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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : Selling Tips for the Auction

 

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dani20
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11 Dec 2012
12:10:14am
Dear All,
It strikes me that we might be of help to the lister by indicating what we'd like to see. I know we've mentioned categories and specific items in posts past, but I still thought there might be room to mention a few more. For example, whenever my area of old U.S. is listed, I'd sure appreciate a back view as well as a front view. I personally don't bother to look at the large bank notes unless there is a back view.

I also look for more detailed descriptions. Key among them is 'Is the stamp sound in all respects'? If the lister doesn't state that it is, I proceed with great caution. Of course the mentioning of defects is very important if there are any, as is the mention that there are none.

For the mint items, a mention about the gum would be most desired. Is it ungummed, disturbed gum, hinged or MNH? All pretty important to me as I browse along.

So thanks for taking the time to read all this, and to the listers for doing the listing.
Dan C.

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.

11 Dec 2012
10:31:19pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan:

I am in agreement, but there is always a but.

Certainly this information is necessary for the stamps some of us want (old US, for example) as these tend to be "expensive", and expensive stamps demand a comprehensive description with quality front and back scans. If not provided by the seller, two problems arise:

1) the potential buyer has to contact the seller for additional information; and

2) some sellers do not entertain correspondence (time or language or other constraints).

Q. So, what is the opening bid for an expensive stamp that warrants a comprehensive description, as suggested by Dan, with quality front and back images?

A. For me, it is $5.00 (but I still pick up pennies on the street and have been unemployed for twenty years). On Stamporama's auction board, I read and look very carefully at the auction lot if my bid involves folding money.

Your suggestions, Dan, are impractical for auction lots valued at less than a dollar as it is time intensive. Have never sold a stamp in or out of our club but, from what I read, it takes time to post a stamp on the auction board and list it at say 6¢, maybe more, maybe less.

Some of our members post hundreds of auction lots at less than a buck, I think they might balk at your suggestions. I would like to hear from the repetitive sellers on this topic.

Let me switch the channel and offer the following suggestion to our sellers: stop posting individual nickel and dime stamps. Why? My reading indicates that many, perhaps most, will not be bid upon. And why is that? Because, if I am a typical bidder, the buyer is reluctant to enter into a transaction where the cost of the payment transaction, plus postage/handling costs, dwarf the value of the product.

There are many cheap stamps for auction that I would like to bid on but realize that I am unlikely to make sufficient purchases from that seller to make the total purchase value worth my or the seller's time. Many of our sellers are not professional retailers and it is inconvenient for them to hold auctioned stamps for a buyer until the total purchase value crosses a worthwhile attention-threshold. And, some of our sellers are so busy with sales transactions, that, I suspect, they might have to hire staff to hold stamps for a buyer for any length of time.

Solution: it's called bundling and some of it already occurs on our auction board, but not enough in my opinion.

Group the lower-value stamps so that the bundle can be identified by a stamp catalogue start and finish number, not necessarily sequential, it may be the bracket or brackets within which the stamps lie. The seller indicates the catalogue value or estimated worth of the bundle, and usually includes at least one unidentified high-value "surprise" find. Result: scans are dispensed with; auction board minutiae and clutter are removed. Note that the manner of grouping/bundling is limited only by the seller's imagination and, yes, I believe we need much more imagination displayed on Stamporama's auction board.

Okay, I've overstayed my welcome again; nevertheless, I would like to hear the voices of our repetitive sellers and bidders on this topic, too.

John Derry

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dani20
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11 Dec 2012
11:35:56pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear John,
You are quite right about my thoughts being impractical for the below $5 bid stamp values. I really wasn't thinking for more than my own limited areas of interest and as you pointed out, those can be pricey. Thanks for pointing out that my suggestions are really for the more expensive items which is really relatively limited but not totally absent in our auction.
Dan C.

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CapeStampMan
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Mike

12 Dec 2012
01:48:20pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear John,
Let's see if I read you right! You don't buy stamps that involve folding money, but you want all of the sellers to have front and back scans of all of their listings, over Five dollars, just in case you decide to spend some of those pennies you have picked up over the years. Dan's idea is at least a viable option, for the much higher value stamps and I have seen many listing with the front and backs of stamps showing. As I have mentioned several time before, people that don't list stamps for sale should list one or more stamps, just to see what is involved in the process of doing so. If the cost of time and labor is ever added to the price of the stamp listings there certainly wouldn't be any "penny" stamps on SOR, or any other site as far as that goes.

The way you describe "bundling" is a very good option, if the seller has any idea of the catalog numbers, but then again most sellers seem to show scans of their multi-stamp lots also.

Most, if not all, of the SOR dealers will refund your money if you aren't happy with your purchase, but the old argument of "I don't want to go through that hassle" will rear it's ugly head as a response to that remark. My guarantee is listed right in my lots, "You are happy, or your money tearfully refunded" and I stand behind that 100 per cent.

As far as "quit posting the nickle and dime stamps" is not a very viable option either, since a very good percentage of the sales are sales for lower valued stamps. After all, what worldwide collector doesn't need plenty of the lowest value stamps in their collection? I know I sure do.

I also am not ashamed, nor too proud to stoop and pick up a penny, except these days it gets harder to straighten back up after that effort. LOL

Mike

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michael78651
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12 Dec 2012
06:11:03pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

As someone who sells are great deal of stamps online, I once did a little study as to how much I was earning net per hour by selling stamps for beginner and intermediate collectors. It was a huge 25 cents an hour. I'm sure that has maybe gone up a nickle since then...

To repeat what Mike said, I do sell alot of minimal valued stamps. Also, it happens quite often that a collector will buy just one stamp for a dime and pay a dollar or two shipping. This includes buyers from outside the USA as well.

Right now I am dabbling a little with selling on SOR. My second group is up right now. All of the first group sold. These are packets of stamps starting at 2 cents each per stamp. All have bids on them, showing that there is a market here for that material, which is what I observed over time.

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roy
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12 Dec 2012
07:47:38pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I would like to echo DRYER's comment about the nickel and dime stamps in the auction.

"Let me switch the channel and offer the following suggestion to our sellers: stop posting individual nickel and dime stamps. Why? My reading indicates that many, perhaps most, will not be bid upon. And why is that? Because, if I am a typical bidder, the buyer is reluctant to enter into a transaction where the cost of the payment transaction, plus postage/handling costs, dwarf the value of the product.
"



I have been told by more than one Stamporama member (a couple of the quiet ones that we know are there, but who do not participate regularly) that the reason they do not browse the auction is they do not want to wade through the innumerable "nickel and dime stamps that are not worth shipping".

I just checked the "Ending in 24 hours list" -- 1308 lots, exactly 48 of which have bids. I think the numbers speak for themselves and the members are placing their vote on the issue by NOT buying these lots.

I'm not worried about the sellers' time -- that's up to them to figure out. And I know we have a workaround with the "Price Filter" that Tim built in (which I use regularly), but I KNOW this is keeping people from browsing the auction, on the basis of my own reaction, and the comments that have been made to me. (I have learned through life that if 1 person makes a comment, at least 10 other people are thinking the same thing, but not saying it).

Roy

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dani20
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12 Dec 2012
08:05:10pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear All,
If I'm reading this right, there are those who appreciate low value filler stamps, there are those who look for more valuable stamps that they might be missing, and finally that there are those turned off from the auction because of the lack of desired material at the price range that attracts them.

If the above summary is more or less on target,then perhaps we need to give better directions to the listers if we wish to see the kind of material that we are looking for. With that in mind, I'm wondering if we might need a category specifying values above $5, just as we have a category specifying penny lots.

Dan C.

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CapeStampMan
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Mike

12 Dec 2012
08:32:00pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,
But there again, do we need a category for Mint $5 stamps and above and then another category for $5 used and above stamps. We could certainly "category-ise" ourselves to death here and keep Tim busy 24/7 and then have people lose more interest because there are just too many categories.

Roy, as I've said before, no one has to spend a lot of time looking at any category if people would use the "SEARCH" function. I'm sure Dan would just peruses the U. S. section, while I might just get into the Belgium or Swedish section. I also don't like spending a lot of time looking at items that have no interest to me, so I don't just look at one category for anything, except maybe the "HOT" items. I do get a kick out of them. I also like to check out what certain dealers have for sale, so might check them out.

Michael, how did you manage to make a whole 25 cents an hour? Did you give yourself a big raise? The next thing you know you will want a paid vacation and then maybe paid health benefits. Where will it ever end??????? My thoughts on the profit rates are, if you perhaps are able to buy a big collection for, say, 10% of catalog and keep what you need for your own collection, then try to sell of the excess, you will never break even on that collection, since about 60% of it won't sell, at least until you mark it down to 10 per cent, just to get rid of it. At least that is the way it works for me, mainly because I need a lot of what I buy for the albums and then try to sell the extras to help balance out the expenditure of the original purchase.

Mike

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michael78651
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12 Dec 2012
10:40:25pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Mike, lol, when I did my little unscientific study, I considered stamps that I posted over a period of time, and the ones that sold and the ones that did not sell. I then calculated the average cost to ship, and the net was that little quarter.

Roy - You have to be careful when looking at open auctions. Most auction lots get bids in the last hour or so. I'm not saying that these will get bids, but that's the general rule of thumb with online auctions. Also, a 5% sell rate is considered to be good. The stats you gave show a little more than 3% right now.

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StampCommune

12 Dec 2012
11:08:38pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hi All,
This topic started out about how sellers can elaborate on their auction descriptions and images and it has gone totally to something else. Obviously, me being the largest lister of items on SOR it would be me who lists the majority of those nickel and dime stamps and since some users don't want to use the site due to that I am going to stop listing them.
I can get into the politics of why I do it and such but I don't need to. This is my decision and my decision alone based on this thread and previous threads.

With that said: Stamp collecting is quickly becoming the next bottle cap hobby and making it more expensive by not listing nickel and dime items will only speed up that process faster when new collectors think its to expensive of a hobby to start. With over 20,000 items sold here on SOR in the last two years I expect this number to dramatically decline. SOR was one of the few, if any, internet based sites you could buy these items without being flooded by advertising and other hobby collectibles.

Dan: I did read your post and appreciate your opinion. It has made me change the way I list certain items. Thanks.

Grant ~ StampCommune ~

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Rhinelander
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12 Dec 2012
11:53:35pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hi Grant,

Let me be the first to say that I would hate to see you quit. I am "small fry," accounting perhaps for 50-70 of your 20,000+ sales here, on just a few occasions, but those complaining clearly don't use our auction the same way many other members do. Yes, for one person complaining loudly you may find ten others who think the same, but you will also find 100 that like it just the way it is.

To sum it up, I hope you reconsider. And don't let those constant discussions about how to improve our auction get under your skin. I wish I had posted something earlier in response to certain earlier threads that you are alluding to. Well, better now than never.

Arno
P.S. I don't care much for detailed descriptions and catalog numbers. I want a large scan of the stamp (or stamps) I am bidding on. Everything else I can figure out myself and would not rely on someone else's assessment anyways. Unfortunately many of our sellers (Grant excluded) just don't get it. Why is it so hard to scan individual stamp at 200% or 300% size so that the buyer can actually see the stamp??? Then you will see that even your cheap stamps will sell. And: Use BIN for your $0.20 CV stamp that you are listing for heavens sake -- what are you expecting? A bidding war?? Looks like Grant got it all right -- or who wants to argue against 20,000+ sales?

P.P.S. There are many, many members that NEVER use the discussion board and likely have been attracted to stamporama primarily by our auction. These members have no voice here, but have clearly voted with their pocket books, while the "I do not buy from anyone requiring paypal, charging for paypal, offering BIN, asking more than $1, offer penny lots that average out for more than $0.01, and do not carefully provide detailed descriptions"-faction of our membership have sleepless nights about how the auction is run. Go figure.

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StampCommune

12 Dec 2012
11:56:21pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Arno,
Quick response, Im not quitting....just going to cut back on listing the lower end items, nickel and dime. IT'S ALOT OF WORK BUT THAT'S WHAT I DO. I want to serve all levels, from beginner to advanced, there only one way to do that and that is to offer all pricing levels.

I have tried various other mediums of selling including my own website, in order not to have to send literally everything here to SOR. Recently I have increased my volume here due to me closing my online store based on it being to much work in order to keep up with the inventory.

I LOVE SOR and don't want to have to sell anywhere else, BUT when it comes down to paying the bills, you wouldn't believe the effect those nickel and dime stamps have on the bottom line at the end of the month.:-

Grant

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Rhinelander
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13 Dec 2012
01:11:54am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Grant,

Here is one thing to consider, since you are bringing up servicing all price levels (and to return the focus to Dan's & John's original messages): Perhaps you could list your lower priced items equally successful, but more efficiently, by equalizing the pricing and eliminating the cataloging.

How about listing all stamps less than (for instance) CV $0.30 for Cash $0.10 (or everything less than CV $0.50 is $0.15). For these low priced items, you will not go through the effort of listing the catalog numbers, but simply list "Zambia used stamp" or perhaps add the year of issue at most "United Kingdom mint 1980." Think about how most buyers search the auction. They look at a certain category and open auctions for detailed examination based on the image provided in the listing. Does the catalog number really provide initially important information? I don't think so. I look at your listing and open my Zambia or Finland book and compare. If I need a catalog number or value, I can look it up in short time if I want to. But usually, if it is just 20-30 cents, I don't even bother. I have a blank spot in the album and hit "BIN."

In the mid-price range you might want to continue your current scheme of providing the catalog number and pricing the item based on a percentage of CV. At the top end, you may price also according to condition, provide specialized information, and include scans of the back of the stamp etc. -- In essence, I am saying you could provide different levels of service at different price points. For the low priced stamps: "Just be happy I listed it, but please look up the catalog number on your own" and then ever increasing levels of information and more fine-tuned pricing for the more expensive stamps.

Right now you provide the same level of detail for all your stamps, but I would assume that everybody in his/her right mind will understand that for a ten cent stamp perhaps this is asked too much. In turn, you might be able to list your less expensive stamps faster and more efficiently, and buyers may enjoy a larger selection -- a win-win situation.

What you are doing is very successful, so I am not in any position to offer advice. However, before consider cutting down on offering low priced items altogether, you may want to consider modestly raising your prices and simplifying your listings to cut down on your labor. I don't think your sales would be affected much by such changes.

Arno

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StampCommune

13 Dec 2012
02:01:13am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Arno,
THANK YOU for the detailed response. I do recall a seller was listing items such as what your suggesting and and REALLY got some members going. If I listed items such as that I could, and this is not an exaggeration, list 1,000+ different items a day and that is with images. Would that be COOL! I'm not, don't worry.


As for pricing, I thought 30% across the board was a fair price, those nickel and dime stamps covered the +20% from all those higher priced stamps that most stamp dealers ask for. I actually just finished some work on my auction lister that adjusted pricing for various countries and condition. A recent test example of this is all of my Great Britain items are priced from 15% - 20%. Great Britain is generally overprice in Scott, my opinion of course. I just started this and based on sales and such some countries are more, some are less, supply and demand. I also have added calculation pricing for condition, MNH, MLH...but felt it would have been gouging since that 20% was covered, MNH is generally considered a premium and generally in todays market sells for upto 60 - 65% of CV. Those nickel and dime stamps covered alot of "premium" pricing when it came down to it.

Arno as I said, THANK YOU. I really do appreciate your response. I think after what I said above the nickel and dime items had a purpose for me. Unfortunely, I am not here to ruffle feathers and this has not been the first time the subject has been addressed, so I will back off those for now. BUT, your never know what's about to come...could be a good thing.


Grant

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StampCommune

13 Dec 2012
02:33:54am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

On the same note, and I'm NOT trying to be a Smarty.

What happens when the site has over 10,000 items and the cheapest item is $1.00 selling price?

Do you think that's a good thing or a bad thing? Will users still wade through all the lists?

My current list is 7,000(actually 12,000 after duplication) items as a final inventory for the last 2 years. In that time I tried to manage a website and "program". I no longer have the website and my programming is done so I can see 4 - 5,000 items a month with no interuptions, no I'm not kidding, you should see my office.

AS I SAID, I AM NOT TRYING TO BE A SMART---. BUT,

when the relisting hits then the volume increases, is the volume going to be to much for SOR? I have a fairly large inventory, plus some, and the skills to get it to SOR but don't want to overwhelm it.

It would be the same scenerio just higher priced items.

Thanks
Grant

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

13 Dec 2012
05:35:47am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Okay there is a lot to consider and digest so I want to commnt on one particular comment by Arno;
" .... I don't care much for detailed descriptions and catalog numbers. I want a large scan of the stamp (or stamps) I am bidding on. Everything else I can figure out myself ...."
Bravisimo !
Detailed descriptions are interesting especially when they point out some unique feature of some particular stamp.
Beyond that the catalog number or catalog listing is meaningless to me unless it refers to some item that earns greater than a $20.00 listing.
The scan is what attracts me to a given lot. Then if I do not recognise the stamp I decide if the item is worth the bid to me (ME, not some beady eye'd editor working in the basement of the Scott's or Gibbon's building.)
If I have a doubt about it I just open the appropriate album and look to see if I have the stamp, or stamps, in the case of multi-stamp lots, or if the offerred stamp has a cleaner cancellation than what I have mounted and that is it.

So for inexpensive lots you or Grant or whom ever, need not obcess over descriptions or catalog listings. Others may feel differently as I have seen many albums that were created by a collector who spent what had to be hours carefully writing all kinds of information below what are in essense very commion stamps. Often the info is simply a reworking of what is listed in the handy catalog.
I would bet that there are quite a few collectors, especially those who enjoy topicals who also utilise the clear large size scans more than catalogs at our stamp club, in fact I have noticed, from questions I get asked at meetings, that several long time collectors do not even own a decent catalog.

Charlie
Lecanto, Florida

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

13 Dec 2012
06:01:47am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Another ad lib;
" .... Yes, for one person complaining loudly you may find ten others who think the same, but you will also find 100 that like it just the way it is. ...."
Over many years at meetings and classes during and after college I have become the guy in the middle of the third row who pops up with questions or comments during a session.

I do not have enough fingers to deliniate how many times another attendee has said afterward that they were wondering the same thing. Several times the lecturer has also stopped me afterward and said that they appreciate my (polite, always polite .) interjections and queries.
And when I was teaching I understood why. Reasonably intelligent questions demonstrate that someone is listening.
So from those experiences and similar ones as a co-administrater of other discussion foums, I know that there are very likely to be many "lurkers" who for some reason read, or listen, have questions or insights but seldom pipe up.

Charlie
Lecanto, Florida

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amsd
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13 Dec 2012
06:56:43am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I am weighing in as a member, not the auctioneer.

I am surprised by all the proscriptions offered here, especially after all the additional devices added to make avoiding what one does not want to encounter fairly easy.

