Survey Of The Ebay Stamp Category

This survey was performed on August 1, 2002. I looked at 100 lots in each stamp sub-category as listed below. Using the definitions of "description fraud" listed here, I reviewed and noted those that were fraudulent under those definitions. The first ten lots were selected on each of ten different pages in each category.

I do not claim this to be a great, statistically accurate, survey as the population I examined is too small. Also, my particular knowledge is better in certain areas (United States) than others which would lead me to under-identify fraudulent activities in areas I am less familiar with. I do have a good working knowledge of world-wide philately. 

I should also mention that the definitions of "description fraud" include things that some might not consider fraud such as the listing of "illegal stamps" as postage stamps. 

The results of this survey are similar to one I performed about a year ago, and are consistent with my frequent review of items in the United States category. In the United States category I have surveyed possibly 5,000 lots over the last two years and have always found over ten percent fraudulent listings.

Category Total Lots in Category Fraud Found In 100 Lots Estimate For Category
United States 37,768 12 4,532
Australia 2,581 7 180
Canada 4,671 6 280
British Commonwealth 9,633 8 770
United Kingdom 6,116 7 428
Europe 23,275 7 1,629
Latin America 3,321 4 132
Other World 19,121 8 1,529
Philately 2,516 5 125
Topical 12,473 24 2,993
Totals 121,475   12,598  (10+% of total)

Richard Frajola (August, 2002)