Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke
Within the Aug. 17, 2020, Philatelic Foreword column, I posed quite a few 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 best ways to offer the knowledge obtained in a future column.
Reader Andy Simmons of Illinois wrote, “I’m positive I’m not the one reader who needs 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 just 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 area. 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 ideas and extra about on-line promoting on these web sites.
Annually I purchase a number of hundred tons from on-line distributors eBay, Delcampe, Hip Stamp and, often, an public sale home. I take advantage of a sniping service for eBay. For different gross sales I usually bid inside 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 delivery price often affect my most bid, however desirability of an merchandise and my starvation for it are generally an element. I’ve had an quantity of success when asking a vendor to simply accept a proposal decrease than the beginning bid, and delivery price can generally be lowered.
I attempt to learn fastidiously all descriptive parts and delivery 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 inclined to ignore or are unaware of that.
Distributors are usually pleasant and fast to answer queries, so I don’t hesitate to ask about merchandise particulars that aren’t clearly described and about delivery prices.
Though few shipments have failed to achieve me, objects from South America, Italy, Japanese Europe and Asia must be despatched by registered mail. Some distributors pay for this, some require consumers to pay for it, and generally it’s optionally available. PayPal and eBay will cowl misplaced shipments. Delcampe doesn’t, and Delcampe distributors usually embody a delivery time period that particularly denies their legal responsibility for misplaced shipments.
Shipments from South America are sluggish. Throughout the present pandemic, shipments from quite a few different nations are sluggish. Patrons usually 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 resolution to contemplate an merchandise is usually primarily based on the picture supplied by the seller. I’ve at instances requested further photographs of things. I do know of no less than one vendor who makes use of principally inventory photographs. I be aware additionally that almost all distributors who listing 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 offered.
The customer is accountable for recognizing what is probably going faux and will ask the seller. Even when asking, although, consumers must filter vendor responses by way of purchaser information.
Shopping for on Delcampe
I’m a thematic collector (for under three species of animals), and I solely purchase stamps on-line. I’m not interested by promoting as a result of I don’t wish to take care of the trouble of packaging, delivery 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 enrich a few of the collection I can’t discover on the primary. The rationale I take advantage of Delcampe is that it has a vastly superior availability of fabric in comparison with another on-line retailer.
As for buy technique, I attempt to purchase the merchandise instantly and keep away from auctions as a result of I are inclined to have purchases “burst” (shopping for a number of units without delay) so I wish to attempt to reduce the sellers I’m shopping for from (on the proper worth) to scale back delivery prices (extra on it later), so as soon as I determine to purchase from a vendor I wish to make sure you get the objects, which auctions don’t assure.
The second motive is the “stress” associated to public sale that somebody can snipe on the final second. If I’m compelled 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 watch its outcome.
As for the significance of vendor suggestions, everybody had a foul expertise that resulted in unfavourable suggestions, so I’m not in search of 100 p.c, however clearly a 50 p.c suggestions vendor is sketchy, and it’s most likely higher to keep away from them.
Delivery costs do sway my resolution making. Residing in the US and with a lot of the sellers situated in Europe, signifies that delivery prices are excessive.
I choose registered delivery 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 ideas and recommendations to verify the objects arrive in good situation with out damages in transit, which I at all times ship to the vendor instantly after I accomplished a purchase order.
A superb scan or photograph is certainly vital. If I’m not happy, I often ask for a greater image, generally even of the again, however the request must be motivated, for instance, by earlier dangerous experiences.
Communication can also be key given the plain asynchronous buy technique. All the time talk early and extensively: You probably 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 instantly, in order that they don’t get impatient.
Common shopping for and promoting ideas
I like stamp folks. There are so few of us left, that I at all times wish to make the perfect of each state of affairs, both for them or myself. Listed here are some issues I’ve run into:
• Promoting: Beginning worth 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 quite a lot of them, they promote for a penny. I’m not a $35 delivery kind.
• Promoting: Can’t even promote for face worth.
• Shopping for: Beware the delivery worth and nation — if you’d 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 coated 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 in the near past gotten again in contact and re-bonded over stamps.
• Shopping for/Promoting: Mixed delivery — Makes an enormous distinction and skim the effective print. Most stamp sellers mix delivery, even when it doesn’t say they may.
• Shopping for: When shopping for a number of tons from the identical vendor, look ahead to the bill earlier than paying; it’s often 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 worth. They could settle for it.
• Shopping for: That is my method, 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 rely 2 (exhibits extra curiosity, which may very well be good or dangerous). Then I both stroll away and hope or attempt the snipe (myself, not a program) on the final second.
• Promoting: Watch out with classes chosen. You might lose folks 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 all the column within the print or digital version of the Jan. 18 difficulty of Linn’s.
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