Grant is likely the primary supplier of lots that qualify as MV. in the last week, he sold 59 lots, of which only 7 had CV at or hier than $2. That means that he sold 52 stamps with CVs under $2. That also means there is a market here for that. How many others have sold that many lots last week? I didnt look, so i dont know the answer. Wasnt me, and i offered a decent numbermof higher value stamps that all went begging, and all my stuff was offered at between 20 and 25 percent CV, which seems like a starting point that wouldnt get in the way of interested parties. But there were none. Obviously, and thisnis my second point, Grant is providing more of what our folks want than many others, at least based on his cumulative sales totals of more than 20,000 lots.

I rather think that folks like Grant, Lee, Liz, and several others help make our auctions more successful by providing more lots at which to look. Without htem, we are looking at weekly totals of well under 1,000 lots. Perpetually.

I welcome higher priced material. Let a few guys post 10,000 lots of $20, $50, and $250 stamps priced at 20-50 percent CV. But that shouldnt require we abandon the cheaper stuff, which data tells us sells here just fine.


David

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

13 Dec 2012
07:14:37am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

" .... IT'S ALOT OF WORK BUT THAT'S WHAT I DO. ...."
I am sure it is, almost a labor of love. No, delete that "almost", it has to be a labor of love.

In the days of yore when just about every small town had a stamp store, I visited many of them during my travels and cannot ever recall, upon entering one and making a single minimal cost purchase, getting up and leaving.
In this modern, ever more electronic, world, on-line stamp stores fulfil that same function. On-line stamp auctions such as this one at SOR, act like the annual stamp show or local weekend flea market bourse, but are open all night seven days a week. I am quite sure that the cyber customers are subject to the same cultural customs.

If I entered a physical store and saw some $0.15 item that I just had to have, I know that I would look around and see if there was anything else to spend my pocket change on and a few times left only after writing out a substantial check with some wonderful album in my tucker bag wondering if I had overdone it, but enjoying the ambiance of the moment.

Similarly, I suspect that upon winning a minimal lot in our SOR auction, the average on-line purchaser considers the potential postage and decides to examine other lots from the same seller to see what else he, or she, might buy since they have to pay the postage anyway. A dozen items in a combined purchase shipped together spreads the cost over the entire assembly of lots and is certainly more palatable to the excited buyer who, though sitting at home at three-thirty AM in his undies, experiences the same ambieance. Plus the coffee pot can be almost within arm's reach.

So I suggest that having a lot of minimal lots posted on=line in the auction is just like the brick and mortar dealer who placed a carefully arranged stock book with manila pages full of goodies on the counter in front of the hopefully committed buyer.

And of course the on-line dealer can also work at home equally casually dressed, with the kids in a nearby playpen, Dvořák's "New World Symphony" drownding out the spouse's snoring and a steady stream of good to the last drop mud at hand.

Shucks, I might be talking myself into listing some lots. Like most stampers I have always seen myself as a potential J. W. Scott.



Charlie
Lecanto, Florida

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

13 Dec 2012
07:18:55am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

"... I rather think that folks like Grant, Lee, Liz, and several others help make our auctions more successful by providing more lots at which to look. ..."

Precisely in a nutshell what I tried to say in a bushel basket.



Charlie
Lecanto, Florida

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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
StampCommune

13 Dec 2012
07:47:19am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

David,
Sorry, but i think you looked at something different than what I sold. In the last ten days i,ve sold 700+ items. I can't tell you the price ranges, but taking a guess 70% were most likely the the nickel, dime range. ...success? to much work for the return? i was happy with a 10% sell rate with a average 28% of cv. i wasn't getting rich...just feeling successful for a change.
grant

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Patches

Liz

13 Dec 2012
07:56:16am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I don't mind sharing my sales statistics from Stamporama for the past three months to show you that there a very large percentage of what 'I' list on the auction is single stamps and priced below $1.00. I find that there is definitely a market for these lower valued stamps.

I'm sorry if I offend some of you, but I have to disagree with some of your opinions.

When I look at my sales on Stamporama for 3 months I'm not complaining at the number of hours that it took me to sort, catalogue, scan and list these stamps. I am not selling stamps to become rich, nor do I calculate how many dollars in wages I may have earned elsewhere for the same number of hours spent on listing these stamps! I work on stamps as a hobby and find it a relaxing hobby. I try to list items that I think 'may' appeal to some of our members, and obviously some of my items listing are creating some interest.

I did not show November statistics as I listed very few items in November due to illness.

Month Sold Unsold % Sold Value Average # with Multiple Bids
October 2012 920 213 81.20% $553.85 $0.60 379
September 2012 678 129 84.01% $540.95 $0.80 207
August 2012 940 179 84.00% $712.75 $0.76 227

Many years ago I would not list anything in the auctions unless it was a complete set of stamps. I have since changed my practice as I have found that many people only need perhaps one or two stamps from a set.

As I do not sell 'classics' or very high valued stamps,if I didn't list these under $1 stamps list I 'might' list perhaps 10 stamps in a year.

Not everyone has the $'s or the interest to collect only high valued stamps. Some of us are happy with the nickel and dime items in our albums. For most of us it is our hobby not a profitable business! I for one collect modern issues and am quite content doing so in my old age.

Some of my duplicates are offered in the Stamporama auction so other beginner and intermediate collectors have a chance to fill in a space or two in their albums at reasonable prices. I get great pleasure in being able to help someone else locate a few stamps that they might need for their collections.


Liz


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Patches

Liz

13 Dec 2012
07:59:09am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Sorry that the statistics listed do not appear in proper columns, but I'm sure you can figure out which figures go under which headings. I'm clueless as to how to do a screen save!

Liz

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cdj1122
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13 Dec 2012
08:20:03am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Month------ Sold ---- Unsold ---- %Sold ----- Value ----- Average --#w/Multiple Bids
October ----920 ------213 ------81.20% ----$553.85 ----- $0.60 -------379
Sept'ber --- 678 ------129 ------84.01% ----$540.95 ------$0.80 -------207
August -----940 ------179 ------84.00% ----$712.75 ------$0.76 -------227

I hope this helps, Liz.
I find the data very interesting.
Thanks for assembling it.
Charlie

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Liz

13 Dec 2012
08:31:09am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Thank you Charlie. I didn't assemble these figures. Tim has these figures available to each and every seller on Stamporama under Auction 'Reports'.

Liz

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CapeStampMan
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Mike

13 Dec 2012
08:56:57am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Liz,

An 80% selling rate is phenomenal. I was thinking about sending all of my stamps up to you and Lee to sell for me, because both of you have the highest percentages of success in the auction. Your information is very informative in other ways also, due to the fact it does show that most of the sales must be under a dollar and more so indicates there is certainly a great need for the nickel and dime stamps.

In the "Closing in 24 hours" category, right now, there are only 27 stamps, out of the 1310 listed, with even a bid. Four of those bids are over $1.00 and the lowest bid is just $0.02, yet again confirming the fact the lower values have the most bids.

Arno, I don't even look at stamps that don't have a catalog number and/or value in the listing. I always check my want lists for stamps that may be needed and have no desire to catalog the stamp myself. Afterall, if someone is going to list a stamp or stamps, then they most surely know what the cat number and value is, so why not put that in the listing?

I still think the SOR auction site is the best, by far, while also being the simplest to use and there is really little room for compaints about it. Most complaints seem to be just nitpicking which give us something to discuss here on the board.

Mike

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13 Dec 2012
09:17:48am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

The question that remains then is, "Is it worth the time and effort".
Before we moved south, during the Carter recession at the beginning of Reagan's first term I switched jobs and for a while money was quite tight. My wife began to consider looking for local employment somewhere as three of our four children (then) were in school and the fourth was big enough to be in a day care for a few hours a day.
We discussed it and I assembled some figures (before calculators were everywhere) to see what she might actually bring to the kitchen table after working a 30-40 hour week at possibly a little above the minimum wage. That would be the actual dollars left over after deducting all reasonable expenses for child care, gas and cost of a second car, nice clothes for office work, and an occasional lunch instead of brown bagging it. There may have been some other expenses considered, but the answer came to about $20.00 left over that could help with weekly living expenses. That might be probably equal to $50.00 -$60.00 in today's economy. Not very much.
However we discovered an alternative after seeing a TV show about some women who not only clipped available grocery coupons each week, but who accumulated the various "proof of purchases" from items we used all the time that when sent to a manufacturer would get some additional usually larger, coupons in return.
This was during a time when many supermarkets would double the printed value of coupons and one local Pathmark store would frequently offer to triple the coupon value.
Within a month or so, she was netting the equivalant of $50.00 a week or more towards living expenses. We had a full depression pantry, plus she was home when the children came home from school and Margaret, our youngest daughter remained at home in her care.
Thinking about that calculation, I would suggest that the actual value, selling duplicates from the home through the auction is worth close to double the dollars that would have to be earned were someone to seek a simple local job that did not require some special certification.
Plus there has to be some vicarious pleasure handling the stamps that we love so much.


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13 Dec 2012
09:45:02am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Liz, for the record, your lots were never included in my use of the term "nickel and dime stamps". In fact, quite the opposite. Your sell-through rate of 80%+ shows that what you provide is exactly what the membership wants, that your lots are the highlight of the auction.

I disagree with the idea that an under 10% sell-through rate is "ok". It may be ok for the seller, when all the automation and re-listing is considered, but I think of it more as a 90% rejection rate of the material by the membership.

My concern has always been what happened to the Yahoo Stamp Auction (around 2000-2005?). It finally folded, because they offered unlimited free re-listing and sellers were becoming quite happy with a 3% sell-through rate. However, the site became so constipated with listings that nobody wanted, it finally folded.

Is it better to have a 2,000 lot auction, in which 1,000 items sell, or a 20,000 lot auction in which 1,000 items sell? Which will keep more people coming back as buyers? Because that is the key to success of any auction site.

Roy

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cornerpost
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13 Dec 2012
10:06:23am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Roy,
From my own experience, I stopped selling on Yahoo when they stated charging to list items. I suspect many others did so at the same time. Yahoo's advantage over ebay stopped at that time for small ticket sellers and ebay's much larger customer base meant that when paying to list Yahoo was always going to lose out.
Merv

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Mike

13 Dec 2012
10:31:11am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I wouldn't really think of an item not selling, as a failure, since upon several occaisions I have relisted an item to have it not only sell, but received multiple bids on it. One time, in particular, an item was relisted the following week, after not selling, and was sold at almost full cat, so how can that to be explained? Maybe it's like the lottery and one just has to be lucky, or could it be timing?

Mike

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michael78651
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13 Dec 2012
11:00:03am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Mike said: "I don't even look at stamps that don't have a catalog number and/or value in the listing. I always check my want lists for stamps that may be needed and have no desire to catalog the stamp myself. After all, if someone is going to list a stamp or stamps, then they most surely know what the cat number and value is, so why not put that in the listing?"

I agree with that 100%. My collection is too large to pull an album out and flip through the pages to try to find the stamp or the space for it. Plus, many stamps have perf, watermark, color, etc. differences. I need a reference point. Without that, I don't have the time to spend on a stamp that way. A packet of stamps is different, but singles and/or sets. I need the catalog number.

I do agree that subjective descriptors added by sellers are totally irrelevant. Sellers, don't tell me that the stamp is "beautiful, wonderful, fantastic, VF, XVF, etc." That is for me as a buyer to determine how the stamp looks. Sellers, do tell me if the stamp has any damage to it. I have seen too many stamps that I have bought that were listed as "great, wonderful, fantastic, choice MNH, only to find creases, thins and hinge marks along with pencil or ink markings on the back. Sellers if you don't have the item in stock, don't list it. It infuriates me to purchase an item and then be told that the item was already sold. Sellers, do correctly identify the stamp. Sellers, when you sell me an item, ship it to me. If you get a new catalog and see that the stamp I bought and paid for in good faith has gone up in value, don't tell me you don't have it anymore or that you're not going to ship it so you can relist it at a higher price. Sellers, if I consistently see these "wrongs" from you, I will quickly lose faith in your competence/integrity (as appropriate), and will not buy from you.

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lpayette
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13 Dec 2012
11:01:24am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

My reasons for selling on Stamporama are like Liz.
It is a hobby, something to do, as I am retired,it keeps me busy, Due to getting older and none of my family ate interested in stamps I have sold off most of my collection thru SOR in the last few years.
Now I mostly collect Norwegian Locals and Biafra, But I have to admit I still buy Boxlots and collections from Vance auctions and a few on Ebay,and the odd estate sale locally if I can afford it. as I have so much fun going they them and sorting them out. When I get a big box lot its like Whoopeee its Christmas.

Looking they my statistics at SOR for the last 12 months, I sold 2689 lots,440 was unsold,
85.9 % were sold, average return was $2.90

Most of my lots I start at 10% of cat value for used and 1/4 of cat value of mint.
I also admit to putting on penny lots every week as for me they are fun to do,they can be a single stamp or lots of 1000 different or accumulations.

Lee

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michael78651
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13 Dec 2012
11:06:32am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

One last thing is that if you look through the stamp catalogs, you will find that most stamps catalog for less than $5. You will be excluding alot of stamps that people, as evidence has proven, want to purchase for their collections.

For those that only want the high valued stamps listed, just remember that not everyone has advanced to that stage. You once were a buyer of low valued stamps too. Let the others get a chance to collect and advance in their hobby the way you did.

If you want to look at high dollar stamps, there are web sites like Gary Posner where you can see plenty of expensive stamps. On sites like SOR, use the search function to look for what you want. If you are only looking for higher dollar stamps anyway, why would you even want to blindly browse? Doesn't make sense.

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dani20
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13 Dec 2012
11:25:37am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Michael,
Seeking out a particular stamp at a particular price range is only part of the SOR experience. The auction is but one contact point among many that we as a group can enjoy with each other. I agree that if the only reason one plays with the auction is to find a stamp(s), then yes, your observation would be accurate.

For many, perhaps most, the joy of the occasional find is the cherry on top of the icecream-the main dish is the comeraderie. I don't think there are those members who are trying to make a real business of selling through SOR- although certainly there is a lively exchange going on moneywise.

To share our dups, fill in empty spaces, and have fun with our chums is pure pleasure. I think the focus on $ alone misses the mark.

Dan C.

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PDougherty999
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13 Dec 2012
01:16:19pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Man, I have been away for too long. My turn to weigh in as that "new" or I guess I'll classify myself as "novice" collector. I've noticed an increase in complainers and belly-achers on the site in the last year and I'll be honest, that chased me away from the boards for a bit too. But seeing Grant suddenly throw his hands up in the air and say he's cutting back got my hackles up and going.

I think it is really a bad idea to cut out those low priced auctions as it then chases away the low budget novice collector like me. The fun of shopping here at SOR is the going through pages and pages of stamps from the various collectors. If we're going to cut back on the amount of lots listed in favor of higher priced items, then I might as well spend all my time on eBay since that will be the only place for the children and I to get stuff we can afford.

I can understand Grant's getting tired of listing that many lots, I got tired of just listing 100 for an auction run. HOWEVER, as stated above, the fun was sorting through all of them. I felt like browsing the listings on SOR was like picking through a virtual grab bag/box of stamps.

To those who have complained about browsing through "tons" of stamps, I say, start using the filters. That's what they are there for. Stop being lazy and trying to force guys like me out of wanting to use the site.

I do understand that some of the listings are not very clear about what is in them. THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE. I challenge those that complain to go back through all the posts, just in the last two years alone, and actually take notice to the complaints about how differently people post their items. Shoot, I browse through the US only stuff and there is stuff that is in there from other countries. Do I let it get to me? NOPE. Do I make it chase me away from the auction? NOPE. Do I run off to the discussion forum, and the wrong subject one at that (there is a section for Auction discussions) and belly-ache about it? NOPE. I get over it and move on. If you don't like the initial look of a listing, move on, ignore it, don't do business with that person. OR, you do like you are supposed to do with any sort of auction (eBay, here or even in the real world), and ask questions.

I for one, as a seller won't stop listing my items the way that I want to list them. I will continue to have my terms and conditions set the same way. Heck, I'll even continue to have pencil writing on the backs of my stamps. If you don't like what you see in my listing, or what I've listed, move along. Unless I or someone else selling is breaking the auction rules as set forth by the AWESOME people who run this site, you have no right to complain. And I'll be honest, if you've never listed items yourself in the auction, in my opinion, you have less right to complain as you have no idea what the process is like and the work involved. And for for the love of Pete, get off the backs of the people who keep the auction going at it's current peak. You small majority could end up ruining a great experience for the rest of us.

In closing, I want to say this. What I have been seeing is loads on unhelpful negative stuff. I'd like to spend my precious reading time here by browsing good helpful advice about the hobby or about the site or about this club.

OK OK OK, I'll get off my soap box now and get on with some business...



What I gathered that this thread should have been about "How do we improve the listings so that they make more sense and allow people to better browse through them?"

I will agree with the assessment that the need to be somewhat descriptive in the "subject" line for an auction item should be a given. Most buyers, I have found, and I include myself in this, will look at that small line of information first and foremost, then at a picture. If I don't see something that grabs my attention, or something doesn't look right, I just move on to the next item. So if you are new to selling here, and you are not getting very many bites in the auction, you really do need to ask for some pointers in how you are listing. The gang here is very helpful when we don't spin off on tangents like we did above.

When I am looking through the listings, I personally will do a sort by the description so that the listing groups all the lots alphabetically by that description. By it's very nature, that SHOULD list the lots by country and then by catalog number. And, it would be very helpful to me as I would then be able to go through my collection in catalog order and spot missing items easier. HOWEVER, as you will see from my examples below, this doesn't work out because all of us sellers (I'm including myself in this) list things differently.

Here is some examples of how different sellers list their items:

A block of four from the 2285a booklet 1987 25¢ regular flag issue (from jfquebec)
U.S. SCOTT 1053 USED 09 SCV $6.25 STOCK 2764 (from Margin)
United States - Scott # 556 Used - 2009 Scott Value $ 0.50 (from daveanddeb)
US # 190 Used *See Note CV $80.00 (28742JS) (from Grant)
US # 4602 - Wedding Cake - MNH (how I normally list)
US, Scott# 1745-1748, Quilts sheet of 48 stamps (JK-02625) (from jameskaczo)
USA MNH Sc 849, 1938 1 1/2c M Washington (I truncated the listing)(from Bismark1)

I'm not sure how Liz denotes the US in her listings, but I'm sure that it would appear out of order too based on what I just showed here.

