Advice for Sellers
While all members of the Federal Association of German Stamp Auctioneers have their own business strategies, they have all also undertaken to comply with the standards of their professional association. It is essential for sellers who are handing over their collections for auction that a healthy level of trust should be established. Here are a few tips in this regard:
- After your stamps have been examined, an expert from the auction house of your choice should make a provisional estimate of their value and pass this on to you.
- At this stage, you should receive a binding explanation of all procedures as well as binding information regarding the dates of forthcoming auctions.
- Enquire about catalogues and the results of past auctions so that you can get an idea for yourself of the performance of the auction house in question.
- When you consign your collection to auction, you can expect to receive written confirmation of the approximate starting price from the experts at the auction house of your choice. Find out about all the deductions involved (including VAT, insurance costs etc.).
- Collections often contain valuable stamps which have not, however, yet been authenticated by an expert and are frequently subject to forgery. An authentication process for such items is recommended, particularly as a positive result can significantly improve the chances of the stamp being sold. The approximate scale of costs involved should, however, be outlined to you when your goods are being accepted for auction. Here too you can expect a sound cost-benefit analysis from the experts at the auction house.
- Establish whether the contract states that the material you have consigned to auction is insured to the value of the starting price; it follows from this that the confirmed starting price corresponds approximately to the insured value.
- It may be advisable to make copies of top-quality items in your collection in order to keep a record. And finally…
- Do not under any circumstances put yourself under pressure when making decisions. If you are in any doubt, give yourself a suitable period of time for consideration before taking any action.