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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

 

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

02 Apr 2013
09:57:55am
When I am viewing an online auction, there are a few things which influence me as a buyer and which I would like to share with sellers.

(1) I tend to go past common stamps (generally stamps with the minimum catalog value) that are listed individually - usually with a starting (and ultimately final) bid of around 5¢. I am much more likely to bid on these stamps if they are offered in a group (e.g., 20 diff recent US commemoratives, 10 older stamps from the Philippines, etc.). If I see a particular seller who consistently lists such items, I generally exclude that seller’s items from the list and thus never see most of his/her items.

(2) I am usually sitting on my couch with my laptop when perusing auctions, so the more information provided, the more likely I am to bid. The two things I need most are year of issue and value (any catalog, any year, I just want a benchmark). If I have to go get my catalog and look the stamp up, unless it is essential to my collection, I will just skip it.

(3) Where stamps are similar to other stamps except for watermark, perforations, etc., I want some assurance from the seller that they have been examined and (at least to the seller’s knowledge) are what they purport to be.

(4) With respect to mint stamps, I not only want to know whether the stamp has been previously hinged, but the degree of hinging (LH, H, HH, HR, etc.). And it goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) whether the stamp has thins, paper adhesions, etc. which are not visible from the front.

(5) Identification of any damage, whether visible from the scan or not. Although I do not expect such to include easily discernable things such as short perfs.
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PDougherty999
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02 Apr 2013
01:08:37pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

And this will be one of those discussions that opens a whole can of negativity.

Bobby, I'm directing this at you because you were the first to start the thread and the timing is that you are the only one to have said anything so far. You are not the only one who has posted these sorts of things before so this is not directed at you only, but rather a group of individuals who think that sellers should be curtailing their auction lots towards just them.

So I'm gonna cut to the chase... Everyone is looking for different things when they peruse the auction. So if I as a seller adjust my listings to meet your needs just for the sake of maybe getting one or two bids from you, then I'm gonna exclude someone else who is looking for the exact opposite things you are looking for.

What bothers me about these sorts of posts is that it discourages the would be new seller as well as discourages the old-timers as well. I know of one or two people who don't list the sort of stuff I'm looking for anymore because of these types of posts. Luckily, I have a good relationship with them and just buy offline. But what did that do for other new collectors like me? Ruined it. As I said, I know of at least two times this has happened on SOR just in the last year, so I beg the rest of you readers/posters to not take this conversation down that same path again.

Bottom line from me is this: Listing stuff in the auction is a lot of work as it is. If you are telling me that I need to do a whole bunch of more work just to get your bids, then I'll just throw on my thick skin and say, "I guess so-and-so won't be buying from me." It's happened before, it'll happen again, and quite frankly, I as a seller am doing OK without your bids.

---Pat

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PDougherty999
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02 Apr 2013
01:15:25pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I will say this though, the descriptions for items continue to be a nuisance. Since several sellers use different methods of describing, you can not do a proper sort and just go through the whole list of everyone's stuff matched up with everyone else's stuff. It would be nice to somehow standardize the descriptions.
---Pat

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michael78651
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02 Apr 2013
01:28:43pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Pat, I don't think you would disagree with Bobby's point that defects that can not be seen in the image need to be described in the item description.

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

02 Apr 2013
02:33:31pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Pat,

I am not saying anyone has to do anything. Nor am I suggesting that any of the things I listed be required of anyone. Every point I touched on was meant as a positive suggestion, and if you choose to take offense, so be it, none was meant.

The concept of merchandising any product is based on sellers identifying and understanding their market (i.e., their prospective buyers). I would think any information on any part of that market would be appreciated, whether it is your particular niche or not.

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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..

02 Apr 2013
05:30:47pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

" .... When I am viewing an online auction, there are a few things which influence me as a buyer and which I would like to share with sellers....."


(1) I tend to take a quick look at the very common stamps Bobby skips to fill in the gaps that even after 45 years exist here and there in my albums. With some 500,000 ++ postage stamps issued since 1840 the majority of which are minimally priced, or at most at a slight premium in most catalogs, such items actually are both the skeleton of the hobby and much of the muscle and fat as well.
Lots, on the other hand, are sometimes a problem. For instance, there is one lot currently being offered that has three stamps , of the twenty-five included, that I'd love to have. There are one or two others that I might need, but didn't bother to check completely. But what of the other twenty o so ? I have them and several are in multiples clogging up drawers and boxes of duplicates..So, as far as I am concerned that mixed lot is way overpriced for the benefit of three or four stamps.

(2) I seldom consider the catalog number or the catalog listing unless I am in a jovial mood and need a good hearty laugh.. My criteria start with, if I like the stamp and if it seems unfamiliar to me. Then I look in my album to see if I have the stamp or if the example I have would be improved if replaced. Finally, I consider if what is being asked is reasonable to me. Sometimes I consider if the stamp when added to others from that seller will fit into my schedule of income, which varies from week to week. So, while others may like all that detail, as far as I am concerned it is swinging at a ghost piñata while blindfolded, a lot of fun to onlookers but largely a waste of time..

(3)" .... I want some assurance from the seller that they have been examined and (at least to the seller’s knowledge) are what they purport to be.... " , but if the particulars are that important I'd prefer to make my own determination. Most SoR sellers are pretty knowledgeable and can be relied on but still there are some members that seem to have a problem with basic identification of country and simply cannot be relied upon for particulars..

(4) Since I am mostly interested in postally used, things that affect gum condition are of little interest and the gum will be removed most of the time from the uncancelled stamp I do acquire. Thins, tears and other hidden defects do interest me and I expect them to be mentioned most of the time.Scuffs, scrapes and blob cancels should have been discarded and only serve to warn me that the seller is either careless or less knowledgeable.

So as if to prove that different people use different fluids to float their canoes, my requirements are different from what others consider critical..