I would actually take the time to look at all of those listings because they fit my criteria of a "good" listing, but gosh golly, I am doing a butt load of jumping around my album to compare notes. Luckily I have my stuff scanned in so I'm not putting all that page flipping wear and tear on my books.

so my question is this... Is there a way to make these descriptions match up better? Telling people to all do the same thing is not going to work as I stated way above in my rant. We're all just too different. But one way I thought this could be done was to have a partially auto-generated description made based on some input by the seller when they first create a listing.

for example, when I'l creating a new listing, there is a section where I choose the country, either from a drop-down selection or the more crowded check boxes method. There is a field for catalog number along with a drop-down for which catalog. As long as you are going that route, you then could even have a drop-down or check box choice for condition. then there is space for whatever else the user/seller wants to have there. Then the system would automatically generate the listing description as :

US SN: 0190 Used - *See Note CV $80.00 (28742JS) (from Grant)
US SN: 0556 Used - 2009 Scott Value $ 0.50 (from daveanddeb)
US SN: 0849 ???? - 1938 1 1/2c M Washington (I truncated the listing)(from Bismark1)
US SN: 1053 Used - 09 SCV $6.25 STOCK 2764 (from Margin)
US SN: 1745-1748 ???? - Quilts sheet of 48 stamps (JK-02625) (from jameskaczo)
US SN: 2285a ???? - A block of four from booklet (I truncated the listing)(from jfquebec)
US SN: 4602 MNH - Wedding Cake (my listing)

As I did that last resort, I noticed a few things:
* The system would have to auto insert leading zeros in anything below 1000 so that the alpha numeric sort to function correctly, otherwise, the SN 190 would be listed right after the SN 1745 stamp.
* I put ???? where the listing didn't state a condition. In my idea above, the system should also force the seller to make the condition choice so that people get that information right-away.

This would work for any of the countries, I just used the US as it provided the greatest number of examples. Anyway, I'm done typing.

---Pat

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michael78651
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13 Dec 2012
01:24:45pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

...and you didn't time out while typing that?

I agree, you can sell what you want, provided it fits within the rules. For me, I don't want surprises when I open the envelope containing my purchases. So, state the deficiencies (including pencil marks) of a stamp in the description, and I can chose whether I want to get it or not.

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dani20
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13 Dec 2012
01:45:42pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear All,
You are magnificent!Such passion and willingness to share all in order to help improve the quality/function of our auction. The points made are all worthy of consideration, and hopefully of some help to listers going forward. If there were any who doubted the viability and value of our auction process, those comments above ought to put that to rest. And as a special note to our listers, clearly the lower value items are much in demand, and fill a vital role. Our thanks to you for your work and dedication to keep it going exactly as you have been doing.
Dan C.

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.

13 Dec 2012
02:02:33pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

"Heads up" all those who sell on Stamporama.

Here's what your typical auction bidder wants, and I'm vain enough to believe I'm the typical bidder.

I want to buy cheap stamps as most of the stamps I want are cheap.

Although not a seller, I can do statistics, too. Recently bid and bought eighteen stamps, plus one at no charge, for a total of nineteen stamps, from "StampCommune" (Grant Wagoner) for a total of US $12.56 delivered to my door (from Florida to Vancouver Island). Only three of these stamps cost over a dollar, the most expensive was $3.79.

But note: because of Grant's extensive auction listing, I was able to find sufficient cheap stamps that I wanted to make the total transaction worthwhile to the seller and buyer. This situation seldom arises with sellers who have modest auction listings - am unable to find enough cheap stamps that I want to make the total transaction worthwhile.

I do bid on auction lots containing multiple stamps even though I may want only one or two of the stamps offered; hence, my suggestion for sellers "to bundle" their cheap stamps to improve the prospects of making sales transactions worthwhile.

(Have already confessed to buying one stamp for one penny from Lee Payette. It was not, however, the sum total of our business deal and higher finances eventually came into play.)

A few Stamporama sellers graciously allow me to defer auction payment until my "holds" accumulate sufficiently to justify mailing and handling expenses. I realize this is inconvenient for them and so I try and give them my repeat custom.

I take Michael Generali's oft-stated advice and do no further business with those Stamporama sellers
who misrepresent their wares, and always to their advantage.

For inexplicable reason, I do not like the "buy it now" feature. Grant Wagoner and Roy Lingen, among a few other sellers, have euchred me by making their opening bid identical to buying it now. Smart marketing, and, in general, Stamporama sellers need more marketing smarts.

John Derry

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PDougherty999
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13 Dec 2012
02:36:35pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

At Michael... LOL. It did time out. Luckily I figured it would and copied all my text so that I was able to paste it back.

And the no surprises that you mention is key to successful sales and continued sales with return buyers. Hence my reason for scanning both sides of all my stuff. Although I find I don't have room for the notation of pencil marks until I get to the big description field. Although I suppose that in cases like our big time sellers, this would drive them nuts and they definitely would stop selling then. But in their cases, I've developed enough of a buyer relationship with them that I trust what they write and know that they will describe issues with anything they are selling in the "big" description.

I was going to say that I still wish there was a seller rating system, but quite frankly, we already have one. You just need to be a more active member and hang out in the forums to know who the big boys and girls are versus the new fish in the pond. As I had time to think about it, a rating system might alienate certain new-comers into feeling that they can't compete.

And the SOR crew are very quick to deal with issues that are brought to their attention so the chances of getting a bum seller is very rare... I'm still sad about never getting my Penny Black from that guy back in January of 2011. And that darned invoice is still there to remind me of it!!! Nothing like rubbing it my face about something being too good to be true...

---Pat

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Mike

13 Dec 2012
04:04:35pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Patrick,

It is a pleasure to see you back in the saddle again and I loved all of your comments, since they were spoken like a true stamp collector and cut right to the chase. Also, you are absolutely right in the fact if Grant quits listing all of those "cheapies" it will certainly get boring around here, but then I commiserate in the fact it is a lot of work for very little in return. And, Michael is a big time seller, only he is earning 25 cents an hour (which is more than moi). LOL

Mike


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musicman
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APS #213005

13 Dec 2012
10:40:54pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

To Grant,

I will be very sorry to see you stop including the lower value items.


To All,


David is right - if you don't want to see something in the list, filter it out; that's what it's there for.

...what's next - removing everything below 10 bucks because a small handful of you are only looking for the REALLY high-priced items???

....C'mon.





Randy

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dani20
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13 Dec 2012
11:10:06pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear All,
Randy's thoughts about the value of the low value items & the original interest in the higher priced ones triggered a companion thought in me. Would it be of any interest to anyone to have a subgroup of our members getting together offline to explore the possibilities of filling in the more expensive areas of our collections?

If so, I expect we'll need contact folks for each of the countries that we're interested in.I'd personally volunteer to head up a U.S. group should there be any interest in proceeding. What do you think, worthwhile to consider or not?

Dan C.

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StampCommune

13 Dec 2012
11:26:41pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Randy and all replied, Thank you...

Dan,
Let me get this right...
One of the founders of this website expessed concerns of "the quite ones"...
And now you want to generate interest elsewhere for those "expensive items"...

Do I understand this correctly?

I just really want to understand what everything that has been said in this thread,
and now, from what I am reading, you want to do business elsewhere?

OK, I'm shutting my computer off now cause I have to go to a part time job, hmmmm, part-time, full-time, management there, steady paycheck, 40 hours a week,....yea it's looking more and more like the direction.

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dani20
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14 Dec 2012
12:17:54am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Grant,
Thanks for the question-clearly I didn't make myself understood-what I thought I was saying was that IF there are folks who are interested in the higher value items, perhaps we ought to consider clumping together, as part of SOR, in a subgroup that addresses that goal. I would envisage a subgroup like that trying to find items of interest to swap or sell, and to generate want/need lists and available for trade/sale lists. I would think that interested listers (not necessarily part of the group but could be)would avail themselves of the goings on and be guided by the lists to offer up in auction items that they may have that match the lists. Or at least that's how I'm imagining it.Clearly not yet fully thought out, but you get the idea.
Dan C.

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michael78651
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14 Dec 2012
01:54:11am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I think there's been some sort of disconnect here.

I suggest re-reading the introduction at the top of the Stamporama Home Page for clarity.

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14 Dec 2012
02:36:38am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

This has definitely been a spirited discussion and rattled some nerves of some of our members. Hopefully it has not discouraged any newcomers or members who do not yet participate in our discussions.

It was started with good intentions and has gone off on several tangents.

I want to commend those especially Tim, who does such a great job listening to the suggestions of the members and others on our Volunteer Committee who work hard to keep all of our members on the line

Having said that, I think that we need to remember one important aspect of SOR. FUN, FUN, FUN!!! Share our love of stamps (and related philatelic collecting), trade with like-minded members and yes indeed, partake of the auctions. Let's not turn our auctions into a money-making enterprise. We need to remember what Jerry wanted SOR to be and what our members have tried to keep, all these years. Let's not scare away our less vocal members

Regarding "nickels and dimes", we need to keep those just as much as we need to put all cv's together on auctions and in trades. I was blessed recently by a fantastic trade where I needed the nickel and dime items and the other member needed the higher values that I had. I had to laugh when we did our trade because I sent a small envelope that carried his precious stamps and I received a huge package that carried my precious stamps from him. It all worked out to be of equal cv, just in a different way. He's extremely happy with the lot that I sent, and I'm ecstatic with the lot that I received.

So let's not do too many changes to SOR. We've come a long way over the years I've been a member. I've watched our club grow since almost the beginning. I believe when I first joined we had maybe two dozen members and even though we now have hundreds of members around the world (for which Jerry must have a perpetual smile on his face), let's keep ourselves true to the spirit of SOR.

It always helps to bounce around ideas, make little changes here and there - move with the times, so to speak - but really folks? Even though it's a virtual club, it's no different to me than walking into a regular local stamp club. Our auctions should be no different than we would see at the local bourse, just a change in location.

Sometimes we get carried away with our thoughts and that's okay - that's a common human trait and thank goodness we have that.

So, let's pull together folks. Put the "CLUB" back into SOR and let the auctions just be an added perk. We've all had our share of quibbles (not saying this topic is one), but let's not get ourselves into the habit of looking at the negative, eh? (Yes, I'm Canadian )

Sorry for the long post. I'd say just my "two cents/pence" but it looks more like a loonie or toonie (Canadian $1 and $2 respectively) comment

Kelly

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14 Dec 2012
07:41:17am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,
Thank you for clarifying.

Michael,
Agreed and it definetly pointed out the philosophy that was started here and stands true today.

Kelly,
It has always was fun, but I guess it's time I have to break that SOR addiction, 90+ hours a week was never the fun part. Oh heck, I might just start collecting again.

Roy,
Thank you for pointing out that 90% rejection rate, I was looking at it backwards. I definetly don't want to see SOR become another Yahoo.

Grant

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14 Dec 2012
08:45:46am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

What an interesting read. The differences in opinion are as varied as the membership here. This is good as we should be able to discuss and offer our opinions in an adult manner and not feel as if any member is being attacked for what they feel is correct.

I am saddened to learn that Grant, will stop listing his nickel and dime stuff in our auction. I think it is a great loss to the club that this is happening. I understand why he has made the choice to stop listing them and whether intended or not complaining about the “nickel and dime lots”, is an attack on him, and others who list the lower catalogue value items in our auction. The majority of my auction purchases have been from Grant and others who identify as selling these lots.

From my perspective I wish the reliance on catalogue numbers would be reduced greatly. For my GB I use Gibbons, part of my Germany I use Michel, my Canada collection uses Unitrade and sometimes Darnell. I use Scott for others. I think Country (issuing entity) and Year of issue is the minimum requirement.

What this thread has demonstrated to me is that nothing can be all things to everybody.

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14 Dec 2012
10:47:00am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

" .... What this thread has demonstrated to me is that nothing can be all things to everybody ...."

Which is why we often refer to the first rule of philately;
" ... There are no binding rules in Philately. It is you hobby to enjoy any way you choose to do so...."
There may be different ways we accomplish things and when asked we may recommend some procedure or methodology that works for one collector, but these are simply opinions and recomendations.

The purpose of the hobby is to enjoy oneself and perhaps bring a little order in a chaotic world.

About the only "rules" that are expected to be followed are titled "Honesty," and of course, "Courtesy."

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14 Dec 2012
11:08:43am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I would also add something to Kelly's remark; " ... It was started with good intentions and has gone off on several tangents. ..."

Yes, the discussion has wandered. Any thread of 70+ comments among independent perceptive posters has to wander. If it didn't we would all have to be amost robotic in our thinking, our backgrounds and our collecting interests.
It is that very exploring of different thoughts and seeing viewpoints that makes the difference between a vibrant discussion and a stilted expression of lockstep ideas.

I seem to recall participating in a Philatelic Forum a few years ago for a shorttime that had a group of monitors who constantly deleted, redirected and sometimes butchered members comments that did not meet their criteria of being "On Topic" or didn't conform to some reconceived posting style. I am sure long term members here will recognize the forum.

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14 Dec 2012
11:13:36am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

"Which is why we often refer to the first rule of philately;
" ... There are no binding rules in Philately. It is you hobby to enjoy any way you choose to do so...."
There may be different ways we accomplish things and when asked we may recommend some procedure or methodology that works for one collector, but these are simply opinions and recomendations.
"



Charlie I was going to say something similar but, decided to step off my soap box.

"About the only "rules" that are expected to be followed are titled "Honesty," and of course, "Courtesy."
"



I couldn't agree with you more Charlie and I must say that you uphold these rules and should be commended for the manner in which you carry out discussions here.

Alyn
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14 Dec 2012
11:50:43am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hello All, I Have been ill, and away for a while. First day home. I am stopping at:

"re: Selling Tips for the Auction
Liz,

An 80% selling rate is phenomenal. I was thinking about sending all of my stamps up to you and Lee to sell for me, because both of you have the highest percentages of success in the auction. Your information is very informative in other ways also, due to the fact it does show that most of the sales must be under a dollar and more so indicates there is certainly a great need for the nickel and dime stamps.

In the "Closing in 24 hours" category, right now, there are only 27 stamps, out of the 1310 listed, with even a bid. Four of those bids are over $1.00 and the lowest bid is just $0.02, yet again confirming the fact the lower values have the most bids.

Arno, I don't even look at stamps that don't have a catalog number and/or value in the listing. I always check my want lists for stamps that may be needed and have no desire to catalog the stamp myself. Afterall, if someone is going to list a stamp or stamps, then they most surely know what the cat number and value is, so why not put that in the listing?

I still think the SOR auction site is the best, by far, while also being the simplest to use and there is really little room for compaints about it. Most complaints seem to be just nitpicking which give us something to discuss here on the board.

Mike"

to get another cup of coffee.. be right back...

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14 Dec 2012
12:01:06pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I very seldom bid on low end stamps (other than to improve an already owned stamp) I do not mind bidding on the high end stuff if needed, however I like to see front and back except from certain sellers who I've dealt with many times over. Unfortunately there are some sellers out there who send out plate blocks, etc, with torn perfs without mentioning the fact and and some stamps have thins which is particularily annoying but MOST sellers on Stamporama have been exceedingly good at listing and will usually honor the transaction as satisfaction guareenteed.

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cdj1122
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14 Dec 2012
12:34:52pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

While Scott Numbers are a vital part of some stamper's day, they are generally the last thing I look at, if I look at them at all.
I know that for some stampers creating detailed want lists and inticate spread sheets are a part of their hobby and if a seller feels it enhances his selling opportunities, that's fine. But quite a few stampers Scotts numbers are of little use as has bee mentioned.
I also have various Gibbons catalog, an Yvert et Tellier, a dated Michel, a Sakura, a Seven Seas, an even more dated Zumstrin, a very recent Facit and easily a half dozen other national catalogs to use when I want detailed information about some stamp and its possible variations that are and have to be ignored by Scott.
For specialty collecting of foreigh stamps, these and other foreign sources are almost infinitely more informative.
But even with these sources near at hand, I look first and foremost at the scan and rely on my sometimes faulty memory to decide which stamps to look at more closely.
Every time I explain the visual chouce I am reminded that medical experts see to think that using one's memory actively helps to avoid, limit or delay the onset of senility and for some dementia.
Then the thought crosses my mind that examining a thouisand stamp scans or sorting through a kiloware lot has the same benefit tonthe mind that a dozen pushups are supposed to have on the physique.

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14 Dec 2012
12:37:26pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

In looking over the many and varied remarks, I believe that Kelly has highlighted an important thread that ought to be pursued. Are we too focused on the auction, to the detriment of the club comeraderie itself? If so, what might we do to improve the exchanges between our members? Would focus groups around similar interest areas be worthwhile? Is there a need for this at all? Certainly our authors do us proud with the articles they write, and the discussion board itself serves well, but should there be more?
Thoughts?
Dan C.

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14 Dec 2012
12:44:02pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Ok. It took a while, but made it here to the end. 1st, let me say off-topic, that among other reasons, one of the things that have turned me away from "other" boards/clubs, is the "lack of" participation by members on postings. On occasion where one might literally ask for thought(s) or opinion(s) form the many different members, often only one person would even reply. (Very disheartening) So, GREAT to see everyone actually getting involved in the topic.
2nd, as a "buyer" not a seller here on SOR, I have no problems with the way the auction currently works. Sellers, feel free to list whatever you want. If I see something I want, at a price I'm willing to pay, I will bid on it. I try to avoid getting into bidding wars with other members. I know how I would feel if someone out bids me on something I really do want, bot that's life, so I'm a little considerate, and "try" to not out-bid the "first" bidder.
3rd, If I were to offer a suggestion to anyone selling stamp, anywhere, it would be that I personally would be more interested in the "issue date" of the stamp as apposed to any other descriptive information. For example, when I am buying for my
"Dr. Livingstone/Africa Collection, I am interested in stamps that date to that time in History, not necessarily recent-date stamps depicting the history, and that's why I am interested in the Date.

All that said. I enjoy buying stamps from the sellers here (that I buy from) and I do and will always lean to buying from those sellers that actively participate in our forum discussions, and are not just here to sell through the auction.

Clayton

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michael78651
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14 Dec 2012
01:05:49pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

The purpose of an auction is to give a buyer the opportunity to obtain an item at a price that the buyer is willing to pay. If SOR didn't want auction competition, in a friendly way, then a fixed priced system would have been established. Courtesy to fellow buyers would be to follow the rules, and not try to play around by jacking-up bid prices when you have no intent of buying the item. If you want an item, and the bidding price is within what you consider appropriate for you, then you should try to purchase it. That is fair and courteous to those members who are taking the time to sell on this site. They could always sell elsewhere and possibly make more money, but they chose to do it here. More competition in the auctions, may bring in more people selling more items (and sometimes even higher valued items), thus increasing the variety of what is available.

