Stamps for Sale

I just went to the Ebay site and added up the items for sale in the four main philatelic categories. They were over 1.2 million different offerings. Adding in the smaller categories would give you over 1.5 million. Stamp Wants (another web auction service) has a staggering 3 million philatelic items for sale. When I first started in the stamp business, most collectors complained that stamps were hard to find and they had to search long and hard for sources of supply. Today’s collectors might well complain that they are drowning in stamps. But just as too little product makes the hobby unappealing, too much product does as well. It’s difficult to find what you need in the clutter of all these offerings and, more importantly, how do you know the quality and integrity of the tens of thousands of dealers who are offering their wares. Further, many collectors lack the knowledge to discern if they are actually getting the quality and items that they think they are buying. Perhaps that’s why mainstream, old time dealers have done so well in this environment. Many buyers eschew the clutter and go to companies that they know they can trust, companies that have the knowledge and expertise to know what they are selling and the strength and staying power to back up their guarantees. People always said that one of the problems of the Internet is that by making all information available it effectively makes very little available as people will find themselves gravitating to a few places to get information that they know they can trust. This already seems to have happened in philately.

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