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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : Where are all the bidders?

 

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BOTTOM_FISH_2006
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19 Jul 2014
04:46:33pm
SorryIt Wasn't Me
Just being a downer on how few bidders that us sellers are getting.
I just don't remember that low of bidders we a having.
I know it is the peak of vacation time, but did any one turn the lights out when they left?Big Grin

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19 Jul 2014
04:59:12pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I'm sure things will liven up - have no fear. I know there are a number of members who have been having health/family issues that are usually in the loop (including myself) but we'll come around and spend our money soon enough Winking Yes, indeed, it is also vacation time for so many people. I've noticed among my own friends the difference this year as to when people are vacationing.

Kelly

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copy55555
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26 Jul 2014
12:30:41pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

In my case, I sometimes see a stamp that I would like - but it is the only one from a particular seller and is priced at 10 cents. Unless I can find a bunch of other low priced items from the same seller, or a more expensive item, I can't bid because I have to factor in the shipping charge. If the shipping is $1 then $1.10 as a total price for the stamp is much too high. I'm not complaining about shipping charges. $1.30 from Canada is reasonable considering the reality of postal shipping costs. But if a seller has only one or two inexpensive items that interest me, then I have to pass. This also applies to the approval section. Some sellers have a single page with about 20 inexpensive items. If you find the one 5 cent stamp you need to complete a set, are you willing to pay that plus shipping to get it or will you wait to see if another copy shows up in the future in a better mix with others that you also need?

I apologize for my long rambling comment. Still very early in the morning and I haven't finished my first cup of coffee.

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Bobstamp
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26 Jul 2014
01:39:39pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I agree wholeheartedly with Copy55555. I too often see individual stamps in the auction or in an approval book that I would love to have, but can't see buying them because they just aren't worth the cost of shipping and the (minor) hassle. In fact, I don't often view the auction lots or approval books because I know that I'm unlikely to find enough stamps from any one seller to make it worthwhile. I would much rather buy a set or small lot of stamps that includes the stamp or stamps I'd like to have.

One of the things I really dislike about the approval books is that images of sold stamp remain, and I don't know if they have been sold until I scroll down to the bottom of the page. I've been disappointed way too many times to even want to continue shopping there.

Bob

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tuscany4me
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26 Jul 2014
01:45:27pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I Ditto Bobstamp and Copy55555

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michael78651
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26 Jul 2014
02:04:17pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

You could always contact the seller and see if an adjustment of the shipping fee could be made for a small purchase.

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26 Jul 2014
02:10:18pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I think that the auction and approval books in their current formats is OK for novice collectors who are mainly looking to fill album pages (although even for them, the fact that the images of sold stamps don't disappear from the approval books can't be very helpful or encouraging). For "advanced" collectors, however, I don't think they're of much value, especially considering they have to invest quite a lot of time on the slim chance that they'll find anything they want or need.

Bob


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ThePhilatelist

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26 Jul 2014
02:23:48pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"You could always contact the seller and see if an adjustment of the shipping fee could be made for a small purchase."


To be fair to the sellers, I think it is more troublesome to package one stamp than it is to package hundreds. Asking for a shipping discount, then, is just rubbing the salt in. The only opening I can see is when the buyer and seller live nearby and decide to forgo shipping and prefer pickup.

"For "advanced" collectors, however, I don't think they're of much value"


I don't know what you mean by an advanced collector. If one want to buy something where they wish the seller to describe it (eg. Penny Black from a specific plate) then the low-cost approvals are not for you. But if you are looking for "interesting" material (how can one describe a postmark one doesn't even know exists?) then there is no substitute for looking at a million examples to find the right one. To classify the explorer as a novice collector is, in my opinion, unwarranted.

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michael78651
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26 Jul 2014
02:35:04pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I often reduce my shipping rates if the purchase is small and the postage will not be that much (less than two ounces), AND the buyer doesn't use PayPal. That would cause a net negative on the sale.

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Bobstamp
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26 Jul 2014
02:59:17pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

ThePhilatelist said,

I don't know what you mean by an advanced collector. If one want to buy something where they wish the seller to describe it (eg. Penny Black from a specific plate) then the low-cost approvals are not for you. But if you are looking for "interesting" material (how can one describe a postmark one doesn't even know exists?) then there is no substitute for looking at a million examples to find the right one. To classify the explorer as a novice collector is, in my opinion, unwarranted.

I certainly didn't intend to classify anyone as anything! I have often gone "exploring" for stamps and covers, here on Stamporama and elsewhere. My only point is that experienced collectors with large collections have to spend a lot of time on Stamporama with the slim hope that they're going to find something they can add to their collections. I don't bother much any more because I can generally find material with less effort on other venues.

Bob

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bobstew617
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26 Jul 2014
07:26:47pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I would agree with copy55555 that if I only see a couple of items I want from a seller, I may pass. It really does depend on how much I would need a particular stamp, though. If there is a stamp that would fill a set, I would work much harder to look through all the lots the seller is offering. I would take advantage of the watch list, though. It is very easy on this siteThumbs Up to watch an item and then wait and see if if other lots from that seller are of interest.

One thing I do when I am looking at a "new seller" is to click on their member name and read their profile, (which may show other clubs and associations the member belongs to) and especially, how many items they have sold. It's right there in their profile. Another influencing factor for me is how active they are in the discussion forums. The more I see someone in there, the more comfortable I would probably be in buying from them.

I would say also that I happen to know a number of members from other sites (BidStart, Wensy, etc..) and I already am familiar with their selling history.

My other comment is--to get more bidders, let your other stamp contacts know about SOR. I trade with several collectors outside SOR (and a number for many years) and told them to check out the site. So far, one has joined, and she has jumped feet first into the auctions (buying and selling).

Last, while at first I missed the feedback system, I am totally comfortable without it now, so I would echo what others have already said--it's not needed.

BOB in ORLANDO

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cocollectibles

27 Jul 2014
07:50:45am
re: Where are all the bidders?

What would be truly innovative in stamp selling is to use a modified "Fulfillment by Amazon" model. Different sellers with low cost items keep an inventory list of their stamps for sale and send the stamps to a clearinghouse for shipment. So if the buyer buys one stamp from Seller 1 and two stamps from Seller 2, the clearinghouse has the stamps and ships all three stamps for one shipping price. The sellers get paid monthly by the clearinghouse, the sellers get paid, the buyers get their stamps at reduced combined shipping cost, and everyone is happy.

Just a rambling thought.

And no, I'm not volunteering to be the clearinghouse!

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Mike

27 Jul 2014
11:00:27am
re: Where are all the bidders?

Good thing you are not volunteering for that job, Peter, smart move on your part. While that sounds like a good program to explore, think about the costs involved in such an endeavor. First, the expenses involved would raise the cost of the stamps astronomically, since most "fulfillment centers" charge a minimum of $2.95, or so, for shipping alone, but it sounds like a good idea.

Realistically, since most "stamps", which are the biggest majority of SOR sales, sell for just a couple of bucks, or less, (67¢ last month), what would be called an "advanced" stamp and how many stamps are readily available for those we would call "advanced collectors"? We have many stamps listed almost every week, that I would venture to say are there for advanced collectors, but certainly anyone could bid on them, why do the auctions usually end with those goodies unsold?

As for shipping rates, how can rates be reduced if the fee is just the price of a stamp and an envelope, which is what I charge as a fee for my lots of one ounce or less. Since each seller must determine what they need to charge for shipping stamps, based on how they accomplish that task, I can't speak for them.

Actually I think this lull in buying is in relation to what usually happens in Florida this time of year, since I can't speak for the rest of the states. That is just the good old summer doldrums that happen every year and does effect the economy of the state. We still have a lot of visitors here, but we call them the "station wagon" crowd, that comes to Disney and other resorts, stay in cheap motels and eat breakfast and sandwiches, sometimes in their rooms, to save money. Not that there is anything wrong with that, we've done that ourselves, just to be able to have a Florida vacation.

Mike

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Makazi
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28 Jul 2014
12:47:39pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"If the shipping is $1 then $1.10 as a total price for the stamp is much too high. I'm not complaining about shipping charges. $1.30 from Canada is reasonable considering the reality of postal shipping costs"



Shipping from here (Norway, Europe) to pretty much everywhere else is $2-3 USD for a small letter. Then there is the cost of envelope, etc. in addition. So that leaves out most of any sales of cheap stamps. I guess any worth putting up has to be a more expensive stamp or a larger lot of cheap stamps.
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BobbyBarnhart
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28 Jul 2014
03:11:49pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"Shipping from here (Norway, Europe) to pretty much everywhere else is $2-3 USD for a small letter. Then there is the cost of envelope, etc. in addition. So that leaves out most of any sales of cheap stamps. I guess any worth putting up has to be a more expensive stamp or a larger lot of cheap stamps."



Unfortunately, Makazi, you are correct. It is sad that governments no longer provide inexpensive mail communications for their citizens (even international mail) for letters weighing 2 oz or less. Now all the postal systems worldwide have to make a profit (which they don't anyway).

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Bobstamp
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28 Jul 2014
04:44:22pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Not philatelic, but germane to the discussion: A few years ago, I decided to send a small CD player to my mother (from Vancouver to her home in New Mexico) but had to change my mind when I was told that it would cost more than CAN $50 to do so. I probably hadn't paid more than $35 or $40 dollars for it.

I don't think we can blame postal departments for such high costs, although they probably are partly to blame. More significant is the high cost of oil, and, really, the high costs of darned near anything!

Bob


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ThePhilatelist

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28 Jul 2014
05:01:15pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"I don't think we can blame postal departments for such high costs, although they probably are partly to blame."


Not postal departments per se, but rather the governments, as Bobby said:

"It is sad that governments no longer provide inexpensive mail communications"


One of the countries that still has a very low inland rate is India, with INR 5 supporting a letter delivery across the country. Now, it is unfair to compare that using exchange rate, but it is worth mentioning that the rate has remained the same since 2002.

Now, parcels are a different story altogether, and I reckon those are and always have been expensive. But the sooner our political class realizes that mail system is crucial for the overall economy the better. It is unrealistic to expect basic mail services to make profit. Just like public transit, mail services must also be subsidized.


