I suspect the local market knows better the real retail value for its own country issues than any foreign company which simply operates at a fixed % of catalogue.
In Sweden for example condition is critical , offcentre, heavy or unclear cancel , the price tumbles dramatically and Facit catalogue price is for good centres and readable cancels, but foreigners selling do not appreciate how much to discount imperfections.
In the example you quote I have often disagreed with Noble Spirit description and ridiculous prices . Here they have just marked it to sell at fixed % of catalogue no attention to faults.
Your Norway has a good colour ++ good perfs++ fine cancel ++++( it does however seem to have brown toning at the foot) his price is Auction starting price and he hopes for more probably .
In UK while average condition UK stamps are always to be found somewhere , at a small % of catalogue, very fine condition will push much higher.
I agree with you vikingeck and we have much of the same here as in Sweden.
But we always hear that we must support your local dealer. But if the local dealer (Noble spirit is far from my local dealer) but that high price for crap. Even if it was ok color. The Norwegian special catalog value it to NOK500,- =($54). Facit NOK1200,- =($134). MIchel €110 = ($129). The biggest stamp dealer in Norway sell them for NOK 900 = ($97).
But my point is that professional dealers hold on to their hig price level and don't seem to want to adjust to the market out "there". Yes, there is a warranty if you bay from a dealer, but is it wort the price? I think a lot of the hold on the the old system and the old customers. With the competition from Hipstamps, Delcampe, e-bay, Colnect and others it will be hard to be a old fashion stamp dealer in five year.
When I see stamps like the one from Noble spirit I'm tempted to take contact and confront them, but ........
I agree wholeheartedly that way too many American dealers 1) do not take condition into account when pricing stamps (this is true even at stamp shows). 2) when they do talk about condition, their condition is quite obviously (just by looking at the stamps or their photos) not what I would have called it. 3) think "guide price" is somehow the bible for what a stamp is worth.
My solution: ummm... don't buy it. Yep, I've gotten one or 2 good deals from Noble Spirit, but when I browse their stuff I click "Auction Only" because I know in advance they're going to price their "Buy it Now" stuff WAYYY above anything I'd be willing to pay. I don't even bother with "Make an Offer" because the price they asked was so absurd.
Price guides be d@mned, any stamp I see is only worth what I'm willing to pay for it. It's okay to say no because another stamp just like it (and sometimes better!) will eventually come along priced much more reasonably. There are a LOT of people out there selling stamps, and the ones that are priced right get a LOT of money from me. The others, I like to think their "inventory" is more of their stamp collection than actual items for sale.
And, for what it's worth, I do buy an awful lot of very nice items from overseas. Australia, Sweden and Germany come immediately to mind.