eUSC Logo 2001  stamptraders and discussion of 

1.4.   The good, the bad and the ugly on the chat board


stamptraders and discussion of certificates, Aug 23, 2001
Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 09:53:27 PDT Auctions

Hi all… I noticed this item in the listings and emailed the seller asking if he would refund the cost of a cert if the description came back as other than a sound LH 350. His reply…

“Generally not! Since a cert increases the value of a stamp, sometimes considerably, cert expense is the buyer's, here at Stamp Traders…. If you buy a stamp from me, and within the 7-day unconditional return guarantee period tell me you're sending this stamp for a cert, I view this as 'putting the stamp on extension.' In that event only, provided the cert shows the STAMP TO NOT BE GENUINE, and for no other reason whatever, I'll return the bid price of the stamp.”

Hmmm. So if the stamp comes back with a cert that says it is genuine but thinned, I the poor buyer am out of luck. I think I’ll pass on this one…


Posted by paperhistory (1161) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 10:06:23 PDT Auctions

jaywild: I haven't checked lately, but don't APS rules require a dealer to eat cert costs if it comes back as anything other than described?

Posted by g.1 (446) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 10:19:09 PDT Auctions

Jay "You'll love our 7-day unconditional return guarantee!" indeed! What an outrageous policy. Another seller to avoid.

Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 10:30:22 PDT Auctions

Matt... Yes, I think APS requires dealers to reimburse cert costs for bad certs. The exception might be if the expertizer returns the item without coming to any conclusions about it. An example might be the grilled banknotes. Many genuine grilled banknotes will never pass inspection because by then stacks of five and six sheets of stamps were being run through the grilling machines, resulting in very poor grills. I have a couple in my collection. I am convinced they are real, but I doubt they would clear an expertizer, although I also doubt they would come back with "bad" certs either. I suspect the experts would simply decline to state either way.


Posted by stamptraders (0)  on Aug-23-01 at 10:53:48 PDT Auctions

Thank you, jaywild, for posting part of my answer, and part of the circumstances. Viewers of this lot will see the price is under $50 for this stamp, so his request of me is obviously unreasonable on the face. Why would anyone spend $40 to cert a $44 stamp, unless one had motives that were not pure?

I give everyone an unconditional 7-day return privilege, unless the stamp was sold 'as is.' Does every stamp dealer on eBay do this? My policy: A buyer must inform me during the 7-day that he's getting a cert, and he can't return unless the cert says it's not genuine. Then I return bid price only. I'm entitled to have this policy, and it's a completely reasonable policy, as I will attempt to explain below. Other stamp dealers on eBay: please note and take notes! Maybe it's about time we stamp out this unfair practice many bidders employ, to the serious disadvantage of dealers who let them.

What can a person do during the 7 days he has the stamp, before making his decision to return? Examine it carefully, test everything, bring in many experts, in fact our buyers have every protection in the transaction. It has been my experience, during the process of sending out 5,000 mailings thru prior internet sales, that buyers who employ this the jaywild strategy are very knowledgable. They may act like helpless little lambs being led to slaughter when they approach the dealer, but they are coldly calculating in what they are doing. I know. I've become friends with a number of them, after I politely inform them of my policy.

I'm afraid, in retrospect, each email jaywild sent to me was intended to hurt my business. There is no other conclusion I can come up with. Jaywild positively RAN to post to the chatroom, after my response to his email. Reader, please study my listings and stated business practices before you accept jaywild's pitious pleas for help; he is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and means nothing but trouble for any stamp dealer. Why else did he do what he did? It would be entirely reasonable if some of the wonderful people who 'lurk' this chatroom would bring forth the reasonableness of what I'm saying; I can't. No one can protect themself from slander. It's a fruitless activity. The only thing I know to do is appeal to eBay for relief, if this stuff continues.

