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dstorm

BidorBuy vs formal market

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dstorm    10
dstorm

Hello all

Does anybody know or can anybody guess how many active stamp buyers or sellers there are on BidorBuy? And what is the approximate turnover per month on BoB’s stamp section?

I know that I can find the answer by spending a few hundred hours going through all the BoB functions, but I would rather spend the time selling / listing.

I am putting my “formal” career on the line by this, but I have three very important (to me at least) questions:

Looking at the prices sometimes obtained on BoB, is the SACC still of any relevance whatsoever? Or does it need a complete overhaul? Some items do not fetch 10% of the catalogue value, while others fetch more than catalogue.

PFSA (Philatelic Federation of South Africa) will always play an important and much needed role in South African philately, but are they still representative of stamp collecting in South Africa? How many of the buyers or sellers on BoB are affiliated to PFSA?

I have had sales literally from North to South and from East to West across South Africa. Did the internet trade in the South African stamp market overtake the old “formal” trade?

Please! I need some input.

Thanks and regards

Jacques

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kennyn    10
kennyn

Hello Jacques

Interesting topic

On the subject of whether the SACC has become irrelevant,the mere fact that so many items are fetching prices on the open market via auctions that are so far removed from the prices quoted in the catalogue,that one may well come to that conclusion

I think where the main problem may come in is that if one takes Gibbons as an example,where it is a price list and therefore Gibbons are committed to selling at that price,most collectors are quite happy to buy at 25-40% of the Gibbons price. On the converse no one is prepared to pay Gibbons full catalogue price as it stands to reason that Gibbons does not keep all the stamps listed and therefore would have to buy on the open market ,take a mark up etc.

The colour catalogue is an opinion as to the value of stamps and not a dealer selling at those prices.Dare I say if the author of the catalogue was forced to buy and sell to maintain a catalogue price,the prices would change dramatically.

Lastly I suppose one should put the cat amongst the pigeons and say if anyone thinks they can produce a better catalogue then go ahead.

Point 2 does not need too much discussion as I feel it is rhetorical

Point 3 ,by far the most interesting.There is no doubt that the internet has changed the face of stamp collecting/buying/selling forever.Has it replaced the traditional way of doing business ie through auction or dealers fair,I am not so sure.

No doubt someone will do the numbers on how much is traded on stamps during the month on bid or buy.I have done a very rough calculation on the money spent at fairs/auctions.I have excluded the exceptions such as Stephen Welzs bi yearly auction and one off deals done where a collector sells his whole collection to a dealer.

I estimate that a substantial ammount still changes hands in the traditional method,probably R300-R350k a month( I can only base this on the ammounts realised on auctions and what I believe the dealers take ).

The challenge for the dealer is to satisfy all aspects of the market ie live sales and internet.Whilst bid or buy and ebay were dismissed as fads by certain dealers a few years back I can assure you they are well aware of the threat posed,Simply they must adapt or die.

I would like to believe there is still a place for the social side of philately via the fairs etc,but time will tell.What is certain is that there will be more and more dealers/collectors selling online as the barrier to entry is minimal.

What the genuine dealer is afraid of( and I include myself here,part time as I may be,and certainly yourself) is that the good name of philately will be dragged down by unscrupulous sellers who offload product to novice collectors,who in turn find it impossible to recoup their outlay when they want to sell.They are then lost to philately forever

I am sure we will get some good discussion on this topic.

PS I am a part time dealer(collector at heart) who buys 70% online,20% at auctions and 10% from other dealers.I sell 80% at fairs and 20% at auctions.

Cheers

Kenny

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dstorm    10
dstorm

Hello Kenny

Thanks for your answer.

For the last three months or so I have sold about (VERY) roughly 40% from my shop, 10% at the stamp fairs (Sandton + East Rand), about 40% on BidorBuy and about 10% “normal – existing clients) mail order / internet order. My “rental” on BidorBuy is higher than the rental of my shop, but the additional income received changed my way of life / spending power beyond believe.

However, I find that all of the above are very blurred or rather very interlinked as a lot of the fair buyers also buy or bid on my items on BidorBuy. For instance, I have couple of buyers on BidorBuy who I have known since about 10 years before BidorBuy even existed! They visit me in my shop and they buy from me at the stamp fairs. For instance, I have known Kobus since 1989 – he buys from me at my shop, at the stamp fairs, and also on BidorBuy!

I do not buy a lot on BidorBuy, but I must say that I have picked up some wonderful bargains.

Just last week I picked up a used London 2/6 at just over R600-00.