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

02 Apr 2013
06:19:48pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Please, there are too many oars in this small boat of big grievances.

Sellers can't spoon-feed all the Stamporama buyers. As a bona fide stamp buyer,
I ask the seller for more information should I have questions or concerns. Caveat
emptor.

Stamporama's auction window has a page labelled "descriptive terms". No matter
how many times we trot this topic out of the closet for an airing,
it remains musty, moth-ridden, mouldy and mildewed. Let's move it
to the crematorium.

John Derry

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mitoneu

02 Apr 2013
06:28:10pm

Approvals
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

One thing that surprises me, after not having looked at the Auvtions for a time, is the large number of damaged stamps that are being offered: in many cases, not only with maybe a missing tooth, but also broken stamps and obviously not fit for any collection (moreover, sometimes they are offer at 30% or more of the CV)
What about creating a new category: Damaged stamps?
Miguel

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CapeStampMan
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Mike

02 Apr 2013
09:29:59pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Once again, I must side with Dryer. This subject has been played more times than an Elvis record and is getting boring, without maybe minor changes being made by buyers or sellers.

Miguel, yes there are sometimes damaged stamps on offer and I agree with you that 30% is ridiculous and the seller is certainly wasting his time listing them at that percentage. Some people will buy a filler at a very reduced price, but not 30%. I sometimes get a good laugh out of reading some of those ads.

Mike

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PDougherty999
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02 Apr 2013
10:09:27pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Hey Bobby, no offense taken. I simply used your post as my example since it was the first and only one at the time to use as such.

There is a bottom line here and it should be taken very seriously: If there is a particular user that has been selling damaged items and not listing them as such, then those sellers need to be brought to the attention of the head auctioneer and dealt with accordingly. It's called false advertising and has no business here.

HOWEVER, a picture is worth a thousand words, especially since nobody follows any sort of common descriptive method when listing their stuff. If you don't like what you see, then you should not buy it. If you didn't take the time to look closely at the picture, or if you didn't take the time to ask for a better picture or more information on a particular item in the auction before you bought it, then that's on the buyer.

There are some very valid point buried underneath the discussion here. And like i said, it all boils down to that initial one line description that we all like to browse through at a quick glance. Since there is no standard format, very few people are happy with it.

I had once proposed some sort of automated description. The seller fills in certain fields like Scott #, Condition, Block, single, whatever else we think is relevent, and once they submit, the system generates a one line description for them. Then it is standerized and easier to sort and look through. If someone omits a field, then at least you'll see it and be able to sort it. That however is a lot of heavy duty coding so the chances of it ever coming to light may be wishful thinking.

---Pat

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Les
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13 Apr 2013
02:48:31am
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

This evening I got a message from a member warning me that his Scott 2011 specialized catalogue listed a 117 at $200 not the $32.50 that I announced. I replied that the stamp was not very fine but only very good, and that the value came from the Specialized stamp values by grade in the back of the catalogue.

I have to agree with Pat. First of all I am a member of APS and guarantee to refund full purchase price plus S & H to any dissatisfied buyer. I carefully examine each stamp and try to identify it and grade it accurately. I attended the APS CSI in Philately class. I don't list 20 different commemoratives for a $1, because it is sure to duplicate at least some stamps in the buyers collection. I list an individual stamp at a fair price and combine lots to reduce shipping costs. Since the listing cost is nil (time and effort) this allows the buyer the same convenience of the local stamp shop at a much lower price than Mystic.

The subtext in this thread seems to be make my buying experience efficient and timely. Maybe those buyers should think about why they came to SOR in the first place. eBay is a buyers heaven. It has a great search engine. The fees for sellers are high and you must use PayPal.


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cocollectibles

18 May 2013
07:45:28am
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

"I had once proposed some sort of automated description. The seller fills in certain fields like Scott #, Condition, Block, single, whatever else we think is relevent, and once they submit, the system generates a one line description for them. Then it is standerized and easier to sort and look through. If someone omits a field, then at least you'll see it and be able to sort it. That however is a lot of heavy duty coding so the chances of it ever coming to light may be wishful thinking."



This was suggested several times by different sellers (myself included) at bidStart, which has a pretty good selling engine but we have been told this is either too confusing for sellers to use (??) and that not everyone uses the same terms or catalogue to fit in the standard system (e.g., some use SG and not Scott). I'm not a programmer but I would think the latter is a programming issue, to be able to offer alternatives when filling in certain categories. As for the former, there has never been a cogent argument why this would be too confusing for sellers, but then these days at bidStart, that's about as much explanation as you're going to get.

Cheers,
Peter
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auldstampguy
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Collector, Webmaster

18 May 2013
01:57:33pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Pat, Peter et al,

"I had once proposed some sort of automated description. The seller fills in certain fields like Scott #, Condition, Block, single, whatever else we think is relevent, and once they submit, the system generates a one line description for them. Then it is standerized and easier to sort and look through. If someone omits a field, then at least you'll see it and be able to sort it. That however is a lot of heavy duty coding so the chances of it ever coming to light may be wishful thinking. ... Pat"



An interesting thought Pat. Without committing to anything, just for hits and giggles (as some say), lets do a survey on whether or not you like the idea that Pat proposed above (as shown in the quote). I will post two more messages after this one. If you like Pat's idea, click on the "Like" button in the next message. If you don't like Pat's idea, click on the "Like" in the second message after this one.

Let's see what you think.

Tim.

