might get and by contacting us for help me he made an extra £800 (selling price of £1070 less commission of 25%) into the bargain!

Who know's perhaps you could be next in line for a similar success!


Option 4 - Selling by Public Auction, or Charity Donation

This option is very good for collections with large numbers of items which have little individual value i.e. the value is in the sum of all the parts. Such collections will usually sell for more if kept intact. A good example would be a collection of ordinary post office first day covers which in today’s market might only be worth only 10p-20p each but a 1000 of them might realise £150-£250 at auction especially if they are stored in albums.  It is simply not cost effect to split such a collection or worth spending anytime on it - so straight to auction it should go.  The same rule can be applied to most junior type stamp collections which only contain general worldwide used stamps. This is where our years of experience and expertise can help you.

Another advantage of selling a collection by public auction is that potential buyers get a chance to carefully look at every item contained in the collection.  This allows bidders to make a more accurate judgement on how much to bid.  This is why it is best to remove the better items first and put the remainder of the collection to public auction.

Sadly today, some junior stamp collections have no commercial value at all simply because kids today just don't collect stamps like they did in the 1960's and 1970's.  Modern technology and gaming have really killed off the old traditional hobbies making it hard to find any willing buyers. If this is the case we will tell you up front and suggest putting the stamps into our charity sack, which we auction off once full of albums.

Option 5 – A Combination of Options 1, 2, 3 and 4

Looking back over the years and reflecting on the hundreds of clients we have helped it is this combination of all methods which tends to be utilised. It really depends on what each individual client has to sell. Generally our clients have been more than happy to leave their collections allowing us full control on how best to sell their property and trusting that we will achieve the maximum financial return for them. More often than not we have used a combination of options 1 to 4.

We generally pay clients in stages as each part of their collection is sold off.  Normally payment is made by direct back transfer on a monthly or ad-hoc basis, whatever is best for the client.  We can also pay by cash, cheque or via PayPal but we do prefer online bank transfer if possible.


Next Step - Make an Appointment Today

Simply book an appointment by calling or sending an email and bring your collection along for a free appraisal. We will discuss your collection with you and decide how best to carry out the valuation. Home visits may be possible for large and valuable collections, whether in this country or abroad.

For stamps and covers, coins, banknotes, postcards, cigarette cards, medals, die-cast toys, old photographic equipment or anything else which is collectible, please contact us by phone on 01896 759703, mobile 07510 312271 or drop an email to or

Act now! Get an expert you can trust on your side!


Valuing and Marketing your Collection FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions:

Q. How do I know whether or not my collection has any value?

A. This is very difficult for an amateur or non-collector. It’s best to ring us on 01896 759703 or 07510 312271. We will ask the necessary questions which will give me an idea as to the likely value of the collection and how best to proceed with the valuation of it.

Q. How long will it take to value my collection?

A. All properties are placed in a queue and the waiting time varies depending on how many properties are in that queue. On average it takes 1 to 2 weeks for a full valuation, but exceptions can be made if there is a degree of urgency associated with your collection.

Q. If I don’t agree with your valuation how do I get my collection back?

A. There is absolutely no obligation or pressure on you to accept our valuation and no fee if you decline to go ahead with the sale. However, we would ask you to pay for any return carriage costs or visit our office and collect the property in person. If I return a box by carrier the cost is usually of the order of £15 per box, irrespective of weight.

Q. Do I need to make a list of everything I have?

A. No, this is not necessary. We will look at everything and keep a breakdown of the valuation whenever this is a necessary part of the selling process.

Q. How can I know that everything has been looked at when I’m not present to point things out?

A. We have years of experience in assessing collections; We do this every day of our working lives and it would be most unusual if we were to miss anything. However, if there is a particular item(s) which you wish to bring to our attention, by all means let us know by telephone or send an email.

Q. The collection is inherited and I have no idea what it contains, how can I trust Philatelink?

A. A degree of trust has to be accepted between the client and our specialists. We have been trading for many years and have over 25 years experience.  We have a positive feedback rating of over 59,000+ on eBay and are pleased to say not a single negative comment in over five years. Customers and clients have also left positive feedback on  We are full members of the Philatelic Traders Society (PTS) London and the Scottish Philatelic Trade Association. We are bound by their codes of conduct and good business ethics.

Q. Will my collection be insured?

A. Yes, once the collection has been valued it will be insured free of charge. Whilst in transit to us by carrier, which we have arranged, or by Special Delivery in the post, we can take out additional cover, again free of charge, over and above that provided by the carrier. It is necessary for the owner of the property to tell us the figure they want the collection insured for. If the owner has no idea of value the maximum figure we can insure a property for is £500. This insured amount would continue to be used until the property is fully assessed. Free insurance cover of your property ends when it leaves our premises.

Q. Can you visit me in my home?

A. Yes, we can. If your collection is sufficiently valuable we do visit anywhere in the UK to briefly inspect it, pack it up, give you a receipt and bring it back for our considered precise valuation. Please ring us on 01896 759703 or 07510 312271 to discuss possible options.

Q. Is it better to wait for the market to improve before selling?

A. No-one can accurately predict the likely state of the philatelic market in the future. Most of the collectibles we sell have enjoyed a very stable market for many years.

Q. I am disabled and unable to pack up the collection, what can I do?

A. If your collection is sufficiently valuable we can pack your collection into boxes, give you a receipt for it and bring it back to my premises for valuation. If your collection is of more modest value we can still visit you but it might involve a slight delay until we have other visits requested nearby your area.

Q. What are the charges?

A. If a direct sale is recommended, there is no charge and you get the full valuation figure.  

The charges for selling on eBay are 25% to 40% of the final selling price depending on which option above (This fee includes all third party Internet listing, selling fees and payment processing fees. These average around 13% depending on how much an item is worth) therefore our share of the 25% is only 12% including VAT. A minimum fee of £1.00 is charged on low value lots selling for below £4.00.

If we put a collection into specialised public stamp auction on your behalf we charge 15% of the hammer price including VAT.

Q. Are your customers, dealers or collectors and how wide is your customer base?

A. We sell to both dealers and collectors. Our customer base is worldwide with over 200,000 individuals to date and this is growing every day. The power of the Internet gives access to millions of potential new customers all over the world.

Q. Is there a minimum property value you will accept for sale?

A. We like properties going to auction to be worth at least £50, because of the overheads involved in selling.

Q. If I accept your valuation, what happens next?

A. Simply send us an email to confirm acceptance and we will do the rest. A cheque for a sale will be with you in a matter of days. Internet auction property will be described and listed with hyperlinks provided so that you can watch each sale progress to the end in real time.

Q. How long after an Internet sale will I be paid?

A. Usually within 30 days of sale, so long as the purchaser has completed payment and is happy with the goods..

Q. How do I receive payment?

A. Settlement is usually completed by bank transfer or business cheque in pounds sterling. Other methods are possible, but any charges incurred would be debited to your account.

Philatelink Ltd  21st October 2021
Copyright Philatelink All rights reserved.

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