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grorod
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28 Jul 2014
07:46:51pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Hi Everyone
I've been reading the comments here, and just thought I would suggest that when you look through the Approval section and see that the stamp(s) you would like has been sold, it might be worth an e-mail to the seller to see if they have copies of the stamp(s). Just a thought!!!
Gro

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rrraphy
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28 Jul 2014
09:54:21pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Let me say in preface, that I am not trying to do a self promotion, Bobby, just to offer an approach and some relevant observations based on my experience for Approvals.

Summer is always slow it seems.

As a seller on Approval, I am well aware of the relative cost of shipping as it relates to the low cost of the stamps listed...Heck, at 10 cent a stamp, it takes 100 stamps to reach $10, to justify paying the added shipping charge of about 10%. That is a lot of desired stamps!
My approach has been to send a reminder to buyers of their accumulated purchases, once a month..on the first of the month... but to send an invoice only when the amount is significant or when I am asked by the buyer. I cannot imagine expecting payments immediately, and tacking on the shipping on low purchases. So I think it is quite different than our Auction experience, where we are trained to expect payment immediately.

Let us face it, this is brand new territory that SOR is exploring, and new habits will evolve. Generally, getting the stamps immediately is not an issue for most buyers. This hobby requires patience...and organization, so I suggest you mark your list when you purchase the stamps (or you will forget and buy it more than once..lol) and just wait patiently until the total builds up.

The key, as far as I can tell, is to stock many active Approval Books with plenty of material to chose from, (I aim for 200+ stamps in each, when I can and keeping around 50 active books) and to add new books regularly, as they will invariably bring another look at the older listed material. I don't understand how the sellers who just list an Approval Book for a brief period expect it to work, unless they expect to sell it all instantly. That is Auction, or a vist to a store!
In the old APS Approval via mail approach, the books traveled by regular mail for years between prospective buyers, before being retired.

Here, only books that are well depleted get retired ...(or those that have shown little interest (few views, few sales, even after several price drops)
My older books get their piece prices reduced periodically, (although I am not sure that this alone is enough to bring buyers in).
It has been a bit slower lately, but that is summer, but for Approvals, if you have enough material, people will eventually come look for something..it should not be a concern. Having a Book well organized does also help the buyers, so I admit that I spend extra time making it easier to navigate and explore. (Not a business for sure, as they take quite a bit of time to put together...but have you looked at the time you spend on your collections?)

Also, for the more advanced collector, I also always list a few pages of higher valued stamps, sets, s/s etc.. at the back of the Approval Book. They don't go for $0.05 or $0.10 each, but in the scheme of things, if you worry about relative shipping to purchase ratios, it helps bring the total purchase closer to a level where shipping charges are acceptable.

Any thought on this approach. Any other suggestion? Any recommendation?
Again, not intended as self promotion!

I, like all of you, hate the shipping charges even when they are reasonable..ie reflect postage costs with a minimum for material cost, like at SOR.
At ebay and elsewhere on the net, I just won't buy from overcharging dealers..that is the first thing I look at.

rrr...

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DRYER
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28 Jul 2014
11:50:59pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

For "rrraphy":

I like your approach, Triple R, as it appears - dare I say it - reasonable.
I am a Canadian bidder and buyer only, not a seller. Here are a few stray isotopes from my feeble brain waves.

Shipping and mailing costs are expensive almost globally and not a significant competitive factor for sellers
I would think. Only naïve buyers believe in "free shipping".

Canada Customs & Excise has never levied any duty fees on anything shipped to me from a foreign destination
irrespective of the value amount declared, whether stamps or other imports. (Perhaps it may not be cost effective if the
declaration is less than several thousand dollars.) Consequently, on foreign purchases I am spared paying federal and provincial sales taxes, as well as duty levies, and I apply this "savings" to my shipping/mailing fees. Inexplicably, this makes me feel good.

If I want the stamp, I pay the freight. The Stamporama sellers that I tend to favour usually affix attractive postage,
sometimes with favour cancels, to their mailings, however modest the envelope content, and this, too, makes me feel good.

I have not bid on any stamps this summer as I am playing "catch up" with my unexamined inventory. More activities
seem to compete for my attention in sunny, warmer weather, and stamps are my hobby, not my life.

My best uninformed guess is that, like dandelions, the stamp auction bidders will be back.

John Derry

P.S. Let me stress that I endeavour to shop locally as it hurts my quality of life
whenever a local merchant closes shop for lack of business.


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Liz

29 Jul 2014
12:53:13am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?


What do you mean when you say rural-free-delivery? I live in a rural area and our delivery consists of our mail being dropped into a community box 'somewhere' near our address where we go to pick it up. Parcels, etc. have to be picked up at the one little post office in the center of the island. A card is put in your post box saying that there is something other than a regular sized envelope at the post office for you to pick up. Expedited, registered or special delivery items for which the sender pays a high premium to send is still not delivered to an address. There is a two day delay in delivery due to the postal carrier having to write out that little card, put it in your box with instructions for you not to pick up before 2 p.m. the next day. I have no idea where the item goes between the time that the card is made up and the next afternoon. Maybe it takes that long to walk the item from the back room where they write up the cards to a storage area in that same room?

Items mailed to our rural areas have the same amount of postage applied as any other address in Canada.

Please remember when postage is quoted by a Canadian seller that we do pay an additional tax when purchasing our postage stamps. The tax rate charged by Canada Post varies by each province. The lowest tax rate is 5% and the highest is 15% (Nova Scotia).

Jerry - The bidders are out and about enjoying our summer weather doing something other than staying indoors looking at little pieces of paper. They'll be back when the weather turns miserable.



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DaSaintFan
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29 Jul 2014
02:03:32am
re: Where are all the bidders?

I'm with Michael on this one:

"I often reduce my shipping rates if the purchase is small and the postage will not be that much (less than two ounces), AND the buyer doesn't use PayPal. That would cause a net negative on the sale"



If someone were to IM and say... "I only need stamp X", is there anyway you could reduce your postage. Most people I would assume would respond:

"okay, postage on the single stamp is (insert going rate)... so how about just that, in change, so I can put a stamp on an envelope and send it to you.".

Although I'll admit on my first sale, I took a "loss" so to speak on S&H, even without adjusting the rate, simply because the P.O. refused to let me use standard postage on the letter (it didn't even make 2.25 oz).


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philatelia
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APS #156650

29 Jul 2014
04:29:02am

Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

"The bidders are out and about enjoying our summer weather doing something other than staying indoors looking at little pieces of paper. They'll be back when the weather turns miserable."



I read this and laughed a bit - Liz, for me the Florida summer IS the miserable part of the year. This is my "winter".

I really enjoyed rrraphy's comments about the approval books. I'm new at the approvals and my experiences after listing around 20 books now mirrors yours. Having multiple books really helps. I've had several people attracted to a new book go back to the older listings and buy a few from here, a few from there, etc. I do the same thing when I buy - I try to find enough to justify the postage. At least as stamp collectors we have the bonus of being able to use the shipping postage in our collections or at least for trading. No other hobby has that luxury.
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Sally

29 Jul 2014
10:48:07am
re: Where are all the bidders?

From a buyer's perspective, I wholeheartedly agree with rrraphy, philatelia, and John Derry. The buyers will return....I haven't touched my stamps since May...just too much going on....vacation, work, kids getting ready for school (one headed to college, one to various band camp activities and high school), and other summertime family obligations.

Having several large, well organized approval books up on the site makes it worthwhile to browse and bid. My last purchase still sits on my stamp desk, waiting to be put in the albums. Why did I buy stamps when I knew I wasn't going to do anything with them for months? Because the approval books made it easy: they were well organized with good photos. I could quickly pull out my album and match up what I needed with what was offered in the books. The seller stated up front that she would hold items until I was done buying from several of her books so that all could be shipped at once. She was very flexible on payment methods as well.

Good photos: extremely important. Large enough to see, not blurry, good background so there is enough contrast to see the stamp edges. It seems like photos have improved as sellers get more practice, but there are still some on the auction that I won't even look at...too small, blurry, or seemingly the same stamp listed in several auction listings.

So, to the Sellers: keep up the good work. The approval books are appreciated. The more the merrier!

Sally

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red-eric-1

A collector since birth

30 Jul 2014
08:19:19am
re: Where are all the bidders?

Hi

I agree wholeheartedly with "rrraphy" re:
"The key, as far as I can tell, is to stock many active Approval Books with plenty of material to chose from."

That's a goal for me - still working on it! In my experience, a buyer usually picks heavily from one book, but often selects a few stamps from some of my other books as well. So, it's nice to have lots of other books for buyers to look at.

Another key, I think, is to be patient. In a few cases, I've had no sales from particular books for the first few weeks, and then all of a sudden the right person comes along and the book is cleaned out. I also expect that things will pick up as we get into the latter part of August, and especially after Labour Day, as collectors start "accumulating" material to work on over the fall/winter months.

Also, as a buyer I tend not to look through books where a good percentage of the material has been sold, as I expect the best stuff has been picked out already. I find the same thing as a seller. Once a book has had substantial sales, the best I can hope for is a few peripheral sales. Does anyone have a % rule of thumb as to when they "retire" books?

Anyway, thanks again to Stamporama for setting up this wonderful approval "system". It's a great way to direct my unwanted stamps to someones collection, and make a few dollars to put back into material for my collection.

Eric

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Bobstamp
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30 Jul 2014
01:38:57pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I too agree with rrraphy, who said

""The key, as far as I can tell, is to stock many active Approval Books with plenty of material to chose from.""



Nothing will cause me to leave an approval book faster than learning that a stamp that is shown has already been sold. I may try a few more pages, but if I am confronted with "Sold" notices for even two or three more stamps that I'd like to have, I'm outa there. I wonder if it would be possible to redesign the approval books so that the images of stamps that been sold just disappear when the buyer has committed himself or herself to buying the stamps.

My stamp club gets monthly circuit books from the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada. The stamps that have been bought previously are simply not there, so there's little or no disappointment involved.