My terms are the most generous on eBay (in my opinion, and I'm entitled to it), but I absolutely require buyers to be straight-forward and honest, too. If a person doesn't like my cert policy, which are published herein because of jaywild's unwelcome interference in my business, then don't buy stamps you believe in advance you might require certs on. There are sellers on eBay who give refunds of cert monies because they feel they must. I think that business practice is suspect, if exercised without prudence. If a buyer expects to obtain the advantage of having a 'good' cert with each stamp he buys, I have no quarrel with him. Just go out and buy the cert, after you've taken a good look at the stamp.

Dealers never hear from a person who obtained a good cert on a stamp. Why? Because no buyer is willing to share some of the cash benefit the buyer has obtained. The expertiser gets paid, the buyer gets paid, and the seller gets stuck with the bill; nice racket! There are stamp 'investors' who have discovered this. Buy the stamp, return it if thinking it will not be good enough for a 'good' cert, send off for a cert, and nail the seller if the stamp isn't perfect. That is an unethical practice in my opinion, and I'm sure many would agree!

Jaywild did not say this in his posting, but he made it very clear to me that he believed all my stamps are phony, junk, misdescribed etc. This is harassment. Jaywild has not bought a stamp from me on eBay, and I hope not with my prior internet selling activities. So here he is trying to destroy me! Why? How sick can one be?

It may be necessary for me to contact eBay and name names if this harassment continues. It is the source of great merriment for those few sick souls who are doing this, misusing the chatroom for this purpose. I would appreciate it very much if everyone would take the time to review a few dozen of my listings on eBay. I have an excellent reputation in stamps, none on eBay of course, and these slanderous attacks are not just funny, they are illegal. The next thing these sick ones will say is that I'm advertising. I'm attempting to defend myself from these mean, slanderous and unfair attacks.

It should be obvious that I have but one purpose in stamps, and that is to provide satisfaction to collectors, especially at the low-end of the scale. Now, if every dealer were as generous, eBay would flourish! That is, if these sick persons would permit it. I will not review answers to this post until I've prepared for listing my next batch of stamps. So do like Richard did and post your attacks while I'm gone! Richard, the lion-hearted. Now, there's another who has never had dealings with me (and never will).

Posted by paperhistory (1161) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 11:13:13 PDT Auctions

stamptraders: your return policy is fine, aside from the fact that it's a violation of Rule 13 of the APS Code of Ethics. The bottom line is that you had better be prepared to stand behind your material

Posted by joke-boy (55)star about me on Aug-23-01 at 11:21:03 PDT Auctions

stamptraders, I view jaywild's request as completely reasonable, and your response to be... not what I'd expect from an honest and reputable dealer, and I'll tell you why. Ignore your overall policy for a moment. Ignore any tone he might have had. Focus completely on the stamp.

I'll quote you from Scott's:

Beware of stamps offered as No. 356 which may be examples of No. 338 with perfs trimmed at top and/or bottom. Beware also of plentiful fakes in the marketplace of Nos. 348-355. Authentication of all these coils is advised.

A high-end dealer explicitly told me not two months ago "never buy one of the 1908-1910 coils without getting it expertized, as any uncertified stamp in that series is far more likely to be fake than real". I have no doubt that jaywild had exactly in mind when he queried you originally, and I have no doubt that he's responding to the specific issue, not your general policy. When any of us see a 0-feedback seller offer one of the most problematic U.S. stamps in very good condition and then refuses to refund certs, not a single U.S. collector on this board is going to believe the issue is genuine.

Your comments about the cert cost are decidedly unfair or naive, not sure which. Sure, the price is around $50 right now, with five days left. It'll close at $150 or more, easily, and $150 is definitely in the "worth getting certified" range.

And a PSE cert only costs $25.

Your policy may very well be a fine policy as a general rule. On this particular issue, you need to relax your policy and allow for the *probability* that that stamp isn't what you think it is. Any rational buyer will expect you to.


