Sunday, April 6, 2008

Spotlight - StampBoards.com

StampBoards.com
http://www.stampboards.com/

Several weeks ago, while searching the internet for stamp collecting sites, I happened upon StampBoards.com. At first I thought, just another stamp forum reminiscent of the early days of computer bulletin boards. After snooping around, I realized this site was something else.

Yes, StampBoards does have a bit of the look and feel of the computer bulletin boards that were prevalent in the pre-internet days. It is forum-based, which means that there are specific areas (forums) in which to read and write on certain topics. However, the difference is that unlike the forums of old, this board is active, everyone is treated with respect, and there are lots of helpful users to make even the beginning collector feel at home.

The slogan of StampBoards is "Stampboards.com, Where Philatelists Meet". This is a very realistic statement for the site; stamp collectors of every variety will freely jump in and share their knowledge (and a little humor too) on topics. If you post a question or comment to the board, you will almost certainly get a response.

From the main screen, there are many forums to choose. The first forum listed, and the one in which you are urged to introduce yourself, is nicknamed "Roll Call". The administrators of the site want you to post an introductory message to everyone. While many of us like to lurk (i.e., read messages but not post messages), this process is painless and right away you will get a few hellos from other collectors.

Another forum challenges you to "Discuss stamps - and *anything* at ALL happening with stamps". Based on the number of posts, this is the busiest stamp-related forum. (The humor/recreation forum has a few more ... who says philatelists don't like to have fun?).

Be sure to visit the forum where you can ask philatelic questions ... you are almost guaranteed to get an answer. Some of the questions are very interesting and even though I wasn't really interested in the subject before I saw the question, it got me to thinking, and the next thing I know, I wanted to know the answer myself!

My favorite forum is the Selling/Giveaway forum. Here, fellow collectors list groups of stamps or stamp-related ephemera that they are trying to sell, or in a very few cases, to give away. The prices are very good, often more than half off what you would pay somewhere else, all in an effort to sale their goods to fellow members. What I like best of all, StampBoards.com has a policy that anything listed in this forum cannot be offered anywhere else on the internet for 7 days. I appreciate that gesture, as it gives its members a chance to get a steal of a deal well in advance of just blowing it out to everyone on an internet auction site. If you find something you want to purchase, and it is within 7 days of the initial post, you can rest assured that the seller hasn't listed it all over the internet.

I spent at least an hour on the Selling/Giveaway forum when I first discovered it. The offers are priced to move and seem to be excellent bargains. The sellers have to have 10 messages posted and be a member of the site for 10 days before they can list anything in this forum. Thus, the board weeds out the riff-raff that only cares about selling, and doesn't "belong" to the community.

One thing to note about the site ... even though it is located in the U.S., the board has an widespread international audience. Keep this in mind if you buy or trade anything ... there may be extra expenses in shipping and will probably be delays, unless you live in the area. However, this fact is very-well documented in the sell/trade forums

StampBoards.com is a great site. I'm visiting it several times a week to catch up on everything. Whatever your level of knowledge, I think you will find Stampboards.com to be of your liking.

You can visit his site at: http://www.stampboards.com/


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35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very balanced overview.

The Stamp Blog said...

Hey Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

Anonymous said...

Great review - just thought I would bring to your attention that although the site may be hosted in the US it is run primarily by Glen Stephens, an Australian stamp dealer - the moderators of the site are all volunteers and come from allover the globe.

timh said...

except they have rules like you must use capital letters in certain places and your not allowed to use shortened words eg stan gibbs instead of stanley gibbons in the heading of a post to try make it not so long, oh and i hope you dont want too much help or dont want to be of to much help to others because if you post to many times in a day no matter how legitimate you are, you will get a 30 day suspension. i found them to be quite rude

old postage stamps said...

I've recently started using Stamp Board and found the site really healpful.

Anonymous said...

I disagree.
I belive Stampboard is a forgers paradise for compiling info from potential suckers.
If you have a real rarity, posting a request for info will get you a promt demand that you post a detailed photographic "scan" of the stamp in question - for a billion internet users to view? If, perchance you have a unique oddity/error or show the exact placement of the grill, forgers have all they need for info on where the grill/anomoly would appear on the entire sheet and can fake a reproduction of the grill imprint/secret mark that will fool even an expert.
Also, contrary to what you say, in my opinion, the site is very difficult to use, archaic, poorly designed and run with an iron fist by Stephens - who if you do not comply with his demands will turn rude in a second.
Beware.

Oz Collector said...

Stampboards was founded by Stephens as a honey pot for him to offload junk lots of inaccurately or poorly described, overpriced stamps.

He has recruited a small army of sycophants who join him in his petulant displays of hubris.

Anonymous said...

