Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Machin Collectors Club Launches StampMart Auction Site

There's no question that eBay has revolutionized stamp collecting. Overall, I think the revolution has been for the better, though there undoubtedly have been some casualties on the way. It has made a wealth of material easily available to the collector, and bargains can definitely be found.

eBay is not perfect for stamp collectors, though. Using eBay is definitely a case of caveat emptor. There are definitely fraudulent auctions, and I think even more auctions by people who don't know what they have and therefore write inaccurate descriptions and/or put unrealistically high prices on their lots.

The Machin Collectors Club has jumped into the fray and launched an internet auction site just for stamp collectors. It is called StampMart and is located at www.stampmart.org.uk. Only stamps and related items can be listed on the site.

It handles stamps of all countries, but at the moment, the vast majority of lots are Elizabethan Great Britain issues. That's not surprising since word went out first to members of the MCC. I expect that the offerings will become more balanced over time.

For buyers, the advantages are that there are no fees and that the site is moderated by dealers and other experts who are on the lookout for inaccurate or fraudulent listings.

For sellers, the advantages are no listing fees (but there are final valuation fees and optional enhancement fees), free image uploads, free relisting if the lot doesn't sell and free scheduled start times.

I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but I have looked it over and it looks pretty good. Give it a try.

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