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Club Business & Announcements/Member Intro : Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

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hot6string
12 Jun 2014
04:59:32pm
Hello everyone. I new to stamp collecting and need help. I'm from Boston, Ma and have just started to collect stamps. My question is. Should I purchase stamps from Mystic,Kenmore or ebay? I see stamps on ebay @ a lower price than both Mystic and Kenmore. Some advice would help me a great deal.
Thanks
Sy
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khj
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12 Jun 2014
05:21:08pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Welcome to StampoRama, Sy!

Stamps from eBay, OK -- but buyer beware, as there will always be some erroneous listings.

Stamps from Mystic and Kenmore tend to be overpriced. If you have other options, it is better to buy elsewhere.

Albums from Mystic are usually pretty decent deals, and supplies are also worth considering.

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smauggie
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12 Jun 2014
06:02:47pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

There are likely a number of stamp dealers in Boston as well that would be worth checking out.

Also, many stamp clubs have auctions where you can get stuff at nice prices.

And then of course there are auctions and electronic Approval bookx on this forum too!

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CapeStampMan
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Mike
12 Jun 2014
07:04:04pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Vernon,
First, let me welcome you to the best stamp collecting site anywhere. Second, we have one of the best auctions site you will ever visit and it, is an insult to me, at least, why you would join SOR and ask where the best place to buy stamps is! Why did you join SOR if you wanted to shop at eBay in the first place. Every stamp collector knows that Mystic sells their products at basically 2 to 3 times catalog value, how else could they spend $14 million dollars last year on stamps. Kenmore is probably the same, but I don't know that for sure. SOR has the best, most honest dealers you can possibly find, anywhere. We do not take kindly to sellers, or buyers for that matter, that are just here to play games and try to misrepresent their stamps, or not pay for the items they win at auction. They are assuredly deleted from SOR and not allowed to buy or sell, if they want to play those types of games. We are a very close knit group and sellers and buyers that try those games are gone in just about a New York second, if not sooner.

I don't want to come off as an old curmudgeon, but the above is my opinion and I will stick to it, 100%. Now, go check out our auctions and see if what I say is not true and if you don't agree, then that's your privilege.

Mike

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smauggie
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12 Jun 2014
07:18:17pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Old curmudgeon . . . . Image Not Found

Cool

As I begin to enter middle-age I am finding that being a curmudgeon has its advantages.

Just to add a bit to what Mike said.

Auctions here are rarely contested, meaning you will usually get it for the lowest bid.
Prices in our auctions are usually run at a small percentage of catalog value (10-30%), unlike other stamp sales.
Our auctions host a very wide variety of material.

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hot6string
12 Jun 2014
08:02:13pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Thanks to everyone for their response !
Why be insulted? I'm new here and have no clue on what to do! I don't know a thing about this site or its members, so please don't be insulted. God, give me a break!

Thanks,

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Poodle_Mum
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12 Jun 2014
08:35:01pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Welcome to SOR and stamp collecting!!!

We do have a fantastic Approval Book section that is perfect for both new and seasoned collectors. You will find items listed at extremely low prices, for the most part I'd venture to say the average is about 5-10% of the cv value and all the members are honest. If there is a problem with anything you buy, you can work out the issue with the buyer or talk to David Teisler, if it can't be resolved. Likewise you will find packets of stamps available on the auctions which are awesome for new collectors. From time to time you will also see in the See/Swap section of the discussion board, various members that have packets of stamps available at low prices.

You can even put a Wanted Ad in our Ad section requesting "kiloware". If you are interested in a particular country for example you could say "Wanted to buy: Canadian Kiloware, willing to pay maximum of $50" or Worldwide, etc. And no doubt you will find a member who will answer your ad and will definitely give you a nice selection of stamps at a very low cost for what you are willing to pay.

We have so many avenues to purchase stamps here at SOR. Give us a try and save some of your dough that you'd be forking over to the bigwigs Winking

Most of all - enjoy your stamps. Feel free to ask any questions at all. We have lots of people here who are new to collecting or have picked up collecting again after a 20 or 30 or 40 year hiatus and we have seasoned collectors that are definitely experts in different areas of collecting. We are quite eclectic.

Welcome aboard!!