Found the owner to be rude and manipulative. Tries to act as if he is an "expert" using only what he finds available on the internet as reference. I and others were banned from the forum for revealing the truth about availability of stamps the owner of the forum is trying to sell at high cost stating they are sold out which is unethical and immoral to the collecting community. The owner uses many user names and the majority of the activity on the forum is his own doing. Beware the forum and do not trust what is being sold there. Most of it is WAY overpriced. An example: An addressed FDC being sold by the owner for $50 which you can buy on eBay and other places from numerous sellers for Half that much or less UNADDRESSED! Do the research BEFORE buying anything there. Just my two cents worth.

Matt said...

Signed up for an account last week after following very explicit rules to get on the site. I opened ONE thread to get information on an uncut block of stamps I came across. Every post I made I received nothing but insults, wisecracks, and unprofessional remarks from a man named Glen Stephens. He complained at length that I didn't use the correct photo hosting site, and is a poor person to deal with.

DO NOT waste your time with this site or this individual. He is extremely rude and likes to pick on people as he has a superiority complex.

True, the site has many friendly and knowledgeable users, but Glen clearly is ruining it for everyone.

Also, take EVERYTHING he says with a grain of salt. I have caught the "expert" in at least 3 incorrect responses and a few lies to boot. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Anonymous said...

Run by a rude, arrogant, bully, who created the site solely as a shopfront for his overpriced rubbish. Other sites suggest the site's owner, Glen Stephens, is manipulating the market by claiming an item to be rare when it's still available for sale at the Post Office. Go their at your peril

Anonymous said...

This site is doing little to foster the hobby. Just a few old school fellows hanging on desparately to the old ways and attempting to bring down the new ways (ie: ebay) as they cannot adapt to an ever changing world.

Stamp'18 said...

Stampboards is the most interesting, complete and biggest philately forum. It has to be said that Glen Stephens did a great thing when he started this forum and I'm convinced Stampboards gives a bust to the hobby. The forum is clear, understandable and a major source of information regarding philately.

Anonymous said...

Run by a very rude man who will delete Posts and ban Members at will.( I asked a question of him )

Claims to have 7000 members... the catch... after you are banned you cannot get off the membership list... I am still there 2 years later !There is NO way od leaving the mess.

I would avoid this Site .. UNLESS... You have NO intention of making a Post.

Anonymous said...

Interesting articles can be found there. After a while you start to notice all discussions are heavily influenced by Glenn Stephens and his moderators. They are incredibly rude, frequently insult people, and will even delete posts they disagree with. I stopped using it after a couple of weeks for these reasons.

Anonymous said...

Run by an arrogant bully.

Glen Stephens is not a stamp dealer. He is a junk dealer who specializes in lots of poorly described and overpriced stamps. Avoid at all costs.

Anonymous said...

Constantly bangs on about this item and that item being "placed into stock" but you can never find the item for sale, not even on stampboards itself !! Puzzling.....

Anti-American, anti-semite, anti-ebay, anti-everything that doesnt fit his global domination of the stamp universe view.

Anonymous said...

Glen Stephens deletes or changes anything you write on STAMP BOARDS and does this often. He was kick out of ASDA for DISHONEST DEALINGS and there are several documents signed by him which APTA have kept supporting this. BEWARE of this man.

NJW said...

The site is operated by a fellow named Glen Stephens, who is becoming quite well know in the stamp collecting community as the epitome of what is wrong with the hobby. Stephens has a few egomaniacal insiders who constantly berate new members. The site serves two purposes--for Stephens to sell his (significantly overpriced) wares, and to berate ebay and it's users on a daily basis. I can't verify this, but word on the internet is that Stephens himself was banned from ebay, so I suppose this is his way of getting back. To be honest, there are some knowledgeable members on the site--but are you willing to be degraded and demeaned to find an answer? There are other stamp forums out there--I suggest going to one of them. Sure, Stampboards can boast a large member count, but that is misleading--once you sign up, you cannot take your name off the list. 95% of the "members" have two or less posts all time. The forum discussion topics are are set up so each and every post (where more and more redundant posts are encouraged) counts as a hit by Google, so Google's statistics are skewed as well. Overall, a rather lousy site, run by a non-professional dealer who has never been a collector.

Anonymous said...

One of the site owner's favorite sayings is "You are what you post". He has 3 user names totaling over 40,000 posts. Number of times he has said 'Thanks' ?? TWO !!! In this case, it's more like you are what you DON'T post.

Simon Thompson said...

My experience of the site (which I left after three weeks)was that it does the entire stamp collecting hobby a huge disservice, discourages new collectors by it's rude and arrogant moderators, and seems to be run by an individual who, if not downright crooked, could certainly be classed as shady.

I'd advise any hobbyist to avoid the place like the plague.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who visits and takes a look can see what utter rubbish is being posted here.

Stampboards' members are helpful and take the time to answer any query.

The site is a little strict on grammar but this is helpful in enabling internet users to search for a topic and the right info comes up.

