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New Issues - Dealer Markup

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Valued Member

United States
16 Posts
Posted 12/23/2020   08:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add gjmmaddog to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Just a commentary and no disrespect intended to any Dealer.

A recent mailing by a well known stamp company shows recent 2020 issued stamps for sale at markups of approx 50%.

My question is that new issues can be purchased direct from the PO fullfillment center at much less cost.

I realize, a single stamps is difficult for some to purchase.

However, panes/booklets are available at face value direct from fullfillment.

Dealers are entitled to their profit after overhead etc.

It just makes me shake my head when I see the 2020 issues marked up.

Just needed to vent.
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Valued Member
312 Posts
Posted 12/23/2020   09:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add canyoneer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree. But, I'm guessing many dealers have a "loyal" client base that have done business with them for years. It's just easier to keep getting stuff through them then switching to USPS.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1180 Posts
Posted 12/23/2020   12:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The ability to buy single stamps is a very significant factor. When I was still collecting current U.S. issues, I would wait until the commemorative stamp yearbook came out, just so I could get single stamps and appropriately-sized mounts. I still ended up going to dealers and paying that added premium for definitives, though, since I didn't want to buy full booklets or panes of umpteen varieties of "Flag Over Porch" from the USPS.

And this, not the proliferation of pop culture commemoratives (which I still buy, if they interest me topically), is the main reason why I stopped collecting new U.S. issues in 2005.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
749 Posts
Posted 12/23/2020   1:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I understand the markup. They simply cannot make money if they markup any less. We are talking about 28-cents-ish (50% on a 55c stamp) per stamp. By the time you pay someone to sort, inventory, retrieve, package, and mail these items, you've racked up some costs. That side of it, I understand.

What I understand less is advertising this material. It adds to the cost of things which already have a thin profit-margin. When I was a dealer, and stocked this type of material, I sold it when asked if I had it to sell --- it was more of a 'pull' transaction than a 'push' transaction. It was a pain in the rump, but I did whatever I could to make a customer happy, and counted on future transactions to make my money. If I alienated a customer over a small transaction, I may never have that large future transaction. Whatever one did to bend over to make a customer happy was remembered. Whatever one did to alienate a customer was also remembered. This kind of purchase, I guarantee, is not the 'ends' by these dealers, but a 'means to an end'. I guess they figure it is easier to get a client 'hooked' by selling low-profit items and count on the relationship maturing. I don't think they are really advertising new issues - I think they are advertising a relationship. Their bait is new issues. Maybe that is their angle.
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Edited by mootermutt987 - 12/23/2020 1:29 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1983 Posts
Posted 12/23/2020   2:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Re: advertising- there is competition. Each business owner must decide if the returns are worth the expenditure. As far as markup, I totally understand a 50% markup. Dealers often have residual stock they've paid for and there has to be a way to recover the cost of goods.

For US stamps, I am not sure I would even bother with a dealer. But for foreign, if you collect various countries, themes, formats, types (eg definitives), a new issue dealer is kind of essential. The prices on open-market items do drop over time, but you may have to wait 6-8 years or more for that to happen. I used to buy a fair amount of newly issued definitives, but the stamps became so ugly that I gave up. Just a small rant to stamp-issuing countries- photos of flora, fauna, and other subjects is a cop out. Please issue artistic renderings of subject matter.
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Valued Member
United States
22 Posts
Posted 12/24/2020   10:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Teaus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I still maintain a current issue US collection as that's how I got into collecting, and my main source for current issues are dealers. I cannot justify the added expense of being forced to buy a pane for one stamp. The priority rate and duck stamp minimums you must purchase is another reason I go elsewhere.
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United States
1233 Posts
Posted 12/24/2020   12:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is still cheaper to purchase the high denomination (priority/express mail & duck stamps) from USPS. You can purchase single stamps via a custom order. The extra fee is applied once per order. In other words, you can custom order multiple items and only need pay the custom order fee once.
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Posted 12/24/2020   1:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sometimes it is easier to buy the expensive bread at the corner store.
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United States
1983 Posts
Posted 12/24/2020   2:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Or if the bread is moldy, get cake.
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1014 Posts
Posted 12/24/2020   7:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To fill in a few dozen gaps in my U.S. collection I recently bought a lot of common U.S. stamps on eBay, paying typically $1.00 or more even for the most common commemoratives of recent years. It's just the price dealers need to charge in order to make even a small profit. They buy the stamps, label and store the stamps, advertise them, then they pick them out of storage and ship them to me. If they had to that for only a 10c or 20c profit per stamp, well, they wouldn't do that, would they? If I had been purchasing hundreds of modern stamps, the price would have been quite high so the markup might have bothered me, but buying a few dozen wasn't all that painful.

