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United States/Stamps : What's up with this malarky?

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Dec 2016
12:59:54pm

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I see a ton of these cheap stamps worth face value or less, all with certificates and people trying to sell them for big dollars...

"It is genuine, unused, OG, never hinged."

Darn I could make that assessment!

So what's up with this stupidity?

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ernieinjax
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02 Dec 2016
01:12:46pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

How much were they asking??

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Anglophile
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02 Dec 2016
01:13:20pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

Someone recognized that it had excellent centering, so they submitted it to get the grade of 98S, either to justify its value as part of an investment basket of investment-grade stamps, or to sell it as such at a price far over catalog value. The grade is what is important, not the opinion of OG NH.

There was a common Washington-Franklin stamp in yesterday's Kelleher auction that catalogs at $2. It had been PSE graded 98J (Superb). Asking price: $200 (100X catalog). Sold for $94.

People have strong opinions about this going both ways.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
02 Dec 2016
01:14:34pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

They are doing this, because people are willing to buy them.

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tomiseksj
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02 Dec 2016
01:15:37pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

It is all part of the graded certificate mania affecting the hobby. The better the grade, the higher the CV, so the theory goes. While some command a premium, these were obtained for prices comparable to their ungraded counterparts.

Note how eight of the 2c imperf Washingtons were destroyed to attain the 100 Jumbo grade.

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seanpashby
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02 Dec 2016
02:06:50pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

In the end, when the fad dies off, the clear winner will be PSE.

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ernieinjax
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02 Dec 2016
02:20:01pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

Quote:

"In the end, when the fad dies off, the clear winner will be PSE."



... and a few very smart, albiet somewhat shady, dealers.

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smauggie
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02 Dec 2016
03:52:29pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

It was three or so stamp dealers that created PSE.

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angore
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Enjoying the little works of art
02 Dec 2016
05:30:38pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

As I see it, the graded stamp activity is just trying to make stamps more like an investment commodity to attract non-philatelic people as buyers similar to the graded coin market. As we learned in economics class, for any given price there is always some buyers. More most traditional collectors would not be interested but that is not the intended audience.

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StampCollector
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02 Dec 2016
05:31:49pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

I have a hard time believing that some one will have a minimum value stamp appraised.
Then again, someone once said that there's a sucker born every minute.

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sheepshanks
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02 Dec 2016
06:11:56pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

This site makes for an interesting read.
http://www.virtualstampclub.com/grading_kl.html

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ikeyPikey
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02 Dec 2016
06:42:03pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

Quote:

"... trying to make stamps more like an investment commodity ..."



There is a joke even older than Al about the sardines that are for selling, not for eating.

Graded stamps are for investing, not for collecting.

As long as the investors only buy & sell amongst themselves, the rest of us are safe.

Yes, the jumbos are a crime against nature.

Yes, they take blocks out of collectors' collective hands.

But they won't kill the hobby, because they have nothing to do with the hobby.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Dec 2016
08:26:10pm

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re: What's up with this malarky?

When I started this thread I was just wondering about the cheap,common stamps with PSE certificates. Nothing like a penny stamp with an asking price of $20-50.

The responses, especially the link from sheepshanks got me thinking about a pair of 314 that I own...

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Here's the PSE certificate proclaiming this pair as fake. Sharp and experienced eyes will note that they are wrong... this is a documented but Scott uncataloged private perforation that Shermack created for Covel Manufacturing Company. The "experts" should have known that.

So I send PSE an email asking how I would go about asking a question about one of their certificates and findings.... sent this several months ago. NO RESPONSE!

You'd think if they indeed issued the certificate that they'd stand behind it. Or at least answer a fricken inquiry!

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
02 Dec 2016
08:35:22pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

Send the pair to APEX for a second opinion.

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seanpashby
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02 Dec 2016
10:39:02pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

PSE does not like to change anything they have certified. I have one that they made a typo on the cert, but I'm getting nowhere trying to get it fixed. The above cert is interesting as I have not seen them actually say "Fake coil". Usually it will say something like a pair of 300's, trimmed with fake perforations added.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
02 Dec 2016
11:16:20pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

I think what PSE is saying is that your stamps are 314, but they are NOT 318.

Did you submit them as a private perf of 314?

