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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

 

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burrowsj

As of April 1 2022 I will only sell and trade with members in Canada and USA.

06 Mar 2018
01:19:02pm
An approval booklet must have a minimum 100 stamps within and a maximum of 24 pages.I read somewhere in the Stamporama rules regarding approval booklets that if you are mixing within an approval booklet single stamps,sets,souvenir sheets and covers the total number of entries does not need to be 100.I am unable to relocate this information within the approvals topic so would someone be so kind as to clarify this type of mixed entry approval booklet to me.Thanks for your time.
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Soundcrest
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06 Mar 2018
01:48:13pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Here it is. I used to put 100 SETS or singles into a book. No more. With the rule change to the "2 months no sales and the book is closed rule" 100 stamps or a little more is all I put in. So much faster and much quicker and easier to restock. From the "rules"

B1. To provide a substantial quantity of items, each approval book must contain a minimum, or appropriate combination, of:

100 stamps
20 complete sets
20 covers
20 souvenir/miniature sheets

Greg

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

06 Mar 2018
04:43:17pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Thanks, Greg.

James, if you are putting together an approval book of items that are difficult to accumulate or come in small quantities (like Kionga), send me information about what you are planning. Waivers from the book minimums are given for such material.

The 24 approval book page maximum is a system programming limitation.

Michael
Auctioneer

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burrowsj

As of April 1 2022 I will only sell and trade with members in Canada and USA.

06 Mar 2018
04:55:08pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Hello Greg:Thanks for your quick reply and concise summary.I am no too concerned about the 2 month closing as I have found with most of my books I have very few sales after 2-3 days. Thanks again! Jim

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Soundcrest
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06 Mar 2018
05:18:52pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Exactly. I don't believe it is worth the time to create bigger books and have them close. Much easier to work small and restock in my opinion.

Greg

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rrraphy
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Retired Consultant

06 Mar 2018
09:58:40pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

The shortened duration for an active book is not 2 months but 2 months from the last sale.

Still this has changed the basic concept behind Approvals as it was intended when conceived. It was meant to provide a large body of low cost stamps (including duplicates)in many Approval books that one could search through and dig into anytime you wanted to work on something...not just when posting the book.
Someone even said that it was akin to a store, although there is no intention to make Approval Books de facto stores.

Granted, it never shaped as such. Most books always sold most of their stamps in the first few days....and what did not sell in the first few days, seldom sold later. Buyers seldom bothered to look at older books. I think the exception occured when buyers wanted to add to existing purchases to offset mail/ship charges over a greater $ purchase, rather than wait for more books in the future.

So Greg is correct in implying that we have morphed Approvals into another type of Auction platform. No point in listing large books. No point in listing duplicates. And no point in expecting sales in the far future if most if not all sales occur in the first few days. And certainly no point in looking at old books for material you may need. It is all happening when the book goes active.

So for me, Approval Books today are just another facet of the Auction platform. Even the rules are virtually identical. I have already began to and will continue to revise how my books will be shaped in the future: Much smaller books. Many more higher valued stamps. List cat #s and condition for each stamp. Retire the books after a few months, or when depletion exceeds 50%. Keep them coming fast. Stick to minimum prices of $0.10c each

As a side remark, the normal level of sales used to be >50%. But we have many more sellers, fewer buyers, and all the action occurs when the books are listed, so the latest sales norms seem to be around 33%. If you have sold 1/3 of your book, you should be happy. The bottom price has also gone down. Whereas 10c was considered normal I see a lot more stamps selling at 5c to 8c...hell even at 2c.
Note that 1/3 sold compares very favorably with the Auctions. So Approvals today have been morphing as another version of Auctions, and the dream of having low cost material leaving auctions for Approvals, and being available to club members over a considerable time span is now no longer a reality...for it to be possible would have required very distinct rules for both.

This is somehow forcing sellers to add higher valued stamps in Approvals. This makes the current set of rules for payments work better for the sellers (and buyers). I just tested the concept with 2 books recently, and they did better than run of the mills low cost books with lots of choices.

Coupling this with the strict "pay within five days of being invoiced" rule, we will keep the post office solvent by having so many small shipments dominated by the shipping costs, unless you add higher valued stamps to your books to beef up the value of purchases.

Does anyone really see the two platforms as distinct and unique, today? I think the distinction between Approval Books and Auctions is quietly disappearing, and we are consciously or unconsciously blending them together, rather than separating them as initially intended with a distinct and unique set of rules for each! But then, why not? Approvals were maybe too much of a stretch of the imagination for a public used to Auctions (and stores)...everybody can relate to them!

rrr...

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Stevo45
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06 Mar 2018
10:28:16pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"The shortened duration for an active book is not 2 months but 2 months from the last sale.

Still this has changed the basic concept behind Approvals as it was intended when conceived. It was meant to provide a large body of low cost stamps (including duplicates)in many Approval books that one could search through and dig into anytime you wanted to work on something...not just when posting the book."



Number of Books, Number of Pages, Number of items and Number of Sellers have not changed very much -

So not sure if the stated aims of the rule changes have been met yet.. ?

2nd Jan - 600 ; 8901 ; 119,374 ; 43
29th Feb - 674 ; 9571 ; 141,922 ; 47
3rd Mar - 663 ; 9020 ; 138,500 ; 46

Cheers
Steve.
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michael78651
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06 Mar 2018
11:14:25pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"But we have many more sellers, fewer buyers, and all the action occurs when the books are listed"



I think this is probably the prime statement in your comments. I think the other factor is that with our consistently holding at just under 700 books, there is so much similar material that is being offered that the approval market is saturated, which is what is probably driving down the cost of the stamps in the books.

"...and the dream of having low cost material leaving auctions for Approvals"



I don't think this ever really happened. We tried to get this to happen, but were only partially successful, in my opinion. It even morphed to where many sellers create mini-collections from the remnants of approval books when they can no longer meet the approval book minimums, and post them in the auction along with single low-valued stamps. So be it. I have done this the same way, and it works fine this way. In a sense, both the auctions and the approvals have become reliant on each other.

"{stamps} being available to club members over a considerable time span is now no longer a reality"



Not so sure about that. There are a large number of approval books on the "Closing Soon" list. only about a dozen a day actually close. The rest are remaining open as they are seeing sales. Each sale from an approval book keeps that book open for at least another two weeks. The newest approval book on this list is #10721 (January 2, 2018; the oldest book is #7771 (January 9, 2017). There are books that are now open longer than they would have been prior to the implementation of the automatic book closure program.

"no point in looking at old books for material you may need"



I disagree with that for the most part. I have found quite a few stamps to buy from the books in the "Closing Soon" list. Evidently many others are too considering how long many books remain on that list and are not closed by the system.

""pay within five days of being invoiced" rule"



That's true, but a buyer doesn't get an invoice until finished buying, or the seller has waited for additional purchases from the buyer for a reasonable amount of time. Then the payment rule kicks in. Invoicing is between the buyer and seller. It is not part of the rules; just the payment is.

"This is somehow forcing sellers to add higher valued stamps in Approvals."



From the beginning of approval books, I have seen higher-valued material in them. I remember one of the first books from Greenland had sets of stamps priced in the $100s. I continue to see this. I think that some sellers prefer to sell through the approvals rather than the auctions, and that includes selling their more expensive items as well. Some people do not sell in the approvals, because they prefer the auctions. Many sell on both platforms. It's a matter of personal preferences.

"Does anyone really see the two platforms as distinct and unique, today?"



I think that the two platforms continue to remain distinct between themselves. Yes, there are similarities, but one thing in particular that I have noticed is the large reduction of auction lots with the "Buy-It-Now" option selected. I think the approvals with its "Buy-It-Now" functionality has taken that away from the auctions. If the "Buy-It-Now" option was being included in a overwhelming majority of auction lots, then I would tend to agree with you that the auctions were losing their identity to the approvals. However, I still believe that for the most part one will find better material in the auctions, especially from several newer members who are offering items that are much different from those that we have seen in the auctions in a long time, and which is not found in the approval books.

"we are consciously or unconsciously blending them together"



I think that it would be more appropriate to say that we are learning how to use both platforms in tandem with each other. There are specific rules related to each platform, such as how to create an auction lot and how to create an approval book. The other rules need to be similar since it is all part of the sales platforms. Actually the matter of putting invoicing as the responsibility between buyers and sellers was changed to make it work better with the approvals.

There will always be similarities, differences and overlaps in any system where the parts are co-dependent.
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rrraphy
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Retired Consultant

06 Mar 2018
11:41:16pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I don't disagree with anything you say Michael, although we do have very different perceptions of how things are going.
If SOR wanted to set up unique rules to make both platforms distinctly different and to channel sales of some items in one or the others, the rules of both platforms could have been adjusted. But no one really wanted to force anything on anyone...I recall all the shouting about the 100 item rule, just to name one such rigidities that was imposed reluctantly and with many escape clauses I must add. Approval was always meant to include as many sellers as possible, and to encourage trading among members...and thus allowed strange adaptations of the original concept that appealed to one or another.
The Club wants it the way it is, and most people don't like change..any change, I have learned that.

It still works well, and it does complement Auctions. Simplicity and similarity of rules is an advantage...and from the beginning it was a goal of the development team. I think the type of books we will see activated in the future will be quite different from the books we started with. Sellers and buyers will adapt. I know I have completely changed my approach already. And I see others do the same as well. And some books will no longer meet the new standards, which could be a benefit to all.

rrr...

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Jansimon
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collector, seller, MT member

07 Mar 2018
02:56:29am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I don't believe it is worth the time to create bigger books and have them close. Much easier to work small and restock in my opinion. "



You need to explain that to me. Is creating 4 books with 120 stamps each that sell for 30% less work than 1 book of 480 stamps that sells for 30%?
When I buy things from the approvals, I prefer larger books because I have (or hope to have) more choice.

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Soundcrest
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07 Mar 2018
03:43:45am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Yes it is faster and less work to create smaller books. I can see it in the amount of time it takes to create the books on a weekly basis. I do 4 in less time than it used to take to do 3. If you look at my books you see that everything is on black stock cards. Larger books, or 24 page books if you will, that had plenty of sets, needed to have sometimes 20-24 black pages, each filled, each numbered, each cropped. All stamps are looked up and indexed. Once stamps sold out of it, in order to restock it was far more time consuming, having to rearrange everything and doing it all over again. Then when it had been run and restocked various times, and it was time to break it down and move the stamps elsewhere that too was a longer process. Now? The older books that have at least 100 stamps go through what I call the blackout phase at least once. That means taking the images, downloading them, blacking out the sold stamps, and using those images in a new book. This is done in conjunction with editing my index. That process is fast as well and gives me my 4th book each week. Is the dollar amount less than it used to be? Yes of course. However, my schedule for doing things across all platforms on all sites have not changed. Used to be I was still working on approval books on Thursdays to release Thursday night. Now, they are done and it is early Wednesday morning. I have probably cut the amount of time spent by at least 1/3 probably closer to 1/2. I was also doing 3 books a week before the rule change. I surely could do more but I agree the amount of sales has been affected by more sellers, many offering similar stamps, so why list more books with the same thing? While I don't check to see what others are selling, I do try to be different. Sometimes those different books are home runs, sometimes they are ground outs.

Certainly I could create 400 stamp books with no catalog number and let the buyer hunt through it. That would be a 15 page book, and would take probably 2-3 hours to do. Price every stamp at 10 cents each and be done with it. When it closed, refill the sold spaces with new stamps and do it all over again. For me though it would not be effective and I don't know how it would translate in dollars and cents. But would it sell 100 10 cent stamps to match selling 7-15 sets out of a smaller book? Same return, but what happens in the end? You cannot sell 10 cent stamps anyplace else but here, though I have seen them listed on other sites. I can;t say whether the seller is actually moving any of these. Overhead on the other sites is not worth it on a 10 cent stamp. Again for me, those 400 stamps would just go back into the packet they came from whereas the sets get moved elsewhere, stamps under 50 cents cv will probably wind up at penny auctions someplace.

Admittedly, my books look a little different than others and my process has been created and tweaked due to what happens to the stamps lives after SOR. This is something that may be unique to me only, I don't know. I create books knowing that they are, if lucky, have sales that amount to 40%, and if it isn't in the first week, its probably never. I'm creating books with the "what happens next" outlook

Greg

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rrraphy
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Retired Consultant

07 Mar 2018
11:40:45am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

For me JS the smaller books are a direct consequence of no longer listing definitives ( unless they are higher value ones), and to try to have a few pages of higher valued stamps ( which take more room because of the added descriptive material, so fewer stamps per page). For definitives, it is too much work for the occasional 8c or 10c item sale, and there does seem to be a lot of them around listing for even less, although many are thrown in books with little order, so a collector will have a tough time finding what they need, or will need to spend a lot more time to find it.
Smaller books without definitives take less time, for virtually identical sales results..
A full page of definitive is another 35-45 stamps that for me now can only be sold as part of sets or packets.
Take duplicates and triplicates out, and there goes the total item number count down as well.
We must adapt.
Rrr...

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Soundcrest
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07 Mar 2018
12:02:38pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

To be sure the smaller books allow for more expensive stamps in the back. I just created 2 books with loaded front ends. Many inexpensive ones in the front though not overly so. 90 stamps in the first 6 pages, thus allowing me to almost set the rest of the book up almost like a store with 1-2 sets per page actually creating a book of 20 pages. Will the high end sets sell? Probably not, but I don't expect them to. Certainly people will say take them out of the approval books at 35-40% and put them up for auction at 20%, as the books (from what I seem to read) were not intended for expensive stamps. However, because of my situation what doesn't sell at 35-40% can be moved to places that I list at 60% make me an offer. Admittedly, not everyone has that luxury. A much better alternative than listing at 20% or marking down the book like many do. The whole markdown thing is fascinating though and I may design a book in the future priced with the intent of marking down. If the whole concept of no catalog numbers are needed because people do not have a Scotts, then these same people won;t know the catalog value of the stamps. I have already seen in books where stamps are being priced at 60+% of Scott, and I have to wonder if they are already doing that - pricing knowing they will be marking down to the price that they would normally ask for BUT giving the buyer the illusion of a "deal". No doubt this works on my other sites where I accept best offer, so why wouldn't it work here? We shall see.

Greg


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cardstamp
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07 Mar 2018
07:38:07pm

Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Since I have sold a huge amount over the years in Approval Books - I thought I should just say a few things. I agree with most everything that has been said here so far. I have no problems with the rules (because I think I have been self exposing most of them for a long time anyway).. The two month change has made me re-think what I put up. I am doing smaller books now but I have not been adding much on the higher end to the books because I have not seen stamps over $1.00 sell that much in any of my approval books.
It seems now that I am spending quite a bit of time to get new books ready and before I know it it's time for them to go. I previously took books down when they got to the 4 month mark and I ran a 50% off sale at the end. Now I am thinking that it does not pay to run a sale anymore. The last few times I tried I barely had a few extra stamps taken. In the past I have had almost the entire remainder of books sold when I run a 50% off sale !
What is concerning now is in my case - I notice a slow down on how much is bought out a book and how many total views I am even getting. Maybe my choice of countries has something to do with it but it is not as robust as it was.
I have such a stack of old books now - and I just am not sure what to do with them all ! Most of the leftovers may be such common stamps that it may not be worth doing anything with them anymore but throwing them in the trash !!
Steve

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In loving memory of Carol, my wife for 52 years.

07 Mar 2018
08:42:32pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Since I don't sell here anymore I am probably not one to judge but I think that the whole "feel" of the site has changed since I joined. It has gone from people just trying to get rid of their duplicates to a lot of talk of low priced items, high priced items, catalog values and the like.

What used to be simple is now a burden. I enjoy the forum, but I have no interest in selling. Would love to buy but if you don't check in several times a day you lose out on the fresh new stuff of interest.

I wonder if it is something that I am imagining or if other people feel the same way?

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Stevo45
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08 Mar 2018
01:51:38am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Since I don't sell here anymore I am probably not one to judge but I think that the whole "feel" of the site has changed since I joined. It has gone from people just trying to get rid of their duplicates to a lot of talk of low priced items, high priced items, catalog values and the like.

What used to be simple is now a burden. I enjoy the forum, but I have no interest in selling. Would love to buy but if you don't check in several times a day you lose out on the fresh new stuff of interest.

I wonder if it is something that I am imagining or if other people feel the same way?"



Yep, I agree - I fear that soon SOR will be "improved" into a site that I may visit not so often.
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Jansimon
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08 Mar 2018
03:15:09am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I see a lot of complaining but let's take a step back. Here we have a site that allows you to sell stamps without any fees. Isn't that great?
I also see a decline in the amount of sales and of course I would have liked to see the same numbers as let's say three years ago but then again, 90% of my buyers are the same as three years ago. There is only that much you can sell to one person... what we need is fresh blood, new buyers if the selling platforms are so important to us. Right now we are an awful lot of fishermen fishing in the same pond and it turns out to be a rather small one. Whose fault is that?
I think it is good that there are certain rules we need to follow as sellers. If we want to increase our sales in the long run that is. If the current changes will help attract new buyers to our pond and ultimately to our nets: we will find out sooner or later.

Best regards Jan-Simon

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Soundcrest
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08 Mar 2018
03:19:05am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Steve yes, less sales and less views. The less sales I attribute to the fact that there are more sellers here than a year ago. In a way it reminds me of here in Stroudsburg when a new place to eat lunch opens. The success of a new place depends on taking customers away from other places where they already eat. You have to be totally unique to do that - and usually they are not and close inside of a year. Same here. Having more sellers doesn't generate more buyers, it just splits the pie up into smaller slices. My sales are about 1/3 of what they were a year and a half ago. All it really means is that I can't buy more to sell on this site because really, thats what I was doing with the profit. I have a years worth of new material probably and taking down the smaller books and putting them back up is a piece of cake. I'm certainly spending less time than I was even 6 months ago creating approval books.

I can't get a take on the less views. It could be that there are people no longer active on the site that were last year. I don't think its the material, and I too have had some real clunkers over the past couple of months. Last weekend I wrote off due to the connection problems. I really should not have bothered to list the books as those that can't be first won't look when the issue was fixed. I may just take the books down in another week and add enough stamps back to them to make sure its 100 and put the book right back up. I suspect then there will be sales.

Stevo, I agree and I know we are not alone with that thought

Jan-Simon yes! A lot more fisherman in the same pond to be sure. Certainly the answer is new blood and I have seen some new blood buying from me over the past couple of months. In all honesty perhaps if I was putting in the same amount of time that I was before and putting up 6 books a week, the drop off would be less. The back end has always been the problem. At some point the stamps have to be moved out of the books and into someplace else. That probably takes more time than creating the book itself.

No fees sure, but how many more people see what I have for sale for the cost of 6 cents on the dollar?

Time to get to work

Greg

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Brechinite
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08 Mar 2018
08:43:05am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I COULD buy more but there are various restrictions placed by some sellers. The main two reasons are:-

a) No Paypal please! (This limits the number of foreign Buyers. The number of times I have seen a stamp(s) I have wanted only to be unable to purchase because of that limitation!)

b)I do not ship outside the USA. (This may no longer apply due to US Mails' new policy of extortion on foreign mail. However this may be overcome in the future).

The other problems are because we are human and our own self inflicted beliefs/morals/standards come into play. I won't buy from them because the sellers haven't put in the catalogue numbers, the year, the catalogue value for that 10c stamp, or I only pay 7% of cat value, besides they said this or that on the discussion board, or their beliefs are different from mine etc etc etc ( You can of course add your own...............).

I have put my countries initials at the end of my "handle" so everyone knows that when they look at my "offerings" they know I am resident in the United Kingdom. If other sellers done the same then it would help.

I still believe this is a great site, with great members and management team.


PS. Many people are still recovering from Christmas, New Year (hic hic hic), Tax Season and having to dig themselves out of the SNOW. (even we in the UK had to do some digging).

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Jansimon
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collector, seller, MT member

08 Mar 2018
09:44:03am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I would very much like to add something similar and make my username siem_NL or something like that (and hope that people understand what NL is Rolling On The Floor Laughing ), but I do not think I can change my username just like that.

