Total Shock - I did not Succeed in Purchasing the Mint 5/- and 10/- Lagos Stamps

The old adage, "don't count your chickens before they hatch" is such a tried, tested and true piece of wisdom, that I am amazed that I don't follow it more often. A few days ago, I proudly proclaimed that I had acquired both the mint and used examples of the 5/- and 10/- Lagos first issues. While it is true that I have actually bought the used stamps, I jumped the gun on the mint ones.

You see, a seller on e-bay had them listed for opening bids of $450 and $900 respectively. This is about 60% of their Scott value. Knowing their true rarity, I placed a bid of $1,000 on the 5/- and $2,000 on the 10/-. I was so sure that I would succeed in purchasing these at significantly less than these amounts, that I went ahead and announced that I had acquired them.

Up until an hour before closing I was indeed the high bidder. I went to the gym for my weekly workout, came back and to my shock, the 5/- sold for $1,025 and the 10/- for $2,025. Both stamps were purchased by a buyer, who up until an hour before had been the underbidder. He had out bid me by one increment - but who knows what his high bid was?

The moral of this story, apart from not jinxing your chances of success by jumping the gun, is that the market is beginning to wake up to the rarity of this material, and prices are rising accordingly. I have another chance to purchase a 10/- at retail, but I honestly don't know when I will see another 5/- blue in mint condition that was as fresh as the one I lost out on today. So when you see a rare item and you have an opportunity to buy it - bid boldly because chances are increasingly that you are not alone in your evaluation of an item.

I will still post the pics of the two stamps that I did acquire when they arrive.


  1. What a great message. I will make sure I bid without hesitation from now on. Thank you for your posts!

  2. My pleasure! It is just so easy for us to assume that we are going to succeed in auctions - to underestimate both the competition that exists out there, and to underestimate the rarity of items that we are interested in. I've been keenly collecting Nigeria for the past 6 years. I buy on e-bay every single day (not kidding) and that was the only time I have seen either of those two stamps offered for sale on e-bay during that time.

  3. Bid boldly................and secretly. Use a snipper.

  4. I did use a Sniper! But I was outsniped!


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