Bob
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roy
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30 Jul 2014
02:48:05pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Bob,

I didn't design the system, but I can tell you that with the current arrangement, what you ask for is not possible. Because the images of the stamps are not separate, but all on one image of the page, the programming has no way of connecting the portion of the image that contains the stamp in question and the database entry for that stamp which can be tagged as "Sold".

If the stamps were all individual images, it could be done, but producing individual images is far too labour intensive for the seller for such a system to be viable.

I can think of another way to program what you want, but it would require that all stamps be offered on a uniform grid (or one of a selection of identified grids). Then the programming COULD identify the region of the image to tag as "Sold". However, getting the sellers to adopt such uniformity would be a challenge in itself.

Now, if I could only find someone who would work for $2/hr, be able to mount the stamps on stockpages, checking quality as s/he goes, scan them, upload pictures, pull the stamps to fill the order, check quality again, package the order, affix postage and mail them, I could do this in a BIG way!

Roy

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ThePhilatelist

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30 Jul 2014
03:18:21pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"Because the images of the stamps are not separate, but all on one image of the page, the programming has no way..."



I haven't sold anything yet, so forgive my ignorance. Is it possible for sellers to update their photos? Can't say for others, but if I were a seller, I would be willing to do so. Drawback: the buyer may want to refer to the image for verification on delivery. I normally copy the images of sheets from where I buy, but doubt many do so.
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cdj1122
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30 Jul 2014
04:09:27pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

RE: A lack of bidders;

1.) " .... Summertime and the livin' is easy,
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high,
Your Daddy's rich and your Mama is good lookin',
So, hush, little baby don't you cry,

One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singin',
You're gonna spread your wings and take to the sky, take to the sky,
But until that mornin' there's nothin' that can harm you,
With Daddy and Mommy standin' by. ...."

2.) ".... My bags are packed, I'm ready to go,
I'm standing here outside your door,
I hate to wake you up to say good-bye.
But the dawn is breaking, it's early morn, the taxi's waiting,
He's blowing his horn.
Already I'm so lonesome I could die.
So kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you'll wait for me,
Hold me like you'll never let me go.
'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again.
Oh, babe, I hate to go. ...."

3.) "Lots-a-lots" run and rerun ad infinitum

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30 Jul 2014
05:08:03pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"Is it possible for sellers to update their photos? Can't say for others, but if I were a seller, I would be willing to do so. Drawback: the buyer may want to refer to the image for verification on delivery. I normally copy the images of sheets from where I buy, but doubt many do so."


For sellers who have strong image editing skills, it is possible, but very labor intensive. Folk with a lot of books would spend several hours per day just updating their images. IMO it would quickly suck all the fun out of preparing approval books, and you would see a drastic decline in the number of books available.
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30 Jul 2014
05:42:21pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Thank you, Roy and Bobby, for clarifying the issue. I wasn't sure how the approval images got to us, so I thought it was worth suggesting a possible fix for low sales volumes.

Bob

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31 Jul 2014
11:07:50pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

For those comfortable with photo editing software like the one Ken mentioned, or the many members who use Irfanview, the possibilities of creative (and really quite simple) edits are bountiful:

Image Not FoundImage Not FoundImage Not Found

Unfortunately, it take time to go through your approval books, edit the pictures, then replace the resulting scans through the approval book edit feature; only to have to repeat the process the next time stamps are sold from a page. If a Seller has many books, and items are constantly selling, he/she is going to spend an inordinant amount of time keeping the pages up to date.

It is just not practical.


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rrraphy
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31 Jul 2014
11:36:06pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

If the Approval Book software cannot do it automatically, it just is not going to happen.
Whether the overlay is above, below, on top or whatever, all that has been described is labor intensive, and require constant attention, and time and effort.
Given that book format, page format and stamp sizes vary all over the place, I have no idea how it could be done with just the use of software.
The current software has a gorgeous level of flexibility, but the drawback is that any overlay project is not feasible.
Now if we forced all of you to fit a single page format...say alike an APS Approval Book of 16 pages all with 3x4 slots..... for each and every page, then it could be done ...but just watch for the revolt among those who post books! Naaahhhh, I am afraid Bobby said it:

"It is just not practical."


rrr...
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01 Aug 2014
09:46:40am

Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

If you haven't put together an approval book, you have no concept of the time involved. I think most sellers are willing to lose a few buyers rather than rescan everything after a few items sell. I do apologize to those buyers who are disappointed when the item is sold, but there is a super simple solution - check out new books right away rather than waiting until they are picked over, eh? Problem solved! Happy

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01 Aug 2014
10:20:45am
re: Where are all the bidders?

For all the complaints about absent bidders, I've received a rash of complaints about winning bidders not paying.

Please, folks, let's remember several things.

First, both BUYER and SELLER should PAY ATTENTION. If you listed a lot, pay attention to who wins in; if you bid, pay attention to whether you win it. If you sell, or if you win, take responsibility for contacting your counterpart.

Second, a bid is a contract. One member recently won a lot but decided he didn't want it once the invoice arrived. May I say, pointedly and without exception, that is not a unilateral decision one can make. If you have buyer's remorse, you may inquire about cancelling your bid, but it's up to the seller. Your carelessness or fickleness or whatever not only inconviences the seller, it skews others who were interested in bidding. Even worse, it give ME extra work and headaches.

If you have questions about how the auctions work, or your responsibility as a participant, ask BEFORE you do something you ought not do or wish you hadn't.

David, the auctioneer

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01 Aug 2014
04:52:49pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

The same rules apply to purchases made from the approval books as well.

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Stampaholic
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02 Aug 2014
09:49:06am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

Actually, I was thinking of a song by "The Kingston Trio": "Where have all the Bidders gone?".Big Grin

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04 Aug 2014
09:05:36pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I have an idea.(good or bad you decide).Thinking
If we had one collector(not stamp collector) but a collector of invoices. Once a month all the sellers send by email all the invoices. The collector sorts all the invoices to buyers. Some buyers might have one invoice or several. The seller would send all the stamps that sold (each marked to buyer)to the collector. The collector would add the total of the invoice plus divide the postage for mailing and PayPal fee. The collector (with a fee for his work) would sort all the stamps to each seller and send them to them with one postage AFTER THE SELLER PAYS THE INVOICE.
So seller pays one postage for stamps to collector. And collector pays on postage for all the stamps from all the sellers.
Just my 2 stamps worth.
Jerry

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04 Aug 2014
10:02:44pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

@ Jerry:

Members have to keep in mind that this is a volunteer organization, and tasks which seem so simple and workable to their "inventor" may actually represent a big investment in time and energy. In this case, since your idea involves money, it would also be a huge pain!

The systems that we have in place work well. If sellers aren't happy with the number of sales they have, and occasionally have difficulty getting payment, then they need to decide if they want to continue. It is not up to other members to rescue them. If their goal is to make a living selling stamps and postal history, then Stamporama isn't the place to do that.

Bob

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ThePhilatelist

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04 Aug 2014
10:02:54pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"I have an idea."


Prima facie, I think this is a good idea (didn't someone else also mention this before?). The big unknown here is - how many invoices are generated per month. The idea can work if the sellers package their orders/invoices clearly.

If the idea takes off, I would be willing to volunteer as the collector on an experimental basis (say, till December). The only compensation I will demand is for the actual costs I incur (postage and stationery). Indeed, I figure that will be the most complex part of the setup. Also, I would be unwilling to do this for buyers outside the US (sorry, but filling customs forms is unappealing).

What's in it for me? Getting stamps postmarked from different parts of the United States!

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david13617
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04 Aug 2014
11:21:05pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

As a current active bidder, I'd like to chime in with my buyer's viewpoint. I have made many purchases in the last 3 months from several posters to this thread as well as others and indeed have made buys from the OP. (Thank you BottomFish for graciously allowing me to "run up the tab" with new selections!)And thanks to all of you who have spent the time to create the approval books and auction listings- that requires a lot of time and effort.

I can't speak for other buyers, but I'm in a position to expand my collection and add some lower as well as mid-range stamps.But before long most of the low end stamps will be found, so the search will be on for higher value items.

The most helpful listings are those that identify the stamp by catalog number, and for approvals, pages that indicate the range of catalog numbers covered or the topic. It's difficult to cull through hundreds of stamps in random order to find one that is needed.

It is observed that most of the approvals are for low value stamps. This is fine for beginning collectors or those expanding to a new collecting area, but once these have been obtained it is difficult to find enough stamps to warrant paying the shipping and handling fees. I went to one of this thread's contributors and loved the layout of the approval books and diligently went through the listings to find that I only needed 8 stamps of the myriad listed; so the cost per stamp after shipping went from about $.08 to $.40 which was enough to sway my decision.

My suggestion is that sellers include some higher end stamps (if available) on approval or auction so that the total purchase price can justify the shipping fees. And of course, the more items the seller has available, the more likely buyers will find sufficient volume to purchase.

And of course, allowing buyers to keep open their purchase order to accumulate enough items is important also and should by mentioned in the listings.

I see many stamps that are listed a multitude of times, so it is not surprising that they are slow sellers. But it seems that some stamps (particularly the U.S. numbers 1700-3000 which I have been looking for) seem to sell quickly; and I've missed some approvals cause I was away for a day or two.

One day I hope to be a seller here, so I appreciate all the advice of the posters here and the availability of these great tools. And thanks again to all the sellers- it truly must be a labor of love.

David

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Liz

04 Aug 2014
11:50:18pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

If I were to sort all the stamps by invoice & by purchaser, I've already done all the work, except to slip the stamps into an envelope, apply a stamp to the envelope and send the envelope on its way to the purchaser.

In some cases my buyers have 80-100 items on an invoice and they want these put on stock sheets in the order as shown on the invoice.

People are complaining now because mail delivery times are so slow without having to ship to another person and have a further delay of several days before the purchaser sees his/her stamps.

I do not like the idea of having a third person involved at all. I can't imagine having dozens of envelopes arriving every month, each containing invoices and stamps and then having to sort this all out and forward same to the buyers. Sounds to me like trying to add more steps to the process when what we already have in place works just fine.

