Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

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David Benson
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by David Benson »

Steevh,

It always happens to me when I am logged onto Ebay on my PC and my wife is also logged onto her PC to get the address details as she does the Posting and Packing,

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by steevh »

So the latest eBay hurdle for me is to verify my bank account details.

For the past year eBay has been making near-daily payments into this account, but for some reason it has suddenly decided there might be something wrong.

I was presented with three verification options -- the quickest was to use online banking, but I don't do online banking, so that was out.

The second-quickest option was to get eBay to send two micropayments (under £1) to my account, and then I have to tell them what these amounts are, and then I can get my withheld payments. It says this will take 3-5 days.

So I duly sign up -- after 4 days, they tell me the micropayments have been made, and it will now be 3-5 working days before they appear in my account!

And who's to say it won't take another 3-5 working days before eBay OK's my continued use of its service.

What a farce.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rigs »

I noticed this piece for sale on eBay today:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/255663904213

Something that appeals to me: full of old, battered and unloved stamps :)

For all I know probably it is being sold by a member of these boards, don’t know.

However I don’t trust eBay to bid for it.

Let alone what value it may be, or what I might pay for it.

It’s already up to AUD 800 bux, which is up there.

Curious about member thoughts?

.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by steevh »

It looks a little too good to be true ...
Plus the vendor, although a member since 2018, only has 16 feedback rating.
...
Previously in UK I saw a couple of eBayers selling these kinds of albums, which raised similar suspicions.
One of them seemed to sell a fabulous unpicked Lincoln every week, and what raised my suspicion was that they all looked the same -- they all had a Penny Black on cover, various other covers etc etc.
And then one day the guy bought an item off me -- an almost empty old Lincoln, the album in great condition, but nothing of value in it.
And then some months after that he got banned by eBay.
...
Of course genuine albums such as this do exist, and do get sold from time to time on eBay, but it pays to conduct a thorough feedback check on the vendor.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by ViccyVFU »

Rigs wrote: 12 Aug 2022 19:55 Curious about member thoughts?

At AUD 800 already, it seems fairly full priced for "the actual value received".

Yes, there are some rare stamps, but condition is everything, and here we have "some real issues".

It looks (to me) like someone has found "a remaindered album", and infilled all the gaps with cheaper issues.
(Nicely out-of-focus, so you don't see the trimmed and missing corners).

Whilst it looks impressive (to the non collector), I think you'd be buying "quite a lot of work", and "not an insubstantial portion of disappointment".

Only 14 feedback on this vendor, with highest sale being AUD 305, for a much sparser album "full of spacefillers".

I'll be steering clear.

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rigs »

ViccyVFU wrote: 12 Aug 2022 20:32
I'll be steering clear.

Thank you VickyVFU for your opinion.

It confirms my suspicion, and what can be discerned from the vague pics.

Perhaps a bit of fun for 2-300 hundred, but I wonder how old the hinges are underneath?
.

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by The Pom »

Rigs wrote: 12 Aug 2022 19:55 I noticed this piece for sale on eBay today:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/255663904213

Something that appeals to me: full of old, battered and unloved stamps :)

For all I know probably it is being sold by a member of these boards, don’t know.

However I don’t trust eBay to bid for it.

Let alone what value it may be, or what I might pay for it.

It’s already up to AUD 800 bux, which is up there.

Curious about member thoughts?

.
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Please include some pictures in your post. The ebay listing will vanish in a couple of months.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by JohnB »

Nothing much else to do on a warm day, so here is one of the pages.


Page from Ebay auction
Page from Ebay auction
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by ViccyVFU »

Rigs wrote: 12 Aug 2022 21:39 It confirms my suspicion, and what can be discerned from the vague pics.

Just for posterity, I pulled off the GB ones, to show the kind of stuff we are talking about ....

First up, their close up ...

11.jpg
12.jpg
13.jpg
14.jpg
15.jpg

Once you've de-duplicated what's shown, you realise there is an awful lot of damaged (missing bits, and trimmed perfs), water stained (ruined) and heavy postmark material. That's why "its so blurry".... In many ways it is the textbook example of what the Sheriff most detests about eBay "Two bunnies, bidding up trash".

There is so much work involved in parting it out (for profit, though not at these prices), its really one of those lots where you need to consider "how it will help you", before bidding.

A remaindered Vic/EVII album "costs around £25", plus 500 spacefillers (even these rarer stamps), should be closer £100 "to assemble yourself". (Gives you a clue why they do it!! :D )

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by norvic »

steevh wrote: 09 Aug 2022 18:18
David Benson wrote: 09 Aug 2022 06:25 Steevvh,

Do you use more than one PC, Laptop, Phone or Tablet to log onto Ebay & Paypal, I have had that problem sometimes when I am logged onto Ebay or Paypal with more than one at the same time.