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14 Dec 2012
06:46:20pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

" ....More competition in the auctions, may bring in more people selling more items (and sometimes even higher valued items), thus increasing the variety of what is available. ...."
Many lots are placed in the auction at below market price in anticipation that intelligent, informed buyers will offer a reasonable bid. I like to see a second bidder enter the market with, again, a reasonable bid as that assures both the seller and the winner that the price was fair to both parties.
The rule of thumb is that an item, stamps or other collectable, reaches its true value when a willing buyer's offer meets what a willing seller will accept, neither party acting under economic duress.
At one club years ago they had a rule that lots placed on the auction table could not proceed to a sale until there was at least one second bidder. That way members didn't feel some cultural pressure to back off out of politeness because someone had placed a first bid .
It worked and may still be being followed thirty years later. Lots with only one bid either were returned to the seller at the end of the auction or carried forward to the next meeting. Many times I opened a bidding with a pretty low price and later placed a third bid after someone out bid my opening. Sometimes the atmosphere while deciding what to bid was like the back room of a smokey poker parlor. But it seemed to add to the fun and comraderie of the core group who placed lots in the auction and those who bid for the stamps and covers.
Now that is not a suggestion, it is simply a recollection.

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14 Dec 2012
10:48:31pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I hear you, Charlie. I have attended many local live philatelic and silent auctions (and other types too). Usually it's the same crowd attending. The silent auctions, well everyone knows what the other is bidding on anyway since we know each other, and despite that bidding frenzies do occur. People bid on what they want, and they bid until they either win the item or the bid goes beyond what they want to pay.

Afterwards, there is usually a good discussion amongst the winners and losers to find out what it was that caught the winner's eye, or just about the auction or anything else. The next time we all meet again, and have a go at it once more. No one feels like someone else has not been "friendly" in their bidding. Everyone knows and understands it is an auction and if you don't bid, you don't have a chance at winning what you want.

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15 Dec 2012
02:39:47am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I think this discussion only further proves almost everyone has an opinion that almost makes perfect sense.

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musicman
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15 Dec 2012
09:32:28am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

1) I think we should leave the low value items in the listings, since that makes our auction "something for everybody". Removing them would be like me asking to remove all the 'expensive' items because I don't bid on them anyway.....silly.(I do, but very seldom can afford them - I still have a family to feed!)


2) Don't overlook Dan's idea; I think he has a good one. Not all of us are able to regularly pay large amounts for the hi-value stamps we need. An internal trade group fashioned thru the club could be a great help to those of us wanting to swap some of those hi-value items to acquire those we need.


3) I FREQUENTLY use catalog numbers from the listings; do I want to run back to check every listing? No. Do I want to have to try to identify every stamp cat. number so I can look it up and verify pricing to see if its a good deal? No. Do I want a catalog number in the listing so I CAN quickly look it up in my personal checklist to see if I need it? Absolutely. Cat. numbers help me look to see if I need a certain stamp; if I do then I verify the cat. number (nobody's perfect - mistakes can happen), and then I place my bid!

...and believe me - those cat. numbers can be a BIG timesaver when it comes to back of the book items....


MY vote - for what its worth; add new categories if you wish, but leave the monetary varieties of listings alone. You will take away the chance for EVERYONE to find something there.

I would rather see you REMOVE THE AUCTION SECTION COMPLETELY from this site than see you limit it because some 'don't need those low-value items.'

I love this site, but this is just plain WRONG.





Randy

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dani20
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15 Dec 2012
10:39:32am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Randy has sounded the right note in our multilayered discussion. The key is 'inclusion', not 'exclusion'. Earlier Kelly raised the same point a bit differently, and later on several others have suggested the focus be on the club aspect rather than just a single function like the auction-awesome though it may be.

Let's see if we can all agree to some basics: We are together because we value Stamporama for what it is, what it does, and the opportunities to meet/greet others of like mind.We can improve our collections and our knowledge base easily and with joy. This is not a business enterprize, but a love fest.

That being said, how best can we share/spead the love? Randy kindly reffered back to the suggestion that we might improve inter-club activity by identifying specific interest areas and grouping like-minded souls to help each others collections. Following up on that thought, perhaps we might consider groups under different countries, with collectors tapping into all the groups they wish. (This is as part of SOR, not as a separate entity unto itself.) If that thought has merit, we'd need three things- someone to pull it together, those interested in it, and a place to hang out.

To start it off, I'd personally offer to help out in the U.S. area of collecting.My own limited focus is on the oldest of the old, but the area itself is quite broad. There may be those who prefer Topicals, no particular country but a particular theme. Again, we'd need someone to pull it together. I'd be happy to assist any and all such undertakings, should it be deemed worthy to pusue.

So dear SOR ites, is this a direction we might find of some value?
Thanks for listening, and for your input.
Dan C.

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StampCommune

15 Dec 2012
10:57:00am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hi Dan,
Some great ideas there. Just a suggestion, why don't you start another thread in order to keep a more positive note on it. Obviously this thread has been tainted and don't want to see you ideas overlooked.
Grant

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15 Dec 2012
12:12:59pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Grant & Randy,
Following your suggestions for preserving the thoughts under a different heading,I'll post a new thread called "SOR Communication Groups". Perhaps you might suggest a better heading?
I'll wait a bit before launching to see if you can improve the heading a bit.
Thanks.
Dan C.

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15 Dec 2012
05:18:48pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,


How about "SOR Select-Interest Groups"?


Either would suit fine.






Randy


P.S.

I would be interested in a 'Revenues' group as well!

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15 Dec 2012
07:59:41pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hi Everyone,
Wow, this thread covered a lot of ground. I must say that I'm saddened that Grant felt pressured to reduce the lots that he had in the auction. I have added a lot of filters in the Auction program so people could filter down to the stamps they where interested in, but I often use them to filter down to the stamps that Grant has in the auction for the country that I'm working on at the moment, because Grant alway has good quality stamp for a very fair price.

This thread started out as selling tips for the auction. The best tip that I can give is to watch what the successful sellers do and what they are offering. Some of our sellers are very successful in the auction. My tip is to watch people like Lee (lpayette) and Liz (patches) and Tal (Octjun). All three of these members are consistently selling in excess of 80% of the lots that they put in the auction.

Regards ... Tim.

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15 Dec 2012
08:51:57pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Very nice Randy-'SOR Select-Interest Groups' would do very nicely indeed. If there are other headings that come our way before the weekend is over we'll put it to a vote. If not, you will have had the honor of naming our new adventure. I also like the idea of a Revenue section very much. Care to head that one up? If so, count me in as a memberfor the U.S. issues. It is conceivable that there could also be Revenue issues for other countries as well that our membership might be interested in, so perhaps keep a broad hat on in your formulations.
Dan C.

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cdj1122
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16 Dec 2012
12:07:58am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Reading through the comments again I am reminded of the old, often quoted and just as often ignored mantra;
" .... If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. ...."
Perhaps I am missing the point, but I fail to see where the auction as currently constituted is broke or failing to work pretty well.
We might sit back and consider whether adding things and modifying things might just create an overly complicated system and be counter productive.

Another popular quote, usually wrongfully attributed to President Kennedy might also apply;
" ... If something does not need to be changed, then it needs to not be changed. ...".
I simply am not sure there is that much wrong that requires any major modification.
I suppose the lines between beneficial simplification, useful improvement and un-necessary complication are rather fine.

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16 Dec 2012
12:53:25am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Charlie,
I could not agree with you more. 1,000 items went though SORs auction in 14 days and that was just me, how much else from all the other sellers. WOW!
It blows my mind that anyone would knock that down based on the the value.
Grant




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cdj1122
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16 Dec 2012
08:17:59am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Haha, and I have some of yours on my watch list pending getting through some groups of lots that I started already becoming completed sales on this busy weekend.
There is another "Rule ofthumb" thats says, generallly "Any publicity is good publicity." (Well it is only a general rule, after all.)

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16 Dec 2012
08:14:39pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I'd like to see a feature where I can hover my mouse over the thumbnail scan and it will grow large (Bidstart has that and I love it.)

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StampCommune

16 Dec 2012
08:30:41pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hey Zipper,
That was mentioned a few months back and I think (not absolutely sure) Tim tried to implement something like that. But, it's some very advanced coding and takes some of that special magic to get it to work on custom sites such as here so it would not be the easiest thing to do. If it can be done I'm sure Tim will get it done, but as I said, it's not easy.
Grant

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dani20
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16 Dec 2012
10:47:04pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Personally, I believe we might have need of a category for the more expensive stamps that
I define as having a catalog value $25.00 or more.In view of our large American membership, and the large number of low to median value USA stamps always present on the auction board, this category may need some tweaking.

But perhaps we can accomplish this without messing with the auction per se. I'd like to propose that for the group of folks who might be likeminded, we could meet offline and define our interests and thinking. If this is of any appeal, contact me at cohendaniel64@yahoo.com and let's see if we have the makings of a viable sub-group within our SOR family whose focus would be to trade/sell higher value stamps. What do you think?

Dan C.

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auldstampguy
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17 Dec 2012
08:13:48am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan et al,
We already have the ability to filter out the lower priced stamps in the auction if you are not interested in them. Let's say that you are only interested in stamps that have a minimum bid of $10.00. At the top of the auction list page where we have the filters, enter 10 into the Min Bid text box and press the refresh button. You will now only be shown the lots that have a Min Bid of greater than $10.00.

Regards ... Tim

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dani20
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17 Dec 2012
08:44:07am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Thanks for that reminder Tim, but what I propose isn't about the bid level. It is about the cat. val. minimum of $25 or more and those who might be interested in exploring with other members at the higher cat.val. range to see if they can work out a swap/sale/buy between them.

This approach isn't limited to any particular country, although my focus is on U.S. So far
John Perry has responded privately and I'm awaitng to see if others might be interested. Such fun!
Dan C.

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alyn
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17 Dec 2012
09:11:15am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I feel that the auction is fine, I also feel that forming a special interest group within SOR, is the start of a slippery slope where the family feeling on SOR will start to be lost.

In my honest opinion, if we (and I use the collective "we") have specific needs etc. Post a want list in a specifc discusion thread, those who can help with that can reply.

Maybe, if the club executive thinks it is worth while, a wantlist feature can be added to each members profile. For those who want to use it, they can fill it out and maintain it. Those who don't want to use it don't have to.

Just my 2¢ on this dreary Monday morning in the GTA.

Alyn

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dani20
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17 Dec 2012
09:37:08am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Alyn,
Trust me on this-nothing that I propose or would do would be suggested by me if it might adversly affect SOR. Therefore, your take on my suggestion gets my attention immediately. How would having interest groupings be bad for SOR?

As I look at it, wouldn't it activate our members still more? I'm not sure what the slippery slope concern is, but I would like to hear more about it. Thanks for the caution.
Dan C.

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alyn
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17 Dec 2012
10:12:33am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,

What I fear is that by setting up a special interest group, it differentiates and labels members as 'specialists' and 'newbies', and then provides for special groups within our organization. SOR should be a single club, that deals with all aspects of philately, not an umbrella, that provides a virtual roof for special interest groups.

I recall that a few years ago, we set up "The Cover Corner" in the discussion board. If there is to be any specialist grouping lets have it be at that level, in the discussion area where all our members are welcome. Again as I stated above, if it is mainly for trading or buying, we have our auction and message board that can accomplish these tasks.

Alyn

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17 Dec 2012
10:26:29am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I agree with Alyn.

I also am a participant in model railroading. In model railroading clubs invariably comes along a group of people in the club that want to form their own special interest group of high-end models that have to be 100% exact to prototype. They will not participate with the "newbie's" or even intermediate modelers as that is beneath them for the lack of prototype to model fidelity. In the model railroading hobby, we call them "rivet counters", and I have seen them bring down several clubs as their alienate the new people to the hobby.

If you want to attract and expand a member base, the worse thing to do is splinter off portions. Eventually the splinter groups will communicate solely with themselves, and leave the rest of the club alone. I'm sure people here will say, "Oh, that's well and good, but it won't happen here!" I've heard that before too, and when the beginners and intermediate members slowly leave, all that will be left is the few, rather than keeping everyone engaged in the activities.

Consider and ask the question how many people are here that actually have high-end stamps in sufficient quantity to be able to swap them for more high-end stamps?

All hobbies need the specialists. They play an important role, but only if they remain engaged with the rest of the group.

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17 Dec 2012
11:14:38am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hopefully this is near the end of this discussion. I too am an avid model train collector and I agree with michael78651 concerning:

"a group of people in the club that want to form their own special interest group of high-end models that have to be 100% exact to prototype. They will not participate with the "newbie's" or even intermediate modelers as that is beneath them for the lack of prototype to model fidelity. In the model railroading hobby, we call them "rivet counters", and I have seen them bring down several clubs as their alienate the new people to the hobby.

If you want to attract and expand a member base, the worse thing to do is splinter off portions. Eventually the splinter groups will communicate solely with themselves, and leave the rest of the club alone. I'm sure people here will say, "Oh, that's well and good, but it won't happen here!" I've heard that before too, and when the beginners and intermediate members slowly leave, all that will be left is the few, rather than keeping everyone engaged in the activities."


I have many high end stamps however I do not collect additional high end stamps to trade or sell so I really see no reason to have a special listing for these. I usually will check the list of sellers I know that have stuff I usually would be interested in and bid that way. I enjoy assisting beginners and usually will not overbid someone in the auction on items I currently have. I would rather allow someone else to have a stamp for their collection than to enhance my own. I really think the original idea of sharing the interest of stamp collecting is more important than showing off what you have or want.

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17 Dec 2012
11:40:03am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I can see why Grant got frustrated... If I was still a webmaster, this conversation would have driven me nuts. I don't know how our Web Wizard(s) are keeping their cool. I wish I had their patience. But I don't!!! So here is my two cents...

Whatever your catalog value is, you can still define and redefine your search using the filters. There is no need to further categorize the lots with that kind of thing. Adding more categories probably won't help. Some people already screw up those categories as it is, hence all the discussions about what constituted a penny-lot, and the fact that there still are items in there from time to time that don't fit the bill. And I see lots of material that doesn't fit in what I would call United States material showing up there as well. I just realized that I under-categorized a couple items in my recent lots.

Another good point to new sellers, make sure you check off ALL categories that could relate to your item for sale. You might just grab someone else's attention.

As far as special interests in high value stuff, there is a section where you can ask for dealing with like-minded individuals already. It's called the "Let's Trade / Wanted To Buy" forum. I don't see where the complications have suddenly come up that prevent users from posting a message there saying, "Hey, I would like to do some high value trading!" or, "I'm looking for these high value stamps." and then following it up with, "Please message me if you are interested." But that I guess would constitute posting discussions in the right forums... but I digress.

There have definitely been some good responses though. But I really think we need to stop adding to this thread. I particularly like the one response that says, "Hopefully this is near the end of this discussion." It's giving me a headache.

---Pat

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dani20
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17 Dec 2012
11:56:26am
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Pat,Perry,Mike,Alyn,
Your points are well taken, and I appreciate them all. Clearly I had not thought through the well meant proposal, and rightly you have corrected my oversight. Thank you all.

As to the length of this exchange, perhaps this might serve to cap it off:

In an attempt to refine the content of the
discussion topic, "Selling Tips for the Auction”, John Derry has boiled down our rather large response to the original question into a more manageable 10 point summary:

1 Use catalogue stamp numbers, they help

2. Front and back scans of stamps are useful, but prohibitive effort-wise for the low value items.

3. The suggestion was offered to sellers to consider replacing individual listings of cheap stamps by "bundling".

4. Individual listings of cheap stamps (overwhelmingly popular
recommendation and the statistics indicate that cheap stamps sell) are welcomed

5. There may be a need for "expensive" stamps listing. Should we create an auction category for it or not?

6. Wide appeal to keep the auction just as it is. Don't fix what isn't broken


7. Try not to ‘over-focus’ on the auction –that detracts from the club aspect


8 Buyers ought not to criticize sellers, but certainly offer positive suggestions if warranted.


9 Unsuccessful sellers should imitate successful sellers, and we have many of them

10. Implied, but not recommended - more than one bid required for the auction sale to be valid


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cdj1122
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17 Dec 2012
12:01:43pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

" .... If I was still a webmaster, this conversation would have driven me nuts. I don't know how our Web Wizard(s) are keeping their cool. ...."

You forget the first rule of conversation. Talk is cheap.
In fact unless you consider the cost of a few micro-amps of electrcity, it's free.

It is healthy for people to feel free to suggest things, some good, some priceless and some inane. And it is good to see what appears to be a sizable majority supporting the auction more or less the way it is and leaving the tinkering to the cyber wizards.

If I were Grant I'd not obcess over the comments or suggestions, especially after having explained his way of placing lots in the auction.

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17 Dec 2012
12:21:40pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

10. Implied, but not recommended - more than one bid required for the auction sale to be valid

I do not agree with that item. Most items here receive that receive a bid only get one bid. It would greatly diminish the number of items that sell here.

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17 Dec 2012
12:44:01pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Alyn,
How funny, taking your suggestions to heart I went to the trading/lists board and there we were, you and I having the same basic discussion on that board!I had forgotten that I had tried that route before, with no real impact as to matching up with 'high val. trades'.
'Nuff said-I wish to thank you, one and all, for the many and varied comments. May all our discussions evoke the spirited debate shown here.
All good thoughts,
Dan C.

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alyn
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17 Dec 2012
02:39:00pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,

I think I remember that talk. I have it noted that if I come across classical US that I don't want I am to contact you. So the thread worked, unfortunatley I haven't come across what you are looking for. But if I do, I will contact you.

Alyn

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AGKING
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17 Dec 2012
03:08:48pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

This was some string of posts!

Let me respectfully say

GET BACK TO POSTING AND BIDDING


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17 Dec 2012
03:23:29pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Yeah, as a seller, I agree with that last statement.... get back to bidding! I have some stuff to unload!!! LOL.
---Pat

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CapeStampMan
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Mike

17 Dec 2012
05:37:54pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I made a comment the other day about have X number of lots in the "Closing in 24 hours" category, without any bids, but upon reflection those can not be true figures because of the BIN feature, which would of course, skew the facts and figures tremendously. I only thought of it because I received some of the BIN sales on my lots, that caused me to think back on that statement. Sorry for any confusion that may have caused.

Now like everyone is suggesting, "back to making up more lots for the auction".

Mike

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17 Dec 2012
05:56:48pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Good point, Mike. Didn't think about that either.

I already listed my items for the week, and the all have bids on them!

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17 Dec 2012
08:14:43pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,

I believe we have been over-ruled!

...and I tend to agree with them!

Alyn and Michael have made valid, sensible points; I therefore abandon my idea regarding a sub-categorical group within the club and side with them on their opinions!


....see?? THIS is why I love this club - we bump heads now and then but ultimately work together!


Even though never having met ANY of you, I consider each and EVERY one of you my friends....





Randy

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17 Dec 2012
09:00:51pm
re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Thanks Randy, I think that is a great way to close this thread off. I will close this now purely because this thread will be getting very long and slow for our brothers and sisters on a dial up connection (yes, their still exist). If you would like to continue this discussion, that is fine. Please start a new thread.