Regarding your statement: “I suppose one should put the cat amongst the pigeons and say if anyone thinks they can produce a better catalogue then go ahead.” We will see a revised listing of both the Union stamps and the post 1980 SWA Proofs very soon.

I fully agree with your statement: “What the genuine dealer is afraid of (and I include myself here,part time as I may be,and certainly yourself) is that the good name of philately will be dragged down by unscrupulous sellers who offload product to novice collectors, who in turn find it impossible to recoup their outlay when they want to sell. They are then lost to philately forever.”

However, I do not think that my question about PFSA being representative of stamp collecting in this country is rhetoric. Somehow we have to find or estimate the number of non-PFSA affiliated stamp collectors in the RSA. And then perhaps form a new society with members from all over the RSA. The idea is not new, nor far-fetched. There are many specialist societies who have members from all over the RSA or even from all over the world.

There is even room for a new Internet Dealers Association. We will not be allowed to affiliate to IFSDA, but we do not need to! Let us keep the subscription money in the RSA. Can you imagine the clout should all the sellers on BidorBuy approach an accessory company as one entity to buy just stockcards? We will buy more than what the current “sole agents” do.

I have no figures to back myself, but I am just thinking that the combined cost spent on postage by all the sellers on BidorBuy might be more than the combined turnover of all the Official New Issues Agents. They get their stamps from the post office at below face value. As a unit, we could expect the same.

Keep well and regards

Jacques

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kennyn    10
kennyn

Hi Jacques

Apologies Jacques,( should have explained yesterday) but regards point no 2 I was exercising the Scottish trait of sarcasm. Of course if you were to ask the PFSA they would agree that it was rhetorical

I owe you a whisky

Cheers mate

Kenny

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gabriel 1    10
gabriel 1

Hi Guys

 

Reference material will always be important in the world of Philately and is much sought after by serious collectors and dealers alike. The new SACC is very nice, great layout user friendly etc. I believe the only real gripe is the catalogue prices, It is actually a pity that this came about as sales of this reference would have been far better than what they were. Although it is important to have a proper pricing guide it is not really relevant in the world of buying and selling. You know very well that if it comes to an item that is "wanted" it is actually how much the person is prepared to pay for it that counts and not the cat value. One must always bear in mind that certain items go in and out of fashion and it is difficult to pinpoint where they should be on the price scale.

 

Internet buying/auctions, extremely important to the hobby, often abused, very difficult to police but has opened up a world to people that were previously excluded from formal trading due to a number of reasons, locality etc etc. I often wonder whether gamblers are attracted to internet bidding just for the high of the win. Formal trading will always be there even if it is just to stock up for internet listing and obviously the social aspect is very important.

 

Federation, Federation, Federation, sometimes I admire the job they do, 2010 Exhibition was great, often I think that they are too set in old ways but I think that things will change, the more people prepared to step up to the plate the better. The next few years will be a challenge for the PFSA, we will see what happens, the saying "adapt or die" is very relevant to this organisation. SAPDA is the one to watch at this stage, growing steadily, great ideas coming to the fore, events, advertising, we might even have a SAPDA golf or SAPDA fishing day, we will let you know.

 

Regards

Gabriel 1

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seahorsefanatic    10
seahorsefanatic

Hi Jacques, Kenny & Steve

 

From my perspective, the internet has been a godsend. In the past the majority of my purchases have been through local auctions, fairs and items advertised in the press. How philately has evolved over the years. When last did you see material being sold privately in the local newspaper ?.

 

I purchase about 80% of my material through the internet and the balance locally. After getting over the problem of dealing with unknown shady characters and the theft via the post, my purchases have stabilized where I now deal with known overseas dealers. The big advantage of the internet is the fact that it is available 24 hours a day and can therefore be utilized whenever required. The second advantage is the variety and number of dealers is almost endless. Gone are the days when you battle to source foreign material from local dealers because most of their stock is either Southern Africa or Commonwealth.

 

A third big plus for the internet is the researching of topics where the information highway has a million times more info than your local library. Kids today who have access to the internet have no excuse for not scoring straight "A" 's in their exams. I remember the days when we had to put our names down on a list at the library for a book that there was only one copy of and 30 people wanted to use it.

 

What the internet will never replace is the face to face interaction that one can have with dealers and your fellow collectors. Our hobby is to be enjoyed on our own but it is also a social hobby which brings us together with common interests.

 

Dealers who scoff at the internet or are not prepared to join the electronic age will go the same way the dinosaurs went. :smile:

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