cddstamps on stamps

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Collectors Buying With Confidence – Quantity ? Scan?

This question is one I have been asked a few times.   “A seller is offering the stamp I want for my collection.   But the listing shows they have multiple copies for sale. How do I know what I will receive if I buy one copy?”


In my previous article I commented,   “well it depends, on many factors”.    I will just say again. It depends. There are so many factors. Perhaps you are thinking will all the perforations be good, or will the centering be as good.  Or, the quality of the gum, or the cleanliness of the stamp if it is used,  or wil there be small bends or creases, and is it a stamp that is easy to find or more difficult, or is it a stamp which was printed in the millions many years ago or in recent times when printing technologies have advanced.  Or perhaps the listing description - typical stamp shown in scan, or, it is a stock image only, or some such words just makes you feel uncomfortable to take a gamble, no matter what the price! And so on.

 Let’s look at it like this. Would you buy, and let’s generalise here a product without seeing it?  In this day and age the answer is frequently Yes, because we buy online for everything from groceries to hand tools to clothes and all sorts of items through all types of online marketplaces.

 But there is a difference. These products we buy online are generally all exactly the same, mass produced in fact, and we can be confident when buying, generally speaking.

 With stamps we come back to what I said in the previous article.  Do you know the seller and how confident are you in the seller offering the quality you think you will get even if you cannot see that actual stamp.

Some sellers take the position that for modern stamps for example, for a stamp that is printed in the millions then all are the same because of the quality of the printing technology today, and because of this it is perfectly acceptable to say Quantity “x” and not show images of each stamp.  We know this is not always the case of course! 

 Some sellers however still think it worth showing individual scans when they have multiple copies for sale.  They see this as a customer service. An indicator to demonstrate the collector can buy with confidence.

 There probably is no right or wrong answer in a generalised sense. It will come down to each specific situation and just what makes you as the collector feel confident in your buying decision.

 Personally, I always ask what will I receive when I see a quantity listed and it is a stamp I am looking to add to my collection.  Why, because these are the additional 5 stamps; the same but not the same!


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

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


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