Calling Attention To Seller Stamp Misidentifacation

edited May 17 in Questions 2 LikesVote Down
I do a lot of browsing and purchasing on Hipstamp. While looking at the stamps, Ii sometimes notice items that are listed with the wrong Scott catalogue number. The items I'm referring to are obviously misidentified, not a stamp that has very subtle differences that are open to debate or need a thorough examination to determine the correct identity. Not wanting to come across as a "know it all" or looking to cause any conflict I usually do not contact the seller about their mistaken catalogue listing. My main objective of contacting a seller would be to help any unsuspecting buyer to not purchase a stamp that is not what they assume it to be. If i were a seller I would want to be informed of any listing mistake that i have posted. Is there some type of protocol on this subject?


  • 39 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Roger....short answer.....YES! Typos, mistakes are made sometimes and any good dealer would want to know about and correct it. Contact the dealer and let them know. If they correct a real mistake, you know they can be trusted. If they blow you off, you can make up your own mind about them. But yes, let them know.
  • I'll second what Greg said. I always appreciate when a customer is going through my store and if they happen to see a mistake to let me know. Sometimes Reena (my pup as compared with Bently the cat) will take over typing and goodness knows what can happen. So, yes, contact the seller as there may be many reasons as to what happened.
  • You asked about protocol when correcting dealers. I try to assist dealers whenever I can, and I think its obvious that you get further with honey than vinegar. I always try to use a passive voice rather than be accusatory. And frankly, I do this most often with dealers I care about or with whom I've had business recently. .
  • YES, please let me know about any misteaks!! Grin. How else will I learn??
  • I'll wade into this pool, too. I almost always contact the dealer with a correction, And, as with Phil, I try to word my message in as pleasant and helpful tone as possible. Often, I find that the mistake is quite understandable, as the catalogue does not usually notate the difference between identical looking designs. Other times, it can be easy to overlook a note about distinguishing features.
    I hate it when I happen to stumble across one of my own, sometimes obvious, errors and I see it has had 200 views, and nobody ever contacted me about it. (Over on HipComic, I found one of my books listed for $1995, because I omitted the decimal point when I entered the price.)
    So, yeah, more often than not, the dealer will be grateful for the heads up. And if he's not, at least you've done your part to help a prospective customer.
  • edited May 17 0 LikesVote Down
    I want to know about anything you think is different than what I put in the listing.
    When I contact another seller, I usually say something like - You might want to take a look at... because I think ...
    Like Phil said, the main thing is to be polite.
    There are also a couple sellers I know of that have staff that do listings ...and things happen. Wish I could afford me some of that staff, without the things happening I'd be getting stuff done.
  • the dealer. Whether it be a typo, or an honest misidentification, I (a new dealer) want to know. I've already had a few pointed out, and was darn thankful.
  • I also want to be contacted about any mistakes. I use the bulk upload feature and sometimes associate the wrong image with a listing or just plain make an error. I try to catch these myself, but some getaway.

    Most comments are gracious, but I have also had a couple tell me how stupid I was for making the error. I appreciate either, as I want my listings to be correct, and I thank them for their help either way.
  • I appreciate when I am told of an error in my listings.
  • Roger, I think you got your answer.
  • When I find a misidentified item I usually notify the seller with the reason why I believe it is misidentified. I also offer to send a pic of the catalog page as it relates to the subject.
  • I usually use a two-step process. First I contact the seller, and give "the facts", why it is not what it is, and this is done in a polite way. Then I put a "watch" on the item, and I follow it for a few days. If I hear back from the seller, and they are appreciative, then I will often ask if they would mind me going through their listings to see if I can find any errors. Most are fine with this.
    Some however, become defensive, or just ignore it, and when it's something blatant (which I define as more than double CV, particularly for issues that are often 'abused') then I take a second course of action, and I report the item to Hipstamp. Usually that will get the item pulled.

