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Good Sites To Puchase Stamps Online

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 14 / Views: 644Next Topic  
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13 Posts
Posted 02/27/2021   3:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add jlw35 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Since I started back to collecting, and because of the lack of brick and mortar stores, I've used Hip Stamp for my purchases. Overall very satisfied.
Does anyone have suggestions for other website/auction sites that are good to use?
My focus is on U.S. stamps (general and topical).
Thank You
Jeff

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United Kingdom
451 Posts
Posted 02/27/2021   3:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anthraquinone to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
eBay and delcampe spring to mind but there are others. Not all delcampe sellers accept paypal if you use that so check. Also watch out for the rip off eBay Global Shopping Program. Some sellers list the same item on more than one site

AQ
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Posted 02/27/2021   4:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I recommend the APS Stamp Store (www.stamps.org). No hassles with crappy material; sellers that mis-describe items and then won't address same; sellers that delete you if you give them any less than 100% positive feedback; etc.

The current auction houses where I have accounts are Rasdale and Cherrystone. Have purchased good material from both this month.
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Posted 02/27/2021   8:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Andyrich74 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
JLW, my personal answer would be that it depends on the price range you are operating in. For material under $30 or so where there is a low likelihood of any given stamp being mis-described or pawned off as something it is not, you are generally going to be fine with eBay, Hipstamp or Delcampe. There are also others out there like stampworld and stamps2go and as Climber Steve mentioned, the APs stamp store. I've bought from all with no major issues.

If you start getting in to pricier material; working with some of the more established dealers directly is something I would recommend. There are also many of those, and won't name any but most are pretty honest. Some are not; and again won't mention any of them. Developing a relationship(s) with one or more of the higher-end dealers will likely save you a lot of angst in the long term.

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Posted 02/27/2021   8:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
jlw35 - If you ever want some recommendations for "good guy" dealers I will name some for you. Keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to be spending big bucks to deal with them and in fact starting small can be a good way to build a relationship with them.

Ah heck, I will name a few right now:

Christopher Rupp, Rupp Brothers
Ed Reiser, Century Stamps
Alan Cohen, Alan E Cohen Stamps
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United States
13 Posts
Posted 02/28/2021   08:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jlw35 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for the links rogdcam.
Jeff

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United States
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Posted 02/28/2021   08:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jlw35 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Andy, probably will be a bit before I start into higher end purchases. Good advice.
Thanks
Jeff
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Posted 02/28/2021   09:17 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Are you seeking advice on websites which offer stamps or good quality dealers? In my opinion there is a big difference between these two things. Our hobby is flush with websites and venues offering stamps for sale but it is much more difficult to find good dealers who can support you as a hobbyist.

In my opinion a good dealer is one that who will be willing to assist you learn the hobby and avoid costly pitfalls. They will consider you a long-term investment, seek to build a relationship, and not just consider you a quick transaction. Unfortunately finding this kind of dealer can be difficult on any level never mind finding one who successfully has transitioned to this kind of relationship to an online website.

Having recourse like mentioned above with the APS site after a purchase does little good if you do not know what to buy or what to look for and buying randomly on auction sites like eBay, Hip, and Delcampe can be the equivalent of a crap shoot for less experienced hobbyists. Yes, there are good some good sellers on these sites but the sites are mostly targeted at facilitating transactions and not designed for education, support, and developing a beneficial relationship.

You have already come into one possible solution; this community. Folks like 'KenR2' (Ken Relyea) and 'paperhistory' (Matthew Liebson) are eBay sellers who use communities like this one to assist hobbyists, offer education, and provide additional insight. There are others so it pays to review this community's threads and note who is willing to help in ways beyond simply making online listings. You can also search to see if a dealer has a website, gauge its educational value, and note how responsive they are in replying to inquiries.

Avoid buying by 'sorting by lowest' on auction sites, avoid putting much stock in online auction feedback scores. These are things that scammers and care-less (as in 'I could care less about hobbyists') sellers use to their advantage; they fully know that selling from descriptions and images tilts the playing field in their favor. Manipulating these things online is quite easy and this obfuscates differentiating the good and bad sellers.

