cddstamps on stamps

my thoughts on stamps, stamp collecting, philately in general and maybe a few other topics !

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Collectors Buying With Confidence – Can I see all the stamps?

Hello again and welcome back to this new series.  Part III now and the questions is “ Should I ask for a scan of the stamps when I cannot see each stamp in a set of stamps?  The image below is typical of a listing of a set of stamps.

By now you all know my first answer, it is; it all depends……     many factors to consider here. I won’t repeat them all. But my first reaction, is Yes, ask for as scan.   I think it relevant to also put this in some sort of context.  Is the set you are looking at buying a set with a catalogue pricing of say over $10 USD?  Or lots more?  Is it Mint or Used.  How easy is it to get the set?  And so on.

I ask for a scan because I really do not want the hassle of finding a serious short or missing perf or crease in one stamp and  feeling a)  well my fault for not asking, or b) never mind it was cheap anyway, or c) am I really going to complain and send these back and ask for a refund?    I have done that only once I might add.


This is what you could unexpectedly receive.  Accident on the part of the seller, or a seller that did not know any better? We won’t speculate but we would not be happy with the purchase.

It happened to me, just once in a lovely set of 12 and yes it was the more expensive stamp that had the missing corner perf.  I did not send it back. I perhaps should have but felt it was my bad for not being more careful. 

There are no doubt readers saying no way would anyone list that set. Sadly there are.  So don’t be shy, ask for a scan of all the stamps.

Just one more example, something I only saw because I asked for a reverse scan.  I was looking to buy a set a few weeks ago.  I asked for a scan of the reverse because not all the stamps were clearly shown. I just wanted to make sure no obvious creases or bends or missing or short perfs. The set was described simple as Mint Never Hinged.  As it happens I received the reverse and all the stamps were with full perfs but the reverse was not what I expected.

I hope it shows in this blog sized image.  It was very clear in the image I was sent.  This looks very much like some degree of light bleaching along the top of all three stamps. Over exposure to sunlight perhaps? Impossible to know for sure but this does not qualify, as I see the image, as “without faults”. 

So, ask for the scan and buy with confidence.

Another Collectors buying with Confidence topic tomorrow.  I hope you have time to join me.

 Michael …. Please visit my online store    where I think you will see quality and appropriately described stamps.  



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