Regards ... Tim

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(This thread has been closed by a moderator)

 

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dani20

11 Dec 2012
12:10:14am

Dear All,
It strikes me that we might be of help to the lister by indicating what we'd like to see. I know we've mentioned categories and specific items in posts past, but I still thought there might be room to mention a few more. For example, whenever my area of old U.S. is listed, I'd sure appreciate a back view as well as a front view. I personally don't bother to look at the large bank notes unless there is a back view.

I also look for more detailed descriptions. Key among them is 'Is the stamp sound in all respects'? If the lister doesn't state that it is, I proceed with great caution. Of course the mentioning of defects is very important if there are any, as is the mention that there are none.

For the mint items, a mention about the gum would be most desired. Is it ungummed, disturbed gum, hinged or MNH? All pretty important to me as I browse along.

So thanks for taking the time to read all this, and to the listers for doing the listing.
Dan C.

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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
11 Dec 2012
10:31:19pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan:

I am in agreement, but there is always a but.

Certainly this information is necessary for the stamps some of us want (old US, for example) as these tend to be "expensive", and expensive stamps demand a comprehensive description with quality front and back scans. If not provided by the seller, two problems arise:

1) the potential buyer has to contact the seller for additional information; and

2) some sellers do not entertain correspondence (time or language or other constraints).

Q. So, what is the opening bid for an expensive stamp that warrants a comprehensive description, as suggested by Dan, with quality front and back images?

A. For me, it is $5.00 (but I still pick up pennies on the street and have been unemployed for twenty years). On Stamporama's auction board, I read and look very carefully at the auction lot if my bid involves folding money.

Your suggestions, Dan, are impractical for auction lots valued at less than a dollar as it is time intensive. Have never sold a stamp in or out of our club but, from what I read, it takes time to post a stamp on the auction board and list it at say 6¢, maybe more, maybe less.

Some of our members post hundreds of auction lots at less than a buck, I think they might balk at your suggestions. I would like to hear from the repetitive sellers on this topic.

Let me switch the channel and offer the following suggestion to our sellers: stop posting individual nickel and dime stamps. Why? My reading indicates that many, perhaps most, will not be bid upon. And why is that? Because, if I am a typical bidder, the buyer is reluctant to enter into a transaction where the cost of the payment transaction, plus postage/handling costs, dwarf the value of the product.

There are many cheap stamps for auction that I would like to bid on but realize that I am unlikely to make sufficient purchases from that seller to make the total purchase value worth my or the seller's time. Many of our sellers are not professional retailers and it is inconvenient for them to hold auctioned stamps for a buyer until the total purchase value crosses a worthwhile attention-threshold. And, some of our sellers are so busy with sales transactions, that, I suspect, they might have to hire staff to hold stamps for a buyer for any length of time.

Solution: it's called bundling and some of it already occurs on our auction board, but not enough in my opinion.

Group the lower-value stamps so that the bundle can be identified by a stamp catalogue start and finish number, not necessarily sequential, it may be the bracket or brackets within which the stamps lie. The seller indicates the catalogue value or estimated worth of the bundle, and usually includes at least one unidentified high-value "surprise" find. Result: scans are dispensed with; auction board minutiae and clutter are removed. Note that the manner of grouping/bundling is limited only by the seller's imagination and, yes, I believe we need much more imagination displayed on Stamporama's auction board.

Okay, I've overstayed my welcome again; nevertheless, I would like to hear the voices of our repetitive sellers and bidders on this topic, too.

John Derry

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dani20

11 Dec 2012
11:35:56pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear John,
You are quite right about my thoughts being impractical for the below $5 bid stamp values. I really wasn't thinking for more than my own limited areas of interest and as you pointed out, those can be pricey. Thanks for pointing out that my suggestions are really for the more expensive items which is really relatively limited but not totally absent in our auction.
Dan C.

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Mike
12 Dec 2012
01:48:20pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear John,
Let's see if I read you right! You don't buy stamps that involve folding money, but you want all of the sellers to have front and back scans of all of their listings, over Five dollars, just in case you decide to spend some of those pennies you have picked up over the years. Dan's idea is at least a viable option, for the much higher value stamps and I have seen many listing with the front and backs of stamps showing. As I have mentioned several time before, people that don't list stamps for sale should list one or more stamps, just to see what is involved in the process of doing so. If the cost of time and labor is ever added to the price of the stamp listings there certainly wouldn't be any "penny" stamps on SOR, or any other site as far as that goes.

The way you describe "bundling" is a very good option, if the seller has any idea of the catalog numbers, but then again most sellers seem to show scans of their multi-stamp lots also.

Most, if not all, of the SOR dealers will refund your money if you aren't happy with your purchase, but the old argument of "I don't want to go through that hassle" will rear it's ugly head as a response to that remark. My guarantee is listed right in my lots, "You are happy, or your money tearfully refunded" and I stand behind that 100 per cent.

As far as "quit posting the nickle and dime stamps" is not a very viable option either, since a very good percentage of the sales are sales for lower valued stamps. After all, what worldwide collector doesn't need plenty of the lowest value stamps in their collection? I know I sure do.

I also am not ashamed, nor too proud to stoop and pick up a penny, except these days it gets harder to straighten back up after that effort. LOL

Mike

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michael78651

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12 Dec 2012
06:11:03pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

As someone who sells are great deal of stamps online, I once did a little study as to how much I was earning net per hour by selling stamps for beginner and intermediate collectors. It was a huge 25 cents an hour. I'm sure that has maybe gone up a nickle since then...

To repeat what Mike said, I do sell alot of minimal valued stamps. Also, it happens quite often that a collector will buy just one stamp for a dime and pay a dollar or two shipping. This includes buyers from outside the USA as well.

Right now I am dabbling a little with selling on SOR. My second group is up right now. All of the first group sold. These are packets of stamps starting at 2 cents each per stamp. All have bids on them, showing that there is a market here for that material, which is what I observed over time.

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12 Dec 2012
07:47:38pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I would like to echo DRYER's comment about the nickel and dime stamps in the auction.

"Let me switch the channel and offer the following suggestion to our sellers: stop posting individual nickel and dime stamps. Why? My reading indicates that many, perhaps most, will not be bid upon. And why is that? Because, if I am a typical bidder, the buyer is reluctant to enter into a transaction where the cost of the payment transaction, plus postage/handling costs, dwarf the value of the product.
"



I have been told by more than one Stamporama member (a couple of the quiet ones that we know are there, but who do not participate regularly) that the reason they do not browse the auction is they do not want to wade through the innumerable "nickel and dime stamps that are not worth shipping".

I just checked the "Ending in 24 hours list" -- 1308 lots, exactly 48 of which have bids. I think the numbers speak for themselves and the members are placing their vote on the issue by NOT buying these lots.

I'm not worried about the sellers' time -- that's up to them to figure out. And I know we have a workaround with the "Price Filter" that Tim built in (which I use regularly), but I KNOW this is keeping people from browsing the auction, on the basis of my own reaction, and the comments that have been made to me. (I have learned through life that if 1 person makes a comment, at least 10 other people are thinking the same thing, but not saying it).

Roy

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dani20

12 Dec 2012
08:05:10pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear All,
If I'm reading this right, there are those who appreciate low value filler stamps, there are those who look for more valuable stamps that they might be missing, and finally that there are those turned off from the auction because of the lack of desired material at the price range that attracts them.

If the above summary is more or less on target,then perhaps we need to give better directions to the listers if we wish to see the kind of material that we are looking for. With that in mind, I'm wondering if we might need a category specifying values above $5, just as we have a category specifying penny lots.

Dan C.

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Mike
12 Dec 2012
08:32:00pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,
But there again, do we need a category for Mint $5 stamps and above and then another category for $5 used and above stamps. We could certainly "category-ise" ourselves to death here and keep Tim busy 24/7 and then have people lose more interest because there are just too many categories.

Roy, as I've said before, no one has to spend a lot of time looking at any category if people would use the "SEARCH" function. I'm sure Dan would just peruses the U. S. section, while I might just get into the Belgium or Swedish section. I also don't like spending a lot of time looking at items that have no interest to me, so I don't just look at one category for anything, except maybe the "HOT" items. I do get a kick out of them. I also like to check out what certain dealers have for sale, so might check them out.

Michael, how did you manage to make a whole 25 cents an hour? Did you give yourself a big raise? The next thing you know you will want a paid vacation and then maybe paid health benefits. Where will it ever end??????? My thoughts on the profit rates are, if you perhaps are able to buy a big collection for, say, 10% of catalog and keep what you need for your own collection, then try to sell of the excess, you will never break even on that collection, since about 60% of it won't sell, at least until you mark it down to 10 per cent, just to get rid of it. At least that is the way it works for me, mainly because I need a lot of what I buy for the albums and then try to sell the extras to help balance out the expenditure of the original purchase.

Mike

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michael78651

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12 Dec 2012
10:40:25pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Mike, lol, when I did my little unscientific study, I considered stamps that I posted over a period of time, and the ones that sold and the ones that did not sell. I then calculated the average cost to ship, and the net was that little quarter.

Roy - You have to be careful when looking at open auctions. Most auction lots get bids in the last hour or so. I'm not saying that these will get bids, but that's the general rule of thumb with online auctions. Also, a 5% sell rate is considered to be good. The stats you gave show a little more than 3% right now.

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StampCommune

12 Dec 2012
11:08:38pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hi All,
This topic started out about how sellers can elaborate on their auction descriptions and images and it has gone totally to something else. Obviously, me being the largest lister of items on SOR it would be me who lists the majority of those nickel and dime stamps and since some users don't want to use the site due to that I am going to stop listing them.
I can get into the politics of why I do it and such but I don't need to. This is my decision and my decision alone based on this thread and previous threads.

With that said: Stamp collecting is quickly becoming the next bottle cap hobby and making it more expensive by not listing nickel and dime items will only speed up that process faster when new collectors think its to expensive of a hobby to start. With over 20,000 items sold here on SOR in the last two years I expect this number to dramatically decline. SOR was one of the few, if any, internet based sites you could buy these items without being flooded by advertising and other hobby collectibles.

Dan: I did read your post and appreciate your opinion. It has made me change the way I list certain items. Thanks.

Grant ~ StampCommune ~

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12 Dec 2012
11:53:35pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hi Grant,

Let me be the first to say that I would hate to see you quit. I am "small fry," accounting perhaps for 50-70 of your 20,000+ sales here, on just a few occasions, but those complaining clearly don't use our auction the same way many other members do. Yes, for one person complaining loudly you may find ten others who think the same, but you will also find 100 that like it just the way it is.

To sum it up, I hope you reconsider. And don't let those constant discussions about how to improve our auction get under your skin. I wish I had posted something earlier in response to certain earlier threads that you are alluding to. Well, better now than never.

Arno
P.S. I don't care much for detailed descriptions and catalog numbers. I want a large scan of the stamp (or stamps) I am bidding on. Everything else I can figure out myself and would not rely on someone else's assessment anyways. Unfortunately many of our sellers (Grant excluded) just don't get it. Why is it so hard to scan individual stamp at 200% or 300% size so that the buyer can actually see the stamp??? Then you will see that even your cheap stamps will sell. And: Use BIN for your $0.20 CV stamp that you are listing for heavens sake -- what are you expecting? A bidding war?? Looks like Grant got it all right -- or who wants to argue against 20,000+ sales?

P.P.S. There are many, many members that NEVER use the discussion board and likely have been attracted to stamporama primarily by our auction. These members have no voice here, but have clearly voted with their pocket books, while the "I do not buy from anyone requiring paypal, charging for paypal, offering BIN, asking more than $1, offer penny lots that average out for more than $0.01, and do not carefully provide detailed descriptions"-faction of our membership have sleepless nights about how the auction is run. Go figure.

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StampCommune

12 Dec 2012
11:56:21pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Arno,
Quick response, Im not quitting....just going to cut back on listing the lower end items, nickel and dime. IT'S ALOT OF WORK BUT THAT'S WHAT I DO. I want to serve all levels, from beginner to advanced, there only one way to do that and that is to offer all pricing levels.

I have tried various other mediums of selling including my own website, in order not to have to send literally everything here to SOR. Recently I have increased my volume here due to me closing my online store based on it being to much work in order to keep up with the inventory.

I LOVE SOR and don't want to have to sell anywhere else, BUT when it comes down to paying the bills, you wouldn't believe the effect those nickel and dime stamps have on the bottom line at the end of the month.:-

Grant

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Rhinelander

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13 Dec 2012
01:11:54am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Grant,

Here is one thing to consider, since you are bringing up servicing all price levels (and to return the focus to Dan's & John's original messages): Perhaps you could list your lower priced items equally successful, but more efficiently, by equalizing the pricing and eliminating the cataloging.

How about listing all stamps less than (for instance) CV $0.30 for Cash $0.10 (or everything less than CV $0.50 is $0.15). For these low priced items, you will not go through the effort of listing the catalog numbers, but simply list "Zambia used stamp" or perhaps add the year of issue at most "United Kingdom mint 1980." Think about how most buyers search the auction. They look at a certain category and open auctions for detailed examination based on the image provided in the listing. Does the catalog number really provide initially important information? I don't think so. I look at your listing and open my Zambia or Finland book and compare. If I need a catalog number or value, I can look it up in short time if I want to. But usually, if it is just 20-30 cents, I don't even bother. I have a blank spot in the album and hit "BIN."

In the mid-price range you might want to continue your current scheme of providing the catalog number and pricing the item based on a percentage of CV. At the top end, you may price also according to condition, provide specialized information, and include scans of the back of the stamp etc. -- In essence, I am saying you could provide different levels of service at different price points. For the low priced stamps: "Just be happy I listed it, but please look up the catalog number on your own" and then ever increasing levels of information and more fine-tuned pricing for the more expensive stamps.

Right now you provide the same level of detail for all your stamps, but I would assume that everybody in his/her right mind will understand that for a ten cent stamp perhaps this is asked too much. In turn, you might be able to list your less expensive stamps faster and more efficiently, and buyers may enjoy a larger selection -- a win-win situation.

What you are doing is very successful, so I am not in any position to offer advice. However, before consider cutting down on offering low priced items altogether, you may want to consider modestly raising your prices and simplifying your listings to cut down on your labor. I don't think your sales would be affected much by such changes.

Arno

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StampCommune

13 Dec 2012
02:01:13am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Arno,
THANK YOU for the detailed response. I do recall a seller was listing items such as what your suggesting and and REALLY got some members going. If I listed items such as that I could, and this is not an exaggeration, list 1,000+ different items a day and that is with images. Would that be COOL! I'm not, don't worry.


As for pricing, I thought 30% across the board was a fair price, those nickel and dime stamps covered the +20% from all those higher priced stamps that most stamp dealers ask for. I actually just finished some work on my auction lister that adjusted pricing for various countries and condition. A recent test example of this is all of my Great Britain items are priced from 15% - 20%. Great Britain is generally overprice in Scott, my opinion of course. I just started this and based on sales and such some countries are more, some are less, supply and demand. I also have added calculation pricing for condition, MNH, MLH...but felt it would have been gouging since that 20% was covered, MNH is generally considered a premium and generally in todays market sells for upto 60 - 65% of CV. Those nickel and dime stamps covered alot of "premium" pricing when it came down to it.

Arno as I said, THANK YOU. I really do appreciate your response. I think after what I said above the nickel and dime items had a purpose for me. Unfortunely, I am not here to ruffle feathers and this has not been the first time the subject has been addressed, so I will back off those for now. BUT, your never know what's about to come...could be a good thing.


Grant

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StampCommune

13 Dec 2012
02:33:54am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

On the same note, and I'm NOT trying to be a Smarty.

What happens when the site has over 10,000 items and the cheapest item is $1.00 selling price?

Do you think that's a good thing or a bad thing? Will users still wade through all the lists?

My current list is 7,000(actually 12,000 after duplication) items as a final inventory for the last 2 years. In that time I tried to manage a website and "program". I no longer have the website and my programming is done so I can see 4 - 5,000 items a month with no interuptions, no I'm not kidding, you should see my office.

AS I SAID, I AM NOT TRYING TO BE A SMART---. BUT,

when the relisting hits then the volume increases, is the volume going to be to much for SOR? I have a fairly large inventory, plus some, and the skills to get it to SOR but don't want to overwhelm it.

It would be the same scenerio just higher priced items.

Thanks
Grant

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13 Dec 2012
05:35:47am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Okay there is a lot to consider and digest so I want to commnt on one particular comment by Arno;
" .... I don't care much for detailed descriptions and catalog numbers. I want a large scan of the stamp (or stamps) I am bidding on. Everything else I can figure out myself ...."
Bravisimo !
Detailed descriptions are interesting especially when they point out some unique feature of some particular stamp.
Beyond that the catalog number or catalog listing is meaningless to me unless it refers to some item that earns greater than a $20.00 listing.
The scan is what attracts me to a given lot. Then if I do not recognise the stamp I decide if the item is worth the bid to me (ME, not some beady eye'd editor working in the basement of the Scott's or Gibbon's building.)
If I have a doubt about it I just open the appropriate album and look to see if I have the stamp, or stamps, in the case of multi-stamp lots, or if the offerred stamp has a cleaner cancellation than what I have mounted and that is it.

So for inexpensive lots you or Grant or whom ever, need not obcess over descriptions or catalog listings. Others may feel differently as I have seen many albums that were created by a collector who spent what had to be hours carefully writing all kinds of information below what are in essense very commion stamps. Often the info is simply a reworking of what is listed in the handy catalog.
I would bet that there are quite a few collectors, especially those who enjoy topicals who also utilise the clear large size scans more than catalogs at our stamp club, in fact I have noticed, from questions I get asked at meetings, that several long time collectors do not even own a decent catalog.

Charlie
Lecanto, Florida

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
13 Dec 2012
06:01:47am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Another ad lib;
" .... Yes, for one person complaining loudly you may find ten others who think the same, but you will also find 100 that like it just the way it is. ...."
Over many years at meetings and classes during and after college I have become the guy in the middle of the third row who pops up with questions or comments during a session.

I do not have enough fingers to deliniate how many times another attendee has said afterward that they were wondering the same thing. Several times the lecturer has also stopped me afterward and said that they appreciate my (polite, always polite .) interjections and queries.
And when I was teaching I understood why. Reasonably intelligent questions demonstrate that someone is listening.
So from those experiences and similar ones as a co-administrater of other discussion foums, I know that there are very likely to be many "lurkers" who for some reason read, or listen, have questions or insights but seldom pipe up.

Charlie
Lecanto, Florida

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
13 Dec 2012
06:56:43am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I am weighing in as a member, not the auctioneer.

I am surprised by all the proscriptions offered here, especially after all the additional devices added to make avoiding what one does not want to encounter fairly easy.

