I guess it largely depends on the value and complexity of the material one buys.
Someone buying mostly few dollar topical sets and thematics etc, can I am sure do so quite safely on ebay etc.
Or if you buy super specialised areas like numeral cancels from Tasmania or Victoria, or Nyasaland Plate Flaws, or USA Imprint Blocks etc, are buying in detailed areas the fakers avoid.
However those seeking mainstream "MUH" stamps that run into many $100s and $1000s on ebay, from sellers with nothing whatever behind them, are taking a HUGE risk. Often a MUH Kangaroo will be FOUR times the price of a MLH one. So a $500 hinged stamp getting re-gummed for $10 by these spivs, gets them $2,000 next week off the ebay "Bunny Bargains Hunters".
Many dealers can't pick professional German regums, and 99.9% of collectors certainly can't.
The ebay Lemmings placed masses of bids to secure this REGUM recently for over $A7000 from "TenShillings" - latest handle of the long running regumming Bristol cartel. All banned by ebay in the END, but new Hydra Heads keep popping up. I sold a similar MLH one last month for $2000. Regum that, and you get $7000 as can be seem. You can't save stupid people from themselves.
If offered to me or any kosher dealer in a year for purchase, I'll offer $1,500 so I can sell it as "mint - regummed" for $2000 again -
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Australia-Roo-SG-15-Sc-14-1913-14 ... 1382521832
Anyone with a quarter of brain, planning to spend $7000 on an alleged "MUH" stamp from an unknown seller, would google the name of the seller - right to do some checks? Clearly NOT - or they'd have seen this as first matches -
https://www.stampboards.com/search.php?keywords=%22tenshillin ... mit=Search
Buying early Imperforates from ANYWHERE that are extensively repaired, re-backed, and manipulated can't also be picked by most
collectors. But look SUPERB in ebay scans.
I have this on my Rarity Page now for $A250, and state it is very professional repaired. Most members here, with great respect, would not have a clue. Offered on ebay as 'Superb Used' it would get $2000 or so.
Same goes with anything overprinted that is worth a lot more than non overprints. MILLIONS of dollars a month globally is extracted from dopey collectors via ebay etc, by sellers who are just as clueless as the buyers, OR by conmen who know darn well that after a short period, the buyer right to return for refund is GONE FOREVER
Buy ANY of these above off Mark Bloxham, Argyll Atkin, Richard Juzwin or Michael Rogers etc, and YEARS
down the track you'll get a refund if you detect it.
I am Life Member of the American Stamp Dealers' Association in New York (ASDA) and the Philatelic Traders Society in London (PTS), and IFSDA
to be confused with IPDA that most with a credit card can join rapidly!) and in 35 years have never had an issue with any 3 recognised trade bodies. Which either means some 10,000s of my past clients are all totally stupid and blind and clueless, OR
I have a good and consistent eye re condition and grading.
Any large full time dealer who is NOT a member of one of these 3 above, would have me at least asking "WHY NOT?". Fees are a few $100 a year, so it will not be cost. It presumably will be some other reason.
It is a bit like buying a used car. You can pay $5,000 off a dealer with trade association surveillance and warranty, or you can buy the same model car at near the same price from a dodgy looking Jamaican with dreadlocks and tatoos or whatever, who wants cash payment, and prefers to do the deal in a car park somewhere.
Many do the latter every
day globally. One of our daughters did much the same recently on a Rav4 and the gearbox blew up within days. Cost to fix it - near what the car cost. No warranty of course, and being 20 something, no brains to get an AAA type check done on it first. We all know stories like that. 8)
There will be the usual posts here along the lines "I buy stamps happily off billybob939596848 and have never been unhappy"
- often sadly posted from folks that would not be able to spot a repair or regum or fake overprint, if it jumped up, and bit them on the bum.
Which sadly is why the "billybob939596848" sellers stay in business, pretty often. "We offer money back guarantees".
Sure, right. When it comes time to SELL is when the reality often hits home. I see it EVERY week, and am talking from experience. The utter 4th rate defective garbage I see on a constant basis, that very good money was paid for on ebay, would blow your mind.
Experienced stamp dealers are like doctors - we generally get to see the problem well past when any preventative action can be taken. Or WE get to break the bad news - your "$10,000 of "savvy ebay bargains" are worth $1,000 in the real market."
I can only repeat below what I said earlier today to a member here, waffling about going to the Police as he bought an expensive stamp off a 'dealer', who is NOT a member of any leading dealer body, and who now claims stamp is forged, and is not getting anywhere. Durrhhh.
Well if you are CERTAIN
of your allegations, by all means air the details and images here.
Remember all REAL dealers are members of stamp dealer trade bodies
They have **ZERO** tolerance of member dealers selling forged stamps as genuine.
Which is why many savvy collectors choose to deal ONLY with members of real stamp trade bodies for pricier stamps, as they will DEMAND the dealer refund you on a fake or regum etc.
Any established professional dealer would refund automatically anyway
if he was shown a stamp they sold, was proven a fake, WITHOUT being forced to by any dealer body.
On ebay etc, you have no
such protection, and as we have shown 1000 times here, it can be a sewer pit for Bunnies - where you simply kiss your money goodbye, when the account is closed, and your money is gone forever. i.e. -
Leaving negative feedbacks for a crook who has run off with ~$30,000 is not
going to get your money back. Read the thread above.