Join up and see for yourself!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the arrogance of glen stephens. Asked a simple question about perfs and got yelled at Large bold capitals) because the question wasn't descriptive enough. When I asked again 'properly' I was made to feel like a fool because I didn't know the answer. Why invite stamp collectors to ask questions if they are too cranky, busy or too elite to bother with a polite answer. I have bought philatelic supplies from him before but I will not in the future. He can rot for all I care.

Anonymous said...

All comments about Glen Stephen are correct and perhaps understate his annoying personality and overpriced goods.

That said, you can get decent advice and help if you can post a question in reasonable (about 15 year old) English.

His Mother, Margo Z, seems quite nice.

Anonymous said...

7000 'Members'...Highly unlikely !

Once you join you CANNOT resign , unsubscribe etc. You remain a member wether you are banned , inactive or were a quick visitor 5 years ago.

As for the 'Owner'... 'nuff said !

Anonymous said...

I am a member of Stampboards and I avoid the asocial Glen Stephens like the plague!

Anonymous said...

Recently joined as a beginner and immediately ran into rude and condescending users and moderators - even when asking basic questions.

Certainly avoid this forum - even the moderators are RUDE RUDE RUDE!

Stan said...

An example of one of the things Glen Stephens does:
http://www.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/97690.htm

Anonymous said...

Yep, Stephens is quite the moron.

Anonymous said...

Beware of their internal email system! Glen reads all your email to others.

Stan said...

Yes, he does!
I have read on another stamp forum that some people are banned from Stampboards because of what they have said in a private message! PRIVATE message!

Anonymous said...

Whilst much of the above is ill-informed or makes plainly wrong assumptions and delivers them as facts, the initial article is fair and balanced.

A lot of stampboarders simply do not read or understand how this kind of bulletin board works and given the large amount of admin work required by the site owner and a small legion of volunteer moderators, I'm not surprised that tempers fray when members post inane questions or comments and clog up the system.

I've been a member of stampboards for several years and have learned much from what I believe to be a global community of overwhelmingly decent individuals forming a cross section of philately, from stamp collectors, to experts and dealing professionals.

Oh and I've bought a lot of bargains over the years off of stampboards and have only had trouble with one item which was not as described, and upon returning it to the seller concerned, I received a full refund including my postage, together with a nicely chosen gift by way of compensation for the inconvenience.

I know that stampboards has made it very difficult for stamp forgers or those in possession of such material to ply their trade on eBay or similar sites and for that alone, the stamp community should be applauding Stephens and his volunteer moderating team.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was a member of stamp boards for about 3 weeks before I got banned.

There is an admin who goes by the name of the Sheriff, I assume it's the mighty Glen Stephens himself.

This person is an abusive bully who constantly belittles new users who ask genuine questions but may make honest mistakes.

I was one such member, I have only been back into collecting for about a month. I made a mistake in a post. Instead of a helpful correction, I was subjected to a petty, vindictive personal attack in the forum thread.

My attempt to defend myself by asking the admin to not make personal attacks resulted in a ban, with no warning. I wrote a number of emails for clarification without even an acknowledgement, never mind reply.

Stamp collecting is a gentle hobby, participants are generally kind and patient, and love to share their knowledge.

Glen Stephens is an arrogant bully, he doesn't give a damn about his members. Instead of helping he seems content to humiliate and harass members. It's the mark of a true coward that he won't respond to anyone who dares stand up to him.

The loss of course is the lack of contact with the wonderful fellow members, who I will miss.

Anonymous said...

After reading most of these comments, I'm outta here...

Anonymous said...

I am in general agreement with the consensus here - namely Glen Stephens is an arrogant bully with an overwhelming sense of his own self importance. Much of what he sells is over hyped and over priced - and does he actually ship anything? He certainly has no idea about distance selling regulations and any problems are always someone elses fault and never his own. My personal recommendation is to avoid any dealings or contact with this man at all costs. If you do you will avoid much heartache from the abuse he habitually uses to all not within his inner sanctum.

Anonymous said...

I have just posted on Glen's site for the last time. I should have learned my lesson last year when he ridiculed me over a post I'd made. My unforgivable sin this time was to post a question about an Ebay issue I was having with some sales. He and another of his bullies began tearing apart my listings and making disparaging comments. You cannot win with him- he will pull something out that you posted perhaps a year ago and throw it in your face and laugh at you. The man is abusive- the whole atmosphere reminds me of an abusive home- he acts like a deranged parent who will go off on you suddenly for little reason. Worse he has some mods just as bad. It is a shame- there is a lot of good information on his site and while I may sometime return and read some posts I will NEVER [ost on there again.
Some poster last year was arguing with him about an issue he had with another dealer- Glen wound up posting that members full name, address and phone number on the board for all to see. He is deranged. Avoid that board as a poster- at all costs.