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(Mis)adventures In Philately

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Valued Member
United States
327 Posts
Posted 09/21/2021   3:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add classic_paper to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
We've all had a "score," or pleasant surprise, or whatever.

Let's hear about the other side, the bad-but-not-painful stuff: the interactions with a crazy buyer/seller; the times you shook your head in total disbelief; the oh-s*** "what have I gotten myself into" moments. All the stories that with a drink and friends, you can laugh about months or years after the fact.
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United States
775 Posts
Posted 09/21/2021   5:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I was about 7 years old (late 1960's) and my Mom took me to the Second Sunday Stamp Show in Meriden, CT. She would take me there, and I would spend my money (none of Mom's money). She would walk me around, but knew absolutely nothing about stamps. One time, I had about $5 on me and I saw a set of Confederate State stamps (4 or 5 reprints, it turns out) and I asked the dealer if they were real. He said he wouldn't be selling them if they were fake. Made sense to me, so I spent all my money on them. Before the next month's show, I found out they were fakes, so I brought them back to the next show and confronted the dealer. He told me to get lost. He had no time for kids. My mom stepped in and ripped him a new one. She made such a scene that the people at his table left. She told me later that there was a lesson to be learned - be careful because some people will do what they can to rip you off. The scene she made at his table wasn't to get the money back (it was never offered) but to make him lose a little, too. Me thinks he lost more than I did. My education cost me a few bucks, and I learned it. His cost him more than mine. I suspect he didn't learn anything though.

I GET ripping people off to make a buck. I don't get ripping off a 7 year old.
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United States
288 Posts
Posted 09/21/2021   6:39 pm  Show Profile Check johnsim03's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add johnsim03 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent thread!

A few years ago, I was interested in a very large FDC lot from a major seller on eBay.
Every item was imaged. When I got to the "classic" portion of the display, my jaw
dropped. There was a group of extremely valuable FDCs imaged. Things like $5 America,
Pan Americans, etc. Many others from the 20's and 30's.

I was excited, and made a hefty snipe based upon the obvious tremendous value displayed...

I won the lot, and was on pins and needles until I got it in to my greedy little hands.
"Will they actually let me have it?" "How could I be so lucky!" Well, you can image the
thoughts that were going through my head.

When I received the large priority box, I saw that all of the items imaged were actually
there!

Unfortunately, what I did not consider was the fact that Fleetwood did a serious of classic
FDC facsimiles on cards many years ago. There was probably thirty or forty of them put
out in the 70's and 80's. They were the exact size of the originals, with information
on the back side of the card. What I got was a complete set of these...

I was crushed. I contemplated some of the larger, more important questions about life
in general. Things like pipe dreams, greed, stupidity - well, you get the idea.

Fortunately, the other mass of material was very nice - some handpainted, better
cachets, etc.

I smiled when I finished reviewing the lot. It was a very nice lot, and not at all too expensive.

The universe was again in balance...



John

(Edited to show an example)


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Edited by johnsim03 - 09/22/2021 06:33 am
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Posted 09/21/2021   6:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Overall, I guess I don't see how relating a bunch of negative stories helps present a positive image of the hobby. Aren't we here to promote? Just saying...
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Valued Member
United States
327 Posts
Posted 09/21/2021   8:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This discussion board is designed to explore all facets of the hobby, and make a world's worth of expertise and opinion openly available to all that seek it. Ideally, those who are new to the hobby feel welcomed, and through some well-intentioned guidance find a home in philately. This board is not a PR agency. This thread is certainly no worse than the threads here that complain about a serial scammer on eBay, or the arguments (that sometimes get personal) between members, or the gripes about a club or transaction, or the honest but curt replies shooting down someone's dream of thinking they found a rarity worth six or seven figures in great-aunt Mildred's childhood collection.

If anything, this is a lighthearted (with or without schadenfreude, at your discretion) way for us to reminisce about the times when we goofed, or found ourselves part of something absurd. It should remind us that everything passes, the sun comes up every morning, new members of the hobby shouldn't be scared off by one bad experience, and very often no matter the disappointment or anger, we're often able to laugh about it years later. Or at least smirk a little. Most importantly, it can serve to remind each of us that "we've all been there," one time or another.
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United States
775 Posts
Posted 09/21/2021   8:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Is SCF about the Stamp Community or SELLING the hobby?

