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Old 07-21-2014, 12:44 PM   #1  
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Default An Alarming Trend at Ebay

I'm new to stamping and card making so I have been trying to build up my collection of stamps, dies, paper, inks, etc. I search the internet and Pinterest for card making ideas. However, some of the cards I like, and would like to make, are done with retired SU stamps, inks, etc. My "goto" source for those retired items is Ebay. But lately, I have found a somewhat disturbing trend of price doubling for stamps that have been retired. Are resellers buying the stamps, then flipping them on Ebay for a much higher price? I am not willing to buy an used stamp for double the price it originally sold for.

I have been watching on Ebay two SU stamps sets: Inspired by Nature and French Foliage. I can't believe the prices for these stamps.

Is this the new trend? Or can we find substitutes for these stamps.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:12 PM   #2  
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I'd hardly call it alarming.

Sellers can ask for any price they want. They don't appear to be getting anyone to buy at $60, but there are several closed buy-it-now listings that sold for between $30-40. Left to go on regular auction terms, the listings closed lower.

It might be annoying and frustrating, especially when you're looking for something you couldn't get the first time around. But high prices for scarce items is just Economics 101.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:21 PM   #3  
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As a registered eBay member, you can search the Completed listings in an advanced search to see what certain items actually sold for, if they sold at all. You can also set up an automatic search on eBay so when your desired item becomes available for sale, you will receive an e-mail.

When I sell on eBay, I look to the completed items to determine a price. Anyone can ask for outrageous prices; whether they actually sell is up to the despiration of the buyers.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:22 PM   #4  
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I always look at it this away, an item is only worth what you are willing to pay.

Sometimes I will want a new stamp so bad, but will not pay the $15 or $20 for the stamp from the Company.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:27 PM   #5  
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But high prices for scarce items is just Economics 101.
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That's true. It's also true that some people paying those prices don't know if the items are scarce or not, and some sellers are banking on ignorance. The stamps may be retired, but others may be selling them on message boards or in yard sales. Lots of newcomers like the OP may not know there are several other places to look besides EBay. Instead of "Economics 101," I'd say "Caveat emptor."
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:50 PM   #6  
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My suggestion is have patience. Make a list of sets you want. Do the research on what these sets actually sold for. Google or search for sets. There are other sources for retired sets. Stick to your desired amount you want to spend on certain set. Chances are one will come along if you wait long enough. Then too- sometimes your must have sets will change as time goes by. I know they do for me.
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:23 PM   #7  
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On the other hand, there are lots of stamps where the bidding starts at $1 and doesn't get much higher than $5, while the original prices were double, triple, quadruple, or more.

Inspired by Nature and French Foliage are more the exception than the rule.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:03 PM   #8  
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I've been bidding on House of Haunts for the past couple of weeks, but drop out when it gets higher than $30 with selling price + shipping combined. I'm not willing to pay more for it (I'm a little sketchy about going that high, even), so I set a max bid and let it do what it does. It's been selling for around $40 or better, so I don't feel bad about not keeping up. I check the Buy/Sell/Trade forums periodically, as well. You can actually do a search for the set you want by clicking on the "search this forum" button towards the right side of the bar across the top of the page (you have to be on the home page of the Buy/Sell forum for it to work). Type in the set name and hit "enter", and it will scroll you to a list of threads that have your search words in them. Sometimes it is actually the set you're looking for, sometimes it is threads containing some of the search words, sometimes you get "no threads match your search terms" type of message, but it would certainly be worth a try. You can also post in the "ISO (In Search Of)" forum which sets you want and see if anyone has one to sell you...
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:37 PM   #9  
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I used gregzgurl's strategy when I was trying to acquire Gnobbly Gnomes - it rarely showed up here in the bst forum, and when it was on ebay, it was listed at way more than I was willing to pay. By waiting (and stalking) patiently, I was finally able to get it for under $30, which was the max amount I had set for myself. But it took over a year.

