One great way for stamp collecting enthusiasts to sell their more valuable stamps is by putting it on a stamp auction. Many, if not all of these have moved online for the ease of their customers.
The online auctions, at least some of them, have patterned themselves after eBay. Just about all of the features of an online auction that you would find there, you can also find at some of the stamp auction sites.
Some of the features that they have (not at all of the sites) are:
- Opportunities to view the item, with a brief description.
- A deadline – when does the auction on that particular stamp close.
- Various options to place a bid. Some of them will accept a bid in the following ways:
- By mail
- By airmail
- By e-mail
- By fax
There is usually a set minimum – bids below this price are not accepted.
- Registration at the site is necessary to place a bid, but most sites are secure.
- An estimate of the stamp’s value is often placed in the bid area, along with the value of the current bid. The highest bidder will get the stamp.
- Some of the stamp auctions will send an email to notify their registered members of upcoming auctions.
- The stamps are often divided into areas of the world, or by individual countries to make it easier to find what you are looking for. A few of them will allow you to search for a particular subject.
- Searches can be made for specific countries and stamps.
- Some websites deal with specific time – periods, for example, pre-WWII.
- Some of the auction houses also have special online catalogs that display rare and valuable stamps.
There are a number of websites that list the major auctions that are taking place, with a brief description of what they are selling. You can find one of them at: http://stampauctionnetwork.com.
One website of stamp auctions that claims to be the worlds biggest can be found at: http://www.sandafayre.com. They seem to have all the features that you would want at a stamp auction. They also claim to be the first that went online. While no single stamp auction can contain the stamps that everybody wants, it may not hurt to start here. Sandafayre deals with millions of stamps each week, and you can also find packages of stamps at a discount price – sorted by country or subject.