Posted by rfaux (253) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 11:21:05 PDT Auctions

stamptraders Just to play a little devil's advocate with you, I live in a rural midwestern town in the US. I get rural delivery, of course, but opted for a PO Box for stamp material for several reasons (among them, rain). I don't get to the PO anymore than once every three days. So, rural area - usually three days or so to get to the PO Box - then maybe three if timing is bad before I see the item. I also usually have time on weekends to look at purchases carefully. Result - I need more than seven days.
Another thought - be careful to claim you have the 'most generous' or 'best' anything because there will be many who can find ways to shoot it down.
I am NOT saying you intend to defraud or that you intend to cause pain to anyone else with your policy. I AM suggesting that you review it again.
'nuff said, I really should be back to work.

Posted by wiredstamps (171) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 11:31:04 PDT Auctions

That #350 looks good.

Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 11:38:59 PDT Auctions

stamptraders... Your remarks below are inexplicable. I never described any of your material other than the "350" you are offering, much less called any of it "junk" as you claim, neither to you nor on the Board nor anywhere else.

You might be wise to heed a little of the advice offered on the Board today. There is no campaign against you specifically, but this has always been a place where collectors and dealers can share information about stamps. Among the more important things we discuss are what we perceive (and the APS too, apparently) as less than honorable business practices by sellers on eBay. As I said to you in an email earlier today, if you think you have been defamed it's by your own words, and not anything anybody, I or anyone else, has said here.


Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 11:50:22 PDT Auctions

Hi Rick (wired). The stamp might be a 350, but it also might have problems that can’t be seen from the scan. And since the seller doesn’t offer a refund on any cert if it comes back with faults listed, provided the stamp is also certified a genuine 350, I say there’s likely a reason for that, and it’s probably not going to work out in the buyer’s favor.

And by the way, an APS cert for an APS member would be $15 for a stamp with that CV.


Posted by pennystamps (517) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 11:51:44 PDT Auctions

stamptraders...... You forget one important point:

If the dealer is honest, reputable, AND knows the material they are selling, they WILL NEVER have to worry about paying for a bad cert. Only those dealers who DO NOT fall into these three areas have something to complain about when addressing this issue!

Posted by ed845 (735) star on Aug-23-01 at 11:58:34 PDT Auctions

Not being funny but what's a 350? I wish you all would use the Imperial Stanley Gibbons numbers then we would all know what the hell you are all shouting at each other about. Fast retreating into the sunset (rain actually at the moment but sunset sounds more poetic) Ed

Posted by wiredstamps (171) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 12:01:27 PDT Auctions

jaywild: I agree, all coils should be bought subject to expertization from either PF or PSE. To see an example of a cert policy, check the one auction I have going. This is not business! This is an example of a pro-buyer extension policy.

Posted by joke-boy (55)star about me on Aug-23-01 at 12:03:37 PDT Auctions

Ed, a 350 is a U.S. 1910 4c Washington horizontal coil stamp. See the auction mentioned by jaywild below for the lot in question.


Posted by margozim (2) on Aug-23-01 at 12:10:49 PDT Auctions

It's kind of ironic that stamptraders "require(s) buyers to be straight-forward and honest" when this con artist is trying to pass off an alleged US #315 "as is." That is about as unstraight-foward and dishonest as they get. Cross this weasle off my list.

Posted by wiredstamps (171) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 12:14:48 PDT Auctions

margozim: Did ya ever think that there may be just a little bit of liability involved with calling someone a "con-artist" in a public forum?

Posted by joke-boy (55)star about me on Aug-23-01 at 12:19:36 PDT Auctions

I'm also not thrilled with his 351. Those margins seem awfully close for a legitimate coil.

I don't think this guy's a scam artist. I think he's a normal dealer who doesn't know enough to expertize his own material, is unwilling to lose the money that using the appropriate hedge words would cost him, and really doesn't like getting stuck with the cost of certs created by his own lack of expertizing experience. In a lot of ways, he smacks of lvcraps. It's just a business practice that will lose him customers over time, but he hasn't experienced that yet.


