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Full details on Insurance & Formal Valuations too.


Why "auction" your stamps and coins and often wait 6 months or so for your cheque, from the day you consign the goods?  And then pay hefty vendor commission, and also lose another 30% by the purchaser's downward bid adjustment of 26.4%, to allow for the buyer commission and GST taxes, plus 2-3% extra for credit card fees so widespread these days!? (  The only one who does NOT win here is YOU the seller. That could be 75% gobbled up from the true value of all YOUR stamps.  Full details on that below.

In this "GST" era, it is clear that "T" Auction sellers could sometimes get around 75% LESS in their pockets by selling via major auctions than the buyer of their very same stamps at that auction actually pays the auction!!  Mad but TRUE.  If you do not believe this, READ ON!!  All outlined in detail below.  Why not sell DIRECT to a large buyer!?!  For same day CASH. And KNOW exactly where you stand.

Consigning to auction takes months to occur and takes MANY months for you to get paid.  If you get paid at all.  Velvet Stamp Auctions in Sydney (previously Mowbray’s and Stanley Gibbons) went in liquidation in 2016, and the creditor list was about a million dollars it seems -   A long list of stamp sellers were on that list, who ended up seeing little or mostly NOTHING from the value of their stamp/coin collection.  One chap on that discussion was owed $40,000 as you can see.  I had urged him to get them to forward the material to me for my same day CASH offer.  He now wishes he did.

Another large stamp Auction, Prestige/mossgreen had an Administrator appointed, who in 2018, revealed assets of about $3m but debts of $12 million, and one SECURED creditor is on the books for $6m, almost certainly leaving zippo for anyone else unsecured, who sold material in recent months - 

There are NO Auction trust accounts required oddly, in Vic/NSW indeed possibly all states.  YOUR stamps can get sold and paid for by buyers, but YOU get nothing except grief and worry.  As you can see above,  one single vendor stands to lose about $500,000 at mossgreen if they fold.

I am Sydney's biggest stamp buyer.  I also am a large coin and banknote buyer and published and edited “Coin And Banknote Magazine” (CAB) for years, so know that market.  And have edited and ran large Stamp Magazines, and written for them for over 35 years, so do know the market.  

I buy EVERYTHING, from Abu Dhabi to Zululand.  Post it to me by Registered Post for my prompt cash offer.  I do not need to adjust for GST - if you are a collector you are NOT subject to the tax when selling DIRECT to me.   

GST is NOT a factor in the price I pay you.  When you sell via auction, the GST figures heavily in both what you receive, and what the buyer pays.  These "commissions" are "Services" and both you AND the buyer must both pay GST on them generally in an auction.  The "S" in GST stands for "Services".  The true loser is the SELLER, as buyers adjust their bidding downward due to it.

I buy it ALL - I do not "cherry pick" your material like most other stamp dealers.  That is an insult to you.  Post me four cartons of rusted/foxed/mouldy junk or rubbish, and I buy it all - same day cheque.  Send me a single valuable stamp and I do the same.  Send me a specialised collection of the Military cancels of Bolivia from 1868 -1872, and I will happily take it. 

Offer me a mint "1840 Penny Black", and I buy it SPOT CASH - same day.  Send me your ratty old picked over kid’s album you have not looked at since you were 12, or the usual handful of 1980s era PO Wallpaper junk in the garage, and I’ll find a new home for that too - but your bank account may not gain much!  

I can write you a cheque on the spot for $A500,000.00 - I will furnish you the details of my personal banker to verify this if you wish.  NO collection is too large for me.  Entire dealer stocks, to mouldy old childhood albums - I buy it all. 

And PLEASE do NOT sent me massive sized email images, of a page of blurry stamp junk, taken with some low end cellphone 'camera'.  I have no idea why, but EACH month I get 10 time wasters doing this.  Mostly from the Asia and India and Africa regions. 

A 20 MEG file of 10 fuzzy images of junk is downright rude to send anyone un-invited.  One pest sent me 3 such 8 meg files of utter stamp junk in deplorable condition, hinged on childhood pages, that overfilled my mailbox when I was travelling.  And REAL emails to me then got "bounced".    

Such dreamers usually have 30 mouldy, torn and ratty super common stamps on each page, along with a Pidgin English suggestion as to how many millions of dollars these "Incredibly Rare" stamps must surely be worth to me.  If you must email stamp photos, a proper flatbed scan, in a modest sized jpeg image is just FINE thanks.  And like most sane people these days, I do NOT open attachments and image files from persons I do not know.

