Monday, December 14, 2009

Graded Stamps: Perpetuating the Decline of Stamp Collecting -- Top 20 Google Hits

I conducted a simple exercise on December 13 at 19:00 GMT and Googled the term "graded stamps".  The search returned the following summarized results:

13 graded stamps dealers
2 stamp grading firms (both PSE)
2 eBay pages
2 collector sites
1 dealer association (ASDA)

The list of detailed hits is below.   Most of the hits were what I expected to see: dealers in the trade and the pages of Professional Stamp Experts.  It is clear there are many trying to make a living off of graded stamps.  The ASDA page is merely a listing page for dealers that trade in graded stamps.

But I found a page I had not seen before.  Of the two collector sites that came up, one was this blog you are reading right now.  The other was the site of the Virtual Stamp Club.  And back in July 2007, Ken Lawrence posted a particularly devastating criticism of stamp grading on this site, leading with a statement that grading is bad for the hobby.  It helps to know that such an established and respected professional has this opinion, though it is clear that it hasn't stopped grading in the intervening two and a half years.  I've often wondered whether there were others out there with similar issues.  As a busy professional living outside the United States, I don't and have never had any real opportunity to attend stamp shows or stamp meetings to talk about my hobby.  The internet is my lifeline to the stamp world and it is great to find some writing that confirms my own opinions.  If you have not read his piece, you should.

Top 20 Google hits for "graded stamps"
1. (A)
2.  (A)
3.  (A)
4.  (A)
5. (B)
6. (A)
7. (C)
8.  (A)
9.  (A)
10.  (C)
11.  (B)
12.  (A)
13.   (A)
14.  (A)
15.   (D)
16.  (A)
17.  (A)
18.  (E)
19.  (A)
20. (D)

A - graded stamp dealer
B - stamp grading company
C - eBay
D - collector site
E - delaer assocation


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