As for new issue services, they have the same expenses for storing, labeling, advertising, and shipping stamps. And small shipments undoubtedly make them almost no profit at all even at a 50% markup. Remember, a markup even of 50% on a small dollar amount isn't much money for the seller.

The USPS situation where collectors can't buy individual stamps is frustrating. It used to be possible to do that, and I ordered long lists of stamps x1 each for many years. I wish they would change this policy, though with mini-sheets and so on, it's hard to see how. How would you ship single self-adhesive stamps from those sheets?
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United States
642 Posts
Posted 12/25/2020   02:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DJCMHOH to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Other than the priority and express mail issues, which I will go to the post office and buy since the postal clerk will usually sell a single one of those, or panes of 20 with all different designs, for the past several years I have used Connections For Stamps ( http://www.stampconnections.com/ ) to keep up with US new issues. For 2020 issues the owner charges US$0.80 for the current Forever-rate stamps (even for singles from the double-sided booklet stamps), which is less than 50% markup, and I have had great customer service from him.
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APS #173088
Edited by DJCMHOH - 12/25/2020 02:21 am
Valued Member
29 Posts
Posted 06/30/2021   7:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree that it is laughable to see on eBay sellers offering at a mark-up current issues of stamps (commemoratives) when the USPS is ALSO offering the same stamps at face value plus a low shipping fee.

The only reasons I can see buying current stamps from other than the USPS are:

a) Shipping and packaging. Usually they are supposed to have the products in sealed plastic and cardboard within to support the stamps and mitigate bending. However I got a pane recently from USPS with neither, fortunately the stamp pane suffered no injury.

b) TO get custom ordered stamps - say a block of 4 from a pane, you can do this only through the mail order catalog and it applies for stamps already issued. The fee for this is $2.75. This works best if you are purchasing high denomination stamps. One workaround which I have shared elsewhere is look for the annual release from the USPS of the High Value Stamp pack every year. It is buried in the collector's section of the shop tab. You can get one Priority Mail, one Priority Mail Express and an international mail stamp. Other option is to check at the post office and get a clerk who is careful with retrieving individual stamps from a block (they usually are).

c) A trusted seller you have been satisfied with and the mark-up isn't too high. Best if the seller is offering a strip of stamps or individual ones which the USPS sells only in large amounts or multiples that make it expensive.
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Valued Member
United States
388 Posts
Posted 07/01/2021   09:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most of the cases of this that I have noticed were issues that had recently become unavailable from the fulfillment center, at which time in many ways the market determines the price. There are dealers that take advantage but prices aside, people buy'em so they sell'em. A stamp is worth what you're willing to pay for it.

There are usually enough people selling and no urgency, I can take my time and shop around.
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Valued Member
United States
47 Posts
Posted 07/01/2021   11:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CoffeeRules to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When I started collecting I was wondering about the markup myself as well. Im loyal to my online dealer and continue to get my stamps from them, however, if I can get the current issues at the PO I will.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2694 Posts
Posted 07/01/2021   7:03 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just understand if you buy your new issues at the PO you are not getting them at a cost of face IF you make a special trip or side trip to the PO. And it costs a lot more than gas to oprate a car (plus the driving time and time in line, and the exhaust).
Same applies to those of you who think they are saving money driving across town to buy gas or a few groceries that ae on sale.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
700 Posts
Posted 07/01/2021   8:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Just understand if you buy your new issues at the PO you are not getting them at a cost of face IF you make a special trip or side trip to the PO. And it costs a lot more than gas to operate a car (plus the driving time and time in line, and the exhaust).
Same applies to those of you who think they are saving money driving across town to buy gas or a few groceries that are on sale.


TANSTAAFL but if that one informal contraction bothers you then, TINSTAAFL or if formal contractions are fine, then TNSTAAFL. To those of you for which English is not your first language, I apologize.
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