Robert Murray Stamp Shop, Edinburgh
The vast majority of valuations we carry out are free. These are where people arrange to bring their stamps, covers, collections, or accumulations in to  our shop  for us to have a quick look. It is strongly recommended that an appointment is made (tel. 0131 552 1220, Thursdays and Fridays are preferred), although this can sometimes be done there and then. [Why you should make an appointment - see below.]  It provides the client with an indication of their property's value, as well as some idea as to how it could be sold, whether we would be interested in buying it ourselves, or it might be best sold through auction, and so on. In the first instance, depending on the type and quantity of material, such a valuation would possibly be only approximate, and would not be written, but in most cases it satisfies the initial requirements.
Should an offer be required for us to buy, or if an approximation is required of the likely price in auction, then no charge is normally raised.
If a written valuation is needed (the commonest reasons for this are for the winding-up of an estate, or for insurance, although many other reasons occur) then we would provide a printed valuation, and a fee would be raised (see below). 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.
If you have to travel any distance to visit our shop, you should telephone beforehand. If you are unable to visit our premises, and intend to send material to us, you must contact us in advance. Please do not send us lists, photocopies, or scans, by post or by email, 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 client's homes or offices, for written valuations for insurance or legal purposes, etc.)
Visits are charged at of 45 for the first hour, plus 35 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 charged either on the basis of time (same rates), or very occasionally on a percentage of the value (2.5% of the first 100., 1.75% of the next 900, and 1.25% thereafter). We would confirm the basis for the fee before starting the valuation.
>>> Virtually all initial inspections carried out at our shop are done free. <<<

Robert Murray has been doing professional valuations for over forty 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 Tuesday 30 January 2018.  Copyright Robert Murray.
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Why you should make an appointment;
If you make an appointment to see Mr Murray, he will not be out, he will not be having his lunch, he will not be on holiday, he will not be hurried as he's trying to meet a deadline for somebody else, and you will not be stuck in a queue of other people also wanting valuations. Please make an appointment !  It helps us to plan our time, and it saves you from making a wasted journey.
Please remember that if you just turn up without an appointment, there is a fair chance that a valuation will not be possible, and that you will have to come back another time.
On occasion, a same-day appointment can be arranged; at other times the diary can be full a whole month ahead. So you should make arrangements as far in advance as possible.

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..