Posted by chk99989 (95)star on Aug-23-01 at 12:21:43 PDT Auctions

ed845 Scott's for all it's problems is still the catalog for the US.
Why would we use any other on US issues? Using SG would be like when D2 complains
about using Scott numbers for Oz.


Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:27:50 PDT Auctions

Rick... What an admirable expertizing policy! That's the way to do it...stand behind your goods. And eBay doesn't mind that sort of business on the board, in fact they welcome it, because it means more potential buyers will see the item. What they don't like is discussing items for sale that are not currently up in an eBay auction.

Posted by ed845 (735) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:32:08 PDT Auctions

joke-boy: Thanks. Now at least I know what they are all shouting about. Ed

Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:33:58 PDT Auctions

I think ed845 was joking about using SG. Must be that British dry humor...

Posted by ed845 (735) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:34:00 PDT Auctions

chk99989: I know, I know. At least it was worth a try. Ed

Posted by ed845 (735) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:35:31 PDT Auctions

jaywild: I lost what ever sense of humour I had after a year on Ebay. Now into my second year and am fast losing my sanity. Ed

Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:38:08 PDT Auctions

ed... Now don't go and lose your hair next.

Posted by ed845 (735) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:40:32 PDT Auctions

jaywild: The hair went years ago. Incidently, there is a seller on ebay called hairlessterry. Must have had some premonition about ebay before joing. Ed

Posted by pennystamps (517) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 12:41:00 PDT Auctions

jaywild..... I agree. I think the no business rule applies to outside of eBay business being conducted on the board. ie...great! glad to hear you have that stamp. I will get the $100 in the mail send stamp to me @.....

As oppose to: I have that item up for auction with a very low bid on it right now.

So.....if anyone has any Andorra in any other category that I may have missed, please let me know so I can look it over and place a bid.


Posted by berekum (126) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:43:28 PDT Auctions

IMHO: This dealer, stamptraders, talks a good game of concern for buyers, etc. But it really comes across that his attitude is one of general contempt for those who might buy his wares and keep him indoors and eating regularly. He seems unlikely to ever have anything so good, so "I-must-have-that", that it would ever overcome my distaste for doing business with anyone with his arrogance!

Posted by ed845 (735) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:43:28 PDT Auctions

chk99989: D2 complain? I have never heard him complain. He might have the occasional rant against his friend in Florida but complain, never!. Ed

Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:44:01 PDT Auctions

ed.. He hee! I'm still hanging onto mine. (Hair, that is...humor and sanity, not so sure.)


Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:47:34 PDT Auctions

Yes, and if anyone has any auctions up with a stamp/cover/card (no strictly philatelic items, please) with a date of October 5 and year prior to 1950, let me know!

Posted by ed845 (735) star on Aug-23-01 at 12:49:12 PDT Auctions

I put in my, as we say, twopennyworth a week or so ago about publicising own auctions on this board. It seems more than a coincidence that the same seller has been active on this board again today making sure any lurkers are aware that he is now listing more auctions. Ed

Posted by rfaux (253) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 12:54:41 PDT Auctions

It's been said before & will again....
There are those who look to take advantage of buyers, there are those who look to take advantage of sellers. The hope is that those on each side that really just want to have fair deals on both ends will be able to put the 'problems' into perspective and not allow them to color their opinions regarding ALL people.
That includes putting up with those who are climbing the learning curve. Those that make mistakes.
Regardless, as a buyer, you should arm yourself with knowledge about what you buy and how you can get help determining what it is that you have. As a seller...heck, same thing as it pertains to buy AND sell.
As a buyer, you set your own 'policies' as to what type of business transactions you will or will not participate in. That includes looking to seller return policy, reputation, etc.
As a seller, you set policies that are buyer friendly without leaving one open to fraud and those few predators that DO exist. Nice little rope to walk there. :)
I told myself I'd work harder today - kind of working - yet here I am again.... hm.