David B.
This might be what is causing it. Thanks.
It might also be down to using a dynamic IP address, which you might do for very good reasons.
A dynamic IP address is a temporary address for devices connected to a network that continually changes over time. An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a number used by computers to identify host and network interfaces, as well as different locations on a network.
And to cap it all, I’m writing this on my iPad, the third or fourth message on SB in this session. Before I could write this reply, I had to log in again, despite not having logged out or gone to a different website! :evil:
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Global Administrator »

norvic wrote: 12 Aug 2022 23:44
Before I could write this reply, I had to log in again, despite not having logged out or gone to a different website!

Big Brother is watching ........................ :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by ViccyVFU »



Obviously when you are trading at the "£10 per lot" level, offers like this don't make much difference ....

sales.jpg
eBay offer this weekend

But when you've held back a drawer full, scanned and ready to go, "because you know these offers are inevitable", then eBay, as a vendors platform, "makes a lot more sense" (especially on low margin, yet expensive, items).

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by norvic »

Global Administrator wrote: 12 Aug 2022 23:54
norvic wrote: 12 Aug 2022 23:44
Before I could write this reply, I had to log in again, despite not having logged out or gone to a different website!

Big Brother is watching ........................ :lol: :lol: :lol:

Image
Currently I’m piggybacking on my EE mobile phone signal.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rigs »

Rigs wrote: 12 Aug 2022 19:55 I noticed this piece for sale on eBay today:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/255663904213

Something that appeals to me: full of old, battered and unloved stamps :)

For all I know probably it is being sold by a member of these boards, don’t know.

However I don’t trust eBay to bid for it.

Let alone what value it may be, or what I might pay for it.

It’s already up to AUD 800 bux, which is up there.

Curious about member thoughts?

.
Crikey - now $1625 with 10 minutes to go …
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rockyman44 »

Sold for AU$ 2680, 42 bidders! :shock: :shock:
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Global Administrator »

As I post often -- zero IQ tests are needed to bid on Ebay. More proof right here. :!:

SEVERAL times its real value.

One day, these morons will discover what snipe bidding is. :roll:

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by ViccyVFU »

Rockyman44 wrote: 13 Aug 2022 18:54 Sold for AU$ 2680, 42 bidders! :shock: :shock:

So, in summary,
"Ebay is a great place to sell stamps", then :mrgreen:

(Assuming the sniper pays, of course!!)

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rockyman44 »

Certainly looks like a good result for the seller!

Also assuming the disappointed buyer doesn’t return the album :)
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by ViccyVFU »

Rockyman44 wrote: 13 Aug 2022 20:26 Also assuming the disappointed buyer doesn’t return the album :)

Good luck with that !!

lot_NRA.jpg

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rockyman44 »

:D :D :D :D
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by steevh »

ViccyVFU wrote: 13 Aug 2022 20:32
Rockyman44 wrote: 13 Aug 2022 20:26 Also assuming the disappointed buyer doesn’t return the album :)

Good luck with that !!

Image

I think you'll find that with eBay you can always return an item, whatever the vendor might state about 'no returns'.

Putting this on your listing might fool some people -- as eBay will always allow returns, you might as well say 'returns allowed', as this boosts buyer confidence.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rigs »

If this was a ‘manufactured’ piece as was critiqued above, makes you wonder just how many ‘unfettered’ originals are out there now?

Consider that during Lockdowns everyone re-examined activities like stamp collecting, dusting off old albums etc.

I for one have noticed that there seems a lack of such a commodity on Gumtree lately, from a few years ago, even old school boy albums.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by GlenStephens »

Rigs wrote: 13 Aug 2022 21:29
If this was a ‘manufactured’ piece as was critiqued above, makes you wonder just how many ‘unfettered’ originals are out there now?

They are still out there.

I sold here this year, this massive, 650 page 1898 SG Brass Bound 'Imperial' for the same kind of price.

Stamps here from the earliest imperfs of many countries.

Many high cat pieces in here are in SUPERB condition. Generally, these ancient books have been very heavily ’plundered’ and stripped of anything half decent over during the past generations, but not this one. Been in the one family since formed. :!:

Mine of course was not manufactured from damaged and 1 or 2 margin defective stamps added in, but had cat of genuine stamps of about $55,000, with many key and mega expensive items being superb, and any fakes or reprints being ignored. The 3 x China 1c Red Revenues were $1000s retail stamps on their own etc. Too busy to offer them separately. Untouched by anyone for about 125 years.

Sadly I did not use blurry fuzzy cellphone shots - might have got double that! Seems to be the way.

But real stamp dealers of course have no idea about accurate prices. :!:

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by ViccyVFU »

steevh wrote: 13 Aug 2022 21:09 I think you'll find that with eBay you can always return an item, whatever the vendor might state about 'no returns'.

Where, specifically, would I find that?

If it was a business vendor, then Distance Selling Regulations would kick in (in the UK), and presumably mirrored laws in Aus.

But its a consumer to consumer sale, so unless its "never received", "faulty", or "significantly different from the description"........ "You are more stuffed than a Turducken" :D

One of the reasons businesses hate selling mixed stamp lots, like kiloware and old albums (of significant value), is that rogue buyers "cherry pick them, before returning". (Sellers are then pay both sets of postage, plus other costs, plus an ebay black mark, making it a nightmare).