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

08 Mar 2018
01:14:11pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

As of today, here is the total number of SOR members: 1,759.

Figure that some of that number no longer visit the site, many are sellers-only, and a bunch do not buy. Not much of a buyer pool.

Someone said that one can only sell the same stamps to the same buyers so many times. I think before creating a new approval book or posting a bunch of auction lots, sellers should look at what is currently being offered by other sellers. Don't keep putting up more of the same stuff. The buyers have seen it, and they're not looking anymore.

Stay away from the "mainstream" countries. In the auctions, take a look at the Country list to see what countries have little being offered. If you don't see the country name on the list, that means no one is selling anything from that country.

Countries In The Auction

In the approvals, look at the Category list. Right now there are 42 approval books of US material. Will your new approval book of US offer anything different than those other 42 books?

Approval Books in Each Category

Ask yourself what does my approval book offer that is different than the rest of the books? Did you even write a book title that tells buyers what's in the book?

I looked at the large number of books in the USA category. Most of them simply say, "US used"; "US mint". What information does that convey to buyers other than here's just a mishmash of stuff that is probably all the same as everyone else's. The US has been issuing stamps since 1847. Where in the 171 years do the stamps in those books lie? Who knows? Who wants to take the time to look through everyone of those books to try to find out?

In US Football, there is a comedy skit sometimes seen in the movies where there is a pile up of players all trying to get the ball. What those players fighting for the ball don't see is the one player who is not in the pile, has the ball and is running towards the goal line. So, you can be one of those sellers who blindly piles on top of most everyone else, or you can be the one with the ball who scores.

Yes, it takes work to research what is being sold and what isn't. Also, post a classified to let buyers know what you are selling (very few sellers use this feature just as many sellers do not even look at the discussions). If you make no effort to sell other than plastering your stuff all over the walls hoping that something will stick and someone will notice and buy it, then you won't be selling much at all. Buyers aren't necessarily going to flock to your door. You have to give them a reason to show up at your door, especially when there are so many doors to walk through.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

08 Mar 2018
03:19:05pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Please remember that this is a club, where, among other things there are sellers and buyers.

If sellers put up items for sale, in the majority of cases, these are their duplicates. They are selling them to other members so they can buy more stamps to enhance their own collections.

The majority of Sellers would much rather spend time on their own collections than sorting individual stamps, flicking through catalogue pages, writing down dates, catalogue numbers, catalogue values, pricing, scanning images, cropping images, then entering the same information into a computer all to sell a stamp at 10 cents!

For Buyers to expect such a "professional" service from fellow members for a few cents is beyond belief.

So to all Sellers AND Buyers............Tolerance and respect is required!

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08 Mar 2018
03:28:41pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"The majority of Sellers would much rather spend time on their own collections than sorting individual stamps, flicking through catalogue pages, writing down dates, catalogue numbers, catalogue values, pricing, scanning images, cropping images, then entering the same information into a computer all to sell a stamp at 10 cents!"




Amen to that.
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08 Mar 2018
04:18:43pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I understand that Ian, but what is the point trying to sell the same thing as everyone else? It's like driving around to yard sales or going to flea markets where everyone basically has the same thing week after week. After a time, you stop going.

Club or no club, clogging everything with the same stuff amounts to nothing. It also gives the site a reputation of "Don't bother. All you'll find there is common junk." Whether or not that statement is true, there are many people who join here just to buy and sell. A seller still has to offer what others want in order to be successful selling anything. In any retail setting it is very difficult to get rid of a bad/poor reputation.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

08 Mar 2018
06:37:21pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

""Don't bother. All you'll find there is common junk.""




That phrase is easily dealt with by putting a limit in the Auctions, whether it is 50c, 75c or $1.00, thus driving off the items for 5c, 8c, 10c etc.

Approval Books have to be treated differently as the original idea was for members to move their duplicates.

Some members may find it difficult and time consuming to make up an Approval Book and may not have the number of stamps to make a wide and varied booklet.

Yes What is the point of selling the same as everybody else? The answer is in the description "common junk". That's probably because we all have the same "common junk"!
Sellers can only put up what stamps they have or they think will sell at the price they ask for. It appears rightly or wrongly that some buyers want everything laid on a plate and are only willing to pay very little for an item.

Sellers have a MAJOR problem when it comes to pricing. What percentage of catalogue price should they use, 50%, 25%, 15%, 10% or 5%. I use a very scientific method. I think of a number, multiply by 2, divide by three, add on 10%, quarter it, take off the number I first thought of and add on 10 cents.

BUT

The nub of the matter is that everybody wants to buy their stamps at the cheapest price possible especially around 10 cents and below.
Let me give an example. I put up a book of individual stamps from a country, the first 24 stamps were the higher values of sets. The rest of the book were the cheaper stamps from the same sets. NOT ONE of the higher values sold but 66% of the cheaper stamps sold.( The Higher values were priced to sell at 20-25c, the cheaper stamps were priced at 9c ). Totally illogical!! (the odds against the buyers having all the higher values and not the cheaper ones is considerable)

Plus:- Do members want a club or a Selling Platform? They can have both but not one at the expense of the other.

Please remember that members cover a wide spectrum of both knowledge, requirement and ability.

I have no problems about the current rules both for Auctions and Approvals.

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08 Mar 2018
06:41:31pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

While duplication could be the key it is something more than that. Of my own books: Czechoslovakia MNH, no one else has a book, 12% sold. Virgin Is MNH, no one else has a book, 11% sold. Sweden Mint sets, no one else, 11% sold, and this is the second time for that. There are others. Certainly price has something to do with it, and I know that many do not want to spend a lot for a stamp or set. I get that. However even with inexpensive stamps, one can have a clunker. I keep trying to find stamps to list that I don't think anyone else is listing. Like tonights Christmas Island, but I'm really not expecting much in the way of sales. Personally I believe its more of the "I have to have first crack" at a book or I'm not interested. This is the most important reason for small books. Very easy to restock so that maybe the person who didn't get first crack gets it now. I see it with auctions too all the time with my penny auctions. There are people who sit on them so close to have the first bid of a penny that when I have made an error in the listing, seen it, and gone back to correct it I couldn't. There was a bid on it. We're talking 30-60 seconds! I have yet to find the answers to increase sales other than to just put up more books, which I may start to do, or at the very least, restock 1-2 additional books a week.

Greg

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08 Mar 2018
06:46:44pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Do members want a club or a Selling Platform? They can have both but not one at the expense of the other.
"



I think that you would find that there are three answers to your question:

- some want a selling platform
- some want a club (mix of activities selling and non-selling)
- some don't want a selling platform

You will find many more names that are unique to the sales platforms that never appear in the Discussion Boards. But, that's what a club is about. People are offered the varying activities that are available, and they will pick and choose what they want to use.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

08 Mar 2018
06:58:15pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"People are offered the varying activities that are available, and they will pick and choose what they want to use."



YUUPP!

I agree.


"Please remember that members cover a wide spectrum of both knowledge, requirement and ability."




"So to all Sellers AND Buyers............Tolerance and respect is required!"



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08 Mar 2018
08:38:50pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Oooops,

Just sold quite a few stamps from old books (May 2017 & July 2017) - among those (mostly definitives) some duplicates of the same stamp to the same buyer..

Can't happen can it ?

Certainly will not happen again with only 100 odd stamps in a book.

Cheers

Stevo.

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rrraphy
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08 Mar 2018
11:00:48pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Sales from old books are unpredictable. But they always were a surprise when they came. Old time sellers always recall the flurry of orders from an old book that stood idle for months and months...just because a new collector (or an old one) suddenly decide to work in this arena. It was nice to know you could find some worthwhile material in the old books. But then, we were not running into a storage capacity barrier..and the shortening of the active phase for Approval Books is a good concept, especially with so many more books on hand weekly!

With books staying on for a much shorter time duration and with smaller books with less items available, the idea of Approvals Books as a resource you could visit at any time to fill in your empty collection voids is dead (a concept that never quite developed I must add, as most sales occurred early). The Approval Books are behaving more and more like fixed price auction items...within the active standard listing time of Auctions. Items not sold within 15 days...forget about it!

It is an actual fact. But it is not what was planned at first. Recall this clause in the "Activation Screen"?

""WARNING: Do not relist old material as new after short periods of time. This defies the purpose of the New Books list and is unfriendly towards other member-sellers and buyers alike. Approval Books must remain active for a reasonable duration, not just a short time. Approval books are not to be used as quick auction substitutes, nor as "stores"."


Seems like this is hardly applicable today. Approvals have evolved. Maybe this clause should be redacted out or modified, although I still like the concept of Substantial Books staying on for a longer duration....but clearly books that are almost empty and have had no sales for quite a while ought to go and help declutter our system...and liking some idea is no substitute for reality: Older books seldom sell anything.

rrr

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08 Mar 2018
11:42:49pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I took a look at the approval books that are on the "Closing Soon" list. For what it's worth, this is what I found.

There are currently 681 approval books. Of that total, 50 books (7.3%) are on the "Closing Soon" list.

The books on the list were opened from 3 to 14 months ago. The average time that a book on the list has been open is 7 months.

The sell out rate from the books on the list ranges from 5.5% to 91%. The median sell out rate is 34.6%.

The books on the list remain open as long as there is a sale from the book within 14 days of the previous sale.

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

24 Apr 2018
03:29:54am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

" .... Does anyone really see the two platforms as distinct and unique, today? ....

Not unless their vision is worse than mine has become.
The simple fact is when I choose a stamp from the approvakls section, it is mine and I need not worry about one of my competitors cranking up the bidding. That is obviously differerent from the auction. I never considered the approvasl idea in comparison with other sites, but from what I have seen the approvals procedure is quite unique and distinct..

".... no point in looking at old books for material you may need..."

Perhaps you may not see any benefit but quite often I go through what may have been promising books, not expecting much only to be completely surprised by some stamp or mini sheetlet that I can still choose.

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lerivage

28 Apr 2018
12:55:28pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

When I purchase a few stamps from soneone, I like to revisit old books just to be sure that I can add a few more for reducing the shipping cost per stamp. For that purpuse old books are quite usefull for me.

Michel

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29 Apr 2018
05:41:26pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Currently there are 519 open books (so we have achieved a significant reduction in the number of older books clogging the system, as wanted) And we no longer have to press sellers to retire manually their older books. SO THAT IS GOOD!
I also counted 73 books in the closing soon category....hummm 73 out of 519 or 14%.
But at the same time there are just 25 books in the New Books category (from 10 distinct sellers if I counted correctly).

I don't have stats on purchase percentages nor activity levels, But would love to hear some feedback.

So I ask: Is the new system impacting significantly the number of books activated, or the on-going sales levels? I am curious about figures per week, per month etc?
I know it is too soon to have good statistical data to establish trends, but I have the feeling that fewer books are being activated, fewer sellers are posting books, and the percentage sold on average is smaller. There are currently just 8 Books, in the New Books category with >40% sold. (And there are 9 under 20%)

I feel the Approval Book platform has slowed down. It could be that our membership basis is saturating, possibly because it is some of the same low cost stuff being offered repeatedly. It could be some other factors? I have also the feeling that book sizes and number of items per book is down significantly ( almost certainly a direct consequence to the automatic retirement policy... which incidentally I favor. There are only 3 books now with 200 stamps or more in the New Books listing) so there is overall much less material to choose from. It could be seasonal, but I don't know how Auctions are doing in the same time frame? It could be that the current payment policy for Approvals makes it hard to accumulate enough stamps to offset shipping costs, and thus less buyers are bothering?

Curious what sellers and buyers here have to say? Would having an on-going list of "Wanted Books" help generate more books that meet the needs of the membership?
And if such a list was created, would it only list buyer's wants for 1 month, 2 months or?
Or is there some other method to channel seller's activities to meet current buyer's wants? As a seller, I would find it of value, as I have many books I could accelerate to activate and I would not waste time on books in areas of low demand. As a buyer, I may be able to better influence sellers in posting my current (and changing) needs, as I would love to fill in many blanks early in my new collecting areas (S. America now...HINT..Big Grin). And I would easily update my want list weekly or monthly as my needs evolve.

What do you all think?
rrr...

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29 Apr 2018
06:08:48pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Speaking for myself only - sales are half what they were 12-18 months ago. I attribute that to a) one buyer cutting back significantly and b) MORE sellers. The pie is only so big. If more slices are created the size of the slice will be smaller. I also have upped my books to 5 a week BUT no longer are there 100 sets, but rather 100 STAMPS. This makes for a smaller and faster to create book. It allows restocking as well as I have always sensed a "if I'm not one of the first I have little interest" in new books. Being able to restock a book 3 and sometimes 4 times gives others a chance to be first. It's also much quicker in the end to break down and gives me the ability to add different countries that I could not add if I was not counting each stamp.

Yes the percentage sold is smaller. No doubt about it. I usually figure its because I have selected a country that there is little interest. However, I have also found (which reaffirms my statements above) that closing a book and re-opening it with NO CHANGES does have sales. I would not expect a large percentage of stamps in a book like that would sell but then again logic would dictate that zero stamps should sell, yet this is not the case.

There are sellers cutting back. I know because they have told me so. When sales drop off sellers look for other venues. Lets be honest. Thats why a lot of sellers came here 3 years ago. These sellers no doubt still sell on the older sites and if they are like me they have seen a pickup in sales there, hence, they will spend more time on these other sites. I don't have to do that as I have cut the time down to create approval books by almost 50% even though I do 5 instead of 3 books a week. Would a larger book generate more sales? Perhaps, but I could not restock it and it takes a LONG time to break down a book to list elsewhere. Ask anyone who sells here who lists with the bigger sites.

I continue to buy with specific intent to sell here, and I do not see that changing. I will keep listing 5 books even though sales are down, as while some of the buyers here buy from me on other sites, the majority do not. I have said from day one, the buyers here are like my old approval buyers from back in the day AND in many cases they do not have a lot of money to spend on their hobbies. I remember quite well what that was like

To answer your auction question, no real change for me for auctions for the most part. I have cut the penny auctions back by 1/3 and have begun penny auctions elsewhere. I continue to cut them back as there seems to be a race for the bottom here. If a buyer cannot purchase it for a penny, they are not interested, hence the first person to bid usually wins. For a penny. There are exceptions to that but usually more than 2/3 of the weekly stamps sell for a penny. I have gradually cut them back and may continue to do that in the future. All my 20% CV auctions perform as expected.

Greg

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29 Apr 2018
06:45:54pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"So I ask: Is the new system impacting significantly the number of books activated, or the on-going sales levels? I am curious about figures per week, per month etc?
"



Yes.. Less books = Less Sellers = Less Buyers

Sellers are leaving here and buyers are following..

Steve
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

29 Apr 2018
06:52:30pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

" However, I have also found (which reaffirms my statements above) that closing a book and re-opening it with NO CHANGES does have sales. I would not expect a large percentage of stamps in a book like that would sell but then again logic would dictate that zero stamps should sell, yet this is not the case."



YYYYUUUUPPPPP!


" there seems to be a race for the bottom here."




Again YYYYUUUUPPPPP!


"Approvals makes it hard to accumulate enough stamps to offset shipping costs"



And thrice YYYYUUUUPPPPP!



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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

29 Apr 2018
06:57:14pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I have also noticed that the number of "visitors on line" has significantly dropped.




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29 Apr 2018
08:19:46pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

It's been over a year since I listed anything here - there are many reasons.

Approvals - way too time consuming for the return with the added rules and regulations and "suggestions".

Auctions - destroyed with the new mandate that stamps cataloging under $5 be totally fault free. So the $1 to $5 catalog value stamps with a trivial fault that I used to list and sell here at between 5 and 10 per cent of catalog now get listed in my main stock at 15 to 20 per cent of catalog and are usually quickly sold.

The shipping cost quandary. People feel that they need to spend enough to make a $1 shipping fee worthwhile. Fully 12 per cent of my orders are for a single stamp selling for 8 cents. 25 per cent of my sales total under $1 for the stamps. I charge $1.50 shipping and handling for any order, any quantity. Small orders don't bother me - it all spends the same and they are quick and easy and get the same attention (new 102 card, new glassine and custom stiffener) as orders over $100 do. One third of my orders are from other dealers, usually for resale on the same site. They have the customer base - I do not as of yet. Again - no problem as when I was doing shows that figure was over 60 per cent.

Just my two cents…. I think that perhaps we have reached the point where expectations are just too great. I looked through several approval books the other day and frankly if I needed material for stock {I don't) I would be placing orders here for resale…there is a lot of obscure material if you know where to look.

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29 Apr 2018
08:48:50pm

Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

My sales are down the last few months. I just do not see the new buyers that much anymore - I feel like I am selling to the same core group of a dozen or so buyers and how much new material do I have for them ?. My enthusiasm is down quite a bit also so I just am not putting up as many books anymore and the ones I do put up are smaller. It takes time to put the book together and within a little more than two months later - down they go with all that work with it. With the majority of repeat buyers how much of the same material can be put back up even if a percentage of the new book are not repeat stamps. If there was a steady stream of new buyers then I have no problem re-creating new books using leftovers merged with new items but if the same few people are going to be the same folks looking at my books - after awhile even they will move away. I still hope to put up a handful of new books each month but certainly not spending as much time doing so anymore. I am going back to putting up more stamps one by one onto Hipstamp instead because I can do that without needing the magic number of 100 and just do them a little at a time. I have stamps on that site that were posted 5-6 years ago that still seem to find new buyers so I am still not convinced that 2 months was the right cut-off here. However, if there are not alot of new buyers coming in - then I guess 2 months is enough now.
Steve

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

01 May 2018
07:51:47am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"the added rules and regulations and "suggestions""




Aye! ANY change always affects somebody!

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01 May 2018
08:42:17am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I have stamps on that site that were posted 5-6 years ago that still seem to find new buyers so I am still not convinced that 2 months was the right cut-off here. "



I think our goal was to remove stamps that had been sitting,unsold, for six years.

Others have noted that one can put a book out with old material and, because it's considered a "new" book, that "old" book will get more sales. I haven't done it myself, so I can't attest to its success, but others have.

and, as Ian correctly notes, all changes will irritate someone; as will stasis.

David
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01 May 2018
09:01:49am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

""I have stamps on that site that were posted 5-6 years ago that still seem to find new buyers so I am still not convinced that 2 months was the right cut-off here. ""




Yet you can run the same item in auction forever without changing anything due to the bulk uploader.......

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

01 May 2018
10:13:12am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"one can put a book out with old material and, because it's considered a "new" book, that "old" book will get more sales. I haven't done it myself, so I can't attest to its success, but others have."




YYYUUUUPPPPP!!!...............Been There, Done That.

YES it works!!!

Mainly it allows other members to buy the same/similar stuff as previously listed.
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

01 May 2018
10:19:43am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Jings!....Crivvens!....Help Ma Boab!

Five to Six Years?

Once Six months is past , or earlier, the offending articles get thrown in a box and sent to the local Auction House.

Dead stock isn't worth diddlysquat, so flog it elsewhere!!!

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01 May 2018
10:35:22am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Yet you can run the same item in auction forever without changing anything due to the bulk uploader......."



and some of you do.... kinda wish you'd stop. THAT was the reason that Ralphy invented the approval books so people would have months and months to look at that now familiar stuff.


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01 May 2018
04:01:20pm

Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I am not saying books here should be open for 5 to 6 years !! However I was doing better when I manually took my books down after 4 months. True, most of the sales happened in the first few days but I had additional sales after I put up something new and that "new" buyer then went back to the slightly older books and added more items to bulk up their order to cover the shipping charge. I had a new buyer here recently who took about 20 stamps and was interested in stamps from a country where he had just missed a book that was closed by the system. By Scott # - I was able to manually add in some additional stamps for him.
It is kind of like a lottery system - you just never know when you will have a buyer that may be interested in a book which may not be of interest to others. That is what I was trying to point out with my comment about stamps I sell on Hipstamp - sometimes an oldie but goodie finds a match with a new buyer. Over on that site - I try not to bother with common stamps that you can find many other examples of already - just not worth the time and effort for that.
Steve

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01 May 2018
04:34:01pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I don't think that I have much in the way of sales here in older books. True I have an awful lot of books that are now in the process of being restocked or blacked out. When it gets to under 100 stamps and I have nothing to add, and know I am not going to try to buy a collection to restock it, I empty the book and delete it. I know exactly what you mean by old stuff selling on Hipstamp, and I cannot explain that. I sold something today that was listed in 2008. I find listing with their bulk uploader an amazingly fast process. If the one here was like that then I too would run the same auctions for months on end. Why not? It would take minutes to set up and just keep the whole mess of spreadsheets as inventory deleting items from them should they sell. Takes too long to do that here now. Maybe its better that the uploader doesn't work the same....