And like Louisa May said, when you find a set you want, educate yourself about it. Ebay sellers are a savvy bunch. I've seen listings for Retired! Rare! sets that aren't really retired; I also remember seeing a snow globe set that was listed as "Cuter than Stampin' Up" that went for big bucks - over $50, if I remember correctly. The set wasn't a Stampin' Up set; it was a Christmas set from All Night Media that was still available for about $15 - I had purchased it at Michaels on sale for less than $10. It was a sneaky way to list the set, but the seller never claimed it was SU. They just try to put wording into their description so that their items come up in a search for Stampin' Up.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:34 PM   #10  
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I do a LOT of buying on ebay. Let me give back here...

What I have learned:
1)Many buyers do NOT do their research on any stamp they are looking at-it takes 10 seconds to open another tab and check with the mfg....I cant tell you how many stamps I see there that are currently being sold by the mfg going for far more on ebay. For example I just saw one selling for 12.50 at the mfg go for $44 plus shipping!
2) Definitely watch the shipping since it counts towards your total-some sellers start with a low price and higher than need shipping. That 2 dollar stamp that ends up costing you 8 with shipping may not be such a bargain anymore.
3) "Free" shipping really isnt-it's a marketing ploy and that's fine as along as we all get that and the total is still agreeable to you. They are adding that amount to the sell price. When it hurts you is for combining-many stamp sellers will combine multiple buys for you to save on shipping, (dont fully pay for them-commit to pay-ask for a combined invoice-let the seller know ahead of time you are going to do that too) but if it's "free'...some will say there is nothing to save on. Nonsense. They built that price in. Good sellers will offer you a discount on a bunch of "free" ships like 10% off the total to comp you the difference.
4) Rare and retired are often not true. I dont think the sellers are always lying outright. They just dont see it themselves when they look so they think that. Or they assume that just because a company is no more it is now automatically rare. But 10,000 could have been made!
5) The key with Ebay is to be patient. It works both ways-there are sellers who either dont know or dont care and will sell stamps for less. I often see the same one going for 5.99 and 15.99 and both are used.
6) Be careful about stamp sizes. Some companies made the same image in more than one size. Take PSX...they did that. But sellers could sell the smaller one for 15.99 so you might assume it's the bigger one. Look in the add pics for ruler measurements or in the listing. If you cant find it, message them and ask before you bid!!!! I got bit by PSX in paticular so I learned the hard way.
7)With ebay patience is everything. That is the gospel truth you were told. Just because today they are expensive or not there...keep checking back. I got rid of getting notices because it was clogging my email..I just save them to my wishlist and then on the right side under more options you can ask for "see similar items" and they should show you any others currently being offered. It can be erratic about saving though but there is a tiny white box under the price area that you can use to do this. Sometimes it isnt there though. I dont know why. I have gotten stuff that I waited months on though! My GF has been collecting for years one series...
Sellers dont always have good title lines. So if you wanted a stamp by...Stampendous that say was....a fireman snowman. I would search by brand, Fireman, snowman. Not the item number-many wont use it. Consider also mispellings. For example, I might look for patriotic, patritic, etc. Also break it down..so I might look for american flags specifically.
9) You might want to re-sort by ending soonest (vs newly listed) when you get big batch of a new search. You could lose out on a good one while looking at them. Once you have been watching you can just do the newly listed.
10) Completeds are on the left side of the page. As said, that can tell you not only prices but how many are around.
11) Please please check a seller's feedback before buying! You see a lot of complaints, back out and find another seller! There are tons of lovely ones on ebay.
12) If a seller is not showing you the bottom of the stamp...be aware. Either they were too lazy to take extra shots or it could look like hell. How much that matters to you is a personal thing. You can ask a seller to send you a pic of a bottom. Never hesitate to ask sellers Qs before you buy.
13) Last thing: Bidding...do NOT get caught in a bidding war. Common way to overspend!!! Decide your top price and stick to that! Dont get frustrated if someone wins it by 50 cents. That's all the system has to do-is beat your top price by one increment. We dont know what that buyer's true top bid was. You can put it in at the beginning and walk away. The system will auto bid for you. Sniping is common. Means people coming in with bids at the last second. Doesnt really matter. If you dont want to spend more than 5, then getting beat 10 days out or 10 seconds out wont matter.
14) Make sure you know what format you are buying-there is a lot of UM there.
15) Be aware that a lot of B&Ms and mfgs are selling there. So you will see a lot of current ones at current prices. Might as well make a wish list and wait for the mfg to send you a sale notice.
16) Lastly-check where it is coming from. My first buy on ebay turned out to be from England! LOL. It went fine but shipping was more, etc. That can be a good thing in terms of getting some English brands that are not sold here. Just have to watch the conversion rates.
17) Dont get worried about your feedback. Sellers can not give you a bad one. But it IS important that you give them feedback b/c ebay determines a lot of selling options for them by what they get. If you are happy it's all 5 stars. In that system anything less that 5 stars can be very damaging to a seller. Crazy, but how it is.

