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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

 

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Andrejs
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19 Aug 2015
09:49:45pm
In a hotly contested DB topic "How can we improve the AUCTION platform, to make it more successful?" we got a number of suggestions to improve the auction pages.

I'm going to take the initiative and put this to everyone out there to vote on our future path. Everyone - sellers and buyers, but those who would like to use the auctions but don't especially - what do you want to see coming out of this other discussion? Please only vote here. If you want to posit a point, refer back to the other topic to make your case, unless you can be brief and succinct. That said, if I've missed something, please feel free to add a question (as long as you state your opinion on the other questions). I'm not trying to control the discussion, I just want to see input and decision.

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?

This is unscientific, I know; but I want to avoid discussing things ad nauseum and ending up with nothing to make this site better. Hopefully the SOR moderators and other members of the oligarchy (and I mean that in the most affectionate sense) will look at the results of this informal survey and if we need to move forward to improve things for the membership.

Andrew

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""If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." Rush"
Patches

Liz

19 Aug 2015
10:05:02pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1)YES

2)YES

2a)50 Cents

3)NO

3a)COVERS & POSTCARDS
REVENUES, CINDERELLAS & SEALS
MIXTURES & PACKETS
PHILATELIC RELATED: SUPPLIES, PUBLICATIONS ETC

4)NO

4a)See #4


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rrraphy
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Retired Consultant

19 Aug 2015
10:23:18pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?"


You cannot switch them to Approvals because Approval Books are loosely regulated but have a 100 minimum item(few exceptions) rule. What you are asking is if items below the minimum should be banned from auctions. and here I will say YES
rrr...

Of relevance to me 2 YES 2a $0.50 and 4 NO

I would also suggest if you run a survey, that you should also ask if we should mandate a Buy It Now price. (YES, if you ask)

rrr...
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Andrejs
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19 Aug 2015
10:30:17pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

RRR: Point taken. But that's why Q1 asks if you want to see a separation of lower and higher priced items. If you answer yes to Q1, your answer to the other q's would refer to that response.

And now Q5 for everyone - do you want to see a mandatory Buy it Now option on all listings?

I realize running surveys properly requires a degree in stats or actuarial sciences - I'm not purporting to have a degree in either. Any and all comments for improvement are welcome.

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dell4c

19 Aug 2015
10:36:50pm

Approvals
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I would suggest that you simply add a member preference that allows you to set the lowest value opening price of an auction you wish to see. It gives the greatest flex-ability to system and allows each member to set their own preference.

This would effectively hide all the lower priced material that some people seem to wish to ignore while not forcing anyone to change their listing habits.

If you want to see nothing lower that $5.00 opening then set your preference to $5.00 and all other lots would not show in your searches.

Seems a more member friendly solution than forcing some people who seem to like listing lots of lower priced material to change their ways and still hides the maternal from those who don't want to view it.

Bob

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin

19 Aug 2015
10:52:01pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? NO

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? YES

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? $1.00

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? up to the seller - could always offer them in the "For Sale" classified section of the DB

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? N/A

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? NO

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? N/A


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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

19 Aug 2015
11:26:22pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I would vote the same as Patches (Liz).

"I would suggest that you simply add a member preference that allows you to set the lowest value opening price of an auction you wish to see. "



Tim pointed out on another thread that this function already exists.

From some of the comments, it appears that not all of the functionality of the auction section is well known. I didn't know about the search to view lots above a certain amount.

I don't buy that much in the auctions, because I like to buy and not wait (like Ralph). The approval books are perfect for that. I do get some auction lots with BIN, but I mostly look at the approvals. That is where I am going broke.
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roy
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19 Aug 2015
11:42:58pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

My answers echo Bobby's, except for the comment on #3.

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? NO

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? YES

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? $1.00

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? up to the seller - could always offer them in the "For Sale" classified section of the DB - Heaven forbid! Do you really want to see 5c classifieds? YES. Under $1 belong in approvals

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? None

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? NO

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? N/A

5) Mandatory BIN No . The object is to encourage sellers of better material, not to restrict them.

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nigelc
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20 Aug 2015
05:07:21am
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

The current Auction approach works well for me. I see no reason to change it.Happy

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? No.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? No.

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? I am happy with auctions opening at 1c or 10c etc. if that's what the seller wants to do.

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? No.

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? I see no need for any exceptions.

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? No, I'm happy with the current search engine.

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!Happy

If some members feel strongly about having a minimum value in search results then I would have no problem with an optional minimum value parameter. A default value for this could be set as a user preference.

edit: I missed Q5:
Do you want to see a mandatory Buy it Now option on all listings? No.

I regularly buy low priced items at auction and would be very disappointed if a model that works both for the seller and me is changed to prevent us doing business this way.




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cocollectibles

20 Aug 2015
05:53:54am
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?

NO

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?

YES

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?

50C; THIS COVERS THE 10% OF $5 CV ITEMS

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?

YES

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?

I WOULD PREFER TO SEE CHANGES IN THE CATEGORIES WITH MORE PRECISE SUBCATEGORIES IF POSSIBLE; CHANGING SEARCH ENGINES WILL NEVER PLEASE EVERYONE SO IT WILL ALWAYS BE A CASE OF SOMEONE WANTING SOME DIFFERENT FEATURES IN THE SEARCH FUNCTION

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?

5) Buy it now mandatory?
OPTIONAL; I DON'T SEE HOW MAKING IT MANDATORY HELPS

I still think none of these proposals gets at the issue of number of views of items; there just isn't the traffic here with 3000 members and only a percentage shopping in auctions.

Peter

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bobstew617
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20 Aug 2015
09:00:22am
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

My thoughts:

1) YES
2) YES
2a) .50
3) YES
3a)N/A
4) YES
4a)Add the ability to save searches, ex. "MNH" or specific countries.
5) NO

BOB

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

20 Aug 2015
09:05:39am
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?

Nope, not needed. I love my 20c covers as much as the $20 ones. It's the category not the price that brings me to the auction.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?

Nope, I find this silly. I can explicate, if folks are interested

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?

