Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

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September 4, 2012

I don't know the behind-the-scenes goings on or what transpired with whom, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I'll admit that I'm somewhat puzzled by the numbers.

One of the holes I still needed to fill in my1st-3rd series revenue collection is R150a, the high denomination ($20) of the third issue, vermillion error of color. I've seen quite a few here and there but none that struck my fancy until this one appeared on eBay last year (or it might have been Jan/Feb of this year)

Gorgeous jumbo margins; the largest I've seen on the type. It has a blunted perf at upper left, but no major detractions that I could see.

Of course there are a few problems in play here:

1.  It's priced at $1,500 against a catalog value of $1,000. It's nice, but not that nice (to my wallet anyway)... still, I'd have happily offered $800-900 for it, but

2. It's offered by a seller I won't buy from (and who has blacklisted me anyway, so it's a moot point).

I bookmarked it, just because it has wonderful eye appeal. I think the steep asking price scared people off from making offers... and the price was never subsequently lowered... until:

Fast forward to July and I see what appears to be this exact stamp being offered in the August Harmer-Schau auction, except now it has a PSAG cert stating that there is a small filled-in pinhole at the bottom of the 7 (presumably acid erosion). No other faults listed. It also showed as having a very low opening bid.

Well, I sat hunched over the computer at 2am central time on a Saturday morning, when the revenues finally came up for bids (Holy Horrific Scheduling, Batman!), and waited to see what the bidding would be like. There was some bidding on the revenue lots, but nothing earth shattering. The lot opened at $250, there were a couple of bids, and I won the stamp for $350 ($400 net after BP).

That's a far cry from what I was willing to pay for the stamp, let alone the original asking price.

I don't get it. Why, rather than lowering the asking price on eBay to something more reasonable (I'm guessing that if it had been offered at a $900 or $1,000 BIN it would have at least garnered offers of $600-800), would you consign the piece to one of the smaller auction houses with effectively no reserve and a time slot that was in the middle of the night?

I figure after the house took their cut, the consigner probably netted only $300 or so, which almost has to be a break-even at best, and probably $400-600 less than what he could have gotten in a direct sale.

Of course the stamp is still an active listing on eBay, so it's quite possible it was never meant to be consigned to begin with. Stranger errors have happened with this seller.

Regardless of the route the stamp took, I'm quite pleased with the end result (even under high magnification I can't actually see the fill-in work claimed by the cert)... and the price.

My pictures of the stamp and cert:

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