Hello, I was talking to a friend this afternoon about IT system Health Checks and it got me thinking, I should check out some auction sites again and see what the stamp quality is like these days. I have a few sellers I watch occassionally..only because in the past they have put up some real garbage. But tonight I have been pretty impressed and seen very few poor quality or poorly described stamps. This is good news for collectors and I am very happy to see this.
I cannot be too "all good news" can I - GOM that I am hee hee :-) so a few words of advice.
1) Please don't only rely on the sellers description. Many sellers have absolutely no clue, and just because they have hundreds or thousands of sales to their name is not proof they know what they are selling.
2) Study the picture and if in doubt ask for a large scan.. of the front AND back of the stamp(s). Read first point again because if you dont get the scan don't bid. You are likley wasting your money.
3) Finally, yes it is ok I guess to buy single stamps which are being listed at 5c or 7c, or some such apparently very low amount, but remember you can probably get these for free from a decent trade..... the stamps I see listed for these sums I give away in the hundreds. In fact I think I gave away to some of these sellers the stamps they are now selling, individually selling each stamp that is. Oh the joy of free enterprise.
FYI, I sent 100+ stamps to a letter from a child the other day, from my Children's Corner Box.. the letter I got was a child's handwriting and I am hoping I wasn't being conned because I saw many of the same stamps listed for 5c and 10c. My stamps will not have arrived yet so this is just coincidence, but it goes to show there are sellers out there doing it for themselves and only themselves. hey that is ok too.. but that doesn't mean you have to help them does it. Look for alternative sources rather than paying over the top for the odd stamp, is my advice.
4) I add this. Is the seller a member of the IPDA - Internet Philatelic Dealers Association????? If not why not. You be the judge.
Oh and the stamps I showed you above..... Lovely selection .. NOT you tell me what is wrong with them..
I'll send these stamps (from my collection spares but without the faults) for free to the first 4 of you with correct answers. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org :-)
Enjoy your stamps... Michael