cddstamps on stamps

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

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Collectors Buying With Confidence – are you serious, $100 for a $5 stamp?

 Part XII


Collectors Buying With Confidence –   are you serious,  $100 for a $5 stamp?   


Hello again, welcome back.  First let me start with a comment on the previous piece. A very kind and knowledgeable reader wrote to me to comment that with eBay – and I guess things may differ country to country - but not only is there a listing fee and commission  but they also charge you a fee on the shipping.  Another cost element for us collectors to consider when we are buying and looking at the “shipping” charged by the seller.  The sellers certainly do have a few costs to cover.


 Good feedback that and thanks.


Today let me comment a little  - yes I promise not too much – on  the subject of grading. It is a topic that is guaranteed to get even the  most tolerant collectors and so called connoisseurs, especially US sellers and collectors, arguing forever.  But it is really not that complex or worthy of argument.


If a stamp is of a higher condition quality it should – ceteris paribus - command a higher selling price. I have no argument with that principle. In fact I often buy a more expensive copy for my collection simply because of the condition.


BUT, and please, this is the arguable point, someone telling you the price is 400  or 100 or whatever times cat when the centering is really good – insert some % of your choosing -  when there were tens or more millions printed and there are hundreds for sale of equally or nearly equally good condition, good centering with large margins etc,  is just a con trick.   It is a con trick. End of Subject!



This is a lovely stamp (although I am not showing the front)   but see this reverse.  Would you pay 20 times cat for a mint never hinged stamp when it has a rust / toning, call it what you will, on the reverse?   And perhaps another spot on the gum? I hope not.


So while the topic is pricing for centering it is also look very carefully at the reverse of a stamp you are paying a higher price for.   I paid the price the other day. I received a stamp I had bought.  From a seller I trusted.  When the stamp arrived the reverse showed an unpleasant bend, and under careful study I realised what I thought was part of a cancel was in fact a tear when seen from the reverse.   Had I asked for a scan of the reverse I might have realised the condition as described was nowhere near what it actually was. I trusted the seller as I had bought from them before.  Lesson number 101, always check twice if the stamp is really that nice!


Have a philatelic week, be careful out there  😊


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


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