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mncancels.org
auldstampguy
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Collector, Webmaster

18 May 2013
01:58:18pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I LIKE Pat's idea.

(Click on the Like Button to the right)

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auldstampguy
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Collector, Webmaster

18 May 2013
01:58:52pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I DO NOT Like Pat's idea.

(Click the Like button to the right)

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

18 May 2013
02:55:40pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

i will be interested to see how we adapt this for cover collectors; for the few stamps I buy, I am indifferent to this; for those that i sell, as long as the tabbing is easy, i'm fine with it. that's far more words than can be conveyed in like/don't like

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

18 May 2013
09:12:30pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Webmaster:

In an infinity-of-mirrors manner you are forcing me to use the "like" button to indicate that I dislike a proposal.
As a trader/buyer and not a seller, I am not much interested in your making the auction board easier and simpler for
sellers; more often than not, that implies trouble for buyers. My financial institution, which doesn't use real postage stamps, is surgically reducing its work force and business hours to serve me better. Is this what I'm looking at here?

Before looking at a Stamporama auction lot, I look at the seller. A number of sellers on Stamporama are not stamp collectors. My stamp collection is worthless as I'm not selling it, I value the hobby and its participants.

John Derry

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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..

25 May 2013
02:46:19pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

" .... A number of sellers on Stamporama are not stamp collectors. ...."

And it appears that a number of sellers possess mystical micro-vision and are able to look at miniscule blurry scans and figure out if they as decent enough to bid on.

This is particularly noticeable when the mystery lots are placed between lots from a seller who has mastered the fine art of posting large clear scans which are almost bidder magnets.

Think about it and do the math.

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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. .... "
Martyn

25 May 2013
04:18:09pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Hi all, I am thinking of putting some stamps up for sale but only have Scott pages for Guyana and Israel, my only other cats are SG for world stamps 1997, SG Commonwealth 2003 and the Stoneham Great Britain Catalogue 2010 . So my question would be that as I would not be able to give much information on many items (except possibly years where given on the stamp) is there any real point in me putting them in the auctions? (majority will be used)

regards
martyn

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

25 May 2013
06:27:46pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Martyn:

Give it a try. Post the best scans possible of your stamp(s). Describe condition using Scott catalogue definitions (e.g. VF MNH). Identify catalogue by name for stamp numbers. Use your own words if you believe more detail or explanation is needed. Don't do what is popular, do what you believe is right. Reputable stamp sellers and stamp buyers have a knack for finding one another.

John Derry

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michael78651
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25 May 2013
08:59:18pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

You may be able to find more information on the stamps you want to sell, but don't have a catalog for, on this or other web sites. Be aware, however, that many stamps do have differences such as perfs, watermarks, etc. Check your local library to see if they have a catalog set that you might be able to check out or work on in the reference section. You can also find older catalogs for sale at greatly discounted prices on the internet as well. Unless you're selling high-priced items, the catalog values don't change that much on lower-valued stamps.

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smaier
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Sally

21 Jun 2013
06:33:07pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

What influences me as a buyer? I agree with the above points regarding good photos and descriptive headers. However, once I get to the individual auction listing, the words used to describe the item are also important. I went through the whole USA auction listings for the first time in over a week. After excluding a couple of sellers (merely because they only list stuff I'm not interested in), that left 572 items to view. Most had good enough descriptions and decent photos but some used abbreviations I still haven't figured out. Don't remember the seller or i would email to find out. But, sellers, as you are posting, consider whether the abbreviation would make sense to others. For ex: what does OC mean ( off center, of course, Oh Charlie?). And what does SF mean ( probably not San Francisco as it doesn't seem to relate to the stamp). Always interesting to learn new terms but if i'm going to bid on something, it usually has to be at the time i am viewing it, not three days later after i get an answer to a question. Just saying........sally

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Zipper
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21 Jun 2013
10:03:50pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

If I need it, and it's cheap, I buy it.

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tedlawrence

21 Jun 2013
10:49:43pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

smaier: When "SF" is used in a listing it would usually indicate one of 2 things: either small fault or spacefiller.

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youpiao
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22 Jun 2013
06:54:23am
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

The thing is, though, these are not classified ads in Linn's where you are charged per word (where the initials SF would count as one word vs two for "space filler.") Anything other than universally known and accepted abbreviations should be spelled out. It doesn't cost you any more, in eirther time or money.

And even the most commonly known terms are not universal. MNH, in America, becomes UM in the UK. Yanks say, "Used, sound" while the Brits say, "Fine used." When I see a listing with a description for which I need to use a secret decoder ring, I move on.

Tedski

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smaier
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Sally

22 Jun 2013
12:59:35pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Tedlawrence - my point exactly - if SF means space filler, it should be obvious from the photo. If it means small fault, shouldn't that be spelled out ( there are many kinds of "small faults" and if it is worth mentioning it would be nice if it was defined up front). If it means something else, well that's anyone's guess.

Tedski - i totally agree. If it isn't obvious, I just move on. Lots of other stuff to look at.

Sally

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Martyn

29 Jun 2013
08:35:37am
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Have seen a few items in the auctions that interest me, but as the sellers don't except paypal etc. I have no chance of bidding, don't have American cheques and can't get enough USA mint to pay At Wits End



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

29 Jun 2013
09:16:23am
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Martyn,

It is frustrating. I do not know why some Sellers object to PayPal. The fee they charge is very reasonable, and I have only had one Buyer who objected to my practice of adding $0.50 to transactions where PayPal is used (ironically enough, it is a member who also sells and charges $1.00 for S&H charges, whereas my charge, coupled with my S&H charges of $0.46 for US destinations is less - go figure).

Still, the majority of the Sellers accept PayPal, so do not give up. Maybe one of them will offer the same items as the Sellers who do not accept it.


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cocollectibles

29 Jun 2013
09:45:03am
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Martyn, have you tried contacting the sellers and asking them what they can do to make the sale work? As someone who sells part-time, I am always willing to help buyers with reasonable requests. Communication is the key, and if it means a sale, I can't think of why a seller won't work with you; if they won't, well, that may tell you a lot about the seller's flexibility anyway.

