Have you found an old personal or business correspondence?
Old envelopes (with or without the letters), postcards etc?
Do you know where some is?
You could turn that lucky find into some serious cash!
I buy old envelopes (with or without the original letters), and postcards that went through the mail. Boxes of these are
often found in business archives, estates or attics, or it may be a portion of a stamp collector's collection. (We also buy entire stamp collections.)
What looks like worthless paper to some people can become real cash in your pocket!
Saved from the dump!
I recently bought a business correspondence that was just about to be sent to the dump. These envelopes (with no letter contents) had been accumulated
for years by an employee of a professional organization whose members sent in their dues from all over the world. There were ten big boxes, and the new management
wanted the space! Lucky for them, they called me.
I paid $300 per box for 10 boxes -- $3000 out of nowhere for the lucky owners! Needless to say,
they were pretty happy!
Great-aunt Martha's stamp collection
A fellow called me. His great-aunt Martha had left him her stamp collection. She had been very proud of it. He'd shown it
to a couple of stamp dealers, and the opinion was unanimous: nothing in it that couldn't be replaced for a few cents a stamp. Martha had a lot of fun with it,
but never spent any money on it. It turns out her joy was corresponding with other collectors around the world and trading stamps. I asked, "Are there
any of the old letters?" Answer was, "Yes, there is a shoebox of envelopes from the years 1920s to 1950s, but no letters in them. I showed them to the
other dealers and they said they weren't worth anything because there were no rare stamps on them."
After inspection, I paid $1,000 for that box. The stamp collection was handed down to the next generation to have fun with!
Some other recent purchases
Paid $175 for this box of envelopes from a family correspondence (no letters included), mostly from Europe in the 1950s.
Paid $650 for this box of special commemorative airmail envelopes from the 1920s-30s.
Paid $2000 for this pile of boxes filled with envelopes from foreign countries (no letters).
Part of a large First Day Cover collection for which I paid $9000 !
Value depends on the time period it was from, the countries it came from,
the nature of the correspondence and of course the quantity and overall condition. There are no "rules" that can
It takes years of experience to figure out what collectors are looking for, but that's what I do!
I will buy a shoebox full (of the right stuff) or a room full.
It can be quite surprising how fast the value can add up for what looks like worthless paper to most people.
Envelopes or letters, which?
I am frequently asked, "Are you interested in the envelopes or the letters inside?" The answer is, "Both".
95% of the time, the letters are of no consequence, so it doesn't matter if they are there or not.
If they are included, they add a feeling of "completeness" to the package of envelope and letter, which can help the value a little.
In these cases, the main part of the value comes from the envelope itself -- where it is from, how it was used in the mail etc.
Sometimes, though, the letters themselves have historical significance -- eyewitness accounts of important
historical events, soldiers' letters from the US Civil War, letters from significant historical personages. In these cases,
the letters are generally more important to the value than the envelope.
I frequently travel to buy.
I am in the Kingston, Ontario, Canada area, but regularly travel within a fairly large radius to view worthwhile
properties. (See map below). Arrangements can be made for travel outside this range for the right material.
If you don't own it, but know where it is,
I will pay finders' fees
for introductions that
result in purchases.
How to contact me.
I will need some basic information when you contact me.
I need this even to let you know whether it's worth my
time to make an appointment to see it.
I need to know as much of the following as possible:
Turn that worthless paper into cash today!
- approximately how many boxes and size of boxes (or total weight)?
- when was it accumulated or collected? (for example 1920s-1950s or 1970s-1980s? Check the postmarks!)
- country of origin, or if it is from all over the world, what areas are represented? (Europe, Africa, Asia etc)
- if it is a business correspondence, are they mostly long business size envelopes, or smaller personal size envelopes?
- do the envelopes or cards have stamps on them or postage meter imprints?
- what is the general condition? (If there is any mold, water damage, humidity damage or rodent damage I need to know. It means that many of the
items will be worthless, but some may be salvagable.)