Robert Murray Stamp Shop, Edinburgh

Our arrangements for carrying out valuations have by necessity been changed due to Covid.  

There are two basic types of valuation we carry out;

{a} Quick �informative� valuations These are aimed at people who have collections or items and want to know simply if there is any value to them, what level of value, and if there is some value perhaps to get some basic advice as to how they might be sold.
This type of valuation is carried out at our shop, only by prior appointment. There is a fee of £12 (£10 + v.a.t.) which covers ten minutes of Mr Murray�s time. This charge is payable at the time of booking the appointment. If the client fails to attend for their appointment the fee is not refundable (failing to attend at the correct time counts as failing to attend !). As long as an appointment is cancelled or changed with at least four hours notice the fee can be refunded or rolled over.

If the material being inspected is of higher value, Mr Murray will advise what further options are available.
Most people are surprised at how much can be seen in ten minutes, but if more time is required we will say so and make it clear in advance whether any further payment is required.
As we work towards semi-retirement, this type of valuation has been discontinued.

{b} Formal written valuations. These are where a written valuation is required for insurance, or for Estate Confirmation (�probate� in England). These can be done at our shop or at the client�s premises, and the charge is normally simply based on the time taken, at £60 for the first hour and £54 per hour thereafter, plus any travelling and out-of-pocket expenses, plus v.a.t.
Our valuations are accepted by lawyers, insurance companies, courts of law, and H.M. Revenue & Customs. If you need an insurance valuation, you are advised to check with your insurers first to find out whether they have any special requirements.

How to contact us;
The best way to make an appointment is by telephone. Our principal number is 0131 552 1220 (secondary number 0131 478 7021). At the moment our phone is only answered at limited times, but these times are always in the lead message on our telephone answering machine, and are updated each week.
Arrangements can be made by email, but if you are looking for an appointment please give at least two or three options, as this increases the chance of us having something that will suit.

Lists, photocopies, and scans are of limited use. Please do not send them
without contacting us first to get our agreement that this would be worthwhile. (See explanation here.). It is not necessary to sort or list material before bringing it to us (explanation).
Any visits we make away from our own premises are normally charged according to our scale of fees below.
In the first instance, we are always happy to give general or specific advice. 
Stamps; all stamps of any country, plus covers/envelopes, pre-stamp postal material, etc.
Cards; postcards (used or unused), cigarette cards, trade cards
Coins; all coins of any country and age, including bullion coins
Medals; military, civilian, or commercial (also medallions)
Banknotes; obsolete or current, from any country

(for visits to clients' homes or offices, for written valuations for insurance or legal purposes, etc.)
Visits are charged at of £60 for the first hour, plus £54 per hour thereafter (including travelling time), plus out-of-pocket expenses and transport costs, all plus v.a.t.
Valuations on our own premises are normally charged on that same time basis. If there is an exception we would confirm the basis for the fee before starting the valuation.

Robert Murray has been doing professional valuations for over forty-five years. His approach is realistic and practical, and with that much experience, he can get through some jobs very quickly while still being accurate. Simply, he can usually provide a valuation (for example) in a couple of hours where others might spend a whole day but be no more accurate. Being involved in retail business, as well as being an auctioneer, keeps him in touch with genuine and up-to-date market conditions.

Last updated Friday 1 September 2023.  Copyright Robert Murray.
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Is it worth sorting and/or listing material before bringing it in to us ?
Many people ask if they should sort their collection or accumulation before bringing it to let us see it. We would normally advise against it, but it is not clear cut. Here's some points to consider;
{a} Many of the general collections and mixed lots which go through our auctions are sold complete (i.e. it might be a carton with a main collection in albums, plus unsorted items, packets of duplicates, and so on). Most of the people who want to buy such a lot are doing so because they want the fun of sorting through it themselves. If it looks like it has been totally sorted, some of the potential attraction is lost.
{b} Some of the cheaper stamps we buy are sold in our inexpensive mixed packets. If you start with a box with a kilo of loose common world stamps, then sort it into dozens of envelopes, we would then have to tip it out of all these envelopes and mix it up again to bring it back to the style in which we can sell them. This time costs money, so we would actually pay less for such a lot because it has been sorted.
{c} If we were looking at lists, and see something that looks promising, we still have to see the item itself to confirm that it is properly identified, that it is genuine, and that it is in good condition.
{d} We like to be as helpful as possible, but this often depends on us being allowed to work in the way that is most efficient to us !
{e} If there's a case where sorting or rearranging a collection would be financially beneficial, we can point this out, giving the owner the choice - but in the knowledge that it would be worthwhile, and what the potential gain might be..