Buying and Selling Stamps
Stamp shows can vary wildly from small "neighborhood" type shows with half a dozen dealers (and only a few more buyers) to mega-shows with hundreds of dealers from all around the world, and thousands of attendees.
You should definitely visit stamp shows. It is a chance to actually see stock, and often to visit with out of town dealers that you probably wouldn't otherwise meet. Who knows what treasures they might have lurking around in their boxes! And, also, who knows what else they might not have left behind - talk to the dealers and tell them your interests, and maybe they might surprise you and tell you "oh, you know, I've got half a collection back home that sounds just like what you would want, I just didn't bring it with me because I haven't sorted through it yet". If you're the type of collector that enjoys sorting through and searching for surprises, why don't you make the dealer an offer for the bulk lot of stamps unsorted? The benefit to the dealer is that he can quickly turn around and sell the stamps he has purchased without having to spend much time sorting through them - sure, maybe there is a Scott #1 hidden in amongst everything else, but most likely there isn't, and if he can just quickly make an easy profit on stamps that he probably doesn't know much about, and then recycle his money and buy more stamps and then make more money again and again, then he is happy.
You can also use stamp shows as a way of finding potential purchasers of your spare stamps. Talk to dealers, even dealers that don't seem to have any interest in Russian stamps. It is possible that one or more of them has been approached by someone just like yourself who has said "any time you have a chance to buy a Russian collection, I'll take it from you". In such a case, the dealer would usually keep only a very small margin for himself, because he has a guaranteed sale, and this means that, worst case scenario, you've found a quick and easy way to dispose of a bunch of spare stamps, and best case scenario, you've found a good and fair way to sell stamps on to another enthusiast with only a small dealer margin separating you from the buyer.
Lastly, keep an eye open at stamp shows for other people that alsoshow an interest in Russian material. Talk to them - maybe you can end up doing some direct trading with them.
This page last modified on May 15, 2010