FAQs

It's natural to have questions when you're considering the sale of any treasured item. Below you'll find answers to some of the questions we're most frequently asked, but if you have a question not answered here, please contact us and we'll do our best to help. Who are Sandafayre? Sandafayre is a company that specialises in selling stamps to collectors, we don’t handle other types of collectibles. It’s owned by Vincent Green (49) and Michael Harlow (63) who have been full- time philatelists since they were teenagers…and they still love it! They are proud to run a healthy, happy business that employs 14 people. The strength of the company lies in the ability to take valuable stamp collections and sympathetically place parts of those collections with clients from every corner of the globe. There is no country that we have not sold stamps to; such is the popularity of our wonderful hobby! I would like you to make an offer for my collection, what next? Please call and ask for the valuation team, or send us an email using the form on this site or if you prefer send an email to info@stamp-appraisals.co.uk. It may be worth attaching some scans or photographs with your email, just a representative selection of up to 5 please, perhaps of the pages with most stamps or the older stamps, or if you know which ones, the best items or album pages. It’s just to give us an idea of how the collection was built; we can’t undertake a valuation just from pictures as we need to see the stamps themselves. By filling in the email form on the site it may be helpful for us to know how bulky the collection is, how many albums etc. From there we will get in touch with you and arrange a convenient time for the collection to be picked-up. Do you make home visits? Occasionally, but only after we’ve asked you questions about the collection. Home visits can be expensive and we have the experts all in one place at our offices. It’s why we offer a free service to pick up your collection. How do I get my stamps to you? After an initial telephone consultation, we may be able to arrange pick up from a location that suits you - e.g. your home or place of work. How on earth do you expect me to pack this lot!? Well there’s no rush! If you don’t have suitable materials we can send you the boxes and packaging material and you can pack them at your own pace. We can also give you advice on how best to do it. Then we will pick them up from your home or workplace, no need to take them anywhere. Will you pick my collection up? If you are in the UK we can have your collection picked up free of charge from your home or office. Contact us and we’ll sort out the details. Am I under any obligation to sell? Absolutely not, if you don’t want to accept our offer we will return your collection for a small fee (£5 for a single album, £10 for a big box). How long will it take to get an appraisal? We endeavour to make an offer within 48 hours but we prefer to take care rather than rush, so from arrival at our offices typically every valuation has been completed within 5 working days (longer for probate and insurance valuations) unless you ask us to hurry! Is my collection safe? Your collection will be kept on our secure premises - our offices are alarmed, monitored and recorded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have never damaged anyone’s collection! We recommend that for your own peace of mind that you take some pictures or video of the collection (easily done with those modern mobile phones!) Why can you pay more? You have various options available to you if you have a stamp collection to sell. Perhaps the obvious (and mistaken!) option is to put the collection into a public auction – this is probably a terrible idea! Both the seller (that’s you) and the buyer pay a commission. Yes, believe it or not the ‘hammer’ price is NOT what the buyer pays, his invoice will show an additional ‘buyer premium’ typically between 15-22%, in total it’s normal for the seller (that’s you again) to receive just 60-70% of what the buyer paid! Another option is to sell to a dealer. You should make sure that the dealer has the human and financial resources to fully appreciate the collection. If it is a small business they won’t have the top clients and they won’t be able to pay the top price, they may ask to ‘cherry-pick’ the collection, or lack of funds may reduce any offer. Make sure, whatever their website suggests, that they are a Limited Company with knowledge and resources, after all you are entrusting them with a potentially valuable asset. Another option would be to sell through Ebay. We have never heard of an advanced collector selling a valuable specialised collection through Ebay. That should tell you something. The best option is an offer from Sandafayre. No waiting, worry, commissions and potential ‘unsolds’ associated with public auctions. We are internationally recognised buyers and experts with a large expert staff and a reputation for financial fair dealing whether you are disposing of a medal- winning exhibition collection, a valuable family heirloom, or an inexpensive childhood album. Do you charge any fees or commissions? No, we will make an offer to purchase your collection and if you accept, that’s the amount you receive. No hidden charges. The only time you have to pay something is if you decline our offer - in which case we will charge a small fee to return your stamps to you (£5 for a single album or small packet, £10 for a large box). Do you value for probate or insurance purposes? Yes, we do. Both require a written valuation to be prepared by us. Probate: a valuation of a collections