But this was a private sale, with a AU$50 start price.

It would be quite high risk to assume "that a refund was inevitable"

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by steevh »

ViccyVFU wrote: 13 Aug 2022 22:47
steevh wrote: 13 Aug 2022 21:09 I think you'll find that with eBay you can always return an item, whatever the vendor might state about 'no returns'.

Where, specifically, would I find that?

If it was a business vendor, then Distance Selling Regulations would kick in (in the UK), and presumably mirrored laws in Aus.

But its a consumer to consumer sale, so unless its "never received", "faulty", or "significantly different from the description"........ "You are more stuffed than a Turducken" :D

One of the reasons businesses hate selling mixed stamp lots, like kiloware and old albums (of significant value), is that rogue buyers "cherry pick them, before returning". (Sellers are then pay both sets of postage, plus other costs, plus an ebay black mark, making it a nightmare).

But this was a private sale, with a AU$50 start price.

It would be quite high risk to assume "that a refund was inevitable"

"If the item you received arrived damaged, doesn't match the listing description, or if it's the wrong item, you're covered under the eBay Money Back Guarantee. In most circumstances you can return it even if the seller's returns policy says they don't accept returns."

https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/buying/returns-refunds/return-item-refund?id=4041

On the drop-down menu for 'reason for return', I think it even has the option, "I just didnt like it."

I've had a couple of customer returns for that reason myself. I didnt bother to dispute the return, as it is a big black mark against you if you lose a refund dispute -- but then again, it wasn't £1,000+ at stake.

Likewise, I wouldnt assume a refund is inevitable, but certainly eBay these days is heavily biased in favour of the buyer.

Also, a few years back I bought an item (a shoe box of stamps) where the seller he didnt accept returns -- and refused my request when I asked for one. But eBay sided with me (the main visible item of interest was a fake) and I got a full refund.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by The Pom »

I've just been to an item I bought recently from a private seller & hit the "Return this item" button.

These are the options that pop up.
return.jpg
I can't see anything in ebay's rules that says returns policies are different for private/business sellers (though, as stated, distance selling regulations may provide added protection if you're buying from a business seller.

It is my understanding (happy to be corrected on this) that although ebay often plays the "we're just a venue" card, sellers cannot write returns policies that override ebay policy. For instance, you often see "no refunds for items sent by unregistered post" in listings, but I believe this holds no water as, when you sign up to sell, you are bound by ebay terms.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by steevh »

This discussion has made me think about how eBay has changed since I first started using it, now almost 20 years ago.

20 years ago it really was a case of buyer beware -- if you were conned with a lot of rubbish, there was really very little comeback. Sure, you could leave a negative for the seller, but he could give you one in return. Actually getting your money back wasn't easy.

On the other hand, there were some great bargains to be had, as there were fewer buyers and the overall level of suspicion was much higher, which inevitably drives down prices.

Now the balance has shifted very heavily in the buyer's favour. Its very easy to get a refund, and you don't even have to have a good reason for it -- you can claim you 'don't like it', 'it wasn't what you wanted', etc etc.

This has also meant that sellers have had to become more honest in their descriptions -- there is no longer any point hiding faults, if the buyer will find them after a cursory inspection and demand his money back. (Of course this doesnt apply to the outright scammers, or the bunnies who buy their heavily faked junk).

On the downside, it has become even easier for scam buyers who can simply claim the item is lost in the post, or delayed by Covid, strikes or whatever. Even spending more on 'signed for' post doesn't protect you, as Royal Mail won't always bother to record the item as delivered.

As numerous examples on this board show, eBay's improved system has failed to deter the repeat offenders (scam sellers), and Stampboards members are having to work as hard as ever to close them down.

Another major negative is that eBay's verification system has become a huge nuisance, without any visible benefits.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by blue-within-blue »


That high-priced old album looked identical to many sold in the past by several scammers who regularly "salted" old albums with counterfeits and reprints. There was a Russian-sounding username based in London who made tens of thousands selling such items. Every space filled is usually a giveaway ; also, first couple of photos showing GB, penny blacks, reds, etc, later pages often had Heligoland reprints and forgeries of high CV commonwealth scattered among the dross.

It has all the warning signs of an album which has been deliberately manipulated to make buyers think they are getting a bargain and that the seller hasn't spotted the rare items. It is deliberate and cynical manipulation.

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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by GB 789 »

Referring back to Steve’s point about the changes to eBay over 20 years.

The whole philatelic landscape has massively changed over that time too and many of the positive changes have come about because of the opportunities presented by the internet, and eBay of course has been a massive part of this.

It is no lie to say 20 years ago this hobby was dying a depressingly long drawn out death. The 1990s and early 2000s were not a pretty picture for the health of this hobby. No doubt some on here will discount the views of this ‘boy scout’ collector but I was a very active collector then too and experienced this first hand. Collector numbers had dropped off a cliff from the 1980s onwards and the number of stamp shops on the high street had already started to rapidly decline - this is something often blamed on the internet yet it started years before that.

