INDIPEX211:How A Dealer Cheats A Philatelist,A True Story

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?

(Note: Photographs shown in the post are only indicative of the INDIPEX2011 and not connected with the the story in any way)
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7 Responses to INDIPEX211:How A Dealer Cheats A Philatelist,A True Story

  1. Dear Dr. Preddp Jain,

    This is not only one instent. Many people have experienced the same. You have narated in this sight. Many people were cheated out side the exibition halls also.


  2. Kalesh Kumar S G says:

    Such cheating exists everywhere. There are many instances one can narrate. A Philatelist friend of mine had a near complete GB collection which he accumulated over many years. He took them to the experts in many stalls for valuating it. Expect Stanley Gibbons stall, all others quoted prices below 900 Pounds. Stanley Gibbons gave him a correct idea on what to expect for the album. At last he sold the same album to another collector from UK for Rs 1.5 Lakhs!

    In another instance, In a stall at Indipex 2011, Used Post Indepencence Indian Stamps were sold at Rs.50 each! I was shocked to hear the price.


    Good to hear from Mr.Pradeep Jain that venerated SG undervalues everything. I was of the idea that they hugely overvalue everything. In the Indian circumstances dealers do charge a big premium for newly issued items. Like I paid Rs.125.- for a block of 4 for Tamil Conf stamp of 2010 and Rs.200.- for a block of 4 for Gandhi Def. of Rs.25.- of 2009. But a Gandhi 1969 set of 4 blocks cost me Rs.2,000.-, which I suppose is not bad if you find that Rs.28.- coumpounded at 10% per annum becomes more than Rs.3,000.- after 40 years. That too after not minding the cost of safely keeping those 4 Gandhi-69 blocks. Presently I have housed them in a black leafed Prinz Album costing some 2K & in a fireproof Godrej safe costing more than Rs.50,000.- .

  4. dr pradeep Jain says:

    Dear Mr Garg,
    Actually SG catalogue mainly undervalues postindependance India material except few one like Gandhi 48 and archeology.Otherwise all items are underpriced.Evenafter this dealers purchase it on discount like this person purchased at 65% of SG price. Foe eg. he paid 1 GBP( Rs70/) for Indipex and UPU miniature sheets and Rs 300 to 450 for 1971,72,73,74 year packs that too five of each year.Do you believe?????

    • SUNIL KUMAR GARG says:

      Indeed amazing ! Deceptive dealer`s luck got him an
      unsuspecting as well as unaware & maybe too eager to sell person.
      Had the seller surfed some philatelic sites for a few days, such a thing would not have happened.

  5. Naresh Agrawal says:

    Mr. Jain, your keen observation is highly appreciable. In my opinion dealers are made to exploit philatelist. I won’t say, they cheat….but we are cheated due to our ignorance or eagerness or desire to procure or dispose. Today, I don’t find any catalog as standard for evaluating any stamp because the prices are varying rapidly………. We can not expect any trustworthy or philatelist friendly deal from the local stamp dealers….. Once again my hats off to you for your vigil eyes and will to share. Thanks again…

  6. Datta Dharmadhikari, Kolhapur (Maharashtra) Retd. Manager, Stat Bank of India says:

    Not only Indian dealers but foreign dealers representing their Postal authorities respectively were also cheating the philatelists. On Sri Lanka counter the men were charging 3 to 4 times of the face value of the material. At USA counter, first day I purchased 4 stamps of Mother Teresa at 88 Rs. but after 2-3 days, the only Indian on that counter chaged Rs.130 for 4 stamps of the same issue. When asked, he replied in arrogant manner that I cannot ask any question. If you want to purchase, you purchase at the price he told otherwise donot purchase.
    For philatelic passport, most of the dealers were selling a single stamp for Rs.50 to Rs.60 which is nothing but looting the philatelists.

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