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michael78651
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02 May 2018
10:49:08am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Look, folks, the demographics tell it all. As of today, there are 1,742 active members on Stamporama. A good chunk of that number are non-participants, having joined, looked at the site for a few days, and are gone. So, those who are trying to sell here are looking at a very small population of buyers. It has always been that way.

I look at every approval book that is posted. I see the same material over and over and over again. How many times do you expect a small group of buyers to purchase the same stamps? Saturation is definite.

Some sellers offer different stamps. How often is it stated that an approval book of x material was posted and sold 80% in the first day? That's what people are looking for, so post stamps from those areas. How many approval books do we need of overpriced used United States commemoratives? Look at the online charts of all the approval books. It tells you what people are buying.

You want to improve your sales. But what are you as a seller doing to improve the product that you are selling? I see many approval books full of damaged stamps that are getting reposted time and time again in new books. Do you think that new people joining here want to continuously see the same damaged junk?

Buyers complain that they purchase stamps that are not noted as being damaged, but when received are damaged. Some sellers even fold the stamps/souvenir sheets so that the larger stamps and sheets fit in small envelopes. Some sellers simply throw loose stamps in an envelope and ship them to the buyer. The stamps arrive damaged. This is only a little bit of what I have seen from my own purchases, and from what other buyers have told me about.

Stamporama provides members with a platform to sell stamps. If the platform is filled with low-priced junk, and if purchased stamps are received "not as described", or damaged due to reckless packing, the sales platform gets a reputation of being not worth the trouble buying from.

Stamporama sales platforms are not intended to be storage facilities to keep the same stamps recycling over and over. Stamporama doesn't work, nor is it intended to work, like the commercial selling sites. If you want a store to hold your stamps until someone comes along to buy it, you'll need to seek out other sites with many more buyers such as HipStamp, Delcampe and Ebay.

If your stamps aren't selling, then you need to see how what you are offering differs from what others are offering. Don't just use this site as a dumping ground for your stamps that don't sell elsewhere, or as a venue to try to sell crap. To me, that shows disrespect to the members here. Would you bring such stamps to a club meeting and try to sell them to the members there? How would they react to seeing such material?

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michael78651
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02 May 2018
11:26:08am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Some statistics on the approval books.

There are currently 42 sellers with 494 active approval books. The number of sellers holds somewhat stable. The number of active approval books has dropped about 100. One factor is a seller who voluntarily left and another who involuntarily left, both of whom had many books posted.

We are getting into the summer months, which is traditionally a slow period for stamp sales as people consider spending money on vacations.

There are 64 books in the "Closing Soon" category:

- sales range from 5.3% to 84.5% sold

- mean average sales is 35.5%

- average sales per book = 37.24% (the APS Sales Division considers 1/3 sales from sales books to be very good, with average sales from APS sales books around 25%)

- average length of time each book has been active = 4 months

- longest time a book has been active 11 months

There are many approval books that have been closed and reposted as new. I suspect that many of those have seen little to no sales, and have been placed on the "Closing Soon" list (again).

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Soundcrest
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02 May 2018
11:52:35am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"There are many approval books that have been closed and reposted as new. I suspect that many of those have seen little to no sales, and have been placed on the "Closing Soon" list (again)."




Yes but I disagree about the amount of sales it will get. It's all about "me first". I can tell you that from experience. Certainly some of my books are relisted and get minimal sales. After three shots if I have the time to break it down I will, otherwise, since it takes so little time to recreate an old book as new, I will run it again. However this is NOT the norm. I have sold out of reposted new books to people that I sell to all the time, but who do not look at old books. It happens far too often to not take the time to relist a book IF you have it set up the first time in a easily relistable format.

Greg
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michael78651
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02 May 2018
12:16:23pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

..and Greg, you are again an exception to many of the other sellers in that you "work" your books to keep them active. Many do not, and just let them languish in limbo doing no one any good. Thus the creation of the "Closing Soon" category.

So, for the lazy sellers who do not work their books, the decline in the number of active books could possibly be be in part to those sellers not reworking their closed/closing soon books.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

02 May 2018
02:29:04pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Jings!...Crivvens!...Help Ma Boab!

Individual Members are just that....individuals!!

What rings one members bell drives another to despair.

What works for one seller may not suit another, and the same can be said of buyers.

REJOICE in our individuality.

Do you want us all to be clones.

Heaven forbid but YOU ALL could end up like ME or rrraphy.......EXCEPTIONAL!!!!

(hee hee hee)





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02 May 2018
04:20:42pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Heaven forbid but YOU ALL could end up like ME or rrraphy.......EXCEPTIONAL!!!!"


Ian, Thanks for the (in jest I am sure) compliment. Now for that other guy...I am not so sure. Rolling On The Floor Laughing Rolling On The Floor Laughing

Now Michael is correct in that we are clearly reaching some level of saturation, and the necessary rule changes have made it harder to get sales the "old way".

As Sellers (and Buyers) we need to change!

I for one will be reworking all my books and adding lots of new ones, as soon as I am back in town (June). Meanwhile they are one by one ending up in "closing soon", or "closed" status. NO I don't think that discounting a 10c stamp to 8c has or will make any difference. I will no longer discount my books.

What I decided I needed to do is to change and to show more flexibility (less material per book, no duplicates, adding cat numbers, noting clearly the stamp condition, when applicable.) and having a steady flow of books at the same time...each a few days apart.

It will take more time, but in a Club, I think the sales activity is just a form of trading activity, and apart from sharing your duplicates, helping others in their collections and adding some wanted stamps to your collection, I doubt that anyone here can make money! I think people who only sell and buy nothing may eventually get discouraged...especially when lots of competing stamps get listed for under 10c each

I plan to add more pricey material, and less common material, as the smaller books make it hard to get sales above a threshold that many of us deem essential to offset shipping costs. And to reissue (with replenished material) the books more often, but after 3 months. You will not see me again posting a US book, or a book of mostly standard serial definitives. ( I will offer them cheap via email requests)

I think sellers who bill immediately even small amounts are (to me) a flaw in how the system should work. This is not Auctions and piece price is too low! I just shipped an order for under $4, which needed $1.20 of mailing stamps, and a 50c Paypal charge...a total waste of my time.

Ian I am not going to suggest any new rules..you are safe Big Grin, but you know what I am talking about re shipping. Small orders in Approvals are the death of the system! I have often suggested that billing should be monthly, in contrast to Auctions, although it assumes a steady flow of new books by the sellers that should attract more sales to grow the totals.
I for one will continue to bill monthly or anytime on request (and bi-monthly for orders under $5).

rrr...

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02 May 2018
04:23:27pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"There are currently 42 sellers with 494 active approval books. The number of sellers holds somewhat stable. The number of active approval books has dropped about 100. One factor is a seller who voluntarily left and another who involuntarily left, both of whom had many books posted."


Am I really one of only two Sellers that have left ?
on 29/1/18 there were 47 Sellers 663 books 9,020 pages and 138,500 item what happened to the other five Sellers ?

"Look, folks, the demographics tell it all. As of today, there are 1,742 active members on Stamporama. A good chunk of that number are non-participants, having joined, looked at the site for a few days, and are gone. So, those who are trying to sell here are looking at a very small population of buyers. It has always been that way.
"


It is true that the population of buyers here is very small - 1,742 is meaningless for this discussion, as you say (A good chunk of that number are non-participants) - how many of them are buyers ? Even fewer members have a chance to buy now. Over 74 members here have purchases over 18,00 items from me in a short time - mostly from larger books listed over a longer time frame - You appear to have sold less than 4,000 items in a longer time frame, can you tell us how many members have made purchases from you ? Can other Sellers tell us the numbers ?

" Saturation is definite."



That is just rubbish


"Some sellers offer different stamps. How often is it stated that an approval book of x material was posted and sold 80% in the first day? That's what people are looking for, so post stamps from those areas. How many approval books do we need of overpriced used United States commemoratives? Look at the online charts of all the approval books. It tells you what people are buying.
You want to improve your sales. But what are you as a seller doing to improve the product that you are selling? I see many approval books full of damaged stamps that are getting reposted time and time again in new books. Do you think that new people joining here want to continuously see the same damaged junk?"



Is it only the US Sellers that you have a problem with?

What has been done to help the sellers ?

"Buyers complain that they purchase stamps that are not noted as being damaged, but when received are damaged. Some sellers even fold the stamps/souvenir sheets so that the larger stamps and sheets fit in small envelopes. Some sellers simply throw loose stamps in an envelope and ship them to the buyer. The stamps arrive damaged. This is only a little bit of what I have seen from my own purchases, and from what other buyers have told me about.

Stamporama provides members with a platform to sell stamps. If the platform is filled with low-priced junk, and if purchased stamps are received "not as described", or damaged due to reckless packing, the sales platform gets a reputation of being not worth the trouble buying from."



So penalise those "Bad Sellers" - how many have been informed of their bad practices? - Seems to me that all sellers are being penalised for the sins of few

How many of those "Bad Sellers" are still listing here ?


Reputation here seems to be getting worse

"Stamporama sales platforms are not intended to be storage facilities to keep the same stamps recycling over and over. Stamporama doesn't work, nor is it intended to work, like the commercial selling sites. If you want a store to hold your stamps until someone comes along to buy it, you'll need to seek out other sites with many more buyers such as HipStamp, Delcampe and Ebay."



You can tell a Seller to leave here (as you have done in the past) but It is not up to you to tell sellers where to sell - That is for the Seller to decide according to their preferences

"If your stamps aren't selling, then you need to see how what you are offering differs from what others are offering. Don't just use this site as a dumping ground for your stamps that don't sell elsewhere, or as a venue to try to sell crap. To me, that shows disrespect to the members here. Would you bring such stamps to a club meeting and try to sell them to the members there? How would they react to seeing such material?"



I would suggest that not many people try to SELL crap here - Do you have a figure on how many of the 42 Sellers try to SELL crap here ?

For me it was very good here - Sadly for me it is no longer..

Cheers

Steve

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Stevo45
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02 May 2018
04:28:20pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I think sellers who bill immediately even small amounts are (to me) a flaw in how the system should work. This is not Auctions and piece price is too low! I just shipped an order for under $4, which needed $1.20 of mailing stamps, and a 50c Paypal charge...a total waste of my time."



I Totally agree and I am amazed how often people happily buy just the one stamp and international postage.

Cheers

Steve
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michael78651
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02 May 2018
04:32:16pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Ian, that's all true, but retail has rules, and business models if one wants to be successful. Yes, probably most members here don't know about retail sales or business models other than when they go to a store and buy something. However, common sense should tell anyone that if one tries to sell the same things that many others are selling, then one must either sell at a deep discount from the others, or else resolve that sales will not be good.

If an approval book is posted with all pages with stamps priced at 10 cents each, then ALL of those stamps should be solid. Damaged stamps should not be on the same pages as sound stamps. The damaged stamps are not worth the same price as solid stamps. Such stamps should be placed on a separate page and priced very much lower than the solid stamps. That, however, is often not the case with the approval books here as sellers charge the same price whether a stamp is solid or damaged.

That's why I say that sellers need to know what it is they are doing. If one wants to be successful and sell, then one must learn how to sell, and that includes the correct way to identify and price stamps.

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Soundcrest
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02 May 2018
05:19:23pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I just shipped an order for under $4, which needed $1.20 of mailing stamps, and a 50c Paypal charge...a total waste of my time."



Ralph why do you take paypal for under $5? I don't except for foreign. If you want to work around the fact that I specifically say no PAYPAL and send me money direct well..... I won't say anything else.

"NO I don't think that discounting a 10c stamp to 8c has or will make any difference. I will no longer discount my books.
"



I agree. Discount once and then its expected. I have not had the time to check on those folks who DO discount their books. They may be pricing them higher because they intend to do that. I do that elsewhere where I accept best offers on stamps

"I plan to add more pricey material"



I have had minimal success with high priced stamps here. In fact I have read that 20% CV is too much. There are people who think we "professionals" live in mansions, with servants and a Jag parked in the driveway. I wish.

Greg


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michael78651
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02 May 2018
05:28:49pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I think sellers who bill immediately even small amounts are (to me) a flaw in how the system should work."



It is not a flaw in the system, nor do the rules require immediate invoicing. Invoicing is supposed to take place when the buyer and seller are ready to conclude the transaction. The timing of when that happens is totally between those two people.

Once I received an invoice from a seller while I was in the process of buying stamps from him! I guess some sellers have itchy trigger fingers.
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Philatarium
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02 May 2018
06:52:45pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

As a seller, it is sometimes/often difficult to determine when a buyer has finished shopping here on SOR.

I'll make a suggestion I made once several years ago, and I think it's still worthy of consideration by the management team:

It would be very helpful if there were some kind of notification somewhere in the approval book section where a buyer would easily see it, that says "I'm done -- please invoice" or something similar.

That button would simply trigger a notification to the seller that this buyer would like to be invoiced.

I'm very aware, and very sympathetic, as a former erstwhile developer myself, that this is something else that ends up on Tim's plate. But it doesn't have to calculate the invoice or anything else. We already have those tools. Just a simple push-button notification by the buyer might help fix this problem.

A non-Tim way to do this would be to include really explicit directions in the buyer instructions to let a seller know directly, but I think a button somewhere in the approval book system (first page, last page, list of books from a seller, etc?) would be most effective.

One seller's itchy trigger finger is another seller's tardiness in invoicing and shipping, for the same period of time, because expectations can vary widely.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

02 May 2018
06:59:12pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

" retail has rules, and business models if one wants to be successful"



Yes retail has rules, but come on, this is a club not Sears, Standard Oil, or my old company " The Company of Englishmen and Adventurers Trading into Hudsons' Bay".

AND REMEMBER there are many, many, many retail business models.

As I have said before, what suits one retailer, may or does not suit another retailer.

The same as the information one buyer wants another may want different information. So a single retailer will never be able to satisfy every potential customer and that must be accepted by buyers.

The seller has the right to work in his own way within the rules of the club.

Here on Stamporama we have a "system" that may not be perfect and it NEVER will be because you cannot please all the people all of the time!!

As far as "damaged" stamps are concerned, some will always slip through as we are but human and errors/bad eyesight will always have an affect. Sellers have an obligation to keep these to a minimum but buyers also have a responsibility to take a careful look at the scans before hitting the "buy" button.

"Once I received an invoice from a seller while I was in the process of buying stamps from him!"



YES this can happen as there is NO WAY that a seller can tell that somebody is still buying within the current system!!!! Unless they have the to be invoiced page on the screen and continualy refreshing that screen every few seconds!! (It is not a common occurance).

I have said this before and I will say it again. EVERY member has a different level of education/experience and therefore we MUST respect, have patience, be tolerant and above all have fun and enjoy our hobby!!!!!







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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

02 May 2018
07:01:29pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"As a seller, it is sometimes/often difficult to determine when a buyer has finished shopping here on SOR."



YYYUUUPPP....YYYUUUPPP.....and thrice YYYUUUPPP.



" Invoicing is supposed to take place when the buyer and seller are ready to conclude the transaction. "




This should actually read:- "Invoicing is supposed to take place when the buyer is ready to conclude the transaction."
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michael78651
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02 May 2018
07:04:46pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Ian, you and I are saying the same thing. We just use different English! Big Grin

Regarding damage, please remember that we have many members here who have vision problems. We do not permit reliance on images to detail damage for that reason. Also, unless a seller posts an image of the backside of each stamp, no one knows if there is damage or not on that side unless it is disclosed by the seller.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

02 May 2018
07:06:58pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Jings!...Crivvens!...Help Ma Boab!

Two countries separated by a common language!!




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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

02 May 2018
07:11:43pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Regarding damage, please remember that we have many members here who have vision problems"




Some sellers are also part of that group!!...(not being sarcastic)
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02 May 2018
07:30:56pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"It would be very helpful if there were some kind of notification somewhere in the approval book section where a buyer would easily see it, that says "I'm done -- please invoice" or something similar.

That button would simply trigger a notification to the seller that this buyer would like to be invoiced. "




Yep Good Idea - It is done on at least one other site - Works well..

But don't hold your breath for any help (for a Seller) here..

Steve.
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02 May 2018
08:08:09pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I think from a seller standpoint, it may be helpful if I provide some insight to how I look at approval books. That way sellers can keep this in mind when compiling approval books, and perhaps the end result will be less work for me in my reviews, and less work for sellers editing the problems.

When new approval books are posted, they will get reviewed for compliance with the rules. How in-depth a newly-listed book is reviewed depends on several things:

- if there have been a large percentage of sales from the book, the review will be done quickly just to see what was offered for overall compliance

- if the seller is new, the book gets scrutinized in-depth

- books from existing sellers get reviewed based on their history of compliance (most sellers' books are compliant, usually resulting in cursory reviews; a few sellers' book are sometimes non-compliant, resulting in either a cursory or in-depth review; the very few remaining sellers' books are usually non-compliant, resulting in a in-depth review)

While all approval book rules are in play for compliance, I primarily look for:

- required minimum number of items is present in the book
- items being offered are philatelic-related
- each item on a page is clearly and neatly numbered
- multiple copies of an item do not exceed the maximum limit allowed
- damaged stamps are so indicated

- counterfeit and such stamps are not being offered as genuine
- selected categories match the stamps contained in the approval book

Note: The items indicated in red are the non-compliant factors that are the most commonly found.

What happens when an approval book is found to be non-compliant?

When problems are found in an approval book:

- The seller is notified and asked to edit the book to correct the problems. If the seller has been notified of non-compliance before, the book may be inactivated with the seller advised to fix the problems before reactivating the book. Continued non-compliance can result in suspension from the sales platforms either temporarily or permanently.

- A record is made of non-compliant contacts. This lets the other moderators know that the matter has been addressed so that the seller is not contacted more than once for the same problems with the same approval book. It also serves to identify the types of problems being found, and the sellers who continue to create non-compliant approval books. (The records are for Stamporama Management use only, so do not ask for information regarding this. If you have had a non-compliant book in the past, the record is a copy of the message(s) you were sent.)

- Sometimes, especially with new/newer sellers, advice is given regarding how to make better approval books. It depends on the situation.

Regarding damaged stamps that are not so noted, a very small number of such stamps with very minor damage will not cause a book to fail a review. Also, stamps from some countries have notoriously bad perforations. These stamps are not considered as being damaged unless the damage is more than just bad perforations.

How many approval books are found to be non-compliant? Not very many. The last one so found was on April 12. During a normal week only a few books turn out to be non-compliant, and rarely are they the books of established members. Rather, they are books created by new members who did not read the rules, or who did read the rules, but decided to disregard them.

The review process does not editorialize, such as informing a seller that listing 100 books from the same country is not a good idea. That is totally up to the seller. The review is a quality control process for compliance with the rules.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Also, you may contact me to request a waiver from the rules if you believe your book contains material, especially regarding the minimum number rule, that cannot meet compliance rules. Waivers are not automatic. Your request must be sent and approved before you can post your approval book.

I hope this helps to clear up some of the mystery and speculation that some of you have indicated regarding the approval book review process.

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02 May 2018
08:09:34pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"But don't hold your breath for any help (for a Seller) here"



What a piss-poor attitude for someone who gets a service here for free.
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02 May 2018
08:16:32pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"It would be very helpful if there were some kind of notification somewhere in the approval book section where a buyer would easily see it, that says "I'm done -- please invoice" or something similar"



While this specifically does not exist, you can contact a seller while in the approval book area to send a private message requesting an invoice. Yes, it takes a couple of steps, but it isn't that difficult.