Big auction houses and large dealers had serious philatelists pretty much monopolised when it came to making new purchases and there was very little price competition - they could charge pretty much whatever they wanted as it was very difficult then for collectors to be able to compare multiple dealer prices. Price lists were obviously one way but very few of these had illustrations of the stamps being purchased - they were literally just lists of prices charged.

Now of course the reputation of many dealers meant that collectors could trust their definition of fine used/ UM/ etc etc but even then there were plenty of crook dealers who would happily rip collectors off with substandard stamps and there was often little that could be done then. There were no stamp forums to share knowledge, discuss new purchases and assess whether the purchase was decent value or not. It was often up to the collectors own expertise to assess how could the actual stamp was or, if you were lucky, maybe a collector colleague at your stamp club may be able to help if you were a novice. It was certainly not an easy time to be a collector.

With the advent of the internet, philatelists were presented with massive opportunities and eBay, over time, played a huge part in allowing collectors the chance to easily compare market prices and purchase items easily for their collections. No more relying on price lists from faceless dealers or minimal auction descriptions of ‘mixed lots’ that always were opaque enough to suggest a bargain when they weee full of common tat - a bit like some of the eBay scammers today!!!

Today, many savvy large dealers list items on eBay (sometimes with their. Rand name and sometimes not for whatever reason), even if their primary goal is likely to drive sales to their own website. They still use eBay effectively. It is possible for 95% of philatelists to purchase 95% of possible items for their collections on eBay. Of course, some items will always need to come from specialist auctions or dealers but that is a small minority of items in the grand scheme of things.

This thread is titled is eBay a great and safe space to buy stamps. If you collect GB £5 oranges then it probably won’t be ideal yet most philatelists don’t collect on that level. EBay is a great venue for most collectors (with appropriate knowledge and care taken obviously) so yes it is a great place to buy for the majority.

Without eBay, this hobby would be significantly worse off as a whole gorvthe opportunities it gives most philatelists, despite the scammers and idiots spending $2600 on dodgy albums. There will always be a section of this hobby that does not have collectors best interests at heart and are complete rip offs, but many dealers over the years have had equally unscrupulous descriptions and business practices.

I have massive respect to those on here who worked so hard to catch eBay scammers and they do a grand job keeping those daft buyers safe. However, eBay is far bigger than those scum bags and it is a great place to buy for most. Some obviously will disagree and they have that right but equally don’t patronise those who do use eBay effectively to build up high quality collections and who are competent enough to avoid scam listings. We are the ones who benefit hugely from ebayMs existence and long may it continue.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by GB1840 »

steevh wrote: 14 Aug 2022 20:27
On the downside, it has become even easier for scam buyers who can simply claim the item is lost in the post, or delayed by Covid, strikes or whatever. Even spending more on 'signed for' post doesn't protect you, as Royal Mail won't always bother to record the item as delivered.
I have found that RM will always refund for items 'not delivered', just with the proof of posting slip, and when not insured, by going through their claims procedure, we get a cheque through with a standard letter for the full cost including postage (up to a maximum of £50).

Even when an item signed for was delivered (with the postie receipt received - not actually the buyer's signature), the buyer claimed he did not receive and made a claim, threatened me with court action etc, the RM still paid up, so buyer got their money (and possibly the goods also), but I didn't lose out.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by faro »

blue-within-blue wrote: 14 Aug 2022 22:18
That high-priced old album looked identical to many sold in the past by several scammers who regularly "salted" old albums with counterfeits and reprints. There was a Russian-sounding username based in London who made tens of thousands selling such items. Every space filled is usually a giveaway ; also, first couple of photos showing GB, penny blacks, reds, etc, later pages often had Heligoland reprints and forgeries of high CV commonwealth scattered among the dross.

It has all the warning signs of an album which has been deliberately manipulated to make buyers think they are getting a bargain and that the seller hasn't spotted the rare items. It is deliberate and cynical manipulation.

ROB

I'd presumed the same re. "salting", even if not necessarily by the current seller, given the very selective photographs of potentially better items surrounded by dross, "out of place" items such as the Specimen HV roos with no others, the inserted card with likely-dodgy Samoa earlies and no hinges on the page underneath, individually mounted items, uneven quality and consistency of the whole album, etc.

The photo of the COGH triangles isn't exactly high resolution or clear, but I'd be dubious whether at least the 1/- with huge, even margins is genuine without a better image.

A big nope from me, anyhow, at AU $2,600...
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Global Administrator »

GB 789 wrote: 14 Aug 2022 23:04
There were no stamp forums to share knowledge, discuss new purchases and assess whether the purchase was decent value or not. It was often up to the collectors own expertise to assess how could the actual stamp was or, if you were lucky, maybe a collector colleague at your stamp club may be able to help if you were a novice.

What you describe is how the stamp selling worked very well globally for 150 years.

No Internet, no Stamp Forums. However, 1000s of Stamp catalogues did exist, you might have forgotten, as did 1000s of clubs and stamp societies, and 10,000s of volumes of specialist stamp literature did too - MUCH of that literature is relied on, even to this day. 'Knowledge Is Power'.