Nope, this assumes that some of the guys in the auction would put things in the approvals. It took me a lonnnnnng time to finally even try the approvals. In some ways it's much easier than the auction; in others, at least for me, it's more cumbersome. This is NOT a criticism, merely an observation that I, like many of us, have my own ways and preferences, and don't need to saddle others with them.

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????

This is such a democratic, heterogenic club; why in the world would I limit things? It seems to me that we have striven to make as many different things available, to limit what people might list just seems counter productive.

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?

Of course I do. I'll tell Tim how I think and have him design it precisely that way. In addition, there will be a zapper attached to the site and to all sellers' keyboards, alerting them when they have entered material not in accordance with my search criteria.


4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?

I'm actually a bad person for this, since most of my searches are along non-traditional lines for stuff that would be impossibly difficult to standardize.

5. Mandatory BIN

Nah. I like it as an option. You know, we have guys who refuse to bid on thigs with our BINs; others who love it; and then guys like me who see it as an option that is sometimes worth using.

6. Tell us, what else were you thinking

Glad you asked. First, I'm really surprised that many of us have made this illogical leap that if we dump dime lots, the dollar lots will materialize. I don't see that. Might, but we've made other changes to the auction at some sellers' insistence only to find those same sellers not even bothering to use functionality that Tim spent hours coding. I make no bones about my interests, so anyone who cares could easily post things that would generate at least a look and, if priced correctly, would generate a bid from me. I've only seen one such lot, and the tied seal was incidental; it wasn't even noted in the description. So, if we drop the penny lots, how many more tied seals am I likely to see. I'm guessing we'll likely triple or quadruple or multiply by a factor of 50 the 0 lots listed to date.

Part of the complaint is about tools in the auction not being used..... Well, use them. Help the less advanced understand them.

We have the ability to notify folks about interesting offerings, so if you're going to add those Roos on cover over which Tim's been salivating, or that 1907 type II tied on cover sans postage, note it. Or better yet, contact Tim or me. We'll happily take your note because we know you listed it specifically for us.

My final note. I love that Andrew did this; and I find it charming that within seconds folks were telling him how to make it better.



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dani20
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20 Aug 2015
09:43:18am
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I'd echo David's choices.
Dan C.

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TuskenRaider
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20 Aug 2015
10:58:33am
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Hi Andrew;

I also agree with AMSD's response, 100%....
TuskenRaider

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bobstew617
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20 Aug 2015
01:05:57pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Judge Berman has spoken.Rolling On The Floor Laughing

I'm scared of German Shepherds, BTW. (One bit me when I was a paper boy).

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Larryd
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20 Aug 2015
01:26:34pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Oddly enough, although I have none of the interests that David (AMSD) lists in his profile, I agree 100% with his "votes" in response to the poll.

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smauggie
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20 Aug 2015
02:04:59pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? No. Lower-priced items should be in approval books.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? Yes

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? To be honest I don't have a problem with auctions starting at 1 cent. But I do think there should be a minimum reasonable catalog value per lot, at least $2.50 in my mind.

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? Yes

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? N/A

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? Ideally, yes, but it wouldn't be practical while auction posters post only the most basic description (or none at all saying "see scan").

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? I know this is a novel idea, but sellers should follow all of the auction rules all of the time. Some do some of the time. A few do all of the time. A few seem to follow them none of the time.

Edit: A post script - There should be a minimum size for auction pictures, say 200 pixels.

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TribalErnie
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20 Aug 2015
02:29:49pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? No. Lower-priced items should be in approval books.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? Yes

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? It depends. As smauggie just said, it's not necessarily a bad thing if auctions start at one cent. That could be a great thing and can be alot of fun. The problem is with auctions that start with an opening bid of one cent on a stamp that catalogs for a whopping TEN CENTS. There's two ways to achieve the desired result. Either all auctions start at .75-1.00, or there's a minimum cat value of something in the $2.50+ range. Both would achieve the desired result.

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? Yes

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? N/A

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? I don't think there is a need to change anything here. Once the number of items that meet the criteria of a true auction get down to a sensible number, itt will be easier to browse. If the seller wants to maximize the listing, he or she will put all relevant information in the listing on their own. Someone mentioned a way to separate used from unused. There could be value there depending on the work required to do it. It would be nice but not needed.

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? See above

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Jansimon
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collector, seller, MT member

21 Aug 2015
07:02:50am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?
Personally, no. It is arbitrary: in the end it is the seller who decides if a lot is higher priced or not. If one wants to sell a valuable stamp for 20 cents, why forbid it? The problem is that there is an abundance of very common items that make you do not see the more interesting ones anymore

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?
Only if it helps to get rid off the common garbage

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?
20 cents - 25 if you want me to choose between the three above

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?
absolutely not. That would be moving the problem instead of solving it.

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????
none

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?
search within the description field

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?
please no more mandatory fields, although it might help getting rid of the cheap items.

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doodles69ca
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Suzanne

21 Aug 2015
11:05:29am
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"Only if it helps to get rid off the common garbage"



That is kind of a harsh remark. What might be common garbage to you, is a goldmine for someone else. Especially for a beginner collector.

A lot of members don't have enough items to use the approval section, to put in "common garbage", as you call it, so it will end up like going to a stamp show. The dealers don't bother to carry the cheap stuff, because it's too common, so eventually you won't be able to find the stuff.

I like things exactly the way they are. The filter buttons work fine if I am looking for something different of higher value. I have been using them since I joined.

If here they want the nickel stuff to all be put into the approvals, then that is fine. Get rid of the minimum amount of pages and stamps that can be put in. If someone only has 25 nickel stamps for a certain country, then that should be fine. A one page 25 stamp approval book can be created.

I don't know if anyone has joined because I have told them about this site, but the ONLY reason I tell everyone about this site is for the exact way that it is run. That you CAN put in auction lots for a nickel starting bid if you wish, and that you might be able to find those few odd nickel stamps that you are missing.



