Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Quality or Quantity

Michael Dodd, who is the Blog Master for the The Internet Philatelic Dealers Association (IPDA) and CDD Stamps has written that he is concerned about the amount of rubbish used stamps that are being touted or sold to collectors on the internet via websites and auction houses.

The object of this piece is to state I fully agree with him. His mini campaign to educate collectors is slowly paying off, less professional people are listing / selling but there could be many more who would get the message if more collectors refused to buy this rubbish. It would also be much better for the hobby in the long run.

I can understand it, when a collector is sorting through material that he or she has received as a free gift, if a stamp is not quite collectible and they have a space , it could do as as a stop gap until a better copy comes their way, but to actually go out buy this type of material is something I can not comprehend. Why buy heavy canceled stamps, when you can pick up a kilo of the stuff for a £1.00 at your local stamps shop?

I do not collect used stamps my self, ( I have in the past ) but do sell the odd used selection if I feel they are suitable for collecting, my motto is, if its not good enough for me I will not sell it to anyone else, but I will dump it in the bin or give it away with kilo ware. Stamps that are cancelled medium to heavy or has a crease or missing perf I will also give away for free, even if it (they) are catalogued at £200.

Below are some examples of what to collect and what not to collect. The stamps on the right are heavily cancelled and would not be selected to take pride and place in my album, the stamps on the left are clean, CDS lightly stamped and would be suitable for a general used collection.

I have to admit I am probably more fussy than most and would even soak the ones on the left off the backing paper and get rid of any that have short or damaged perfs.

Comparing the two lots I know what would look better displayed in an album. So take advice and be over selective.

When choosing a dealer, or eBay seller pick one that is a member of a philatelic dealers association. Preferably one that is also a member of the IPDA.

I know from being a member my self ( part time stamp dealer), you can be assured thet as a member they are trading under a code of ethics that will look after your interests as a collector first and foremost and not their own.

It also makes better business sense to the seller, if you the customer are happy, they as a seller will be happier in terms of possible repeat sales to them.

Thanks Michael for bringing this subject to peoples attention, keep up the good fight. You have my full support.

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