Just dealers - near all of whom belonged to PTS or professional dealer bodies globally, who expelled any reported crooks. Selling stamps has been a skilled profession - then and now to many. 'Little could be done' re dodgy dealers - utter arrant nonsense.

Doctors were a skilled profession. And accountants, optometrists, and Lawyers etc. Then as now, you can bypass all 5 and assume you are 'wise' and 'prudent' to do so.

Do you get your serious medical or legal matters etc sorted via the Internet today - or via consulting a skilled professional??? It is 2022 after all. Who needs any professional expert assistance? Hmmmm. :roll: :roll: :roll:

AS to the stamp hobby ''dying a depressingly long drawn out death'' 20 years back, you must be referring to a totally different hobby to the one I worked in very profitably. As usual, your airy generalisations are without foundation in fact.

You clearly proved upthread above you have no idea at all about the size and $ volume of the hobby now, indeed your wild 'guess' was soooooo far out it was embarrassing and absurd, and it seems logical the same accuracy applies to your assessment 20 years back.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by The Pom »

Global Administrator wrote: 15 Aug 2022 00:53

Doctors were a skilled profession. And accountants, optometrists, and Lawyers etc. Then as now, you can bypass all 5 and assume you are 'wise' and 'prudent' to do so.
Do you get your serious medical or legal matters etc sorted via the Internet today - or via consulting a skilled professional??? It is 2022 after all. Who needs any professional expert assistance? Hmmmm.

The point being quite clearly made is the polar opposite of what you're trying to suggest.

What GB 789 is saying:

For basic material, the internet has bypassed the dealer monopoly, but for bigger ticket items (see reference to £5 oranges), dealers are still the way to go i.e. the "professional expert assistance" to which you refer.

To use your medical analogy, he's saying there's no longer any need to go to the doctor for aspirin, but for more serious matters, you still go to the doctor.

You are trying to spin it through 180° - saying that GB 789 thinks you should get serious conditions diagnosed via the internet, when his point is precisely the opposite.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by GB1840 »

GB 789 wrote: 14 Aug 2022 23:04
This thread is titled is eBay a great and safe space to buy stamps. If you collect GB £5 oranges then it probably won’t be ideal yet most philatelists don’t collect on that level. EBay is a great venue for most collectors (with appropriate knowledge and care taken obviously) so yes it is a great place to buy for the majority.

Without eBay, this hobby would be significantly worse off as a whole gorvthe opportunities it gives most philatelists, despite the scammers and idiots spending $2600 on dodgy albums. There will always be a section of this hobby that does not have collectors best interests at heart and are complete rip offs, but many dealers over the years have had equally unscrupulous descriptions and business practices.

I probably have purchased 70% of my collection since 2014 from Ebay, probably 50% of that from well known dealers (who often also have their own websites),50% small private sellers, the balance from dealers direct or mainstream auctions. Knowledge in the subject area is key to avoid the scammers.

I have had one purchase of a fake penny black which went straight back, most are easy to detect from the scans, another with an 'added margin' which I missed, now learned how to detect these.

It seems certain areas of the hobby (overprints, re-perforations, special cancellations for example, ) are more prone to the scammers who rely on the less experienced collector looking for a 'bargain'.

A recent good example of something it wasn't was brought up on another site, a VR official, Cat £20k which is actually a penny black plate 3 with the stars removed and VR added, (crude forgeries of these are sometimes seen) relatively simple to detect with the right material, even with all the sellers 'as is' caveats, which should have raised a red flag, the buyers bid it to £3.4k.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1840-V-R-Penny-Black-Official-Sta ... 7675.l2557
VR Black Ebay.jpg
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by norvic »

gb789 wrote: There were no stamp forums to share knowledge, discuss new purchases and assess whether the purchase was decent value or not.

8<——-

With the advent of the internet, philatelists were presented with massive opportunities
Although I’ve quoted you out of context, these two sentences together describe the massive leap forward of the last 25 years, because before php forums and a multitude of websites, there were newsgroups which were a different type of forum.

Those innovations and the developments which have occurred since, including cheaper storage, processing and access, have made the internet and WWW - including eBay - a tremendous resource, and overall these have been positive and beneficial developments.
Last edited by norvic on 15 Aug 2022 02:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by faro »

GB1840 wrote: 15 Aug 2022 01:51A recent good example of something it wasn't was brought up on another site, a VR official, Cat £20k which is actually a penny black plate 3 with the stars removed and VR added, (crude forgeries of these are sometimes seen) relatively simple to detect with the right material, even with all the sellers 'as is' caveats, which should have raised a red flag, the buyers bid it to £3.4k.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1840-V-R-Penny-Black-Official-Sta ... 7675.l2557

Image

bygonesofbridlington again... Strangely enough that was my guess before I clicked the link. ~

I've had decent purchases from them but the lack of response when querying "dubious" high value items was a little disconcerting.
A sheet with GB QV line engraved(s) attached claiming to be a sample sent at time of issue with what appeared to be modern computer-printed text containing misspellings comes to mind, which went for something like £800.

