A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about the many ways that I feel stamp dealers provide value to the hobby. Since I wrote that post, I have encountered quite a lot of anti-dealer sentiment on Facebook groups and Facebook itself. The general tone of this sentiment is that the collectors feel that we are nothing more than greedy middlemen who drive the price of stamps up beyond what they are really worth. Their evidence to support this is threefold:
1. The latest deal they made with Mr. Fellowcollector half way around the world for the following stamp:
2. Their experience in purchasing collections from auction houses, in which they can buy collections of Canada or any country they want at 25-30% of Scott.
3. Their experience in trying to sell their collections to dealers who often offer between 10-15% of catalogue value for their "collection".
In many collectors minds, all of this is evidence that dealers are unscrupulous and take people's collections for a song and then turn around and charge two to three times what the stamps are really worth.
My take on all this is the subject of this post and is decidedly different from this. My response addresses the following assertions:
- Wholesale and retail markets are completely different.
- "Good" deals are often not what they seem.
- Not all collections are created equal and when you sell to a dealer you are operating in a wholesale rather than a retail market.
This next stamp has fresh original gum as the first stamp above, but is just fine in terms of centering. It is a solid stamp for a budget conscious collector who wants sound, but not perfect stamps. It catalogues $100 in Unitrade. I priced it for $50 USD.
5. A large number of Admiral issues with straight edges have been re-perforated to produce well centered stamps and they can fool you if you are not careful.