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Just Passing Along A Warning & Curious What Your Opinion Is?

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Rest in Peace
United States
763 Posts
Posted 04/28/2015   10:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bill Weiss to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It made me not generally trust auction houses or dealers until I sampled their lots/material to acquire that trust.


....and that is the really unfortunate end result when a collector realizes he's been deceived by a seller who he thought he could trust. The damage that is caused to the overall health of the hobby is greatly increased by deceptive selling, yet it seems that nothing will ever truly get done about it. And don't for a minute think that deceptive sellers aren't very well aware that there is little danger in doing business that way. For some, after all, it's paid off for generations. For others, the eBay feedback system has gained them trust and respect far beyond what they deserve based on their deceptive practices. And our national stamp society (APS) even doesn't seem to want to "get involved" in trying to stop deceptive selling in the hobby.

Bottom line unfortunately, is "every man for himself". Self education, careful purchasing, seeking advice, supporting honest dealers, verifying purchases through independent expertizing, etc.
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Valued Member
339 Posts
Posted 04/28/2015   10:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheStampNut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very true Bill. I had checked and noticed that John Apfelbaum has already been disciplined and APS expelled him as a member for being charged with a crime and Kenneth Apfelbaum has also received a Published Reprimand but apparently that does little to stop the practices from continuing. I had also contacted Stamp Auction Network and spoke to Tom Droge and he basically said they cannot be responsible for what a dealer does and suggested I just use my common sense and as I did, just don't purchase from them. So it appears little or nothing more can be done. It's a shame that there is no way to end deceptive selling as the might buck does rule. I'm grateful this forum exists where members can be warned. What happened to the days when companies didn't want their good names being associated with those who would discredit their good reputations?

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2055 Posts
Posted 04/28/2015   11:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stampnut that is the felonious family member I mentioned. He was actually expelled from the APS for being CONVICTED of a crime for price fixing and shill bidding with several other philatelic auction houses. They were bidding on each other's auctions in the 1990s to elevate prices artificially and were caught in a federal antitrust sting.

I recall reading online somewhere that shill bidding doesn't really hurt collecting but apparently law enforcement and the Feds feel otherwise.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
765 Posts
Posted 04/29/2015   01:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add guykickinit to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe if the word spread far enough, no one would buy from them and they would go out of business.
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Member COPC.
Redmond, OR 97756 Mailer's Postmark Permit #1
Pillar Of The Community
United States
642 Posts
Posted 04/29/2015   02:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add billw2 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know why anyone would consider buying from them. Period.
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Valued Member
339 Posts
Posted 05/02/2015   07:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheStampNut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I sent a very direct email to Missy at Apfelbaum's with of course no response and see the same lot has been listed on their next auction without change...so I guess they don't really care. The email I sent to the APS was received and a reply requested more specific details which I provided and there too, no further response.
It would seem that short of that, nothing will happen and it will be business as usual with more deceptive listings to come from Earl Apfelbaum.
It's sad that companies which prey on the less informed flourish with impunity while the warnings fall on deaf ears.
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Israel
6191 Posts
Posted 05/02/2015   08:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Londonbus1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I had also contacted Stamp Auction Network and spoke to Tom Droge and he basically said they cannot be responsible for what a dealer does and suggested I just use my common sense and as I did, just don't purchase from them. So it appears little or nothing more can be done


I also spoke to Tom during the other incident with SAN this past week and they were very responsive. Most odd that they did not do anything about it as it is them, and not the dealer/auction who withdraw the lots. I would try SAN again and mention the discussions taking place [As I suggested].

Londonbus1
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Valued Member
339 Posts
Posted 05/02/2015   08:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheStampNut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


Quote:
I would try SAN again and mention the discussions taking place [As I suggested].


When I initially posted this issue, I had already spoken with Tom which was part reason I was upset. He would only convey the fact that they could not be responsible for what a dealer listed. He didn't seem very interested and at one point of our conversation basically told me to get to the point...so perhaps he had other concerns and didn't care to really listen to my concerns.

I'll send an email to him and see if he responds to a more positive end.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
789 Posts
Posted 05/02/2015   1:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add billsey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've purchased from Apfelbaum exactly three times. The first was a Thrace collection that ended up having all the higher values forged. It filled in a lot of holes in my collection for lower values, but the price was not what I would have paid if I had only been buying the cheaper stamps. They offered a return but I declined and instead have written up the forgeries for my collection's specialty pages. The second time was for a mus-identified Denmark stamp, where their lot writer saw a handwritten '12b' and described it as a '126'. The third time was a set of Danish stamps where they were all misidentified as a higher value (perforations were wrong) and in this case I sent them back. They conveniently 'lost' them on arrival and I was out the stamps and the money. In the future I'll only go for deals like the second one, where I am sure what it is and am comfortable with the item even if there are undisclosed faults.

Now, NYStamps I haven't had as good of luck with. :)
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Valued Member
339 Posts
Posted 05/02/2015   8:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheStampNut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not much of a difference as they both frequently misidentify stamps. IMO two different evils here. Apfelbaum listings ring of deception while NY Stamps indicates stamp lots may be regummed, reperforated and/ or repaired. I won''t be doing business with either.
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Rest in Peace
United States
763 Posts
Posted 05/02/2015   10:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bill Weiss to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It really isn't so much about misidentifying stamps as it is about failing to disclose faults. I am not aware of any other seller anywhere who explains in their Terms of Sale that "some stamps may be regummed, reperforated or repaired"! But of course, it's up to the buyer to try to figure out which stamps have which problems? I'll leave it up to others to form their own opinions about the ethics of this....... But because of eBay's policy of allowing listings to have nothing other than clear pictures as an acceptable method of operation, it is a utopia for unethical sellers!
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Learn More...
United States
5578 Posts
Posted 05/03/2015   12:27 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Apfelbaum is notorious for mesdescribing and overgrading their material, omitting major faults, etc. And if you dare to return too many lots that THEY misrepresent, you will be blacklisted.

Avoid like the plague.
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Valued Member
339 Posts
Posted 05/03/2015   8:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheStampNut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am awaiting a response from SAN to see if they will contact Apfelbaum and have them either remove the listing all together or at minimum remove the scan of 519 & 595 along with the Scott #'s. For me, that will determine if I make purchases via SAN in the future and I would hope that others reading this agree. If the website can't see this as out and out deception, than how can anyone have trust in any of the listings? I'm hopeful they will do their part and request Apfelbaum make the changes or remove it all together. I can't expect SAN to police all the Dealers, but once brought to their attention, they should be ethical and do their part for the sake of the hobby and show they have intergrity.
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Pillar Of The Community
1849 Posts
Posted 05/03/2015   8:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kevin504 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
When I initially posted this issue, I had already spoken with Tom which was part reason I was upset. He would only convey the fact that they could not be responsible for what a dealer listed


Why would anything change now??

You want to boycott Apfelbaums???
You want to boycott SAN???

Have at it...

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Valued Member
339 Posts
Posted 05/03/2015   8:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheStampNut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have since spoken by email with Tom again. I have no idea what if anything might change. I will certainly not make any purchase from Apfelbaum, and what I decide to do regarding SAN is still up in the air for me. I was simply adding to my original post to update those who have an interest. I never as it serves little more than to gain a greater headache! However I will make the effort to advise others when I see deception.
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