I will *NOT* buy ANY stamps or coins mailed to me FROM the Indian sub-continent or most parts of Asia, except HK or Singapore.   So do NOT email me asking about them, or send scans, and certainly do NOT post them without asking.  Please go bother someone else asking about this foxed, toned, rusty damaged junk - and it ALWAYS is. 

And I do NOT buy stamp sendings with a wholesale value under $A50 from anywhere.  Give those to a relative, friend or a charity etc. It takes me far more time to process those sendings, than the stamps are worth.  Sad but true.  Common junk stamps from 50 years or 75 years ago, is still junk today!


I like to SEE your stamps/coins with my own eyes before I value them.  All material must be mailed to me by Registered Post and is safe and secure - YOU get a mailing receipt as proof, and it is computer tracked en-route via barcode, and I MUST sign for it at this end.  You MUST mail your stamps Registered or Insured mail to me.  No exceptions - for your safety. 

And PLEASE use nice thoughtful philatelic top value “commemorative” stamps on your parcel, or you will have PO clerk apply a totally worthless white franking “meter label”  - see full details of WHAT to do here -

You must include a note or letter with your name, address phone and email contact CLEARLY outlined - about 20% of senders do not, and assume I’ll keep the outer parcel wrapping - I often do not.   Also be CERTAIN to add your Australia bank account detail or better still your PayPal account email address to the note for when payment is made.  I can pay you SAME DAY GLOBALLY via PayPal up to several $1,000s.  Your email address is REALLY essential however.

Materials mailed are 105% at your risk of loss or damage if you do NOT abide by this Registered mail requirement.  There are NO duties or charges on postage stamps posted from overseas of medium value.  Mark the green Douane or insurance form: "Postage Stamps For Collectors - value $A100"  etc, unless they are very valuable, in which case contact me for more details re insurance etc. 

In common with most countries, you MUST declare a value of some kind - if no value is given, customs WILL stop the packet and “guess” at a high figure, and hold it up for weeks, and bury me in paperwork.  If we can't agree on a price, I am always happy to mail back your material, when my post and handling costs etc are re-imbursed.  How can you lose?

Always contact me first BEFORE mailing from overseas - that is ESSENTIAL please.   If the correct paperwork is not completed your end, I will often be charged taxes and customs agent clearance fees upon arrival, so you MUST contact me first for instructions - otherwise you are fully liable for all my costs in this area if they eventuate.

For safety, and dry arrival of your goods, you MUST address all lighter and smaller sendings to: Mr. Stephens,  P.O. Box 4007,  Castlecrag,  NSW,  2068,  AUSTRALIA.   All sellers are deemed to have read and accepted these instructions in these last 5 paragraphs.   Anything heavier than 10 kilos or so, please use:  4 The Tor Walk, Castlecrag. NSW. 2068. Australia - except when I am interstate or overseas, which is OFTEN, so check with me FIRST before mailing.   If I am away, box sits out unprotected in all weather.

REMEMBER that a very heavy box often is very reasonably cost to post.  And you can pay that cost using nice STAMPS on the parcel.  Do NOT let them affix a worthless white label.   A large size dozen wine or champagne box etc, from a liquor store or Bunnings etc is free, is strong, and never holds more than 22 kilos.  

My spot cash offer for the lot will generally be in the mail, or in your bank or paypal account, the SAME day.  I MUST have your email address very NEATLY and carefully written please - one wrong letter and it will not work.  And do not forget to add your bank BSB details, for same day bank payment to Australians.

One kid from Eastern Europe mailed me a stockbook recently, of common CTO thematics from his area, without telling me in advance.  He optimistically declared value as "$2,000" on outer insured label.  I am charged GST on that value ($200) upon entry, plus clearance fees, and a ton of paperwork.  The stamps were worth $50 retail on a good day - in TOTAL.  I wrote to this guy offering him $30 for them. 

He told me to keep them, and said he was banking my cheque. The stamps sold for $50 in an ad.  I was out of pocket around $170 on the deal,  plus a lot of time, and to waste hours filling out forms and writing letters re the GST refund was simply not worth the effort.  I wrote to Mr Eastern Europe suggesting that he might reimburse me, and as you'd imagine, I heard nothing back.      

If you want Same-Day payment I can readily oblige.  If you need funds FAST to pay a bill or account or some other urgent deadline please let me know up front.   I can easily do same day $A payment via Australian Bank Transfer or PayPal IF the need is urgent, and IF you advise me of this, and IF I have your Bank and/or PayPal email detail.  And print the email address MOST carefully please.