Kelly

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dani20
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12 Jun 2014
09:14:22pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Dear Sy,
We consider you to be part of the family now, so welcome to our rowdy, touchy,sensitive,and all round well meaning folk. We love to squabble, poke fun, be serious, be goofy-just like any family. You'll come to know us and to love us since what you see is what you get-really a most entertaining, fun group. No offense really taken, and none really meant to be offered-just us giving you a hug.
Welcome,
Dan C.

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BobbyBarnhart
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12 Jun 2014
09:47:12pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Sy, if you are looking for a lot of stamps for a reasonable price, I would suggest picking up a copy of Linn's Stamp magazine (linns.com) and browsing the classified ads under "Lots and Collections" and "Mixtures."

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hot6string
12 Jun 2014
10:12:43pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome! I have not collected stamps since I was 12 and am just getting back into it after 40 years (lol). This site is great!!!!!. God, I had no clue on what to do and where to purchase. I just happened to stumble on this site and am glad I did. What luck :-)
Thanks again to everyone! I'm glad I'm here and part of this family !!!!!!
Sy

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Bobstamp
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12 Jun 2014
10:36:54pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Welcome to Stamporama. You'll find, I'm sure, that stamps are very easy to accumulate. What's harder to accumulate is knowledge about stamps: that comes slowly because philately is such a huge area of knowledge, and you will never know everything there is to know.

Unless you already know what countries/periods/topics you want to collect, I suggest that you buy older, worldwide collections, which are generally inexpensive, along with a used set of catalogues. By studying a great many stamps and becoming familiar with catalogues, you'll gradually develop useful knowledge and begin to zero in on what interests you most. Stamps that you decide that you don't want can always be disposed of, perhaps at a profit, which is one of the nice things about collecting. There aren't many hobbies that have the potential of returning at least part of your expenses. Along the way, every time you are confronted with a puzzle, you should ask questions both here in the Stamporama discussions and of every collector you can contact.

I would caution against trying to collect "everything," or to trying to obtain a "complete" collection of any given country, with the possible exception of some countries that existed for a short time, such as Newfoundland or Manchukuo. But even in such "collecting areas," there will be many varieties and rare stamps that will be difficult to find and possibly very expensive. And if you decide to collect covers, a.k.a. "postal history," completeness will become an impossible dream.

Finally, here's the best free advice I can give: Do not buy stamps (or covers) that don't appeal to you, which may also mean that you should not bother with proprietary stamp album with pre-printed pages. Although such albums can be good learning tools, you'll soon obtain stamps that aren't pictured in them, and you won't find space for such items as booklet panes, blocks, pairs, covers, revenue stamps, varieties, etc. Many collectors find that stock books or pages with clear strips make excellent albums.

Good luck, and be sure to ask the questions that are sure to arise.

Bob

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khj
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12 Jun 2014
10:38:00pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Well then welcome back, Sy!

There are different levels of collecting --

beginner
returnee
intermediate
advanced
curmudgeon
old curmudgeon

Our goal here is to help you enter each higher level, step by step, until you reach the elite status.

Winking k

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drmicro68
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12 Jun 2014
10:41:18pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Welcome to SOR. It can be intimidating coming into this after being away for awhile. I second the comments about checking out the auctions here as well as getting a copy of Linn's. One feature I _usually_ find useful in Linn's is "Kitchen Table Philately". The authors anonymously purchase & evaluate lots purchased (usually through a Linn's ad). While others might take exception to some of the columns, I find it generally helpful in deciding where to spend my pennies. And yes, Mystic & Kenmore (plus others) tend to be a little pricey. If you want to jump into a large bundle, check out Champion Stamp Co. Every so often I take a large bite. Haven't hit the jackpot, but then I love digging through their boxes every now and then. And I've filled a lot of holes....

RogerParty

PS No financial interest in any of the names mentioned above. I just love playing with stamps.

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I still have more questions than answers
12 Jun 2014
11:07:49pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Sy,
It really depends on what you collect. The advice here is great and I have bought a few things here, but most of what I collect rarely comes up for sale here. I love chatting with the other members and have even met several of them. It is a great group. As you get more involved you may find yourself specializing in an specific area or several areas. That will dictate where you buy more than anything. Please ask lots of questions. The vastness of knowledge here is amazing. My best advice is to try not to collect it all. Try for a topic or country and when you are not wasting your money on a huge mass of common stuff you will find you have funds for better items. Please come back and show us your buys. I learn a lot here.
I don't buy many stamps these days. I primarily buy covers. That's just me. You will find many different collectors here and learn a ton in the process.
Pat

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CapeStampMan
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Mike
13 Jun 2014
06:47:08am
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Winkingk,
I'm assuming from your list that I have finally arrived!!!! After practicing for many years, I am proud to have reached "elite" status. My wife comments all of the time that I am becoming just like my dad, so at least I know I've inherited something enjoyable from him.