Grant is likely the primary supplier of lots that qualify as MV. in the last week, he sold 59 lots, of which only 7 had CV at or hier than $2. That means that he sold 52 stamps with CVs under $2. That also means there is a market here for that. How many others have sold that many lots last week? I didnt look, so i dont know the answer. Wasnt me, and i offered a decent numbermof higher value stamps that all went begging, and all my stuff was offered at between 20 and 25 percent CV, which seems like a starting point that wouldnt get in the way of interested parties. But there were none. Obviously, and thisnis my second point, Grant is providing more of what our folks want than many others, at least based on his cumulative sales totals of more than 20,000 lots.

I rather think that folks like Grant, Lee, Liz, and several others help make our auctions more successful by providing more lots at which to look. Without htem, we are looking at weekly totals of well under 1,000 lots. Perpetually.

I welcome higher priced material. Let a few guys post 10,000 lots of $20, $50, and $250 stamps priced at 20-50 percent CV. But that shouldnt require we abandon the cheaper stuff, which data tells us sells here just fine.


David

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13 Dec 2012
07:14:37am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

" .... IT'S ALOT OF WORK BUT THAT'S WHAT I DO. ...."
I am sure it is, almost a labor of love. No, delete that "almost", it has to be a labor of love.

In the days of yore when just about every small town had a stamp store, I visited many of them during my travels and cannot ever recall, upon entering one and making a single minimal cost purchase, getting up and leaving.
In this modern, ever more electronic, world, on-line stamp stores fulfil that same function. On-line stamp auctions such as this one at SOR, act like the annual stamp show or local weekend flea market bourse, but are open all night seven days a week. I am quite sure that the cyber customers are subject to the same cultural customs.

If I entered a physical store and saw some $0.15 item that I just had to have, I know that I would look around and see if there was anything else to spend my pocket change on and a few times left only after writing out a substantial check with some wonderful album in my tucker bag wondering if I had overdone it, but enjoying the ambiance of the moment.

Similarly, I suspect that upon winning a minimal lot in our SOR auction, the average on-line purchaser considers the potential postage and decides to examine other lots from the same seller to see what else he, or she, might buy since they have to pay the postage anyway. A dozen items in a combined purchase shipped together spreads the cost over the entire assembly of lots and is certainly more palatable to the excited buyer who, though sitting at home at three-thirty AM in his undies, experiences the same ambieance. Plus the coffee pot can be almost within arm's reach.

So I suggest that having a lot of minimal lots posted on=line in the auction is just like the brick and mortar dealer who placed a carefully arranged stock book with manila pages full of goodies on the counter in front of the hopefully committed buyer.

And of course the on-line dealer can also work at home equally casually dressed, with the kids in a nearby playpen, Dvořák's "New World Symphony" drownding out the spouse's snoring and a steady stream of good to the last drop mud at hand.

Shucks, I might be talking myself into listing some lots. Like most stampers I have always seen myself as a potential J. W. Scott.



Charlie
Lecanto, Florida

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
13 Dec 2012
07:18:55am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

"... I rather think that folks like Grant, Lee, Liz, and several others help make our auctions more successful by providing more lots at which to look. ..."

Precisely in a nutshell what I tried to say in a bushel basket.



Charlie
Lecanto, Florida

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StampCommune

13 Dec 2012
07:47:19am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

David,
Sorry, but i think you looked at something different than what I sold. In the last ten days i,ve sold 700+ items. I can't tell you the price ranges, but taking a guess 70% were most likely the the nickel, dime range. ...success? to much work for the return? i was happy with a 10% sell rate with a average 28% of cv. i wasn't getting rich...just feeling successful for a change.
grant

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Patches

Liz

13 Dec 2012
07:56:16am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I don't mind sharing my sales statistics from Stamporama for the past three months to show you that there a very large percentage of what 'I' list on the auction is single stamps and priced below $1.00. I find that there is definitely a market for these lower valued stamps.

I'm sorry if I offend some of you, but I have to disagree with some of your opinions.

When I look at my sales on Stamporama for 3 months I'm not complaining at the number of hours that it took me to sort, catalogue, scan and list these stamps. I am not selling stamps to become rich, nor do I calculate how many dollars in wages I may have earned elsewhere for the same number of hours spent on listing these stamps! I work on stamps as a hobby and find it a relaxing hobby. I try to list items that I think 'may' appeal to some of our members, and obviously some of my items listing are creating some interest.

I did not show November statistics as I listed very few items in November due to illness.

Month Sold Unsold % Sold Value Average # with Multiple Bids
October 2012 920 213 81.20% $553.85 $0.60 379
September 2012 678 129 84.01% $540.95 $0.80 207
August 2012 940 179 84.00% $712.75 $0.76 227

Many years ago I would not list anything in the auctions unless it was a complete set of stamps. I have since changed my practice as I have found that many people only need perhaps one or two stamps from a set.

As I do not sell 'classics' or very high valued stamps,if I didn't list these under $1 stamps list I 'might' list perhaps 10 stamps in a year.

Not everyone has the $'s or the interest to collect only high valued stamps. Some of us are happy with the nickel and dime items in our albums. For most of us it is our hobby not a profitable business! I for one collect modern issues and am quite content doing so in my old age.

Some of my duplicates are offered in the Stamporama auction so other beginner and intermediate collectors have a chance to fill in a space or two in their albums at reasonable prices. I get great pleasure in being able to help someone else locate a few stamps that they might need for their collections.


Liz


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Patches

Liz

13 Dec 2012
07:59:09am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Sorry that the statistics listed do not appear in proper columns, but I'm sure you can figure out which figures go under which headings. I'm clueless as to how to do a screen save!

Liz

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
13 Dec 2012
08:20:03am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Month------ Sold ---- Unsold ---- %Sold ----- Value ----- Average --#w/Multiple Bids
October ----920 ------213 ------81.20% ----$553.85 ----- $0.60 -------379
Sept'ber --- 678 ------129 ------84.01% ----$540.95 ------$0.80 -------207
August -----940 ------179 ------84.00% ----$712.75 ------$0.76 -------227

I hope this helps, Liz.
I find the data very interesting.
Thanks for assembling it.
Charlie

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Patches

Liz

13 Dec 2012
08:31:09am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Thank you Charlie. I didn't assemble these figures. Tim has these figures available to each and every seller on Stamporama under Auction 'Reports'.

Liz

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CapeStampMan

Mike
13 Dec 2012
08:56:57am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Liz,

An 80% selling rate is phenomenal. I was thinking about sending all of my stamps up to you and Lee to sell for me, because both of you have the highest percentages of success in the auction. Your information is very informative in other ways also, due to the fact it does show that most of the sales must be under a dollar and more so indicates there is certainly a great need for the nickel and dime stamps.

In the "Closing in 24 hours" category, right now, there are only 27 stamps, out of the 1310 listed, with even a bid. Four of those bids are over $1.00 and the lowest bid is just $0.02, yet again confirming the fact the lower values have the most bids.

Arno, I don't even look at stamps that don't have a catalog number and/or value in the listing. I always check my want lists for stamps that may be needed and have no desire to catalog the stamp myself. Afterall, if someone is going to list a stamp or stamps, then they most surely know what the cat number and value is, so why not put that in the listing?

I still think the SOR auction site is the best, by far, while also being the simplest to use and there is really little room for compaints about it. Most complaints seem to be just nitpicking which give us something to discuss here on the board.

Mike

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13 Dec 2012
09:17:48am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

The question that remains then is, "Is it worth the time and effort".
Before we moved south, during the Carter recession at the beginning of Reagan's first term I switched jobs and for a while money was quite tight. My wife began to consider looking for local employment somewhere as three of our four children (then) were in school and the fourth was big enough to be in a day care for a few hours a day.
We discussed it and I assembled some figures (before calculators were everywhere) to see what she might actually bring to the kitchen table after working a 30-40 hour week at possibly a little above the minimum wage. That would be the actual dollars left over after deducting all reasonable expenses for child care, gas and cost of a second car, nice clothes for office work, and an occasional lunch instead of brown bagging it. There may have been some other expenses considered, but the answer came to about $20.00 left over that could help with weekly living expenses. That might be probably equal to $50.00 -$60.00 in today's economy. Not very much.
However we discovered an alternative after seeing a TV show about some women who not only clipped available grocery coupons each week, but who accumulated the various "proof of purchases" from items we used all the time that when sent to a manufacturer would get some additional usually larger, coupons in return.
This was during a time when many supermarkets would double the printed value of coupons and one local Pathmark store would frequently offer to triple the coupon value.
Within a month or so, she was netting the equivalant of $50.00 a week or more towards living expenses. We had a full depression pantry, plus she was home when the children came home from school and Margaret, our youngest daughter remained at home in her care.
Thinking about that calculation, I would suggest that the actual value, selling duplicates from the home through the auction is worth close to double the dollars that would have to be earned were someone to seek a simple local job that did not require some special certification.
Plus there has to be some vicarious pleasure handling the stamps that we love so much.


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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "

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13 Dec 2012
09:45:02am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Liz, for the record, your lots were never included in my use of the term "nickel and dime stamps". In fact, quite the opposite. Your sell-through rate of 80%+ shows that what you provide is exactly what the membership wants, that your lots are the highlight of the auction.

I disagree with the idea that an under 10% sell-through rate is "ok". It may be ok for the seller, when all the automation and re-listing is considered, but I think of it more as a 90% rejection rate of the material by the membership.

My concern has always been what happened to the Yahoo Stamp Auction (around 2000-2005?). It finally folded, because they offered unlimited free re-listing and sellers were becoming quite happy with a 3% sell-through rate. However, the site became so constipated with listings that nobody wanted, it finally folded.

Is it better to have a 2,000 lot auction, in which 1,000 items sell, or a 20,000 lot auction in which 1,000 items sell? Which will keep more people coming back as buyers? Because that is the key to success of any auction site.

Roy

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cornerpost

13 Dec 2012
10:06:23am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Roy,
From my own experience, I stopped selling on Yahoo when they stated charging to list items. I suspect many others did so at the same time. Yahoo's advantage over ebay stopped at that time for small ticket sellers and ebay's much larger customer base meant that when paying to list Yahoo was always going to lose out.
Merv

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Mike
13 Dec 2012
10:31:11am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I wouldn't really think of an item not selling, as a failure, since upon several occaisions I have relisted an item to have it not only sell, but received multiple bids on it. One time, in particular, an item was relisted the following week, after not selling, and was sold at almost full cat, so how can that to be explained? Maybe it's like the lottery and one just has to be lucky, or could it be timing?

Mike

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
13 Dec 2012
11:00:03am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Mike said: "I don't even look at stamps that don't have a catalog number and/or value in the listing. I always check my want lists for stamps that may be needed and have no desire to catalog the stamp myself. After all, if someone is going to list a stamp or stamps, then they most surely know what the cat number and value is, so why not put that in the listing?"

I agree with that 100%. My collection is too large to pull an album out and flip through the pages to try to find the stamp or the space for it. Plus, many stamps have perf, watermark, color, etc. differences. I need a reference point. Without that, I don't have the time to spend on a stamp that way. A packet of stamps is different, but singles and/or sets. I need the catalog number.

I do agree that subjective descriptors added by sellers are totally irrelevant. Sellers, don't tell me that the stamp is "beautiful, wonderful, fantastic, VF, XVF, etc." That is for me as a buyer to determine how the stamp looks. Sellers, do tell me if the stamp has any damage to it. I have seen too many stamps that I have bought that were listed as "great, wonderful, fantastic, choice MNH, only to find creases, thins and hinge marks along with pencil or ink markings on the back. Sellers if you don't have the item in stock, don't list it. It infuriates me to purchase an item and then be told that the item was already sold. Sellers, do correctly identify the stamp. Sellers, when you sell me an item, ship it to me. If you get a new catalog and see that the stamp I bought and paid for in good faith has gone up in value, don't tell me you don't have it anymore or that you're not going to ship it so you can relist it at a higher price. Sellers, if I consistently see these "wrongs" from you, I will quickly lose faith in your competence/integrity (as appropriate), and will not buy from you.

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lpayette

13 Dec 2012
11:01:24am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

My reasons for selling on Stamporama are like Liz.
It is a hobby, something to do, as I am retired,it keeps me busy, Due to getting older and none of my family ate interested in stamps I have sold off most of my collection thru SOR in the last few years.
Now I mostly collect Norwegian Locals and Biafra, But I have to admit I still buy Boxlots and collections from Vance auctions and a few on Ebay,and the odd estate sale locally if I can afford it. as I have so much fun going they them and sorting them out. When I get a big box lot its like Whoopeee its Christmas.

Looking they my statistics at SOR for the last 12 months, I sold 2689 lots,440 was unsold,
85.9 % were sold, average return was $2.90

Most of my lots I start at 10% of cat value for used and 1/4 of cat value of mint.
I also admit to putting on penny lots every week as for me they are fun to do,they can be a single stamp or lots of 1000 different or accumulations.

Lee

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
13 Dec 2012
11:06:32am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

One last thing is that if you look through the stamp catalogs, you will find that most stamps catalog for less than $5. You will be excluding alot of stamps that people, as evidence has proven, want to purchase for their collections.

For those that only want the high valued stamps listed, just remember that not everyone has advanced to that stage. You once were a buyer of low valued stamps too. Let the others get a chance to collect and advance in their hobby the way you did.

If you want to look at high dollar stamps, there are web sites like Gary Posner where you can see plenty of expensive stamps. On sites like SOR, use the search function to look for what you want. If you are only looking for higher dollar stamps anyway, why would you even want to blindly browse? Doesn't make sense.

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dani20

13 Dec 2012
11:25:37am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Michael,
Seeking out a particular stamp at a particular price range is only part of the SOR experience. The auction is but one contact point among many that we as a group can enjoy with each other. I agree that if the only reason one plays with the auction is to find a stamp(s), then yes, your observation would be accurate.

For many, perhaps most, the joy of the occasional find is the cherry on top of the icecream-the main dish is the comeraderie. I don't think there are those members who are trying to make a real business of selling through SOR- although certainly there is a lively exchange going on moneywise.

To share our dups, fill in empty spaces, and have fun with our chums is pure pleasure. I think the focus on $ alone misses the mark.

Dan C.

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PDougherty999

13 Dec 2012
01:16:19pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Man, I have been away for too long. My turn to weigh in as that "new" or I guess I'll classify myself as "novice" collector. I've noticed an increase in complainers and belly-achers on the site in the last year and I'll be honest, that chased me away from the boards for a bit too. But seeing Grant suddenly throw his hands up in the air and say he's cutting back got my hackles up and going.

I think it is really a bad idea to cut out those low priced auctions as it then chases away the low budget novice collector like me. The fun of shopping here at SOR is the going through pages and pages of stamps from the various collectors. If we're going to cut back on the amount of lots listed in favor of higher priced items, then I might as well spend all my time on eBay since that will be the only place for the children and I to get stuff we can afford.

I can understand Grant's getting tired of listing that many lots, I got tired of just listing 100 for an auction run. HOWEVER, as stated above, the fun was sorting through all of them. I felt like browsing the listings on SOR was like picking through a virtual grab bag/box of stamps.

To those who have complained about browsing through "tons" of stamps, I say, start using the filters. That's what they are there for. Stop being lazy and trying to force guys like me out of wanting to use the site.

I do understand that some of the listings are not very clear about what is in them. THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE. I challenge those that complain to go back through all the posts, just in the last two years alone, and actually take notice to the complaints about how differently people post their items. Shoot, I browse through the US only stuff and there is stuff that is in there from other countries. Do I let it get to me? NOPE. Do I make it chase me away from the auction? NOPE. Do I run off to the discussion forum, and the wrong subject one at that (there is a section for Auction discussions) and belly-ache about it? NOPE. I get over it and move on. If you don't like the initial look of a listing, move on, ignore it, don't do business with that person. OR, you do like you are supposed to do with any sort of auction (eBay, here or even in the real world), and ask questions.

I for one, as a seller won't stop listing my items the way that I want to list them. I will continue to have my terms and conditions set the same way. Heck, I'll even continue to have pencil writing on the backs of my stamps. If you don't like what you see in my listing, or what I've listed, move along. Unless I or someone else selling is breaking the auction rules as set forth by the AWESOME people who run this site, you have no right to complain. And I'll be honest, if you've never listed items yourself in the auction, in my opinion, you have less right to complain as you have no idea what the process is like and the work involved. And for for the love of Pete, get off the backs of the people who keep the auction going at it's current peak. You small majority could end up ruining a great experience for the rest of us.

In closing, I want to say this. What I have been seeing is loads on unhelpful negative stuff. I'd like to spend my precious reading time here by browsing good helpful advice about the hobby or about the site or about this club.

OK OK OK, I'll get off my soap box now and get on with some business...



What I gathered that this thread should have been about "How do we improve the listings so that they make more sense and allow people to better browse through them?"

I will agree with the assessment that the need to be somewhat descriptive in the "subject" line for an auction item should be a given. Most buyers, I have found, and I include myself in this, will look at that small line of information first and foremost, then at a picture. If I don't see something that grabs my attention, or something doesn't look right, I just move on to the next item. So if you are new to selling here, and you are not getting very many bites in the auction, you really do need to ask for some pointers in how you are listing. The gang here is very helpful when we don't spin off on tangents like we did above.

When I am looking through the listings, I personally will do a sort by the description so that the listing groups all the lots alphabetically by that description. By it's very nature, that SHOULD list the lots by country and then by catalog number. And, it would be very helpful to me as I would then be able to go through my collection in catalog order and spot missing items easier. HOWEVER, as you will see from my examples below, this doesn't work out because all of us sellers (I'm including myself in this) list things differently.

Here is some examples of how different sellers list their items:

A block of four from the 2285a booklet 1987 25¢ regular flag issue (from jfquebec)
U.S. SCOTT 1053 USED 09 SCV $6.25 STOCK 2764 (from Margin)
United States - Scott # 556 Used - 2009 Scott Value $ 0.50 (from daveanddeb)
US # 190 Used *See Note CV $80.00 (28742JS) (from Grant)
US # 4602 - Wedding Cake - MNH (how I normally list)
US, Scott# 1745-1748, Quilts sheet of 48 stamps (JK-02625) (from jameskaczo)
USA MNH Sc 849, 1938 1 1/2c M Washington (I truncated the listing)(from Bismark1)

I'm not sure how Liz denotes the US in her listings, but I'm sure that it would appear out of order too based on what I just showed here.

