You asked for feedback for a stamp and got 8-9 responses including one with a lot of research and detail. You thanked folks for their feedback and to me this seemed to indicate that you were satisfied with the feedback. I think it is acceptable for a thread which has run it's course to then wander. Don
funncitypapa - We have all at times scratched our heads trying to understand the mindset of an expertizer giving a grade of 90 to a perfectly centered stamp with good color and impression and no faults listed or a stamp that anyone can see is off center with a short perf grading 95 with no detail.
I could spend my whole day posting images that are undeniable examples of this. I've done it a few times in the past, but the response has been mixed, and my general takeaway is that no one seems to have enough influence in the hobby to do anything about it. I thought that getting the PSE database up on StampSmarter would at least help make collectors aware of the subjectivity of grading, and that there might be a push for more information to accompany certificates. The truth is that the leaders in the hobby, whether they are dealers or leading philatelists don't really object to the subjectivity because understand the game and play it well.
Eyeonwall asks for additional comment from me on being a contrarian. The contrary point being it was pointless to proffer a grade when the original poster provided only half the story, thus falling into the frequent trap that grading is only about centering. To omit readily available data about soundness, a scan of the reverse side and a scan in fluid made any thread replies to that point greatly devalued.
If you were seeking my opinion of grading, I would provide the disclaimer that I have never owned any graded stamps and that all certs I have sent for have been solely for ID purposes. I have no dog in the fight - other than the scientist in me wanting to see all data before making any conclusion.
"What is the stamp worth to me?" has always seemed reasonable. Agree with those who think there is somewhat of a racket going on in the grading world; same thing happened with baseball cards way back when. If other people want to base their decisions on grades; have at it, but would think any quasi-experienced collector should be able to make their own judgement pretty easily without an outside agency that may or may not favor certain customers.
Rog: I don't have my knickers in a knot, I am really responding more to the disrespect emoji that you attached to your post as if what I was suggesting was ridiculous. I don't see any reason for snarkiness on this forum. I have probably been collecting and dealing with Rupp as long as you have, if not longer. I agree with everything you said about him. His business was fine prior to grading and continues to be fine with the introduction of grading. But I think his philosophy of offering material, whom to get certs from etc has changed. He's playing the game. If you discuss how to offer your wares at Siegel, Scott Trepel's strategy is similar. He also is playing a form of game. I'm not criticizing either of them or you—just calling it what it is—a game. The game doesn't have to be good or bad but it is what it is.
In fact it is a bit of a game where the object is no longer collecting stamps but collecting graded certs, which is fine with me as long as we accept the obvious that this is not really about stamps but really only about money We have all at times scratched our heads trying to understand the mindset of an expertizer giving a grade of 90 to a perfectly centered stamp with good color and impression and no faults listed or a stamp that anyone can see is off center with a short perf grading 95 with no detail. When you come across such items you conclude that grading is still subjective and not really the science it is advertised to be. I think many of us feel that the opinion is often influenced by who the submitter is and the amount of business sent to that company and that submissions are not really blinded. I can't prove this fact but I know that it is a widely held suspicion amongst collectors. Again part of the game.