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Advice On Selling Used Sets On Ebay

 
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Valued Member
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Posted 03/15/2019   09:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add fini32 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've noticed a pattern when it comes to selling/buying series sets. The sets always go for less than if the stamps were sold individually. Makes sense in a way, and a nice caveat for a buyer, but I've also wondered if this is less due to selling a set in itself and more due to how sets are presented aesthetically (e.g. difficult to see single stamps in a set image, etc.). My own experience (not a lot of it, mind you) in selling sets has resulted in 0 bid auctions, despite setting the starting bid at 5% CV and below. Any tips on selling used sets for those who have more experience? Specifically, any tips on how best to present the sets for added traffic? I've wondered myself if placing the more expensive stamps in the set as the centerfold of the main eBay image would add to the traffic of viewers, but have yet to try it myself.
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Posted 03/15/2019   10:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ClassicPhilatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What era of stamps are you selling sets from?
Is it all FoB or do you have BoB sets as well?
Scott # range, or year range will help me advise better.
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Posted 03/15/2019   10:50 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think that is a contributing factor is that depending on the set, there may be more collectors needing individual stamps than the set in its entirety.
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Posted 03/15/2019   1:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For what it's worth, whether the set is mint or used, I prefer buying the stamps one at a time and try to obtain the nicest example of each stamp I can find.

All too often, there will be several decent examples, one really nice example and some, shall we politely call them, dogs in the set. Stamps which are far off center or have heavy cancels, in the case of used stamps.

Now, if I REALLY want that nice stamp, and the lot is not going for much, I might buy it. Usually, I pass.

This is just how I approach building my collection. Others may have a different take on it.
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Posted 03/15/2019   2:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rdavid to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If there is one or more stamps in a set that is not acceptable for one reason or another, I would not buy the set. Otherwise, sets are often much cheaper than buying one at a time.
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Posted 03/15/2019   3:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
If there is one or more stamps in a set that is not acceptable for one reason or another, I would not buy the set.


This.

Say we're talking about Columbians, as an example. Buying them as a set might be an easy way to get them all in a decent price. But to get the $1+ pieces in better quality, will require A LOT more money. So what some people might do, is buy a set realizing the set discount and then upgrade. This way they don't have blank spots, and satisfy their initial goal.

As others have mentioned, buys should be wary with sets as sellers rely on you not inspecting and scrutinizing every stamp in a set, the way that might occur in an individual stamp purchase. Reperfs, fakes and other shenanigans often creep into sets members.


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Posted 03/15/2019   6:54 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Actually, Columbians are a poor example IMO, as (1) very few people can afford to even consider buying them as a complete set, and (2) Columbians are rarely offered as a complete set. Hardly ever, in fact.

The combination of (1) more people looking for individual stamps to complete a set than to buy the complete set outright, and (2) the majority of sets on the market (of any set) being somewhat mismatched, whether it be centering, individual stamps with faults, or mixing NH, H, and/or used, is likely the difference... individual stamps just likely have a larger audience.
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Posted 03/15/2019   7:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One could have a niche specializing in "key's" to sets. Perhaps some do?
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Posted 03/15/2019   7:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add fini32 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is all great advice. It makes a lot of sense that collectors are looking for specific stamps or stamps that would be an 'upgrade' from their current one. I've been selling some of the early 1900's commemoratives in used sets: Louisiana Purchase, Pilgrim tercentenary, Jamestown, and a set of most stamps in the 1902-03 series (not some of the more scarce ones though). From some of the advice on here, it sounds like the better way to go is find good examples of single stamps and post them instead. Plus, it also gets rid of the dilemma that I was mentioning above
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Posted 03/15/2019   8:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just a extra thought ----Some collectors collect to the album ,like the Scott pre-1940 vol.I internationals where the cheap stamps are shown or listed in the album but the top value has no space . People may want what fills the album page and forget the higher price stamps .
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Posted 03/16/2019   12:13 am  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sets on eBay can sell for more than individual stamps are worth, taking shipping costs, listing fees and PayPal costs into consideration. Sometimes sets of otherwise unsaleable classic stamps sell for more than they are worth to collectors looking to fill spaces. Buyers of individual stamps are more discriminating. Matching centering and condition will help sell sets. Incomplete sets sell well when the grouping has something to tie it together. For example, complete sets of $3 US Hunting Permit stamps seem to sell at auction with multiple bids. One sale of 13 stamps is preferable to 13 individual sales. Four sets sold recently varied by more than a factor of three in price, with two of the sets realizing more than expected for individual stamps, one about the same and one for less. Clear images of each stamp and images of the back help make sets more saleable.
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Posted 03/16/2019   12:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fini can you provide links to some sets you've offered on eBay? Perhaps we might notice something.
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Posted 03/16/2019   02:03 am  Show Profile Check KGV Collector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KGV Collector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


Quote:
Any tips on selling used sets for those who have more experience


Check to see if any of your relatives are eBay technicians.

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United States
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Posted 03/16/2019   10:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thoughts from someone restarting working with my collection, and hence now shopping

One of the things I'll be doing is looking to complete sets where I already have some of a set's stamps. Seeing a full set listed doesn't always catch my attention as I'm looking more for particular individual stamps to fill out a set and I don't need duplicates to populate a stock book. On the other hand, as I get more into it I could be interested in a full set if it represents an overall quality upgrade to what I already have, especially if I can replace used with MNH.

There are also different "kinds" of sets or series, where one will be a group of different stamps of similar availability and cv, while another set may include stamps of increasing face value where the higher fv were issued in lower quantities and thus not as easily found.

Also, at least in my perspective, one might hate to see a nice set broken up.

A suggestion might be to try listing the stamps individually but somehow indicate in the title/heading that the stamp is part of a set. Then in the description state that other stamps of the series are available in auction listings and shipping can be combined.
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Posted 03/16/2019   2:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add fini32 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll refrain from providing links (I'm not quite at the post number yet per the forum rules), but I'll provide a couple pictures. The Louisiana Purchase set had a starting bid of 3.99 and the Jamestown 1.99. I understand that the quality is not a great one for the seasoned collector, so I guess my market was geared more towards newer collectors who were looking to obtain some moderately common stamps they haven't yet. I like the idea that Monelli provided, although I'm wondering if some of these more common stamps would simply remain unsold as a result. I'm learning now to hold of on commemorative sets until the condition is right and the stamps are nicely centered.



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Posted 03/16/2019   2:49 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
We all have our buying and selling preferences, and mine is for larger lots. You'd get away with the damaged/scruffy stamps on a larger, mixed lot of a few dozen stamps starting at 99p/99c. Sold as a small group, the viewer's eye is drawn to the damage, and s/he is likely to jump to the next offering.
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