The seller's name is contained on the title page of each approval book directly under "PRESENTED BY". Clicking on the seller's name will take you to the member's profile. At the top of the profile is a box "SEND A MESSAGE". Click on the box, and create your message to the seller.

You can also get to the same result by clicking on "ALL BOOKS FOR THIS SELLER". When the list of books appears, click on the seller's name, and you go to the member's profile. At the top of the profile is a box "SEND A MESSAGE". Click on the box, and create your message to the seller.

As for having a "Contact Seller" similar to what is found on an auction lot, I have to leave that for our volunteer webmaster to decide whether he has the time to make the change.
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02 May 2018
09:15:42pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"What a piss-poor attitude for someone who gets a service here for free."



It's not free - Sellers Invest a lot of time and effort at very low return here..

And I think your answer reflects the poor attitude and the thinking towards Sellers who provide good service here.

If you don't want to answer my questions - that's fine - Ignore & Deflect, just like a politician.

And if you want to start trading insults - that's fine too - Bring it on..

Steve.


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03 May 2018
08:22:14am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

It always seems the auction/approval discussions get the most posts.

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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

03 May 2018
08:36:01am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Am I really one of only two Sellers that have left ?
on 29/1/18 there were 47 Sellers 663 books 9,020 pages and 138,500 item what happened to the other five Sellers ?"



I don't know


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03 May 2018
08:39:12am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"You appear to have sold less than 4,000 items in a longer time frame, can you tell us how many members have made purchases from you "

?

There is no individual addressed in your question, Steve; don't know to whom you are addressing this question or its value were it answered.

"Can other Sellers tell us the numbers ?
"



actually, you can find that information out by looking at the member section, where it lists sales and purchases. Seems like a lot of work, but the data is there.


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03 May 2018
08:45:42am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Is it only the US Sellers that you have a problem with? "



would that it were; we have sellers from a number of countries who prefer to do things in ways that abuse our rules.

"What has been done to help the sellers ?"



multiple violations of a rule generates a suspension of selling privileges; we've done this several times.

"So penalise those "Bad Sellers" - how many have been informed of their bad practices? - Seems to me that all sellers are being penalised for the sins of few "



We inform sellers, privately, of problems; we ask them to fix the problems; when the do, it's kisses all around; when they don't, we delete the offending lots. When it's a pattern, see response to earlier question.

"How many of those "Bad Sellers" are still listing here ?"



There are still sellers whose lots sometimes violate our rules. There are other sellers whose lots just don't sell and if we could find a way to keep those lots from clogging the auction, we would, but none of us feel unilateral actions without a rule being violated are acceptable.



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03 May 2018
08:49:04am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I would suggest that not many people try to SELL crap here - Do you have a figure on how many of the 42 Sellers try to SELL crap here ?"



crap is somewhat subjective, but there are people who too often attempt to sell damaged MCV stamps. We discourage that with extreme prejudice.

In addition, there are people who sell overpriced rather common material. It doesn't quite meet the definition of crap, but it is mostly material that doesn't and won't sell. As I mentioned earlier, if we could prohibit it, we would.


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03 May 2018
08:57:19am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I've treid to answer Steve's questions.

For the record, those of us who work behind the scenes on the auction, approvals, DB, and elsewhere do so with good intentions. I think sometimes that gets lost if one doesn't like the thing we put up.

We like sellers. We buy from sellers. If we didn't, we'd simply close up shop.

And there have been times we've implemented a change and found that the result was less satisfactory than we had hoped. Heck, I've suggested and implemented a couple of those duds myself. Good intentions, poor results. We've changed things back; or tried something different.

Hopefully that positive aim, regardless of outcome, will come through. If it wasn't apparent, I've stated it for the record.

David, purveyor of ideas good and ill

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03 May 2018
09:05:36am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I just looked at the sellers of the books listed as "new". Of the 11 sellers, 9 I would call "professional" or dealers as their sold greatly exceeds their buys. I suspect that if I were to look at every seller that has books up I would find almost the same ratio.

We can bat the ball back and forth forever with why sales are down for people individually but I suspect that overall they are fairly stable from a year ago if you discount the one major buyer who has cut back, or at least appears to have. There is an limited amount of money that can be spent on a hobby. When a new seller comes along and offers decent stamps at good prices, and buyers find out either by checking them out or by word of mouth, that new dealer will be taking money from other sellers for as long as they continue to offer what the collector is looking for. A new seller does not create sales from other people who are not buying. It is a lot like lunch places that open up here in town. Their success depends on taking customers away from existing establishments. The new place does not cause people who brown bag it to all of a sudden change their habits and eat out every day. No different here.

As a wise old dealer said to me when I first got into selling stamps eons ago, "you can't eat stamps". In other words money spent on a hobby is money that is leftover after all the bills are paid - or at least it should be. You can offer the best stamps at the best prices and if people don't have the money to spend, it doesn't matter. It's easy to overlook that. Diversify. As Michael said, "open a store elsewhere" Yes, open many stores elsewhere and then look at what you are doing here with approval books and use here as a staging ground for other sites. Think about how you can take unsold material and easily add it elsewhere. Auctions as well. If you are one of those people who insist on running the same auctions every week with minimal sales, think about doing auctions someplace else. What do they say is the definition of insanity? You can PM me for any info you might want on other sites. I have no problem answering questions. To sit though and beat yourself up over lack of sales, stop the beating and look around. Ask others. I would be shocked to find that the people who have approval books who don't buy, are not selling someplace else.If they are like me they will be happy to share sites and opinions. Thats it, thats all I am going to say on this matter. There is work to be done.

Greg

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03 May 2018
04:15:59pm

Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Just a few comments after reading thru all of the latest comments. No one has ever told me I am doing anything wrong here - so either that is good or bad ? I do not mind some constructive criticism if someone thinks I should do something better !

I never intentionally put up a damaged stamp in an approval book. I tend to throw stamps out if the condition is damaged - not worth the effort to identify the damage. However, I have had cases where things have slipped thru - but I always offer refunds and do not require the stamps back. Awhile ago a few stamps I sent had some small thins and I refunded for those stamps when someone complained. However, some folks seem to be OK with a small thin for a cheaper common stamp.

As for invoicing - I tend to wait until there is enough to make shipping worthwhile. If too much time goes by - I will invoice but I always put a note in the invoice - if they need more time to add more - just let me know and I will hold the invoice for awhile longer. Then I have the opposite problem where after 24 hours someone will tell me they want the invoice right away even if it is small. I have even offered to cancel some sales when someone has selected only a couple of stamps. I try to be flexible with this but when the order gets large and more bulky - I like to invoice and close it out - otherwise with some of my regulars - this could become an annual invoice if I do not cut them off at some point !

As for selling elsewhere - as I mentioned I do have another "store" but I always put stamps in approval books here first and then move over items that are not selling here but are not too common on the other site. A common stamp that already has many examples available I do not bother with. The exception is stamps over $1.00 or so - I tend to skip the approvals here - they just do not seem to sell easily from the books. What I have done this with several buyers here is that I will combine an invoice here with sales from the other site and drop the extra shipping charge. They are required to pay on the other site and then I invoice here without the shipping charge and send it all together. "One stop shopping". It works out rather nicely.

Finally, for sales/discounts. I Admit I made a big mistake offering the discounts at the end of a book's life. I noticed now some folks do wait until the sale and they will buy some of the stamps from me then. I have been marking down the books when they get in Closing Now but with the 2 month cycle - I think this is causing a problem with my initial sales. I may try stopping the sales starting on June 1 and see what happens.

Steve

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04 May 2018
08:14:59am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Steve,

it will be interesting to see if your supposition that the bargain hunters are waiting for your discounts is correct.

Please post an update when you have sufficient data.

David

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04 May 2018
08:46:42am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I find the whole markdown issue quite interesting, and if I had the time i would explore what I think is going on. If you go back to the often discussed catalog number issue, you read that people don't need catalog numbers in their collecting. That being said they probably do not own a catalog, and cannot check catalog values. This would mean that one could charge say 50% more than what they are expecting, sell what they can at that price, and then lower it twice to the amount that they would have sold at if they were not intending to do a markdown. A $1 stamp that a person like myself would list in a book for 35 cents would instead list at 50 or 55 cents. First mark down is to 45 cents and the next to 35 cents. I don't do that because it is too time consuming to go in and edit pages one at a time and then save them, changing the price. I can tell you from experience on other sites where a buyer can make an offer be it on stamps, postcards, vinyl or books, you will ALWAYS sell more when you allow that. People want the perception of a "deal" whether it is a deal or not. I usually sell at 40% CV, but mark everything to 60% CV and accept best offers. Books and Vinyl I double, and postcards I add 50%. Believe me, it works and if you ARE a seller someplace else, try doing that with some of your listings no matter what they are.

Greg

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04 May 2018
11:51:12am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I've always hesitated getting involved in these conversations, because the fact is I don't sell my duplicate stamps, I donate them to the local school. So to some degree, I'm talking out the corner of my mouth. However, when I first joined SOR, I do remember reading the outline info about the auctions and approval books. The statement that struck me went something like, "a way for collectors to get rid of their duplicates". As someone who has, at times, had 10's of thousands of duplicate stamps, I saw that as a cool way of getting rid of them and not being overly concerned about profits. After all, I have very little money invested in them and just sitting in a box, they're worth nothing anyway. My first impression was friends selling to friends and the amount of work or profits realized had nothing to do with it.

I will say that every seller I've dealt with here has been exceptional in the service and help in acquiring needed stamps and some have been very generous in donating stamps to the school club I mentioned earlier. But at the same time, these conversations always seem to head down the road of money, time and all the work involved. I guess I don't understand why "club atmosphere" is even mentioned in these conversations. If you don't like the work and don't like the money, why do it? And if you do it to help members/friends, why bitch about it?

It just seems to me if you do it for profit, then SOR probably isn't the right venue. If you do it to help friends out, then effort and money shouldn't be of such concern. Like I said, my duplicates are worthless just sitting in a box anyway. I'd rather give them away then fret myself over what to do with them.

JMHO, hope I haven't offended anyone,


WB

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

04 May 2018
06:52:15pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Threads like this one give sellers an opportunity to see what other sellers think, what they are doing and what they intend to do and where they are doing it.
It allows sellers to look at their own procedures and they may make improvements to what they sell, how they price it thus improving the buyers experience.

It also lets the management team see what some sellers are thinking and may allow the team to make better decisions about the sales platforms.

Of course any discussion within an organisation, differing points of view will be made, some points made more forcefully by some individuals than others, and a consensus will be reached, or the discussion will just dry up.

My personal opinion is that discussion is healthy even if at the end you think "That was educational. It taught me a lesson."

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05 May 2018
09:52:03am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

In my opinion, this is the bottom line of every one of these "discussions".

"For the record, those of us who work behind the scenes on the auction, approvals, DB, and elsewhere do so with good intentions."



Anytime people fail to recognize and keep this in mind while posting, it is no longer a conversation, it's a debate.


WB

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

05 May 2018
11:46:47am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Jings!...Crivvens!...Help Ma Boab!


There is a saying in Old Caledonia:-

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"


LaughingLaughingLaughing

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05 May 2018
08:22:05pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"In my opinion, this is the bottom line of every one of these "discussions".

Quote:
"For the record, those of us who work behind the scenes on the auction, approvals, DB, and elsewhere do so with good intentions."



Anytime people fail to recognize and keep this in mind while posting, it is no longer a conversation, it's a debate.

"



Hi WB

Yep I agree with that But..

I feel that the good intentions of most sellers here are often overlooked also.

Steve



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angore
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06 May 2018
07:05:43am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

It seems the original intent was to create a way for people to dispose of duplicates but the added rules appear to be focused on regulating the regular sellers.

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06 May 2018
08:43:52am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

On another thread here there is a discussion how bad Ebay is, because it is full of sellers who are defrauding buyers, and the lack of oversight Ebay provides as protection to the good buyers and sellers to rid the site of those who are selling bogus, "not as described", etc. items. On this thread the underlying theme is the disdain for such oversight. The difference is that on the thread about Ebay, it is about protecting the buyers. On this thread it is the sellers objecting. Don't you think the sellers would also be objecting to oversight on Ebay if Ebay did the same as is done here? Of course. There's a choice: the madness of Ebay, or the sanity of here.

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06 May 2018
09:07:32am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I believe I posted on that thread. 20 years of sales on ebay and only once did ebay side with me. It is ALWAYS the sellers fault,100% of the time, and if there are buyers here that do not claim things that make them unhappy then who's fault is that. I've had to refund people for all kinds of things that were clearly not my fault, like a mail person taking an LP in an LP mailer, folding it in half and stuffing it in the mail box. That of course was clearly my fault. Or the woman that bought a new skirt, and sent it back because it smelled like cats. We have no cats. No doubt she wore it where she needed to wear it and sent it back afterwards. That too, my fault. How about the person that bought a postcard of a monument in Bennington VT, then wanted to return the postcard because she did not receive the monument. I kid you not. My fault, had to refund her. I do blacklist any person who files a ridiculous complaint.

I stay out of the issues here for the most part and keep my opinions to myself. Not worth creating bad feelings

Greg

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APS #213005

06 May 2018
09:16:59am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Okay....

I've been reading all the threads posted here - and in other threads as well - in regard to approvals, auction listings and the rules and regs in place for these;

I am not an approval seller, I am an auction seller sporadically and I am a buyer of both.

I have grown very tired of this entire thread!

There are 'good' sellers here and there are 'bad' sellers here.

What do we have if we do not have rules for how auctions/approvals are created/presented/conducted??

WE HAVE A CHAOTIC MESS, THAT'S WHAT.


With all due respect to the sellers here, YOU ARE USING A FREE SITE THAT VOLUNTEERS HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO SET UP FOR YOU TO USE AT NO CHARGE. NOTHING. NADA. NIL.

NO - its not perfect; YES - rules are sometimes changed; NO - they don't do it just because they can; YES - again, IT IS FREE TO SELL HERE.

I have read so many posted complaints from of THE SAME SMALL HANDFULL of sellers here that it is bordering on ridiculous.
If you hate the rules that are in place here, you are FREE TO STOP SELLING HERE.



NOW -

to those sellers who are here that offer constructive criticism when rules are put in place, changed, modified - THANK YOU; you are doing your part as a member here to offer valuable input that will result in the benefit of all of us who buy and sell on these platforms.
For that, we appreciate you greatly.

I/We also greatly appreciate our VOLUNTEER staff who have taken it upon themselves to WADE THROUGH ALL THE CRAP and STILL put out a great site that we ALL benefit from in more ways than you THINK you do!


And finally -

I would be remiss if I didn't mention ROY; the man that has continued to provide this all to us FOR FREE due to his generosity. THANK YOU, ROY.


Hopefully, we can END this bickering and get on with doing what most of us signed on here to do - enjoy stamp collecting and all it facets!


Okay....I've said my piece....on to other more constructive and interesting threads that have to do with stamp collecting and learning....

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06 May 2018
10:24:58am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I'd be interested to know if any of the folks on the opposition side of these threads have ever volunteered to be part of the MT or VC.

If so, do you feel that you were rejected because of your personal beliefs in how things should be done?

If not, then aren't you putting yourselves in the position of "back seat driver"? Not willing to take on the role yourselves, but rather just sit back and complain and question those that are willing to do the job?

Quite frankly I don't know why the MT/VC even bother sometimes. They don't have to do this. These folks volunteer their time, efforts and even money out of their own pockets in an effort to do the best they can in providing ALL of us with a venue in which to share our love of the hobby. Only to be, all to often, questioned, harassed and even ridiculed at times for those efforts. One member even seems to suggest their all going to hell because they don't do things the way he wants them to AND finds that attitude to be humorous. Really?!!

As far as I'm concerned, these folks can do no wrong, simply because there's no wrong to be done. They've taken on the role that seemingly nobody else wants to and they deserve nothing short of respect and cooperation from the rest of us. It's the only price we pay and the only compensation they receive.

Still JMHO, but this time I don't care if I pissed anyone off or not!!


WB

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06 May 2018
11:28:19am
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"…It is ALWAYS the sellers fault,100% of the time, and if there are buyers here that do not claim things that make them unhappy then who's fault is that…"



I do not think it is not anyone’s fault, it is simply eBay’s Terms and Conditions and these have favored the buyer since eBay began. eBay is not siding with or faulting anyone, they view both sellers and buyers as the ‘product’. eBay does not consider sellers as a partner, they do not consider buyers as their customers. Both sellers and buyers are eBay’s product so ‘fault has nothing to do with it. Their Terms and Conditions have to favor the buyer otherwise eBay would never have gotten off the ground; eBay would never have become popular.

And it should be noted that in any Quality vender rating system the seller is always responsible for the shipping and shippers. The seller has control over the packaging, the choice of shipper, and is one paying the shippers. It may seem unfair that a vender/seller gets rated on a 3rd party shipper but this is no different than a manufacturer being held responsible for using inferior material to make their product.

I also think it is better to think about all of this as ‘continuous improvement’ and not as a blame game. Folks would help make their case better if they would frame their comments in this context, offering ideas for improvement instead of just ‘throwing rocks’. On the other hand… if a seller has an attitude of ‘us vs. them’ or gets defensive when suggestions for improvement are made then they ought to consider finding something else to do.

And lastly any change typically meets with resistance; humans dislike change. Our default behavior for today is to do what we did yesterday. When I suggested that this forum and website would need to change to accommodate the majority of users who now use mobile devices, there was a lot of ‘push back’. Some folks here would rather not deal with change even if it means the site and community loses traffic and users. That’s is how much folks resist change. You see the same thing with operating systems and applications. People will convince themselves and resist change with justifications like ‘the new stuff sucks’. When we drive to work or to the store, we typically always take the same route and dislike changing it.
Don

P.S. - I have no skin in this thread, I am neither a buyer or seller on Stamporama. I think improvements can be made by all parties.
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

06 May 2018
11:53:36am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

This thread started off well with a good discussion about the Approvals but has degenerated into the usual "You Get It For Nothing so Shut Up or leave". (This happens on numerous occasions)

Nobody disrespects the efforts of the volunteers or Roys generosity.

However as I have said previously we have a lot to gain by having these sort of discussions and they can be very educational.

I have said this before:- All members have differing levels of education and experience so to all MEMBERS............Tolerance and respect is required!

So PLEASE leave the toys in the pram!!!

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06 May 2018
12:16:33pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I had to look up the meaning about leaving toys in the pram - not a saying I have ever heard. Educational.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

06 May 2018
12:36:52pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

angore

As I have said before "We are two countries separated by a common language"

Lang mae yer lum reek.

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APS #213005

06 May 2018
08:29:47pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I'd be interested to know if any of the folks on the opposition side of these threads have ever volunteered to be part of the MT or VC."




This is a very valid question - however, I am sure that not everyone, including myself, has the amount of time required to donate to this site. I work full-time for a living and also have family that depends on me quite often, as I'm sure many of you do as well.

If I DID have free time available, I would most assuredly offer my time and assistance to SOR.



"Nobody disrespects the efforts of the volunteers or Roys generosity."



Sorry - NOT true.

Read the previous threads here and elsewhere on this site and it is impossible to overlook the fact that this is a FALSE statement.



But thank you Ian, for playing Devil's Advocate!


Big Grin

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

07 May 2018
04:46:07am

Auctions - Approvals
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

""Nobody disrespects the efforts of the volunteers or Roys generosity.""



OK wrong choice of words.

However one can still respect the volunteers and Roy even if they disagree with their points of view at times.

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bobgggg

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07 May 2018
06:31:13pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Well, as a buyer, I really don't know what the rules are for posting approval books, but I do know, That two of my favorite approval sellers no longer offer any books ...

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APS #213005

07 May 2018
08:52:05pm
re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Ian,


Now THAT I fully agree with!


Happy

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Author/Postings
burrowsj

As of April 1 2022 I will only sell and trade with members in Canada and USA.

