Several years ago, I was buying some stamps on eBay. I havenít sold anything on eBay in about 2 years. I have bought a few modern mint issues on there to fill some holes in my stock. But for early US or more valuable items, I donít use eBay at all for that.
I never leave feedback on there. In my opinion, itís a waste of time. I have yet to see any sellers who have a low feedback, even though some of them certainly deserve it. Iím not sure I see a feedback of less than 99%
In my opinion, I think there are a few crooks on eBay. Itís going to happen and thatís not just with stamps. I see stamps offered by the same seller where they deliberately overstate the value of a stamp or itís just flat out wrong. A few times I contacted people about a listing saying that it was the wrong catalog number. A few people replied and thanked me for the comments. They removed the item from auction. Most let the sale go on as-is.
I think the majority of sellers on there have no clue about stamps, or they pretend to have no knowledge of stamps. They picked up a collection somewhere. They see a picture of their stamp in the catalog and of course, they have the most valuable one. Many sellers donít know how to use a perforation gauge and they donít know what a watermark is.
For example, I saw a stamp the other day. The seller gave the Scott number and showed the front and back of the stamp. As with some double line watermarked stamps, the watermark was so strong, you could see it on the ordinary stamp. You didnít even need watermark fluid to see this one. Yet, the seller listed it with the Scott number of the more valuable, unwatermarked version.
In my opinion, I think collectors who buy older, more valuable stamps on eBay are headed for trouble. In a few cases, a crook is going to get you. But in many cases, youíre going to buy a stamp as one item when itís really something else. And unless youíre knowledgeable enough about stamps, how are you going to know if itís the real deal or not?
Some things are subjective too, like centering. However, I see a number of listings, usually from the same group of sellers, that mark almost every item they are selling as XF or Superb. To me, there is always room for some difference in opinion when youíre just eyeballing the stamp. A VF to one person may be XF to someone else. But when youíre selling a stamp and the perfs are cutting into the design of the stamp, Iím sorry, thatís not XF. Itís Fine centering at best.
I havenít seen it yet, but Iím waiting for the day when someone comes to me with their modest collection of rare stamps that they bought from eBay for mere pennies on the dollar. They are going to be sorely disappointment in my valuation of their collection. I hope youíre not one of these folks!