kiloware central

Thursday, November 16, 2006

money for nothing?

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Not quite, but getting your supporters to send in all the stamps they get in their mail is a fairly easy way to gain extra funds for your charity - if you do it right!

What collectors want is untouched and unpicked material - that is stamps that are sold on EXACTLY as received. This way they make the finds and are willing to pay much more for regular quality sources. I pay around 4 or 5 times what other dealers do for material like this - one charity alone has raised over £60,000 in the last four years just from the stamps they have sold to me!

Most dealers who buy in kiloware (stamps still on paper) pay around 50p to £1 per kilogram. For the right material (which just means following my guidelines below) I pay £4 per kilogram at least, sometimes more, and repay your postage on sendings of 10kg of more (or on 1kg lots). Yes, this is just for regular British (and a few foreign) stamps that we see on letters and parcels every day.

Now for those guidelines! There must be NOTHING taken out, not a few pretty stamps for your own or children's albums, not that nice mint booklet that somebody's dropped in or those few interesting items from the Falkland Islands ... ideally the stamps should be on single paper (just the front of the envelope) and cut carefully to within 1/4" of the perforations. Stamps should then be weighed into either 1kg or 10kg bags and sold on (preferably to me!) as quickly as possible.

You're probably now thinking - how are we going to get all these stamps, and where are we going to store them? As a charity you should have many supporters only too ready to send stamps in, you need to get the message to them first through your house magazine, newsletter or if you run shops through a well displayed and presented notice with somewhere to put the stamps (preferably transparent). Even a small charity can run a national campaign via radio/TV especially if they are looking for funding for a specific telegenic project (with the 'ahhh' factor!) For storage you should have some members with a spare room, dry/clean outbuilding or such like. Or a newer idea is that you turn over collection/payment (but not marketing/publicising) to a third party, have your doners send direct leaving all the storage/admin work to them.

Over the next few weeks I'll be looking more closely at specific elements mentioned above so you get a clearer picture of how this works. Of course I may be teaching most of you how to suck eggs!


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