Liz



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05 Aug 2014
06:10:08pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

If I was a new member and read these messages, I would wonder if this club is the one I would be in. It does not paint a very good picture SOR. Let give some ideas to help this problem.

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

05 Aug 2014
06:35:15pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"If I was a new member and read these messages, I would wonder if this club is the one I would be in. It does not paint a very good picture SOR. Let give some ideas to help this problem."


Frankly, I do not see a problem. SOR is a club comprised of like minded people who want a venue to talk stamps, trade stamps, buy stamps and sell stamps - all to facilitate our enjoyment of the hobby and enhance our collections. SOR was never intended to be a profit motivated enterprise for itself or for its members.

There are plenty of venues out there (Ebay, Bidstart, Delcampe) where you can get the bells and whistles you ask for, and where there is a sufficiently sizable audience to promote active and profitable bidding on auction lots. Of course, you pay fees, and it is highly unlikely you would be able to have auction lots which are comprised of lesser valued stamps starting (and usually ending) at a few cents.

I like the laid back atmosphere of SOR where sellers can place at auction the most common stamps, and likewise buy same, to grow their collections, and where, at the same time, we exchange friendly banter and grow our knowledge without fear of recrimination for our lack of expertise. I like being able to ask "dumb questions" and get answers which are not condescending or sarcastic.

Just my Image Not Found worth.

-Bobby

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Bobstamp
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05 Aug 2014
06:44:01pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Perhaps we need a reality check: Members of Stamporama are people. Not all people are organized or honest or knowledgeable about philately. Ergo, some Stamporama members will forget to pay, pay late, refuse to pay. Some will complain about the service they get, about the stamps they receive, or the length of time it takes to receive them. Some will be a pleasure to work with, others will be a pain.

Stamporama's sellers are people. Not all people are organized or honest or knowledgeable about philately. Some sellers will be tardy in dealing with sales, will package their stamps in an unsafe manner, send the wrong stamps. Some may incorrectly identify stamps or intentionally or unintentionally mislead potential buyers about their condition. (I will hasten to say that I myself have never had a problem with a Stamporama seller, which is more than I can say about dealers in other venues, though even there problems have been minor and few.)
If someone comes to Stamporama expecting perfection, then they'd better go elsewhere. I think that we have accomplished a remarkable task in creating an easy-to-use web site with a minimum of rules and an abundance of reason and friendship. There is nothing broken about the organization. Sellers (and buyers) face the same problems that they will find anywhere in a free-market economy, whether it's in a monster like Amazon or eBay or a mom-and-pop stamp shop.

As for sellers who don't pay after a reasonable time, just drop 'em. Life is too short to put up with idiots.

Bob

P.S. As for the suggestion to have a "collector" accumulate invoices and collect money, well, hey, let's keep it simple, OK?

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05 Aug 2014
08:01:00pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"What's in it for me? Getting stamps postmarked from different parts of the United States!"



What's in it for you is complete liability for any shipments that do not make it to the buyer.

"If I were to sort all the stamps by invoice & by purchaser, I've already done all the work, except to slip the stamps into an envelope, apply a stamp to the envelope and send the envelope on its way to the purchaser. "



Exactly, so where is the problem? Why the need for a "clearing house" to receive and ship items that would have been received by the buyer in the amount of time that it takes to send the items to the "clearing house". Then, it will take additional time (days) to repack the items to send to individual buyers, and the seller has to pay for this handling, which will add to the cost of selling.

"I have an idea.(good or bad you decide)."



You posted your idea, and invited others to comment on it for "good or bad". You opened the door and then get defensive, because people are not in favor of your idea, and attack the membership doing so. Where does discussion not "paint a good picture of SOR"? It is the discussion that in fact paints a good picture. The members get to discuss and are part of the decision making process here. Don't poo poo the membership by telling them that you wouldn't want to be a member here if you already weren't a member. What's keeping you here? Probably the same thing that keeps others here and what attracts new members as well. Think about that when you ask for opinions. At least here you can post ideas for others to consider, and usually get an intelligent discussion. Don't ruin it with defensiveness. If you can't accept it if people don't agree with you, then don't ask for their opinions.
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05 Aug 2014
09:09:25pm

Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

The biggest problem with communicating via typed messages like this is that we miss all the information we receive when we talk to a person face to face - the look on their face, the tone of voice, body posture, etc etc. It is so easy to misinterpret and take things the wrong way. Lord knows I am the queen of this mistake! I've found myself all huffy or teary over something meant in a totally benign way.

My new Mantra trying to break myself of this - "It's all good! take a deep breath!"

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06 Aug 2014
01:31:04am
re: Where are all the bidders?

I haven't really been a part of this discussion but thought I'd add a few words.

First, many sellers have an open policy of a month or 2 months or whatever as they know they will be placing new approvals or auctions online but they don't have the time "right this minute."

Second, I've had this done both ways as both a buyer and a seller. After someone has purchased something from me, say an approval book but I notice it's only one or two stamps and I know I don't have time to put up more of the same country immediately, I'll contact them and ask them if they have other interests which I can put into an approval book for their consideration. Also since the majority of my approvals I keep at $0.05 a piece with a few exceptions of higher value material, if they tell me they have specific interests or stamps that I know I have available but haven't gotten to yet, I'll put a scan together and send it to them and if they wish to purchase any of them, that's their choice. Likewise I've had sellers offer me that option. What would be a $1.25 postage for a $0.05 stamp could end up being a small packet that's worth the $1.25 and each of us is happy.

As for going through published approval books and finding an item I like only to discover it's been sold - well, that's life. As a seller when I'm active in approvals I could have up to a dozen books online - I don't have time to go through and mark SOLD on every item. I'm active in a lot of other areas of SOR which takes up a considerable amount of time, I also have a personal life and when opportunity arises, I actually get to work on my own collection.

This is a club guys. This isn't a business venture. Why waste our time on petty things when we can actually be having Philatelic conversations?

Again, not pointing fingers at anyone and I only skimmed the discussion on my phone which to read the discussion I have to move the page over so I don't even know who makes what comment.

Just my nickel's worth of thoughts.

Kelly

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06 Aug 2014
05:02:50pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

" .... But before long most of the low end stamps will be found, so the search will be on for higher value items. ....

David, I have been a active, adult collector for almost fifty years and a young collector for the ten or twelve years prior to the reawakening of my interest in stamps.
Depending on what one defines as "low value," there are easily more than 400,000 such issues.
While I often amuse myself dreaming of the day when I might have all the low end" or even almost all, I suspect I'd need to live another seventy-five years to do that. I continually find lots in the auction and the approval books that fill a long overlooked space among older pages as well as many spaces among the more recent issues.
Considering the rate at which agencies print new issues there will always be "low end" issues to consider.

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

06 Aug 2014
05:30:26pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

" ... If I were to sort all the stamps by invoice & by purchaser, I've already done all the work, except to slip the stamps into an envelope, apply a stamp to the envelope and send the envelope on its way to the purchaser. ..."
I agree, Liz, and the original idea of the approval section in particular is to provide a place to offer the piles of inexpensive items that we all have cluttering up our desks and closet shelves with a minimum of work. I notice several approval books that are far more detailed than is required, but that is the seller's choice.
I suppose that would be different when a group of higher cost lots are concerned.

" ....In some cases my buyers have 80-100 items on an invoice and they want these put on stock sheets in the order as shown on the invoice...."
Some folks are finicky, but please do not ever go to that trouble for me, as far as I'm concerned, an envelope with stamps in a glassine, mixed or not, is just fine. In fact, when I receive an envelope with 30 or 40 stamps or more, from a repeat seller, the invoice goes in a file drawer to gather dust. Only occasionally do I go down the invoice item by item.

"... People are complaining now because mail delivery times are so slow without having to ship to another person and have a further delay of several days before the purchaser sees his/her stamps. ...."
I agree with that for sure. I am not sure why envelopes that cross the US-Canadian border, in either direction, do often take an inordinate amount of time to reach a destination, but it sometimes increases the pleasant surprise when some stamps arrive that I forgot I won. On the positive side, it seems that sooner or later payments sent, or lots won do arrive undamaged.

" .... I do not like the idea of having a third person involved at all...."
A sense of politeness and club courtesy prevents me from saying that this is borderline insanity.

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

06 Aug 2014
05:38:03pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"... If I was a new member and read these messages, I would wonder if this club is the one I would be in. It does not paint a very good picture SOR. Let give some ideas to help this problem. ...."
I agree with Bobby's response, I do not see any significant problem when a group of fellow collectors express politely and candidly their opinions and suggestions of how to make the stamp fellowship more rewarding.

And, having been in other stamp groups over time I find SoR to be especially congenial.
Shucks, they even put up with me !!!

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07 Aug 2014
07:42:44am
re: Where are all the bidders?

If one was to win a bid on one or two stamps. The buyer could ask the seller to hold those stamps for or him/her until more purchases are made then combine the orders. I have ask sellers to hold the order like that before and that has worked well for me.

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07 Aug 2014
09:15:41am
re: Where are all the bidders?

"If one was to win a bid on one or two stamps. The buyer could ask the seller to hold those stamps for or him/her until more purchases are made then combine the orders. I have ask sellers to hold the order like that before and that has worked well for me. "



And if push comes to shove, and you end up with 25¢ worth of stamps and a $1.30 shipping fee, I know of no seller on SOR who would not permit you to cancel the transaction should you so desire. After all, with no listing fees, selling fees, membership fees, or fees by any other name, what's the harm? Can any other site make these claims?

Bobby

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amsd
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07 Aug 2014
11:28:18am
re: Where are all the bidders?

I don't dispute any of these claims about the generosity and good will of our members. I will remind bidders, though, that revisions to a successful bid are at the sole discretion of the seller, unless otherwise indicated in the seller's terms. I would also ask that you consider that when thinking of bidding so that you're not asking sellers to unduly revise and resubmit listings you are contractually obligated to purchase.

David the auctioneer

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07 Aug 2014
01:37:11pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Sorry, David. My comments were not meant to imply a Buyer does not have an ethical and legal obligation to pay for auction lots won. I agree that bidders should not enter bids unless they have read and agree to the Seller's terms of purchase, including S&H costs. I guess I am just trying to put an end to this topic as I am tired of the whining over a few cents here and there.