likely sale value in the open market. Insurance: a valuation of the likely replacement value in the open market. Please note the minimum charge £200+ VAT or 2% of the valuation, whichever is the greater. Can I send some pictures of my collection? Yes, we often ask for pictures, no more than 5 to start with please and it would be best to take a picture of album pages with the oldest stamps, and the most stamps. If you know what are the betters areas of the collection obviously please send pictures of those. We can’t undertake a valuation from these pictures but it really helps us to get a better idea, if the collection includes scarce stamps probably purchased from dealers and auctions we can take a view of the rest of the collection, if on the other hand all the pictures are of cheap stamps there is a likelihood that the rest of the collection will be like that and we can let you know. Are my British First Day Covers valuable? Probably not, for many years they have been extremely popular and somewhat overproduced to meet demand, consequently there is a glut on the market and it is not unusual for FDC collections to sell for just 10-20% of what they originally cost. We have no reason to expect that to change so you should still consider selling them but because of the low value we only tend to make offers on collections containing 200 or more. First Day Covers from BEFORE the 1960’s may be worth more and some are very valuable. Are my modern Great British stamps valuable? By ‘modern’ we mean anything after decimalisation in 1971! Mint stamps and presentation packs containing mint stamps have flooded the market and most are only worth around 50% of their printed ‘face’ value with stamps marked 1st, 2nd or E and values above 50p worth 60%, some items are worth a lot more and we will check your collection for them, but it’s best that you know this BEFORE you send them to us! First Day Covers have also flooded the market and are often worth only 10-20% of what was paid for them. Don’t blame us…we didn’t sell them at those prices!!! Is quality / condition important? Of all the collecting hobbies stamps are the most dependent value- wise on condition. For example a single stamp with just one perforation ‘tooth’ missing might be worth just 25% of the same stamp with all its teeth! A crease or a thin patch which may only be visible from the back of a stamp will still reduce its value to perhaps just 20% of its faultless condition and if a postmark is smudgy or too heavy it can render an expensive stamp almost unsaleable. On the other hand it takes the experience of a team such as Sandafayres to spot the premium quality items in your collection and add significant extra value for it, so it’s not all bad news! Should I catalogue the collection using a price guide? If you are an experienced collector please go ahead if you prefer, but if not please (for your own sake) don’t bother. To use a stamp catalogue properly you will have to learn the terminology and pitfalls that take collectors years. If you use a simplified catalogue from your library the value will be inaccurate, if you use the correct specialised catalogues it will take you months or years to complete a collection that would take an experienced philatelist just a few hours. As all experienced philatelist know, the catalogue values are not helpful guides to real value as they cannot take account of quality, the saleability of superb or faulty stamps, the effect of missing stamps from sets, overall freshness, the extra value for specialisation and so much more. In general, using a catalogue to value a collection is a nightmare for non-collectors and we recommend against it. Should I sell through an auction house? Both the seller (that’s you) and the buyer will pay a commission. Yes, believe it or not the ‘hammer’ price is NOT what the buyer pays, his invoice will show an additional ‘buyer premium’ typically between 15-22%, in total it’s normal for the seller (that’s you again) to receive just 60-70% of what the buyer paid! They also cannot guarantee that everything will sell, in fact it is EXTREMELY RARE for an auction to sell every lot! It is also normal for it to take between 2-4 months to receive your money. Really, don’t do it! Should I sell through Ebay? Every year many experienced and knowledagble collectors who have built very valuable (even ‘famous’) collections sell them… but never on Ebay. They may have bought some items on Ebay but they would never dream of selling their pride and joy through Ebay, so why should you? Are older stamps valuable? In philately stamps have to be at least 100 years old before they are considered old! We can show you stamps from the 1840’s worth just a few pence – and stamps from the 2000’s worth hundreds of pounds each! There is no rule, when a printing press (even an old printing press) starts rolling it can produce millions of stamps per day so the ‘common’ stamps of ANY period are easy to find and very cheap no matter how old. I’ve seen a picture of a valuable stamp online and I think I’ve got one! Don’t get too excited! It may be a rare ‘blue green’ colour and you’ve got the cheap ‘deep green’! Or it may be a mint example and yours has a postmark, or it may have an ‘overprint’ which is extra words or values printed on top of a common stamp by the postal authorities (it happens a lot in war areas as stamps were captured and altered for use by the enemy) and yours doesn’t have the overprint! Or it may have a rare watermark, just like banknotes stamps often have watermarks and they can change even if the stamp looks the same. Suffice to say, don’t get too excited just yet…