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Altered Stamps

US classics - altered then sold by upstate New York group

From 2000 till May 2002, the upstate New York seller schuylerac (later crustaceans, then wackeywood) regularly offered on eBay supposed "rarities" in quantities unheard of in philately, usually with a long uppercase "as is" caveat.

But this seller seemingly retired from eBay, and his stock appeared to have been acquired by newcomers pcheltenham, listed as part of an "estate collection" in 20 boxes, and 32gyt78, who advertised "19TH CENTURY CLASSICS." The caveat "what you see is what you get" proved disappointing to bidders who found that the stamps they purchased had been altered in some way!

The eBay IDs chickfrdstk, booksnbooks4u (formerly stazy4, now short369), and tremor111 appear to have bought the raw material for these alterations.


In May 2003, as a result of eBay finally taking action to investigate the ring's activities, pcheltenham was suspended. The ring briefly moved their activities to the Yahoo online auction site using the ID goldmedalauctions, a name very similar to that previously used by Gregory Stolow to run mail order sales.

In early October, chickfrdstk began buying stamps on eBay again, but was suspended a couple of days later. The IDs tremor111 and 32gyt78 were also later suspended.


Nothing was then seen of the ring until March 2004, when buying ID short369 began purchasing again on eBay. This ID was suspended in May, shortly after its activity was reported. The seller ID wackeywood was since suspended and removed from the eBay database. New buying ID 12trees1947 was discovered in early August, and was suspended a week later.


In March 2005, new buying ID detocakes9 was discovered, and a few months later matched with selling ID 8834david, who offered 19th century classics and used the same upper case boiler plate listing for all his auctions. detocakes9 was a shill-bidder on many of these lots.


The buyer and seller were left to continue on eBay whilst behind the scenes stronger steps, such as prosecution, were attempted. However, nothing came of them, and in June 2006 both detocakes9 and 8834david were suspended from eBay.

The group was seen on other internet auction sites, such as (as nomdploome) in April 2006 and (as ndp789), and has been removed from both.

A new buying ID member98123 became active on eBay in September 2006, and used private feedback to avoid detection. In December 2006 the seller ID peterpaul1969 was created, and began offering US classics, nearly all of which have been altered. Some of them were purchased by the earlier buying ID detocakes9, whilst others came from member98123. Some of the stamps offered were altered again, often with an extra cancel, to disguise the stamp.


In late January 2007, both member98123 and peterpaul1969 were reported to eBay, and were suspended a week later.

Until eBay puts measures in place to detect reincarnations of suspended IDs, this group is likely to reappear under new IDs. Please pass information on any new suspicious buying or selling activity on eBay or other internet sites to scads at scads dot org.

More information

Read the full story of the Saratoga Ring here.

ID history of the Saratoga Ring:

chickfrdstk (NARU'ed)
  • Member since 15 Sep 99

tremor111 (NARU'ed)

  • Member since 20 Apr 02
short369 (NARU'ed)
  • ID changed from booksnbooks4u 2 Oct 03
  • ID changed from stazy4 19 Oct 02
  • Member since 10 Jun 01
12trees1947 (NARU'ed)
  • Member since 15 Feb 01
wackeywood (NARU'ed, deleted from eBay database)
  • ID changed from crustaceans 18 Dec 02
  • ID changed from schuylerac 15 Oct 02
  • Member since 24 Jan 98
pcheltenham (NARU'ed)
  • Member since 30 Apr 02
32gyt78 (NARU'ed)
  • Member since 29 Oct 02
detocakes9 (NARU'ed)
  • Member since 10 Sep 04
  • shill bidder
8834david (NARU'ed)
  • Member since 11 Nov 04
member98123 (NARU'ed)
  • Member since 7 Sep 06
peterpaul1969 (NARU'ed)
  • Member since 12 Dec 06