Why you should be buying from an IPDA dealer
Time and time again I see this, mostly I see it immediately, when I see Great Britain stamps as I know them better than other world countries.
What is this ? Listed for sale as Scott 173, (that is SG 399) a Great Britain Seahorse issue from 1913 Nice catalogue value for very fine of course with a Scott 2020 catalogue listing of $160 or, if you look at the SG catalogue you will find it at £200 for the Deep Sepia Brown and £150 for the Sepia Brown.
So what is it really? Yep, you guessed it, given the very obvious crossed hatched lines. It is not the 1913 issue with the horizontal portrait lines, it is really Scott 222 and SG 450, the 1934 printing. Yet the seller, obviously ignorant or just downright deceptive lists it at Scott 173 (no mention of the SG catalogue I might add) and at a discount to the $190 USD listing – that is the 2018 catalogue value I might add – not the latest Scott valuation. Well why would you quote the current catalogue price when that is $30 lower than the 2018 listing. And look carefully, it is a heavier parcel cancel with a pretty dirty disposition. And one final point. There was no scan of the reverse of the stamp so you had to guess what condition that was in!
So we have a seller offering for sale a stamp they either do not know how to correctly identify at a price based on an old catalogue or a seller trying to con the cash out a buyer who they hope also knows less than an experienced buyer. Yes, a buyer who believes the sellers description.
And that ladies and gentlemen is why you as collectors need to buy from an IPDA dealer (Internet Philatelic Dealers Association member) or at least a dealer who is a member of some recognized philatelic organization where they agree to abide some code of ethics. These amateurs selling on the interney, if I am being kind, these charlatans if I am being more realistic are taking over the stamp selling business in my view. If this isn’t proof – and believe me I can quote 100 more examples without any trouble what so ever- I cannot think of what other proof I can offer you.
Yes there are some brilliant dealers / stamp sellers who are not members of the IPDA but they are no doubt members of other excellent philatelic organisations and you should look out for them when buying. But, in this internet day and age there are far more sellers who are not in some way shape or form accredited, shall we say, and who are vying to sell you stamps that do not have the quality description correctly stated, stamps that are not correctly catalogued, and stamps that are very certainly wrongly priced.
Caveat emptor, buyer beware, many would say. I say that is a feeble excuse and as collectors we cannot all know everything, and we should be able to trust our dealers. You can trust an Internet Philatelic Dealers Association (IPDA) member.