'Hip Value' doesn't work on covers!!!!!

I've been listing a handful of used Postal Stationary and each has had an un-wanted 'Hip Value' added to its listing. The 'Hip Value' only values used postal stationary and doesn't take into account postal history such as cachets, auxiliary markings, up-ratings, fancy cancels, and the like. With the much lower 'Hip Values' erroneously assigned, Hip is making it look like I'm trying to pull a fast one, when in fact the prices asked are already generally lower than can be found elsewhere. For example, a US Scott U352 I listed, Hip values at $3.75. Meanwhile the cover's verso has all-over advertising. $3.75????? In yer dreams! I call BULLSCHIDT!



  • 21 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Yup - I have found MNH stamps from better countries where the Hipvalue is 15% of Scott. This will reduce sales - can't see where this is a good thing. And we are paying for this counter productive "feature" to have our sales reduced. Why can't they ask what we WANT.
  • edited July 28 1 LikesVote Down
    I have a very similar concern. A couple days ago, I sent this comment to support in an email:

    I have a concern. This situation occurred a couple times in my listings.
    As an example, I listed a stamp set like Scott # 's 400-404. There is a hipvalue banner for 400 only attached to it. If you hover on the hipvalue it says, as example, 10 of #400 sold for $1.00. I have a price of $3.00 for the set of 5. My concern is lazy human shoppers that won't take the time to hover and will bypass the listing because of the lower hipvalue price being displayed.

    I'd say pile on. If you haven't, send these comments to support. Thats seems to be the only way to get things fixed. They could show us their values without attaching them to our listings. It is almost as if they are trying to set the value for the shopper rather than letting us set our own price.
  • "It is almost as if they are trying to set the value for the shopper rather than letting us set our own price."

    "Almost" nothing they could do would result in a mass exodus quicker. It is quite unnerving.
  • I don't believe the Hipvalue will have any affect on sales. If you don't have a store, they will not be shown. I would guess the majority of buyers don't have a store. Over the years I have used them as a guide in setting prices, but recognize they are prone to error. While the example shown in this thread was 15% of Scott value, at other times I have seen the value exceed Scott. You need to look at the detail to understand why the value might seem out of line. Even then you might not come up with a clear answer. Logic would state that Hipvalue would always be less than Scott value. Most sellers on this site sell at 50% or less of Scott value.
  • "If you don't have a store, they will not be shown."
    Even if this is accurate, its clear that many sellers on HipStamp are also buyers, so the optics still stink. Further, its hard enough to get shoppers to read the detailed descriptions as it is, so adding something that doesn't fly and putting it in one's face will only lessen the likelihood of further investigation. To be clear, my gripe is with postal history...there isn't an algorithm on the planet that can evaluate all the nuances that come with a cover, so I'm left with some valuation that says a $20 cover is only worth a buck-and-a-half. Utter nonsense!
  • edited July 28 2 LikesVote Down
    It would be nice if the HipStamp programmers took it on themselves to fix things instead of finding some way to make things worse. Specifically this site has been so degraded in the past 6-8 months it is distressing to say the least. And the site has bogged down something awful. Slower than Congress!! OF course sometimes a slow Congress is a good thing. A selling platform not so much!!
  • A buyer can see the hip values only if they subscribe for it, otherwise they won't.
  • With nothing personal and all due respect, I do believe you're putting lipstick on a pig
  • When I got the "benefit" of the HIP value it did reveal something unrelated, that some sellers may not be aware of.... Namely the magic categories(automatically feeding information from your title) function does not recognize the descriptor NH. It will only recognize the phrase "Mint NH". So many of my NH listings(mind you not all of them, which is weird) show up with a HIP value of Unused. Not a huge deal but, more importantly, this revealed that many of my NH items are listed in the unused bucket for a particular catalog number. This is a real problem given the value difference between NH and unused stamps. And with 9k+ listings, it is not a trivial exercise to go back and check all the NH ones to make sure they are mapping correctly!

    Which begs the question, why waste valuable title space(as good citizens we are supposed to have descriptive titles) requiring the word Mint as well as NH? A title use of F-VF, for example, feeds into the magic categories as F-VF. But NH can't "magically" be Mint(NH)... Programming quirk or just lazy? Who knows. I have contacted support but I doubt they will do anything about it. If anyone else has noticed this then feel free to bug support about it.

