Inherit a stamp collection? Here's what to do.

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What should I do now?

We often hear from non-collectors that have just inherited a stamp collection or they are the Power of Attorney to an aging parent and need help. We usually are told that no one in the family is interested in continuing the collection and they just do not know what it is worth, where to go, what to do or how to dispose of their loved one’s collection.

So, here is our step-by-step guide to assist you in having a collection appraised and/or sold.

1.) Go to the Canadian Stamp Dealers Association website and look for a CSDA member in your area. If you are here reading this then you may have already done that step and that is how you found us at Durbano Stamps.

2.) Contact the CSDA member to discuss the collection and the disposal options they provide. Not all CSDA members are dealers and some may not buy all collections or travel to review them. Once you have identified a dealer (like Durbano Stamps) that you feel confident working with, then arrange for that dealer to meet with you where the collection is currently located to provide you with an onsite appraisal. You should not feel forced to move it from its current environment. Durbano Stamps will always travel to see you and is an active buyer that always buys collections intact – we do not just cherry-pick the better items.

3.) Most dealers will not charge for a quick appraisal provided you are local but some may charge a travel fee if you are remote. At Durbano Stamps we will provide you with at least one no-charge hour to review your collection and give you a verbal opinion.

4.) After the initial appraisal, you will be presented with some options. These are the options that Durbano Stamps usually presents:

(a) the stamps are of little value and you should consider gifting them to a young niece or nephew that may be interested in continuing the collection. If that is not an option then consider donating it to a local charity, church group, Boy Scouts or OXFAM.

(b) the collection is extensive and will require more time to review at an additional cost to cover our appraiser's time. This is also mandatory if a written appraisal is required for Legal, Probate or Insurance purposes. If the collection requires additional time to appraise, then you (the seller) will be given some options to consider before the appraisal can continue. 

(c) a collection with higher value items has other options available including having it sent to a public stamp auctioneer; if highly specialized then it may be sold intact or on a consignment basis by using multiple sales channels including eBay and/or our Durbano Stamps webstore and/or public auction.

(d) the collection is of modest value and the appraiser/dealer will tender you a reasonable cash offer that considers many aspects including the scope of the collection, its age, its condition, the number of duplicates and its current saleability.

5.) It has been my experience that most collections can be appraised within an hour after which time a fair market price for the entire collection will be established. If you (the seller) agree to that price and the result is a direct, same day purchase by Durbano Stamps then our appraisal fee (if one was previously agreed to) is waived.

I trust that this information helps guide the non-collector in properly assessing potential buyers, getting appraisals, and then confidently selling their loved one's collection. If you have any questions concerning "What should I do with my inherited stamp collection" please contact Patrick Durbano directly. He can be reached at (416) 407-2422 or anytime by email at

We are members of the CSDA

As an active member of the Canadian Stamp Dealers Association, we adhere to all of the principles of fair trade. For more information on our Code of Conduct the website by clicking on this link (CSDA - Code of Ethics). Patrick Durbano is also a member of CSDA Executive Board of Directors.

Would you like to you have a stamp collection appraised? Contact us now.