I would actually take the time to look at all of those listings because they fit my criteria of a "good" listing, but gosh golly, I am doing a butt load of jumping around my album to compare notes. Luckily I have my stuff scanned in so I'm not putting all that page flipping wear and tear on my books.

so my question is this... Is there a way to make these descriptions match up better? Telling people to all do the same thing is not going to work as I stated way above in my rant. We're all just too different. But one way I thought this could be done was to have a partially auto-generated description made based on some input by the seller when they first create a listing.

for example, when I'l creating a new listing, there is a section where I choose the country, either from a drop-down selection or the more crowded check boxes method. There is a field for catalog number along with a drop-down for which catalog. As long as you are going that route, you then could even have a drop-down or check box choice for condition. then there is space for whatever else the user/seller wants to have there. Then the system would automatically generate the listing description as :

US SN: 0190 Used - *See Note CV $80.00 (28742JS) (from Grant)
US SN: 0556 Used - 2009 Scott Value $ 0.50 (from daveanddeb)
US SN: 0849 ???? - 1938 1 1/2c M Washington (I truncated the listing)(from Bismark1)
US SN: 1053 Used - 09 SCV $6.25 STOCK 2764 (from Margin)
US SN: 1745-1748 ???? - Quilts sheet of 48 stamps (JK-02625) (from jameskaczo)
US SN: 2285a ???? - A block of four from booklet (I truncated the listing)(from jfquebec)
US SN: 4602 MNH - Wedding Cake (my listing)

As I did that last resort, I noticed a few things:
* The system would have to auto insert leading zeros in anything below 1000 so that the alpha numeric sort to function correctly, otherwise, the SN 190 would be listed right after the SN 1745 stamp.
* I put ???? where the listing didn't state a condition. In my idea above, the system should also force the seller to make the condition choice so that people get that information right-away.

This would work for any of the countries, I just used the US as it provided the greatest number of examples. Anyway, I'm done typing.

---Pat

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michael78651

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13 Dec 2012
01:24:45pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

...and you didn't time out while typing that?

I agree, you can sell what you want, provided it fits within the rules. For me, I don't want surprises when I open the envelope containing my purchases. So, state the deficiencies (including pencil marks) of a stamp in the description, and I can chose whether I want to get it or not.

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dani20

13 Dec 2012
01:45:42pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear All,
You are magnificent!Such passion and willingness to share all in order to help improve the quality/function of our auction. The points made are all worthy of consideration, and hopefully of some help to listers going forward. If there were any who doubted the viability and value of our auction process, those comments above ought to put that to rest. And as a special note to our listers, clearly the lower value items are much in demand, and fill a vital role. Our thanks to you for your work and dedication to keep it going exactly as you have been doing.
Dan C.

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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
13 Dec 2012
02:02:33pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

"Heads up" all those who sell on Stamporama.

Here's what your typical auction bidder wants, and I'm vain enough to believe I'm the typical bidder.

I want to buy cheap stamps as most of the stamps I want are cheap.

Although not a seller, I can do statistics, too. Recently bid and bought eighteen stamps, plus one at no charge, for a total of nineteen stamps, from "StampCommune" (Grant Wagoner) for a total of US $12.56 delivered to my door (from Florida to Vancouver Island). Only three of these stamps cost over a dollar, the most expensive was $3.79.

But note: because of Grant's extensive auction listing, I was able to find sufficient cheap stamps that I wanted to make the total transaction worthwhile to the seller and buyer. This situation seldom arises with sellers who have modest auction listings - am unable to find enough cheap stamps that I want to make the total transaction worthwhile.

I do bid on auction lots containing multiple stamps even though I may want only one or two of the stamps offered; hence, my suggestion for sellers "to bundle" their cheap stamps to improve the prospects of making sales transactions worthwhile.

(Have already confessed to buying one stamp for one penny from Lee Payette. It was not, however, the sum total of our business deal and higher finances eventually came into play.)

A few Stamporama sellers graciously allow me to defer auction payment until my "holds" accumulate sufficiently to justify mailing and handling expenses. I realize this is inconvenient for them and so I try and give them my repeat custom.

I take Michael Generali's oft-stated advice and do no further business with those Stamporama sellers
who misrepresent their wares, and always to their advantage.

For inexplicable reason, I do not like the "buy it now" feature. Grant Wagoner and Roy Lingen, among a few other sellers, have euchred me by making their opening bid identical to buying it now. Smart marketing, and, in general, Stamporama sellers need more marketing smarts.

John Derry

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PDougherty999

13 Dec 2012
02:36:35pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

At Michael... LOL. It did time out. Luckily I figured it would and copied all my text so that I was able to paste it back.

And the no surprises that you mention is key to successful sales and continued sales with return buyers. Hence my reason for scanning both sides of all my stuff. Although I find I don't have room for the notation of pencil marks until I get to the big description field. Although I suppose that in cases like our big time sellers, this would drive them nuts and they definitely would stop selling then. But in their cases, I've developed enough of a buyer relationship with them that I trust what they write and know that they will describe issues with anything they are selling in the "big" description.

I was going to say that I still wish there was a seller rating system, but quite frankly, we already have one. You just need to be a more active member and hang out in the forums to know who the big boys and girls are versus the new fish in the pond. As I had time to think about it, a rating system might alienate certain new-comers into feeling that they can't compete.

And the SOR crew are very quick to deal with issues that are brought to their attention so the chances of getting a bum seller is very rare... I'm still sad about never getting my Penny Black from that guy back in January of 2011. And that darned invoice is still there to remind me of it!!! Nothing like rubbing it my face about something being too good to be true...

---Pat

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Mike
13 Dec 2012
04:04:35pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Patrick,

It is a pleasure to see you back in the saddle again and I loved all of your comments, since they were spoken like a true stamp collector and cut right to the chase. Also, you are absolutely right in the fact if Grant quits listing all of those "cheapies" it will certainly get boring around here, but then I commiserate in the fact it is a lot of work for very little in return. And, Michael is a big time seller, only he is earning 25 cents an hour (which is more than moi). LOL

Mike


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musicman

APS #213005
13 Dec 2012
10:40:54pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

To Grant,

I will be very sorry to see you stop including the lower value items.


To All,


David is right - if you don't want to see something in the list, filter it out; that's what it's there for.

...what's next - removing everything below 10 bucks because a small handful of you are only looking for the REALLY high-priced items???

....C'mon.





Randy

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dani20

13 Dec 2012
11:10:06pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear All,
Randy's thoughts about the value of the low value items & the original interest in the higher priced ones triggered a companion thought in me. Would it be of any interest to anyone to have a subgroup of our members getting together offline to explore the possibilities of filling in the more expensive areas of our collections?

If so, I expect we'll need contact folks for each of the countries that we're interested in.I'd personally volunteer to head up a U.S. group should there be any interest in proceeding. What do you think, worthwhile to consider or not?

Dan C.

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StampCommune

13 Dec 2012
11:26:41pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Randy and all replied, Thank you...

Dan,
Let me get this right...
One of the founders of this website expessed concerns of "the quite ones"...
And now you want to generate interest elsewhere for those "expensive items"...

Do I understand this correctly?

I just really want to understand what everything that has been said in this thread,
and now, from what I am reading, you want to do business elsewhere?

OK, I'm shutting my computer off now cause I have to go to a part time job, hmmmm, part-time, full-time, management there, steady paycheck, 40 hours a week,....yea it's looking more and more like the direction.

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dani20

14 Dec 2012
12:17:54am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Grant,
Thanks for the question-clearly I didn't make myself understood-what I thought I was saying was that IF there are folks who are interested in the higher value items, perhaps we ought to consider clumping together, as part of SOR, in a subgroup that addresses that goal. I would envisage a subgroup like that trying to find items of interest to swap or sell, and to generate want/need lists and available for trade/sale lists. I would think that interested listers (not necessarily part of the group but could be)would avail themselves of the goings on and be guided by the lists to offer up in auction items that they may have that match the lists. Or at least that's how I'm imagining it.Clearly not yet fully thought out, but you get the idea.
Dan C.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
14 Dec 2012
01:54:11am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I think there's been some sort of disconnect here.

I suggest re-reading the introduction at the top of the Stamporama Home Page for clarity.

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14 Dec 2012
02:36:38am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

This has definitely been a spirited discussion and rattled some nerves of some of our members. Hopefully it has not discouraged any newcomers or members who do not yet participate in our discussions.

It was started with good intentions and has gone off on several tangents.

I want to commend those especially Tim, who does such a great job listening to the suggestions of the members and others on our Volunteer Committee who work hard to keep all of our members on the line

Having said that, I think that we need to remember one important aspect of SOR. FUN, FUN, FUN!!! Share our love of stamps (and related philatelic collecting), trade with like-minded members and yes indeed, partake of the auctions. Let's not turn our auctions into a money-making enterprise. We need to remember what Jerry wanted SOR to be and what our members have tried to keep, all these years. Let's not scare away our less vocal members

Regarding "nickels and dimes", we need to keep those just as much as we need to put all cv's together on auctions and in trades. I was blessed recently by a fantastic trade where I needed the nickel and dime items and the other member needed the higher values that I had. I had to laugh when we did our trade because I sent a small envelope that carried his precious stamps and I received a huge package that carried my precious stamps from him. It all worked out to be of equal cv, just in a different way. He's extremely happy with the lot that I sent, and I'm ecstatic with the lot that I received.

So let's not do too many changes to SOR. We've come a long way over the years I've been a member. I've watched our club grow since almost the beginning. I believe when I first joined we had maybe two dozen members and even though we now have hundreds of members around the world (for which Jerry must have a perpetual smile on his face), let's keep ourselves true to the spirit of SOR.

It always helps to bounce around ideas, make little changes here and there - move with the times, so to speak - but really folks? Even though it's a virtual club, it's no different to me than walking into a regular local stamp club. Our auctions should be no different than we would see at the local bourse, just a change in location.

Sometimes we get carried away with our thoughts and that's okay - that's a common human trait and thank goodness we have that.

So, let's pull together folks. Put the "CLUB" back into SOR and let the auctions just be an added perk. We've all had our share of quibbles (not saying this topic is one), but let's not get ourselves into the habit of looking at the negative, eh? (Yes, I'm Canadian )

Sorry for the long post. I'd say just my "two cents/pence" but it looks more like a loonie or toonie (Canadian $1 and $2 respectively) comment

Kelly

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StampCommune

14 Dec 2012
07:41:17am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,
Thank you for clarifying.

Michael,
Agreed and it definetly pointed out the philosophy that was started here and stands true today.

Kelly,
It has always was fun, but I guess it's time I have to break that SOR addiction, 90+ hours a week was never the fun part. Oh heck, I might just start collecting again.

Roy,
Thank you for pointing out that 90% rejection rate, I was looking at it backwards. I definetly don't want to see SOR become another Yahoo.

Grant

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14 Dec 2012
08:45:46am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

What an interesting read. The differences in opinion are as varied as the membership here. This is good as we should be able to discuss and offer our opinions in an adult manner and not feel as if any member is being attacked for what they feel is correct.

I am saddened to learn that Grant, will stop listing his nickel and dime stuff in our auction. I think it is a great loss to the club that this is happening. I understand why he has made the choice to stop listing them and whether intended or not complaining about the “nickel and dime lots”, is an attack on him, and others who list the lower catalogue value items in our auction. The majority of my auction purchases have been from Grant and others who identify as selling these lots.

From my perspective I wish the reliance on catalogue numbers would be reduced greatly. For my GB I use Gibbons, part of my Germany I use Michel, my Canada collection uses Unitrade and sometimes Darnell. I use Scott for others. I think Country (issuing entity) and Year of issue is the minimum requirement.

What this thread has demonstrated to me is that nothing can be all things to everybody.

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14 Dec 2012
10:47:00am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

" .... What this thread has demonstrated to me is that nothing can be all things to everybody ...."

Which is why we often refer to the first rule of philately;
" ... There are no binding rules in Philately. It is you hobby to enjoy any way you choose to do so...."
There may be different ways we accomplish things and when asked we may recommend some procedure or methodology that works for one collector, but these are simply opinions and recomendations.

The purpose of the hobby is to enjoy oneself and perhaps bring a little order in a chaotic world.

About the only "rules" that are expected to be followed are titled "Honesty," and of course, "Courtesy."

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14 Dec 2012
11:08:43am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I would also add something to Kelly's remark; " ... It was started with good intentions and has gone off on several tangents. ..."

Yes, the discussion has wandered. Any thread of 70+ comments among independent perceptive posters has to wander. If it didn't we would all have to be amost robotic in our thinking, our backgrounds and our collecting interests.
It is that very exploring of different thoughts and seeing viewpoints that makes the difference between a vibrant discussion and a stilted expression of lockstep ideas.

I seem to recall participating in a Philatelic Forum a few years ago for a shorttime that had a group of monitors who constantly deleted, redirected and sometimes butchered members comments that did not meet their criteria of being "On Topic" or didn't conform to some reconceived posting style. I am sure long term members here will recognize the forum.

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14 Dec 2012
11:13:36am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

"Which is why we often refer to the first rule of philately;
" ... There are no binding rules in Philately. It is you hobby to enjoy any way you choose to do so...."
There may be different ways we accomplish things and when asked we may recommend some procedure or methodology that works for one collector, but these are simply opinions and recomendations.
"



Charlie I was going to say something similar but, decided to step off my soap box.

"About the only "rules" that are expected to be followed are titled "Honesty," and of course, "Courtesy."
"



I couldn't agree with you more Charlie and I must say that you uphold these rules and should be commended for the manner in which you carry out discussions here.

Alyn
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tuscany4me

14 Dec 2012
11:50:43am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hello All, I Have been ill, and away for a while. First day home. I am stopping at:

"re: Selling Tips for the Auction
Liz,

An 80% selling rate is phenomenal. I was thinking about sending all of my stamps up to you and Lee to sell for me, because both of you have the highest percentages of success in the auction. Your information is very informative in other ways also, due to the fact it does show that most of the sales must be under a dollar and more so indicates there is certainly a great need for the nickel and dime stamps.

In the "Closing in 24 hours" category, right now, there are only 27 stamps, out of the 1310 listed, with even a bid. Four of those bids are over $1.00 and the lowest bid is just $0.02, yet again confirming the fact the lower values have the most bids.

Arno, I don't even look at stamps that don't have a catalog number and/or value in the listing. I always check my want lists for stamps that may be needed and have no desire to catalog the stamp myself. Afterall, if someone is going to list a stamp or stamps, then they most surely know what the cat number and value is, so why not put that in the listing?

I still think the SOR auction site is the best, by far, while also being the simplest to use and there is really little room for compaints about it. Most complaints seem to be just nitpicking which give us something to discuss here on the board.

Mike"

to get another cup of coffee.. be right back...

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sponthetrona2

Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often
14 Dec 2012
12:01:06pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I very seldom bid on low end stamps (other than to improve an already owned stamp) I do not mind bidding on the high end stuff if needed, however I like to see front and back except from certain sellers who I've dealt with many times over. Unfortunately there are some sellers out there who send out plate blocks, etc, with torn perfs without mentioning the fact and and some stamps have thins which is particularily annoying but MOST sellers on Stamporama have been exceedingly good at listing and will usually honor the transaction as satisfaction guareenteed.

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14 Dec 2012
12:34:52pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

While Scott Numbers are a vital part of some stamper's day, they are generally the last thing I look at, if I look at them at all.
I know that for some stampers creating detailed want lists and inticate spread sheets are a part of their hobby and if a seller feels it enhances his selling opportunities, that's fine. But quite a few stampers Scotts numbers are of little use as has bee mentioned.
I also have various Gibbons catalog, an Yvert et Tellier, a dated Michel, a Sakura, a Seven Seas, an even more dated Zumstrin, a very recent Facit and easily a half dozen other national catalogs to use when I want detailed information about some stamp and its possible variations that are and have to be ignored by Scott.
For specialty collecting of foreigh stamps, these and other foreign sources are almost infinitely more informative.
But even with these sources near at hand, I look first and foremost at the scan and rely on my sometimes faulty memory to decide which stamps to look at more closely.
Every time I explain the visual chouce I am reminded that medical experts see to think that using one's memory actively helps to avoid, limit or delay the onset of senility and for some dementia.
Then the thought crosses my mind that examining a thouisand stamp scans or sorting through a kiloware lot has the same benefit tonthe mind that a dozen pushups are supposed to have on the physique.

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dani20

14 Dec 2012
12:37:26pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

In looking over the many and varied remarks, I believe that Kelly has highlighted an important thread that ought to be pursued. Are we too focused on the auction, to the detriment of the club comeraderie itself? If so, what might we do to improve the exchanges between our members? Would focus groups around similar interest areas be worthwhile? Is there a need for this at all? Certainly our authors do us proud with the articles they write, and the discussion board itself serves well, but should there be more?
Thoughts?
Dan C.

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tuscany4me

14 Dec 2012
12:44:02pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Ok. It took a while, but made it here to the end. 1st, let me say off-topic, that among other reasons, one of the things that have turned me away from "other" boards/clubs, is the "lack of" participation by members on postings. On occasion where one might literally ask for thought(s) or opinion(s) form the many different members, often only one person would even reply. (Very disheartening) So, GREAT to see everyone actually getting involved in the topic.
2nd, as a "buyer" not a seller here on SOR, I have no problems with the way the auction currently works. Sellers, feel free to list whatever you want. If I see something I want, at a price I'm willing to pay, I will bid on it. I try to avoid getting into bidding wars with other members. I know how I would feel if someone out bids me on something I really do want, bot that's life, so I'm a little considerate, and "try" to not out-bid the "first" bidder.
3rd, If I were to offer a suggestion to anyone selling stamp, anywhere, it would be that I personally would be more interested in the "issue date" of the stamp as apposed to any other descriptive information. For example, when I am buying for my
"Dr. Livingstone/Africa Collection, I am interested in stamps that date to that time in History, not necessarily recent-date stamps depicting the history, and that's why I am interested in the Date.

All that said. I enjoy buying stamps from the sellers here (that I buy from) and I do and will always lean to buying from those sellers that actively participate in our forum discussions, and are not just here to sell through the auction.

Clayton

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michael78651

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14 Dec 2012
01:05:49pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

The purpose of an auction is to give a buyer the opportunity to obtain an item at a price that the buyer is willing to pay. If SOR didn't want auction competition, in a friendly way, then a fixed priced system would have been established. Courtesy to fellow buyers would be to follow the rules, and not try to play around by jacking-up bid prices when you have no intent of buying the item. If you want an item, and the bidding price is within what you consider appropriate for you, then you should try to purchase it. That is fair and courteous to those members who are taking the time to sell on this site. They could always sell elsewhere and possibly make more money, but they chose to do it here. More competition in the auctions, may bring in more people selling more items (and sometimes even higher valued items), thus increasing the variety of what is available.

