cddstamps on stamps

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

Friday, October 16, 2020


What’s in an Image Part III?

Hello and welcome to Part VI of my series Caveat emptor. I have talked previously about the theme, “what’s in an image”.  I have one more example to show on this. It concerns showing an image of each and every stamp when there are multiple copies available of the stamp being sold.

Let me explain.   You see a Mint Never Hinged copy of Scott  268  (SG 494) listed for sale.   This rather nice and very collectible stamp will fill that gap in your  GB George VI collection.  But when you look carefully you see the listing says Qty 2 . The image you see is nice, well centered  and while only the front of the stamp is shown  you think yes the price is right let's buy it.  If Mint Never Hinged it must be clean on the reverse as well.

Buyer beware,.  What do you get when your order arrives?  Do you get the stamp shown above on the left of the image which was the one you saw listed or the one on the right?  Maybe only small differences but none the less not exactly what you thought you were buying.  Many sellers will say   words to the effect “as good as the image shown or better”.  This is often is used when the  stamp is a used copy.     Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I am reminded and what is good quality to one eye may not be the same to another.

But let’s just reflect on the stamps above. The right hand image is not as well centered  and at the bottom right corner there is a fractionally short perf.  Very pedantic to see this but maybe you really do like full perfs on your Mint stamps.

Just one more example as below. I used a different right hand stamp this time to try to show a very minor blemish – very light yellowing in the gum.

 In my humble opinion, as a buyer you should see the  exact stamp you are buying on display. And, the more  the value the more justification there is for seeing the reverse of the stamp by the way.

I know this is regarded by some sellers as a debatable topic because they  argue there is  no reason to show a copy of every stamp  when the stamp is a modern stamp  and from a  Mint sheet for example. It is argued by many sellers, and well respected sellers I might add, that  when selling modern Mint  it is acceptable to  just list one image and  add “Qty 12” for example. On this point I am not going to disagree because in the majority of cases  I think this can be said to be true. But, and there can always be a but I think, one has to  look at the seller, are they known to you?, what is their reputation? and also  consider the stamp in question.   In my example the stamp was issued in 1948.  The printing quality was not,  back then, what is usually is today.

It is a question of buyer beware.  This article was provoked by something a friend of mine told me. I hope to show you a real life example  of this situation in the coming months.  I hope you keep reading and I welcome  “caveat emptor” topics to share.



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