Mail me stamps on Wednesday, and you might well have full payment in your bank account on the following day, Thursday.   I used to mail a cheque, but for urgent cases I'll do what I can to assist YOU.  Or, I can mail cash via same day Registered Post if you do not have a bank account, and you request this.

I mostly these days remit funds on day of receipt of goods to ANY local or overseas person instantly via ‘PayPal’.  Fast, efficient, and hassle free IF I have your PayPal email address neatly written. So please ENSURE all letters have PayPal and/or bank account details furnished.


And whether mailing from Australia or overseas, please try to use nice high value commemorative short issue stamps on your parcel - I will allow extra for those if lightly cancelled.  (It is also common sense, and a mark of philatelic respect to frank material thus to a dealer or collector, in my opinion!)  Please do not allow PO to use a common $10 Definitive, when a block of $3 or $5 short issue commems will do exactly the same job.   

I hate meter labels and "white supermarket tickets" with a VENGEANCE!  You must ASK the clerk up front to use short issue commemorative stamps, or they'll use a white label EVERY time, out of habit and laziness.  If you say the parcel is for a stamp colleague, they are generally delighted to assist if you ask up front. Full and complete details of WHAT to do here -

AMERICAN PO’s in particular, are lightning fast to print out a worthless white meter label. If your Registered airmail packet costs around $25, sweetly ask clerk to use the seldom used new $24.70  (Priority Mail Express) issue.  All USA clerks have them - or their current replacement high values, in their stamp files, and WILL use them if you ask up front.  You CAN use them for ANY kind of packet or parcel  - see here for an example how they look -

I received three cartons recently from Perth WA.  The collector had allowed the PO to use 3 x $95 worthless white "supermarket labels" as franking on each box. (=$A285 postage) If he had the common sense to have used a block of light cancelled $5 short term commemoratives on each parcel etc,  I'd have added about $100 to his cheque.  Those are worth good money when fine used, and when then arrive in good condition.

Do NOT allow your Post Office to lick a white "supermarket ticket" or meter label onto your parcel!  They are WORTHLESS.  Please before you say anything else to them, insist and ask for, short issue high value stamps to be used, and ask nicely these be very lightly cancelled.  It pleases me, and adds to your cheque total, and most importantly, gives stamp collectors of the future a chance to obtain some nice fine used stamps from this year!  Again - read this carefully -

Deal With Sydney's Best Known Stamp Buyer

Deal with the best known STAMP BUYER in Australia's largest city.  For 40 years I have been the FIRST choice for many, many thousands of keen stamp sellers.  Why go elsewhere?  Post your surplus material to me TODAY!!  Receive a cheque or bank transfer or Paypal payment by RETURN … the same day that I open your sending.

With the nasty GST tax buyers are generally charged 10% GST on the auction commission, (i.e. “service”) making the standard 24% "buyer fee" charged by our largest Auction buyers really a 26.4% fee plus credit card fees.  And sellers ALSO pay a high fee too.  Local buyers are charged another 10% GST on the hammer price for the stamps if sold by a tax registered dealer or individual - or overseas vendor.  i.e. "T" lots, which are very common.  

So an Australian resident BUYER of a "T" lot pays in that case pays the full "hammer" price of $1,000 PLUS 10% GST plus 24% "Buyer Commission" on the whole caboodle - i.e. the "$1,000" item gets invoiced out at $A1,364 plus 3% to use an Amex card from leading auctions here = $1,404.92 - before any shipping and insurance is added!  That is 40% EXTRA cost for the buyer over the "hammer" price.  Not "A modest buyer surcharge” as the auctions would love you to believe in their ads - but over 40%.  

This is over 40% YOU likely will NOT receive as a trade or overseas vendor, as savvy bidders simply reduce their bids by the surcharges, knowing full well these imposts will be added.  The VENDOR is clearly the loser - no-one else. And you ALSO LOSE another 19.25% or so via the "Vendor's Commission" you are charged,  to add to this 40% loss!  A huge chunk of your stamps value get gobbled up by ever rising auction house fees and surcharges, and nasty Government taxes. Sad but true. This high seller fees plus the buyer's 40% buyer and card fees goes to others - NOT to you.  Sell to me and you keep the LOT – every red cent of my offer.

And as the leading auction charges buyers who pay by American Express etc 3% or so to use their card (and they levy hefty fees for Visa and MasterCard as well) their "fee" to buy via card getting quite silly when that, buyer commission and taxes are all added on.  (I have NEVER charged a client a fee to use a credit card - talk about an insult.)  Therefore savvy buyers REDUCE their bid by that 40% gouge addition - they reduce it off what YOU get gross, to cover these fees. The Auction then often claws another near 20% from your "sellers" subtotal as well, in fees and taxes.

