eBay-style "games" now being played here

As both a seller and a buyer, I have a strong desire for this site to be the go-to place for all things philatelic and would love to see HS eventually blow eBay out of the water in the stamps category. It is with this in mind that I push this place anywhere I can, such as, fr example, the many philatelic message boards I frequent. Whenever I sell something on eBay, I always include links to HS along with the buyers' invoices to help get the word out. And of course, I suggest to all my collector friends that they shop here as well, having myself had nothing but good experiences whenever I've done so.

So imagine how delighted I was with the phone call I just got from a dear collector friend of mine who finally took the plunge and bid on two auctions here, each one for a German stamp and each one offered by a different seller. In both (!) cases, the stamp he received was not the one pictured in its respective auction listing, and to make matters worse, one of the stamps arrived with a diagonal crease. Needless to say, my friend is not a happy camper and (half) jokingly blames me for bringing him here. I'm used to hearing about this kind of crap happening on eBay, but am more than just a bit shocked to see this kind of malignancy metastasizing its way over to HipStamp. Hopefully my friend will get his money back without any hassles, but dishonest sellers such as the two involved here should be outed and tossed off of this platform. I don't know if my friend will now continue to shop here, but I do know that bad news travels fast and the two clowns are potentially hurting the honest sellers here (who are in the vast majority).


  • 11 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Your friend should contact management here and file a complaint if the sellers balk at refunding him. If people don't report the problems they encounter, then the people who run HipStamp won't know about it, and correction, if warranted, will never happen.
  • I know...that's why I 'opened the window for him here. We now have to wait to see what the sellers do, although even if they are quick to offer refunds, they've already poisoned the pot by their actions. One step at a time...
  • It's unfortunate not every seller takes the time or effort to accurately describe a stamps condition. This isn't only a problem here. Usually the seller has made an honest mistake but many times they are looking to deceive. Similar to sellers who state the claim no refunds/returns or responsibility for lost items...
    Keep up the good work George and apply for a referral fee :)
  • I Think the problem is hobby wide and has been around for a long time. I remember when we had stamp shows / bourses on a monthly basis with dozens of "dealers" sorting their stock in glassines or stock books. You always had to check out the condition because all these people did was look up the catalogue number and place the item in its rightful place. (Regardless of condition). Your responsibility was to pick out the stamp that was suitable to your requirements. What I am saying is you have to know your seller. Today in the internet age you can't physically see the stamp but the sellers are still the same, just using a different venue to sell. I sell a lot of stamps here on Hipstamp, but I hardly ever buy because I am almost always disappointed in the condition of the items purchased.
    It is good to know your seller, ask him questions most professional dealers are more than willing to answer any concerns. The Grandpa collectors turn dealer will almost always be unprofessional. I had one guy I bought several items from because I really wanted just 1 sent me a different stamp than was actually pictured. when I messaged him he said to me "Leave me alone I am an Old man and probably sold that item years ago". All you can do is laugh and move on.

    So if you are looking for a good seller and you see someone here that has the material that interests you, contact them and tell them what you collect and what are your requirements. Ask him if the item I am purchasing is the one actually pictured. Build a good healthy philatelic relationship with them and you will probably never be disappointed with your purchases (and if by chance something is not quite up to your standards they will make good on it). I would Assume that like me, other sellers feel that a Happy Customer is a Repeat Customer.

  • Andrew Schmidt, No I think From the NW Somewhere. Oh and I am Not knocking Grandpa's in general, I just couldn't think of any alternative "Polite" Name to call him. LOL.
  • A quality seller will always send the item listed.
    As a 'grandpa' my self I would often include in my listing
    'I ship this item to you".
    And yes, I agree. If we have dishonest sellers, REPORT THEM and kick them off hipstamp.
  • George any updates, seems like an easy fix return the stamps and refund.
  • The game hasn't ended yet. One of the sellers, when questioned about the stunt he or she pulled (image of stamp shown in listing the same catalogue number but not the stamp sent) didn't respond in any way, but just did a PayPal refund. No contact about returning the stamp received, no explanation, no apology...nuthin'). Apparently this seller's feedback is...less than optimal (my friend should have checked that first, I guess).

    That's all I've heard so far...stay tuned.
  • New update: The above seller finally emailed my friend and admitted that he puts an image of the best-looking stamp he has into his auction listings as a 'stock image' and then just mails the winning bidder an example from his stock of the same stamp. Aside from sending out an inferior stamp, its clearly a bad business practice not to at least state that a stock image is being used in a listing (I always state that 'the stamp, or cover, that you see is the one you will receive' in my listings so there's no question as to what the buyer will be getting, and believe the use of stock images borders on fraud).

    Seller #2 contacted my friend, apologized for his error, and is sending the correct stamp. He obviously handled this much better than seller #1.
  • Hello, first, thank you to George for this thread. Interesting and something that I think needs some publicity.

    Second The mention of ‘borders on fraud”…… Well there really is no “borders on” about it. It is fraud.

    It is fraud because a generally accepted definition of fraud is “a deliberate act of deception to secure unfair (or unlawful) gain………..
    another legal definition is … “an intentional misrepresentation of material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act, and upon which the other person relies with resulting injury or damage. Fraud may also be made by an omission or purposeful failure to state material facts, which nondisclosure makes other statements misleading”.

    I do like the second sentence. I think here about sellers not fully describing the stamps offered.
    Be that as it may, one final point. Harry P make a very good point… “ I Think the problem is hobby wide and has been around for a long time” How true.

    So, I conclude: All of the above is why the Internet Philatelic Dealers Association (IPDA) was started back in 2002. Read more at www.ipdastamps.com
    And buyers, please look for sellers who are members of this Association or other respected and recognised philatelic bodies. And Yes George, I think you are correct, the honest sellers are in the majority.

    Michael IPDA General Secretary

    PS and before anyone writes and tells me it is acceptable to show a “stock image” of a Mint Never Hinged stamp - please think again .. perforation differences, centering differences, colour / shade differences they all can make a stock image be a misrepresentation.
  • Excellent point Michael.. For example, I show you a brand new truck to buy. Then I deliver a ford pinto..
    As a IPDA member, I offer a quality product for sale. When sold, I ship THAT item to the customer.
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