There are many types of guarantees in philately and there are many types of opinions. It is important that collectors distinguish between the two and understand what protections each provides. The major expertization services-the APS, the Philatelic Foundation, Professional Stamp Expertizing service, Sergio Sismondo-indeed all of them, offer an opinion, based on current knowledge, of the genuineness and quality of the philatelic item presented to them. This is reassuring to collectors and of value as there are many stamps where the forgeries outnumber the genuine and hidden faults exist on many stamps. But it is important to note that despite the expense involved in having stamps expertized (which is often 5% of the catalog value-with a $25 minimum- and since many stamps are bought at 25% of catalog this can work out to as much as you paid for the stamp itself), it's important to realize that what you are paying for when you expertize a stamp is an opinion only. Traditional certification is not a guarantee and as quality and knowledge standards change over the years should the opinion of your stamp change, well then, tough luck to you. Apfelbaum offers something better- a guarantee. Certainly get your stamps expertized if you wish and if they are not as we described them we will instantly refund your money. But we offer something more and have offered it throughout our century in the stamp business-a complete and total money back guarantee of the genuineness and descriptions of the stamps we sell without time limit, that is, forever. Forever! No one else in the stamp business does that or has ever done that. We do it because we are confident of our descriptions and our philatelic knowledge and we are willing to back our opinions with our money. If you buy a stamp from Apfelbaum and you (either with a third party expert or you alone) ever believe it to be misdescribed or not in every way as we have sold it to you, you may return it for a full immediate cash refund. In a world in which everyone has opinions we think you should deal with a firm that gives you guarantees.
Philatelic Opinions vs Guarantees