Posted by g.1 (446) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 12:54:59 PDT Auctions

Ed Ethics doesn't seem to be that seller's strong point.

Posted by margozim (2) on Aug-23-01 at 13:12:25 PDT Auctions

ed845: You're right. Some people are shameless and incorrigible and think that the rules apply to other people, not to them. Trying to get them to see the error of their ways is useless because in their eyes, if no one else's, there IS no error.

Posted by usstamps (152) star on Aug-23-01 at 13:27:18 PDT Auctions

to all the flame throwers many here in the balcony have now donned their full asbestoes gear...please clearly identify your target(s) before firing willy-nilly away

Posted by samples (544) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 13:37:33 PDT Auctions

A & S
Hi! First time ever I've received this message from an Ebay Search...... "Sorry, too many items found. Please narrow your search".
What did I search? Two words. "as is".

Posted by wiredstamps_the_self_promotion_machine (0)  on Aug-23-01 at 13:43:42 PDT Auctions

Hey everybody! Bid on my auction! This is not business!

Posted by dbenson (1998) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 13:51:18 PDT Auctions

Someone been using my number in vain,

Ed, I have no complaints about the usage of Scott's ( or any other catalog) to describe material but they should also use a description of the stamp to go with it.


Posted by joke-boy (55)star about me on Aug-23-01 at 13:54:37 PDT Auctions

Ya know, this board could use a little more stamp discussion and a lot less vitriol. While I do think Rick was engaging in some blatant promotion a while back (unless I'm misremembering IDs), I have no problems with his note of a couple of hours ago, which was completely on-topic, relevant, and not particularly promotional in nature. And while I think people should have criticized Rick for that past incident, creating fake IDs and posting taunting messages makes me want to leave. If everyone would grow up a bit, I'd greatly appreciate it.

As for on-topic, it seems to me like there's a sudden lull in stamp sales. It's been a while since we saw a meaningful auction out of Siegel or Bennett. Ken Srail hasn't listed anything in several weeks. Good material just isn't being listed here as much as it was a scant three months ago. Dealers I visit don't seem to be turning over new material that quickly. Is this an economy thing? Anyone have any ideas?


Posted by paperhistory (1998) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 14:01:14 PDT Auctions

Jim: I'm starting to think that the economy is playing a role here (some of the local dealers are saying that things are REALLY slow).....but it's hard to distinguish how much of it is just a "dog days" summer slowdown in the market in general.

Posted by iomoon (467) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 14:01:36 PDT Auctions

The "lull" may have something to do with the upcoming Chicago meeting which it seems a fair number of board regulars will be attending.
Perhaps, if they are really lucky, Rosemary will be attending withe plenty of vegemite to pass around. :-Þ

What dry british humour?

Posted by wiredstamps (171) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 14:13:01 PDT Auctions

Just got back! Real funny to whomever posted the wiredstamps_the_self_promotion_machine The joke is going to be on you, as "wiredstamps" is a trademarked name. I think I'll be able to get that id outta here real quick--especially when my attorney gets to work with Ebay. I am guessing that your cowardly anonimity will also be revealed. I will gladly post it here when I find out your true identity.

As for promoting my own auctions, I think I made it perfectly clear that I was going to refrain from doing so in this venue, despite the favorable response given to me by Ebay. Perhaps you should take a look at how much I actually sell in this venue before you start making stupid accusations. It would be a tough life if I depended on the sale of stamps for a living.

Posted by stjohnstamps (349) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 14:14:30 PDT Auctions

gimme a break... legitimate 356 ?