Selling directly to me, NONE of these outrageous fees apply.

AND REMEMBER - if you consign goods to auction - no matter which one - MANY, MANY months elapse before the day they are offered at auction.  Six months is not at all unusual.  And they may not even sell at all of course, but you will still generally pay some costs if they do not.  And IF they sell, your cheque for whatever they mail you - less all commissions and fees and taxes - often takes months after the sale to arrive.  Even if the buyers pay cash on sale day, as often occurs.  Would it greatly surprise you if they earned interest on YOUR proceeds on the short term money market?  Indeed as we see here, you may lose ALL your money cold -  and     

Auction houses generally charge 15%-17.5% as their standard fee to you the seller and add 10% GST on that "service," so your effective vendor rate then becomes 19.25% or so.  Insurance at .75% is also often automatically charged on an arbitrary figure often well above the estimate or price realised, so that with GST added, this will add another 1% or so - near enough 20% standard seller fee all up.  So, on a $A1,000 hammer price "T" lot, seller will apparently then (one day) get a cheque for less than $A800 in their pocket.  Whether they are "T" lots - or not. The BUYER of this identical "$1,000" stamp -  can pay $A1,400 if they use a credit card.

The buyer also then must pay 10% GST on the entire "postage, packing, handling, & insurance" charge as that also is a "service."  As some auctions shamelessly "load" that sum to about DOUBLE the actual franking on your parcel, (and use junk stamps, or often labels on the parcel as well) 10% of this sum can EASILY run into a few % of the invoice total.  

A carton of something sold at $A100 might easily have a $A50 "postage, packing, shipping, & insurance" fee added for an interstate buyer, so that adds 50% to your bid price.  So a $100 auction lot may cost a buyer 50% extra to 'ship' - on top of the 40% "Buyer Fee" and tax and card surcharge they paid on top of the bid price!

In summary, the normal seller of the "$1,000" lot above gets less than $A800, and the credit card buyer of the "T" lot via credit card, whether an Australian resident dealer or collector, pays $A1404.92, PLUS the "postage, packing, shipping, & insurance" fee, and 10% tax on all that. 

Total price the buyer actually pays for YOUR goods - before any shipping charges are added is often $A1,400+.  But the cheque the seller above EVENTUALLY gets for selling the SAME stamps, at the SAME auction will generally be less than $A800.

Want to receive about 75% LESS than the buyer pays for your stamps?

Simple solution - just send them off to Auction!

That is more than a 75% difference over what you get for your "T" lots, and what the buyer paid.  AND you as seller waited months and months and months for that dough, only to discover someone just like me paid 75% MORE than you received - for the very same stamps!!

OVER 75% DIFFERENCE. Get out your calculator and tell me I am wrong!!  Add 75% to the $A800 you receive.  It comes to over $1,400.  The buyer paid $1,404.92 for the exact same goods in the example above. PLUS shipping.  That is over 75% of YOUR stamps’ true value being possibly gobbled up here folks!  Remember that I am often the buyer of these same auction lots.  

I pay at auction EXACTLY what I will pay you CASH, but on the same day.  I constantly wonder why the silly vendors did not simply post the goods to me in the first instance.  Think about it.  It saves time, it saves hassle, it saves everyone in taxes and fees, and you can as shown above, often get over 75% MORE from selling direct to me, and you get that 75% more INSTANTLY! 

The question is - would you like to get $1,400 instantly, or $800 after months of waiting, for the VERY same stamps?

Let's face it - buying and valuing stamps is not rocket science.  A nice mint £1 Kangaroo we all know EXACTLY the current market value - you and me both.  I'll pay that price readily - whether from you, or from auction, to put that stamp into stock.  If you sell direct to me you'll simply end up with $100s more than if I pay that same figure via auction.  Very simple Maths.     

Have you ever seen a large stamp auction run from anything less than palatial premises downtown somewhere?  Well, perhaps NOW you know why!!!   How can I often pay 75% more than the auctions will give you for the SAME stamps??   Simple.  I work from home, and have done for 40 years.  I have no mega expensive city premises to pay $1,000s rent upon each week.  I do NOT have dozens of expensive staff lotting and packing and invoicing etc. 

I have no 60 page glossy colour catalogues to prepare and print and mail (at vast cost) all over the globe, many times a year.  No full page colour magazine ads to promote the sale.  No director's fees to pay.  I work alone.  No staff, no rent, no wife, no kids, no overheads.  My overhead is a very TINY fraction of an auction house.  And you the SELLER actually pays for all that expensive overhead - that much is very obvious to any thinking person.

