In the winter 2014 pricelist, I wrote about a woman who had me look at a collection that was nothing more than common/inexpensive material bought on approval. She claimed to have other dealers drooling over this collection that was worth a huge sum of money. She was a con artist and I would not play the part of the clueless fool and give her wads of cash.
I recently had a similar experience, although not as bad as the first one.
A gentleman called me. His wife had a collection that she inherited. It was about 1000 stamps and he felt there were some expensive stamps in there. My experience says otherwise, but if you want to look over the stamps, sure Ė bring them over and weíll review them.
Itís what I expected Ė a lot of common material and the early US stamps were mostly damaged. And then I got real story. He pointed to a black 2Ę Andrew Jackson stamp (Scott #73) and said, ďI saw this stamp listed on eBay for $2.3 million.Ē
I donít think he was lying. He may have been inflating the $2.3 million price a bit. But itís clear that he got all of his philatelic knowledge from surfing around eBay and comparing those stamps to his. Again, condition, grills, watermarks, perforation size Ė all of those things are irrelevant.
I explained that a lot of stuff on eBay is incorrectly described and overpriced by clueless sellers.
Then he dropped ďthe other dealerĒ bomb. He told me that a guy in Philadelphia was interested in this collection too, but he came to me first because I was closer than the drive to Philly. I said, ďOh that must be so-and-so.Ē You guessed it. He drew a blank on the name of this other dealer who was very interested in his stamps.
He wasnít as obnoxious as the woman in 2014. But it was obvious that he was lying to me.
Note to future sellers. Iíve been doing this for a few years. Iíve heard lots of stories and many lies. Iím not bragging here, but I feel that I am pretty knowledgeable about stamps. If youíre going to lie to me, youíre not going to get far. Iíve probably heard those same lies elsewhere. Donít waste your time. Iím not going to fall for it. Iím still not a fool.