Bobby

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07 Aug 2014
04:18:10pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Hi Everyone;

I'm not complaining! Sold 107 lots today, and that makes 166 since June 2nd.

I need to list faster!
Ken Tall Pines

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Liz

07 Aug 2014
04:55:17pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

I'm not complaining either! July was my best month of this year for sales thanks to my regular bidders and a few new members who have joined Stamporama during the past few months.

Liz

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07 Aug 2014
05:01:16pm

Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

No complaints here, either! My last book is doing great :-)

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08 Aug 2014
09:10:02pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I would like to bid on more stamps but I noticed that there are a few sellers that don't accept PayPal or credit cards, and thats the way I like to pay. I'm not sure why these sellers chose to go that route. It is very convenient for me to settle up with a seller using PayPal.

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08 Aug 2014
11:06:12pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

PayPal seems to be like religion. Either you believe in it or you don't. I do. PayPal, that is. I've been using it for years without the slightest problem, and it is VERY convenient! Once I bought an auction lot, paid for it with PayPal, but didn't receive the stamp. When the seller failed to respond to my emails, I called PayPal and got a refund minus a dollar or so. A small price to pay for the ease of using that service. I tend to vote with my money. If a seller won't accept PayPal, I usually don't bid.

Bob

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Liz

08 Aug 2014
11:07:20pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

rwarde - WHY DO SELLERS NOT ACCEPT PAYPAL???? Most of the times you will find that the reason why a person does not accept PayPal is because of the high fees that PayPal charge the seller for receiving funds (a 30c fee per transaction and approximately 2.9$ to 3.9% of the total amount is taken by PayPal from every transaction that is credited to the seller's PayPal account).

I have no idea what is involved for an individual to be able to accept credit card payments. I would assume you would have to be a business and set this up with the bank you deal with by purchasing equipment, software, etc. to enable you to accept credit cards and then pay the bank a fee and/or percentage of each transaction.

Liz




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Bobstamp
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08 Aug 2014
11:32:08pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Good point, Liz, and one that I should have considered. My apologies. I have never been a seller in Stamporama. Tried years ago to sell approvals, and pretty much went bust. Selling stamps is not for sissies!

When I had my photography studio, I did take credit cards, and it was a major pain, and expensive. But my sales were a lot higher than they would be for most vest-pocket dealers. It's probably easier dealing with credit cards on-line than it was then, before the internet.

Bottom line, Stamporama sellers probably shouldn't worry about pleasing all of their potential customers. In fact, it's not possible.

Bob

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rrraphy
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08 Aug 2014
11:40:25pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Don't know if you all have seen it, but I myself just recently discovered this feature, on the Approval Book first (cover) page, and it is a terrific tool:

"New Books Notification Subscription

If you would like to subscribe to the New Approval Books Email Notifications for this seller, that are emailed once each day, press: -------------"


Tim, you are terrific!

Now I won't miss anything posted newly by my favorite Approval Books sellers! It takes time to build a critical transaction level, at 10c an item, so this really helps. Getting there early does help!

Now Kelly, you won't miss anything newly posted either.

" As for going through published approval books and finding an item I like only to discover it's been sold - well, that's life. As a seller when I'm active in approvals I could have up to a dozen books online - I don't have time to go through and mark SOLD on every item. I'm active in a lot of other areas of SOR which takes up a considerable amount of time....etc
"


By the way, I really liked your comments above.

rrr...

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ThePhilatelist

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09 Aug 2014
01:20:16am
re: Where are all the bidders?

"WHY DO SELLERS NOT ACCEPT PAYPAL???? Most of the times you will find that the reason why a person does not accept PayPal is because of the high fees that PayPal charge the seller for receiving funds"



But that is part of business, and some sellers include that into the shipping fees and / or have a minimum charge for Paypal acceptability. Other sellers mention outright that Paypal fees will be added on. All are fair methods to tide over the Paypal "problem". But there is no justification for not offering Paypal as an option at all. Now, residents in some countries may be disallowed from using Paypal, and that is the only case when I can sympathize with the seller.

For me, safety and security are paramount. Cash is always risky, sending credit card information over unsecured channels can equally turn into suicide. And sending personal cheques (checks) involves exposing bank account numbers. Each method disseminates more personal information than Paypal, where all that is shared is an email address.

I am also in love with Paypal, and will never pay using any other method. No stamp, however desirable, is worth that amount of risk for me.
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Ningpo
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09 Aug 2014
07:23:55am
re: Where are all the bidders?

rwarde wrote:

"I would like to bid on more stamps but I noticed that there are a few sellers that don't accept PayPal or credit cards, and thats the way I like to pay. I'm not sure why these sellers chose to go that route. It is very convenient for me to settle up with a seller using PayPal."



Unfortunately, those of us from abroad are out on a limb in this situation. There have been a few lots I have had to pass over because of this.

I guess that using the 'gift' option on Paypal (which does not attract a charge to the recipient) is not an option, unless such payments are infrequent.

This gift option is used all the time on another board to which I belong. However, the sellers are not business sellers and don't sell in an auction format (offered more as a 'buy it now' type format).

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philb
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09 Aug 2014
11:50:13am

Auctions
re: Where are all the bidders?

I am here everyday...Buy,Sell,Trade !!! It took a while but i am making contacts !!!

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09 Aug 2014
12:15:38pm

Auctions
re: Where are all the bidders?

Its true Paypal incurs a cost...but people pay for convenience nowadays...i can not make a two mile round trip to the bank in my truck to cash a 3 dollar check for 30 cents !Big Hug

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09 Aug 2014
01:14:36pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

And, of course, cheques are often prohibitively expensive to cash once they cross international borders.

Bob

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09 Aug 2014
02:14:25pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

it seems that we've covered a lot of territory here, and it seems that we need to offer the stamps that people want at the prices they are willing to pay and conclude transactions with the speed and convenience we have come to expect.... or not.

Past discussions also tell us that some people will not bid if a BIN offer is there and others wont if the shipping cost is either too expensive, in general, or as unit of sale.

David

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09 Aug 2014
06:54:17pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

If some one pays 49 cents for postage to send a check, or pays 30+ cents for PayPal. It makes a good deal for PayPal.

Ps. Sorry about being a downer at the begging, I had no one to blow off steam.

YOU ALL ARE A GREAT BUNCH OF PEOPLE.
Your Stampbudy.
Jerry

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Liz

09 Aug 2014
07:16:24pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

"I had no one to blow off steam"



Jerry - That reminds me of the time I was talking (almost screaming) in a VERY loud voice when my daughter walked through the door. She looked around to see who else was in the room. I was talking to the walls & myself! D'Oh

It's a great way of letting of steam Happy

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09 Aug 2014
07:50:37pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Jerry, have no fear - we don't kick out "venters" Winking

Kelly

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09 Aug 2014
08:35:58pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"Jerry, have no fear - we don't kick out "venters""



Yeah, for real. If that happened, I know of one person who would have been gone a long time ago. Thinking

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09 Aug 2014
08:57:53pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Michael - tee hee - I wonder... LOL

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I have a large Referance collection. macravenmad

04 Feb 2018
04:10:03pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

With both the auction and approval books just putting a pitcher of the stamp means nothing to me. Some people say it is too much work to do put the catalog number down! However unless it is just a glassines filled with 250* stamps for a few dollars it not worth me spending hours of going thru a book to see if I don't already have a stamp, most dealers will list catalog even for low catalog stamps. There are dealers who list the scott number or sometimes other catalogs numbers when needed. So when I find a dealer who list the numbers I'll buy from them. Also most people on SOR are not new to the hobby. Because it would take to long for me to find stamps in an approval or auction list without catalog numbers. I only stick with the people who list them. You want people to buy from you, take a little time to list the catalog number.

I hope that answers why less people seem to be buying from SOR.

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05 Feb 2018
04:36:18am
re: Where are all the bidders?

Just taking a break whilst I sort a few logistical issues (humidity and printer issues) - once these are resolved I will be back bidding

Regards


Richmond

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michael78651
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05 Feb 2018
11:38:10am
re: Where are all the bidders?

#1

" I only stick with the people who list them."



I think most of us find the sellers whom we like the most, and buy from them. Nothing wrong with that. If a seller doesn't provide what you need to easily make a purchase, then you should skip over that seller. There are plenty of sellers here.

#2

"take a little time to list the catalog number"



Don't forget that Stamporama has a large contingent of members who live outside the United States. Those people use catalogs too, but most likely do not use the Scott catalogs. Do you buy from sellers who list stamps with a Gibbons or Michel number? I doubt that many outside the USA will be able to afford, or even want to pay to get a Scott catalog. The catalogs in their own countries aren't cheap either.

Should a buyer purchase the other catalogs such as Gibbons or Michel for the sellers who meet your requirement of including a catalog number (albeit a non-Scott number, but a catalog number none-the-less)? I think that would be an unrealistic expectation, which brings us back to #1. Let that be your guide and go with the sellers who provide what you need so that you can enjoy your buying process the best.

Michael
Auctioneer

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

05 Feb 2018
01:32:17pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

Well said Micheal:-


"Don't forget that Stamporama has a large contingent of members who live outside the United States. Those people use catalogs too, but most likely do not use the Scott catalogs. Do you buy from sellers who list stamps with a Gibbons or Michel number? I doubt that many outside the USA will be able to afford, or even want to pay to get a Scott catalog. The catalogs in their own countries aren't cheap either.
"




Also please see the thread "What drives me Nutz"
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05 Feb 2018
02:02:08pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

" ... I think most of us find the sellers whom we like the most, and buy from them. ..."

Exactamundo !

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05 Feb 2018
02:11:36pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

It would be nice if the year of issue was included in the Title of the of the auction item.

What drives me nuts is seller that type as little information in the title of the lot. If you want to sell the item put some information in the title. eg. Mint or Used, Country.

Also the sellers who when they send you an invoice you fine addition cost that they did not mention in the listing or their terms.

"I think most of us find the sellers whom we like the most, and buy from them."



I agree that I buy from sellers who provide information that makes me want to check out there stamps.

