I have traded stamps on ebay since 1999 and have over 1200 positive feedbacks. One negative feedback came as revenge for outing a seller in UK who offered as genuine a Kingsford Smith Vignette as MUH for a few pound stg (no watermark).
The whole personality of eBay has changed.
In the early days, sellers needed to know both their stamps and a bit about computers. Studious people offered serious stamps and more often than not they sold for realistic prices.
In the latter 3 years or so, the personality of eBay has shifted towards what I call "Comic Book Stamps". I suggest that buyers as a group are younger, greener and poorer. Also, the fee structure of eBay and PayPal after taken over by eBay has lifted to oppressive levels.
I sell rather than buy, because lately there are too few sellers whose reputation is known and good. There are many more cowboys in proportion. Simon Dunkerley has expressed this elsewhere in these pages more eloquently that I can. I note that Les Molnar has joined this Bulletin Board. He is a true expert, especially in stamps of Victoria.
These days, I know that I can list a stamp item worth $1000 at $1000 and have zero chance of sale. If I list it at $150 I will get some nibbles but not much bidding up. That way lies financial ruin. So, I am in the middle of evaluating other auction methods. One of these is Kevin Morgan's
I notice elswhere on Glen's Bulletin some examples of fake stamps. Please be a bit gentle here, as genuine mistakes can happen. For example, I recently listed a BW 12 3d olive roo as a Die II because it had no frame break visible, but it was a Die I as KJB stamps pointed out (thank you Brian) that the Die II has a smaller ball at the top of the 3 in Die II and IIB. We are all still learning, sometimes by mistakes.
There is a significant eBay crossroads approaching at the moment. We cannot continue on the present path, but it is hard to envisage a better path being accepted. I can only suggest that the combined strength of the various global and National Stamp Associations pool ideas and approach eBay. Stamps are a market with some peculiarities, like the inability to show all aspects of quality like gum condition.
I do not take the word of a seller about grading or quality of stamps on offer when I am buying, unless through experience I have found the seller to be reliable. When I sell, I try to use large, clear images and to mention any faults that I can find.
However, I am getting increasing emails from buyers, mostly new ones, who gleefully describe their methods of trolling for lowest prices, of policies to not pay more than 30% of Scott cat prices, of how clever they are at spotting bargains (as if quality did not exist as a factor), of confessions that they are bottom feeders in the food chain.
I find these emails as offensive as the frequent ones where potential buyers contact me post-auction with low bids, sometimes with lectures about how I am ignorant about how to price stamps.
Matters like these do not create an exciting day and I have too many ending in downers because most buyers do not comprehend the complexities. Maybe I will exercise my titanium knee and apply to act on "Dancing with the Stars", because star systems seem to be the bithplace of some buyers. I wish they would go home.