If you consign to a large auction in September it often will not get into a sale earlier than March next year.  Your cheque might take another 2 months to arrive if they are not in Liquidation, as has occurred recently, in which case you lose the LOT.  This is EIGHT months of waiting for you.  Stamps can and do get lost or damaged or stolen in storage, and during viewing etc.  This sadly is a fact of life.  No auction will deny that.

If I feel a stamp or coin you send me, say a nice Kangaroo is worth $A1,000 to me, I will write you a cheque for $A1,000 same day.  As a collector, you pay NO GST tax whatever on that - not one cent if you are a collector or are not registered for GST.  You pocket the full $1,000.  If I see that same stamp at an Auction which charges a 26.4% buyer commission/GST + 3% card fee etc, I will adjust my bid DOWN by the $300 or so in fees I KNOW will be added on my credit card invoice - so I will only bid $700. 

YOU are the loser of that $A300+ PLUS your ~$A200 seller fees.  My landed cost is the same.  Except instead of getting $1,000 cash on the spot, you (eventually - months later) get around $600. I pay or deduct NO GST on any stamps I buy from you, the private collector. NO TAXES. You are paid precisely what my offer is - INSTANTLY.

Dealers are professional stamp buyers.  THAT is what we do.  We establish a firm price in our head and do NOT budge from it.  Your Kangaroo stamp at auction is still invoiced to me at $A1,000, so I am happy.  But if you are the seller, your vendor cheque is calculated only on the $A700 or so “hammer price”, so you only get $A600 or something, for a stamp I happily paid $A1,000 for, on credit card invoice cost.  AND you get your pittance many MONTHS after you consigned it.

Many collectors ASSUME consigning to Auction will always get them the highest price. WRONG!  Here is a real life example that cost the owner literally $3,000 versus selling the exact same stamp to me direct. - and -

He disregarded my clear written advice, sent the stamp to a leading auction, waited around 5 months for his cheque (I would have mailed it same day) and he got $3,000 LESS than I had offered cash for the exact same stamp.  A 105% true story.  Please read up on it.

Does this sound smart to you?  Of course it is not.

So, when selling, post your stamps DIRECT to me - for a same day price.  Cartons of junk, boxes of FDC you are bored with, a handful of aerograms,  two envelopes of duty stamps, a collection of Nauru you no longer wish to continue.  Maybe that stockbook of used NZ soaked off paper, a good used “Penny Black”, or those six cheap Asian stockbooks of Trucial states topicals you put together 20 years ago for the kids!?  Deceased estate material I get in nearly every day.  WHATEVER it is, I am a buyer. “Junk stamps get junk prices” you MUST recognise that reality, but I do find a happy new home even for those.  

OFTEN collectors who have bought off me for over 40 years sell their stamps and coins to me.  Or have advised in writing their family in their Will to do so.  These are informed, savvy, plugged-in, experienced long term collectors, and yet come to me FIRST to sell.  They do not go NEAR an auction house or other dealer.  What message does that send?  They clearly would NOT be doing this if they thought they were getting anything other than a fair, fast, honest deal for all their stamps.  Think about it.

Spot cash. NO commissions, NO deductions, NO delay, NO cherry picking.  And NO Taxes or GST deducted from my cash price no matter WHERE in the world you live.  What could be easier?  ALL stamps have cover by Australia Post, providing you send it by Registered Mail or Insured Mail.  In over 40 years of stamp dealing, the total number of Registered mail sendings gone missing to me is near ZEROThe Post Office now tracks all Registered articles within Australia by Bar Code scanning - you can readily check online EXACTLY where and when the parcel was received - and signed for, and by whom.

If my purchase offer for ANY reason is not acceptable, I will of course mail back your stamps - also by Insured and Registered post, upon remittance to me of the applicable postage and handling costs etc, that you’ll be advised of.  You have a full 7 days from receipt of my buying offer to reject it, and duly advise me by email that you are returning that payment, or the goods are deemed mine to sell.  Nothing could be simpler or fairer or faster - I am sure you'll concur.  You agree to this course by sending goods to me.  So please ship your collection TODAYfor my fast, and obligation free professional appraisal and SAME DAY cash offer.

Mention your stamps in your Will  -  50% of Australians do NOT leave one!

Roughly half of all Australians die intestate.  That is, they die without leaving a valid, legal Will.  I have no doubt similar figures apply to British and American readers etc.  Naturally, none of us wishes to pass away unexpectedly - but we are ALL mortal, and accidents happen every day.

