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Mailing Address: P.O Box 679, Sunapee, NH  03782  Phone: 617.686.0288 www.postalnet.com/dontocher

August, 2017


Notes on Philatelic Properties

 Preparing for an Appraisal 

There is a basic rule in the business: If the collector didn't spend much money to acquire the material, then it probably isn't worth much today. "When" it was acquired is of little importance.

The “time” it takes to conduct an appraisal is difficult to predict. However, if the collector has been a serious one, the material will be well organized as to country, time frame, topic, etc. This will greatly simplify the effort by the appraiser.

 It is helpful to sort any loose stamps & covers by country, and within each country by used and unused condition. This will save the appraiser time and thus save you on the appraisal fee. Modern unused postage (after 1950) should be separated into scraps (partial sheets, singles, etc.) and sheets according to denomination and the face value in each category should be totaled. Please note: Because these stamps are so plentiful and are of no value to commercial users (who wants to lick 10 or more stamps to make up a 49+ct rate?), dealers are now paying only 50% of face for these stamps.

Other categories often found in philatelic estates are First Day (FDCs) and Event Covers. Most FDCs involving issues since the 1950s were produced by publishers that made them available to subscribers at a fixed fee above face value. Event covers (new landmarks, airports, etc) were made available as souvenirs at no or nominal charge to attendees at the events. The supply of both categories far exceed the demand for same.

Sometimes we will recommend donating all or a portion of a collection. Organizations that accept donations:

Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library

 Spellman Museum

 Boys Town, NE

ARIE Foundation
Old Bethpage, NY

Veterans State Nursing Home
2200 Kings Hwy, PMB 3-L #27
Port Charlotte, FL 33980-5760

Collectibles Appraisal Terms


My general fee is $125 for the first hour and $75/hour thereafter or the sum of $125 plus 3% of the appraised value (fair market value or FMV), whichever is greater. Travel expenses are extra for other than local clients (if by auto @ $0.50/mile). If an initial review of your collection yields an appraisal of less than $250, there will be no charge except for expenses.

 If in the initial review, I find that your collection is worth more than $250 (and you have agreed to the terms of this agreement), I will provide an estimate of my effort and proceed with the appraisal. My complete appraisal will state the FMV and the price (wholesale value) I would pay for that portion of your collection that I choose to buy. If I offer to buy all of your material and you decide to sell it to me at that price then there will be no appraisal fee (and no expense reimbursement). The appraisal of items I do not purchase will be based on the FMV alone.

 If I decide not to offer to buy the collection or you decide not to sell me the collection, then my fee will be as stated above and will be based on the FMV. I will provide you with a written summary of the appraisal within 5 working days.

 If I offer to buy a portion of your material, the fee will be prorated.

  Acting as Agent for Significant Holdings

Sometimes the best way to handle collections containing items with significant value is for me to act as the owner's agent to arrange for private treaty sales and/or consignment to public auction. I have favorable relationships with several leading philatelic auction firms because I was the agent for the estate of the late Robert L. Markovits. Sales of his holdings realized approximately $1 million in 2016. My terms for this service will be made available when appropriate.

Don Tocher

Agreed: _________________________________________ Date:________________



Agreed: _________________________________________ Date:________________


Don Tocher - U.S. Classics
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