Posted by gf9 (56) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 14:20:45 PDT Auctions

StJohn: Considering that "stamptraders" is trying to unload a 315 and 356, maybe the two most commonly faked stamps, it doesn't much for him, either ethically or knowledge -- either or both. His feedback may be stuck at "0" for a while, methinks

Posted by gf9 (56) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 14:22:01 PDT Auctions

Yikes, get me a copy editor! Once more:

StJohn: Considering that "stamptraders" is trying to unload a 315 and 356, maybe the two most commonly faked stamps, it doesn't say much for him, either ethically or knowledgewise -- either or both. His feedback may be stuck at "0" for a while, methink

Posted by joke-boy (55) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 14:24:08 PDT Auctions

Matt, I'm in Silicon Valley. We have a relatively big show coming up over the Labor Day weekend. It'll be very interesting to see how many dealers show up and how good business is. On the plus side, it might be a good time for me to get some good deals. We'll see.


The discussion segues into computer games, until ...

Posted by antonius-ra (339) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 15:34:00 PDT Auctions

Unless the scan of that 356 is distorted, the right vertical side measures less than the left.

Posted by gf9 (56) star on Aug-23-01 at 15:40:10 PDT Auctions

ant-ra: look very closely at the bottom left of the stamp and you can plainly see two perf notches

Posted by tomloweculturalanthropology (1374) star on Aug-23-01 at 15:43:05 PDT Auctions

Unless the scan of that 356 is distorted, there are edges of two perf holes visible at lower left.

Posted by tomloweculturalanthropology (1374) star on Aug-23-01 at 15:46:07 PDT Auctions

ooops! beat me to it ... I shall leaving the grilling to you!

Posted by antonius-ra (339) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 15:53:54 PDT Auctions

gf9 Yes I noticed those. I took the image into photoshop and blew it up but as the resolution of the scan was to low. I could not be certain thats what I was seeing. It would make sense however seeing that the left side appears wider. Should have been a little more careful trimming I guess?

Posted by keleofa (1692) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 17:27:32 PDT Auctions


What I don't quite get is this:

Stamptraders' beef seems to be that a good Cert adds value for the owner so the bidder has nothing to lose by going for a Cert.  If it comes back Good the buyer is happy and the Seller never hears about it.  If it comes back Bad (wrong Cat #, undisclosed fault etc), the Seller pays the cost of the Cert and refunds the bid price.

So why doesn't Stamptraders have the stamp certified prior to selling the stamp?  This will put the added value into the Stamptraders' pocket and the bidders will have the confidence they need to bid appropriately.

One reason not to pay for a bad Cert is lack of confidence in your own expertising abilities.  If you know it will come back Good then there is nothing to lose.  The buyer is happy, the certifier is happy and the seller is happy.  Everyone wins.

Only in cases where the Seller knows there is (or may be) a problem with the stamp's description will the Seller lose.

Matt in Samoa

Posted by joke-boy (55) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 17:33:39 PDT Auctions

Matt, I think that's the *real* beef that people like stamptraders and lvcraps have with paying for certs - they know they'll end up doing so, frequently. Reputable high-end dealers tend to be people who are pretty damned good at identifying problems and issues, and their risk from bad cert costs are pretty low and manageable. They can spot regums, reperfs, and hinge marks, and they know which issues are particularly subject to trickery. Dealers who don't have that level of expertise minimize their risk by primarily dealing in lower-value material, since such material is far less likely to be expertized. The dealers who complain are those without the skills, who attempt to sell beyond their skill level.

On a slightly different issue, what relatively big name brick-and-mortar auction houses exist in California? I only know of Rumsey and Harmer-Schau.


Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 18:12:59 PDT Auctions

joke-boy... There's Superior Galleries in Beverly Hills which holds auctions several times a year. They're not far from where I live, but I've never been to one of their auctions. Check your Scott's catalogue, I think they have ads in there.

Posted by schuylercrap (2) about me on Aug-23-01 at 18:47:56 PDT Auctions


Unlike other dealers, I offer all of my reissues with BPS certifications

2001  <b>chinggiskhan</b> - selling his 
				sister on eBay        1.4.  The good, the bad and the ugly on the chat board        2001  Off topic: computer games