The Irish Citizen Army stamp offered on Ebay sold yesterday…€676.67. Subject to the usual caveat that there is, as yet no “feedback” from Vendor or Buyer, this seems to be an excellent price.
The “worth” of the stamp…and it is only “worth” something to Collectors is still relatively unsettled. I am not privy to the numbers that were not returned to An Post, when the stamp was withdrawn from sale, just ten minutes after going on sale on 23rd January 2014.
The number of available stamps is probably known to Dealers and we can all speculate about the number that might come on to the market in later weeks, months and years.
The current “worth” of the withdrawn stamp largely depends on the budget available to a potential Buyer. Certainly it is outside the range of all but the most serious of Ireland Collectors. Indeed the final price of this example indicates it was sold to a Buyer who made his/her bid in Sterling or US Dollars.
The stamp certainly sold for more than I expected. Certainly the Vendor…seemingly a first-timer on Ebay…should be satisfied with the price. I expect the Buyer will be thinking that he/she paid more than expected.
I hold the view…and expressed it publicly in three different places that the Vendor would be happy about accepting any offer that was above any offer made by a Dealer. I also accept that people who own the stamp have (often) unrealistic expectations, influenced by figures they have seen elesewhere. I acknowledge that Dealers have overheads and need to turn a profit.
The reaction to this example appearing on Ebay has been curious. Certainly it was presented badly, the upside down photograph and I personally never like to see “no returns accepted” on an offer. I am not overly concerned with “Feedback”.
But a nonsensical statement that the stamp would not sell for more than €100 and that I would look foolish when it fell short of the Vendor’s expectation looks rather silly now. Indeed I do not feel foolish at all (although I am not unfamiliar with looking foolish). I should probably feel vindicated. But to be honest, I am too surprised that it realised as much as it did.
What did I expect? Well at the outset I expected a figure of around €250 and with bidding after nine days reaching €100 (and only 24 hours left) I still expected the bidding to end at €250. The number of actual bids…quite low….suggests that the final bids were a straightforward contest between just two or three bidders.
What have we learned?
Well this figure is on the higher end of the (known) price range. I know of three collectors who own the stamp. None have paid anything like this figure. It looks like at least one other bidder was interested which sends out a signal to potential sellers. More unrealistic expectations?
Of course, we do not actually know if the Vendor was made an offer by a Dealer. But I think it safe to assume that any offer would be well short of the €676 that was finally realised.
Hopefully, the transaction will be finalised successfully. Hopefully the Buyer will be happy. Certainly the Vendor will be happy. It would be churlish of anyone in the Stamp Collecting community not to congratulate the Vendor….Congratulations! I hope you have a great Christmas!