=

So, yes, it can be a great place to buy if you know what you're doing and err on the side of caution.

Selling has been limited here; Penny Blacks, Two Penny Blues, Bulls Eyes, etc., all originally from Warwick & Warwick, sold during eBay promotions and thankfully no "buyer issues".
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by norvic »

Global Administrator wrote: 15 Aug 2022 00:53
However, 1000s of Stamp catalogues did exist, you might have forgotten, as did 1000s of clubs and stamp societies, and 10,000s of volumes of specialist stamp literature did too - MUCH of that literature is relied on, even to this day. 'Knowledge Is Power'.

Just dealers - near all of whom belonged to PTS or professional dealer bodies globally, who expelled any reported crooks. Selling stamps has been a skilled profession - then and now to many. 'Little could be done' re dodgy dealers - utter arrant nonsense.
We saw how well that worked with some events in Australia reported in this very forum!

The generalisation is true but the actuality didn’t always work as the average person in the stamp club (or here) might expect.

As for the huge body of knowledge, it is far more accessible now than it was 20-30 years ago - in fact unless you were a member of a specialist society you might not even know that much of it existed.

Not much chance for the man in Perth to nip into the British library in his lunch hour, and they held the catalog of their holdings.

I am willing to be proved wrong but I doubt that there were ever “1000s of clubs and stamp societies” either in Australia or the UK. Maybe 1000, including school stamp clubs, but not 1000s.

AS to the stamp hobby ''dying a depressingly long drawn out death'' 20 years back, you must be referring to a totally different hobby to the one I worked in very profitably.
Even 20 years ago retail stamp shops had started closing, but new dealers filled the gaps and created new markets online, without bricks and mortar, without going to stamp fairs or bourses, but with an online presence. I can’t be the only one here who clocks up 25 years only online next year?
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Global Administrator »

The Pom wrote: 15 Aug 2022 01:41
The point being quite clearly made is the polar opposite of what you're trying to suggest.

Well if GB 789 has appointed you his PR spokesman to tidy up his wild generalisations (Lord Knows - he most certainly needs one) and to reply on his behalf, telling us via your clever telepathic connection waves, exactly what he is thinking, and MEANT to type, I disagree with both of you.

The stamp hobby survived perfectly well for 150 years before ebay was formed, by being served by professional dealers who were members of trade bodies, who took action - and in outrageous Bunny Bait rip-offs like this below, would do today.

Is the $6000 'VR' 1d Black obvious scammer above a PTS member? Of course not. Who do you complain to? Ebay see only their $750 profit - they love it.

''Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?''

If you feel the stamp market was dying 20 years back, like your Proxy, I also disagree.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Global Administrator »

norvic wrote: 15 Aug 2022 02:31
I am willing to be proved wrong but I doubt that there were ever “1000s of clubs and stamp societies” either in Australia or the UK. Maybe 1000, including school stamp clubs, but not 1000s.

I realise you feel the stamp world barely exists outside of Great Britain, but I was clearly speaking globally. So you are both certainly are proven wrong.

Our clueless friend suggesting in today's dreamy brain fart that the stamp hobby was ''dying a depressingly long drawn out death'' 20 years back, remains nonsense.

Your comments about dealers starting selling online have nothing to do with what he alleged. I've never had a stamp shop or attended stamp fairs, but have had a strong web presence for 25 years. Before most GB stamp dealers knew what a website was - the UK stamp trade as a whole was notoriously slow to adopt to the internet. I wrote about that very reality 23 years back! See my archives.

Of course that is how more and more stamps are sold. Does not change my comments. You and I have never bothered with ebay and have survived just fine, selling online. As have MILLIONS of other businesses globally.

I wrote this 23 years ago in the Philatelic Exporter in the UK. Stanley Gibbons, then as now, were totally clueless about the Internet. (Cost them a fortune years later to buy www.stanleygibbons.com) Most UK dealers had NO websites then. True. :roll:

'Oddly, the UK and many parts of Europe, are years behind North American and the Australasian stamp dealers in respect to online selling.

I run a one man business from home. No staff, no fairs, no retail shop. I would be broke today without e-mail and the Internet. Despite having no staff, I have the largest stamp dealing business in Sydney.

This is because e-mail and a website truly make the WORLD a stamp dealer’s market, not just a radius of 2 miles from a retail shop, which was previously the case!

Things move fast in the “real” world, but sadly the stamp dealers do not usually move apace with that real world. This has always been the case.

Stanley Gibbons London missed out on registering www.gibbons.com and www.stanleygibbons.com. They instead got www.StanGib.com, which is fairly OK. They should sack their webmaster. He has not facilitated the obvious link. If you just e-mail: sales@stangib.com it bounces back “unknown”! You need to use this impossible to type out mess: sales@stangiblondon.demon.co.uk - type that 3 times and see if YOU get it correct.

A mad e-mail address to retain, whilst bouncing sales@stangib.com - They CAN have both. FREE! Even the biggest firms don’t THINK logically at times.'
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by norvic »

Yet you seem to have overlooked that my comment actually supported yours! Neither has anything to do with eBay, then or even more so, now.


