sjtwxgirl: I'm nearing completion of a major downsizing and change in focus for my former world wide collection. I'm keeping a number of areas that, perhaps not coincidentally, contain the most value out of my former collection. Like you, I did not go the eBay
route. My reason was wanting to make the transition as painless and time efficient as possible, meaning not having to deal with write-ups and shipping. And so many people are on eBay
, it would be difficult for some of my areas, to be disposed of, to rise above the crowd.
My down-sizing, which might not work for you, was to dispose of unwanted material in three ways: 1) auction houses 2) APS Stamp Store 3) donations to the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library for their fundraising auctions.
My France and colonies collection, which had around $12,500 Scott in value, went out through Rasdale early last year. I didn't get the price I really wanted, but was glad to be rid of the material. I have some higher priced items on consignment now for Michael Rogers Online, which is part of Kelleher. I have some sets and single items that will go to the APS Stamp Store right after Christmas, next month.
Everything else has gone to the Library, much of it fairly common material, but which can be hard to find. I've given 55 manila folders of single country album pages thus far; and will donate another 24-25 in early January so it is a 2020 tax year contribution.
Areas I've kept are: 1) Portugal & colonies (a specialty area) 2) US 3) British Commonwealth 4) German speaking areas 5) some select Eastern Europe, including Poland, a specialty area 6) a few select Latin America, including Mexico, another specialty area.
Geoff also has good advice, as in, don't rush into any decisions, know your material, and think about how best to sell it or otherwise dispose of it. In terms of selling to a dealer, I'll offer that the less work THEY have to do in analysis of your collection, the better for you. Hope this helps. Steve