I have gotten a lot of good ones there. Have fun with it! There is a board for newbies so feel free to ask questions there called Getting Started. Nice people.

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Old 07-21-2014, 08:45 PM   #11  
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Not a trend, this has been going on for YEARS. I remember, long, long ago, there was an SU castle/princess set that was always up way over $100!
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:03 PM   #12  
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The stamps I noticed that very high priced were PSX flower stamps, I think they care botanical. I just wait, and when I see one for the price I'm willing to pay. I just have to be patient.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:09 PM   #13  
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Sorry, I just read my posting, I really should wear my glasses.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:41 PM   #14  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kandfoto.comView Post
Or can we find substitutes for these stamps.
Finding substitutes is a great way to stretch your creative muscles so these exact stamps not being available might be a great way for you to explore your new hobby a bit further! Try figuring out what it is you like about the design of the card you're looking at and then think about how you might achieve that with a slightly different image. It could be the start of you making things that are truly your own rather than copies of things you've seen

For French Foliage substitutes, I might start with Hero Arts who have lots of lovely leafy stamps (both sets and individual). The Inspired by Nature flower is a bold and distinctive shape but there are lots of silhouette flower stamps out there that might well work for you, depending on what you want to achieve. Try looking here in the gallery or on Pinterest etc for something like "silhouette flower" and see what catches your eye.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:48 PM   #15  
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my advice on ebay.is to add the item to your watch list.i then set a timer.the timer is set to go off with about 5mins left.i refresh the site.tell myself my firm price.i don't bid til under a minute left.by setting and bidding your highest price.gives you the best chance to win.i do also bid an odd amount.like 20.53.this way if someones high bid is $20.i win by just 0.53.
my dh says 2 things about ebay
1."it's only worth what someone is willing to pay."
2.you didn't "win" anything! you bought it~
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:51 PM   #16  
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I also think the sellers "sell" some high cost items to family/friends.never really selling "the item"
this is a scam to get their ratings up and to be positive.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:53 PM   #17  
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I agree with JoAnne look at the other stamp sets on the market and find something comparable. A lot of times I have went this route and been happier with my purchase. Then when I want the coveted stamp set it takes the ouch out of purchasing it.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:39 AM   #18  
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I have seen current SU sets on EBAY listed as "rare" for pricey amounts. All of you are correct that buyers must beware. Do a little research here on SCS's Buy/Sell/Trade Forum. Having a realistic "total cost" (item price + shipping) is a must. Good Luck on your search.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:31 AM   #19  
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I agree this is the place to look... SCS is like David vs Godzilla!!! you know what they say about a village? well SCS is a village that helps us newbies and unsuspecting souls that just want to create something beautiful and not have to bleed to do so... you will enjoy it here so many wonderful people.. welcome and enjoy. and yes there are so many stamps so there is always substitutes. I myself have done so with my Sunset_Silhouette2 and3 card. The original used some other stamp and I substituted a SU stamp and it came out just as beautiful as the original
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:39 AM   #20  
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Also, what is a hot ticket item today might be sold for $1 tomorrow. I remember way back when, I was ISO the set "Yummy" and since I was only going to use this set on a limited basis, I was not going to spend a great deal of money on it. Auctions were going upwards of $25 and I just did not want to spend that. I waited, and it wasn't a long wait either, and one day I saw it for $0.99 plus $2.50 to ship! I was the only bidder "From the Crypt" was another one that I waited for and got for dirt cheap in the end. Of course, I bought it in the spring
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:58 AM   #21  
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Default Thank you all