Cheers,
Peter

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michael78651
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29 Jun 2013
02:46:57pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Bobby, PayPal policies expressly forbid adding a fee for the use of PayPal as a method of payment. If a complaint is filed against you for that practice, PayPal can cancel your account. All fees and expenses associated with a seller completing the transaction should be included in the shipping and HANDLING fee charged by the seller. If you wanted to include a first class stamp or two in the package in appreciation to a buyer who pays by other than PayPal, there's no problem with that.

I'm only the messenger here.

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

29 Jun 2013
03:41:54pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Thanks Michael, I was unaware of that. I will change my payment and shipping terms. I think the entire membership needs to be aware of this policy as the majority of folk I buy from charge a separate fee.


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tuscany4me
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21 Jul 2013
11:17:32pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Wow! Looks like I missed a great debate. And since I've been offline for the past few month, I will go ahead and now throw my hat into the ring.

1. If I don't know you or do not see you participating in club discussions, most likely I will not bid on anything you have to offer. (If I want cold buying, I will go to ebay) Where I buy by the pound or half pound. I also buy from Mystic.

2. I am a Topical Collector. I do not need every single stamp ever produced, just because its a different size, shade, or color, or year.

3. What I bid on and what I buy... Depends on what mood I'm in. (This also helps keep me from getting "burned out" on collecting) For I may stop collecting a certain topic, and go to work on a different one.

Clayton

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bobstew617
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29 Jul 2013
09:05:45pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

If I am on selling websites, I tend to set up "Favorite Searches" and keep a list of Favorite Sellers to guide my buying. This has worked pretty well for me since I collect a limited list of countries, and no specific topicals (although I really like Butterflies on stamps--shameless plug for PAPUA NEW GUINEABig Grin )

I like to work with sellers who have decent prices for their material (I marvel when I do searches for a particular stamp to see the RANGE of prices for the same stamp with comparable grading.)and have a good variety to choose from.

For me, I have to admit I am fussy on perforations -- short or "toothy" perfs tend to turn me off.

I have been lurking in the auction and have made a few bids, and I am generally pleased.
I was VERY happy at finding ALDERNEY MNH at a great price for my first purchase Thumbs Up (thanks, margin!!)

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dani20
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03 Dec 2013
11:14:49am
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Just wondering-would showing the backs of the items offered give the buyer a better handle on the faults/issues with the item? I personally only carefully consider items for purchase when I can see both sides.
Dan C.

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TheBlueDude
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03 Dec 2013
12:22:43pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Thats an lot of extra work for low value items and in my opinion a waste of time. I normally will show the reverse on higher priced items or at the request of a potential buyer.
Ross

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Les
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03 Dec 2013
01:41:30pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Paypal fees. I believe the agreement between a seller and PayPal prohibits one from charging a fee. However if you think about it the fee of 3% +$0.30 (last time I looked) is usually less than the $0.46 to mail a check for anything under $5.30.

The real problem with online auctions is the transaction costs. I want to sell a $0.03 stamp on Stamporama with a minimum catalogue value of $0.20. The stamp is better than very fine, mint never hinged. I can use it for postage so its value to me is at least $0.03. So I start the bidding at 50% of catalogue or $0.10. If there is a buyer it will usually go for the starting bid. Assuming no other items are purchased, I can invoice at $0.87( $0.10 + 0.31+ 0.46) and make a profit of $0.07.

For example, I could start at $0.87 and not charge shipping or fees and make the same profit. Your cost is getting the money to me and in this case PayPal is cheaper than mailing a check, but would you be attracted to the stamp at that price.

And I am not compensated for my time and effort in presentation. In reality it is cheaper to buy from a dealer if he or she is local and you can walk in. I sell on SOR because I want to help other collectors fill out their collections. I buy for the same reason.

On eBay the transaction costs are higher and while you have a larger market anything less than a $1.00 is giving the stamp away. And that does not account for sales taxes which will start to be collected soon.

In answer to what influences me, do I need the stamp and can I afford the starting bid.

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philb
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03 Dec 2013
04:55:53pm

Auctions
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I guess what influences me is the TOTAL cost of the item with shipping..am i paying 1/3 catalog 50 percent of cat or 100 percent of cat ? If i really want and item i will bid high ! I am fortunate that like some others here i do not have to make a profit selling stamps. If i have stamps not in my field of interest...then getting something for them is better than getting nothing.

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25 Dec 2013
06:55:54pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I AM A METICULOUS DESCRIBER, AND ALSO SHOW THE BACK OF THE STAMP IF THERE ARE ANY PROBLEMS WITH IT SUCH AS A THIN, PART GUM, TEAR, ETC. I ALWAYS LIST THE CATALOG NUMBER, AND YEAR OF ISSUE. I PROBABLY SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON MY DESCRIPTIONS, BUT I WANT THE POTENTIAL BUYER TO KNOW ALL THE FACTS. THEY SAY A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, NOT SO WITH STAMPS.
AT 91 ON JAN 26, I TIRE EASILY, THEREFOR HAVE NOT BEEN POSTING TO SOR & EBAY AS I HAVE DOME IN THE PAST.
RICHAARD

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25 Dec 2013
06:57:05pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

MY SPELLING, I SEE, IS NOT THE BEST.
RICHAARD

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Stampme

28 Dec 2013
02:08:20pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Hmmm. Maybe sellers who do not want to provide basic condition information about a stamp should include a statement easily pasted and copied with every offering:

"Actual condition of the stamp is neither implied or promised nor should the image be used to determine condition. Condition is not a factor of this sale. If you buy this stamp, you agree not to contest the sale because you are not happy with its condition. In this sale, condition does not matter. Go away."

Seems like this would satisfy both sides of the argument.

Bruce

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Les
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30 Dec 2013
12:15:43pm
re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Scans can be manipulated. I can scan the front of the stamp and the back of another stamp. A written description gives you a recourse if it is incorrectly described.