Doug

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05 Feb 2018
02:38:54pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

"send you an invoice you fin[d] addition[al] cost that they did not mention in the listing or their terms."



Hidden fees are not permitted. If a seller's fees are not disclosed in the terms and conditions and/or item description, then shipping fees (where this most likely applies/occurs) are defaulted by rule to actual postage cost only with no other shipping/handling fees permitted.

Michael
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philb
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05 Feb 2018
05:22:03pm

Auctions
re: Where are all the bidders?

Theres an ebb and flow to the bidding ...at times it can be quiet but sooner or later new folks show up.

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10 Mar 2018
07:25:58pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I am buying less a couple of reasons, approval pages mounted in disorder with no catalog numbers ( any catalog would do) and this business of not using current stamps on the sending. I am paying the postage and do not need more older common stamps.

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musicman
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APS #213005

11 Mar 2018
09:03:25am
re: Where are all the bidders?

James makes a valid point;

a lot of buyers would prefer in-period use of the stamps on the receiving cover, either for the cover or just the current stamp.

I tend to do both ways - older stamps when I have them, newest when I don't.

Maybe knowing /asking your buyer would help.

....or even the seller - I haven't sold on here in a long time, but I often sent payment thru snail-mail.

I should ask the receiver which they would prefer....or IF they have a preference....I'll have to remember to do that from now on.

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11 Mar 2018
10:04:21am
re: Where are all the bidders?

Reading over the comments from 4 years ago and seeing the names of some no longer with us tugged at my heartstrings. Just a shout out to voices of the past who are both on the spiritual plane and those still on this plane. You are all missed, but one's journey is sacred and to be embraced. Just saying!!
Best,
Dan C.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

11 Mar 2018
11:42:48am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

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

The HARSH REALITY of not getting current stamps on your packages is that:-

MANY Post Offices do not have current commemorative stamps. In fact they refuse to put on stamps at all and use Machine Labels.

WHY?

They get PAID MORE for using Machine Labels.

The majority of sellers try to use current stamps!

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11 Mar 2018
12:31:08pm

Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

Ian does have a point. If I were to go to my PO (which I do not for any reason other than to pick up my mail) they often do not have current stamps. In fact twice recently when I went to get international airmail stamps, they had none of those, no $1, and nothing other than first class booklets. Of no use as I would have had to add other stamps to the forever stamps anyway. I was buying discount postage all along for my first class mailings (2 stamp combos as they are called) for 70% face. I added international airmail to my discount buying now. Takes 4 stamps, but 70% face. Not worth the time to wait at the counter to hear the words "we have nothing". Their loss.

Greg

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bobstew617
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11 Mar 2018
02:23:24pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

As a buyer, having stamps on the envelope is nice, but is a nonissue for me. Why? More than 1/2 the time, the stamps are not cancelled (or worse, gone through with a sharpie!)

I have to confess I am not buying as much on here because I am 1) buying more at HipStamp, and 2) I am more comfortable buying at shows than I used to.

BOB

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Dakota
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11 Mar 2018
04:14:06pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

I hear you Greg.

I went to our Post Office the other day to mail an APS Circuit. I wanted to buy some Priority Mail stamps and $2 stamps. They were out of both. The International rate that they had were the older moon type. They get very few of the newer stamps except for booklets.

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11 Mar 2018
08:47:31pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Last week clerks at my post office told me that they had new stamps in, but are not allowed to sell them until they sell out all the old stamps first. I was able to buy the new priority mail stamp, but they were not allowed to sell me the new $25 Express Mail stamp.

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons

12 Mar 2018
01:19:00pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Where are all the bidders?

Where are all the Bidders?

It is nothing new!

This thread originated in July 2014!!!!!!!

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12 Mar 2018
01:31:14pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

that's a long time to hide, no?

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12 Mar 2018
02:38:32pm
re: Where are all the bidders?

Good point, Ian!

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BOTTOM_FISH_2006

19 Jul 2014
04:46:33pm

SorryIt Wasn't Me
Just being a downer on how few bidders that us sellers are getting.
I just don't remember that low of bidders we a having.
I know it is the peak of vacation time, but did any one turn the lights out when they left?Big Grin

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19 Jul 2014
04:59:12pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I'm sure things will liven up - have no fear. I know there are a number of members who have been having health/family issues that are usually in the loop (including myself) but we'll come around and spend our money soon enough Winking Yes, indeed, it is also vacation time for so many people. I've noticed among my own friends the difference this year as to when people are vacationing.

Kelly

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copy55555

26 Jul 2014
12:30:41pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

In my case, I sometimes see a stamp that I would like - but it is the only one from a particular seller and is priced at 10 cents. Unless I can find a bunch of other low priced items from the same seller, or a more expensive item, I can't bid because I have to factor in the shipping charge. If the shipping is $1 then $1.10 as a total price for the stamp is much too high. I'm not complaining about shipping charges. $1.30 from Canada is reasonable considering the reality of postal shipping costs. But if a seller has only one or two inexpensive items that interest me, then I have to pass. This also applies to the approval section. Some sellers have a single page with about 20 inexpensive items. If you find the one 5 cent stamp you need to complete a set, are you willing to pay that plus shipping to get it or will you wait to see if another copy shows up in the future in a better mix with others that you also need?

I apologize for my long rambling comment. Still very early in the morning and I haven't finished my first cup of coffee.

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Bobstamp

26 Jul 2014
01:39:39pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I agree wholeheartedly with Copy55555. I too often see individual stamps in the auction or in an approval book that I would love to have, but can't see buying them because they just aren't worth the cost of shipping and the (minor) hassle. In fact, I don't often view the auction lots or approval books because I know that I'm unlikely to find enough stamps from any one seller to make it worthwhile. I would much rather buy a set or small lot of stamps that includes the stamp or stamps I'd like to have.

One of the things I really dislike about the approval books is that images of sold stamp remain, and I don't know if they have been sold until I scroll down to the bottom of the page. I've been disappointed way too many times to even want to continue shopping there.

Bob

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tuscany4me

26 Jul 2014
01:45:27pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I Ditto Bobstamp and Copy55555

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michael78651

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26 Jul 2014
02:04:17pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

You could always contact the seller and see if an adjustment of the shipping fee could be made for a small purchase.

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Bobstamp

26 Jul 2014
02:10:18pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I think that the auction and approval books in their current formats is OK for novice collectors who are mainly looking to fill album pages (although even for them, the fact that the images of sold stamps don't disappear from the approval books can't be very helpful or encouraging). For "advanced" collectors, however, I don't think they're of much value, especially considering they have to invest quite a lot of time on the slim chance that they'll find anything they want or need.

Bob


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ThePhilatelist

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26 Jul 2014
02:23:48pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"You could always contact the seller and see if an adjustment of the shipping fee could be made for a small purchase."


To be fair to the sellers, I think it is more troublesome to package one stamp than it is to package hundreds. Asking for a shipping discount, then, is just rubbing the salt in. The only opening I can see is when the buyer and seller live nearby and decide to forgo shipping and prefer pickup.

"For "advanced" collectors, however, I don't think they're of much value"


I don't know what you mean by an advanced collector. If one want to buy something where they wish the seller to describe it (eg. Penny Black from a specific plate) then the low-cost approvals are not for you. But if you are looking for "interesting" material (how can one describe a postmark one doesn't even know exists?) then there is no substitute for looking at a million examples to find the right one. To classify the explorer as a novice collector is, in my opinion, unwarranted.

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michael78651

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26 Jul 2014
02:35:04pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I often reduce my shipping rates if the purchase is small and the postage will not be that much (less than two ounces), AND the buyer doesn't use PayPal. That would cause a net negative on the sale.

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Bobstamp

26 Jul 2014
02:59:17pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

ThePhilatelist said,

I don't know what you mean by an advanced collector. If one want to buy something where they wish the seller to describe it (eg. Penny Black from a specific plate) then the low-cost approvals are not for you. But if you are looking for "interesting" material (how can one describe a postmark one doesn't even know exists?) then there is no substitute for looking at a million examples to find the right one. To classify the explorer as a novice collector is, in my opinion, unwarranted.

I certainly didn't intend to classify anyone as anything! I have often gone "exploring" for stamps and covers, here on Stamporama and elsewhere. My only point is that experienced collectors with large collections have to spend a lot of time on Stamporama with the slim hope that they're going to find something they can add to their collections. I don't bother much any more because I can generally find material with less effort on other venues.

Bob

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bobstew617

26 Jul 2014
07:26:47pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I would agree with copy55555 that if I only see a couple of items I want from a seller, I may pass. It really does depend on how much I would need a particular stamp, though. If there is a stamp that would fill a set, I would work much harder to look through all the lots the seller is offering. I would take advantage of the watch list, though. It is very easy on this siteThumbs Up to watch an item and then wait and see if if other lots from that seller are of interest.

One thing I do when I am looking at a "new seller" is to click on their member name and read their profile, (which may show other clubs and associations the member belongs to) and especially, how many items they have sold. It's right there in their profile. Another influencing factor for me is how active they are in the discussion forums. The more I see someone in there, the more comfortable I would probably be in buying from them.

I would say also that I happen to know a number of members from other sites (BidStart, Wensy, etc..) and I already am familiar with their selling history.

My other comment is--to get more bidders, let your other stamp contacts know about SOR. I trade with several collectors outside SOR (and a number for many years) and told them to check out the site. So far, one has joined, and she has jumped feet first into the auctions (buying and selling).

Last, while at first I missed the feedback system, I am totally comfortable without it now, so I would echo what others have already said--it's not needed.

BOB in ORLANDO

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cocollectibles

27 Jul 2014
07:50:45am

re: Where are all the bidders?

What would be truly innovative in stamp selling is to use a modified "Fulfillment by Amazon" model. Different sellers with low cost items keep an inventory list of their stamps for sale and send the stamps to a clearinghouse for shipment. So if the buyer buys one stamp from Seller 1 and two stamps from Seller 2, the clearinghouse has the stamps and ships all three stamps for one shipping price. The sellers get paid monthly by the clearinghouse, the sellers get paid, the buyers get their stamps at reduced combined shipping cost, and everyone is happy.

