How are stamps valuated on the site?

I put a few 10 cent stamps in my basket this evening which seemed fairly priced. Then proceeded to search through the more expensive stamps hoping to place an order with the seller that will be large enough to justify the postage.

A total waste of time as it turned out to be. It is 12:40pm , well beyond my bed time and I am tired of looking at 2 cent stamps listed at 90cents, $1.10 ; $1.75 and so on. What a terrible waste of time.

I hope sellers use some general guidelines when posting their items, like 10% catalog ; 20% catalog or whatever, but do it consistently so I am not disappointed like tonight.

Comments

  • 9 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • As a seller I learned a long time ago that fair pricing is a two way street. Not only does a price need to be fair to the buyer, but also fair to the seller to cover the cost of the item as well as the cost of posting the item and time involved in the sale (time is worth something - even mine).

    I refuse to offer a lot at less than 15 cents, and that with a fear someone will order just that item. That order will end up showing a net profit of 2 or 3 cents (if that) after the cost of the item, HipStamp and PayPal fees, actual postage and shipping materials are accounted for. For some that scenario may well be unacceptable.

    On the other side, I once purchased an item for my collection at more that 3 times "catalog price" because I really wanted/needed it. I admit that I sometimes post items for sale in the hopes there may be a buyer out there like me!

    Yes, there are sellers that offer items at outlandish prices from inexperience, necessity or greed. The only option for a buyer is to either take a deep breath and order it or move on to other sellers; just like any other marketplace.
  • Wayne, you will pay a minimum US$0.30 plus 3.6% PayPal transaction fee here, presume it's similar there. So that single item 15c sale is costing you at least 15c, without factoring in stamp cost, your time, HipStamp sale fee, HipStamp site fee, taxes, stationery and printing. Selling anything for under a dollar is losing money I'm afraid. I wonder if Jules realises this?
  • edited January 11 0 LikesVote Down
    Wayne and Rod, I realize that posting stamps for sale takes time. I have done that myself and the only reason I keep doing it is because it is fun, not because I get my time's worth in money. Expecting to have buyers pay over 25 cents for common stamps that are offered by many other sellers is unrealistic. Posting those stamps (and in some case I see sellers post a dozen copies of a common stamp) is a complete waste of time. Those are found in just about any bulk lot and the cost per stamp there will often be less that 1 cent / stamp. One must be looking for buyers who do not realize that, or do not want to bother with a big bunch of stamps they might not need.

    But I can tell you, I will be really happy if there was a rule on this site where if I offered a seller stamps identical to his own with the same or better quality at 1/5 of his price and with free postage, the seller is obliged to accept them and pay me for them. Wouldn't this help for sellers to bring their pricing in line? I am sure it would.

  • I think I'm following you Jules. One way around the predicament would be if HipStamp featured a minimum order value.

    This would provide a mechanism for low priced stamps to be offered and for the dealer to still make a profit.

    The PayPal fee is the killer. Right now a dealer has to pay that 30c for a 5c stamp order.

    Now, if the dealer was able to set a minimum order value, say $2.00, a buyer could purchase forty 5c stamps to fulfill the order requirements, and the dealer would only have the one 30c PayPal fee.

    Right now I don't bother listing these for this reason.

    With a minimum order value set the dealer would not need to have inflated prices on these stamps simply to try and recover costs.
  • edited January 11 1 LikesVote Down
    Rod, do you really get orders for a single 5 cent stamp? I list stamps for sale, but I never get such orders. No reasonable person would want to pay $2 postage on a 5 cent stamp.

    The way I shop is, if I have to pay $1 in postage, my minimum order would be $5. If postage is $2, then I need to buy stamps for $10. If postage is $4, I have to buy at least $20 worth of stamps and so on. And yes, sometimes I have to break these rules, when the seller does not have enough material listed or the prices are inconsistent to the point where I cannot afford to add more items to the order as it will be a total loss to me.

    If I buy a stamp, I want to make sure I can sell it tomorrow with minimum loss. Most of the time I buy bigger lots; keep 10-20% of the contents and sell the rest for about what I paid for the whole lot. This way my effort is rewarded with "free" stamps for my collection.
  • Its a pity Hip can't split the site up with cheap ones up to $2 & more expensive on 2nd part.I am in New Zealand & simply I cannot list cheap stuff.My lots are 10%(or less) up to 25% of cv using stampworld as I think that is the cheapest.Gibbons is way overpriced but You get very fine stamps off them.And to Jules (above) it is fun & supplying stamps to buyers who do not have deep gives me pleasure.
  • "Its a pity Hip can't split the site up with cheap ones up to $2 & more expensive on 2nd part."

    You can set any minumum price to view in the drop down. Set the minimum at $2, $5, $10 or $100 if you don't want to see any of the common stuff.
  • Jules, Your shopping habits are admirable but it's definitely not the approach of a good many collectors. My minimum sale value for single items is AU$1.25. I've had HUNDREDS of orders for a single $1.25 item with $3.50 (overseas) postage.
  • I have sold a single item for 15 cents (my minimum). What I can't understand is a buyer will do that and pay $1.00 shipping Almost 7 times the cost of the stamp! I quietly mail the item at close to a loss in the hopes the customer will be back.
    I agree with Jules that it is fun selling on HipStamp, but most of my fellow sellers are here to have fun AND make a profit on the enterprise. To require that sellers line up and sell the same stamp for the same price or punish sellers for selling below an arbitrary price is totally unacceptable. There is more that goes into a price than just catalog price. To establish a "fair price control" on the sellers is contrary to calling HipStamp a marketplace . If I don't like Walmart's price I go to Amazon or Target or check the sales at Sears (oops). It should be the same here.
    Having said that, I support the idea of a minimum order, I just don't look forward to the pages and pages of forum comments about it...
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