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So, What Is The Latest With Apfelbaum's-no New US On Their Site In Months

 
 
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United States
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Posted 09/16/2019   8:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Reedededge to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Since Apfelbaum's put themselves out there as "the" online stamp dealer, what is going on with them? I was banned by Missy about 6 months ago for having the audacity to question their listings in an online forum. Consequently, I have had little reason to check their listings. It's only due to their persistent emails touting 70%+ discounts, that curiosity finally got the best of me. To make a long story short, their U.S. inventory is anemic. Many of the same stamps on their site 6 months ago still languish there, with not much interesting "new" that I can spot. Perhaps the situation is different with world stamps, but my impression is that they are probably not doing so great. Does anybody have updates on this company-like them or not, they have been in the business a lot of years.
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Posted 09/16/2019   8:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have not seen them on SAN for quite a while either. I did not even think of it until I saw your post.
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Posted 09/17/2019   07:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Reedededge to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe their award-winning customer service finally got the better of them. ..... But seriously, they were one of the earlier online stamp dealers. To transition from front-and-center to relative obscurity in less than a year is usually indicative of a problem of some sort.
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Posted 09/17/2019   11:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 1840to1940 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For what it is worth, they are still adding new posts to their blog, which I enjoy reading when I think of it.
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Posted 09/17/2019   12:21 pm  Show Profile Check docgfd's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add docgfd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A while ago I used to watch their auctions on SAN with no intention of bidding, and never did. On two separate occasions, I received an invoice from them for lots I never bid on containing items I don't even collect. Each time, I emailed them advising of their error, and ended up getting blocked by them (no loss there). Not that I would have bid with them anyway (too many stories going around about undisclosed faults and mis-identified stamps), but clearly their bookkeeping is a mess as well.
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Posted 09/17/2019   12:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I audited one of their auctions once, just to see what was up, and I also got a bill for something I didn't bid on. I sense a pattern here.

I haven't bothered to look at their listings in a long time.
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Posted 09/17/2019   1:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
since the untimely death of Earl, the firm has been in a steady decline. apparently no one associated with the firm absorbed anything he may have taught them about either stamps or basic business civility.
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Posted 09/17/2019   1:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Amen.

Not untimely perhaps but I am thinking Earl.
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Edited by redwoodrandy - 09/17/2019 4:09 pm
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Posted 09/17/2019   2:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
since the untimely death of Earl


Earl was around 80 when he died, are you thinking of his son Martin that was killed on Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie Scotland?
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Posted 09/17/2019   8:03 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As with many dealers, there are ebbs and flows with new stock, and variance as to which countries or areas receive the most attention. Their U.S. stock is down as of late, but they've been adding quite a bit of British Commonwealth and European countries.

In other words, they're adding material, but just not in areas you're interested. I haven't been able to buy in my areas of interest as well recently, although they must be selling through a ton of material, as I bookmark lots waiting for their cyclical coupon game to drive the price point down to what I'm willing to pay, and invariably as of late the lots sell before they get low enough for my tastes.

What I don't get is if you're banned from purchasing, why are you concerned which countries they are listing or not listing material for?
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Posted 09/17/2019   9:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Reedededge to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
they must be selling through a ton of material, as I bookmark lots waiting for their cyclical coupon game to drive the price point down to what I'm willing to pay, and invariably as of late the lots sell before they get low enough for my tastes.


....not necessarily the case.

This company has a history of tiering their merchandise as their discounts increase. I have seen, on more than one occasion, a stamp of interest mysteriously disappears when the discounts get deeper. Then, it might re-appear weeks (or even months) later once the "sale" has expired. I don't think there is anything random about their approach.

Although I can't make a judgment about the overall value of Apfelbaum's inventory just based on their U.S. selection, it always has been where the bulk of their value was concentrated. I noticed a handful of grossly overpriced, faulty "rare" U.S. stamps that have been on their site forever. But that aside, they have no "liquid value" stamps, which they used to feature in abundance. I'm talking about #1-2, #243-245, #292-293, C-13 to 15, etc, etc.

I found Apfelbaum to be a good resource for years for buying cheaper stamps and filling holes. But when I graduated to better material, I learned very quickly that they are a minefield. The real test came when I had some "issues" and testing how Missy and Apfelbaum's "lifetime guarantee of genuineness" came into play. But, that's probably a discussion for a different day.
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Posted 09/18/2019   12:32 am  Show Profile Check ray.mac's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ray.mac to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've bought a few stamps from them in the past few years-- a good example is my #66 Lake (now 66TC6). I looked for the stamp for a couple of years just checking out pricing and finally jumped on the one I bought from Apfelbaum.

I had to send something back once because there was a thin-- I think it was the 12c "Z" grill, and when I called and talked to Missy, I had remembered that someone on this board had been banned for returning items, so I made sure that I was friendly and professional, and Missy provided excellent service to me.

I've heard several horror stories here, and I never had a problem with Apfelbaum at all, and wouldn't hesitate to purchase from them again. Just wanted to balance the bad juju so far with some good juju.

Hope this is helpful, Ray
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Posted 09/18/2019   03:05 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I debated about leaving this thread up since it could be perceived as an attempt to use social media to smear a company. But Reedededge acknowledged in the original post that he had a reason to grind an axe (saying he has been banned by them) and I appreciated his disclosure.

Apfelbaum's reputation is something 'less than ideal' and this topic has been previously been covered in this community several times. Ideally Apfelbaum's would understand the value in participating in communities like this one to present their side of these stories. But in this absence, I'll just remind folks that there may be addition information that we do not have.
Don
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Posted 09/18/2019   06:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
spqr you are correct in that I got the two of them mixed up. my few experiences with them were mixed. I have no axe to grind with them or any other dealer with a similar reputation.
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Posted 09/18/2019   07:53 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
This company has a history of tiering their merchandise as their discounts increase. I have seen, on more than one occasion, a stamp of interest mysteriously disappears when the discounts get deeper. Then, it might re-appear weeks (or even months) later once the "sale" has expired. I don't think there is anything random about their approach.


I'm well aware of their "remove certain lots when we offer a bigger discount" model that has the same lots coming and going from their visible inventory on a daily/weekly basis. Also note that they recently removed the item count from their storefront so you can no longer tell at a glance how many total items are in their store, thus reducing the visibility of these tactics.

My original point still stands, however. If you actively monitor their inventory over a long period (read: many many months) and are familiar with the lots, it is apparent that they are moving a lot of material, either directly or through other channels.
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Posted 09/18/2019   6:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This makes more sense that some dealers buying material that never sells and refusing to let it go to free up cash.
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Al
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