Thank all of you for the helpful tips on buying on Ebay. And, I suspected that this was not a trend but something that has been going on for years. I especially appreciate AngelNorth for her suggestions and ideas for substitutes. Update: I have found a substitute for Inspired by Nature from Jo-Ann's, and from Stamp Francisco. And, I will be patience. I just might get the Inspired by Nature stamp at a more reasonable price. It was $23.95 new from SU.

I have purchased stamps, papers, and SU ink on Ebay. Most of which was fine, however, I have gotten some ink pads completely dried. I did purchase the ink refill with each color, but that still didn't work. For now, I am just purchasing new inks.

Why does SU retire very popular stamps, or popular ink and paper colors?
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:15 AM   #22  
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Lots of good advice here, and to be honest it applies to anything on e-bay, not just stamps. Almost without fail, anything you search for will have some products at a bargain price, some at roughly retail price, and some that you'd expect to be getting a whole container load of the item! Definitely you should always set yourself a maximum realistic price you are willing to pay. As others have said, sooner or later, your item will pop up at a sensible price.Treat 'Virtual' shopping as no different from 'real' shopping- would you pay silly money for something in a store, when you know what its retail is, and that waiting means you will find it for less somewhere else? Very good advice about watching the shipping costs- a girl at work bought four designer dresses for 50 each off e-bay, (and they were probably fakes too!) without looking at the shipping from Hong Kong. 75 each- no combined postage!
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:44 PM   #23  
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Years ago when I first started stamping I got sets on e-bay. My limit was about $12.00. Then I switched to the buy/sell forum here on splitcoast. I never went back to e-bay! I had great luck here!
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:44 PM   #24  
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I have been thinking about this all day.

Not to sound like a goody two shoes but it makes me sad when I see that stuff...paintings were made to be collected and gain value...stamps should be for the regular person to have fun with and make stuff for other people...sigh. So true about PSX florals..I have seen them go to 200 each.

I know it's commerce, it's the way of the world...I just dont have to like it. As I write this I am about to lose out on a stamp I have been trying to get for a year b/c the price is going too high.

Terrific idea about substitutes. There are a lot of things that are VERY similar out there. Certainly a lot of quotes that are public domain too. I get that sometimes we sort of "commune" with an image but this is still a great idea.

Glad to hear you found things that will work for you!
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:09 PM   #25  
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I gave up on Ebay a long time ago.I do fine on the ISO forum here. To much going on behind the scenes to get ripped off IMO. Someone in a thread here recently, which I can't find now, was looking for Filmstrip stamp by SU. Not remembering that one I went looking for it on the internet. Of course it's on Ebay for $89.95! A single stamp and I guess it's not that old since it was in one of SU new cases with their insert. Also I found almost identical stamp at other companies. So, for me, I just don't bother with Ebay.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:52 PM   #26  
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Another thing - SU! stamps come in sets. A lot of times, I like one or two of the images in the set - so it would be silly for me to pay a premium for the whole set. When you're only trying to find something similar to one stamp, it's easier.

Matter of fact, even SU! releases pretty close substitutes from time to time. I know I was on a quest to get "Christmas Cardinal" which was selling for more than I wanted to pay. I was lucky enough to find it (from Joan B, yay!) for a fair price. Either the very next Christmas or the one after, SU released a set called "A Cardinal Christmas", and the bird is VERY similar. Now that set, I was after the whole set because I also loved the Christmas rose that came with it - but if I were after that bird, and had paid a hefty price for the set and then had a very similar bird available, I'd have been in a right snit
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:36 AM   #27  
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Sooo true about sets!!! I am like that about a lot of things...I like 1-2 songs on a CD or I hate the creamer in a tea set...I am lucky if I see a sentiment set where out of 10 I like 4-5. It would not be unheard of for me take out one piece of a set I got on clearance for example and give away the rest to friends.