Lars

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
03 Dec 2016
09:41:38am

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re: What's up with this malarky?

Lars, I didn't submit them. I bought them with the certificate. The seller believed them and was selling it as a fake.

If indeed PSE is this grand expertizing organization, I would expect them to give a correct identification of stamps submitted. The correct answer of "not a 318, but a private perforation, not listed by Scott, created by Shermack for Covel Mfg Co".

I was at a show last weekend and conversing with a dealer. He was aware of this information. I'd expect "experts" selling this service to know that.

Quote:

"PSE does not like to change anything they have certified."



That says it all. An organization that is paid to add value to stamps, but won't be corrected when wrong or even answer questions regarding certifications they have issued.


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Anglophile
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03 Dec 2016
10:07:57am
re: What's up with this malarky?

You are asking PSE for a service it does not provide. The seller had submitted the pair for an opinion, paid a fee, and received a certificate with an opinion. That is the end of the service. A downstream buyer is not entitled to a correction for free and a later explanation is not part of the service either. Your remedy is to submit a new application, with fee, for another opinion, to PSE or another service. That is how they all work. Relative to other businesses, these services do not charge a lot of money compared to the time needed to render an opinion, so it is simply conservative business practice for them to limit the service they offer for a given fee.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
03 Dec 2016
10:28:30am

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re: What's up with this malarky?

Quote:

"You are asking PSE for a service it does not provide."



I was asking for a reply to an email! Not too much to ask! If indeed your reply is the situation, then they should have replied with a boilerplate email explaining that. Still, I would have a problem paying them again to reconsider their error.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
03 Dec 2016
12:07:24pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

In the monthly Linn's issue, John Hotchner has a regular article regarding expertizing. It has been very enlightening. One of the downfalls of many who submit stamps for expertization, according to Hotchner, is the failure to properly describe what is being submitted and what it is suspected to be.

Think of yourself as the district attorney presenting a case to the jury. You have to state your case for what you believe the item to be. Give the people who will be looking at the stamp all the information in support of what you believe the stamp to be. You want the jury to deliberate on your stamp, but they need what evidence you have to guide them during their deliberation.

I'll bet you that the person who submitted the pair to PSE merely asked, "Is this a genuine coil?" The expertizers looked at it based on that sole question, and determined that the coil is "fake" in the sense that it was not "genuine" meaning as issued by the Post Office Department. With this in mind, and lacking any other information as to the original submission to PSE, I have to agree that PSE did provide a proper verdict.

To use another analogy, since expertizers refer to submitted items as "patients", you go to the doctor and say, "Doctor, it hurts." The doctor asks, "Where does it hurt?" You don't answer by saying, "You're the doctor, you figure it out! That's what I'm paying you for." No. You give the doctor as much information as possible to help the doctor reach as correct a diagnosis as possible.

To give expertizers a stamp, not provide them with any information, and hope that they will find something in your favor, well that would take an enormous amount of time for research and examination. They would have to exhaust every possibility of what that the stamp could be. It would cost much, much more for expertization if it were done that way. Again, it comes down to one thing: proper communication.

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simothecat
04 Dec 2016
11:28:33am
re: What's up with this malarky?

Quote:

"You are asking PSE for a service it does not provide.
"



Quote:

"I was asking for a reply to an email! Not too much to ask! If indeed your reply is the situation, then they should have replied with a boilerplate email explaining that.
"




Ah, this explains why, when I once sent the PF an email explaining why one of their certificates was wrong, I received no reply and the incorrect certificate is still in their online database.
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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
04 Dec 2016
12:01:59pm

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re: What's up with this malarky?

Quote:

"Ah, this explains why, when I once sent the PF an email explaining why one of their certificates was wrong, I received no reply and the incorrect certificate is still in their online database."



They need to be called out on this! If they are selling expertizing services and issuing certificates, they need to stand behind those opinions. So what we are discovering is that their certificates, that people have spent big money to buy stamps based on that opinion, aren't worth the paper they are printed on! That's called fraud.

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ernieinjax
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04 Dec 2016
12:11:54pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

I can see both sides. I think they use the phrase "rendering an opinion" for a reason. I think there are stamps and stamp characteristics that could be argued endlessly. A year later, different people on the committee, different opinion.