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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin

21 Aug 2015
11:17:35am
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I don't think Jansimon meant to slam anyone. 99% of my collection is composed of what he was referring to, and I certainly take no offense. Consider the context. He is merely being blunt, and I for one, appreciate his candid response.

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Suzanne

21 Aug 2015
12:27:45pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

It's ok that Jansimon said what he said. I also don't think he was trying to slam anyone. I still just think it was a bit harsh. Most of my collection is the same, but I don't think that either of us collect common garbage.

I think that saying "common stamps" would have gotten the point across just as well. What if a total beginner read that post and thought, "Maybe I shouldn't tell anyone what I collect, because they will laugh at me because I am only collecting garbage." I know it's not likely that would happen, but why use a term that could discourage a young or a new collector?

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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin

21 Aug 2015
01:45:06pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I appreciate your sentiment, Suzanne. I believe our thinking differs in what we perceive from the language. I was raised in an environment where such language was offered not as criticism, but as factual descriptors. My house is full of "trash" which to me is precious treasure. I take no offense when my friends look in my storeroom and ask me why I save boxes and boxes of items which make garage sale merchandise appear to be from Neiman-Marcus; but I treasure them nonetheless.

The same with my stamps. Much of what I have is common "garbage" to others, and I do not mind that characterization, nor am I ashamed of admitting that it is intrinsically as worthless as the ashtray (I have never smoked, BTW) my then 5 year old made for me in Kindegarden, but both are precious to me and proudly displayed.

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Moderator, MT Member

21 Aug 2015
01:47:38pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"I do not mind that characterization, nor am I ashamed of admitting that it is intrinsically as worthless "



WAIT A MINUTE!!!! I bought stamps from you, and you say that your stamps are worthless? I want a refund!! Get a rope!! Rolling On The Floor Laughing

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ConnieB
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22 Aug 2015
12:18:01pm

Approvals
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?

Not necessary if search filters and ranges are effective.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?

Not necessary if search filters and ranges are effective. Why limit sellers? Let filters help buyers limit what they view.

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?


No, because of the approval book rules. So, if there is a minimum bid requirement, why allow the creation of auction listings that go below it?

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????


4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?

I think it may be more of a problem of searchable information than the engine. A few more searchable required fields and catagories or subcategories could help.

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?

Why not have a mandatory field for est. Scott cat. value? This could be a searchable and filterable value in a range.

Why not have the ability to view auctions within a bid price range?



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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

22 Aug 2015
12:35:12pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"Why not have the ability to view auctions within a bid price range?"



That sort filter already exists.
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thebiggnome
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22 Aug 2015
12:48:39pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"That sort filter already exists."



Does it? I was only able to search for lots above a certain amount. I would also like to be able to search for lots below a certain amount, for instance penny lots. If you know how, please share with us!

There is a button that is supposed to sort lots by price, but it doesn't work.

Chris
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Zipper
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22 Aug 2015
01:18:51pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I love the Buy It Now button.

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Moderator, MT Member

22 Aug 2015
01:34:44pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"There is a button that is supposed to sort lots by price, but it doesn't work."



Yeah. My bad. I see what you mean. I put in 0.01 in the MIN. BID field, clicked on REFRESH. The list appeared, then I clicked on HIGH/MIN BID, and the sort wasn't very good with that.
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bobstew617
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22 Aug 2015
04:13:31pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Brechinite,

We will have to agree to disagree on this one, especially here on SOR where there are a handful of bidders who simply "do not like to lose" and will keep bidding until they have won, even if it means paying a RIDICULOUS amount for a stamp.

CASE IN POINT: a few months ago, I was one of a few individuals bidding on an Isle of Man set. The catalog value was $.55. It went for $11.00!! I don't think I've even seen that on EBay.

BIN gives people a chance to buy an item at a certain amount above minimum bid at a reasonable price for the seller. I just won a few lots today where I used the BIN option to win them away from one of the individuals I mentioned above.

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thebiggnome
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22 Aug 2015
04:29:35pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Isn't part of the appeal of an auction the fact that you might just find some treasure deep inside some dusty old lot?

Yes, having sellers take the time to give a great and detailed description of all their items, and then having a great search engine crunch through them to return meaningful results, would sometimes enable some buyers and some sellers to connect better, but it would take a lot of the fun out of it.

Who doesn't have a story about winning a lot described as "BOX OF STAMPS" and finding some great classics or covers or penny blacks or whatever tucked inside?

If we make mandatory detailed descriptions, mandatory fields to include, mandatory buy-it-now buttons, and mandatory minimum bids, would we not be turning a great auction into a mediocre store?

Chris

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

22 Aug 2015
05:21:17pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

RE: Buy It Now.

As stated by others, sometimes a seller doesn't have enough of a certain material to make an approval book. Putting the items in auction would be the only option. Using the BIN feature is (and should remain) optional for the seller.

I like the BIN feature. I'd rather pay a little more and not have to wait or battle someone for an item. Doesn't matter what auction site it is, most of my online purchases are BIN.

I especially like the BIN feature on SOR. It is unique.

Will I pay more than catalog value for a stamp? Yes. I did so recently in an auction here. It was a minimum valued stamp, but it was the last stamp that I needed for the set. Definitely worth paying a couple of times catalog value to finish off a set.

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TribalErnie
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22 Aug 2015
05:31:28pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I made the mistake of talking about a SoR auction I was interested in on the discussion board. It was a couple months ago. It was China #1. I'm not a China collector but I thought it was cool that it was a #1 and I've sometimes flirted with the idea of a #1s collection. It's not a rare stamp by any means. I bid it up to way over catalog value and someone else was still willing to pay more. That's the fun of auctions; but don't tell everyone what you're bidding on!
-Ernie

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BobbyBarnhart
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22 Aug 2015
06:04:29pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I like BIN for much the same reason Michael###s does. Sometime as a Seller, however, when I really have no idea of the value or demand for an item, I will put it in the auction without a BIN price and let the market decide its value. I like the flexibility of having BIN as an option, to use or not to use as the mood strikes me.

