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Miller Expertizing Certificates... Anyone Heard Of Them?

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Posted 11/12/2018   4:12 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add revenuecollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've not seen these certs before. I assume this is similar to Crowe certs, i.e., someone who has expertized for one of the major expertizing bodies in the past but is now branching out on their own?

eBay seller Northstamp has been listing a number of high-dollar U.S. revenues with Miller certs. I asked them for an image of one and they provided the one below. I do not know the person or his credentials.

Anyone have any firsthand experience with either the certs or this individual?

http://www.alanmillerstamps.com/ind...ge=page&id=4




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Posted 11/12/2018   4:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very problematic. A SCF search might best provide some background. He self certifies his own material and quite few of his certified items were found to be not as stated or bogus upon submission and review by the PF.
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Posted 11/12/2018   5:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As stated above, not certs to be trusted.
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Posted 11/12/2018   5:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
He's an active dealer with a large mail-order customer basis who has been in business since the 1970s and is an ASDA and APS member. His main stock is used US stamps and there are many issues he can supply that are not subject to misidentification. He also runs periodic mail bid sales. He also personally answers the phone number shown on the cert during reasonable business hours. If you have a question, phone him.

People posting negative reputational information ought to back it up with an example Miller certificate and PF certificate for the same stamp showing different opinions. What I have seen in the past is only anecdotes, often second- or third-hand. That said, I am not aware of him having an active independent cert business. I believe it's correct that his certs usually are prepared for material he is selling but knows needs a cert, like an early flat plate coil.
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Edited by cjpalermo1964 - 11/12/2018 5:32 pm
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Posted 11/12/2018   5:47 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
That said, I am not aware of him having an active independent cert business.


See the link I provided in the original post. It looks active to me.

I've always been wary of single-expertizer certificates. No one can be an expert in everything, and any single person who claims to expertize all U.S. material or all countries should set off alarm bells immediately, in my opinion.

I have a few Weiss certificates in my collection, and one Crowe certificate. In the case of the former, they were either no-brainers or at nominal cost, and in the case of the latter the item also came with an APEX cert and I asked the APS who the expertizers were on this specific item before I purchased it.

The expertizers in question could very well be qualified to expertize the item on any given cert, but there's no way to be sure.


Quote:
I believe it's correct that his certs usually are prepared for material he is selling but knows needs a cert, like an early flat plate coil.


But isn't that an inherent conflict of interest? "Hmm... I know that people won't buy this particular stamp without a cert, so I guess I'll give it a cert."
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Edited by revenuecollector - 11/12/2018 5:49 pm
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Posted 11/12/2018   5:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Edited by rogdcam - 11/12/2018 6:18 pm
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Posted 11/12/2018   6:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rustyc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm guessing this might be the inspiration for the question. I saw it this morning.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-R33a-10...100903.m5276

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Posted 11/12/2018   6:52 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Actually it wasn't any one particular item. Just seeing a whole spate of "non-traditional" certs in one swell foop.
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Posted 11/12/2018   6:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rustyc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The stamp actually looks OK to me, subject to the unpictured "tiny thin." But touting an unknown cert seemed dicey.
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Posted 11/12/2018   7:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would want to look at that stamp very carefully. It might be OK, but it does not have to be, even though it was used in the correct time period.
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Posted 11/12/2018   9:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't recall if I ever personally did business with Alan Miller, but the name has been around for a long time. My impression is that his reputation is good but that these certs are regarded as pretty worthless due to the obvious conflict of interest. If he has truly established an independent line of business for certifying philatelic material that he has no financial interest in, it is news to me.
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Posted 11/13/2018   7:55 pm  Show Profile Check sinclair2010's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do think that he is certifying bonafide submissions from other parties but I don't think his certs are worth the paper they are printed on.

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Posted 11/13/2018   9:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Realize that most or at least a large number of the experts involved with certification are dealers. They are donating their time and expertise. HOWEVER. I recall several incidents where submitters were contacted by a dealer expertiser to see if they would sell the item. This was before the stamp and verdict was known by the submitter. I remember well one specific incident where a collector expert at the PF contacted the submitter to see if he would sell it before the item was returned to the submitter.

Conflict of interest? There is nothing but. Since conflict of interest is tolerated in professional sports and politics, how can we expect anything different in the hobby world?
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Posted 11/13/2018   9:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When an item for expertization is shown, no one who sees it knows who owns it and it would not be shown to a dealer who owned it. At least that is how the PF works.
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Posted 11/13/2018   10:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Does Alan Miller have:

1) Subject Matter Experts

2) More than one person signing off on the opinion

3) Reference materials for colors, paper, grills etc.

4) Sophisticated equipment for analysis and microscopic examination



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Posted 11/14/2018   05:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
When an item for expertization is shown, no one who sees it knows who owns it and it would not be shown to a dealer who owned it. At least that is how the PF works.

That was my understanding, too, but I was there when the owner got the call where an offer to buy was made. Yes, I was bothered by this then and obviously still am. revcollector, PM me if you want; I return this discussion to being about Alan Miller.
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