06 Mar 2018
01:19:02pm

An approval booklet must have a minimum 100 stamps within and a maximum of 24 pages.I read somewhere in the Stamporama rules regarding approval booklets that if you are mixing within an approval booklet single stamps,sets,souvenir sheets and covers the total number of entries does not need to be 100.I am unable to relocate this information within the approvals topic so would someone be so kind as to clarify this type of mixed entry approval booklet to me.Thanks for your time.

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Soundcrest

06 Mar 2018
01:48:13pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Here it is. I used to put 100 SETS or singles into a book. No more. With the rule change to the "2 months no sales and the book is closed rule" 100 stamps or a little more is all I put in. So much faster and much quicker and easier to restock. From the "rules"

B1. To provide a substantial quantity of items, each approval book must contain a minimum, or appropriate combination, of:

100 stamps
20 complete sets
20 covers
20 souvenir/miniature sheets

Greg

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
06 Mar 2018
04:43:17pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Thanks, Greg.

James, if you are putting together an approval book of items that are difficult to accumulate or come in small quantities (like Kionga), send me information about what you are planning. Waivers from the book minimums are given for such material.

The 24 approval book page maximum is a system programming limitation.

Michael
Auctioneer

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06 Mar 2018
04:55:08pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Hello Greg:Thanks for your quick reply and concise summary.I am no too concerned about the 2 month closing as I have found with most of my books I have very few sales after 2-3 days. Thanks again! Jim

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Soundcrest

06 Mar 2018
05:18:52pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Exactly. I don't believe it is worth the time to create bigger books and have them close. Much easier to work small and restock in my opinion.

Greg

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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
06 Mar 2018
09:58:40pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

The shortened duration for an active book is not 2 months but 2 months from the last sale.

Still this has changed the basic concept behind Approvals as it was intended when conceived. It was meant to provide a large body of low cost stamps (including duplicates)in many Approval books that one could search through and dig into anytime you wanted to work on something...not just when posting the book.
Someone even said that it was akin to a store, although there is no intention to make Approval Books de facto stores.

Granted, it never shaped as such. Most books always sold most of their stamps in the first few days....and what did not sell in the first few days, seldom sold later. Buyers seldom bothered to look at older books. I think the exception occured when buyers wanted to add to existing purchases to offset mail/ship charges over a greater $ purchase, rather than wait for more books in the future.

So Greg is correct in implying that we have morphed Approvals into another type of Auction platform. No point in listing large books. No point in listing duplicates. And no point in expecting sales in the far future if most if not all sales occur in the first few days. And certainly no point in looking at old books for material you may need. It is all happening when the book goes active.

So for me, Approval Books today are just another facet of the Auction platform. Even the rules are virtually identical. I have already began to and will continue to revise how my books will be shaped in the future: Much smaller books. Many more higher valued stamps. List cat #s and condition for each stamp. Retire the books after a few months, or when depletion exceeds 50%. Keep them coming fast. Stick to minimum prices of $0.10c each

As a side remark, the normal level of sales used to be >50%. But we have many more sellers, fewer buyers, and all the action occurs when the books are listed, so the latest sales norms seem to be around 33%. If you have sold 1/3 of your book, you should be happy. The bottom price has also gone down. Whereas 10c was considered normal I see a lot more stamps selling at 5c to 8c...hell even at 2c.
Note that 1/3 sold compares very favorably with the Auctions. So Approvals today have been morphing as another version of Auctions, and the dream of having low cost material leaving auctions for Approvals, and being available to club members over a considerable time span is now no longer a reality...for it to be possible would have required very distinct rules for both.

This is somehow forcing sellers to add higher valued stamps in Approvals. This makes the current set of rules for payments work better for the sellers (and buyers). I just tested the concept with 2 books recently, and they did better than run of the mills low cost books with lots of choices.

Coupling this with the strict "pay within five days of being invoiced" rule, we will keep the post office solvent by having so many small shipments dominated by the shipping costs, unless you add higher valued stamps to your books to beef up the value of purchases.

Does anyone really see the two platforms as distinct and unique, today? I think the distinction between Approval Books and Auctions is quietly disappearing, and we are consciously or unconsciously blending them together, rather than separating them as initially intended with a distinct and unique set of rules for each! But then, why not? Approvals were maybe too much of a stretch of the imagination for a public used to Auctions (and stores)...everybody can relate to them!

rrr...

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Stevo45

06 Mar 2018
10:28:16pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"The shortened duration for an active book is not 2 months but 2 months from the last sale.

Still this has changed the basic concept behind Approvals as it was intended when conceived. It was meant to provide a large body of low cost stamps (including duplicates)in many Approval books that one could search through and dig into anytime you wanted to work on something...not just when posting the book."



Number of Books, Number of Pages, Number of items and Number of Sellers have not changed very much -

So not sure if the stated aims of the rule changes have been met yet.. ?

2nd Jan - 600 ; 8901 ; 119,374 ; 43
29th Feb - 674 ; 9571 ; 141,922 ; 47
3rd Mar - 663 ; 9020 ; 138,500 ; 46

Cheers
Steve.
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michael78651

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06 Mar 2018
11:14:25pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"But we have many more sellers, fewer buyers, and all the action occurs when the books are listed"



I think this is probably the prime statement in your comments. I think the other factor is that with our consistently holding at just under 700 books, there is so much similar material that is being offered that the approval market is saturated, which is what is probably driving down the cost of the stamps in the books.

"...and the dream of having low cost material leaving auctions for Approvals"



I don't think this ever really happened. We tried to get this to happen, but were only partially successful, in my opinion. It even morphed to where many sellers create mini-collections from the remnants of approval books when they can no longer meet the approval book minimums, and post them in the auction along with single low-valued stamps. So be it. I have done this the same way, and it works fine this way. In a sense, both the auctions and the approvals have become reliant on each other.

"{stamps} being available to club members over a considerable time span is now no longer a reality"



Not so sure about that. There are a large number of approval books on the "Closing Soon" list. only about a dozen a day actually close. The rest are remaining open as they are seeing sales. Each sale from an approval book keeps that book open for at least another two weeks. The newest approval book on this list is #10721 (January 2, 2018; the oldest book is #7771 (January 9, 2017). There are books that are now open longer than they would have been prior to the implementation of the automatic book closure program.

"no point in looking at old books for material you may need"



I disagree with that for the most part. I have found quite a few stamps to buy from the books in the "Closing Soon" list. Evidently many others are too considering how long many books remain on that list and are not closed by the system.

""pay within five days of being invoiced" rule"



That's true, but a buyer doesn't get an invoice until finished buying, or the seller has waited for additional purchases from the buyer for a reasonable amount of time. Then the payment rule kicks in. Invoicing is between the buyer and seller. It is not part of the rules; just the payment is.

"This is somehow forcing sellers to add higher valued stamps in Approvals."



From the beginning of approval books, I have seen higher-valued material in them. I remember one of the first books from Greenland had sets of stamps priced in the $100s. I continue to see this. I think that some sellers prefer to sell through the approvals rather than the auctions, and that includes selling their more expensive items as well. Some people do not sell in the approvals, because they prefer the auctions. Many sell on both platforms. It's a matter of personal preferences.

"Does anyone really see the two platforms as distinct and unique, today?"



I think that the two platforms continue to remain distinct between themselves. Yes, there are similarities, but one thing in particular that I have noticed is the large reduction of auction lots with the "Buy-It-Now" option selected. I think the approvals with its "Buy-It-Now" functionality has taken that away from the auctions. If the "Buy-It-Now" option was being included in a overwhelming majority of auction lots, then I would tend to agree with you that the auctions were losing their identity to the approvals. However, I still believe that for the most part one will find better material in the auctions, especially from several newer members who are offering items that are much different from those that we have seen in the auctions in a long time, and which is not found in the approval books.

"we are consciously or unconsciously blending them together"



I think that it would be more appropriate to say that we are learning how to use both platforms in tandem with each other. There are specific rules related to each platform, such as how to create an auction lot and how to create an approval book. The other rules need to be similar since it is all part of the sales platforms. Actually the matter of putting invoicing as the responsibility between buyers and sellers was changed to make it work better with the approvals.

There will always be similarities, differences and overlaps in any system where the parts are co-dependent.
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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
06 Mar 2018
11:41:16pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I don't disagree with anything you say Michael, although we do have very different perceptions of how things are going.
If SOR wanted to set up unique rules to make both platforms distinctly different and to channel sales of some items in one or the others, the rules of both platforms could have been adjusted. But no one really wanted to force anything on anyone...I recall all the shouting about the 100 item rule, just to name one such rigidities that was imposed reluctantly and with many escape clauses I must add. Approval was always meant to include as many sellers as possible, and to encourage trading among members...and thus allowed strange adaptations of the original concept that appealed to one or another.
The Club wants it the way it is, and most people don't like change..any change, I have learned that.

It still works well, and it does complement Auctions. Simplicity and similarity of rules is an advantage...and from the beginning it was a goal of the development team. I think the type of books we will see activated in the future will be quite different from the books we started with. Sellers and buyers will adapt. I know I have completely changed my approach already. And I see others do the same as well. And some books will no longer meet the new standards, which could be a benefit to all.

rrr...

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
07 Mar 2018
02:56:29am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I don't believe it is worth the time to create bigger books and have them close. Much easier to work small and restock in my opinion. "



You need to explain that to me. Is creating 4 books with 120 stamps each that sell for 30% less work than 1 book of 480 stamps that sells for 30%?
When I buy things from the approvals, I prefer larger books because I have (or hope to have) more choice.

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Soundcrest

07 Mar 2018
03:43:45am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Yes it is faster and less work to create smaller books. I can see it in the amount of time it takes to create the books on a weekly basis. I do 4 in less time than it used to take to do 3. If you look at my books you see that everything is on black stock cards. Larger books, or 24 page books if you will, that had plenty of sets, needed to have sometimes 20-24 black pages, each filled, each numbered, each cropped. All stamps are looked up and indexed. Once stamps sold out of it, in order to restock it was far more time consuming, having to rearrange everything and doing it all over again. Then when it had been run and restocked various times, and it was time to break it down and move the stamps elsewhere that too was a longer process. Now? The older books that have at least 100 stamps go through what I call the blackout phase at least once. That means taking the images, downloading them, blacking out the sold stamps, and using those images in a new book. This is done in conjunction with editing my index. That process is fast as well and gives me my 4th book each week. Is the dollar amount less than it used to be? Yes of course. However, my schedule for doing things across all platforms on all sites have not changed. Used to be I was still working on approval books on Thursdays to release Thursday night. Now, they are done and it is early Wednesday morning. I have probably cut the amount of time spent by at least 1/3 probably closer to 1/2. I was also doing 3 books a week before the rule change. I surely could do more but I agree the amount of sales has been affected by more sellers, many offering similar stamps, so why list more books with the same thing? While I don't check to see what others are selling, I do try to be different. Sometimes those different books are home runs, sometimes they are ground outs.

Certainly I could create 400 stamp books with no catalog number and let the buyer hunt through it. That would be a 15 page book, and would take probably 2-3 hours to do. Price every stamp at 10 cents each and be done with it. When it closed, refill the sold spaces with new stamps and do it all over again. For me though it would not be effective and I don't know how it would translate in dollars and cents. But would it sell 100 10 cent stamps to match selling 7-15 sets out of a smaller book? Same return, but what happens in the end? You cannot sell 10 cent stamps anyplace else but here, though I have seen them listed on other sites. I can;t say whether the seller is actually moving any of these. Overhead on the other sites is not worth it on a 10 cent stamp. Again for me, those 400 stamps would just go back into the packet they came from whereas the sets get moved elsewhere, stamps under 50 cents cv will probably wind up at penny auctions someplace.

Admittedly, my books look a little different than others and my process has been created and tweaked due to what happens to the stamps lives after SOR. This is something that may be unique to me only, I don't know. I create books knowing that they are, if lucky, have sales that amount to 40%, and if it isn't in the first week, its probably never. I'm creating books with the "what happens next" outlook

Greg

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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
07 Mar 2018
11:40:45am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

For me JS the smaller books are a direct consequence of no longer listing definitives ( unless they are higher value ones), and to try to have a few pages of higher valued stamps ( which take more room because of the added descriptive material, so fewer stamps per page). For definitives, it is too much work for the occasional 8c or 10c item sale, and there does seem to be a lot of them around listing for even less, although many are thrown in books with little order, so a collector will have a tough time finding what they need, or will need to spend a lot more time to find it.
Smaller books without definitives take less time, for virtually identical sales results..
A full page of definitive is another 35-45 stamps that for me now can only be sold as part of sets or packets.
Take duplicates and triplicates out, and there goes the total item number count down as well.
We must adapt.
Rrr...

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Soundcrest

07 Mar 2018
12:02:38pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

To be sure the smaller books allow for more expensive stamps in the back. I just created 2 books with loaded front ends. Many inexpensive ones in the front though not overly so. 90 stamps in the first 6 pages, thus allowing me to almost set the rest of the book up almost like a store with 1-2 sets per page actually creating a book of 20 pages. Will the high end sets sell? Probably not, but I don't expect them to. Certainly people will say take them out of the approval books at 35-40% and put them up for auction at 20%, as the books (from what I seem to read) were not intended for expensive stamps. However, because of my situation what doesn't sell at 35-40% can be moved to places that I list at 60% make me an offer. Admittedly, not everyone has that luxury. A much better alternative than listing at 20% or marking down the book like many do. The whole markdown thing is fascinating though and I may design a book in the future priced with the intent of marking down. If the whole concept of no catalog numbers are needed because people do not have a Scotts, then these same people won;t know the catalog value of the stamps. I have already seen in books where stamps are being priced at 60+% of Scott, and I have to wonder if they are already doing that - pricing knowing they will be marking down to the price that they would normally ask for BUT giving the buyer the illusion of a "deal". No doubt this works on my other sites where I accept best offer, so why wouldn't it work here? We shall see.

Greg


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cardstamp

07 Mar 2018
07:38:07pm

Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Since I have sold a huge amount over the years in Approval Books - I thought I should just say a few things. I agree with most everything that has been said here so far. I have no problems with the rules (because I think I have been self exposing most of them for a long time anyway).. The two month change has made me re-think what I put up. I am doing smaller books now but I have not been adding much on the higher end to the books because I have not seen stamps over $1.00 sell that much in any of my approval books.
It seems now that I am spending quite a bit of time to get new books ready and before I know it it's time for them to go. I previously took books down when they got to the 4 month mark and I ran a 50% off sale at the end. Now I am thinking that it does not pay to run a sale anymore. The last few times I tried I barely had a few extra stamps taken. In the past I have had almost the entire remainder of books sold when I run a 50% off sale !
What is concerning now is in my case - I notice a slow down on how much is bought out a book and how many total views I am even getting. Maybe my choice of countries has something to do with it but it is not as robust as it was.
I have such a stack of old books now - and I just am not sure what to do with them all ! Most of the leftovers may be such common stamps that it may not be worth doing anything with them anymore but throwing them in the trash !!
Steve

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07 Mar 2018
08:42:32pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Since I don't sell here anymore I am probably not one to judge but I think that the whole "feel" of the site has changed since I joined. It has gone from people just trying to get rid of their duplicates to a lot of talk of low priced items, high priced items, catalog values and the like.

What used to be simple is now a burden. I enjoy the forum, but I have no interest in selling. Would love to buy but if you don't check in several times a day you lose out on the fresh new stuff of interest.

I wonder if it is something that I am imagining or if other people feel the same way?

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Stevo45

08 Mar 2018
01:51:38am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Since I don't sell here anymore I am probably not one to judge but I think that the whole "feel" of the site has changed since I joined. It has gone from people just trying to get rid of their duplicates to a lot of talk of low priced items, high priced items, catalog values and the like.

What used to be simple is now a burden. I enjoy the forum, but I have no interest in selling. Would love to buy but if you don't check in several times a day you lose out on the fresh new stuff of interest.

I wonder if it is something that I am imagining or if other people feel the same way?"



Yep, I agree - I fear that soon SOR will be "improved" into a site that I may visit not so often.
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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
08 Mar 2018
03:15:09am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I see a lot of complaining but let's take a step back. Here we have a site that allows you to sell stamps without any fees. Isn't that great?
I also see a decline in the amount of sales and of course I would have liked to see the same numbers as let's say three years ago but then again, 90% of my buyers are the same as three years ago. There is only that much you can sell to one person... what we need is fresh blood, new buyers if the selling platforms are so important to us. Right now we are an awful lot of fishermen fishing in the same pond and it turns out to be a rather small one. Whose fault is that?
I think it is good that there are certain rules we need to follow as sellers. If we want to increase our sales in the long run that is. If the current changes will help attract new buyers to our pond and ultimately to our nets: we will find out sooner or later.

Best regards Jan-Simon

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Soundcrest

08 Mar 2018
03:19:05am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Steve yes, less sales and less views. The less sales I attribute to the fact that there are more sellers here than a year ago. In a way it reminds me of here in Stroudsburg when a new place to eat lunch opens. The success of a new place depends on taking customers away from other places where they already eat. You have to be totally unique to do that - and usually they are not and close inside of a year. Same here. Having more sellers doesn't generate more buyers, it just splits the pie up into smaller slices. My sales are about 1/3 of what they were a year and a half ago. All it really means is that I can't buy more to sell on this site because really, thats what I was doing with the profit. I have a years worth of new material probably and taking down the smaller books and putting them back up is a piece of cake. I'm certainly spending less time than I was even 6 months ago creating approval books.

I can't get a take on the less views. It could be that there are people no longer active on the site that were last year. I don't think its the material, and I too have had some real clunkers over the past couple of months. Last weekend I wrote off due to the connection problems. I really should not have bothered to list the books as those that can't be first won't look when the issue was fixed. I may just take the books down in another week and add enough stamps back to them to make sure its 100 and put the book right back up. I suspect then there will be sales.

Stevo, I agree and I know we are not alone with that thought

Jan-Simon yes! A lot more fisherman in the same pond to be sure. Certainly the answer is new blood and I have seen some new blood buying from me over the past couple of months. In all honesty perhaps if I was putting in the same amount of time that I was before and putting up 6 books a week, the drop off would be less. The back end has always been the problem. At some point the stamps have to be moved out of the books and into someplace else. That probably takes more time than creating the book itself.

No fees sure, but how many more people see what I have for sale for the cost of 6 cents on the dollar?

Time to get to work

Greg

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
08 Mar 2018
08:43:05am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I COULD buy more but there are various restrictions placed by some sellers. The main two reasons are:-

a) No Paypal please! (This limits the number of foreign Buyers. The number of times I have seen a stamp(s) I have wanted only to be unable to purchase because of that limitation!)

b)I do not ship outside the USA. (This may no longer apply due to US Mails' new policy of extortion on foreign mail. However this may be overcome in the future).

The other problems are because we are human and our own self inflicted beliefs/morals/standards come into play. I won't buy from them because the sellers haven't put in the catalogue numbers, the year, the catalogue value for that 10c stamp, or I only pay 7% of cat value, besides they said this or that on the discussion board, or their beliefs are different from mine etc etc etc ( You can of course add your own...............).

I have put my countries initials at the end of my "handle" so everyone knows that when they look at my "offerings" they know I am resident in the United Kingdom. If other sellers done the same then it would help.

I still believe this is a great site, with great members and management team.


PS. Many people are still recovering from Christmas, New Year (hic hic hic), Tax Season and having to dig themselves out of the SNOW. (even we in the UK had to do some digging).

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
08 Mar 2018
09:44:03am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I would very much like to add something similar and make my username siem_NL or something like that (and hope that people understand what NL is Rolling On The Floor Laughing ), but I do not think I can change my username just like that.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
08 Mar 2018
01:14:11pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

As of today, here is the total number of SOR members: 1,759.

Figure that some of that number no longer visit the site, many are sellers-only, and a bunch do not buy. Not much of a buyer pool.

Someone said that one can only sell the same stamps to the same buyers so many times. I think before creating a new approval book or posting a bunch of auction lots, sellers should look at what is currently being offered by other sellers. Don't keep putting up more of the same stuff. The buyers have seen it, and they're not looking anymore.

