I see this on eBay a lot. I sometimes see it in dealer ads. And this is not specific to just stamps; it can happen to any item for sale.
An item is for sale and the seller says something like, “The retail price is $299. But you can have this item for just $69!” Sometimes the commercials on TV take it one step further. You also get a second item at no additional charge. Great! I now have almost $600 of items for just $69. Hurry because this offer ends soon! Do you really think someone can sell $600 in merchandise for just $69 and stay in business very long?
Where does the ridiculous retail price of $299 come from? The answer is, it’s made up by the person selling the item. Or sometimes they say that it’s the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Well, I can suggest any price I want. That doesn’t mean people will buy it at that price.
Advertisers who do this are trying to lure you into a false sense of saving money. Many times, you’re not.
Suppose I have a stamp that I would sell for $100 under normal conditions. I could create an ad that says that the normal retail price is $299, but you can have this for $125. You think you’re saving $174 off of retail price. However, you’re buying it for $25 more than I was willing to sell it for.
Just because someone says the retail price is a certain dollar figure, you don’t always have to believe them. Are other sellers offering that same product or a very similar product? What is their retail price?
The only thing that matters is the price you pay for an item. The suggested retail price means nothing other than to distract you from looking around at what others have to offer. Buy from me and you’ll save a bundle compared to the made up retail price I just quoted you!