As a buyer, I definitely want it, especially on Stamporama. When BIN is less than a 10% bump on the minimum bid, and I want the stamp, I will use it every time. I cannot understand why anyone would take the effort to bid on a stamp and not purchase it outright when the BIN is but a slight advance over the minimum, yet I have picked up many stamps on Stamporama over the bid of someone else by utilizing BIN.

If you do not like it, do not use it, simple as that.

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TuskenRaider
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22 Aug 2015
06:53:01pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Hi Everyone;

Suzanne said:

"I don't know if anyone has joined because I have told them about this site, but the ONLY reason
I tell everyone about this site is for the exact way that it is run. That you CAN put in auction lots
for a nickel starting bid if you wish, and that you might be able to find those few odd nickel stamps
that you are missing."



Note her use of the word "you might be able to find those few odd nickel stamps".

Some over-enthusiastic members may have talked-up SOR's auctions in a way that the new member is
assured he/she will find items for sale that are pricey classics, when in fact there just aren't enough
members here to generate that much classic material.

So then after they realize their face is covered with eggs, they look to point the fickle finger of blame
at someone else or a group of someone elses.

Some collectors that buy expensive classics, are more investors than collectors, and as such would
tend to think of duplicates as money-in-the-bank, would not likely sell them, to anyone.

With less than 3,000 members there are lots of things I would like to see for sale on here, but I know
that with so few sellers that will never happen. Also there are many more buyers on here than sellers,
which limits the variety of what is offered.

When a want to find a bargain on hinges or watermark fluid etc. I look to the bigger sites and volume
sellers that have had many deals with and I trust.

So to echo Suzanne's thoughts I think the site is fine just the way it is.

Just Chillin'....
TuskenRaider
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TribalErnie
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22 Aug 2015
08:07:03pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

@ ken,

I am one of the members that have advocated change for the auctions. You say that some members are trying to push for "pricey classics". Once again, not trying to see or obtain classics or rarities in the SoR auctions. SoR is not the venue for selling such material. I'd like to see more mid-range material. Classic stamps in the $5-$15 cat value range.

You raise alot of valid points. There may not be enough sellers with such material. You've sold on here before so I'll defer to your experience. I would just like to get the chance to bid on more China #1s!

-Ernie

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22 Aug 2015
10:05:03pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Hi Everyone;

Actually Ernie, "pricey" was probably a poor choice of words. I had more in mind the material $5.00 and
up in general. There is a lot on here, but if you are collecting a single country or group of countries, most
of that material is of no use.

I used to be a member of the Muskegon Stamp Club. It has seriously declined to very few members, and
just not what it was in the old days. When I was a member of that club, almost all collectors were world-
wide with a strength in a couple areas.

When the various nations that issue stamps, tried to get greedy and print too many issues each year,
they kind of killed our hobby. Nobody could afford it anymore. So to survive as stamp collectors most of
them got rid of their world-wide stuff and specialized in a few countries, or certain topical collections, or
just certain years, like pre 1900.

I have a theory about clubs including this one, as to what is wrong with stamp collecting as a hobby in
general. When most of the members of the local stamp clubs decided to limit their collections, they also
limited the number of other collectors that would have use for their duplicates.

Lets say for example, that a club member decides to only collect British India. He will quickly accumulate
most of the common stamps and then start to look for the less common. Unfortunately none of the
members in his club collect India, at all. He quickly discovers, that most club members are into Western
Europe, Eastern Europe, or North/South America.

Who could he buy from or sell to in his club, nobody! So Mr. British India, quits going to his local club,
and looks elsewhere. One day he finds Stamp-o-rama, but also discovers not a lot of activity on British
India. So should the person who recommended SOR to him and hears that the British India collector is
disappointed with the offerings blame someone for listing the wrong price range, or the wrong countries.
No the real blame is very simple, too much specialization, to find everything you need in SOR.

You may find some nice items, but to satisfy all your collection needs you will have to go to a much bigger
site, to find those colonial Indian gems.

Sorry I just gotta get off caffine....
TuskenRaider


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stampmanjack

APS Life Member

22 Aug 2015
10:33:00pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I like the auction the way it is. The only change I would have suggested is a method to avoid looking at the smaller lots when I don't want to but apparently from comments above that already exists. There are nights when I want to look quickly at the Closing in 24 hours lots but have to wade through all of the single common stamp lots. There are also nights when I want to see it all. I am ambivalent about The BIN feature. I have won some lots because of the feature and lost some. The BIN prices are usually fair though. I keep saying I am going to put material in the auction but have not got to it yet. Do not know how I will feel about the BIN feature as a seller. I think the people in charge of the auction do a fantastic job.
Jack

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Zipper
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23 Aug 2015
04:43:45pm
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Starting prices should be determined by the seller. A predetermined starting price will discourage sellers from listing common stamps that a buyer might need to complete an album page. As a buyer, I'd switch to Bidstart for the nickel and dime stamps.

How many controlling rules do you guys need?

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24 Aug 2015
08:45:25am
re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Glancing at the survey and seeing multiple responses, I decided to enter my answers before reading the, no doubt, persuasive suggestions and member comments.

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?
No, why would we want to do that ?

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?
No, I think the charm of the SoR auction is that most sellers, are quite confident that an item of some significance, entered at a enticingly minimal starting price will attract competitive bids from diverse members who recognize the real market value and who are willing to offer a bid supporting that value, sometimes just for the fun of it.

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?
That should be the decision of the seller.

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?
No, see the previous answers.

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????
If the answer is "no", why should there be exceptions to where there is no rule.

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?
No opinion on that, other than if it ain't broke, leave it be.

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?
I'm not sure what is being suggested here. It looks like unnecessary complications.
I'll add that "Catalog number listings" seems to eventually require a mandate as to which catalog in a world where there are both many general world wide catalogs as well as apparently a specialized catalog for just about every country. Then there would be the mstter of timeliness, what years ?


Now that I've got all that off my sunken chest, I'll read the member comments.
Charlie

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Andrejs

19 Aug 2015
09:49:45pm

In a hotly contested DB topic "How can we improve the AUCTION platform, to make it more successful?" we got a number of suggestions to improve the auction pages.