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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
02 Apr 2013
09:57:55am

When I am viewing an online auction, there are a few things which influence me as a buyer and which I would like to share with sellers.

(1) I tend to go past common stamps (generally stamps with the minimum catalog value) that are listed individually - usually with a starting (and ultimately final) bid of around 5¢. I am much more likely to bid on these stamps if they are offered in a group (e.g., 20 diff recent US commemoratives, 10 older stamps from the Philippines, etc.). If I see a particular seller who consistently lists such items, I generally exclude that seller’s items from the list and thus never see most of his/her items.

(2) I am usually sitting on my couch with my laptop when perusing auctions, so the more information provided, the more likely I am to bid. The two things I need most are year of issue and value (any catalog, any year, I just want a benchmark). If I have to go get my catalog and look the stamp up, unless it is essential to my collection, I will just skip it.

(3) Where stamps are similar to other stamps except for watermark, perforations, etc., I want some assurance from the seller that they have been examined and (at least to the seller’s knowledge) are what they purport to be.

(4) With respect to mint stamps, I not only want to know whether the stamp has been previously hinged, but the degree of hinging (LH, H, HH, HR, etc.). And it goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) whether the stamp has thins, paper adhesions, etc. which are not visible from the front.

(5) Identification of any damage, whether visible from the scan or not. Although I do not expect such to include easily discernable things such as short perfs.

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PDougherty999

02 Apr 2013
01:08:37pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

And this will be one of those discussions that opens a whole can of negativity.

Bobby, I'm directing this at you because you were the first to start the thread and the timing is that you are the only one to have said anything so far. You are not the only one who has posted these sorts of things before so this is not directed at you only, but rather a group of individuals who think that sellers should be curtailing their auction lots towards just them.

So I'm gonna cut to the chase... Everyone is looking for different things when they peruse the auction. So if I as a seller adjust my listings to meet your needs just for the sake of maybe getting one or two bids from you, then I'm gonna exclude someone else who is looking for the exact opposite things you are looking for.

What bothers me about these sorts of posts is that it discourages the would be new seller as well as discourages the old-timers as well. I know of one or two people who don't list the sort of stuff I'm looking for anymore because of these types of posts. Luckily, I have a good relationship with them and just buy offline. But what did that do for other new collectors like me? Ruined it. As I said, I know of at least two times this has happened on SOR just in the last year, so I beg the rest of you readers/posters to not take this conversation down that same path again.

Bottom line from me is this: Listing stuff in the auction is a lot of work as it is. If you are telling me that I need to do a whole bunch of more work just to get your bids, then I'll just throw on my thick skin and say, "I guess so-and-so won't be buying from me." It's happened before, it'll happen again, and quite frankly, I as a seller am doing OK without your bids.

---Pat

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PDougherty999

02 Apr 2013
01:15:25pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I will say this though, the descriptions for items continue to be a nuisance. Since several sellers use different methods of describing, you can not do a proper sort and just go through the whole list of everyone's stuff matched up with everyone else's stuff. It would be nice to somehow standardize the descriptions.
---Pat

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michael78651

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02 Apr 2013
01:28:43pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Pat, I don't think you would disagree with Bobby's point that defects that can not be seen in the image need to be described in the item description.

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02 Apr 2013
02:33:31pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Pat,

I am not saying anyone has to do anything. Nor am I suggesting that any of the things I listed be required of anyone. Every point I touched on was meant as a positive suggestion, and if you choose to take offense, so be it, none was meant.

The concept of merchandising any product is based on sellers identifying and understanding their market (i.e., their prospective buyers). I would think any information on any part of that market would be appreciated, whether it is your particular niche or not.

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02 Apr 2013
05:30:47pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

" .... When I am viewing an online auction, there are a few things which influence me as a buyer and which I would like to share with sellers....."


(1) I tend to take a quick look at the very common stamps Bobby skips to fill in the gaps that even after 45 years exist here and there in my albums. With some 500,000 ++ postage stamps issued since 1840 the majority of which are minimally priced, or at most at a slight premium in most catalogs, such items actually are both the skeleton of the hobby and much of the muscle and fat as well.
Lots, on the other hand, are sometimes a problem. For instance, there is one lot currently being offered that has three stamps , of the twenty-five included, that I'd love to have. There are one or two others that I might need, but didn't bother to check completely. But what of the other twenty o so ? I have them and several are in multiples clogging up drawers and boxes of duplicates..So, as far as I am concerned that mixed lot is way overpriced for the benefit of three or four stamps.

(2) I seldom consider the catalog number or the catalog listing unless I am in a jovial mood and need a good hearty laugh.. My criteria start with, if I like the stamp and if it seems unfamiliar to me. Then I look in my album to see if I have the stamp or if the example I have would be improved if replaced. Finally, I consider if what is being asked is reasonable to me. Sometimes I consider if the stamp when added to others from that seller will fit into my schedule of income, which varies from week to week. So, while others may like all that detail, as far as I am concerned it is swinging at a ghost piñata while blindfolded, a lot of fun to onlookers but largely a waste of time..

(3)" .... I want some assurance from the seller that they have been examined and (at least to the seller’s knowledge) are what they purport to be.... " , but if the particulars are that important I'd prefer to make my own determination. Most SoR sellers are pretty knowledgeable and can be relied on but still there are some members that seem to have a problem with basic identification of country and simply cannot be relied upon for particulars..

(4) Since I am mostly interested in postally used, things that affect gum condition are of little interest and the gum will be removed most of the time from the uncancelled stamp I do acquire. Thins, tears and other hidden defects do interest me and I expect them to be mentioned most of the time.Scuffs, scrapes and blob cancels should have been discarded and only serve to warn me that the seller is either careless or less knowledgeable.

