Frequently Asked Questions

Consigning & Selling Your Collection


Will you come to my house to take a look at my stamp collection?


Depending on the size and value of a collection, we are always prepared to travel to view collections. However, we first require that images or an inventory be submitted before we make travel arrangements.


I’m not familiar with postage stamps; how do I know what to take photos of?


When submitting photographs of a stamp collection, we generally recommend starting with the oldest stamps. Additionally if any stamps are accompanied by certificates or receipts, this can tell us a great deal about a collection. We are able to tell a lot about a collection from just a few photos, so there’s no need to photograph every single stamp at first—we’ll let you know if there’s anything we’d like to see more of.


I want to move forward with the auction process. How do I get my stamp collection to you?


We generally prefer that all consignments be sent to our office via USPS or FedEx. Please note that all shipments must be discussed beforehand, and we do not accept unsolicited material for auction. We carry private insurance through Hugh Wood, Inc. for all incoming shipments. A member of our team will be more than happy to walk you through further details for shipping a collection.


I’ve done some research and I think I have a (insert rare stamp). Can you tell me if it’s genuine?


We highly recommend that all questionable stamps be sent to an independent third-party in order to determine their identity. Many rare stamps look incredibly similar to common stamps, and the difference between a $1 stamp and a $10,000 stamp may only be discernible to experts. We are more than happy to offer advice on where a stamp should be sent for certification.


How much does it cost to consign to H.R. Harmer?


For each consignment, a commission is agreed upon depending on a number of factors (including the value of the collection and how much work is required to bring it to auction). Once we’ve had a chance to review your material we are more than happy to discuss commission further.


How valuable do my stamps have to be for you to sell them in an auction?


We do not have a fixed consignment minimum. Typically single items must have a market value greater than $100 and collections a value greater than $1,000 for us to be able to include them in one of our auctions. With that being said, we are committed to providing our customers with as wide a variety of interesting and attractive material as possible and we are always open to discussing the sale of properties of any size.


I have a stamp that was owned by Franklin Roosevelt and sold by H.R. Harmer. Is it worth anything?


In 1946 our firm was selected to sell the collection of the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt over a series of four auctions. Many of Roosevelt’s stamps were sold in large collections, which were typically bought by dealers (such as Gimbels department store) and resold. This allowed collectors of modest means to purchase a stamp that had been owned by the president. Today, such stamps from Roosevelt’s collection do carry a premium but are generally not worth huge sums of money.



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