BAH, HUMBUG..LOL

Mike

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cocollectibles
13 Jun 2014
06:58:03am
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

@hot6string: Welcome aboard! I was in the same boat as you, having left my collecting until my much later years and after about 20 years of starting again, I still feel like a novice (Kim, where does that rate?). I would suggest that if you are interested in "bulking up" your collections and want to go through large lots (kiloware lots, as some describe it) then there are a couple of reputable sellers on eBay whom you should at least consider. Much of their material is picked through for higher value items, but if you just want to get a large lot of, say, a several thousand stamps for less than $200, then this might be the way to go. SOR is a buyer's paradise so yes, do check out the approval pages and the auctions often.

@Capemanstamps/Mike:

Quote:

"BAH, HUMBUG"



I found myself actually saying "Get off my lawn" the other day when two kids decided to run around on my front lawn. Ugh. I'm turning in to Mr. Wilson from Denice the Menace.

Peter


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amsd
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13 Jun 2014
08:21:12am
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Hey Sy, welcome

I don't know Kenmore, but I do Mystic, which has plusses and minuses. Plus includes support of the hobby unparralleled anywhere else; well organized and illustrated catalogues from which it is not only easy to see the stamps but ALSO a great substitute for a US Scott catalogue if you don't have one. They do tend to be well overpriced, but you pay for all that infrastructure.

SOR is a great place to start, although we seldom have collections, which is Bob Ingraham's wise suggestion. I might go to a show and look at either world wide albums, if that's your fancy, or one or two country collections. Buy entire albums with stamps and plan to pay a little. I remember buying a US album through about 1970 for $90. It included all the pages, plus the previous owner had added lots of specialized pages, including a full page of nothing but Columbians. In countries like US and Germany, if you follow this path, the more early stuff that's filled, the better the value is likely to be. Many dealers will deal, especially as the show winds down.

Welcome, enjoy, dabble in the beginning, get to know what you acquire, learn, ask questions, buy some more, abandon the Yugoslavian stuff that you no longer find interesting and really delve into the Croatian stuff that you now find fascinating.

David

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larsdog
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13 Jun 2014
05:48:18pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Sy,

Welcome! I get my stamps from several different places. If I want a LOT of common modern stamps, I buy from Mystic. Even though their prices are higher, I'm only paying for shipping once because they have just about everything in stock that is common. If I want more specialized stuff, like PNC (plate number coils), I would post something in the "wanted" section of this web site (SOR) and check prices on eBay. If it's a high dollar item, I tend to look for auctions. That would be here and eBay. If I need a lot of older common stamps I would post a request here in the "wanted" section and check Stamps2Go.com. That is a fixed price non-auction site that I have used quite a bit, but only for lower priced items.

There are certain sellers I avoid on eBay and Stamps2Go. Definitely watch out for the penny start auction for the heavily faked stamp without a certificate of authenticity. Those usually turn into a feeding frenzy of the uninformed. If I see someone offering questionable material I stay away from that seller permanently. For U.S., you really need a Scott Specialized Catalog and watch for those warnings of fakes. You can save a lot of $$$ if you buy a catalog from 2 or 3 years ago.

So there are lots of places to buy online, and as suggested there are offline opportunities as well. However, this is absolutely the BEST place to learn more and get burned less. There are experts in just about every area that freely give the benefit of their knowledge for the asking. In some stamp clubs there are know-it-alls that spout off on any topic, but here if someone is off-base with their answer, they will definitely get called on it, so everyone is careful not to over-state what they know for sure. That creates wonderful learning experiences. Just follow the topics that interest you. I like to look at the postings in the "Last Day" to see what interests me, unless I've been away for more than 24 hours in which case I click "Last Week". (I suppress those annoying emails about stuff being posted. I want to deal with SOR on my own terms and time).

Lars

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HungaryForStamps
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13 Jun 2014
05:49:01pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Where to buy depends on what you want.

I was in a similar boat when I restarted collecting several years ago. When I was younger I collected everything. When I restarted later in life, I decided to focus on US and central Europe. The first steps for me were to purchase collections in my areas of interest to get started.