So as if to prove that different people use different fluids to float their canoes, my requirements are different from what others consider critical..

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02 Apr 2013
06:19:48pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Please, there are too many oars in this small boat of big grievances.

Sellers can't spoon-feed all the Stamporama buyers. As a bona fide stamp buyer,
I ask the seller for more information should I have questions or concerns. Caveat
emptor.

Stamporama's auction window has a page labelled "descriptive terms". No matter
how many times we trot this topic out of the closet for an airing,
it remains musty, moth-ridden, mouldy and mildewed. Let's move it
to the crematorium.

John Derry

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mitoneu

02 Apr 2013
06:28:10pm

Approvals

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

One thing that surprises me, after not having looked at the Auvtions for a time, is the large number of damaged stamps that are being offered: in many cases, not only with maybe a missing tooth, but also broken stamps and obviously not fit for any collection (moreover, sometimes they are offer at 30% or more of the CV)
What about creating a new category: Damaged stamps?
Miguel

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Mike
02 Apr 2013
09:29:59pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Once again, I must side with Dryer. This subject has been played more times than an Elvis record and is getting boring, without maybe minor changes being made by buyers or sellers.

Miguel, yes there are sometimes damaged stamps on offer and I agree with you that 30% is ridiculous and the seller is certainly wasting his time listing them at that percentage. Some people will buy a filler at a very reduced price, but not 30%. I sometimes get a good laugh out of reading some of those ads.

Mike

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PDougherty999

02 Apr 2013
10:09:27pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Hey Bobby, no offense taken. I simply used your post as my example since it was the first and only one at the time to use as such.

There is a bottom line here and it should be taken very seriously: If there is a particular user that has been selling damaged items and not listing them as such, then those sellers need to be brought to the attention of the head auctioneer and dealt with accordingly. It's called false advertising and has no business here.

HOWEVER, a picture is worth a thousand words, especially since nobody follows any sort of common descriptive method when listing their stuff. If you don't like what you see, then you should not buy it. If you didn't take the time to look closely at the picture, or if you didn't take the time to ask for a better picture or more information on a particular item in the auction before you bought it, then that's on the buyer.

There are some very valid point buried underneath the discussion here. And like i said, it all boils down to that initial one line description that we all like to browse through at a quick glance. Since there is no standard format, very few people are happy with it.

I had once proposed some sort of automated description. The seller fills in certain fields like Scott #, Condition, Block, single, whatever else we think is relevent, and once they submit, the system generates a one line description for them. Then it is standerized and easier to sort and look through. If someone omits a field, then at least you'll see it and be able to sort it. That however is a lot of heavy duty coding so the chances of it ever coming to light may be wishful thinking.

---Pat

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Les

13 Apr 2013
02:48:31am

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

This evening I got a message from a member warning me that his Scott 2011 specialized catalogue listed a 117 at $200 not the $32.50 that I announced. I replied that the stamp was not very fine but only very good, and that the value came from the Specialized stamp values by grade in the back of the catalogue.

I have to agree with Pat. First of all I am a member of APS and guarantee to refund full purchase price plus S & H to any dissatisfied buyer. I carefully examine each stamp and try to identify it and grade it accurately. I attended the APS CSI in Philately class. I don't list 20 different commemoratives for a $1, because it is sure to duplicate at least some stamps in the buyers collection. I list an individual stamp at a fair price and combine lots to reduce shipping costs. Since the listing cost is nil (time and effort) this allows the buyer the same convenience of the local stamp shop at a much lower price than Mystic.

The subtext in this thread seems to be make my buying experience efficient and timely. Maybe those buyers should think about why they came to SOR in the first place. eBay is a buyers heaven. It has a great search engine. The fees for sellers are high and you must use PayPal.


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cocollectibles

18 May 2013
07:45:28am

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

"I had once proposed some sort of automated description. The seller fills in certain fields like Scott #, Condition, Block, single, whatever else we think is relevent, and once they submit, the system generates a one line description for them. Then it is standerized and easier to sort and look through. If someone omits a field, then at least you'll see it and be able to sort it. That however is a lot of heavy duty coding so the chances of it ever coming to light may be wishful thinking."



This was suggested several times by different sellers (myself included) at bidStart, which has a pretty good selling engine but we have been told this is either too confusing for sellers to use (??) and that not everyone uses the same terms or catalogue to fit in the standard system (e.g., some use SG and not Scott). I'm not a programmer but I would think the latter is a programming issue, to be able to offer alternatives when filling in certain categories. As for the former, there has never been a cogent argument why this would be too confusing for sellers, but then these days at bidStart, that's about as much explanation as you're going to get.

Cheers,
Peter
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auldstampguy

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18 May 2013
01:57:33pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Pat, Peter et al,

"I had once proposed some sort of automated description. The seller fills in certain fields like Scott #, Condition, Block, single, whatever else we think is relevent, and once they submit, the system generates a one line description for them. Then it is standerized and easier to sort and look through. If someone omits a field, then at least you'll see it and be able to sort it. That however is a lot of heavy duty coding so the chances of it ever coming to light may be wishful thinking. ... Pat"



An interesting thought Pat. Without committing to anything, just for hits and giggles (as some say), lets do a survey on whether or not you like the idea that Pat proposed above (as shown in the quote). I will post two more messages after this one. If you like Pat's idea, click on the "Like" button in the next message. If you don't like Pat's idea, click on the "Like" in the second message after this one.

Let's see what you think.

Tim.

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auldstampguy

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18 May 2013
01:58:18pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I LIKE Pat's idea.

(Click on the Like Button to the right)

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auldstampguy

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18 May 2013
01:58:52pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I DO NOT Like Pat's idea.

