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Potential Impact Of San Provenance Offering On Bidding

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Posted 09/15/2020   2:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Hobsun013 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

All,

I was watching the Cherrystone auction on Stamp Auction Network (SAN) today and came across the new Provenance Feature that is being offered as a "today only preview". I wanted to share my thoughts and see how others might react as well.

First of all there is a great deal information provided and based on my very limited interaction, (meaning 1 hour of tracking the auction live and viewing a few tutorial type videos) the data can be overwhelming, especially if you try to digest it all while the auction is in progress. I make no judgments or comments as to the potential value of this feature but I am interested in how it might influence the bidding itself.

My initial reaction is that the information provided is already available to those who take the time to research it (in some cases a lot of time). In my mind those who research this type of information, do it well in advance of the auction and they are more likely to make informed and calculated decisions while bidding.

I see several potential impacts of having this data consolidated and provided in real-time. The background data has the potential to lead to more impulse purchases (for example: bidding based on paying less than last person "what a deal" or maybe the price keeps going up so "it must be good"). This past data might also "taint" an item (for example: it didn't sell last two times what do they know I don't). It is also possible that the volume of data provided may cause someone to withhold a bid entirely for something that they typically might have bid on given "eye appeal" or "affinity" alone without much thought (Data Overload).

I understand that bidding wars and impulse decisions happen every day and that many items have a history tied to them (positive or negative) and that some people will bid on an item not matter what - this is not new.

What is new - is that the casual person who may have limited knowledge can now be armed with this information at bidding time and I think it will be very interesting to see what impact this has on bidding. Examining and trending that impact both in terms of short term impact and usage over a longer time frame will provide a real challenge. One may wonder if it can even be done at all within a reasonable degree of accuracy given the myriad of other influences that may have an impact on any given sale.

I guess the argument could be made that, given this service has a cost and the typical user might be expected to be knowledgeable anyway, the impact could be minimal. Bottom line is that this information being made available in a consolidated fashion without the time consuming effort of the past is likely to have some impact. If nothing else, new comers to the arena can now join in and essentially compete at a more informed level than in the past. What might this lead to and how might established bidders/buyers react?

I suspect that this subject may generate in a wide range of commentary within our community in the future and I for one look forward to seeing how it transpires. Anyone want to share their perspective?

Hobsun

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Posted 09/15/2020   2:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Its a neat time-saving feature.

When I'm going to spend any real amount of money on something, however, I always do all of this myself manually anyway. Even with this facility, I would still do my own research. Also, I search much older hard-copy auction catalogs which I suspect are beyond the reach of this -- but maybe at some point, could be included.

Anyway, the cost of this now, is prohibitive for me, so I have no intention of using it. It seems really expensive as it is set up now. I think that will limit its scope for now. Over time, we'll see, I guess.
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Posted 09/15/2020   3:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This service seemed awfully expensive. I'm even too cheap to pay the other SAN addon fees for now - don't see the value proposition. I did review the ranked top 1000 and really had to question the data. The average realization numbers in particular seemed VERY VERY high from my own experience (maybe many year trend before prices dropped dramatically?)
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Posted 09/15/2020   3:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Knowledge is power.
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Posted 09/15/2020   3:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with you jamesg. With the ability to search closed auctions via other means or use google creatively, I don't think for an invidivual collector there is much value. Maybe for dealers it's more beneficial. I don't really care who held the stamps before me, just that they're legit.

On a side note, I have noticed another trend with their auctions moreso than others, whereby 2 of the same stamps are being offered in different forms, example a pair, and a plate block, or 2 different stamp offerings of the same piece. I got caught in a bidding war on the first item and won, which started pricing cheap, but got out of hand since I wanted it for a long time and someone ran the price up on me. I was nervous because with the 2nd piece behind that starting at 3x plus the first.

Then the subsequent item which was really the superior item which I anticipated to go above my budget, was bid up pre-auction and then there was no live bidding, and ended up being a better value to whoever won that. I was nervous if I didn't win the first one, I would have gotten into a bidding war for the second one and blown the budget entirely. I anticipated the opposite, whereby the 2nd offering would have been sought after. I am happy with the result, but feel like I got played on my pair and someone got a steal on the block.

Not sure how to avoid that going forward. I have waited for the second piece, and gotten hurt that way too. Someone ends up with the pair at a fraction, and the PB is bid to the moon. Problem is this material is so hard to come by, so you get what you get, and don't get upset.



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Posted 09/15/2020   3:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You can find some interesting things when the past auctions of the same stamp are presented at one time for comparison. Take Cherrystone lot 82, a Scott 241, which Cherrystone describes as lightly hinged. When sold by Spink in 2017 it was described as having a paper hinge remnant. Or lot 90. a Scott 243, which Cherrystone describes as lightly hinged with a 2019 PF certificate. When sold in 2019 by Rasdale it had a 2010 Weiss certificate which stated "previously hinged, (slightly sweated gum), very tiny corner crease at UL and very tiny thin at rt (at 4th perf up from the bottom)." Two of many such informative comparisons.
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Posted 09/15/2020   4:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Continuing my observations I found this one very interesting:

Cherrystone lot 33, a Scott 67, is described as "red grid cancel, v.f., with 2020 PSAG certificate". The provenance attached to the lot description shows this same stamp being sold by Matthew Bennett in March of this year and described as "Red grid cancel. Reperfed at right (not mentioned in cert). Handsome Very Fine appearance. Expertization: with clear 2010 P.S.A.G. certificate."

