04 September 2018
Tony Lester started in the stamp trade in the early 1970s working as an administrator for Harmers auctioneers
‘I had previously done some part-time work for Warwick and Warwick,’ Tony remembers, ‘and after six months at Harmers, Warwick and Warwick offered me a full-time job valuing and describing stamps. After a couple of years experience there I left to start Mercia International Auctions Ltd with a couple of other people. In 1980 at the height of the boom the other two left the stamp trade and I carried on the auctions under my own name, which I have done ever since.’
For Tony, membership of the PTS is vital to his business as it gives his customers confidence.
‘It shows we conduct our business in a respectable and honest manner,’ he says, ‘and that we can pay our bills!’
As one of the many PTS members who offers a valuation service, Tony is always keen to give advice to people wanting to know how much their stamps are worth.
‘Anyone wishing to have a collection valued should try to find out as much as possible about the dealer they are contacting by looking at their website, or by word of mouth,’ Tony advises. ‘We usually give two valuations, one being an estimate for sale through one of our auctions, and the other an offer for immediate purchase, which gives any prospective vendor a choice to suit their circumstances.’