I'm going to take the initiative and put this to everyone out there to vote on our future path. Everyone - sellers and buyers, but those who would like to use the auctions but don't especially - what do you want to see coming out of this other discussion? Please only vote here. If you want to posit a point, refer back to the other topic to make your case, unless you can be brief and succinct. That said, if I've missed something, please feel free to add a question (as long as you state your opinion on the other questions). I'm not trying to control the discussion, I just want to see input and decision.

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?

This is unscientific, I know; but I want to avoid discussing things ad nauseum and ending up with nothing to make this site better. Hopefully the SOR moderators and other members of the oligarchy (and I mean that in the most affectionate sense) will look at the results of this informal survey and if we need to move forward to improve things for the membership.

Andrew

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Patches

Liz

19 Aug 2015
10:05:02pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1)YES

2)YES

2a)50 Cents

3)NO

3a)COVERS & POSTCARDS
REVENUES, CINDERELLAS & SEALS
MIXTURES & PACKETS
PHILATELIC RELATED: SUPPLIES, PUBLICATIONS ETC

4)NO

4a)See #4


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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
19 Aug 2015
10:23:18pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?"


You cannot switch them to Approvals because Approval Books are loosely regulated but have a 100 minimum item(few exceptions) rule. What you are asking is if items below the minimum should be banned from auctions. and here I will say YES
rrr...

Of relevance to me 2 YES 2a $0.50 and 4 NO

I would also suggest if you run a survey, that you should also ask if we should mandate a Buy It Now price. (YES, if you ask)

rrr...
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Andrejs

19 Aug 2015
10:30:17pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

RRR: Point taken. But that's why Q1 asks if you want to see a separation of lower and higher priced items. If you answer yes to Q1, your answer to the other q's would refer to that response.

And now Q5 for everyone - do you want to see a mandatory Buy it Now option on all listings?

I realize running surveys properly requires a degree in stats or actuarial sciences - I'm not purporting to have a degree in either. Any and all comments for improvement are welcome.

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dell4c

19 Aug 2015
10:36:50pm

Approvals

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I would suggest that you simply add a member preference that allows you to set the lowest value opening price of an auction you wish to see. It gives the greatest flex-ability to system and allows each member to set their own preference.

This would effectively hide all the lower priced material that some people seem to wish to ignore while not forcing anyone to change their listing habits.

If you want to see nothing lower that $5.00 opening then set your preference to $5.00 and all other lots would not show in your searches.

Seems a more member friendly solution than forcing some people who seem to like listing lots of lower priced material to change their ways and still hides the maternal from those who don't want to view it.

Bob

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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
19 Aug 2015
10:52:01pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? NO

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? YES

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? $1.00

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? up to the seller - could always offer them in the "For Sale" classified section of the DB

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? N/A

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? NO

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? N/A


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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
19 Aug 2015
11:26:22pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I would vote the same as Patches (Liz).

"I would suggest that you simply add a member preference that allows you to set the lowest value opening price of an auction you wish to see. "



Tim pointed out on another thread that this function already exists.

From some of the comments, it appears that not all of the functionality of the auction section is well known. I didn't know about the search to view lots above a certain amount.

I don't buy that much in the auctions, because I like to buy and not wait (like Ralph). The approval books are perfect for that. I do get some auction lots with BIN, but I mostly look at the approvals. That is where I am going broke.
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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories
19 Aug 2015
11:42:58pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

My answers echo Bobby's, except for the comment on #3.

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? NO

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? YES

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? $1.00

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? up to the seller - could always offer them in the "For Sale" classified section of the DB - Heaven forbid! Do you really want to see 5c classifieds? YES. Under $1 belong in approvals

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? None

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? NO

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? N/A

5) Mandatory BIN No . The object is to encourage sellers of better material, not to restrict them.

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nigelc

20 Aug 2015
05:07:21am

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

The current Auction approach works well for me. I see no reason to change it.Happy

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? No.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? No.

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? I am happy with auctions opening at 1c or 10c etc. if that's what the seller wants to do.

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? No.

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? I see no need for any exceptions.

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? No, I'm happy with the current search engine.

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!Happy

If some members feel strongly about having a minimum value in search results then I would have no problem with an optional minimum value parameter. A default value for this could be set as a user preference.

edit: I missed Q5:
Do you want to see a mandatory Buy it Now option on all listings? No.

I regularly buy low priced items at auction and would be very disappointed if a model that works both for the seller and me is changed to prevent us doing business this way.




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cocollectibles

20 Aug 2015
05:53:54am

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?

NO

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?

YES

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?

50C; THIS COVERS THE 10% OF $5 CV ITEMS

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?

YES

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?

I WOULD PREFER TO SEE CHANGES IN THE CATEGORIES WITH MORE PRECISE SUBCATEGORIES IF POSSIBLE; CHANGING SEARCH ENGINES WILL NEVER PLEASE EVERYONE SO IT WILL ALWAYS BE A CASE OF SOMEONE WANTING SOME DIFFERENT FEATURES IN THE SEARCH FUNCTION

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?

5) Buy it now mandatory?
OPTIONAL; I DON'T SEE HOW MAKING IT MANDATORY HELPS

I still think none of these proposals gets at the issue of number of views of items; there just isn't the traffic here with 3000 members and only a percentage shopping in auctions.

Peter

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bobstew617

20 Aug 2015
09:00:22am

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

My thoughts:

1) YES
2) YES
2a) .50
3) YES
3a)N/A
4) YES
4a)Add the ability to save searches, ex. "MNH" or specific countries.
5) NO

BOB

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
20 Aug 2015
09:05:39am

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?

Nope, not needed. I love my 20c covers as much as the $20 ones. It's the category not the price that brings me to the auction.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?

Nope, I find this silly. I can explicate, if folks are interested

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?

Nope, this assumes that some of the guys in the auction would put things in the approvals. It took me a lonnnnnng time to finally even try the approvals. In some ways it's much easier than the auction; in others, at least for me, it's more cumbersome. This is NOT a criticism, merely an observation that I, like many of us, have my own ways and preferences, and don't need to saddle others with them.