Just a rambling thought.

And no, I'm not volunteering to be the clearinghouse!

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Mike
27 Jul 2014
11:00:27am

re: Where are all the bidders?

Good thing you are not volunteering for that job, Peter, smart move on your part. While that sounds like a good program to explore, think about the costs involved in such an endeavor. First, the expenses involved would raise the cost of the stamps astronomically, since most "fulfillment centers" charge a minimum of $2.95, or so, for shipping alone, but it sounds like a good idea.

Realistically, since most "stamps", which are the biggest majority of SOR sales, sell for just a couple of bucks, or less, (67¢ last month), what would be called an "advanced" stamp and how many stamps are readily available for those we would call "advanced collectors"? We have many stamps listed almost every week, that I would venture to say are there for advanced collectors, but certainly anyone could bid on them, why do the auctions usually end with those goodies unsold?

As for shipping rates, how can rates be reduced if the fee is just the price of a stamp and an envelope, which is what I charge as a fee for my lots of one ounce or less. Since each seller must determine what they need to charge for shipping stamps, based on how they accomplish that task, I can't speak for them.

Actually I think this lull in buying is in relation to what usually happens in Florida this time of year, since I can't speak for the rest of the states. That is just the good old summer doldrums that happen every year and does effect the economy of the state. We still have a lot of visitors here, but we call them the "station wagon" crowd, that comes to Disney and other resorts, stay in cheap motels and eat breakfast and sandwiches, sometimes in their rooms, to save money. Not that there is anything wrong with that, we've done that ourselves, just to be able to have a Florida vacation.

Mike

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Makazi

28 Jul 2014
12:47:39pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"If the shipping is $1 then $1.10 as a total price for the stamp is much too high. I'm not complaining about shipping charges. $1.30 from Canada is reasonable considering the reality of postal shipping costs"



Shipping from here (Norway, Europe) to pretty much everywhere else is $2-3 USD for a small letter. Then there is the cost of envelope, etc. in addition. So that leaves out most of any sales of cheap stamps. I guess any worth putting up has to be a more expensive stamp or a larger lot of cheap stamps.
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28 Jul 2014
03:11:49pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"Shipping from here (Norway, Europe) to pretty much everywhere else is $2-3 USD for a small letter. Then there is the cost of envelope, etc. in addition. So that leaves out most of any sales of cheap stamps. I guess any worth putting up has to be a more expensive stamp or a larger lot of cheap stamps."



Unfortunately, Makazi, you are correct. It is sad that governments no longer provide inexpensive mail communications for their citizens (even international mail) for letters weighing 2 oz or less. Now all the postal systems worldwide have to make a profit (which they don't anyway).

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Bobstamp

28 Jul 2014
04:44:22pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Not philatelic, but germane to the discussion: A few years ago, I decided to send a small CD player to my mother (from Vancouver to her home in New Mexico) but had to change my mind when I was told that it would cost more than CAN $50 to do so. I probably hadn't paid more than $35 or $40 dollars for it.

I don't think we can blame postal departments for such high costs, although they probably are partly to blame. More significant is the high cost of oil, and, really, the high costs of darned near anything!

Bob


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28 Jul 2014
05:01:15pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"I don't think we can blame postal departments for such high costs, although they probably are partly to blame."


Not postal departments per se, but rather the governments, as Bobby said:

"It is sad that governments no longer provide inexpensive mail communications"


One of the countries that still has a very low inland rate is India, with INR 5 supporting a letter delivery across the country. Now, it is unfair to compare that using exchange rate, but it is worth mentioning that the rate has remained the same since 2002.

Now, parcels are a different story altogether, and I reckon those are and always have been expensive. But the sooner our political class realizes that mail system is crucial for the overall economy the better. It is unrealistic to expect basic mail services to make profit. Just like public transit, mail services must also be subsidized.


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grorod

28 Jul 2014
07:46:51pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Hi Everyone
I've been reading the comments here, and just thought I would suggest that when you look through the Approval section and see that the stamp(s) you would like has been sold, it might be worth an e-mail to the seller to see if they have copies of the stamp(s). Just a thought!!!
Gro

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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
28 Jul 2014
09:54:21pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Let me say in preface, that I am not trying to do a self promotion, Bobby, just to offer an approach and some relevant observations based on my experience for Approvals.

Summer is always slow it seems.

As a seller on Approval, I am well aware of the relative cost of shipping as it relates to the low cost of the stamps listed...Heck, at 10 cent a stamp, it takes 100 stamps to reach $10, to justify paying the added shipping charge of about 10%. That is a lot of desired stamps!
My approach has been to send a reminder to buyers of their accumulated purchases, once a month..on the first of the month... but to send an invoice only when the amount is significant or when I am asked by the buyer. I cannot imagine expecting payments immediately, and tacking on the shipping on low purchases. So I think it is quite different than our Auction experience, where we are trained to expect payment immediately.

Let us face it, this is brand new territory that SOR is exploring, and new habits will evolve. Generally, getting the stamps immediately is not an issue for most buyers. This hobby requires patience...and organization, so I suggest you mark your list when you purchase the stamps (or you will forget and buy it more than once..lol) and just wait patiently until the total builds up.

The key, as far as I can tell, is to stock many active Approval Books with plenty of material to chose from, (I aim for 200+ stamps in each, when I can and keeping around 50 active books) and to add new books regularly, as they will invariably bring another look at the older listed material. I don't understand how the sellers who just list an Approval Book for a brief period expect it to work, unless they expect to sell it all instantly. That is Auction, or a vist to a store!
In the old APS Approval via mail approach, the books traveled by regular mail for years between prospective buyers, before being retired.

Here, only books that are well depleted get retired ...(or those that have shown little interest (few views, few sales, even after several price drops)
My older books get their piece prices reduced periodically, (although I am not sure that this alone is enough to bring buyers in).
It has been a bit slower lately, but that is summer, but for Approvals, if you have enough material, people will eventually come look for something..it should not be a concern. Having a Book well organized does also help the buyers, so I admit that I spend extra time making it easier to navigate and explore. (Not a business for sure, as they take quite a bit of time to put together...but have you looked at the time you spend on your collections?)

Also, for the more advanced collector, I also always list a few pages of higher valued stamps, sets, s/s etc.. at the back of the Approval Book. They don't go for $0.05 or $0.10 each, but in the scheme of things, if you worry about relative shipping to purchase ratios, it helps bring the total purchase closer to a level where shipping charges are acceptable.

Any thought on this approach. Any other suggestion? Any recommendation?
Again, not intended as self promotion!

I, like all of you, hate the shipping charges even when they are reasonable..ie reflect postage costs with a minimum for material cost, like at SOR.
At ebay and elsewhere on the net, I just won't buy from overcharging dealers..that is the first thing I look at.

rrr...

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28 Jul 2014
11:50:59pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

For "rrraphy":

I like your approach, Triple R, as it appears - dare I say it - reasonable.
I am a Canadian bidder and buyer only, not a seller. Here are a few stray isotopes from my feeble brain waves.

Shipping and mailing costs are expensive almost globally and not a significant competitive factor for sellers
I would think. Only naïve buyers believe in "free shipping".

Canada Customs & Excise has never levied any duty fees on anything shipped to me from a foreign destination
irrespective of the value amount declared, whether stamps or other imports. (Perhaps it may not be cost effective if the
declaration is less than several thousand dollars.) Consequently, on foreign purchases I am spared paying federal and provincial sales taxes, as well as duty levies, and I apply this "savings" to my shipping/mailing fees. Inexplicably, this makes me feel good.

If I want the stamp, I pay the freight. The Stamporama sellers that I tend to favour usually affix attractive postage,
sometimes with favour cancels, to their mailings, however modest the envelope content, and this, too, makes me feel good.

I have not bid on any stamps this summer as I am playing "catch up" with my unexamined inventory. More activities
seem to compete for my attention in sunny, warmer weather, and stamps are my hobby, not my life.

My best uninformed guess is that, like dandelions, the stamp auction bidders will be back.

John Derry

P.S. Let me stress that I endeavour to shop locally as it hurts my quality of life
whenever a local merchant closes shop for lack of business.


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Liz

29 Jul 2014
12:53:13am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?


What do you mean when you say rural-free-delivery? I live in a rural area and our delivery consists of our mail being dropped into a community box 'somewhere' near our address where we go to pick it up. Parcels, etc. have to be picked up at the one little post office in the center of the island. A card is put in your post box saying that there is something other than a regular sized envelope at the post office for you to pick up. Expedited, registered or special delivery items for which the sender pays a high premium to send is still not delivered to an address. There is a two day delay in delivery due to the postal carrier having to write out that little card, put it in your box with instructions for you not to pick up before 2 p.m. the next day. I have no idea where the item goes between the time that the card is made up and the next afternoon. Maybe it takes that long to walk the item from the back room where they write up the cards to a storage area in that same room?

Items mailed to our rural areas have the same amount of postage applied as any other address in Canada.

Please remember when postage is quoted by a Canadian seller that we do pay an additional tax when purchasing our postage stamps. The tax rate charged by Canada Post varies by each province. The lowest tax rate is 5% and the highest is 15% (Nova Scotia).

Jerry - The bidders are out and about enjoying our summer weather doing something other than staying indoors looking at little pieces of paper. They'll be back when the weather turns miserable.



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DaSaintFan

29 Jul 2014
02:03:32am

re: Where are all the bidders?

I'm with Michael on this one:

"I often reduce my shipping rates if the purchase is small and the postage will not be that much (less than two ounces), AND the buyer doesn't use PayPal. That would cause a net negative on the sale"



If someone were to IM and say... "I only need stamp X", is there anyway you could reduce your postage. Most people I would assume would respond:

"okay, postage on the single stamp is (insert going rate)... so how about just that, in change, so I can put a stamp on an envelope and send it to you.".

Although I'll admit on my first sale, I took a "loss" so to speak on S&H, even without adjusting the rate, simply because the P.O. refused to let me use standard postage on the letter (it didn't even make 2.25 oz).