(Click the Like button to the right)

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
18 May 2013
02:55:40pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

i will be interested to see how we adapt this for cover collectors; for the few stamps I buy, I am indifferent to this; for those that i sell, as long as the tabbing is easy, i'm fine with it. that's far more words than can be conveyed in like/don't like

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18 May 2013
09:12:30pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Webmaster:

In an infinity-of-mirrors manner you are forcing me to use the "like" button to indicate that I dislike a proposal.
As a trader/buyer and not a seller, I am not much interested in your making the auction board easier and simpler for
sellers; more often than not, that implies trouble for buyers. My financial institution, which doesn't use real postage stamps, is surgically reducing its work force and business hours to serve me better. Is this what I'm looking at here?

Before looking at a Stamporama auction lot, I look at the seller. A number of sellers on Stamporama are not stamp collectors. My stamp collection is worthless as I'm not selling it, I value the hobby and its participants.

John Derry

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25 May 2013
02:46:19pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

" .... A number of sellers on Stamporama are not stamp collectors. ...."

And it appears that a number of sellers possess mystical micro-vision and are able to look at miniscule blurry scans and figure out if they as decent enough to bid on.

This is particularly noticeable when the mystery lots are placed between lots from a seller who has mastered the fine art of posting large clear scans which are almost bidder magnets.

Think about it and do the math.

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Martyn

25 May 2013
04:18:09pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Hi all, I am thinking of putting some stamps up for sale but only have Scott pages for Guyana and Israel, my only other cats are SG for world stamps 1997, SG Commonwealth 2003 and the Stoneham Great Britain Catalogue 2010 . So my question would be that as I would not be able to give much information on many items (except possibly years where given on the stamp) is there any real point in me putting them in the auctions? (majority will be used)

regards
martyn

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25 May 2013
06:27:46pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Martyn:

Give it a try. Post the best scans possible of your stamp(s). Describe condition using Scott catalogue definitions (e.g. VF MNH). Identify catalogue by name for stamp numbers. Use your own words if you believe more detail or explanation is needed. Don't do what is popular, do what you believe is right. Reputable stamp sellers and stamp buyers have a knack for finding one another.

John Derry

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michael78651

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25 May 2013
08:59:18pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

You may be able to find more information on the stamps you want to sell, but don't have a catalog for, on this or other web sites. Be aware, however, that many stamps do have differences such as perfs, watermarks, etc. Check your local library to see if they have a catalog set that you might be able to check out or work on in the reference section. You can also find older catalogs for sale at greatly discounted prices on the internet as well. Unless you're selling high-priced items, the catalog values don't change that much on lower-valued stamps.

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smaier

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21 Jun 2013
06:33:07pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

What influences me as a buyer? I agree with the above points regarding good photos and descriptive headers. However, once I get to the individual auction listing, the words used to describe the item are also important. I went through the whole USA auction listings for the first time in over a week. After excluding a couple of sellers (merely because they only list stuff I'm not interested in), that left 572 items to view. Most had good enough descriptions and decent photos but some used abbreviations I still haven't figured out. Don't remember the seller or i would email to find out. But, sellers, as you are posting, consider whether the abbreviation would make sense to others. For ex: what does OC mean ( off center, of course, Oh Charlie?). And what does SF mean ( probably not San Francisco as it doesn't seem to relate to the stamp). Always interesting to learn new terms but if i'm going to bid on something, it usually has to be at the time i am viewing it, not three days later after i get an answer to a question. Just saying........sally

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21 Jun 2013
10:03:50pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

If I need it, and it's cheap, I buy it.

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tedlawrence

21 Jun 2013
10:49:43pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

smaier: When "SF" is used in a listing it would usually indicate one of 2 things: either small fault or spacefiller.

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youpiao

22 Jun 2013
06:54:23am

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

The thing is, though, these are not classified ads in Linn's where you are charged per word (where the initials SF would count as one word vs two for "space filler.") Anything other than universally known and accepted abbreviations should be spelled out. It doesn't cost you any more, in eirther time or money.

And even the most commonly known terms are not universal. MNH, in America, becomes UM in the UK. Yanks say, "Used, sound" while the Brits say, "Fine used." When I see a listing with a description for which I need to use a secret decoder ring, I move on.

Tedski

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smaier

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22 Jun 2013
12:59:35pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Tedlawrence - my point exactly - if SF means space filler, it should be obvious from the photo. If it means small fault, shouldn't that be spelled out ( there are many kinds of "small faults" and if it is worth mentioning it would be nice if it was defined up front). If it means something else, well that's anyone's guess.

Tedski - i totally agree. If it isn't obvious, I just move on. Lots of other stuff to look at.

Sally

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Martyn

29 Jun 2013
08:35:37am

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Have seen a few items in the auctions that interest me, but as the sellers don't except paypal etc. I have no chance of bidding, don't have American cheques and can't get enough USA mint to pay At Wits End



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29 Jun 2013
09:16:23am

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Martyn,

It is frustrating. I do not know why some Sellers object to PayPal. The fee they charge is very reasonable, and I have only had one Buyer who objected to my practice of adding $0.50 to transactions where PayPal is used (ironically enough, it is a member who also sells and charges $1.00 for S&H charges, whereas my charge, coupled with my S&H charges of $0.46 for US destinations is less - go figure).

Still, the majority of the Sellers accept PayPal, so do not give up. Maybe one of them will offer the same items as the Sellers who do not accept it.


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cocollectibles

29 Jun 2013
09:45:03am

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Martyn, have you tried contacting the sellers and asking them what they can do to make the sale work? As someone who sells part-time, I am always willing to help buyers with reasonable requests. Communication is the key, and if it means a sale, I can't think of why a seller won't work with you; if they won't, well, that may tell you a lot about the seller's flexibility anyway.

