As with all stamps, the value of U.S. postage stamps is determined by supply, demand, and condition.
Almost every stamp dealer in the United States has had something like this happen. There is a phone call from somebody who has inherited a collection of US stamps. These stamps are in full sheets, well protected, and in great condition.
Some of these stamps go back to the 1940s. It is not unreasonable for the non-collector who has inherited these stamps to believe the stamps are worth a lot of money.
In most instances they are not, and a dealer won’t even pay the face value of these stamps, meaning the value the stamps were purchased for from the post office when they were new.
How could this be?
U.S. stamp prices are driven by the laws of supply and demand. The supply of these stamps, because of the massive quantities printed and the large number “tucked away for a rainy day” by collectors over the years, means that supply exceeds demand. This only has one result.. a relatively low price for these promising looking postage stamps.
But there are exceptions. Higher value stamps can command a premium price, such as certain airmail stamps. By all means take these stamps to an accredited, reputable dealer and see what he or she has to say… there may be some pleasant surprises.
As a rule of thumb, don’t get your hopes up… US postage stamp prices for stamps of the past sixty years have not appreciated much in value.
But what if your stamps are older? If they are on envelopes, they could be quite valuable.
To find out more about U.S. postage stamp prices, take your stamps to a nearby, reputable dealer. Stamp dealers who are members of the American Stamp Dealers Association are bound to a strict code of conduct. You can find an ASDA member here.