Less than 50% of Australians prepare a legal Will, often in the mistaken belief that all their worldly goods and chattels will automatically go to their next of kin. Without a Will, the Government may levy imposts, and the Government, or Public Trustee also often decides on the distribution and disposal of the assets. NOT your family.  If you have four siblings, all will get generally EQUAL shares of your estate - not just the one that you may have chosen to grant a share to, etc.  

For instance you may wish your stamps or coins or notes to be sold direct to dealer "X" - and you may have made that 100% clear to your spouse for decades. No WAY will the Public Trustee do that automatically if you have no Will - all stamps generally go straight to public auction.  If your family gets HALF as much than dealer "X" would have paid in cash - too bad for you. Your spouse or family gets NO say whatever on this, in most cases.

Even accepting that many adults do not make any kind of Will, I’m darn sure that 90% of those who DO have Wills, and are connected with stamps (even when dealers) do NOT make any specific written arrangements as to the disposal of their stamps upon death.  Be honest - think about your own situation - how do YOU score here???!!!

Sometimes, a family member is also keen on philately, and stamps are passed on to that person, which is a sensible option, but clearly if that person eventually dies without a Will, the same situation exists.  The reality is that countless thousands of Australian collectors die every year, leaving absolutely NO guidance to their non-collecting families as to their specific wishes re the stamp and coin collection.

Even if you DO have a valid Will, and even if the executor is a spouse or family member, is there ONE word in there as to where you'd like your stamps to be sold?  Nope - I bet there is not.  Many collectors own stamps worth more than their house, yet make no mention of them whatever in their Wills.

Often a collector will spend many thousands of hours over a lifetime buying, mounting, studying, sorting and enjoying their stamps.  It really does seem odd to me that they can’t bother taking just 15 minutes of this time to briefly outline clear instructions for their eventual disposal, to best effect. 

In view of the above, please give some serious thought to leaving a precise note among your personal papers, or with your Solicitor, or better still in your signed Will. Simply advise precisely how you wish your philatelic and numismatic material disposed of in the event of your death, and to exactly WHOM you would suggest it be sold to, if something happens to you in future. 

If you are lazy, why not at least print out this page, and leave that with your papers, which at least will serve as a warning to the family not to accept the local second-hand dealer’s insulting low offer at least, or see them simply consign to auction, and see up to 75% of the value of that lifetime of collecting gobbled up in fees and taxes!  Would your spouse or family want that to happen? 

Read my ”Stamp News” story hot-linked below, about the PITTANCE a family often gets, when a collector passes away, and stamps are simply sold to a general second-hand dealer, or bric-a-brac store along with household contents. You could see your family lose $10,000’s if they take that course.  Those general second hand dealers know NOTHING about stamps, and allow virtually that amount when they buy them!

Either way, you surely owe it to your family to do something pro-active?  Often the dealer from whom you mostly purchased will be precisely aware of the special value of any unusual or specialist items you have - as he sold them to you!  Send your stamps to auction and such specialist material may go totally unrecognised, as stamps are lotted there with lightning speed, and only barely glanced at in many cases.

Often your wife or husband will have met or spoken to your most usual suppliers, by phone or in person, which makes the process a lot easier and more comfortable after a bereavement.  A lot easier than dealing with a totally unknown person or Auction firm selected from the local Yellow Pages, or whatever. 

Over my 40 years as a dealer, I am privileged and honoured to have had stamp material specified to be sold direct to me in many HUNDREDS of cases,  via Wills and/or via specific directions left to family members.  I often have spoken to and/or met the wife or family over the period of our dealing relationship, and thus this process is much easier on the family, than dealing with total strangers.  

An informed collector who chose to deal with me, from a free choice of 100s of stamp dealers, as they felt I supplied nice material at fair prices, with friendly service, is often the obvious source a family is most likely, and most comfortable, in offering those stamps back to - in the event of the collector passing away.

A short simple sentence like this is all you need in your Will to save your family from worrying about disposal of your collection. "I direct that all my stamps and coins and banknotes, and all my philatelic and numismatic related possessions, be disposed of directly to Glen Stephens, a well-established Sydney stamp dealer that I know and trust."  

I have always had a very personal and folksy touch to my business.  Sure I make a buck from stamp dealing, but I make a lot of friendships too, which is a lovely sideline to this most personal of businesses.  I know many clients extremely well.  I share with them many stories about their holidays, their families, and even their football teams, and often discuss politics etc.  