And storing them can be a problem unless they are a theme. If they are mixed sentiments, since I store by theme...where does that go? Will I ever remember/use the "Happy Birthday" kind of thing? I could break up the set, I know, and I have. But people here who are so much wiser about all this than me seem to keep their sets together...

A lot of people break the SU sets up and sell them individually on ebay...some for way too much and some for reasonable.

This might be an idea...look at stamp lots on ebay. Sometimes you can find a stamp you are questing for (great word!) in a lot...and if the numbers are right...it might make sense. You might get other ones you like too...or you could turn around and re-sell the lot yourself at a fair/garage sale and maybe make enough so the one you wanted ends up being free/dirt cheap...but there is elbow grease involved there you may not want to be bothered with.

I know, that sounds crazy after what I just said about sets but not everyone is like me about that...and like I said, re-sell option.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:25 AM   #28  
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Wavejumper said: "I got bit by PSX in paticular ...."

I am an active buyer and seller on Ebay and I might have been bidding against you in the past years (sorry WaveJumper!) because I am also a big PSX collector/user. Their stamps were truly awesome. Luckily, I already have most of the stamps/botanicals I want (except Heather and Frangipani - darn those are hard to find under $100!). And I totally missed out on a generic lot that had the PSX genie w/lamp stamp in it... I was putting my kids to bed and forgot. Oh was I mad!

OP, you are right, some stamps do fetch a hefty price on Ebay ... I'll admit I have added to the fever and paid $50+ for a single stamp I wanted. I embrace Economics 101 (I'm an engineer) and I expect to pay a lot for something that's truly rare. WaveJumper shared some priceless Ebay secrets ... if you do some homework you will find the lowest price out there. There are deals but you have to spend time and look.

I, too, have found that the stamps I am looking for ... are sometimes listed on Ebay as 'stamp lot' or 'stamp collection' or even just 'stamps', not called out by brand or image name. So I will spend time searching generic lots ... if I win, I will keep the one or two stamps I want and sell/give away the ones I don't want. Selling the others makes the purchase more affordable.

In any case, there are other places to find stamps you want (besides on the BST forum here )... I have found awesome stamps on Etsy and even Craigslist for unbeatable prices. Also on Ebay I have found summertime is a great time to buy when a lot of families are on vacation ... less bidders!
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:04 AM   #29  
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Ebay isn't what it used to be either. I very rarely get a good price on my stamping supplies any more. Back in the day you used to get really great buys on multiple stamp sets, and ink pads etc., but many of those sellers are gone.I also know quite a bit of what I bought was "hot". Many of my things had Archiver's price tags on them. I used to work for them so I know a lot of what I got was probably stolen. I also recommend holding out. Watch for things that end at weird times such as middle of the night. I have found that I usually do better on items that end on Saturday nights.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:00 PM   #30  
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Not quite on topic, but I personally love and use French Foliage so much that I would probably pay a lot more than it's worth to own it......but I do understand what the OP is up against!
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:37 PM   #31  
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Well personally, aside from I cant afford to pay 50 dollars for a stamp, I am buying them to use...not to collect or resell....so I just can not see paying those prices. Like I said, I get it that it's commerce...I just hate that it is affecting something like rubber stamps/crafts where we generally dont have tons of money and spend a lot of time talking about how to do something frugally.

No worries StampinmeCrazy...there are probably a lot of us here who are bidding against each other! I dont particularly collect PSX, though a good friend does. They did make some great detailed images...but I am seeing that other mfgs are kind of ripping those off...and very similar ones are coming out. There are certain flowers that are just very hard to find other than their botanicals! Wisteria comes to mind.

I might suggest if you like a highly detailed stamp-look at Northwoods. They make soooo many great images. My wishlist for them is very long! And since I dont really ever see great prices for them on ebay-I would sign up to them directly and hope for discount coupons.