And gb789 was, I think, referred to the situation in the UK.
It was often up to the collectors own expertise to assess how could the actual stamp was or, if you were lucky, maybe a collector colleague at your stamp club may be able to help
Even then, although there were many clubs, many of those were not very large and so finding someone to help may not have been easy.

We hear now of there not being any organised philately within 50 miles (or in the US within 150 miles), and the situation then was that most were in major urban areas with far fewer of any size in rural areas.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by GB 789 »

Some very interesting observations here.

However Glen, I take umbrage with your constant point that you made a profit 20 years ago so therefore that means that philately was in great shape then.

Business speaking, this is absolute tosh! (I know you like to point out my many personal philatelic faults and I have no doubt that you have a far far deeper knowledge of Australian philately than I could ever hope for. But from a business point of view I feel your views are somewhat lacking in the bigger picture. I do have years of experience of business ownership in another field so do actually know what I am talking about here, however surprising that may be to you).

I have experienced many times where one company in an industry is profitable whilst a competitor is losing money left right and centre and ends up either bankrupt or taken over. These two things aren’t separate from one another - they happen within industries at the same time. Your view is that the company making a profit therefore shows that industry is performing well, yet completely ignores another company that is failing at the same time and actually showing that that industry is not as strong as originally thought.

This exact same scenario can be applied to the philatelic industry 20 years ago. You made a profit, excellent for you obviously, yet multiple dealers and stamp shops closed at that time as they couldn’t make it pay. You CAN’T say the industry was healthy just because you and others made good profits then when at the same time plenty of other dealers were packing it in as they couldn’t compete. That is NOT the sign of a healthy industry where scores of companies go under (even if others still make a profit).

Even you must compare the industry in the 1980s with that of 2000 and see that philately was in much worse shape then. That was real decline and I am surprised, as a businessman, you deny that happening. The internet has helped to stem that decline and eBay has played a big part in that. That is why I hold positive views towards eBay, it has helped the hobby that I LOVE to thrive in a new age.

You are anti- eBay I get that (plenty of people have views on both sides as is shown on here) but trying to say the stamp industry was in rudimentary health 20 years ago is just plain daft and goes against the reality of what actually happened. Plenty of us were serious collectors then too (not ‘boy scout’ collectors) and saw this happen with our own eyes, dealers DON’T have some sort of monopoly on independent thought and liking eBay is not some sort of ‘personality fault’ despite what you may personally feel.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rigs »

GB 789 wrote: 15 Aug 2022 05:12
I have experienced many times where one company in an industry is profitable whilst a competitor is losing money left right and centre and ends up either bankrupt or taken over. These two things aren’t separate from one another - they happen within industries at the same time. Your view is that the company making a profit therefore shows that industry is performing well, yet completely ignores another company that is failing at the same time and actually showing that that industry is not as strong as originally thought.
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If I may butt in and contribute my 2p's worth.

Perhaps you are right about the philately industry, I don't know enough about its history.

But more often it is about managerial incompetence?

Consider an example in Australia in recent years, between Bunnings and Masters.

Bunnings is a massive national chain of hardware.

Masters was established by a rival business with a copycat business plan to compete head-on.

It failed dismally and no longer exists, yet Bunnings continues to dominate.

Nothing to do with the state of the industry.

Perhaps traditional bricks and mortar philatelic retail shops failed to be nimble enough to change with the times re the internet?

Seems to me that the industry is alive and healthy around the globe, online and auctions etc., but I wouldn't know the figures.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by GB 789 »

Rigs wrote: 15 Aug 2022 10:17
Seems to me that the industry is alive and healthy around the globe, online and auctions etc., but I wouldn't know the figures.

Image
Yes I agree it is much healthier now than it was 20 years ago. The point I was making was against Glen’s generic assumption that as he made a profit 20 years a go it meant that the trade as a whole was healthy compared to the present day. This just wasn’t the case at all and ALL the facts related to declining number of collectors, dealers trading, stamp shop closures would back up that the hobby is in far better shape now than it was 20 years back.

The upturn in fortunes for philately is predominantly down to the internet (eBay being a big factor too) making collecting far more accessible for the masses and not having to rely on you living near a dealer or auction house.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Number-O-Ne »

GB 789 wrote: 15 Aug 2022 10:30
The upturn in fortunes for philately is predominantly down to the internet (eBay being a big factor too) making collecting far more accessible for the masses and not having to rely on you living near a dealer or auction house.
That's the case for me. Without online options, my collection would entirely depend on local access. I would have to live in Italy to build the advanced level postal history collection I have now.

There are certainly questionable items available online. Most if these can be handled with average level of knowledge. I'm old enough to remember the pre-internet times. Risk of buying forgeries was always a reality and we had to watch what we were buying, more so with some dealers compared to the others.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rigs »

.
Deja vu, but here is yet another 'old world' album full to the brim of stamps.

I have watched this Melbourne seller (4759sonia) over the last few months sell at least a dozen or so of collections such as these, most fetching several hundred dollars each.