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????

This is such a democratic, heterogenic club; why in the world would I limit things? It seems to me that we have striven to make as many different things available, to limit what people might list just seems counter productive.

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?

Of course I do. I'll tell Tim how I think and have him design it precisely that way. In addition, there will be a zapper attached to the site and to all sellers' keyboards, alerting them when they have entered material not in accordance with my search criteria.


4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?

I'm actually a bad person for this, since most of my searches are along non-traditional lines for stuff that would be impossibly difficult to standardize.

5. Mandatory BIN

Nah. I like it as an option. You know, we have guys who refuse to bid on thigs with our BINs; others who love it; and then guys like me who see it as an option that is sometimes worth using.

6. Tell us, what else were you thinking

Glad you asked. First, I'm really surprised that many of us have made this illogical leap that if we dump dime lots, the dollar lots will materialize. I don't see that. Might, but we've made other changes to the auction at some sellers' insistence only to find those same sellers not even bothering to use functionality that Tim spent hours coding. I make no bones about my interests, so anyone who cares could easily post things that would generate at least a look and, if priced correctly, would generate a bid from me. I've only seen one such lot, and the tied seal was incidental; it wasn't even noted in the description. So, if we drop the penny lots, how many more tied seals am I likely to see. I'm guessing we'll likely triple or quadruple or multiply by a factor of 50 the 0 lots listed to date.

Part of the complaint is about tools in the auction not being used..... Well, use them. Help the less advanced understand them.

We have the ability to notify folks about interesting offerings, so if you're going to add those Roos on cover over which Tim's been salivating, or that 1907 type II tied on cover sans postage, note it. Or better yet, contact Tim or me. We'll happily take your note because we know you listed it specifically for us.

My final note. I love that Andrew did this; and I find it charming that within seconds folks were telling him how to make it better.



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dani20

20 Aug 2015
09:43:18am

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I'd echo David's choices.
Dan C.

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TuskenRaider

20 Aug 2015
10:58:33am

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Hi Andrew;

I also agree with AMSD's response, 100%....
TuskenRaider

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bobstew617

20 Aug 2015
01:05:57pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Judge Berman has spoken.Rolling On The Floor Laughing

I'm scared of German Shepherds, BTW. (One bit me when I was a paper boy).

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Larryd

20 Aug 2015
01:26:34pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Oddly enough, although I have none of the interests that David (AMSD) lists in his profile, I agree 100% with his "votes" in response to the poll.

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smauggie

20 Aug 2015
02:04:59pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? No. Lower-priced items should be in approval books.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? Yes

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? To be honest I don't have a problem with auctions starting at 1 cent. But I do think there should be a minimum reasonable catalog value per lot, at least $2.50 in my mind.

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? Yes

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? N/A

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? Ideally, yes, but it wouldn't be practical while auction posters post only the most basic description (or none at all saying "see scan").

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? I know this is a novel idea, but sellers should follow all of the auction rules all of the time. Some do some of the time. A few do all of the time. A few seem to follow them none of the time.

Edit: A post script - There should be a minimum size for auction pictures, say 200 pixels.

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TribalErnie

20 Aug 2015
02:29:49pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)? No. Lower-priced items should be in approval books.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price? Yes

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00? It depends. As smauggie just said, it's not necessarily a bad thing if auctions start at one cent. That could be a great thing and can be alot of fun. The problem is with auctions that start with an opening bid of one cent on a stamp that catalogs for a whopping TEN CENTS. There's two ways to achieve the desired result. Either all auctions start at .75-1.00, or there's a minimum cat value of something in the $2.50+ range. Both would achieve the desired result.

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books? Yes

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other???? N/A

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine? I don't think there is a need to change anything here. Once the number of items that meet the criteria of a true auction get down to a sensible number, itt will be easier to browse. If the seller wants to maximize the listing, he or she will put all relevant information in the listing on their own. Someone mentioned a way to separate used from unused. There could be value there depending on the work required to do it. It would be nice but not needed.

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other? See above

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
21 Aug 2015
07:02:50am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?
Personally, no. It is arbitrary: in the end it is the seller who decides if a lot is higher priced or not. If one wants to sell a valuable stamp for 20 cents, why forbid it? The problem is that there is an abundance of very common items that make you do not see the more interesting ones anymore

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?
Only if it helps to get rid off the common garbage

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?
20 cents - 25 if you want me to choose between the three above

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?
absolutely not. That would be moving the problem instead of solving it.

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????
none

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?
search within the description field

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?
please no more mandatory fields, although it might help getting rid of the cheap items.

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doodles69ca

Suzanne
21 Aug 2015
11:05:29am

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"Only if it helps to get rid off the common garbage"



That is kind of a harsh remark. What might be common garbage to you, is a goldmine for someone else. Especially for a beginner collector.

A lot of members don't have enough items to use the approval section, to put in "common garbage", as you call it, so it will end up like going to a stamp show. The dealers don't bother to carry the cheap stuff, because it's too common, so eventually you won't be able to find the stuff.

I like things exactly the way they are. The filter buttons work fine if I am looking for something different of higher value. I have been using them since I joined.

If here they want the nickel stuff to all be put into the approvals, then that is fine. Get rid of the minimum amount of pages and stamps that can be put in. If someone only has 25 nickel stamps for a certain country, then that should be fine. A one page 25 stamp approval book can be created.

I don't know if anyone has joined because I have told them about this site, but the ONLY reason I tell everyone about this site is for the exact way that it is run. That you CAN put in auction lots for a nickel starting bid if you wish, and that you might be able to find those few odd nickel stamps that you are missing.



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21 Aug 2015
11:17:35am

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I don't think Jansimon meant to slam anyone. 99% of my collection is composed of what he was referring to, and I certainly take no offense. Consider the context. He is merely being blunt, and I for one, appreciate his candid response.

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doodles69ca

Suzanne
21 Aug 2015
12:27:45pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

It's ok that Jansimon said what he said. I also don't think he was trying to slam anyone. I still just think it was a bit harsh. Most of my collection is the same, but I don't think that either of us collect common garbage.

