Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke
Within the Aug. 17, 2020, Philatelic Foreword column, I posed plenty of inquiries to Linn’s readers about promoting and shopping for on-line on the web sites of eBay, Delcampe and HipStamp.
The response was nice. We obtained quite a few emails with suggestions for a few months after that column went to press.
After that I struggled to seek out one of the simplest ways to supply the data obtained in a future column.
Reader Andy Simmons of Illinois wrote, “I’m certain I’m not the one reader who desires to purchase on-line, however has completely no clue the place to even start.”
That remark and others led me to the choice to current the feedback in a way much like our Letter’s to Linn’s web page that seems in our weekly newspaper.
I’ve supplied headings and edited some content material for house. Not the entire many authentic messages obtained are included.
This format offers readers a glimpse into what it was prefer to obtain a bunch of fascinating suggestions and extra about on-line promoting on these web sites.
Annually I purchase a couple of hundred heaps from on-line distributors eBay, Delcampe, Hip Stamp and, often, an public sale home. I exploit a sniping service for eBay. For different gross sales I sometimes bid throughout the final 24 hours. Although I’ve not fastidiously monitored my success fee, I might guess it’s someplace within the realm of 50 p.c.
Beginning bid and transport value normally affect my most bid, however desirability of an merchandise and my starvation for it are typically an element. I’ve had an quantity of success when asking a vendor to just accept a proposal decrease than the beginning bid, and transport value can typically be lowered.
I attempt to learn fastidiously all descriptive parts and transport particulars. Distributors on Delcampe are infamous for including PayPal charges that they don’t point out of their phrases. Delcampe guidelines for sellers explicitly forbid this, however distributors are likely to ignore or are unaware of that.
Distributors are typically pleasant and fast to answer queries, so I don’t hesitate to ask about merchandise particulars that aren’t clearly described and about transport prices.
Though few shipments have failed to succeed in me, objects from South America, Italy, Jap Europe and Asia needs to be despatched by registered mail. Some distributors pay for this, some require consumers to pay for it, and typically it’s non-obligatory. PayPal and eBay will cowl misplaced shipments. Delcampe doesn’t, and Delcampe distributors typically embody a transport time period that particularly denies their legal responsibility for misplaced shipments.
Shipments from South America are gradual. In the course of the present pandemic, shipments from quite a few different nations are gradual. Consumers sometimes ought to wait about 30 days earlier than contacting distributors relating to non-arrivals and wait 60 days for submitting an eBay or PayPal declare.
My choice to think about an merchandise is mostly primarily based on the picture supplied by the seller. I’ve at instances requested extra photographs of things. I do know of a minimum of one vendor who makes use of largely inventory photographs. I notice additionally that almost all distributors who record a number of examples of a single stamp or set will repeat a single picture.
Just a few distributors expressly state whether or not a picture is the precise merchandise being bought.
The customer is chargeable for recognizing what is probably going pretend and will ask the seller. Even when asking, although, consumers have to filter vendor responses via purchaser information.
Shopping for on Delcampe
I’m a thematic collector (for less than three species of animals), and I solely purchase stamps on-line. I’m not excited about promoting as a result of I don’t wish to cope with the trouble of packaging, transport and determining the appropriate stamp worth to cost relying on the nation and all the opposite logistics concerned.
I do all my purchases on Delcampe, however I’ve been just lately additionally utilizing eBay to enhance a few of the collection I can’t discover on the primary. The rationale I exploit Delcampe is that it has a vastly superior availability of fabric in comparison with another on-line retailer.
As for buy methodology, I attempt to purchase the merchandise straight away and keep away from auctions as a result of I are likely to have purchases “burst” (shopping for a number of units without delay) so I wish to attempt to decrease the sellers I’m shopping for from (on the proper value) to scale back transport prices (extra on it later), so as soon as I determine to purchase from a vendor I wish to you’ll want to get the objects, which auctions don’t assure.
The second purpose is the “stress” associated to public sale that somebody can snipe on the final second. If I’m pressured to bid, I attempt to set a decently excessive bid restrict and set an alarm a couple of minutes earlier than the public sale ends to observe its end result.
As for the significance of vendor suggestions, everybody had a nasty expertise that resulted in adverse suggestions, so I’m not on the lookout for 100 p.c, however clearly a 50 p.c suggestions vendor is sketchy, and it’s most likely higher to keep away from them.
Transport costs do sway my choice making. Residing in the USA and with many of the sellers situated in Europe, signifies that transport prices are excessive.
I want registered transport as a result of I can monitor it, but it surely additionally relies on how a lot it prices
I’ve additionally collected a collection of suggestions and solutions to verify the objects arrive in excellent situation with out damages in transit, which I all the time ship to the vendor straight away after I accomplished a purchase order.
A very good scan or photograph is certainly vital. If I’m not glad, I normally ask for a greater image, typically even of the again, however the request needs to be motivated, for instance, by earlier dangerous experiences.
Communication can also be key given the apparent asynchronous buy methodology. All the time talk early and extensively: When you have doubts, ask; when you’ve got questions, ask; when you’ve got preferences for cargo, inform them; if you wish to delay fee since you’re nonetheless trying out their retailer, allow them to know straight away, in order that they don’t get impatient.
Common shopping for and promoting suggestions
I like stamp individuals. There are so few of us left, that I all the time wish to make the perfect of each state of affairs, both for them or myself. Listed below are some issues I’ve run into:
• Promoting: Beginning value too low — one bid winners. I’ve tons of mint United Nations stamps that I can’t give away. If I put a penny bid on loads of them, they promote for a penny. I’m not a $35 transport kind.
• Promoting: Can’t even promote for face worth.
• Shopping for: Beware the transport value and nation — if you would like it quick or low-cost, be cautious. Gadgets from some nations take months to reach.
• Sellers: Use stamps for postage. I like sending and receiving giant packages lined in lovely U.S. stamps! I save those my brother sends me intact, as a result of they’re so extremely superior. He and I didn’t converse for years, and we’ve only recently gotten again in contact and re-bonded over stamps.
• Shopping for/Promoting: Mixed transport — Makes an enormous distinction and skim the positive print. Most stamp sellers mix transport, even when it doesn’t say they are going to.
• Shopping for: When shopping for a number of heaps from the identical vendor, anticipate the bill earlier than paying; it’s normally a lot much less than simply working to PayPal. In the event that they don’t ship an bill, ask for one. Actually nice sellers refund the additional quantity paid.
• Shopping for: Contact the sellers and negotiate. If there isn’t a buy-it-now or make supply button, and there aren’t any bids, contact the vendor together with your value. They might settle for it.
• Shopping for: That is my approach, anyway. If it’s pretty priced … I bid and if I win, nice. If it’s low, I bid, then put in a max bid, making the bid depend 2 (reveals extra curiosity, which could possibly be good or dangerous). Then I both stroll away and hope or strive the snipe (myself, not a program) on the final second.
• Promoting: Watch out with classes chosen. You could possibly lose individuals in the event you choose the mistaken ones.
• Promoting: Look ahead to typographical errors and ensure your listings have all the appropriate phrases. Don’t attempt to promote a Scott’s Worldwide Album, Quantity 1 as Scott’s Int’l or Worldwide Vol. 1, issues like that.
Learn the whole column within the print or digital version of the Jan. 18 concern of Linn’s.
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