Chapter 04
Help from the National Philatelic Organizations

Everyone should read this chapter. It covers services that are available to help you evaluate your collection and to decide what to do with it.

 4.1 Collector was an APS or an ATA Member

If you inherited a collection from a person who was a member of the American Philatelic Society or American Topical Association, these organizations have estate advisory services to help you evaluate your stamps. They can arrange for getting an appraisal and help you in selling your stamps. By all means, contact these organizations.

American Philatelic Society
100 Match Factory Place
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Phone: [1] (814) 933-3803
Fax: [1] (814) 933-6128
www.stamps.org

American Topical Association
Mailing Address:
American Topical Association
PO Box 8
Carterville, IL 62918-1618
Phone: [1] (618) 985-5100
www.americantopicalassn.org

Both the APS and ATA will provide stick-on labels to be placed inside a member’s albums to notify heirs that this service is available. This is the first place you should look. Many members, however, do not know these labels are available, or they never apply the labels.

If you are not sure if the person were a member, you might try looking around for magazines. APS members would get copies of The American Philatelist and ATA members would get copies of Topical Time. (Stamp collectors rarely throw anything like this away, so there will probably be a pile of them somewhere! Check the address labels for membership numbers.)

 

4.2 Non APS or ATA Members

If your collection came from a person who was not an American Philatelic Society or American Topical Association member, help is still available to you from various national stamp organizations.

1. You can search for dealers who are members of the American Philatlic Society on the APS web site here: http://www.stamps.org/directories/dir_dealermembers.htm

Or you may send a #10 SASE to APS, and they will send you a list of APS-member dealers in your state or a list of dealers who specialize in a certain area. Write to:

American Philatelic Society
100 Match Factory Place
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Web Site: www.stamps.org

 

2. You can search for dealers who are members of the American Stamp Dealers Association on the ASDA web site here: http://www.asdaonline.com/index.php?id=8

Or you may  send a #10 SASE to the American Stamp Dealers Association, and they will send you a list of ASDA-member dealers in your state or a list of dealers who specialize in a certain area. Write to:

American Stamp Dealers Association
217-14 Northern Blvd, Suite 205
Bayside, NY 11361
Phone: [1]  (718) 224-2500
Fax: [1] (718) 224-2501
Web Site: www.asdaonline.com

 

3. For a fee of $20, the APS will provide help to non-members with getting a collection appraised as well as with selling the collection. If you want to take advantage of the service, send a letter and a check for $20 to:

Special Activities Department
American Philatelic Society
100 Match Factory Place
Bellefonte, PA 16823

Ask for the selling/appraising package.

I didn’t find this package that helpful to me. The list of dealers included with the package may be had for free from the APS. Otherwise, the remainder of the package was rather weak in my opinion. Perhaps you’ll feel differently, though.