From my chair there is much more in building a good collection and enjoying our hobby than buying cheap material from the lowest listings that a search or filter can return. Once a collector moves beyond penny stamps the journey become more reliant upon education and experience; these things can be facilitated by relationships with quality dealers.
Don
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Posted 02/28/2021   10:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Andyrich74 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
JLW, one more avenue you might look at are these forums. Think you might need to get to 50 posts to use those; but I've made quite a few trades with folks; even one with stamps involving certs. Just a simple "looking for" post might generate some interest, or for common/less expensive material you might even get some freebies.

Another unsolicited piece of advice: When (and I say when because it will happen) you get a stamp that was not as advertised; report it back to the seller quickly, but courteously. I've yet to have to leave a single bad piece of feedback just by being nice. Many times dealers have multiple examples and often they simply ship the wrong stamp, i.e the one you didn't order that looks similar. How they handle that situation goes a long way to determining if you want to do business with them again, and vice versa!
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United States
311 Posts
Posted 02/28/2021   5:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Coastwatcher to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you find something that you wish to bid on/purchase on eBay or HipStamp, you might want to check out the seller's other auctions before doing so. I was once ready to place a bid on a stamp on eBay and, after checking his other auctions, I discovered that he had several stamps listed that were obviously misidentified. I twice contacted him about the misidentifications and never heard anything back from him and no changes were made to the listings. Needless to say, I passed on the one that I was interested in. By the way, if memory serves, he had a feedback score of over 2,000 with a rating of over 99%. Buyer beware!

The feedback system is flawed on both eBay and HipStamp, even more so on HipStamp in my opinion. I once left "neutral" feedback for a seller on HipStamp and he sent me a message calling me every name in the book and said that he would get it removed. Lo and behold, my feedback disappeared within a day or so without me ever having been contacted by HipStamp. What good is feedback if the seller can have it deleted? At least with eBay, YOU have to be the one to change your feedback. Although I still occasionally purchase something on HipStamp, if I can find it on eBay, I get it there.
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Edited by Coastwatcher - 02/28/2021 5:33 pm
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Posted 02/28/2021   6:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Is Hipstamp still tax free?
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United States
257 Posts
Posted 02/28/2021   6:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rwoodennickel to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I paid tax on my last couple of Hipstamp purchases. May have been collected by seller, so not sure how official it was. Now that I look , he is only recent seller to collect state tax. Perhaps to give the immediate 10% discount from similar listings on eBay.. IDK, but I was happy with the purchase price regardless , so no big deal. Sorry I don't have a definitive tax answer. BTW state of Alabama.

Edit Looks like 4% tax, still good with me.
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Thanks,
Robert
Edited by rwoodennickel - 02/28/2021 6:44 pm
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Posted 03/01/2021   04:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've had very good experiences for years buying stamps both on eBay and on HipStamp. Only very rarely has there been a problem and those dealers refunded my money and took the stamps back. It's easy to "anecdote" your way out of doing something because someone once had a bad experience or two, but don't do that. Cars crash every day, but I still drive a car.
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United States
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Posted 03/01/2021   07:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jlw35 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All very good information and much appreciated.
I have been purchasing almost exclusively on HipStamp. To date, have not encountered a problem (excluding one shipment that took 1 month to arrive. I checked the postal cancel and it was mailed the day of purchase, so that falls on the USPS).
My purchases have been relatively low value (several theme sheets to complete a Train and Space book for my grandson were $15 or so), obviously these items are book fillers.
In the near future, I will buy the "Zepp" stamps to complete my U.S. Airmail collection. At that point, the question of where to purchase will become more important.
Thanks to all for the input.
Jeff
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United States
139 Posts
Posted 03/01/2021   08:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GMC89 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In my experience Hip Stamps is tax free. Some Vendors are charging tax on instate sales.
I don't widely use Hip stamps but that's has been my experience.You find out the quality of the vendor when things go wrong.
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