Hello, I have been thinking what to write about for a few days now. I thought about perforations, about printing techniques, stamps designers and about grading stamps.
I have long been a sometimes (ok, most times) critical voice about the quality of stamps being sold at auction by the non collector and amateur (yes very amateur) sellers.
I found this web site. I thought I would share it with you as it really does explain everything so very well.
grading and condition
As for quality. I found this listed on an auction site. Described as VFU.
Now read the link above and tell me if this is VFU. Oh! and tell me, should the seller be told he / she is misrepresenting the quality / grade of the stamp.
Interesting thought :-)
As far as I am concerned I will always look carefully at the item being sold and make my own judgment, I will not rely on the sellers description. And, I will often write and ask for a larger scan and a scan of the reverse of the stamp.
Of course, I also look to see if the seller is a member of an accredited organization / association, like for example the Internet Philatelic Dealers Association IPDA. It is a small Association with members across the UK, Canada, the US, Europe and here in Australia. It’s members largely run their businesses selling on the internet and are committed to selling accurately described stamps on the Internet.
As you know from reading my previous postings, anybody can list a stamp on an online auction and anybody can bid. Whether the person listing knows what they are doing – maybe inadvertently listing a stamp as something better than it is, or deliberately listing a stamp as something it is not, is one thing, but if the buyer does not have the knowledge to understand what he or she is buying then buyers will be taken advantage of. And from what I see there are many sellers on the internet only to pleased to take advantage of you.
A genuine seller will not want that to happen. A member of the IPDA will not want that to happen. Oh, and don’t for a minute think that just because someone says they have been a member of some countries philatelic organization for 35 years it makes them a good seller. Maybe they were a collector and now have decided to offload their stamps one at a time or whatever the case. Controversial? sure I am. I want you to start thinking and sharing this advice with your friends for your own advantage.
Recognise a dealer seller rather than a “oh I think I will sell my old man’s stamps on eBay” seller. Anyway. I hope you find the link above useful. Comments? :-) Best wishes. Enjoy your stamps. ....MIchael