It's sort of the can of worms syndrome. Once you admit one is wrong they're all suspect.

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ikeyPikey
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04 Dec 2016
05:55:18pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

Quote:

"... That's called fraud ..."



Absent a promise to answer all eMail, or to re-examine challenged certificates, etc, I do not see 'fraud', which is a specific thing.

Quote:

"... I can see both sides ... Once you admit one is wrong they're all suspect ..."



Then you should see both sides here, too Thinking

Science gets a lot of credibility from being open to correction.

If we knew that the bad certs were easily challenged & promptly withdrawn, we could more easily trust the lot.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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ernieinjax
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04 Dec 2016
06:46:57pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

@ ikeypikey,

That's a good point. I just don't think they see it that way.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
04 Dec 2016
07:56:02pm

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re: What's up with this malarky?

Think about this a bit. Recently we watched a collection of really cool early USA stamps and blocks. One of the advertised points was "Numerous Certificates". So indeed the promise of certificates and what they are supposed to represent was part of the financial value of this collection.

To think that the company that issued these opinions of value would not be liable for their work, never mind that they do not answer inquiries totally invalidates their work!

For instance, you hire a home inspection service to inspect a home you are considering buying. You base the decision to buy that home on their recommendations. Many years ago, I collected insurance money from one for not uncovering a major defect in the roof of our home. Yes, they accepted money for an opinion and were held liable.

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ernieinjax
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04 Dec 2016
08:09:20pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

Hear ya loud and clear Tom. I totally get that. I'm surmising as to why they're not excited or motivated to reverse course on opinions. I think the same applies as to why they sometimes return an item with a "no opinion".

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Anglophile
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RPSL, APS, EPA; US, GB, Ireland, British Europe, Italy, Mauritius Classics
04 Dec 2016
09:18:53pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

You do not understand the elements of a fraud claim. Fraud requires a knowing misrepresentation by a seller to a buyer that results in detriment to the buyer. It is the seller who is saying, "Because I have these certs, the collection is worth more." If the certs are bad and the seller knew it, then the buyer has a fraud claim against the seller - but not against the certification agency. The certification agency was paid by someone to render an opinion, and did so. Opinions are just that - subjective opinions based upon the views of a reviewer ("expert") based on the knowledge and facts they had available at the time. The fact that different knowledge was available elsewhere, or new facts turned up later, does not make the original opinion fraudulent.

This discussion reminds me of the time I tried to rent a very nice beachfront apartment in California. The rent was market rate, but the required security deposit was 4X the monthly rent - over $10,000 as I recall. When I asked the landlord why it was so high, he said, "Because it is." Certification agencies do not withdraw or correct certificates and do not provide information for free. Why? Because they don't. Want a different opinion, or a certificate that says what you believe to be correct? Send in an application, the stamp, and the fee.

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tomiseksj
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07 Dec 2016
03:07:49pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

I think the title of this ebay offering pretty much says all that needs to be said regarding the resale value of graded, low value stamps -- "ESTATE CLOSEOUT SCOTT #821 MINT OG NH PSE GRADED FOR LESS THAN COST OF THE CERT."

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
07 Dec 2016
05:14:45pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

The stamps graded less than 90 do not sell for much of any premium.

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dollhaus
07 Dec 2016
06:27:28pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

What knocked it down to 85? Looks pretty good for centering, perfs, etc.

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Anglophile
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07 Dec 2016
06:58:26pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

It is centered low. Bottom margin to perfs dictated the 95.

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seanpashby
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07 Dec 2016
09:01:01pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

Here is my problem. This is the cert. According to this it is a 1057a (dry printing).

Image Not Found

Now here is the holder that came with it. It claims it is a 1057 (wet printing), which it is.

Image Not Found

So I have a cert that says the wrong thing, even though it was correctly identified. If they would be more specific on the cert itself and say wet printing, it would not have been an issue.

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Anglophile
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07 Dec 2016
09:55:04pm
re: What's up with this malarky?

That is remarkable, and inexcusable. Since here we have objective evidence of an internal error by PSE, you should consider sending a written demand for a refund of fees, or a corrected certificate. If there is no response or a decline, then I would sue in small claims court to get a refund of the fee. You have a worthless certificate from supposed professionals who made an obvious objective error. It is not a question of subjective opinion.

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