My company motto is, ďQuality Stamps at Competitive prices.Ē That does not mean that every stamp I sell is in perfect/gem condition. So what does it mean?
About a year ago, I realized that some of the material I was selling was not quality material. Even though I priced it appropriately, the material didnít reflect my business values. I had to make a change.
To me, ďqualityĒ means it has nice appearance. Things like large tears or heavy cancels are things I try to shy away from. They just donít look nice in a collection.
I understand that everyone doesnít have deep pockets for the most expensive stamps. I donít expect them to. Suppose there is a $1000 stamp in VF condition. If the stamp is hinged or has a small thin and is reasonably well centered, itís going to sell for a lot less than $1000. Now Iím getting into the range that most collectors can afford. And it is still a nice appearing stamp.
I can pick up a copy of that $1000 stamp that has a cancel so heavy you can barely identify the stamp. Or I can get a copy with a huge/ugly tear through the middle. An appropriate price may be, say, $50. Do I really want to sell this stamp though, no. Iíd rather pick up a copy with a large thin that you canít see from the front and sell it for, say, $125.
Will stamps with AVE centering or a moderately heavy cancel show up in my inventory? Something may creep in from time to time. But itís not what I want to focus on. Those are not high quality stamps. I think my customers deserve better. In my experience, customers would, say, be willing to pay for a copy that has a thin (which is out of sight) versus a really poorly centered copy. Customers want something that is nice to look at Ė especially because their less expensive stamps are probably better quality. Why put a really ugly duckling in there?
Therefore, quality stamps are not perfect copies. There are ranges of quality. Small to moderate imperfections Ė especially on very valuable items are OK.
I work hard to bring material to collectors that they can afford. Not all of the stamps in my inventory will be perfect copies. But I want to avoid the really poor quality copies as much as possible. I want to more closely follow my motto. I think itís the right thing to do.