    Of course you have a few delusional sellers out there asking crazy pricing for real items... I try to "nudge" them in the right direction, but at the end of the day, it's their option. Sure if you want to ask 3x CV for a Columbian set, you're welcome to do so, and then watch it sit there for 5 years without ever selling...
  • It seems the overall consensus is to contact the dealer in a polite and professional manner. I will do this in the future. Thank you for the many responses.
  • Variation—What if, after sending a message to the seller and getting no response, the misidentified stamp is sold in an auction? The value difference between the two stamps is not trivial. The misidentified stamp is valued at $150; the correctly identified stamp, only $17.
  • Well, once it's sold, it's really then up to the buyer to lodge a complaint. The seller probably got away with it. Now, honest mistakes happen, but there are also sloppy sellers too. But that cuts both ways... Occasionally they sell a pricey stamp cheap. (Less often, but it happens).
  • I've had the experience of buying mis identified stamps for sale on occasion. I ALWAYS check the ID given to make sure it matches the image at the beginning of the transaction. I always notify the seller ( assume it's a mistake), and always there is a mea culpa. I think the vast majority of sellers are good, kind hearted folks who are HUMAN and err. That is another reason I love the hobby. Also, I exclude the fruit-nuts who sell stupid fake stuff on purpose from this comment.
  • edited May 22 1 LikesVote Down
    Another thing to do is check out a sellers overall listings. What quality are they? Are their other listings sloppy?

    I think there are 2 types of suppliers here:
    Dealers and Sellers

    Dealers are the real deal, have in interest in the material they are selling, take every reasonable means to do things right, and when there are mistakes, they do the right thing.

    Sellers are just out to get the most out of any listing no matter what. There is one seller here who is ENTIERLY blatant about this, and continuously has their material listed at 2 or 3 times CV, with terrible examples (that you wouldn't pay 20% - 30% of CV for). And it baffles me because it just sits there for year over year, and they have a few 10s of sales a month equating to less than $100. Why? Why why why would you even bother with this?

    So any time I see something I'm interested in from a dealer I don't know, the first thing I do is go to their store, sort on "Price high to low", and then look at the material they are offering, including descriptions.

    Sellers that just have a 3 -5 word title and a 3 -5 word description for every listing, I just move on from. Anyone that just relies on "See image" and there is only a front photo at low resolution, I just move on from. They aren't taking this seriously, and they are just sellers, not dealers.

  • Bravo Scott!!!!! (Apologies to Rene). I couldn't agree more if I tried. I really detest the terms "buyer" and "seller" other than to mark a distinction between dealers and customers. "Buyer" and "seller" just distills the online, and otherwise, shopping experience down to the lowest common denominator and turns the transactions into an impersonal, rote, and sometimes robotic experience.

    Collectors/customers out there in the world would be well advised to take Scott's tips to heart and try to do business with reputable and experienced dealers who take pride in their offerings and their ethics. It will pay for itself in the short and long run.
  • Everyone here knows already that I have a special concern about the quality of the images a dealer presents to us. I feel that the image is part and parcel of the description, and a blurry image of a warped stamp with the description "F-VF" is just not worth my time and certainly not worth my money. We are essentially dealing with antiques here, not commodities. If sellers cannot find the time or the skill or the pride to present their wares properly, THEN NUKE' EM! And I hope at least a couple of you low rent bastards are out there reading this.....
  • Phil, does that mean ME? ;)
  • Bentley needs to up his game....lazy cat! I sure hope Phil doesn't NUKE ME though. That would be bad. :wink:
  • edited May 22 0 LikesVote Down
    Scott, you are certainly not low rent, and Greg, well you got Bentley to guide you. You need to stop blaming things on him....(how do I get those smiley things to appear?).
  • Proper punctuation my friend.... Hit the spacebar then hit your colon (on your keyboard). :smiley:
  • Ooof! Darn, that hurt. The keyboard, right..... :blush:
  • Attaboy!!!!! :blush:
  • Phil, you are correct. My apologies to Bentley and all lazy cats. It is all my doing. He had nothing to do with it (as was his plan anyway). I take full responsibility for my actions.
  • Besides the makings for a good pot of chili, isn't that the reason to have a cat? So you can take all the blame?
  • Ah, so CAT is the secret ingredient in chili!!??! I never knew.
  • Cat Scratch Chili
  • Chili con Gato
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