I have been invited to stay with clients in their homes on 5 different continents when I am travelling.  I've met their spouses and families.  You will seldom get that personal interaction from a large auction house.  

More on this very important matter of Wills and philatelic matters in one of my "Stamp News" articles:

Yes -  I do Insurance Valuations!

You may not have any intention of selling but you DO require your stamps or coins to be covered by a written formal insurance valuation. Most insurers will NOT insure stamps stated to be worth more than a modest nominal sum as specified items, UNLESS they are accompanied by a recent typed valuation, from a recognised stamp valuer or expert.

One client last year had his stamps stolen in a burglary. He had SPENT well over $100,000 buying good stamps from myself and other dealers in the past decade.  His insurance company refused to pay out one cent, as he was supposed to have declared them as a "specified item" and have someone like me provide a written detailed valuation of them, as proof they actually existed, and were worth what he insured them for. 

He lost the lot - all because he did not pay me a few $100 or so to formally value them.  Now THAT is false economy.  He admitted he always took travel insurance on their overseas holidays - costing several $100s per trip, but had never thought about insuring the $100,000+ of stamps.  Yes, he had a lot of credit card receipts, but could not PROVE he still had all the stamps when burgled.

Written stamp valuations from me are accepted by all Insurance companies.  I generally provide Insurance Valuations neatly typed on special security printed bi-colour letterhead, and send you 2 signed copies - one to retain, and one to lodge direct with your Insurance company.  I also keep the data in my files here, and can readily update or confirm it in the future.

This detailed written valuation is MOST useful if your stamps are stolen, to pass on to the Police.  I write a detailed "pen picture" of your collection, outlining brands and often colour of albums etc in most cases, and the specific valuable items.  If a pony-tailed, tattooed, heroin addict is caught trying to sell stamps matching this accurate description - you have your burglar on toast.  

WITHOUT my detailed list Police cannot usually connect (or even bother to connect) the suspect goods with your theft.  Also my list can be forwarded to stamp dealer bodies, and circulated around quickly in the case of a theft.  Stamp dealers are a VERY 'closed shop' and tight knit industry.  

Approaching a dealer in Sutherland with stamps stolen the day before in Hornsby means they are often caught red-handed if the dealer has read in advance my detailed Insurance valuation covering your collection, that his trade body has emailed or phoned around the trade.

Remember most insurance companies cover you for replacing "new for old".   My valuations take this into account, and detail carefully all the stockbooks, albums, Hagners and other storage that your stamps are in, as well as all catalogues and reference books etc that I can see.  Most dealers do not bother covering this aspect in Insurance valuations that I have seen. 

This area alone often runs to many $1,000s to replace, a fact many collectors forget about when compiling their own lists.  And if you do not have it in writing, you will more than likely not be covered.  Your 1996 set of catalogues will be replaced by current year versions - for some collectors updating their catalogues is a $2,000++ cost benefit right there.  A current set of Scott or Stanley Gibbons World catalogues I sell for $800 each for instance.  An ACSC Catalogue Set is even higher.

My fee structure is simple - and is based on an hourly fee of $A100 all inclusive, for the time it takes me to view, make records of it all, and type up your valuation.  It costs you more than that per hour for someone to repair your washing machine, or computer, or stereo system, or lawnmower etc!

Yes I will travel anywhere - and I often do, and you only pay me the same hourly cost for my travel time, plus airfares if any are involved.  In fact I often come up with a special deal for situations which involves travel.

A typical collection shown to me at Castlecrag costs about $150-$250 for full valuation, including time taken to have typed a detailed summary of your collection, and mailed to you.  A very small cost when it often gives you a cast-iron insurance cover for the typical $20,000+ collection  in case of fire, theft or other loss.  Your insurance cover is often NIL without a formal written valuation.

Suppose your stamp den burns down, or gets flooded in a storm or drain back-up,  or via a tree crashing through roof in stormy winds etc, or the stamp collection is stolen etc, etc.  The Insurance company will REPLACE your eight "Lighthouse" hingeless albums, 17 x Lighthouse 32 page stockbooks, and 900 Hanger sheets in binders, and 15 different stamp catalogues etc, etc, IF you have a typed pre-event proof that these items did in fact exist. 

So, your 17 stockbooks that are 20 years old and all have "rust" or toning starting in them, all get replaced with 17 brand new ones, worth $800.  Your 15 out of date catalogues are replaced with 15 current ones worth $1,750 etc.

Most of my clients are NOT in the Sydney area, so can't see me in person, and many ask how can they have their collection valued for Insurance purposes.  Simple - just mail it Registered Post, as outlined above.  I value it, type the formal valuation letter, and return it with the stamps - Registered and fully insured.  You are only up for cost of the valuation, and the postage and handling and insurance for return of the goods.  