It appears there is quite a formula being followed, and the listing is always started at $49 with fierce 'bidding' at the end.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/175383803146?hash=item28d5b0750a:g:NP4AAOSwOMpi-Xle
s-l1600 (1).jpg
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Global Administrator »

GB 789 wrote: 15 Aug 2022 05:12

Glen, I take umbrage with your constant point that you made a profit 20 years ago, so therefore that means that philately was in great shape then.

You just keep idly making things up.

You have NO idea how successful or otherwise the stamp business was ¬20 years ago. News Flash - It was strong. As you have been advised already, but are too clueless to understand. 'Australia 99' and 'London 2000' I attended, and they were GANGBUSTER mega shows. As obvious examples.

Less retail shops, as more dealers went to the near zero cost of online to dodge ever increasing retail rents does not alter that stamps were strong sellers - GLOBALLY. I was a dealer, and I owned, published and edited a global stamp magazine, and YOU were not. Stop inventing stories.

Your dreamy brain farts to the contrary, sitting in your armchair, constantly making up ever sillier totally unsourced and unverified stories do not change that. Whether your other business interests of canal boat rides, Chip Buttie vans, small hardware stores, or Brighton 'sand' sales etc, were not great 20 years back - WHO CARES. The rest of us here, except you, are talking about STAMPS. :roll: :roll:

THIS thread is about ebay and selling and buying stamps there. Start your own board to discuss the alleged decline of Chip Buttie Vans profits if you wish. You have been banned here so many times we have lost count. For the same reason - you often post arrant nonsense, and routinely waste the time of others. The clock is ticking.

Global Administrator wrote: 15 Aug 2022 00:53
AS to the stamp hobby ''dying a depressingly long drawn out death'' 20 years back, you must be referring to a totally different hobby to the one I worked in very profitably. As usual, your airy generalisations are without foundation in fact.

You clearly proved upthread above you have no idea at all about the size and $ volume of the hobby now, indeed your wild 'guess' was soooooo far out it was embarrassing and absurd, and it seems logical the same accuracy applies to your assessment 20 years back.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by steevh »

Rigs wrote: 15 Aug 2022 14:18 .
Deja vu, but here is yet another 'old world' album full to the brim of stamps.

I have watched this Melbourne seller (4759sonia) over the last few months sell at least a dozen or so of collections such as these, most fetching several hundred dollars each.

It appears there is quite a formula being followed, and the listing is always started at $49 with fierce 'bidding' at the end.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/175383803146?hash=item28d5b0750a:g:NP4AAOSwOMpi-Xle

Image
.
Image
Are you suggesting that this album is 'manufactured' in some way? To me it just looks like an ordinary old Lincoln album, with a decent collection in it.

Or is it the bidding pattern you find odd? $49 seems as good a start as any, and the 'fierce bidding at the end' -- that also exactly what you would expect from anything being auctioned on eBay.

The world is full of old Lincoln albums -- I got 4 in one box lot alone at an auction I went to a few weeks back.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Edgecrusher »

Unbelievable that someone paid $20 for this ugly thing!

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/124115126690

Let’s not even mention the original $100 asking price!
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by Rigs »

steevh wrote: 15 Aug 2022 17:47
Are you suggesting that this album is 'manufactured' in some way? To me it just looks like an ordinary old Lincoln album, with a decent collection in it.
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Yes I am certainly suspicious that it is.

Mostly because I have followed the sales of this seller for several months, and week in week out he/she has two or three albums of this vintage full to the brim with old stamps.

That’s all the seller offers.

I mean, how many unfettered albums of this vintage are there in Melbourne, or Australia, for that matter?

I would suggest there is a busy production line utilising empty, or near empty, albums at play here.

Much more effective way to shift spacefillers.

Because the end result is well worth the effort for a retiree looking for extra cash.

And, at the end of the day, they aren’t committing a crime, nowhere does it say ‘sold as found’ or some such.
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Re: Is eBay a great and safe place to buy and sell stamps?

Post by steevh »

Rigs wrote: 15 Aug 2022 20:24
steevh wrote: 15 Aug 2022 17:47
Are you suggesting that this album is 'manufactured' in some way? To me it just looks like an ordinary old Lincoln album, with a decent collection in it.
.
Yes I am certainly suspicious that it is.

Mostly because I have followed the sales of this seller for several months, and week in week out he/she has two or three albums of this vintage full to the brim with old stamps.

That’s all the seller offers.

I mean, how many unfettered albums of this vintage are there in Melbourne, or Australia, for that matter?

I would suggest there is a busy production line utilising empty, or near empty, albums at play here.

Much more effective way to shift spacefillers.

Because the end result is well worth the effort for a retiree looking for extra cash.

And, at the end of the day, they aren’t committing a crime, nowhere does it say ‘sold as found’ or some such.
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Filling an entire album with stamps is a very time-consuming process -- just the lick and stick part, even without all the necessary sorting involved.

I think a more probable method would be to buy genuine old albums, strip out the small percentage of valuable stamps (for sale elsewhere), and then replenish it with spacefillers. Starting from scratch would be just too much bother.
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