Indeed I do collect stamps - thanks for alerting me @Kookaburracollector
@AndrewSL76 - Firstly, I’m sorry for your loss. Regarding your situation, it is not dissimilar to one I found myself in many many years back. I will admit I initially started out with the hope of finding a treasure (what do you expect from a school kid?) 😃. However, I soon realized I was enjoying the trip back into history so much more fun than trying to research valuations of the stamps. My interest had always been in British and Portuguese Colonial history. Philately was a treasure trove of delight for me.
I eventually found out my stamp collection was worth nothing more than the sentimental value I attributed to it. Unfortunately, that is the case of most inherited collections. But the years of fun I had poring over minute details of my own stamps during college days (when I had time to spare for such leisures) was the greatest reward.
If you search for “bulk lots” on eBay, you will find people selling hundreds of stamps in cartons (I’m not exaggerating) for almost throwaway prices.
If you have the time to go through the FDCs and older individual stamps, go for it. You may be one of the few lucky ones who actually finds a gem. If not, most dealers will offer you a fixed amount for the lot, or they would charge you a fee for going over the collection and valuing it.
Stanley Gibbons is indeed the authority on stamps but as with anything collectible, the value comes from what people are willing to pay. Except in the case of the famous rarities (like the Penny Black), it’s hit or miss.
You may actually have more luck with the newer FDCs like the Harry Potter issues because of the fan following. I do have a bunch of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit issues because I’m a Tolkien fan, but I knew when I bought them they wouldn’t ever have much of a resale value above what I paid for them, if even that. As with other collectibles, the last two decades have seen an explosion of material which has saturated the markets.
You can PM me if you want to talk some more (if you have pics of any colonial issues, I’d be happy to see them too) 😀