So where to start with this one. Sold just months ago with a 2010 PSAG cert that does not mention reperfing. Now offered with a clear 2020 cert from PSAG and reperfing not mentioned at all by anybody.

This stamp did not sell. I wonder why. I think that the provenance feature is worth its weight in gold. When I review the differences in information for the same stamps sale over sale it reaffirms my decision to bail out of collecting high end US classics. It is a minefield.

I also find it amusing that some stamps have traded four or five times within the course of a year or so with pricing all over the place. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the lot card.....
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Posted 09/15/2020   5:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
How about Cherrystone lot 56, a Scott 122, which has a clear 2020 PSAG cert but was sold by Siegel in May of this year without a cert but noted as having a "small filled thin" by Siegel.
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Posted 09/15/2020   6:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Certificates are opinions. Don't like your opinion, get a different one.

If they can't agree on what condition something is in, then what are they really worth...

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Posted 09/15/2020   6:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is not a "cert" centric issue since other auction firms mention faults and reperfs that they observe and later on another firm chooses to not make any observations themselves but rather stand on a cert that is favorable. The entire process is pretty well corrupt if you ask me. At least when it comes to the prospect of financial gain or loss on a higher dollar value item.
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Posted 09/15/2020   6:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I also note that there are a whole lot of Kelleher passed lots from recent sales that end up at Cherrystone.
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Posted 09/15/2020   6:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One more thought about something that has been hashed out before on SCF. Certs are "opinions". Maybe so, but they carry a whole lot of gravitas in the philatelic world for a great many people. A lot of cash rides on those "opinions" and the lack of transparency and uniform standards (grading is a whole other topic) is disconcerting. Certificates add value in many peoples eyes and you can document that people are willing to pay more for a stamp with a certificate than without and yet if you look under the hood they really are not all that solid over the course of time. Now there will be those "experts" that poo-poo the notion that certificates have value at all. "It is up to the responsible buyer to become educated enough to decide for themselves" and so on. Poppycock. I trust a structural engineer and a doctor to render excellent "opinions" and if they screw the pooch I can take legal action. What is my recourse if I pay $10,000 for a stamp that XYZ expertizing body states is fault free and it is reperforated? Has anybody ever gone "legal" on one of these entities?
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Posted 09/15/2020   8:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add percyjgp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I also noticed that 67. I was curious myself in how it was identified with a reperf, but then certified again by the same cert organization without mentioning it. It looked like someone may have contested the previous cert, but the organization doesn't believe it is reperfed. Either way I wouldn't have bid on it. The provenance feature has been available for a couple weeks now. I have been interested in seeing all the stamps that continue to come up for auction only a few months after being sold at a different auction. Some have been sold 3 or more times in a year.
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Posted 09/15/2020   9:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rogdcam corruption is an understatement. Dealers have been using auctions to set pricing levels for years and influencing catalog prices as such with supplies they self manipulate. Then with negative cert tossing and resale shenanigans with omissions on top, it's no wonder when a collector steps in the ring it's a minefield. I can't expect an auction house to go beyond asking for certs, so I place the blame on lack of due diligence on cert issuance.

Specifically, all new certs should have possible indications of provenance discovery. It's ok for opinions to be conflicting, but capture that info for the buyer to be fully informed.
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Posted 09/15/2020   9:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hobsun013 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

My thanks to all those who have replied and provided their thoughts. A few people have noted that at the existing price point this service would not be considered valuable for themselves. Others mentioned that this service represents a chance to quickly identify abnormalities in the descriptions provided and the mentioning or non-mentioning of certs and faults in various sales. On this specific point, I am in total agreement and one could spend hours looking for such things and trying to outline trends. Additional input was provided on the value that should be placed on certs in general and this is a topic debated many times over.

One reply was simply "Knowledge is Power" - which is what formed the genesis for my initial posting. At a first impression, I feel having this targeted information available (especially live) would directly impact my owns bids, both in terms of my bid range as well as specific items that may attract my attention simply based on seeing the data.

Again, I am not commenting on the "value" of this service but am interested to see if other people believe that it could have an impact on bidding that might turn out to be perceptible. This may truly be a non-factor or may be something that cannot be quantified with any reliability. My intent was to see if others have given this concept any thought as this service begins to become available.

Thanks again to all those who have already responded.
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Posted 09/15/2020   9:42 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"stamps that continue to come up for auction only a few months after being sold at a different auction"

Did it really sell the first time? Could it have been "bought" by the seller (thru an agent) either in an attempt to set a value or in a failed shill bidding attempt (either by the owner or the auction house) where they tried to push up the price and then got stuck with the lot when they misjudged how far they could push it. Orr could it be a case where the item didn't sell at all but the house still published a price afterwards (I don't know if thos still happens, but it used to).
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