Stay away from the "mainstream" countries. In the auctions, take a look at the Country list to see what countries have little being offered. If you don't see the country name on the list, that means no one is selling anything from that country.

Countries In The Auction

In the approvals, look at the Category list. Right now there are 42 approval books of US material. Will your new approval book of US offer anything different than those other 42 books?

Approval Books in Each Category

Ask yourself what does my approval book offer that is different than the rest of the books? Did you even write a book title that tells buyers what's in the book?

I looked at the large number of books in the USA category. Most of them simply say, "US used"; "US mint". What information does that convey to buyers other than here's just a mishmash of stuff that is probably all the same as everyone else's. The US has been issuing stamps since 1847. Where in the 171 years do the stamps in those books lie? Who knows? Who wants to take the time to look through everyone of those books to try to find out?

In US Football, there is a comedy skit sometimes seen in the movies where there is a pile up of players all trying to get the ball. What those players fighting for the ball don't see is the one player who is not in the pile, has the ball and is running towards the goal line. So, you can be one of those sellers who blindly piles on top of most everyone else, or you can be the one with the ball who scores.

Yes, it takes work to research what is being sold and what isn't. Also, post a classified to let buyers know what you are selling (very few sellers use this feature just as many sellers do not even look at the discussions). If you make no effort to sell other than plastering your stuff all over the walls hoping that something will stick and someone will notice and buy it, then you won't be selling much at all. Buyers aren't necessarily going to flock to your door. You have to give them a reason to show up at your door, especially when there are so many doors to walk through.

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
08 Mar 2018
03:19:05pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Please remember that this is a club, where, among other things there are sellers and buyers.

If sellers put up items for sale, in the majority of cases, these are their duplicates. They are selling them to other members so they can buy more stamps to enhance their own collections.

The majority of Sellers would much rather spend time on their own collections than sorting individual stamps, flicking through catalogue pages, writing down dates, catalogue numbers, catalogue values, pricing, scanning images, cropping images, then entering the same information into a computer all to sell a stamp at 10 cents!

For Buyers to expect such a "professional" service from fellow members for a few cents is beyond belief.

So to all Sellers AND Buyers............Tolerance and respect is required!

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08 Mar 2018
03:28:41pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"The majority of Sellers would much rather spend time on their own collections than sorting individual stamps, flicking through catalogue pages, writing down dates, catalogue numbers, catalogue values, pricing, scanning images, cropping images, then entering the same information into a computer all to sell a stamp at 10 cents!"




Amen to that.
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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
08 Mar 2018
04:18:43pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I understand that Ian, but what is the point trying to sell the same thing as everyone else? It's like driving around to yard sales or going to flea markets where everyone basically has the same thing week after week. After a time, you stop going.

Club or no club, clogging everything with the same stuff amounts to nothing. It also gives the site a reputation of "Don't bother. All you'll find there is common junk." Whether or not that statement is true, there are many people who join here just to buy and sell. A seller still has to offer what others want in order to be successful selling anything. In any retail setting it is very difficult to get rid of a bad/poor reputation.

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
08 Mar 2018
06:37:21pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

""Don't bother. All you'll find there is common junk.""




That phrase is easily dealt with by putting a limit in the Auctions, whether it is 50c, 75c or $1.00, thus driving off the items for 5c, 8c, 10c etc.

Approval Books have to be treated differently as the original idea was for members to move their duplicates.

Some members may find it difficult and time consuming to make up an Approval Book and may not have the number of stamps to make a wide and varied booklet.

Yes What is the point of selling the same as everybody else? The answer is in the description "common junk". That's probably because we all have the same "common junk"!
Sellers can only put up what stamps they have or they think will sell at the price they ask for. It appears rightly or wrongly that some buyers want everything laid on a plate and are only willing to pay very little for an item.

Sellers have a MAJOR problem when it comes to pricing. What percentage of catalogue price should they use, 50%, 25%, 15%, 10% or 5%. I use a very scientific method. I think of a number, multiply by 2, divide by three, add on 10%, quarter it, take off the number I first thought of and add on 10 cents.

BUT

The nub of the matter is that everybody wants to buy their stamps at the cheapest price possible especially around 10 cents and below.
Let me give an example. I put up a book of individual stamps from a country, the first 24 stamps were the higher values of sets. The rest of the book were the cheaper stamps from the same sets. NOT ONE of the higher values sold but 66% of the cheaper stamps sold.( The Higher values were priced to sell at 20-25c, the cheaper stamps were priced at 9c ). Totally illogical!! (the odds against the buyers having all the higher values and not the cheaper ones is considerable)

Plus:- Do members want a club or a Selling Platform? They can have both but not one at the expense of the other.

Please remember that members cover a wide spectrum of both knowledge, requirement and ability.

I have no problems about the current rules both for Auctions and Approvals.

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Soundcrest

08 Mar 2018
06:41:31pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

While duplication could be the key it is something more than that. Of my own books: Czechoslovakia MNH, no one else has a book, 12% sold. Virgin Is MNH, no one else has a book, 11% sold. Sweden Mint sets, no one else, 11% sold, and this is the second time for that. There are others. Certainly price has something to do with it, and I know that many do not want to spend a lot for a stamp or set. I get that. However even with inexpensive stamps, one can have a clunker. I keep trying to find stamps to list that I don't think anyone else is listing. Like tonights Christmas Island, but I'm really not expecting much in the way of sales. Personally I believe its more of the "I have to have first crack" at a book or I'm not interested. This is the most important reason for small books. Very easy to restock so that maybe the person who didn't get first crack gets it now. I see it with auctions too all the time with my penny auctions. There are people who sit on them so close to have the first bid of a penny that when I have made an error in the listing, seen it, and gone back to correct it I couldn't. There was a bid on it. We're talking 30-60 seconds! I have yet to find the answers to increase sales other than to just put up more books, which I may start to do, or at the very least, restock 1-2 additional books a week.

Greg

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
08 Mar 2018
06:46:44pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Do members want a club or a Selling Platform? They can have both but not one at the expense of the other.
"



I think that you would find that there are three answers to your question:

- some want a selling platform
- some want a club (mix of activities selling and non-selling)
- some don't want a selling platform

You will find many more names that are unique to the sales platforms that never appear in the Discussion Boards. But, that's what a club is about. People are offered the varying activities that are available, and they will pick and choose what they want to use.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
08 Mar 2018
06:58:15pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"People are offered the varying activities that are available, and they will pick and choose what they want to use."



YUUPP!

I agree.


"Please remember that members cover a wide spectrum of both knowledge, requirement and ability."




"So to all Sellers AND Buyers............Tolerance and respect is required!"



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Stevo45

08 Mar 2018
08:38:50pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Oooops,

Just sold quite a few stamps from old books (May 2017 & July 2017) - among those (mostly definitives) some duplicates of the same stamp to the same buyer..

Can't happen can it ?

Certainly will not happen again with only 100 odd stamps in a book.

Cheers

Stevo.

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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
08 Mar 2018
11:00:48pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Sales from old books are unpredictable. But they always were a surprise when they came. Old time sellers always recall the flurry of orders from an old book that stood idle for months and months...just because a new collector (or an old one) suddenly decide to work in this arena. It was nice to know you could find some worthwhile material in the old books. But then, we were not running into a storage capacity barrier..and the shortening of the active phase for Approval Books is a good concept, especially with so many more books on hand weekly!

With books staying on for a much shorter time duration and with smaller books with less items available, the idea of Approvals Books as a resource you could visit at any time to fill in your empty collection voids is dead (a concept that never quite developed I must add, as most sales occurred early). The Approval Books are behaving more and more like fixed price auction items...within the active standard listing time of Auctions. Items not sold within 15 days...forget about it!

It is an actual fact. But it is not what was planned at first. Recall this clause in the "Activation Screen"?

""WARNING: Do not relist old material as new after short periods of time. This defies the purpose of the New Books list and is unfriendly towards other member-sellers and buyers alike. Approval Books must remain active for a reasonable duration, not just a short time. Approval books are not to be used as quick auction substitutes, nor as "stores"."


Seems like this is hardly applicable today. Approvals have evolved. Maybe this clause should be redacted out or modified, although I still like the concept of Substantial Books staying on for a longer duration....but clearly books that are almost empty and have had no sales for quite a while ought to go and help declutter our system...and liking some idea is no substitute for reality: Older books seldom sell anything.

rrr

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
08 Mar 2018
11:42:49pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I took a look at the approval books that are on the "Closing Soon" list. For what it's worth, this is what I found.

There are currently 681 approval books. Of that total, 50 books (7.3%) are on the "Closing Soon" list.

The books on the list were opened from 3 to 14 months ago. The average time that a book on the list has been open is 7 months.

The sell out rate from the books on the list ranges from 5.5% to 91%. The median sell out rate is 34.6%.

The books on the list remain open as long as there is a sale from the book within 14 days of the previous sale.

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
24 Apr 2018
03:29:54am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

" .... Does anyone really see the two platforms as distinct and unique, today? ....

Not unless their vision is worse than mine has become.
The simple fact is when I choose a stamp from the approvakls section, it is mine and I need not worry about one of my competitors cranking up the bidding. That is obviously differerent from the auction. I never considered the approvasl idea in comparison with other sites, but from what I have seen the approvals procedure is quite unique and distinct..

".... no point in looking at old books for material you may need..."

Perhaps you may not see any benefit but quite often I go through what may have been promising books, not expecting much only to be completely surprised by some stamp or mini sheetlet that I can still choose.

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lerivage

28 Apr 2018
12:55:28pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

When I purchase a few stamps from soneone, I like to revisit old books just to be sure that I can add a few more for reducing the shipping cost per stamp. For that purpuse old books are quite usefull for me.

Michel

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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
29 Apr 2018
05:41:26pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Currently there are 519 open books (so we have achieved a significant reduction in the number of older books clogging the system, as wanted) And we no longer have to press sellers to retire manually their older books. SO THAT IS GOOD!
I also counted 73 books in the closing soon category....hummm 73 out of 519 or 14%.
But at the same time there are just 25 books in the New Books category (from 10 distinct sellers if I counted correctly).

I don't have stats on purchase percentages nor activity levels, But would love to hear some feedback.

So I ask: Is the new system impacting significantly the number of books activated, or the on-going sales levels? I am curious about figures per week, per month etc?
I know it is too soon to have good statistical data to establish trends, but I have the feeling that fewer books are being activated, fewer sellers are posting books, and the percentage sold on average is smaller. There are currently just 8 Books, in the New Books category with >40% sold. (And there are 9 under 20%)

I feel the Approval Book platform has slowed down. It could be that our membership basis is saturating, possibly because it is some of the same low cost stuff being offered repeatedly. It could be some other factors? I have also the feeling that book sizes and number of items per book is down significantly ( almost certainly a direct consequence to the automatic retirement policy... which incidentally I favor. There are only 3 books now with 200 stamps or more in the New Books listing) so there is overall much less material to choose from. It could be seasonal, but I don't know how Auctions are doing in the same time frame? It could be that the current payment policy for Approvals makes it hard to accumulate enough stamps to offset shipping costs, and thus less buyers are bothering?

Curious what sellers and buyers here have to say? Would having an on-going list of "Wanted Books" help generate more books that meet the needs of the membership?
And if such a list was created, would it only list buyer's wants for 1 month, 2 months or?
Or is there some other method to channel seller's activities to meet current buyer's wants? As a seller, I would find it of value, as I have many books I could accelerate to activate and I would not waste time on books in areas of low demand. As a buyer, I may be able to better influence sellers in posting my current (and changing) needs, as I would love to fill in many blanks early in my new collecting areas (S. America now...HINT..Big Grin). And I would easily update my want list weekly or monthly as my needs evolve.

What do you all think?
rrr...

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Soundcrest

29 Apr 2018
06:08:48pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Speaking for myself only - sales are half what they were 12-18 months ago. I attribute that to a) one buyer cutting back significantly and b) MORE sellers. The pie is only so big. If more slices are created the size of the slice will be smaller. I also have upped my books to 5 a week BUT no longer are there 100 sets, but rather 100 STAMPS. This makes for a smaller and faster to create book. It allows restocking as well as I have always sensed a "if I'm not one of the first I have little interest" in new books. Being able to restock a book 3 and sometimes 4 times gives others a chance to be first. It's also much quicker in the end to break down and gives me the ability to add different countries that I could not add if I was not counting each stamp.

Yes the percentage sold is smaller. No doubt about it. I usually figure its because I have selected a country that there is little interest. However, I have also found (which reaffirms my statements above) that closing a book and re-opening it with NO CHANGES does have sales. I would not expect a large percentage of stamps in a book like that would sell but then again logic would dictate that zero stamps should sell, yet this is not the case.

There are sellers cutting back. I know because they have told me so. When sales drop off sellers look for other venues. Lets be honest. Thats why a lot of sellers came here 3 years ago. These sellers no doubt still sell on the older sites and if they are like me they have seen a pickup in sales there, hence, they will spend more time on these other sites. I don't have to do that as I have cut the time down to create approval books by almost 50% even though I do 5 instead of 3 books a week. Would a larger book generate more sales? Perhaps, but I could not restock it and it takes a LONG time to break down a book to list elsewhere. Ask anyone who sells here who lists with the bigger sites.

I continue to buy with specific intent to sell here, and I do not see that changing. I will keep listing 5 books even though sales are down, as while some of the buyers here buy from me on other sites, the majority do not. I have said from day one, the buyers here are like my old approval buyers from back in the day AND in many cases they do not have a lot of money to spend on their hobbies. I remember quite well what that was like

To answer your auction question, no real change for me for auctions for the most part. I have cut the penny auctions back by 1/3 and have begun penny auctions elsewhere. I continue to cut them back as there seems to be a race for the bottom here. If a buyer cannot purchase it for a penny, they are not interested, hence the first person to bid usually wins. For a penny. There are exceptions to that but usually more than 2/3 of the weekly stamps sell for a penny. I have gradually cut them back and may continue to do that in the future. All my 20% CV auctions perform as expected.

Greg

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Stevo45

29 Apr 2018
06:45:54pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"So I ask: Is the new system impacting significantly the number of books activated, or the on-going sales levels? I am curious about figures per week, per month etc?
"



Yes.. Less books = Less Sellers = Less Buyers

Sellers are leaving here and buyers are following..

Steve
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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
29 Apr 2018
06:52:30pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

" However, I have also found (which reaffirms my statements above) that closing a book and re-opening it with NO CHANGES does have sales. I would not expect a large percentage of stamps in a book like that would sell but then again logic would dictate that zero stamps should sell, yet this is not the case."



YYYYUUUUPPPPP!


" there seems to be a race for the bottom here."




Again YYYYUUUUPPPPP!


"Approvals makes it hard to accumulate enough stamps to offset shipping costs"



And thrice YYYYUUUUPPPPP!



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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
29 Apr 2018
06:57:14pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I have also noticed that the number of "visitors on line" has significantly dropped.




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In loving memory of Carol, my wife for 52 years.

29 Apr 2018
08:19:46pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

It's been over a year since I listed anything here - there are many reasons.

Approvals - way too time consuming for the return with the added rules and regulations and "suggestions".

Auctions - destroyed with the new mandate that stamps cataloging under $5 be totally fault free. So the $1 to $5 catalog value stamps with a trivial fault that I used to list and sell here at between 5 and 10 per cent of catalog now get listed in my main stock at 15 to 20 per cent of catalog and are usually quickly sold.

The shipping cost quandary. People feel that they need to spend enough to make a $1 shipping fee worthwhile. Fully 12 per cent of my orders are for a single stamp selling for 8 cents. 25 per cent of my sales total under $1 for the stamps. I charge $1.50 shipping and handling for any order, any quantity. Small orders don't bother me - it all spends the same and they are quick and easy and get the same attention (new 102 card, new glassine and custom stiffener) as orders over $100 do. One third of my orders are from other dealers, usually for resale on the same site. They have the customer base - I do not as of yet. Again - no problem as when I was doing shows that figure was over 60 per cent.

Just my two cents…. I think that perhaps we have reached the point where expectations are just too great. I looked through several approval books the other day and frankly if I needed material for stock {I don't) I would be placing orders here for resale…there is a lot of obscure material if you know where to look.

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cardstamp

29 Apr 2018
08:48:50pm

Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

My sales are down the last few months. I just do not see the new buyers that much anymore - I feel like I am selling to the same core group of a dozen or so buyers and how much new material do I have for them ?. My enthusiasm is down quite a bit also so I just am not putting up as many books anymore and the ones I do put up are smaller. It takes time to put the book together and within a little more than two months later - down they go with all that work with it. With the majority of repeat buyers how much of the same material can be put back up even if a percentage of the new book are not repeat stamps. If there was a steady stream of new buyers then I have no problem re-creating new books using leftovers merged with new items but if the same few people are going to be the same folks looking at my books - after awhile even they will move away. I still hope to put up a handful of new books each month but certainly not spending as much time doing so anymore. I am going back to putting up more stamps one by one onto Hipstamp instead because I can do that without needing the magic number of 100 and just do them a little at a time. I have stamps on that site that were posted 5-6 years ago that still seem to find new buyers so I am still not convinced that 2 months was the right cut-off here. However, if there are not alot of new buyers coming in - then I guess 2 months is enough now.
Steve

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
01 May 2018
07:51:47am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"the added rules and regulations and "suggestions""




Aye! ANY change always affects somebody!

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
01 May 2018
08:42:17am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I have stamps on that site that were posted 5-6 years ago that still seem to find new buyers so I am still not convinced that 2 months was the right cut-off here. "



I think our goal was to remove stamps that had been sitting,unsold, for six years.

Others have noted that one can put a book out with old material and, because it's considered a "new" book, that "old" book will get more sales. I haven't done it myself, so I can't attest to its success, but others have.

and, as Ian correctly notes, all changes will irritate someone; as will stasis.

David
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Soundcrest

01 May 2018
09:01:49am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

""I have stamps on that site that were posted 5-6 years ago that still seem to find new buyers so I am still not convinced that 2 months was the right cut-off here. ""




Yet you can run the same item in auction forever without changing anything due to the bulk uploader.......

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
01 May 2018
10:13:12am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"one can put a book out with old material and, because it's considered a "new" book, that "old" book will get more sales. I haven't done it myself, so I can't attest to its success, but others have."




YYYUUUUPPPPP!!!...............Been There, Done That.

YES it works!!!

Mainly it allows other members to buy the same/similar stuff as previously listed.
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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
01 May 2018
10:19:43am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Jings!....Crivvens!....Help Ma Boab!

Five to Six Years?

Once Six months is past , or earlier, the offending articles get thrown in a box and sent to the local Auction House.

Dead stock isn't worth diddlysquat, so flog it elsewhere!!!

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
01 May 2018
10:35:22am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Yet you can run the same item in auction forever without changing anything due to the bulk uploader......."



and some of you do.... kinda wish you'd stop. THAT was the reason that Ralphy invented the approval books so people would have months and months to look at that now familiar stuff.


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cardstamp

01 May 2018
04:01:20pm

Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I am not saying books here should be open for 5 to 6 years !! However I was doing better when I manually took my books down after 4 months. True, most of the sales happened in the first few days but I had additional sales after I put up something new and that "new" buyer then went back to the slightly older books and added more items to bulk up their order to cover the shipping charge. I had a new buyer here recently who took about 20 stamps and was interested in stamps from a country where he had just missed a book that was closed by the system. By Scott # - I was able to manually add in some additional stamps for him.
It is kind of like a lottery system - you just never know when you will have a buyer that may be interested in a book which may not be of interest to others. That is what I was trying to point out with my comment about stamps I sell on Hipstamp - sometimes an oldie but goodie finds a match with a new buyer. Over on that site - I try not to bother with common stamps that you can find many other examples of already - just not worth the time and effort for that.
Steve

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Soundcrest

01 May 2018
04:34:01pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I don't think that I have much in the way of sales here in older books. True I have an awful lot of books that are now in the process of being restocked or blacked out. When it gets to under 100 stamps and I have nothing to add, and know I am not going to try to buy a collection to restock it, I empty the book and delete it. I know exactly what you mean by old stuff selling on Hipstamp, and I cannot explain that. I sold something today that was listed in 2008. I find listing with their bulk uploader an amazingly fast process. If the one here was like that then I too would run the same auctions for months on end. Why not? It would take minutes to set up and just keep the whole mess of spreadsheets as inventory deleting items from them should they sell. Takes too long to do that here now. Maybe its better that the uploader doesn't work the same....

