By Dr.Pradeep Jain
I am at the INDIPEX2011 and it is the fifth (5th) Day of the event. I am enjoying to be here in the company of the stamps,counters,dealers,exhibits,and of course the gamut of philatelists from across the country.I find the market place filled with dealers and philatelists hovering over one or other stall/counter. I walk through the lines of counters and suddenly find one of the dealer\’s counter with something very interesting happening at it.
What I saw here was something that came as shock to me and therefore I feel it to share with all readers that exposed the grey areas of this King\’s Hobby before me . I am sure you would be equally disturbed once you read beteen these lines.
An elderly man, must be in his eighties, who was actually an NRI and came to visit the INDIPEX 2011 for a very special purpose was standing on this dealer\’s counter with a bag in his lap. He was in fact enquiring about prices of some old items . The dealer was conciously attending to this gentleman and then I saw this man opening his pandora box (bag in fact..). It was kind of the \”Alladin’s Chirag\”, I realized!!!!
The dealer came to know about the rare and precious philatelic materials which could be his booty this day and as soon as he realized the potential and worth of the collection of this elderly gentleman he started reffering to the \”SG Catalogue\” for their prices!!!
I thought why this dealer is referring to such a catalogue that undervalues almost every item?
The secret behind this act of the dealer came to me as a shock when I saw that the gentleman had a sound collection in various packets. Opening of those packets revealed that these were all white gum aana series sheets and blocks and 1962 stationery packets with original packing labels in gem condition!!
Oh! So this is why the dealer is offering bare minimum prices? I thought.
The dealer subsequently purchased the whole collection from this elderly gentleman at the prices somewhere more than 10% below the current market prices only because the SG Cataloue helped him to do so.I felt very bad and sorry about the gentleman who was being openly cheated by this dealer!
The gentleman left India in the year 1985 and is now settled in the United States.He had his old collection with himself untill al these years and thught that INDIPEX2011 would be the best opportunity to sell it off at a fair price.He must have imagined a good profit out of all his collection but was finally cheated and underpaid by an Indian dealer!
There is no doubt that the event provided an equal opportunity and platform to all the sellers,collectors and dealers.But everything should be transparent with clearity for everybody.
Dealers in India would go for some business ethics?