If anything, these stories should help newbies watch out for the things that got us oldies into trouble. No point in repeating history if it isn't necessary. There are much scarier things in these forums than some anecdotes in this thread.
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Canada
281 Posts
Posted 09/21/2021   9:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Casey Magoo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Picture included here. A few months ago I bid on what I thought was a mounted sheet of mint Canadian 1908 Tercentenarys. It even had some rarely seen imperfs. Someone else was after it too, so I paid over $100 for it. When it got here I discovered that it was a set of custom made album sheets that anyone could make on a printer. I complained to the auction house and they gave me a full refund. They made me send them back even though they are worth nothing. Still, it's nice to get honest service in the end. No real stamps here, just a print.


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my best friend has four legs
and a soft pillow
Edited by Casey Magoo - 09/21/2021 9:22 pm
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Posted 09/21/2021   10:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamps101 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I like the thread idea!

I use the "Sell a Similar Item" feature on eBay to just basically copy and paste my own template easily and just edit the title, description, Etc. Well, I had an incredible lot of on-piece revenue and odd Back of Book items from several European countries. It is hard stuff to price as a "buy it now" and was outside the scope of my price knowledge and catalogs on hand and so for stuff like that, I sometimes toss it on the Bay for 99c and let the market dictate. Sometimes it doesn't go for much, sometimes things surprise me for the better.

Well, the Sell Similar item I randomly picked from my active auctions list so happened to be a 99c Buy It Now item. I changed all the info such as title, description, shipping cost, photos, Etc, butů you guessed itů forgot to change it to 7 day auction.

Needless to say, some astute buyer snagged it within an hour of it being up and I remember seeing the notification pop up and thinking "Yay, I already got a Bid!" until I saw that the buyer had paid. Then it sunk in.

I "wanted" to cancel the auction but the buyer got it fair and square so off it went to the buyer. I've made a few mistakes like that over the years. Such is!
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234 Posts
Posted 09/22/2021   01:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add patg23 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's not all rainbows and unicorns out in the collecting world.An experience, honestly shared, can be a learning moment for someone, and perhaps help them avoid a similar fate.

P/S - I had the same experience with the Fleetwood classic covers in the bottom of a box lot. They were not described in any way, so no deception, but it does make your heart skip a beat.
Still have them around here somewhere.

Best to all,
Pat
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United States
288 Posts
Posted 09/22/2021   04:40 am  Show Profile Check johnsim03's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add johnsim03 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I "wanted" to cancel the auction but the buyer got it fair and square so off it went to the buyer. I've made a few mistakes like that over the years. Such is!


Admirable integrity! Bravo!

John
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Australia
130 Posts
Posted 09/22/2021   05:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StevieG to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is an interesting thread.
My misadventure is relatively mild in comparison to others. When sorting through kiloware on paper, one quite often comes across an interesting postal slogan or date. This happens more often with modern stamps that have a white outline that are stuck onto white paper. When trimming and focusing on the the postal slogan, I've sometimes neglected the outline of the stamp. I end up with a neatly trimmed cancellation and a stamp that is has lost a few perforations. I hate that!
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United States
113 Posts
Posted 09/22/2021   08:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Gibby01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
On a slightly different slant when I went to college my parents boxed up my stamp collection and stuck it in a closet in the basement. The water heater leaked and the box ended up in 1/2 inch of water. Obviously some material was ruined, thankfully I had nothing overly expensive back then.
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Posted 09/22/2021   08:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Winning a lot that I did not mean to win. Repeatedly. Ugh
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Canada
943 Posts
Posted 09/22/2021   10:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not my most expensive mistake by any means, but one that stands out because it was so completely avoidable.

Removing a set of Bergedorf stamps hinged in an old album into a newer one with mounts, got distracted, pulled on the stamp too hard and it ripped right in half. From nice mint copy to "spacefiller" (actually two spacefillers!) in a second.

~Greg
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Posted 09/22/2021   10:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add patg23 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A red faced admission for me.
I was breaking down an old album for soaking the stamps off. I was so intent on the one side, I forgot about the other side, and cut through an expensive stamp.
pat
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Posted 09/22/2021   10:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Starting in 2007, I returned to collecting U.S. stamps after a hiatus of 15 years. By 2010, I had filled in my 15 year hole. One of the final pieces was the relatively expensive imperf Bugs Bunny pane (Scott 3138). While placing my newly acquired treasure in a protective mount, a slip of the stamp tongs resulted in perf separations along the top of the pane of 9 ... so severe was the separation that a piece of the selvage above one stamp became completely detached.
I eventually sold the imperf pane of one on eBay. Then I watched for a replacement. After a couple of years, I found one at the right price ... again, on eBay. Ironically, the pane arrived with a warning from the seller along with a tale of how he had accidentally "ruined" his first Scott 3138!
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