I think that saying "common stamps" would have gotten the point across just as well. What if a total beginner read that post and thought, "Maybe I shouldn't tell anyone what I collect, because they will laugh at me because I am only collecting garbage." I know it's not likely that would happen, but why use a term that could discourage a young or a new collector?

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"Stamp collectors don't go crazy, they just become unhinged."

They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
21 Aug 2015
01:45:06pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I appreciate your sentiment, Suzanne. I believe our thinking differs in what we perceive from the language. I was raised in an environment where such language was offered not as criticism, but as factual descriptors. My house is full of "trash" which to me is precious treasure. I take no offense when my friends look in my storeroom and ask me why I save boxes and boxes of items which make garage sale merchandise appear to be from Neiman-Marcus; but I treasure them nonetheless.

The same with my stamps. Much of what I have is common "garbage" to others, and I do not mind that characterization, nor am I ashamed of admitting that it is intrinsically as worthless as the ashtray (I have never smoked, BTW) my then 5 year old made for me in Kindegarden, but both are precious to me and proudly displayed.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
21 Aug 2015
01:47:38pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"I do not mind that characterization, nor am I ashamed of admitting that it is intrinsically as worthless "



WAIT A MINUTE!!!! I bought stamps from you, and you say that your stamps are worthless? I want a refund!! Get a rope!! Rolling On The Floor Laughing

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ConnieB

22 Aug 2015
12:18:01pm

Approvals

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?

Not necessary if search filters and ranges are effective.

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?

Not necessary if search filters and ranges are effective. Why limit sellers? Let filters help buyers limit what they view.

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?


No, because of the approval book rules. So, if there is a minimum bid requirement, why allow the creation of auction listings that go below it?

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????


4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?

I think it may be more of a problem of searchable information than the engine. A few more searchable required fields and catagories or subcategories could help.

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?

Why not have a mandatory field for est. Scott cat. value? This could be a searchable and filterable value in a range.

Why not have the ability to view auctions within a bid price range?



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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
22 Aug 2015
12:35:12pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"Why not have the ability to view auctions within a bid price range?"



That sort filter already exists.
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thebiggnome

22 Aug 2015
12:48:39pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"That sort filter already exists."



Does it? I was only able to search for lots above a certain amount. I would also like to be able to search for lots below a certain amount, for instance penny lots. If you know how, please share with us!

There is a button that is supposed to sort lots by price, but it doesn't work.

Chris
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22 Aug 2015
01:18:51pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I love the Buy It Now button.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
22 Aug 2015
01:34:44pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

"There is a button that is supposed to sort lots by price, but it doesn't work."



Yeah. My bad. I see what you mean. I put in 0.01 in the MIN. BID field, clicked on REFRESH. The list appeared, then I clicked on HIGH/MIN BID, and the sort wasn't very good with that.
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bobstew617

22 Aug 2015
04:13:31pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Brechinite,

We will have to agree to disagree on this one, especially here on SOR where there are a handful of bidders who simply "do not like to lose" and will keep bidding until they have won, even if it means paying a RIDICULOUS amount for a stamp.

CASE IN POINT: a few months ago, I was one of a few individuals bidding on an Isle of Man set. The catalog value was $.55. It went for $11.00!! I don't think I've even seen that on EBay.

BIN gives people a chance to buy an item at a certain amount above minimum bid at a reasonable price for the seller. I just won a few lots today where I used the BIN option to win them away from one of the individuals I mentioned above.

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thebiggnome

22 Aug 2015
04:29:35pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Isn't part of the appeal of an auction the fact that you might just find some treasure deep inside some dusty old lot?

Yes, having sellers take the time to give a great and detailed description of all their items, and then having a great search engine crunch through them to return meaningful results, would sometimes enable some buyers and some sellers to connect better, but it would take a lot of the fun out of it.

Who doesn't have a story about winning a lot described as "BOX OF STAMPS" and finding some great classics or covers or penny blacks or whatever tucked inside?

If we make mandatory detailed descriptions, mandatory fields to include, mandatory buy-it-now buttons, and mandatory minimum bids, would we not be turning a great auction into a mediocre store?

Chris

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
22 Aug 2015
05:21:17pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

RE: Buy It Now.

As stated by others, sometimes a seller doesn't have enough of a certain material to make an approval book. Putting the items in auction would be the only option. Using the BIN feature is (and should remain) optional for the seller.

I like the BIN feature. I'd rather pay a little more and not have to wait or battle someone for an item. Doesn't matter what auction site it is, most of my online purchases are BIN.

I especially like the BIN feature on SOR. It is unique.

Will I pay more than catalog value for a stamp? Yes. I did so recently in an auction here. It was a minimum valued stamp, but it was the last stamp that I needed for the set. Definitely worth paying a couple of times catalog value to finish off a set.

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TribalErnie

22 Aug 2015
05:31:28pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I made the mistake of talking about a SoR auction I was interested in on the discussion board. It was a couple months ago. It was China #1. I'm not a China collector but I thought it was cool that it was a #1 and I've sometimes flirted with the idea of a #1s collection. It's not a rare stamp by any means. I bid it up to way over catalog value and someone else was still willing to pay more. That's the fun of auctions; but don't tell everyone what you're bidding on!
-Ernie

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22 Aug 2015
06:04:29pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I like BIN for much the same reason Michael###s does. Sometime as a Seller, however, when I really have no idea of the value or demand for an item, I will put it in the auction without a BIN price and let the market decide its value. I like the flexibility of having BIN as an option, to use or not to use as the mood strikes me.

As a buyer, I definitely want it, especially on Stamporama. When BIN is less than a 10% bump on the minimum bid, and I want the stamp, I will use it every time. I cannot understand why anyone would take the effort to bid on a stamp and not purchase it outright when the BIN is but a slight advance over the minimum, yet I have picked up many stamps on Stamporama over the bid of someone else by utilizing BIN.

If you do not like it, do not use it, simple as that.