But be CERTAIN to add a note saying you want a formal insurance valuation.  I often receive a collection with no note inside, just a name and address on box, so simply assume you are selling it, mail you a cheque, and we all then waste weeks and raised blood pressure sorting it out!

And no matter WHAT you mail me - whether for sale or for insurance valuation - please be CERTAIN to add a letter with your name and contact details on it, telling me which service you are requiring.  I must get 5 or 10 cartons and packets each year, every year, with no details whatever enclosed with stamps, and no name or address on box or packet.  I think folks assume that because they phoned me on May 1st for a chat, the box that later arrives in June, will be obvious to me as to whom was the sender.  NOPE.   

I talk to dozens of people a week about buying stamps, and after a few weeks often do not remember it in detail.  As 90% of sendings are basic Australia and Territories collections, and assorted odds and sods, they all look and sound much the same to a dealer!  I'll eventually get an irate note demanding the stamps back, or my cheque, from these same folks who never told me who they were in the first case!

Yes - I do valuations for court and divorce matters etc.

I also do frequent formal written valuations of stamps for the purposes of Court matters - either engaged by a husband or wife to establish the "value" of a stamp collection in the case of divorce settlements etc.  I can of course, depending on what the individual client requires, offer a valuation using either:

1.  The "Market" value of the collection.

2.  The approximate “catalogue value” of the collection.

3.  The "replacement" value of the collection.

Naturally the value of each of the these figures on any given collection varies enormously.  If a husband wanting to retain the stamps engages me, he may specify I provide a "market value" of a collection - and hopes a judge orders him to pay only half of that value to his wife.

If a wife engages me, she may specify I value as #2 or #3, and of course that figure is usually WAY higher than #1 - sometimes 1000% more, and she of course hopes to have a judge award here half of THAT figure - in cash in the settlement. 

After all a box of 1000 x 22c, 1979 Norman Lindsay Pre Stamped Envelopes has a FDI catalogue value of $A8,000.  True current market value of that carton would be at best a few $100.  You can see why a wife engages professional valuation on basis #2 for a fee - and why a husband is keen to ask me to use basis #1.  In this one small instance there is a variance of some $7,500 at stake.  

That one "win" item alone is 20 times my typical fee!  Often in the Family Court only one party is pre-organised enough to table a formal valuation re stamps to support his/her claim, and I am advised a Judge usually accepts that at face value, irrespective of which side proffers it.  Then moves onto to wrangling over the house, investments, cars, and bank accounts to split up etc! 

For insurance valuation purposes, you may send your stamps to me via Registered Post as outlined above, which is simplest and cheapest.  Or you may bring stamps to my premises after making a prior appointment.  I charge a standard hourly fee for the insurance assessment work involved, and for the time taken to have valuation typed up.  

I can always visit you to do the valuation, wherever you live in Sydney, in NSW, in Australia, indeed anywhere in the world.  In this event all my travel expenses will be charged, and all travelling time involved will be billed at the same hourly rate from the time of leaving, to arriving back home. 


Deal with the strength, deal with someone you can trust, deal with someone who has successfully purchased stamps professionally, full time, for over 40 years.

Sell and entrust ALL your stamp and numismatic material to:

 I am a member of the world's leading and most respected stamp dealer bodies.  Life Member of the ASDA in New York.  Member of PTS (London) and IFSDA (Switzerland) and many other leading Philatelic bodies.  You may deal with me with complete and total confidence. 
40 years of experience.




I am a Proud Member Of :

Full Time Stamp Dealer in Australia for over 45 years.

Life Member - American Stamp Dealers' Association.  (New York) 
Also Member of; Philatelic Traders' Society (London)   IFSDA (Switzerland) etc



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Full Time Stamp Dealer in Australia for 45 years. Life Member - American Stamp Dealers' Association. (ASDA - New York)  Also Member - Philatelic Traders' Society (London) and IFSDA (Switzerland) and many other philatelic bodies

ALL Postage + Insurance is extra. Visa/BankCard/MasterCard/Amex/PayPal all OK, at NO fee, even for "Lay-Bys"!  All lots offered are subject to my usual Conditions of Sale, copy upon request

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“Lothlórien”,  4 The Tor Walk, CASTLECRAG (Sydney), N.S.W. 2068. Australia

Phone 7 Days: 0409 399 888   For valuable items mailed use -  PO Box 4007, Castlecrag. NSW. 2068

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