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
02 May 2018
10:49:08am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Look, folks, the demographics tell it all. As of today, there are 1,742 active members on Stamporama. A good chunk of that number are non-participants, having joined, looked at the site for a few days, and are gone. So, those who are trying to sell here are looking at a very small population of buyers. It has always been that way.

I look at every approval book that is posted. I see the same material over and over and over again. How many times do you expect a small group of buyers to purchase the same stamps? Saturation is definite.

Some sellers offer different stamps. How often is it stated that an approval book of x material was posted and sold 80% in the first day? That's what people are looking for, so post stamps from those areas. How many approval books do we need of overpriced used United States commemoratives? Look at the online charts of all the approval books. It tells you what people are buying.

You want to improve your sales. But what are you as a seller doing to improve the product that you are selling? I see many approval books full of damaged stamps that are getting reposted time and time again in new books. Do you think that new people joining here want to continuously see the same damaged junk?

Buyers complain that they purchase stamps that are not noted as being damaged, but when received are damaged. Some sellers even fold the stamps/souvenir sheets so that the larger stamps and sheets fit in small envelopes. Some sellers simply throw loose stamps in an envelope and ship them to the buyer. The stamps arrive damaged. This is only a little bit of what I have seen from my own purchases, and from what other buyers have told me about.

Stamporama provides members with a platform to sell stamps. If the platform is filled with low-priced junk, and if purchased stamps are received "not as described", or damaged due to reckless packing, the sales platform gets a reputation of being not worth the trouble buying from.

Stamporama sales platforms are not intended to be storage facilities to keep the same stamps recycling over and over. Stamporama doesn't work, nor is it intended to work, like the commercial selling sites. If you want a store to hold your stamps until someone comes along to buy it, you'll need to seek out other sites with many more buyers such as HipStamp, Delcampe and Ebay.

If your stamps aren't selling, then you need to see how what you are offering differs from what others are offering. Don't just use this site as a dumping ground for your stamps that don't sell elsewhere, or as a venue to try to sell crap. To me, that shows disrespect to the members here. Would you bring such stamps to a club meeting and try to sell them to the members there? How would they react to seeing such material?

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
02 May 2018
11:26:08am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Some statistics on the approval books.

There are currently 42 sellers with 494 active approval books. The number of sellers holds somewhat stable. The number of active approval books has dropped about 100. One factor is a seller who voluntarily left and another who involuntarily left, both of whom had many books posted.

We are getting into the summer months, which is traditionally a slow period for stamp sales as people consider spending money on vacations.

There are 64 books in the "Closing Soon" category:

- sales range from 5.3% to 84.5% sold

- mean average sales is 35.5%

- average sales per book = 37.24% (the APS Sales Division considers 1/3 sales from sales books to be very good, with average sales from APS sales books around 25%)

- average length of time each book has been active = 4 months

- longest time a book has been active 11 months

There are many approval books that have been closed and reposted as new. I suspect that many of those have seen little to no sales, and have been placed on the "Closing Soon" list (again).

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Soundcrest

02 May 2018
11:52:35am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"There are many approval books that have been closed and reposted as new. I suspect that many of those have seen little to no sales, and have been placed on the "Closing Soon" list (again)."




Yes but I disagree about the amount of sales it will get. It's all about "me first". I can tell you that from experience. Certainly some of my books are relisted and get minimal sales. After three shots if I have the time to break it down I will, otherwise, since it takes so little time to recreate an old book as new, I will run it again. However this is NOT the norm. I have sold out of reposted new books to people that I sell to all the time, but who do not look at old books. It happens far too often to not take the time to relist a book IF you have it set up the first time in a easily relistable format.

Greg
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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
02 May 2018
12:16:23pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

..and Greg, you are again an exception to many of the other sellers in that you "work" your books to keep them active. Many do not, and just let them languish in limbo doing no one any good. Thus the creation of the "Closing Soon" category.

So, for the lazy sellers who do not work their books, the decline in the number of active books could possibly be be in part to those sellers not reworking their closed/closing soon books.

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
02 May 2018
02:29:04pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Jings!...Crivvens!...Help Ma Boab!

Individual Members are just that....individuals!!

What rings one members bell drives another to despair.

What works for one seller may not suit another, and the same can be said of buyers.

REJOICE in our individuality.

Do you want us all to be clones.

Heaven forbid but YOU ALL could end up like ME or rrraphy.......EXCEPTIONAL!!!!

(hee hee hee)





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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
02 May 2018
04:20:42pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Heaven forbid but YOU ALL could end up like ME or rrraphy.......EXCEPTIONAL!!!!"


Ian, Thanks for the (in jest I am sure) compliment. Now for that other guy...I am not so sure. Rolling On The Floor Laughing Rolling On The Floor Laughing

Now Michael is correct in that we are clearly reaching some level of saturation, and the necessary rule changes have made it harder to get sales the "old way".

As Sellers (and Buyers) we need to change!

I for one will be reworking all my books and adding lots of new ones, as soon as I am back in town (June). Meanwhile they are one by one ending up in "closing soon", or "closed" status. NO I don't think that discounting a 10c stamp to 8c has or will make any difference. I will no longer discount my books.

What I decided I needed to do is to change and to show more flexibility (less material per book, no duplicates, adding cat numbers, noting clearly the stamp condition, when applicable.) and having a steady flow of books at the same time...each a few days apart.

It will take more time, but in a Club, I think the sales activity is just a form of trading activity, and apart from sharing your duplicates, helping others in their collections and adding some wanted stamps to your collection, I doubt that anyone here can make money! I think people who only sell and buy nothing may eventually get discouraged...especially when lots of competing stamps get listed for under 10c each

I plan to add more pricey material, and less common material, as the smaller books make it hard to get sales above a threshold that many of us deem essential to offset shipping costs. And to reissue (with replenished material) the books more often, but after 3 months. You will not see me again posting a US book, or a book of mostly standard serial definitives. ( I will offer them cheap via email requests)

I think sellers who bill immediately even small amounts are (to me) a flaw in how the system should work. This is not Auctions and piece price is too low! I just shipped an order for under $4, which needed $1.20 of mailing stamps, and a 50c Paypal charge...a total waste of my time.

Ian I am not going to suggest any new rules..you are safe Big Grin, but you know what I am talking about re shipping. Small orders in Approvals are the death of the system! I have often suggested that billing should be monthly, in contrast to Auctions, although it assumes a steady flow of new books by the sellers that should attract more sales to grow the totals.
I for one will continue to bill monthly or anytime on request (and bi-monthly for orders under $5).

rrr...

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Stevo45

02 May 2018
04:23:27pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"There are currently 42 sellers with 494 active approval books. The number of sellers holds somewhat stable. The number of active approval books has dropped about 100. One factor is a seller who voluntarily left and another who involuntarily left, both of whom had many books posted."


Am I really one of only two Sellers that have left ?
on 29/1/18 there were 47 Sellers 663 books 9,020 pages and 138,500 item what happened to the other five Sellers ?

"Look, folks, the demographics tell it all. As of today, there are 1,742 active members on Stamporama. A good chunk of that number are non-participants, having joined, looked at the site for a few days, and are gone. So, those who are trying to sell here are looking at a very small population of buyers. It has always been that way.
"


It is true that the population of buyers here is very small - 1,742 is meaningless for this discussion, as you say (A good chunk of that number are non-participants) - how many of them are buyers ? Even fewer members have a chance to buy now. Over 74 members here have purchases over 18,00 items from me in a short time - mostly from larger books listed over a longer time frame - You appear to have sold less than 4,000 items in a longer time frame, can you tell us how many members have made purchases from you ? Can other Sellers tell us the numbers ?

" Saturation is definite."



That is just rubbish


"Some sellers offer different stamps. How often is it stated that an approval book of x material was posted and sold 80% in the first day? That's what people are looking for, so post stamps from those areas. How many approval books do we need of overpriced used United States commemoratives? Look at the online charts of all the approval books. It tells you what people are buying.
You want to improve your sales. But what are you as a seller doing to improve the product that you are selling? I see many approval books full of damaged stamps that are getting reposted time and time again in new books. Do you think that new people joining here want to continuously see the same damaged junk?"



Is it only the US Sellers that you have a problem with?

What has been done to help the sellers ?

"Buyers complain that they purchase stamps that are not noted as being damaged, but when received are damaged. Some sellers even fold the stamps/souvenir sheets so that the larger stamps and sheets fit in small envelopes. Some sellers simply throw loose stamps in an envelope and ship them to the buyer. The stamps arrive damaged. This is only a little bit of what I have seen from my own purchases, and from what other buyers have told me about.

Stamporama provides members with a platform to sell stamps. If the platform is filled with low-priced junk, and if purchased stamps are received "not as described", or damaged due to reckless packing, the sales platform gets a reputation of being not worth the trouble buying from."



So penalise those "Bad Sellers" - how many have been informed of their bad practices? - Seems to me that all sellers are being penalised for the sins of few

How many of those "Bad Sellers" are still listing here ?


Reputation here seems to be getting worse

"Stamporama sales platforms are not intended to be storage facilities to keep the same stamps recycling over and over. Stamporama doesn't work, nor is it intended to work, like the commercial selling sites. If you want a store to hold your stamps until someone comes along to buy it, you'll need to seek out other sites with many more buyers such as HipStamp, Delcampe and Ebay."



You can tell a Seller to leave here (as you have done in the past) but It is not up to you to tell sellers where to sell - That is for the Seller to decide according to their preferences

"If your stamps aren't selling, then you need to see how what you are offering differs from what others are offering. Don't just use this site as a dumping ground for your stamps that don't sell elsewhere, or as a venue to try to sell crap. To me, that shows disrespect to the members here. Would you bring such stamps to a club meeting and try to sell them to the members there? How would they react to seeing such material?"



I would suggest that not many people try to SELL crap here - Do you have a figure on how many of the 42 Sellers try to SELL crap here ?

For me it was very good here - Sadly for me it is no longer..

Cheers

Steve

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Stevo45

02 May 2018
04:28:20pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I think sellers who bill immediately even small amounts are (to me) a flaw in how the system should work. This is not Auctions and piece price is too low! I just shipped an order for under $4, which needed $1.20 of mailing stamps, and a 50c Paypal charge...a total waste of my time."



I Totally agree and I am amazed how often people happily buy just the one stamp and international postage.

Cheers

Steve
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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
02 May 2018
04:32:16pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Ian, that's all true, but retail has rules, and business models if one wants to be successful. Yes, probably most members here don't know about retail sales or business models other than when they go to a store and buy something. However, common sense should tell anyone that if one tries to sell the same things that many others are selling, then one must either sell at a deep discount from the others, or else resolve that sales will not be good.

If an approval book is posted with all pages with stamps priced at 10 cents each, then ALL of those stamps should be solid. Damaged stamps should not be on the same pages as sound stamps. The damaged stamps are not worth the same price as solid stamps. Such stamps should be placed on a separate page and priced very much lower than the solid stamps. That, however, is often not the case with the approval books here as sellers charge the same price whether a stamp is solid or damaged.

That's why I say that sellers need to know what it is they are doing. If one wants to be successful and sell, then one must learn how to sell, and that includes the correct way to identify and price stamps.

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Soundcrest

02 May 2018
05:19:23pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I just shipped an order for under $4, which needed $1.20 of mailing stamps, and a 50c Paypal charge...a total waste of my time."



Ralph why do you take paypal for under $5? I don't except for foreign. If you want to work around the fact that I specifically say no PAYPAL and send me money direct well..... I won't say anything else.

"NO I don't think that discounting a 10c stamp to 8c has or will make any difference. I will no longer discount my books.
"



I agree. Discount once and then its expected. I have not had the time to check on those folks who DO discount their books. They may be pricing them higher because they intend to do that. I do that elsewhere where I accept best offers on stamps

"I plan to add more pricey material"



I have had minimal success with high priced stamps here. In fact I have read that 20% CV is too much. There are people who think we "professionals" live in mansions, with servants and a Jag parked in the driveway. I wish.

Greg


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michael78651

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02 May 2018
05:28:49pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I think sellers who bill immediately even small amounts are (to me) a flaw in how the system should work."



It is not a flaw in the system, nor do the rules require immediate invoicing. Invoicing is supposed to take place when the buyer and seller are ready to conclude the transaction. The timing of when that happens is totally between those two people.

Once I received an invoice from a seller while I was in the process of buying stamps from him! I guess some sellers have itchy trigger fingers.
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Philatarium

APS #187980
02 May 2018
06:52:45pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

As a seller, it is sometimes/often difficult to determine when a buyer has finished shopping here on SOR.

I'll make a suggestion I made once several years ago, and I think it's still worthy of consideration by the management team:

It would be very helpful if there were some kind of notification somewhere in the approval book section where a buyer would easily see it, that says "I'm done -- please invoice" or something similar.

That button would simply trigger a notification to the seller that this buyer would like to be invoiced.

I'm very aware, and very sympathetic, as a former erstwhile developer myself, that this is something else that ends up on Tim's plate. But it doesn't have to calculate the invoice or anything else. We already have those tools. Just a simple push-button notification by the buyer might help fix this problem.

A non-Tim way to do this would be to include really explicit directions in the buyer instructions to let a seller know directly, but I think a button somewhere in the approval book system (first page, last page, list of books from a seller, etc?) would be most effective.

One seller's itchy trigger finger is another seller's tardiness in invoicing and shipping, for the same period of time, because expectations can vary widely.

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
02 May 2018
06:59:12pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

" retail has rules, and business models if one wants to be successful"



Yes retail has rules, but come on, this is a club not Sears, Standard Oil, or my old company " The Company of Englishmen and Adventurers Trading into Hudsons' Bay".

AND REMEMBER there are many, many, many retail business models.

As I have said before, what suits one retailer, may or does not suit another retailer.

The same as the information one buyer wants another may want different information. So a single retailer will never be able to satisfy every potential customer and that must be accepted by buyers.

The seller has the right to work in his own way within the rules of the club.

Here on Stamporama we have a "system" that may not be perfect and it NEVER will be because you cannot please all the people all of the time!!

As far as "damaged" stamps are concerned, some will always slip through as we are but human and errors/bad eyesight will always have an affect. Sellers have an obligation to keep these to a minimum but buyers also have a responsibility to take a careful look at the scans before hitting the "buy" button.

"Once I received an invoice from a seller while I was in the process of buying stamps from him!"



YES this can happen as there is NO WAY that a seller can tell that somebody is still buying within the current system!!!! Unless they have the to be invoiced page on the screen and continualy refreshing that screen every few seconds!! (It is not a common occurance).

I have said this before and I will say it again. EVERY member has a different level of education/experience and therefore we MUST respect, have patience, be tolerant and above all have fun and enjoy our hobby!!!!!







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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
02 May 2018
07:01:29pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"As a seller, it is sometimes/often difficult to determine when a buyer has finished shopping here on SOR."



YYYUUUPPP....YYYUUUPPP.....and thrice YYYUUUPPP.



" Invoicing is supposed to take place when the buyer and seller are ready to conclude the transaction. "




This should actually read:- "Invoicing is supposed to take place when the buyer is ready to conclude the transaction."
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michael78651

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02 May 2018
07:04:46pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Ian, you and I are saying the same thing. We just use different English! Big Grin

Regarding damage, please remember that we have many members here who have vision problems. We do not permit reliance on images to detail damage for that reason. Also, unless a seller posts an image of the backside of each stamp, no one knows if there is damage or not on that side unless it is disclosed by the seller.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
02 May 2018
07:06:58pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Jings!...Crivvens!...Help Ma Boab!

Two countries separated by a common language!!




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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
02 May 2018
07:11:43pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Regarding damage, please remember that we have many members here who have vision problems"




Some sellers are also part of that group!!...(not being sarcastic)
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Stevo45

02 May 2018
07:30:56pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"It would be very helpful if there were some kind of notification somewhere in the approval book section where a buyer would easily see it, that says "I'm done -- please invoice" or something similar.

That button would simply trigger a notification to the seller that this buyer would like to be invoiced. "




Yep Good Idea - It is done on at least one other site - Works well..

But don't hold your breath for any help (for a Seller) here..

Steve.
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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
02 May 2018
08:08:09pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I think from a seller standpoint, it may be helpful if I provide some insight to how I look at approval books. That way sellers can keep this in mind when compiling approval books, and perhaps the end result will be less work for me in my reviews, and less work for sellers editing the problems.

When new approval books are posted, they will get reviewed for compliance with the rules. How in-depth a newly-listed book is reviewed depends on several things:

- if there have been a large percentage of sales from the book, the review will be done quickly just to see what was offered for overall compliance

- if the seller is new, the book gets scrutinized in-depth

- books from existing sellers get reviewed based on their history of compliance (most sellers' books are compliant, usually resulting in cursory reviews; a few sellers' book are sometimes non-compliant, resulting in either a cursory or in-depth review; the very few remaining sellers' books are usually non-compliant, resulting in a in-depth review)

While all approval book rules are in play for compliance, I primarily look for:

- required minimum number of items is present in the book
- items being offered are philatelic-related
- each item on a page is clearly and neatly numbered
- multiple copies of an item do not exceed the maximum limit allowed
- damaged stamps are so indicated

- counterfeit and such stamps are not being offered as genuine
- selected categories match the stamps contained in the approval book

Note: The items indicated in red are the non-compliant factors that are the most commonly found.

What happens when an approval book is found to be non-compliant?

When problems are found in an approval book:

- The seller is notified and asked to edit the book to correct the problems. If the seller has been notified of non-compliance before, the book may be inactivated with the seller advised to fix the problems before reactivating the book. Continued non-compliance can result in suspension from the sales platforms either temporarily or permanently.

- A record is made of non-compliant contacts. This lets the other moderators know that the matter has been addressed so that the seller is not contacted more than once for the same problems with the same approval book. It also serves to identify the types of problems being found, and the sellers who continue to create non-compliant approval books. (The records are for Stamporama Management use only, so do not ask for information regarding this. If you have had a non-compliant book in the past, the record is a copy of the message(s) you were sent.)

- Sometimes, especially with new/newer sellers, advice is given regarding how to make better approval books. It depends on the situation.

Regarding damaged stamps that are not so noted, a very small number of such stamps with very minor damage will not cause a book to fail a review. Also, stamps from some countries have notoriously bad perforations. These stamps are not considered as being damaged unless the damage is more than just bad perforations.

How many approval books are found to be non-compliant? Not very many. The last one so found was on April 12. During a normal week only a few books turn out to be non-compliant, and rarely are they the books of established members. Rather, they are books created by new members who did not read the rules, or who did read the rules, but decided to disregard them.

The review process does not editorialize, such as informing a seller that listing 100 books from the same country is not a good idea. That is totally up to the seller. The review is a quality control process for compliance with the rules.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Also, you may contact me to request a waiver from the rules if you believe your book contains material, especially regarding the minimum number rule, that cannot meet compliance rules. Waivers are not automatic. Your request must be sent and approved before you can post your approval book.

I hope this helps to clear up some of the mystery and speculation that some of you have indicated regarding the approval book review process.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
02 May 2018
08:09:34pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"But don't hold your breath for any help (for a Seller) here"



What a piss-poor attitude for someone who gets a service here for free.
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michael78651

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02 May 2018
08:16:32pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"It would be very helpful if there were some kind of notification somewhere in the approval book section where a buyer would easily see it, that says "I'm done -- please invoice" or something similar"



While this specifically does not exist, you can contact a seller while in the approval book area to send a private message requesting an invoice. Yes, it takes a couple of steps, but it isn't that difficult.

The seller's name is contained on the title page of each approval book directly under "PRESENTED BY". Clicking on the seller's name will take you to the member's profile. At the top of the profile is a box "SEND A MESSAGE". Click on the box, and create your message to the seller.

