Interesting to see that a copy of the Irish Citizen Army stamp issued in January has shown up on Ebay.
It has been a few months since I have noticed one on this particular site. Some of these stamps were recently sold by a Dublin auction house and of course some have been sold by dealers and privately. The street value seems to around £500.
I have heard various figures mentioned in respect of numbers actually sold. There was a ten minute window at most post offices (9am to 9.10am on 23rd January 2014). In General Post Office, Dublin, there was about forty minutes to buy the stamp. Possibly other major cities had early opening. How many were actually sold? I assume very few people can give a totally accurate answer. But of course the bigger question is how many are available on the “market”? Whatever the answer (and there is a number bandied about) it is obvious that the demand exceeds the supply. Occasionally new copies will emerge. Somebody who has sat on one or two from January, will release them.
Certainly few went DIRECTLY into philatelic hands.
Those dealers with a Database of customers might well have a list of people who are interested in the stamp…with a bottom line. There are probably a lot of collectors…world wide…who would pay (say) £100. Fewer would pay £200. Fewer …£500. Maybe some would go to £1000.
The other side is that there are “ordinary” folks who are lucky enough to have one or more of the stamps. The sensible thing seems to be to find the “street value”. A potential vendor might well settle on a figure that would be his bottom line…let us say £250. But where would an amateur go to sell a Citizen Army stamp?
An Auction…there is an element of risk of course. And there are auction fees perhaps. But it looks a safe bet. What about selling to a Dealer? Well a Dealer is quite properly in the basis of making a profit. So necessarily the price offered will be lower than a Dealer hopes he will get. In this particular case, any Dealer will have a good idea what he will get.
So from the (amateur) Vendors point of view, the best option is to make direct contact with Stamp Collectors. Cut out the “middle man” and go to Ebay?
Ebay is always a lottery. Of course it helps if you have expertise on Ebay.
What constitutes success for the Vendor. Well anything that is in the “ballpark” figure that the Vendor expected. Or maybe any figure that is higher than one offered by a Dealer. Or perhaps anything that is in excess of the 60 cents that the Vendor paid at 9am on 23rd January.
It seems to me that any Buyer who gets a bargain…less than he/she expected to pay is also a “winner” thru Ebay.
So who loses? Well can it be Dealers?
All I can do is wish the Vendor well?