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TuskenRaider

22 Aug 2015
06:53:01pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Hi Everyone;

Suzanne said:

"I don't know if anyone has joined because I have told them about this site, but the ONLY reason
I tell everyone about this site is for the exact way that it is run. That you CAN put in auction lots
for a nickel starting bid if you wish, and that you might be able to find those few odd nickel stamps
that you are missing."



Note her use of the word "you might be able to find those few odd nickel stamps".

Some over-enthusiastic members may have talked-up SOR's auctions in a way that the new member is
assured he/she will find items for sale that are pricey classics, when in fact there just aren't enough
members here to generate that much classic material.

So then after they realize their face is covered with eggs, they look to point the fickle finger of blame
at someone else or a group of someone elses.

Some collectors that buy expensive classics, are more investors than collectors, and as such would
tend to think of duplicates as money-in-the-bank, would not likely sell them, to anyone.

With less than 3,000 members there are lots of things I would like to see for sale on here, but I know
that with so few sellers that will never happen. Also there are many more buyers on here than sellers,
which limits the variety of what is offered.

When a want to find a bargain on hinges or watermark fluid etc. I look to the bigger sites and volume
sellers that have had many deals with and I trust.

So to echo Suzanne's thoughts I think the site is fine just the way it is.

Just Chillin'....
TuskenRaider
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TribalErnie

22 Aug 2015
08:07:03pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

@ ken,

I am one of the members that have advocated change for the auctions. You say that some members are trying to push for "pricey classics". Once again, not trying to see or obtain classics or rarities in the SoR auctions. SoR is not the venue for selling such material. I'd like to see more mid-range material. Classic stamps in the $5-$15 cat value range.

You raise alot of valid points. There may not be enough sellers with such material. You've sold on here before so I'll defer to your experience. I would just like to get the chance to bid on more China #1s!

-Ernie

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TuskenRaider

22 Aug 2015
10:05:03pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Hi Everyone;

Actually Ernie, "pricey" was probably a poor choice of words. I had more in mind the material $5.00 and
up in general. There is a lot on here, but if you are collecting a single country or group of countries, most
of that material is of no use.

I used to be a member of the Muskegon Stamp Club. It has seriously declined to very few members, and
just not what it was in the old days. When I was a member of that club, almost all collectors were world-
wide with a strength in a couple areas.

When the various nations that issue stamps, tried to get greedy and print too many issues each year,
they kind of killed our hobby. Nobody could afford it anymore. So to survive as stamp collectors most of
them got rid of their world-wide stuff and specialized in a few countries, or certain topical collections, or
just certain years, like pre 1900.

I have a theory about clubs including this one, as to what is wrong with stamp collecting as a hobby in
general. When most of the members of the local stamp clubs decided to limit their collections, they also
limited the number of other collectors that would have use for their duplicates.

Lets say for example, that a club member decides to only collect British India. He will quickly accumulate
most of the common stamps and then start to look for the less common. Unfortunately none of the
members in his club collect India, at all. He quickly discovers, that most club members are into Western
Europe, Eastern Europe, or North/South America.

Who could he buy from or sell to in his club, nobody! So Mr. British India, quits going to his local club,
and looks elsewhere. One day he finds Stamp-o-rama, but also discovers not a lot of activity on British
India. So should the person who recommended SOR to him and hears that the British India collector is
disappointed with the offerings blame someone for listing the wrong price range, or the wrong countries.
No the real blame is very simple, too much specialization, to find everything you need in SOR.

You may find some nice items, but to satisfy all your collection needs you will have to go to a much bigger
site, to find those colonial Indian gems.

Sorry I just gotta get off caffine....
TuskenRaider


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stampmanjack

APS Life Member

22 Aug 2015
10:33:00pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

I like the auction the way it is. The only change I would have suggested is a method to avoid looking at the smaller lots when I don't want to but apparently from comments above that already exists. There are nights when I want to look quickly at the Closing in 24 hours lots but have to wade through all of the single common stamp lots. There are also nights when I want to see it all. I am ambivalent about The BIN feature. I have won some lots because of the feature and lost some. The BIN prices are usually fair though. I keep saying I am going to put material in the auction but have not got to it yet. Do not know how I will feel about the BIN feature as a seller. I think the people in charge of the auction do a fantastic job.
Jack

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23 Aug 2015
04:43:45pm

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Starting prices should be determined by the seller. A predetermined starting price will discourage sellers from listing common stamps that a buyer might need to complete an album page. As a buyer, I'd switch to Bidstart for the nickel and dime stamps.

How many controlling rules do you guys need?

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24 Aug 2015
08:45:25am

re: Informal survey on Auctions - please read!

Glancing at the survey and seeing multiple responses, I decided to enter my answers before reading the, no doubt, persuasive suggestions and member comments.

1) Do you want to see a separation of lower-priced lots from higher-priced lots (edit added for clarity - in the auctions)?
No, why would we want to do that ?

2) Do you want to see only items with a minimum bid set at a certain price?
No, I think the charm of the SoR auction is that most sellers, are quite confident that an item of some significance, entered at a enticingly minimal starting price will attract competitive bids from diverse members who recognize the real market value and who are willing to offer a bid supporting that value, sometimes just for the fun of it.

2a) What should that minimum opening bid be - 25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00?
That should be the decision of the seller.

3) Should items below the minimum be switched exclusively to approvals books?
No, see the previous answers.

3a) If no, what do you see as exceptions to that rule? Anything goes, penny lots, mixtures, other????
If the answer is "no", why should there be exceptions to where there is no rule.

4) Do you want an improvement of the search engine?
No opinion on that, other than if it ain't broke, leave it be.

4a) What would improve the search engine? Mandatory fields, Cat # listings, price ranges, other?
I'm not sure what is being suggested here. It looks like unnecessary complications.
I'll add that "Catalog number listings" seems to eventually require a mandate as to which catalog in a world where there are both many general world wide catalogs as well as apparently a specialized catalog for just about every country. Then there would be the mstter of timeliness, what years ?


Now that I've got all that off my sunken chest, I'll read the member comments.
Charlie

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