Riverside Stamps

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Why I took down the Scott #277 auction of May 11, 2008.


I received back from the A.P.S. the certificate for this stamp which verified our suspicions that it was in fact a used stamp that had been regummed.


I immediately put the #277 back up for sale on eBay on July 27 and sold it on Aug 3rd for $167.50


I took down the auction because a bidder had raised the question as to whether or not the stamp was truly unused or not. What follows is the email conversation along with notes on my thoughts between email messages.  

On May 11, 08 I put up for auction on eBay a Scott #277, see image above, described as Unused, Regummed and no faults. On may 16 I received a question through eBay from the then high bidder.

Dear riversidestamps,

I am currently the high bidder for this item. Please understand that if I win the auction, I plan to submit the stamp to APS for expertizing. If the stamp is returned with the opinion that it is NOT unused, will you refund the price of the stamp and the cost of the expertization?

Doug Hall
APS #93077 - doughallnh

My response was:

Dear doughallnh,

I will refund the price of the stamp plus shipping but I will not cover the cost of expertizing. You are well within your rights to have the stamp expertised but the cost to have the stamp looked at is your responsibility not mine.
- riversidestamps

Shortly after I had sent the response I got to thinking that maybe he was trying to tell me something, maybe this stamp isn't all that it's cracked up to be. So I emailed a message to myself from work:

Take a closer look at Scott #277. Look for possible signs of cancellation and examine lower left edge three perfs from left for possible repaired perf tear.

When I got home from work that night I sat down and re-examined the stamp very closely and found that what I thought was a repaired tear was a small smudge of red. Using a 30X microscope I found that the entire front of the stamp was covered in tiny specks of red. That along with the red stain on the back convinced me that possibly something was up with this stamp. I immediately took down the listing and prepared the stamp to be sent to the A.P.S. for expertizing.

Doug's replay to my last email was:

Dear riversidestamps,

Understood. Thanks.
- doughallnh

To which I replied:

Dear doughallnh,

You did get me to re-examine the stamp more closely and now I have my doubts about if it is used or not - I can see specks of red all over the front of the stamp. I will be stopping the auction on this stamp and I will send it out to be expertized if anything to satisfy my curiosity. Thank you for bringing this up to my attention. Mike Girard.
- riversidestamps

Doug's reply was:

Dear riversidestamps,

Good for you. If it does come back with a certificate that it is unused, you'll end up getting much higher bids for it. Thanks for checking and taking that action.
- doughallnh

I probably won't hear back from the A.P.S. for another three months. In the mean time I learned a valuable lesson and that is I should be very careful when examining stamps, especially the older ones that appear to be unused, take nothing for granted and be mindful that there are a lot of stamps out there that are not what they seem to be. This was a case where the catalog price far exceeded the cost of expertizing  and by rights should have sent the stamp out to be checked before putting it up for auction.

I want to thank Doug Hall for teaching me this valuable lesson and for letting me share our email conversation with the rest of the world. Comments are always welcomed.

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To Contact Riverside Stamps:
Mike Girard - Owner / Operator / Web Master: g1rardmn1099@comcast.net

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