The following is my opinion. I am 100% sure that this is Philip Ryle. He is notorious for selling altered stamps. He and his 'agents' (his girlfriend and other lackeys) have continued his deceptive listings while he is building time in prison. As someone who is into investments and is buying higher end stamps, you will need to spend as much time learning who you are buying from as you do what you are buying.
As other have suggested, doing a search on this forum will reveal a number of threads where his practices have been exposed. Alternatively, you can do other online searches and learn more. keep in mind that many people will not speak out against him because he is also known for retribution; they are literally scared of him. Even in this community he has attempted several times to make fake profiles and pretend to be someone else (which is his M.O.).
Lastly, 100% eBay
feedback is meaningless. As is proven with this transaction, even convicted criminals and fraudsters can have 100% feedback. eBay
's feedback system is badly flawed and is 100% controlled by eBay
who has a vested interest in making buyers feel good about dealing without seeing what they are buying from someone half way around the world. You have been duped by both Ryle and eBay
. Read the link above, he was running shell companies and often would buy and sell between them (giving himself positive feedbacks). Why would you think that 100% feedback was meaningful when the article says he was buying and selling to himself?
By the time you get this stamp, send it in for a cert, and then try to return the stamp to the UK (and he will force you to return it to him in the UK), chances of any recourse will be very slim. The fact that his listings shows him as a US seller but they are really located in the UK should speak to you. Between the wait for a cert and the wait to return the stamp to the UK this would be a nerve racking process.
There have been a few people who managed to get recourse on a transaction, typically they are those who he thinks he can keep in playing for a even bigger deception.
When I look at the eBay
item from here, the seller's base is shown as "Cardiff by the Sea" in California.
listing is easily configured to show an item in any country you want it to show, but it is much harder to change the account location (click the feedback of a seller to see where the seller account is actually located).