READ this if you are planning to sell OR selling a collection of Malaysia First Day Covers and you do not know where to start!
This year is probably the year where I received on a bi-weekly basis someone wanting to sell their collection or their inheritance. It pains me as it indicates a gradual loss of the old guard. Most of their questions revolve around how to dispose of the collection at a good price.
Let me try and answer this question in hopefully can be a reference article. I will only focus on Malaysia First Day Covers (FDCs) as I do not collect stamps nor anything mint. I also am not able to advice on prices of foreign FDCs but the concepts are the same.
- Good price is very subjective – it is willing seller – willing buyer basis.
- Good price is determined from the DEMAND (most important! Even if it is rare and no one wants, there is no point in saying rare).
- Before you proceed further, please read this page until the end: https://myfdc.me/about/malaysia-first-day-cover-market-guidance/
(b) How to sell?
I will give you a rare insider look into pricing and what you can expect. Hopefully you do NOT make the SAME mistake as so many others who would not want to read nor listen.
- Fastest way is to sell in bulk to a dealer. Expect extremely dismal prices. Dealers have to hold the stocks and spend time cataloguing and listing the items on platforms. To give you an idea, FDCs between 1990 – 2010 can be bought from dealers at between RM 3.80 to RM 5.00 each in flea markets (these exclude MS FDCs – what is this? TOLD you to read item (a) 3. first right?). Thus dealers will take in bulk at between RM 1.00 to RM 2.00 per cover and they hope to net the big fishes of higher value FDCs.
2. List on professional platforms such as eBay or Shopee. Expect nightmare on dealing with wide range of difficult customers, platform fees and trying to understand how to ship out….
3. List quickly on Facebook Groups. This is currently today’s best and fastest way. I will elaborate on this.
Selling FDCs on Facebook Groups:
- Find an active Facebook Group that has collectors of MALAYSIA Stamps and First Day Cover.
- If the Group title is everything in the world, just skip it.
- Check if the Group is active. Lots of members do not equal active. Many are just passive observers or just there. Check activity. Skip Groups that you sell lots of junk and general chatter. Use your reasoning to know what group to join.
- Check the rules of the Group or risk being kicked out immediately. DO NOT SPAM with trying to sneak in a foreign FDCs unless the Group accepts anything under the sun.
- The fastest is to list ONE PHOTO and ONE Prices + Postage per item. Check Group rules on posting. If you have a lot why not open an Album in your own Facebook and Share the Album?
- You can also sell by lots e.g. “Year 1990 lot” or “Animals lot” etc.
- Here is the main weakness of those who want to sell… the fear of selling below optimum price. Remember it is not a stock market and you probably do not want it anymore. I have provided market price guidance by year again in item (a) 3. Go to the year and READ! Reading is a very important aspect – NOT asking questions that can be answered by reading.
- If you are the type that is so concerned of not being able to extract maximum price, open a BID! Put your starting price at the price you think you will not regret parting with and then put an Increment and the END bid time and date. Open ended Bids can be just an estimated closing review time and date and you can end when you are really happy with the price. This is the BEST WAY but…. you need time at least once a week to site and review the offers and provide acceptance.
- If you are willing to accept offers from foreign countries, check that you have a convenient payment gateway such as PayPal. There is a charge from PayPal about 15% (private individuals) for low transactions (it is made up of a fixed charge and a %) and also a loss on foreign exchange of about 2%. So just be warned. It is also a pain to convert to Ringgit and transferring to your own local bank account. So I suggest that unless you are used to foreign transactions, leave out this space.
(c) Shipping out?
How much do I charge for shipping?
If you want to rip off your customer from shipping you can charge a bomb and the desperados might pay. Anyway here is the guidance:
- Typically about 8 FDCs can be shipped together with a cardboard in front and back with a plastic closing everything for about RM 5.00. Use a good cardboard and NOT those corrugated cartons as it can be easily bent! You have been warned.
- Heavier items can be sent using this table: https://myfdc.me/2020/01/31/new-postal-rates-from-01-february-2020/
- International mail is as follows: https://myfdc.me/2021/10/31/2021-pos-malaysia-international-air-mail-new-postal-shipping-rates-and-flexipack-international-rates/
- Set a shipping frequency such as once a weekend. Unless you live next door to a post office, you really cannot spend time and money going to a post office to send out only a few items a day.
- For COD charge them an upfront fee so that if they do ghosting (never turn up) you will not loose your petrol, toll and TIME! You have been warned. The new generation love to do ghosting sometimes at a last moment notice, so the frustration is the time wasted and also the money spent.
- If using PosLaju – use Pre-Paid for a fast and convenient way.
- Always send with Tracking number.
(d) Bursting your bubble!
Yes, I need to ground you first before you have grandiose ideas of a valuable collection. Again read (a) 3. links to the respective years. Here we go and get your tissue out:
- If your collection that you plan to sell is a SODA with KL cancellation (cop), they are very common and only appeal to the generic collector.
- If you have badly toned collection, be prepared to junk them unless it is super rare.
- Years 1990 onwards are very common years and the prices tend to be low.
- 1998 – 2001 are the commonest years. There are so many of them, only a few FDCs are still sought after but with low demand.
- If you have Pre-Malaysia, the privately printed FDCs vary quite widely. I am unable to provide any guidance. Use eBay cautiously.
After you have read all the above and do your homework (you really only need to spend about a day reading, that is all, and you will know all the necessary information), you can begin to dispose of the collection confidently. If you need more information, use the SEARCH box at the top. Unlike most websites whenever you click Search and garbage comes out, I have spent time cataloguing and tagging each and every item so that it can be searched quite accurately.
Only after you have done all the above and still need help email me.
I still buy Straits Settlements, North Borneo, Sarawak, Malaya, Singapore (Malaya), Pre-Malaysia and Malaysia (pre-1975) FDCs. I do not enjoy doing a night market negotiation (pasar malam). just put photos and a price and if it is fair, deal done. I have been buying from those who have stopped collecting FDCs at the price that they want. I am a collector and rarely do the items get thrown out into another auction unless it does not fit my collection. I DO NOT buy stamps, so please DO NOT contact me for stamps.
Good luck in value extraction!