cddstamps on stamps

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

Friday, September 11, 2020

Hello  This is the second in my new series of articles. I hope you find this interesting and useful both as a collector and if you sell on the internet then perhaps this will  help you make sure you always show the correct image of the stamp you are selling.

Caveat emptor,  is the theme of this series of articles.  This is one of my own experiences and mistakes.  I listed the stamp shown above in my shop.  Major failing on my part. Why? because there is a little black dot showing. Can you spot it? It shows in the enlarged image. 

 Fig 1 Above:  original scan with close in view - but nota flaw of even uncatalogued flaw just a black spot on the stock card  


 Fig 2  scan of the reverse of the stamp  in stack card and then when stock card cleaned. 

Well the customer did and even though the listing description of the stamp, including words and SG catalogue number to make it very clear what the stamp was and what it’s condition was, the customer assumed it was a flaw that  I, as the seller, had missed, and one he could pick up really cheap, even though no such flaw is listed! 

Stamp purchased, stamp delivered and grumpy buyer sends grumpy message saying I did not send the stamp I showed for sale. Buyer beware!   Yes, and Seller beware! Even if the buyer sort of was wrong because of the detail in my listing description, one might claim the buyer was technically correct.

Yes my error. I refunded, and apologised and explained and wrote off the stamp.  Sometimes we have to experience things to learn things.

How do I avoid this again. Well I now have a strict practice of scanning both the front and the reverse of the stamp if it is a) a mint copy and b) if it has a cat value of usually $5 to 10  or more.

When the reverse is scanned any spot of dirt or dust from the stock sheet immediately shows up.  (Fig 2 shows the black spot on the stock sheet not on the stamp. And, I scan at 600 dpi so any tiny black, or whatever colour, spot shows up clearly.   If I see such a mark when I see the scan of the reverse a quick check will show me if there is mark also showing on the face of the stamp.  I rescan the stamp and we have a correct image for our potential buyers. And yes, I do try to make sure my stock cards are VERY clean, but specs of dirt and or dust can happen and can make an image difference.

For collectors, if the stamp has a relatively decent  selling price ask for a scan of the face and the reverse if one is not given and if a “black spot” is seen on an image and you are unsure of the stamp quality. Ask for a new scan to reconfirm that the “black spot”  or whatever the mark is that you can see,  is either a) a flaw, b) perhaps a piece of dust. or c) a bad mark on the face of the stamp or d) even a mark on the stock card.



Here is one more example. This happened to me only a few days ago. 
Because I scan at 600dpi when it came to crop and save this stamp image  I  noticed a slight tinge of red on the stamp.(Fig 3 Top)   A close look showed me there was actually some red ink on the stock card.   Rescanned the stamp (Fig 4 Lower) and although it needs careful viewing the revised image is the correct image of the stamp.  This is not an expensive stamp of course but that red mark could well have deterred a potential buyer.  A useful  tip for sellers  perhaps?   

You are using a camera to scan your stamp?   Hmmm…   perhaps that is not  the best for your collectors. Just a thought.  And  now I have another topic to write about – camera images -  buyer beware on this topic.

 Have a brilliant and philatelic weekend -- Stay safe and safely enjoy your philately    

Michael and at   our shop here   Hope to see you :-) 


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