I have successfully purchased thousands of stamps on Ebay, many times at essentially wholesale prices (i.e., way below catalog), when buying collections. It is by far the least expensive route for buying certain types of lots, provided you know what you're doing (otherwise you may end up with garbage). Knowledge is important. Paying attention to quality of the items/collection and the integrity of the seller is important (e.g, feedback, APS affiliation, etc.).

If you are buying single stamps and sets (say to fill out that starter collection you got from Ebay), then there are more options: SOR, APS stamp store (if a member, which I recommend), Ebay. When buying single stamps, you need to be more careful as you will likely no longer buy at wholesale prices. The more expensive the item the better armed with knowledge you should be (says Yoda). But even with singles, I have done most of my buying on Ebay (from trusted sellers), because generally the prices are lower.

Edit: I should note, when buying singles, I'm talking about things in the $25-$500 range that I couldn't get wholesale, not .10 stamps.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
13 Jun 2014
06:07:13pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Mystic, Kenmore, I have bought from both for 50 years. Each have their own offerings. Get a copy of Linn's. There are plenty of advertisements of all sorts of dealers offering stamps for sale. Approval services are just that. Request approvals from dealers to see what they have. Buy what you want, return the rest, cancel anytime. Join the American Philatelic Society. They have a great sales division. You can buy from sales circuits (just like an approval service), and you can buy from the APS online store. Some state philatelic associations (Texas and Oklahoma, for example) offer sales circuits similar to the APS. They also offer auctions. Stamp-o-Rama offers auctions and "approval books" that are well received, and the buying can't be any easier among members here.

Try the various venues where stamps are offered for sale. There's no harm in looking, and you just might make even more philatelic friends while you do.

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TuskenRaider
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24 Jun 2014
03:19:01pm
re: Where to buy, Mystic, Kenmore or ebay?

Hi Newbie;

I usually buy only lots of 100 - 5,000, mostly world-wide mixed, or single country packets of 100-500. In the past, most of my material came from FeeBay. I have purchased 100-200 lots there and only got burned once. I didn't get the stamps and lost $2.00. I blacklisted that seller.

Avoid ordering from 10 or 15 sellers at once, it's too easy to get confused and not realize that one lot never arrived. The best way to start on FeeBay is buy 3 or 4 packets of off paper from different sellers. Look at their feedback. Don't buy from someone with a feedback of less that 50-100!! Try to stick with stamps in the 1¢-5¢ range if possible. When your stamps arrive look them over. Are they all cheap definitives or are they the better stamps? When all of them have been examined pick the best one or two lots. Go back to FeeBay and add those sellers to your favorite list.

I've almost never paid more than 1¢ - 1½¢ per stamp. It can take a bit of time to find the best sellers. When you do they are like gold. I've purchased from a couple in a tiny mining town in Canada about 8 or 10 times, and usually 5-8 lots. They sell used off paper stamps, from Czechoslovakia, Australia, New Zealand, Papua & New Guinea, and Canada. Their material is very clean, no creased, no hinge residue, and clean light cancels. They always add +5% over the stated quantity, in case of duplication or damaged. Their lots often have the high values also. Their Canada packets often have a couple $1, $2 or $5 stamps included, and lots of large commemoratives.

WebStore.com is also a good source of singles at reasonable prices. My feedback score there is a couple hundred, and mostly from purchases.

Another good site is Delcampe, located in Brussels Belgium, but many (30% or so) on there speak French. You can use Google Translate to help with the descriptions.

I just joined on here a month ago, and the approvals look fairly nice as do the auctions. You won't get in a bidding war on here. I'll probably try out some of the sellers here and see what they have to offer. It is always fun to buy on the internet.

I have also sold stamps, coins, jewellery, and banknotes on-line in about 24 countries, and about 26 different US states. This way I make friends all over the world, and that is really Happy cool! My feedback scores across six websites is about 940+ and not a single negative. I had to refund one customer $12.50 for a defective copper cuff bracelet.

However stamp shows and bourses are a lot of fun. I can never resist a cigar box or shoe box full of goodies. Bricks & mortar stores are nice to visit also, and one can find some nice deals there sometimes. In 2002 I purchased Scott's US Specialized and Vol. 1-6, catalogs about two years old for $20, and found a $40 Belgian stamp inside.

Have fun sorting all those goodies
Ken Tall Pines

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