Cheers,
Peter

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michael78651

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29 Jun 2013
02:46:57pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Bobby, PayPal policies expressly forbid adding a fee for the use of PayPal as a method of payment. If a complaint is filed against you for that practice, PayPal can cancel your account. All fees and expenses associated with a seller completing the transaction should be included in the shipping and HANDLING fee charged by the seller. If you wanted to include a first class stamp or two in the package in appreciation to a buyer who pays by other than PayPal, there's no problem with that.

I'm only the messenger here.

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29 Jun 2013
03:41:54pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Thanks Michael, I was unaware of that. I will change my payment and shipping terms. I think the entire membership needs to be aware of this policy as the majority of folk I buy from charge a separate fee.


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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. -Edmund Burke"

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tuscany4me

21 Jul 2013
11:17:32pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Wow! Looks like I missed a great debate. And since I've been offline for the past few month, I will go ahead and now throw my hat into the ring.

1. If I don't know you or do not see you participating in club discussions, most likely I will not bid on anything you have to offer. (If I want cold buying, I will go to ebay) Where I buy by the pound or half pound. I also buy from Mystic.

2. I am a Topical Collector. I do not need every single stamp ever produced, just because its a different size, shade, or color, or year.

3. What I bid on and what I buy... Depends on what mood I'm in. (This also helps keep me from getting "burned out" on collecting) For I may stop collecting a certain topic, and go to work on a different one.

Clayton

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bobstew617

29 Jul 2013
09:05:45pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

If I am on selling websites, I tend to set up "Favorite Searches" and keep a list of Favorite Sellers to guide my buying. This has worked pretty well for me since I collect a limited list of countries, and no specific topicals (although I really like Butterflies on stamps--shameless plug for PAPUA NEW GUINEABig Grin )

I like to work with sellers who have decent prices for their material (I marvel when I do searches for a particular stamp to see the RANGE of prices for the same stamp with comparable grading.)and have a good variety to choose from.

For me, I have to admit I am fussy on perforations -- short or "toothy" perfs tend to turn me off.

I have been lurking in the auction and have made a few bids, and I am generally pleased.
I was VERY happy at finding ALDERNEY MNH at a great price for my first purchase Thumbs Up (thanks, margin!!)

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dani20

03 Dec 2013
11:14:49am

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Just wondering-would showing the backs of the items offered give the buyer a better handle on the faults/issues with the item? I personally only carefully consider items for purchase when I can see both sides.
Dan C.

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To error is human -to really fowl things up takes a computer
03 Dec 2013
12:22:43pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Thats an lot of extra work for low value items and in my opinion a waste of time. I normally will show the reverse on higher priced items or at the request of a potential buyer.
Ross

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Les

03 Dec 2013
01:41:30pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Paypal fees. I believe the agreement between a seller and PayPal prohibits one from charging a fee. However if you think about it the fee of 3% +$0.30 (last time I looked) is usually less than the $0.46 to mail a check for anything under $5.30.

The real problem with online auctions is the transaction costs. I want to sell a $0.03 stamp on Stamporama with a minimum catalogue value of $0.20. The stamp is better than very fine, mint never hinged. I can use it for postage so its value to me is at least $0.03. So I start the bidding at 50% of catalogue or $0.10. If there is a buyer it will usually go for the starting bid. Assuming no other items are purchased, I can invoice at $0.87( $0.10 + 0.31+ 0.46) and make a profit of $0.07.

For example, I could start at $0.87 and not charge shipping or fees and make the same profit. Your cost is getting the money to me and in this case PayPal is cheaper than mailing a check, but would you be attracted to the stamp at that price.

And I am not compensated for my time and effort in presentation. In reality it is cheaper to buy from a dealer if he or she is local and you can walk in. I sell on SOR because I want to help other collectors fill out their collections. I buy for the same reason.

On eBay the transaction costs are higher and while you have a larger market anything less than a $1.00 is giving the stamp away. And that does not account for sales taxes which will start to be collected soon.

In answer to what influences me, do I need the stamp and can I afford the starting bid.

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philb

03 Dec 2013
04:55:53pm

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re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I guess what influences me is the TOTAL cost of the item with shipping..am i paying 1/3 catalog 50 percent of cat or 100 percent of cat ? If i really want and item i will bid high ! I am fortunate that like some others here i do not have to make a profit selling stamps. If i have stamps not in my field of interest...then getting something for them is better than getting nothing.

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"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
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rgnpcs

25 Dec 2013
06:55:54pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

I AM A METICULOUS DESCRIBER, AND ALSO SHOW THE BACK OF THE STAMP IF THERE ARE ANY PROBLEMS WITH IT SUCH AS A THIN, PART GUM, TEAR, ETC. I ALWAYS LIST THE CATALOG NUMBER, AND YEAR OF ISSUE. I PROBABLY SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON MY DESCRIPTIONS, BUT I WANT THE POTENTIAL BUYER TO KNOW ALL THE FACTS. THEY SAY A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, NOT SO WITH STAMPS.
AT 91 ON JAN 26, I TIRE EASILY, THEREFOR HAVE NOT BEEN POSTING TO SOR & EBAY AS I HAVE DOME IN THE PAST.
RICHAARD

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rgnpcs

25 Dec 2013
06:57:05pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

MY SPELLING, I SEE, IS NOT THE BEST.
RICHAARD

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Stampme

28 Dec 2013
02:08:20pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Hmmm. Maybe sellers who do not want to provide basic condition information about a stamp should include a statement easily pasted and copied with every offering:

"Actual condition of the stamp is neither implied or promised nor should the image be used to determine condition. Condition is not a factor of this sale. If you buy this stamp, you agree not to contest the sale because you are not happy with its condition. In this sale, condition does not matter. Go away."

Seems like this would satisfy both sides of the argument.

Bruce

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Les

30 Dec 2013
12:15:43pm

re: What influences me as a buyer when looking at online auctions

Scans can be manipulated. I can scan the front of the stamp and the back of another stamp. A written description gives you a recourse if it is incorrectly described.

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