To me, differences in pricing are not being deceptive or dishonest. Here is what I mean.
Suppose I have a stamp available for $50 and another dealer has a copy of the same stamp for $500. How can this happen?
The first thing I ask in a case like this is if the stamps are identical. Many times they are not. My copy may have a fault and I heavily discounted the price. The other copy may be superb centering, no faults, with a certificate of authenticity. These two copies are night and day of each other. Of course they will have different prices.
There are things in business called ďloss leadersĒ. In short, you sell one item at a ďlossĒ in order to ďleadĒ customers to your business in hopes that they will buy other items from you. Suppose I bought an accumulation of Scott #C18 (Baby Zepps) and I canít unload them like I planned. I may drop the price a lot to get rid of them rather than tying up my money in stock that isnít moving. Yes, I may lose money on them. With a rock bottom price, I hope customers will look around and buy other items too where Iíll make a more reasonable profit.
Suppose the stamps are identical and my price is $50. The other dealer is, say, at $75.
Price differences like this happen all of the time. No two dealers are going to price the same stamp in the same condition at the exact same price every time. Itís impossible to do this.
Is the dealer charging $75 ripping you off? In my opinion: no.
Think about it. Which grocery store or department store do you shop at? Donít you compare different stores and shop at the one with the best price, best service, or some combination thereof? Why not do the same with stamp dealers?
Maybe the dealer offering the copy for $75 has a no-questions-asked return policy. And suppose my policy is that I donít accept returns. Now youíre paying an extra $25 for the convenience of being able to return the stamp if you donít like it. And if you buy it from me, youíre stuck with it.
Maybe I think this stamp is overvalued in the catalog and I will sell it for a cheaper price. The other dealer may think itís worth full catalog value. Itís not a question of right versus wrong. This is just a difference in opinion on the demand and pricing. It happens all of the time.
As long as the item is accurately described, I donít have a problem with a dealer charging whatever price they want. It is up to the customer on which copy they want to buy. If the other dealer can price his item at $75 and sell it, good for him! Someone made the choice to buy it.
If a customer bought it and feels overcharged because they found out later that another dealer had the same item at a cheaper price, well, it should have been up to the customer to do their homework and compare prices before buying.
Honestly, I think that any dealer who grossly overcharges for material will not be in business very long. Yes, they may get a few sales. But word will spread that dealer X charges too much. People will stop buying and heíll be out of business.
Small differences in price happen all of the time. Itís up to the buyer to decide which one to buy.