You can also get to the same result by clicking on "ALL BOOKS FOR THIS SELLER". When the list of books appears, click on the seller's name, and you go to the member's profile. At the top of the profile is a box "SEND A MESSAGE". Click on the box, and create your message to the seller.

As for having a "Contact Seller" similar to what is found on an auction lot, I have to leave that for our volunteer webmaster to decide whether he has the time to make the change.
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Stevo45

02 May 2018
09:15:42pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"What a piss-poor attitude for someone who gets a service here for free."



It's not free - Sellers Invest a lot of time and effort at very low return here..

And I think your answer reflects the poor attitude and the thinking towards Sellers who provide good service here.

If you don't want to answer my questions - that's fine - Ignore & Deflect, just like a politician.

And if you want to start trading insults - that's fine too - Bring it on..

Steve.


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angore

Collector, Moderator
03 May 2018
08:22:14am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

It always seems the auction/approval discussions get the most posts.

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
03 May 2018
08:36:01am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Am I really one of only two Sellers that have left ?
on 29/1/18 there were 47 Sellers 663 books 9,020 pages and 138,500 item what happened to the other five Sellers ?"



I don't know


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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
03 May 2018
08:39:12am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"You appear to have sold less than 4,000 items in a longer time frame, can you tell us how many members have made purchases from you "

?

There is no individual addressed in your question, Steve; don't know to whom you are addressing this question or its value were it answered.

"Can other Sellers tell us the numbers ?
"



actually, you can find that information out by looking at the member section, where it lists sales and purchases. Seems like a lot of work, but the data is there.


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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
03 May 2018
08:45:42am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"Is it only the US Sellers that you have a problem with? "



would that it were; we have sellers from a number of countries who prefer to do things in ways that abuse our rules.

"What has been done to help the sellers ?"



multiple violations of a rule generates a suspension of selling privileges; we've done this several times.

"So penalise those "Bad Sellers" - how many have been informed of their bad practices? - Seems to me that all sellers are being penalised for the sins of few "



We inform sellers, privately, of problems; we ask them to fix the problems; when the do, it's kisses all around; when they don't, we delete the offending lots. When it's a pattern, see response to earlier question.

"How many of those "Bad Sellers" are still listing here ?"



There are still sellers whose lots sometimes violate our rules. There are other sellers whose lots just don't sell and if we could find a way to keep those lots from clogging the auction, we would, but none of us feel unilateral actions without a rule being violated are acceptable.



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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
03 May 2018
08:49:04am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I would suggest that not many people try to SELL crap here - Do you have a figure on how many of the 42 Sellers try to SELL crap here ?"



crap is somewhat subjective, but there are people who too often attempt to sell damaged MCV stamps. We discourage that with extreme prejudice.

In addition, there are people who sell overpriced rather common material. It doesn't quite meet the definition of crap, but it is mostly material that doesn't and won't sell. As I mentioned earlier, if we could prohibit it, we would.


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03 May 2018
08:57:19am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I've treid to answer Steve's questions.

For the record, those of us who work behind the scenes on the auction, approvals, DB, and elsewhere do so with good intentions. I think sometimes that gets lost if one doesn't like the thing we put up.

We like sellers. We buy from sellers. If we didn't, we'd simply close up shop.

And there have been times we've implemented a change and found that the result was less satisfactory than we had hoped. Heck, I've suggested and implemented a couple of those duds myself. Good intentions, poor results. We've changed things back; or tried something different.

Hopefully that positive aim, regardless of outcome, will come through. If it wasn't apparent, I've stated it for the record.

David, purveyor of ideas good and ill

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Soundcrest

03 May 2018
09:05:36am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I just looked at the sellers of the books listed as "new". Of the 11 sellers, 9 I would call "professional" or dealers as their sold greatly exceeds their buys. I suspect that if I were to look at every seller that has books up I would find almost the same ratio.

We can bat the ball back and forth forever with why sales are down for people individually but I suspect that overall they are fairly stable from a year ago if you discount the one major buyer who has cut back, or at least appears to have. There is an limited amount of money that can be spent on a hobby. When a new seller comes along and offers decent stamps at good prices, and buyers find out either by checking them out or by word of mouth, that new dealer will be taking money from other sellers for as long as they continue to offer what the collector is looking for. A new seller does not create sales from other people who are not buying. It is a lot like lunch places that open up here in town. Their success depends on taking customers away from existing establishments. The new place does not cause people who brown bag it to all of a sudden change their habits and eat out every day. No different here.

As a wise old dealer said to me when I first got into selling stamps eons ago, "you can't eat stamps". In other words money spent on a hobby is money that is leftover after all the bills are paid - or at least it should be. You can offer the best stamps at the best prices and if people don't have the money to spend, it doesn't matter. It's easy to overlook that. Diversify. As Michael said, "open a store elsewhere" Yes, open many stores elsewhere and then look at what you are doing here with approval books and use here as a staging ground for other sites. Think about how you can take unsold material and easily add it elsewhere. Auctions as well. If you are one of those people who insist on running the same auctions every week with minimal sales, think about doing auctions someplace else. What do they say is the definition of insanity? You can PM me for any info you might want on other sites. I have no problem answering questions. To sit though and beat yourself up over lack of sales, stop the beating and look around. Ask others. I would be shocked to find that the people who have approval books who don't buy, are not selling someplace else.If they are like me they will be happy to share sites and opinions. Thats it, thats all I am going to say on this matter. There is work to be done.

Greg

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cardstamp

03 May 2018
04:15:59pm

Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Just a few comments after reading thru all of the latest comments. No one has ever told me I am doing anything wrong here - so either that is good or bad ? I do not mind some constructive criticism if someone thinks I should do something better !

I never intentionally put up a damaged stamp in an approval book. I tend to throw stamps out if the condition is damaged - not worth the effort to identify the damage. However, I have had cases where things have slipped thru - but I always offer refunds and do not require the stamps back. Awhile ago a few stamps I sent had some small thins and I refunded for those stamps when someone complained. However, some folks seem to be OK with a small thin for a cheaper common stamp.

As for invoicing - I tend to wait until there is enough to make shipping worthwhile. If too much time goes by - I will invoice but I always put a note in the invoice - if they need more time to add more - just let me know and I will hold the invoice for awhile longer. Then I have the opposite problem where after 24 hours someone will tell me they want the invoice right away even if it is small. I have even offered to cancel some sales when someone has selected only a couple of stamps. I try to be flexible with this but when the order gets large and more bulky - I like to invoice and close it out - otherwise with some of my regulars - this could become an annual invoice if I do not cut them off at some point !

As for selling elsewhere - as I mentioned I do have another "store" but I always put stamps in approval books here first and then move over items that are not selling here but are not too common on the other site. A common stamp that already has many examples available I do not bother with. The exception is stamps over $1.00 or so - I tend to skip the approvals here - they just do not seem to sell easily from the books. What I have done this with several buyers here is that I will combine an invoice here with sales from the other site and drop the extra shipping charge. They are required to pay on the other site and then I invoice here without the shipping charge and send it all together. "One stop shopping". It works out rather nicely.

Finally, for sales/discounts. I Admit I made a big mistake offering the discounts at the end of a book's life. I noticed now some folks do wait until the sale and they will buy some of the stamps from me then. I have been marking down the books when they get in Closing Now but with the 2 month cycle - I think this is causing a problem with my initial sales. I may try stopping the sales starting on June 1 and see what happens.

Steve

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 May 2018
08:14:59am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Steve,

it will be interesting to see if your supposition that the bargain hunters are waiting for your discounts is correct.

Please post an update when you have sufficient data.

David

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Soundcrest

04 May 2018
08:46:42am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I find the whole markdown issue quite interesting, and if I had the time i would explore what I think is going on. If you go back to the often discussed catalog number issue, you read that people don't need catalog numbers in their collecting. That being said they probably do not own a catalog, and cannot check catalog values. This would mean that one could charge say 50% more than what they are expecting, sell what they can at that price, and then lower it twice to the amount that they would have sold at if they were not intending to do a markdown. A $1 stamp that a person like myself would list in a book for 35 cents would instead list at 50 or 55 cents. First mark down is to 45 cents and the next to 35 cents. I don't do that because it is too time consuming to go in and edit pages one at a time and then save them, changing the price. I can tell you from experience on other sites where a buyer can make an offer be it on stamps, postcards, vinyl or books, you will ALWAYS sell more when you allow that. People want the perception of a "deal" whether it is a deal or not. I usually sell at 40% CV, but mark everything to 60% CV and accept best offers. Books and Vinyl I double, and postcards I add 50%. Believe me, it works and if you ARE a seller someplace else, try doing that with some of your listings no matter what they are.

Greg

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whitebuffalo

04 May 2018
11:51:12am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I've always hesitated getting involved in these conversations, because the fact is I don't sell my duplicate stamps, I donate them to the local school. So to some degree, I'm talking out the corner of my mouth. However, when I first joined SOR, I do remember reading the outline info about the auctions and approval books. The statement that struck me went something like, "a way for collectors to get rid of their duplicates". As someone who has, at times, had 10's of thousands of duplicate stamps, I saw that as a cool way of getting rid of them and not being overly concerned about profits. After all, I have very little money invested in them and just sitting in a box, they're worth nothing anyway. My first impression was friends selling to friends and the amount of work or profits realized had nothing to do with it.

I will say that every seller I've dealt with here has been exceptional in the service and help in acquiring needed stamps and some have been very generous in donating stamps to the school club I mentioned earlier. But at the same time, these conversations always seem to head down the road of money, time and all the work involved. I guess I don't understand why "club atmosphere" is even mentioned in these conversations. If you don't like the work and don't like the money, why do it? And if you do it to help members/friends, why bitch about it?

It just seems to me if you do it for profit, then SOR probably isn't the right venue. If you do it to help friends out, then effort and money shouldn't be of such concern. Like I said, my duplicates are worthless just sitting in a box anyway. I'd rather give them away then fret myself over what to do with them.

JMHO, hope I haven't offended anyone,


WB

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
04 May 2018
06:52:15pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Threads like this one give sellers an opportunity to see what other sellers think, what they are doing and what they intend to do and where they are doing it.
It allows sellers to look at their own procedures and they may make improvements to what they sell, how they price it thus improving the buyers experience.

It also lets the management team see what some sellers are thinking and may allow the team to make better decisions about the sales platforms.

Of course any discussion within an organisation, differing points of view will be made, some points made more forcefully by some individuals than others, and a consensus will be reached, or the discussion will just dry up.

My personal opinion is that discussion is healthy even if at the end you think "That was educational. It taught me a lesson."

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whitebuffalo

05 May 2018
09:52:03am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

In my opinion, this is the bottom line of every one of these "discussions".

"For the record, those of us who work behind the scenes on the auction, approvals, DB, and elsewhere do so with good intentions."



Anytime people fail to recognize and keep this in mind while posting, it is no longer a conversation, it's a debate.


WB

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
05 May 2018
11:46:47am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Jings!...Crivvens!...Help Ma Boab!


There is a saying in Old Caledonia:-

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"


LaughingLaughingLaughing

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Stevo45

05 May 2018
08:22:05pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"In my opinion, this is the bottom line of every one of these "discussions".

Quote:
"For the record, those of us who work behind the scenes on the auction, approvals, DB, and elsewhere do so with good intentions."



Anytime people fail to recognize and keep this in mind while posting, it is no longer a conversation, it's a debate.

"



Hi WB

Yep I agree with that But..

I feel that the good intentions of most sellers here are often overlooked also.

Steve



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angore

Collector, Moderator
06 May 2018
07:05:43am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

It seems the original intent was to create a way for people to dispose of duplicates but the added rules appear to be focused on regulating the regular sellers.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
06 May 2018
08:43:52am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

On another thread here there is a discussion how bad Ebay is, because it is full of sellers who are defrauding buyers, and the lack of oversight Ebay provides as protection to the good buyers and sellers to rid the site of those who are selling bogus, "not as described", etc. items. On this thread the underlying theme is the disdain for such oversight. The difference is that on the thread about Ebay, it is about protecting the buyers. On this thread it is the sellers objecting. Don't you think the sellers would also be objecting to oversight on Ebay if Ebay did the same as is done here? Of course. There's a choice: the madness of Ebay, or the sanity of here.

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Soundcrest

06 May 2018
09:07:32am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I believe I posted on that thread. 20 years of sales on ebay and only once did ebay side with me. It is ALWAYS the sellers fault,100% of the time, and if there are buyers here that do not claim things that make them unhappy then who's fault is that. I've had to refund people for all kinds of things that were clearly not my fault, like a mail person taking an LP in an LP mailer, folding it in half and stuffing it in the mail box. That of course was clearly my fault. Or the woman that bought a new skirt, and sent it back because it smelled like cats. We have no cats. No doubt she wore it where she needed to wear it and sent it back afterwards. That too, my fault. How about the person that bought a postcard of a monument in Bennington VT, then wanted to return the postcard because she did not receive the monument. I kid you not. My fault, had to refund her. I do blacklist any person who files a ridiculous complaint.

I stay out of the issues here for the most part and keep my opinions to myself. Not worth creating bad feelings

Greg

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musicman

APS #213005
06 May 2018
09:16:59am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Okay....

I've been reading all the threads posted here - and in other threads as well - in regard to approvals, auction listings and the rules and regs in place for these;

I am not an approval seller, I am an auction seller sporadically and I am a buyer of both.

I have grown very tired of this entire thread!

There are 'good' sellers here and there are 'bad' sellers here.

What do we have if we do not have rules for how auctions/approvals are created/presented/conducted??

WE HAVE A CHAOTIC MESS, THAT'S WHAT.


With all due respect to the sellers here, YOU ARE USING A FREE SITE THAT VOLUNTEERS HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO SET UP FOR YOU TO USE AT NO CHARGE. NOTHING. NADA. NIL.

NO - its not perfect; YES - rules are sometimes changed; NO - they don't do it just because they can; YES - again, IT IS FREE TO SELL HERE.

I have read so many posted complaints from of THE SAME SMALL HANDFULL of sellers here that it is bordering on ridiculous.
If you hate the rules that are in place here, you are FREE TO STOP SELLING HERE.



NOW -

to those sellers who are here that offer constructive criticism when rules are put in place, changed, modified - THANK YOU; you are doing your part as a member here to offer valuable input that will result in the benefit of all of us who buy and sell on these platforms.
For that, we appreciate you greatly.

I/We also greatly appreciate our VOLUNTEER staff who have taken it upon themselves to WADE THROUGH ALL THE CRAP and STILL put out a great site that we ALL benefit from in more ways than you THINK you do!


And finally -

I would be remiss if I didn't mention ROY; the man that has continued to provide this all to us FOR FREE due to his generosity. THANK YOU, ROY.


Hopefully, we can END this bickering and get on with doing what most of us signed on here to do - enjoy stamp collecting and all it facets!


Okay....I've said my piece....on to other more constructive and interesting threads that have to do with stamp collecting and learning....

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whitebuffalo

06 May 2018
10:24:58am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I'd be interested to know if any of the folks on the opposition side of these threads have ever volunteered to be part of the MT or VC.

If so, do you feel that you were rejected because of your personal beliefs in how things should be done?

If not, then aren't you putting yourselves in the position of "back seat driver"? Not willing to take on the role yourselves, but rather just sit back and complain and question those that are willing to do the job?

Quite frankly I don't know why the MT/VC even bother sometimes. They don't have to do this. These folks volunteer their time, efforts and even money out of their own pockets in an effort to do the best they can in providing ALL of us with a venue in which to share our love of the hobby. Only to be, all to often, questioned, harassed and even ridiculed at times for those efforts. One member even seems to suggest their all going to hell because they don't do things the way he wants them to AND finds that attitude to be humorous. Really?!!

As far as I'm concerned, these folks can do no wrong, simply because there's no wrong to be done. They've taken on the role that seemingly nobody else wants to and they deserve nothing short of respect and cooperation from the rest of us. It's the only price we pay and the only compensation they receive.

Still JMHO, but this time I don't care if I pissed anyone off or not!!


WB

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51Studebaker

Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
06 May 2018
11:28:19am

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"…It is ALWAYS the sellers fault,100% of the time, and if there are buyers here that do not claim things that make them unhappy then who's fault is that…"



I do not think it is not anyone’s fault, it is simply eBay’s Terms and Conditions and these have favored the buyer since eBay began. eBay is not siding with or faulting anyone, they view both sellers and buyers as the ‘product’. eBay does not consider sellers as a partner, they do not consider buyers as their customers. Both sellers and buyers are eBay’s product so ‘fault has nothing to do with it. Their Terms and Conditions have to favor the buyer otherwise eBay would never have gotten off the ground; eBay would never have become popular.

And it should be noted that in any Quality vender rating system the seller is always responsible for the shipping and shippers. The seller has control over the packaging, the choice of shipper, and is one paying the shippers. It may seem unfair that a vender/seller gets rated on a 3rd party shipper but this is no different than a manufacturer being held responsible for using inferior material to make their product.

I also think it is better to think about all of this as ‘continuous improvement’ and not as a blame game. Folks would help make their case better if they would frame their comments in this context, offering ideas for improvement instead of just ‘throwing rocks’. On the other hand… if a seller has an attitude of ‘us vs. them’ or gets defensive when suggestions for improvement are made then they ought to consider finding something else to do.

And lastly any change typically meets with resistance; humans dislike change. Our default behavior for today is to do what we did yesterday. When I suggested that this forum and website would need to change to accommodate the majority of users who now use mobile devices, there was a lot of ‘push back’. Some folks here would rather not deal with change even if it means the site and community loses traffic and users. That’s is how much folks resist change. You see the same thing with operating systems and applications. People will convince themselves and resist change with justifications like ‘the new stuff sucks’. When we drive to work or to the store, we typically always take the same route and dislike changing it.
Don

P.S. - I have no skin in this thread, I am neither a buyer or seller on Stamporama. I think improvements can be made by all parties.
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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
06 May 2018
11:53:36am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

This thread started off well with a good discussion about the Approvals but has degenerated into the usual "You Get It For Nothing so Shut Up or leave". (This happens on numerous occasions)

Nobody disrespects the efforts of the volunteers or Roys generosity.

However as I have said previously we have a lot to gain by having these sort of discussions and they can be very educational.

I have said this before:- All members have differing levels of education and experience so to all MEMBERS............Tolerance and respect is required!

So PLEASE leave the toys in the pram!!!

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angore

Collector, Moderator
06 May 2018
12:16:33pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

I had to look up the meaning about leaving toys in the pram - not a saying I have ever heard. Educational.

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
06 May 2018
12:36:52pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

angore

As I have said before "We are two countries separated by a common language"

Lang mae yer lum reek.

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musicman

APS #213005
06 May 2018
08:29:47pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

"I'd be interested to know if any of the folks on the opposition side of these threads have ever volunteered to be part of the MT or VC."




This is a very valid question - however, I am sure that not everyone, including myself, has the amount of time required to donate to this site. I work full-time for a living and also have family that depends on me quite often, as I'm sure many of you do as well.

If I DID have free time available, I would most assuredly offer my time and assistance to SOR.



"Nobody disrespects the efforts of the volunteers or Roys generosity."



Sorry - NOT true.

Read the previous threads here and elsewhere on this site and it is impossible to overlook the fact that this is a FALSE statement.



But thank you Ian, for playing Devil's Advocate!


Big Grin

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
07 May 2018
04:46:07am

Auctions - Approvals

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

""Nobody disrespects the efforts of the volunteers or Roys generosity.""



OK wrong choice of words.

However one can still respect the volunteers and Roy even if they disagree with their points of view at times.

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bobgggg

Past President Cortlandt Stamp Club

07 May 2018
06:31:13pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Well, as a buyer, I really don't know what the rules are for posting approval books, but I do know, That two of my favorite approval sellers no longer offer any books ...

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musicman

APS #213005
07 May 2018
08:52:05pm

re: RULES FOR POSTING APPROVAL BOOKLETS

Ian,


Now THAT I fully agree with!


Happy

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