    In terms of the HIP value, I do ignore it having sold 20K+ US plate blocks here... I think I know the market. What I have noticed is that if you look at the HIP value, it appears to be an arithmetic average of the sales for that Scott number in that condition(either NH, unused or used) including auctions and fixed price sales. This gives a distorted view especially if there are outliers(like totally substandard examples or auctions that end at 1 cent because nobody showed up). I have suggested, again to support, that they use the median value which at least might get you closer to a true "average" value for the normal collectible example. Of course further complicating matters is that the HIP value is distorted because it does not account for "true" centering(one man's Superb is another's F-VF), other condition issues(perf or selvedge issues for example) or a buyers true cost when factoring in shipping.

    Dismounting from soapbox.


  • George,

    I have no dog in this fight. As far as for what I am doing the Hipvalues are USELESS. 2 reasons why, first I try to adjust my prices according to the most recent Scott's that I have which is no older than 2 years. Scott's in their wisdom has been known to adjust some of their prices downwards at times as much as 35-75 % of their cat value. (They did that a few cat on Brazil) You have a number of sellers that are using cat values from 2016 and older. Hipstamp does not show which cat the seller is using, does not show when that listing was first posted, and does not show when it was sold, if those items were sold 2 years ago and priced according to a Scott's 2016 how accurate are those prices really going to be?
  • Ok, I'll dive in. HipValues mean absolutely nothing to me. A couple of reasons. First, in my case, I price my items on my own terms (what I believe to be fair for the market and condition). I trust my customers to be discerning enough to make their own decisions on whether to purchase or not. I also, almost always, entertain offers and, almost always accept if they are reasonable. Second, this appears to me to be an attempt by HipStamp to follow the SAN and Siegel model of a prices realized database. HipStamp is a completely different selling platform from both SAN and Siegel in that HS has a very wide range of both sellers and dealers from the completely uninformed sellers and shysters to the seasoned and experienced "real" stamp dealers. In the case of SAN, they host exclusively premier and professional stamp auction houses, most with years and decades of experience and history. Siegel, of course, is their own high end auction house. Thus, HipValues are derived from a wild, wild, west of sources with suspect, at best, validity.

    My grandfather once taught me a very important lesson when I was a kid. Don't piss into the wind. Taking HipValues seriously is like pissing into the wind. Do it once then you'll decide to turn around next time....maybe.
  • Hipvalues have no value. Anyone who is getting upset by this should calm down. Any item has a value of what someone is willing to pay for it.
  • And yes as Wayne says they should take their time and fix what needs to be fixed.
  • Bill. Sorry no. What Wayne said is not at all a good idea. Having spent 35 years in software developement I can tell you that this is not how software is developed. Ever. This is not it.

    “It would be nice if the HipStamp programmers took it on themselves to fix things instead of finding some way to make things worse”
  • Sorry, Bob, but that is just foolishness, I assume you think this site is just fine as it is. Sorry, but that is definitely not the case. And yes it has degraded over the last 6-8 months.
  • Wayne. I never said the site was fine. It works for me. But I am only one. What I tried, and clearly failed, to do was educate people on how software is created and just what they do for a living. You can call it foolishness all you want. But it is what I did from 1982 to 2022. I know a bit about the job.
  • Bob,
    I used to code and did it for years starting with FORTRAN.
    In later years when we were able to get away from punch cards and write the code we would test out a program in the sandbox before we even went to beta. In recent years that has been completely thrown out the window and what happens is coders now try to patch a code into and existing program without doing the complete testing on it to make sure it completely works in all situations that might come up. They do this to save money or out of complete laziness.
    It is a shame because it causes problems for the people trying to use the site.
  • I do not subscribe to Hip Values and yet they are displayed on my listings as well as all the others on the pages I reviewed as of today..
  • Cliff they are now included with your Basic store at no charge.
  • Bill. I too stated with FORTRAN and punch cards. But I ended up in the wide world of ‘C’. While I suspect you veered more toward COBOL with your talk of sandboxes.

    There is no doubt that coding has changed dramatically lately. And not for the better. It has a lot to do with my decision to retire from the field.
  • I was into C also and I quit around '08. At the time it was just part time for myself and my real estate customers building web sites. We still used the term sandboxes when doing our Alpha tests.
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