Buyer beware on Internet

While the Internet has opened a new vista for stamp collectors, it also has inaugurated another rocky road rife with potential dangers. The usual problems of not dealing face-to-face aside, there are some new problems that by now should be familiar to Internet users.

Neophyte collectors who tend to believe almost anything offered by a dealer is legitimate, both in price and validity, are in the greatest peril. On the Internet, those who are out to make a buck off of the uninformed offer many items.

But many items offered in Internet auctions at $10 or $20 are worthless. I have seen common stamps in terrible condition with prices that are ridiculous.

The other big pitfall on the Internet is faked material. A stampless cover that has had valuable stamps added is impossible to detect via a computer. Unless one is familiar with the seller or the seller is an APS, ASDA or NSDA member, buying this material can result in a big loss.

“Buyer beware” is mandatory on the Internet.

Club Meetings
Twin City Philatelic Society, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Christ Lutheran Church, Park Street and University Avenue, St. Paul. Ice cream social.

U.S. News
Somebody must be buying the U.S. semi-postal stamps. Although collectors have avoided them and they don’t seem to show up in mixtures, the postal service says it has sold 215 million of the 40-cent stamps. As a result, President Clinton has signed legislation to extend sales of the stamp another two years.

Jim Mehrer, 2405 30th St., Rock Island, Ill. 61201. Sept. 5. 5,500 lots. U.S. postal history featuring covers from the William J. Bomar exposition collection.

Hedemarken Collectibles, P.O. Box 7399, Bismarck, N.D. 58507. Sept. 20. 5,000 lots. U.S. postal history.

James T. McCusker, 804 Broadway, Raynham Center, Mass. 02768. Aug. 21. 1,850 lots. U.S. first-day covers.

Vance Auctions, Box 267, Smithville, Ont. Canada L0R 2A0. Aug. 30. 5,225 lots. Worldwide, strong in Canada and U.S.

Philatelic Parade
Austria: Single for 100th anniversary of discovery of blood groups.

Egypt: Single for 10th summit meeting of 15 developing nations.

China: Tropic of Cancer set of three.

French Polynesia: Traditional dresses set of four.

Brazil: Amazon research single and ships pair.

Italy: Soccer single.

Jersey: Prince William’s 18th birthday set of four.

Hong Kong: 2001 stamp exhibition booklet.

Vatican City: World Youth Day set of four.

France: Nature set of four and abbey church of Ottmarsheim single.

Fiji: Prince William set of four.

Japan: 20th century souvenir sheet and Okinawa single.

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