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14 Dec 2012
06:46:20pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

" ....More competition in the auctions, may bring in more people selling more items (and sometimes even higher valued items), thus increasing the variety of what is available. ...."
Many lots are placed in the auction at below market price in anticipation that intelligent, informed buyers will offer a reasonable bid. I like to see a second bidder enter the market with, again, a reasonable bid as that assures both the seller and the winner that the price was fair to both parties.
The rule of thumb is that an item, stamps or other collectable, reaches its true value when a willing buyer's offer meets what a willing seller will accept, neither party acting under economic duress.
At one club years ago they had a rule that lots placed on the auction table could not proceed to a sale until there was at least one second bidder. That way members didn't feel some cultural pressure to back off out of politeness because someone had placed a first bid .
It worked and may still be being followed thirty years later. Lots with only one bid either were returned to the seller at the end of the auction or carried forward to the next meeting. Many times I opened a bidding with a pretty low price and later placed a third bid after someone out bid my opening. Sometimes the atmosphere while deciding what to bid was like the back room of a smokey poker parlor. But it seemed to add to the fun and comraderie of the core group who placed lots in the auction and those who bid for the stamps and covers.
Now that is not a suggestion, it is simply a recollection.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
14 Dec 2012
10:48:31pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I hear you, Charlie. I have attended many local live philatelic and silent auctions (and other types too). Usually it's the same crowd attending. The silent auctions, well everyone knows what the other is bidding on anyway since we know each other, and despite that bidding frenzies do occur. People bid on what they want, and they bid until they either win the item or the bid goes beyond what they want to pay.

Afterwards, there is usually a good discussion amongst the winners and losers to find out what it was that caught the winner's eye, or just about the auction or anything else. The next time we all meet again, and have a go at it once more. No one feels like someone else has not been "friendly" in their bidding. Everyone knows and understands it is an auction and if you don't bid, you don't have a chance at winning what you want.

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Logistical1

15 Dec 2012
02:39:47am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I think this discussion only further proves almost everyone has an opinion that almost makes perfect sense.

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musicman

APS #213005
15 Dec 2012
09:32:28am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

1) I think we should leave the low value items in the listings, since that makes our auction "something for everybody". Removing them would be like me asking to remove all the 'expensive' items because I don't bid on them anyway.....silly.(I do, but very seldom can afford them - I still have a family to feed!)


2) Don't overlook Dan's idea; I think he has a good one. Not all of us are able to regularly pay large amounts for the hi-value stamps we need. An internal trade group fashioned thru the club could be a great help to those of us wanting to swap some of those hi-value items to acquire those we need.


3) I FREQUENTLY use catalog numbers from the listings; do I want to run back to check every listing? No. Do I want to have to try to identify every stamp cat. number so I can look it up and verify pricing to see if its a good deal? No. Do I want a catalog number in the listing so I CAN quickly look it up in my personal checklist to see if I need it? Absolutely. Cat. numbers help me look to see if I need a certain stamp; if I do then I verify the cat. number (nobody's perfect - mistakes can happen), and then I place my bid!

...and believe me - those cat. numbers can be a BIG timesaver when it comes to back of the book items....


MY vote - for what its worth; add new categories if you wish, but leave the monetary varieties of listings alone. You will take away the chance for EVERYONE to find something there.

I would rather see you REMOVE THE AUCTION SECTION COMPLETELY from this site than see you limit it because some 'don't need those low-value items.'

I love this site, but this is just plain WRONG.





Randy

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dani20

15 Dec 2012
10:39:32am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Randy has sounded the right note in our multilayered discussion. The key is 'inclusion', not 'exclusion'. Earlier Kelly raised the same point a bit differently, and later on several others have suggested the focus be on the club aspect rather than just a single function like the auction-awesome though it may be.

Let's see if we can all agree to some basics: We are together because we value Stamporama for what it is, what it does, and the opportunities to meet/greet others of like mind.We can improve our collections and our knowledge base easily and with joy. This is not a business enterprize, but a love fest.

That being said, how best can we share/spead the love? Randy kindly reffered back to the suggestion that we might improve inter-club activity by identifying specific interest areas and grouping like-minded souls to help each others collections. Following up on that thought, perhaps we might consider groups under different countries, with collectors tapping into all the groups they wish. (This is as part of SOR, not as a separate entity unto itself.) If that thought has merit, we'd need three things- someone to pull it together, those interested in it, and a place to hang out.

To start it off, I'd personally offer to help out in the U.S. area of collecting.My own limited focus is on the oldest of the old, but the area itself is quite broad. There may be those who prefer Topicals, no particular country but a particular theme. Again, we'd need someone to pull it together. I'd be happy to assist any and all such undertakings, should it be deemed worthy to pusue.

So dear SOR ites, is this a direction we might find of some value?
Thanks for listening, and for your input.
Dan C.

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StampCommune

15 Dec 2012
10:57:00am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hi Dan,
Some great ideas there. Just a suggestion, why don't you start another thread in order to keep a more positive note on it. Obviously this thread has been tainted and don't want to see you ideas overlooked.
Grant

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dani20

15 Dec 2012
12:12:59pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Grant & Randy,
Following your suggestions for preserving the thoughts under a different heading,I'll post a new thread called "SOR Communication Groups". Perhaps you might suggest a better heading?
I'll wait a bit before launching to see if you can improve the heading a bit.
Thanks.
Dan C.

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musicman

APS #213005
15 Dec 2012
05:18:48pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,


How about "SOR Select-Interest Groups"?


Either would suit fine.






Randy


P.S.

I would be interested in a 'Revenues' group as well!

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auldstampguy

Collector, Webmaster
15 Dec 2012
07:59:41pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hi Everyone,
Wow, this thread covered a lot of ground. I must say that I'm saddened that Grant felt pressured to reduce the lots that he had in the auction. I have added a lot of filters in the Auction program so people could filter down to the stamps they where interested in, but I often use them to filter down to the stamps that Grant has in the auction for the country that I'm working on at the moment, because Grant alway has good quality stamp for a very fair price.

This thread started out as selling tips for the auction. The best tip that I can give is to watch what the successful sellers do and what they are offering. Some of our sellers are very successful in the auction. My tip is to watch people like Lee (lpayette) and Liz (patches) and Tal (Octjun). All three of these members are consistently selling in excess of 80% of the lots that they put in the auction.

Regards ... Tim.

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dani20

15 Dec 2012
08:51:57pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Very nice Randy-'SOR Select-Interest Groups' would do very nicely indeed. If there are other headings that come our way before the weekend is over we'll put it to a vote. If not, you will have had the honor of naming our new adventure. I also like the idea of a Revenue section very much. Care to head that one up? If so, count me in as a memberfor the U.S. issues. It is conceivable that there could also be Revenue issues for other countries as well that our membership might be interested in, so perhaps keep a broad hat on in your formulations.
Dan C.

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
16 Dec 2012
12:07:58am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Reading through the comments again I am reminded of the old, often quoted and just as often ignored mantra;
" .... If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. ...."
Perhaps I am missing the point, but I fail to see where the auction as currently constituted is broke or failing to work pretty well.
We might sit back and consider whether adding things and modifying things might just create an overly complicated system and be counter productive.

Another popular quote, usually wrongfully attributed to President Kennedy might also apply;
" ... If something does not need to be changed, then it needs to not be changed. ...".
I simply am not sure there is that much wrong that requires any major modification.
I suppose the lines between beneficial simplification, useful improvement and un-necessary complication are rather fine.

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StampCommune

16 Dec 2012
12:53:25am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Charlie,
I could not agree with you more. 1,000 items went though SORs auction in 14 days and that was just me, how much else from all the other sellers. WOW!
It blows my mind that anyone would knock that down based on the the value.
Grant




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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
16 Dec 2012
08:17:59am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Haha, and I have some of yours on my watch list pending getting through some groups of lots that I started already becoming completed sales on this busy weekend.
There is another "Rule ofthumb" thats says, generallly "Any publicity is good publicity." (Well it is only a general rule, after all.)

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Dogs are my favorite people. I hang with this one as often as I can.
16 Dec 2012
08:14:39pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I'd like to see a feature where I can hover my mouse over the thumbnail scan and it will grow large (Bidstart has that and I love it.)

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StampCommune

16 Dec 2012
08:30:41pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hey Zipper,
That was mentioned a few months back and I think (not absolutely sure) Tim tried to implement something like that. But, it's some very advanced coding and takes some of that special magic to get it to work on custom sites such as here so it would not be the easiest thing to do. If it can be done I'm sure Tim will get it done, but as I said, it's not easy.
Grant

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dani20

16 Dec 2012
10:47:04pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Personally, I believe we might have need of a category for the more expensive stamps that
I define as having a catalog value $25.00 or more.In view of our large American membership, and the large number of low to median value USA stamps always present on the auction board, this category may need some tweaking.

But perhaps we can accomplish this without messing with the auction per se. I'd like to propose that for the group of folks who might be likeminded, we could meet offline and define our interests and thinking. If this is of any appeal, contact me at cohendaniel64@yahoo.com and let's see if we have the makings of a viable sub-group within our SOR family whose focus would be to trade/sell higher value stamps. What do you think?

Dan C.

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auldstampguy

Collector, Webmaster
17 Dec 2012
08:13:48am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan et al,
We already have the ability to filter out the lower priced stamps in the auction if you are not interested in them. Let's say that you are only interested in stamps that have a minimum bid of $10.00. At the top of the auction list page where we have the filters, enter 10 into the Min Bid text box and press the refresh button. You will now only be shown the lots that have a Min Bid of greater than $10.00.

Regards ... Tim

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dani20

17 Dec 2012
08:44:07am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Thanks for that reminder Tim, but what I propose isn't about the bid level. It is about the cat. val. minimum of $25 or more and those who might be interested in exploring with other members at the higher cat.val. range to see if they can work out a swap/sale/buy between them.

This approach isn't limited to any particular country, although my focus is on U.S. So far
John Perry has responded privately and I'm awaitng to see if others might be interested. Such fun!
Dan C.

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17 Dec 2012
09:11:15am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I feel that the auction is fine, I also feel that forming a special interest group within SOR, is the start of a slippery slope where the family feeling on SOR will start to be lost.

In my honest opinion, if we (and I use the collective "we") have specific needs etc. Post a want list in a specifc discusion thread, those who can help with that can reply.

Maybe, if the club executive thinks it is worth while, a wantlist feature can be added to each members profile. For those who want to use it, they can fill it out and maintain it. Those who don't want to use it don't have to.

Just my 2¢ on this dreary Monday morning in the GTA.

Alyn

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dani20

17 Dec 2012
09:37:08am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Alyn,
Trust me on this-nothing that I propose or would do would be suggested by me if it might adversly affect SOR. Therefore, your take on my suggestion gets my attention immediately. How would having interest groupings be bad for SOR?

As I look at it, wouldn't it activate our members still more? I'm not sure what the slippery slope concern is, but I would like to hear more about it. Thanks for the caution.
Dan C.

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17 Dec 2012
10:12:33am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,

What I fear is that by setting up a special interest group, it differentiates and labels members as 'specialists' and 'newbies', and then provides for special groups within our organization. SOR should be a single club, that deals with all aspects of philately, not an umbrella, that provides a virtual roof for special interest groups.

I recall that a few years ago, we set up "The Cover Corner" in the discussion board. If there is to be any specialist grouping lets have it be at that level, in the discussion area where all our members are welcome. Again as I stated above, if it is mainly for trading or buying, we have our auction and message board that can accomplish these tasks.

Alyn

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
17 Dec 2012
10:26:29am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I agree with Alyn.

I also am a participant in model railroading. In model railroading clubs invariably comes along a group of people in the club that want to form their own special interest group of high-end models that have to be 100% exact to prototype. They will not participate with the "newbie's" or even intermediate modelers as that is beneath them for the lack of prototype to model fidelity. In the model railroading hobby, we call them "rivet counters", and I have seen them bring down several clubs as their alienate the new people to the hobby.

If you want to attract and expand a member base, the worse thing to do is splinter off portions. Eventually the splinter groups will communicate solely with themselves, and leave the rest of the club alone. I'm sure people here will say, "Oh, that's well and good, but it won't happen here!" I've heard that before too, and when the beginners and intermediate members slowly leave, all that will be left is the few, rather than keeping everyone engaged in the activities.

Consider and ask the question how many people are here that actually have high-end stamps in sufficient quantity to be able to swap them for more high-end stamps?

All hobbies need the specialists. They play an important role, but only if they remain engaged with the rest of the group.

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sponthetrona2

Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often
17 Dec 2012
11:14:38am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Hopefully this is near the end of this discussion. I too am an avid model train collector and I agree with michael78651 concerning:

"a group of people in the club that want to form their own special interest group of high-end models that have to be 100% exact to prototype. They will not participate with the "newbie's" or even intermediate modelers as that is beneath them for the lack of prototype to model fidelity. In the model railroading hobby, we call them "rivet counters", and I have seen them bring down several clubs as their alienate the new people to the hobby.

If you want to attract and expand a member base, the worse thing to do is splinter off portions. Eventually the splinter groups will communicate solely with themselves, and leave the rest of the club alone. I'm sure people here will say, "Oh, that's well and good, but it won't happen here!" I've heard that before too, and when the beginners and intermediate members slowly leave, all that will be left is the few, rather than keeping everyone engaged in the activities."


I have many high end stamps however I do not collect additional high end stamps to trade or sell so I really see no reason to have a special listing for these. I usually will check the list of sellers I know that have stuff I usually would be interested in and bid that way. I enjoy assisting beginners and usually will not overbid someone in the auction on items I currently have. I would rather allow someone else to have a stamp for their collection than to enhance my own. I really think the original idea of sharing the interest of stamp collecting is more important than showing off what you have or want.

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PDougherty999

17 Dec 2012
11:40:03am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I can see why Grant got frustrated... If I was still a webmaster, this conversation would have driven me nuts. I don't know how our Web Wizard(s) are keeping their cool. I wish I had their patience. But I don't!!! So here is my two cents...

Whatever your catalog value is, you can still define and redefine your search using the filters. There is no need to further categorize the lots with that kind of thing. Adding more categories probably won't help. Some people already screw up those categories as it is, hence all the discussions about what constituted a penny-lot, and the fact that there still are items in there from time to time that don't fit the bill. And I see lots of material that doesn't fit in what I would call United States material showing up there as well. I just realized that I under-categorized a couple items in my recent lots.

Another good point to new sellers, make sure you check off ALL categories that could relate to your item for sale. You might just grab someone else's attention.

As far as special interests in high value stuff, there is a section where you can ask for dealing with like-minded individuals already. It's called the "Let's Trade / Wanted To Buy" forum. I don't see where the complications have suddenly come up that prevent users from posting a message there saying, "Hey, I would like to do some high value trading!" or, "I'm looking for these high value stamps." and then following it up with, "Please message me if you are interested." But that I guess would constitute posting discussions in the right forums... but I digress.

There have definitely been some good responses though. But I really think we need to stop adding to this thread. I particularly like the one response that says, "Hopefully this is near the end of this discussion." It's giving me a headache.

---Pat

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dani20

17 Dec 2012
11:56:26am

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Pat,Perry,Mike,Alyn,
Your points are well taken, and I appreciate them all. Clearly I had not thought through the well meant proposal, and rightly you have corrected my oversight. Thank you all.

As to the length of this exchange, perhaps this might serve to cap it off:

In an attempt to refine the content of the
discussion topic, "Selling Tips for the Auction”, John Derry has boiled down our rather large response to the original question into a more manageable 10 point summary:

1 Use catalogue stamp numbers, they help

2. Front and back scans of stamps are useful, but prohibitive effort-wise for the low value items.

3. The suggestion was offered to sellers to consider replacing individual listings of cheap stamps by "bundling".

4. Individual listings of cheap stamps (overwhelmingly popular
recommendation and the statistics indicate that cheap stamps sell) are welcomed

5. There may be a need for "expensive" stamps listing. Should we create an auction category for it or not?

6. Wide appeal to keep the auction just as it is. Don't fix what isn't broken


7. Try not to ‘over-focus’ on the auction –that detracts from the club aspect


8 Buyers ought not to criticize sellers, but certainly offer positive suggestions if warranted.


9 Unsuccessful sellers should imitate successful sellers, and we have many of them

10. Implied, but not recommended - more than one bid required for the auction sale to be valid


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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
17 Dec 2012
12:01:43pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

" .... If I was still a webmaster, this conversation would have driven me nuts. I don't know how our Web Wizard(s) are keeping their cool. ...."

You forget the first rule of conversation. Talk is cheap.
In fact unless you consider the cost of a few micro-amps of electrcity, it's free.

It is healthy for people to feel free to suggest things, some good, some priceless and some inane. And it is good to see what appears to be a sizable majority supporting the auction more or less the way it is and leaving the tinkering to the cyber wizards.

If I were Grant I'd not obcess over the comments or suggestions, especially after having explained his way of placing lots in the auction.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
17 Dec 2012
12:21:40pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

10. Implied, but not recommended - more than one bid required for the auction sale to be valid

I do not agree with that item. Most items here receive that receive a bid only get one bid. It would greatly diminish the number of items that sell here.

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dani20

17 Dec 2012
12:44:01pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dear Alyn,
How funny, taking your suggestions to heart I went to the trading/lists board and there we were, you and I having the same basic discussion on that board!I had forgotten that I had tried that route before, with no real impact as to matching up with 'high val. trades'.
'Nuff said-I wish to thank you, one and all, for the many and varied comments. May all our discussions evoke the spirited debate shown here.
All good thoughts,
Dan C.

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17 Dec 2012
02:39:00pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,

I think I remember that talk. I have it noted that if I come across classical US that I don't want I am to contact you. So the thread worked, unfortunatley I haven't come across what you are looking for. But if I do, I will contact you.

Alyn

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AGKING

17 Dec 2012
03:08:48pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

This was some string of posts!

Let me respectfully say

GET BACK TO POSTING AND BIDDING


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PDougherty999

17 Dec 2012
03:23:29pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Yeah, as a seller, I agree with that last statement.... get back to bidding! I have some stuff to unload!!! LOL.
---Pat

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Mike
17 Dec 2012
05:37:54pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

I made a comment the other day about have X number of lots in the "Closing in 24 hours" category, without any bids, but upon reflection those can not be true figures because of the BIN feature, which would of course, skew the facts and figures tremendously. I only thought of it because I received some of the BIN sales on my lots, that caused me to think back on that statement. Sorry for any confusion that may have caused.

Now like everyone is suggesting, "back to making up more lots for the auction".

Mike

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
17 Dec 2012
05:56:48pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Good point, Mike. Didn't think about that either.

I already listed my items for the week, and the all have bids on them!

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musicman

APS #213005
17 Dec 2012
08:14:43pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Dan,

I believe we have been over-ruled!

...and I tend to agree with them!

Alyn and Michael have made valid, sensible points; I therefore abandon my idea regarding a sub-categorical group within the club and side with them on their opinions!


....see?? THIS is why I love this club - we bump heads now and then but ultimately work together!


Even though never having met ANY of you, I consider each and EVERY one of you my friends....





Randy

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auldstampguy

Collector, Webmaster
17 Dec 2012
09:00:51pm

re: Selling Tips for the Auction

Thanks Randy, I think that is a great way to close this thread off. I will close this now purely because this thread will be getting very long and slow for our brothers and sisters on a dial up connection (yes, their still exist). If you would like to continue this discussion, that is fine. Please start a new thread.

Regards ... Tim

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