Here is an example of wrongful title...I just got a nice stamp of gladiolas-not an easy flower to find. How? I also look for hollyhocks...which is how they listed it. Sellers dont know their flowers! lol

Speaking of mixed sizes...mfgs that make sets and solos...the image in the set may be smaller than when it is a stand alone. Conside that when you buy sets. Sometimes it is not. But if you are looking at a solo that is 3 x 4 and the set size in total is 4 x 6...with another 4 stamps in there...there you are.

That's interesting. I will look at Etsy again but I always found everything there expensive. I like Joann's a lot-they often have stamps for 30-40% off msrp. When they do free ship...I tend to hit the buy button. Do they have those prices in their stores or just online? If it is in store too and they have that wide a selection...I would try to hunt down a B&M for them.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:40 PM   #32  
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That is true about summer being slower on ebay-I certainly see a lot of sellers bemoaning that.

Gee I never thought of Craigslist for stamps! Can you believe I actually was looking at Overstock.com at first? Well of course almost any online is cheaper than my LSS..but still! Overstock!! LOL I was scared of ebay for a long time. And I did have bumps in the road there, but overall it has been a postive experience.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:03 PM   #33  
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Omg @ ebay and outrageousness...it's not just stamps my guess is it's everything. and the 2 R words rare & retired added seems to just make it ok to price it out there...I really like to say mahalo much to our SCS village in fighting the overly priced things. A friend of mine paid $40 for something I got here for under $10 & that's including shipping I love SCS !!! so many awesome and kind fellow creators.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:51 AM   #34  
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I've quite often got SU stamps on Etsy cheaper than on eBay, and with very reasonable shipping too. There's not as wide a range of second-hand stamps, but by keeping on checking I've got great deals there from time to time.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:20 AM   #35  
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Quote:

Do they have those prices in their stores or just online? If it is in store too and they have that wide a selection...I would try to hunt down a B&M for them.
Usually, if there is a sale on the website it also applies in-store, but not always. And if my local Joanns is anything to go by, they don't have as much of a selection as online - and what they have in single stamps doesn't appear to have changed much in the past couple of years.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:26 AM   #36  
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Ok-I will watch etsy going forward. Thanks

Cheryl that is disappointing to hear. Joanns has a pretty good selection online-not as big as it used to be-but they seem to be keeping up with new releases, in in limited qties. I think I might still want to go though someday though just to see it.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:11 PM   #37  
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I usually list all my retired SU items for $4.99 and let it do it's thing..if it sells for that much or higher..I figure, it is out of my craft room so it's a win win ...but I have seen that a lot more...people asking right off the bat outrageous prices..sheesh! and sometimes you see things for dirt cheap but they make up for it in shipping..what the heck! silly for sure
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:04 AM   #38  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by AngelnorthView Post
Finding substitutes is a great way to stretch your creative muscles ...
I am leery of anything on EBay - I have personal knowledge of sellers who have recruited "dummy bidders" to bump up the price in an attempt to create a bidding frenzy. I'm sure they are in the minority, but as a bidder you just have no way of knowing if they're trying to manipulate the price.

I'm with Angelnorth on this one - stretching your creative muscle would be way more rewarding than forking out too much of your hard earned dollars for a retired set.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:02 AM   #39  
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I'm horrible at bidding and hate doing the dance with it so I check out the "buy it now" listings. With time and patience I can find some good deals. I just got SU's Itty Bitties for about 30% less-including shipping-than I would have paid for it originally from SU with their shipping. I'm happy with that since the set wasn't all that spendy originally.
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:05 AM   #40  
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Almost every year I give DH a list of retired SU sets I'd love to own (he also gets a list from the current catalog and my demo's contact info). The retired lists includes # of stamps, a description of images (and a link if possible ... love the index cards in the gallery for this) and maximum cost which is sometimes 15-20% higher than the price at retirement because had I ordered it there would have been sales tax plus 10% shipping.

The current list includes sets where I really, really want just some of the images but won't buy the set for just the ones I like. I figure if I'm willing to spend "my" money I will eventually get the other stuff I want. And will probably wait for SAB to do so.
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