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philatelia

APS #156650
29 Jul 2014
04:29:02am

Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

"The bidders are out and about enjoying our summer weather doing something other than staying indoors looking at little pieces of paper. They'll be back when the weather turns miserable."



I read this and laughed a bit - Liz, for me the Florida summer IS the miserable part of the year. This is my "winter".

I really enjoyed rrraphy's comments about the approval books. I'm new at the approvals and my experiences after listing around 20 books now mirrors yours. Having multiple books really helps. I've had several people attracted to a new book go back to the older listings and buy a few from here, a few from there, etc. I do the same thing when I buy - I try to find enough to justify the postage. At least as stamp collectors we have the bonus of being able to use the shipping postage in our collections or at least for trading. No other hobby has that luxury.
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Sally
29 Jul 2014
10:48:07am

re: Where are all the bidders?

From a buyer's perspective, I wholeheartedly agree with rrraphy, philatelia, and John Derry. The buyers will return....I haven't touched my stamps since May...just too much going on....vacation, work, kids getting ready for school (one headed to college, one to various band camp activities and high school), and other summertime family obligations.

Having several large, well organized approval books up on the site makes it worthwhile to browse and bid. My last purchase still sits on my stamp desk, waiting to be put in the albums. Why did I buy stamps when I knew I wasn't going to do anything with them for months? Because the approval books made it easy: they were well organized with good photos. I could quickly pull out my album and match up what I needed with what was offered in the books. The seller stated up front that she would hold items until I was done buying from several of her books so that all could be shipped at once. She was very flexible on payment methods as well.

Good photos: extremely important. Large enough to see, not blurry, good background so there is enough contrast to see the stamp edges. It seems like photos have improved as sellers get more practice, but there are still some on the auction that I won't even look at...too small, blurry, or seemingly the same stamp listed in several auction listings.

So, to the Sellers: keep up the good work. The approval books are appreciated. The more the merrier!

Sally

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red-eric-1

A collector since birth

30 Jul 2014
08:19:19am

re: Where are all the bidders?

Hi

I agree wholeheartedly with "rrraphy" re:
"The key, as far as I can tell, is to stock many active Approval Books with plenty of material to chose from."

That's a goal for me - still working on it! In my experience, a buyer usually picks heavily from one book, but often selects a few stamps from some of my other books as well. So, it's nice to have lots of other books for buyers to look at.

Another key, I think, is to be patient. In a few cases, I've had no sales from particular books for the first few weeks, and then all of a sudden the right person comes along and the book is cleaned out. I also expect that things will pick up as we get into the latter part of August, and especially after Labour Day, as collectors start "accumulating" material to work on over the fall/winter months.

Also, as a buyer I tend not to look through books where a good percentage of the material has been sold, as I expect the best stuff has been picked out already. I find the same thing as a seller. Once a book has had substantial sales, the best I can hope for is a few peripheral sales. Does anyone have a % rule of thumb as to when they "retire" books?

Anyway, thanks again to Stamporama for setting up this wonderful approval "system". It's a great way to direct my unwanted stamps to someones collection, and make a few dollars to put back into material for my collection.

Eric

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Bobstamp

30 Jul 2014
01:38:57pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I too agree with rrraphy, who said

""The key, as far as I can tell, is to stock many active Approval Books with plenty of material to chose from.""



Nothing will cause me to leave an approval book faster than learning that a stamp that is shown has already been sold. I may try a few more pages, but if I am confronted with "Sold" notices for even two or three more stamps that I'd like to have, I'm outa there. I wonder if it would be possible to redesign the approval books so that the images of stamps that been sold just disappear when the buyer has committed himself or herself to buying the stamps.

My stamp club gets monthly circuit books from the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada. The stamps that have been bought previously are simply not there, so there's little or no disappointment involved.

Bob
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30 Jul 2014
02:48:05pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Bob,

I didn't design the system, but I can tell you that with the current arrangement, what you ask for is not possible. Because the images of the stamps are not separate, but all on one image of the page, the programming has no way of connecting the portion of the image that contains the stamp in question and the database entry for that stamp which can be tagged as "Sold".

If the stamps were all individual images, it could be done, but producing individual images is far too labour intensive for the seller for such a system to be viable.

I can think of another way to program what you want, but it would require that all stamps be offered on a uniform grid (or one of a selection of identified grids). Then the programming COULD identify the region of the image to tag as "Sold". However, getting the sellers to adopt such uniformity would be a challenge in itself.

Now, if I could only find someone who would work for $2/hr, be able to mount the stamps on stockpages, checking quality as s/he goes, scan them, upload pictures, pull the stamps to fill the order, check quality again, package the order, affix postage and mail them, I could do this in a BIG way!

Roy

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30 Jul 2014
03:18:21pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"Because the images of the stamps are not separate, but all on one image of the page, the programming has no way..."



I haven't sold anything yet, so forgive my ignorance. Is it possible for sellers to update their photos? Can't say for others, but if I were a seller, I would be willing to do so. Drawback: the buyer may want to refer to the image for verification on delivery. I normally copy the images of sheets from where I buy, but doubt many do so.
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30 Jul 2014
04:09:27pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

RE: A lack of bidders;

1.) " .... Summertime and the livin' is easy,
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high,
Your Daddy's rich and your Mama is good lookin',
So, hush, little baby don't you cry,

One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singin',
You're gonna spread your wings and take to the sky, take to the sky,
But until that mornin' there's nothin' that can harm you,
With Daddy and Mommy standin' by. ...."

2.) ".... My bags are packed, I'm ready to go,
I'm standing here outside your door,
I hate to wake you up to say good-bye.
But the dawn is breaking, it's early morn, the taxi's waiting,
He's blowing his horn.
Already I'm so lonesome I could die.
So kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you'll wait for me,
Hold me like you'll never let me go.
'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again.
Oh, babe, I hate to go. ...."

3.) "Lots-a-lots" run and rerun ad infinitum

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30 Jul 2014
05:08:03pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"Is it possible for sellers to update their photos? Can't say for others, but if I were a seller, I would be willing to do so. Drawback: the buyer may want to refer to the image for verification on delivery. I normally copy the images of sheets from where I buy, but doubt many do so."


For sellers who have strong image editing skills, it is possible, but very labor intensive. Folk with a lot of books would spend several hours per day just updating their images. IMO it would quickly suck all the fun out of preparing approval books, and you would see a drastic decline in the number of books available.
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Bobstamp

30 Jul 2014
05:42:21pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Thank you, Roy and Bobby, for clarifying the issue. I wasn't sure how the approval images got to us, so I thought it was worth suggesting a possible fix for low sales volumes.

Bob

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31 Jul 2014
11:07:50pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

For those comfortable with photo editing software like the one Ken mentioned, or the many members who use Irfanview, the possibilities of creative (and really quite simple) edits are bountiful:

Image Not FoundImage Not FoundImage Not Found

Unfortunately, it take time to go through your approval books, edit the pictures, then replace the resulting scans through the approval book edit feature; only to have to repeat the process the next time stamps are sold from a page. If a Seller has many books, and items are constantly selling, he/she is going to spend an inordinant amount of time keeping the pages up to date.

It is just not practical.


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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
31 Jul 2014
11:36:06pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

If the Approval Book software cannot do it automatically, it just is not going to happen.
Whether the overlay is above, below, on top or whatever, all that has been described is labor intensive, and require constant attention, and time and effort.
Given that book format, page format and stamp sizes vary all over the place, I have no idea how it could be done with just the use of software.
The current software has a gorgeous level of flexibility, but the drawback is that any overlay project is not feasible.
Now if we forced all of you to fit a single page format...say alike an APS Approval Book of 16 pages all with 3x4 slots..... for each and every page, then it could be done ...but just watch for the revolt among those who post books! Naaahhhh, I am afraid Bobby said it:

"It is just not practical."


rrr...
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philatelia

APS #156650
01 Aug 2014
09:46:40am

Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

If you haven't put together an approval book, you have no concept of the time involved. I think most sellers are willing to lose a few buyers rather than rescan everything after a few items sell. I do apologize to those buyers who are disappointed when the item is sold, but there is a super simple solution - check out new books right away rather than waiting until they are picked over, eh? Problem solved! Happy

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
01 Aug 2014
10:20:45am

re: Where are all the bidders?

For all the complaints about absent bidders, I've received a rash of complaints about winning bidders not paying.

Please, folks, let's remember several things.

First, both BUYER and SELLER should PAY ATTENTION. If you listed a lot, pay attention to who wins in; if you bid, pay attention to whether you win it. If you sell, or if you win, take responsibility for contacting your counterpart.

Second, a bid is a contract. One member recently won a lot but decided he didn't want it once the invoice arrived. May I say, pointedly and without exception, that is not a unilateral decision one can make. If you have buyer's remorse, you may inquire about cancelling your bid, but it's up to the seller. Your carelessness or fickleness or whatever not only inconviences the seller, it skews others who were interested in bidding. Even worse, it give ME extra work and headaches.

If you have questions about how the auctions work, or your responsibility as a participant, ask BEFORE you do something you ought not do or wish you hadn't.

David, the auctioneer

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
01 Aug 2014
04:52:49pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

The same rules apply to purchases made from the approval books as well.

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Stampaholic

02 Aug 2014
09:49:06am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

Actually, I was thinking of a song by "The Kingston Trio": "Where have all the Bidders gone?".Big Grin

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BOTTOM_FISH_2006

04 Aug 2014
09:05:36pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I have an idea.(good or bad you decide).Thinking
If we had one collector(not stamp collector) but a collector of invoices. Once a month all the sellers send by email all the invoices. The collector sorts all the invoices to buyers. Some buyers might have one invoice or several. The seller would send all the stamps that sold (each marked to buyer)to the collector. The collector would add the total of the invoice plus divide the postage for mailing and PayPal fee. The collector (with a fee for his work) would sort all the stamps to each seller and send them to them with one postage AFTER THE SELLER PAYS THE INVOICE.
So seller pays one postage for stamps to collector. And collector pays on postage for all the stamps from all the sellers.
Just my 2 stamps worth.
Jerry

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Bobstamp

04 Aug 2014
10:02:44pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

@ Jerry:

Members have to keep in mind that this is a volunteer organization, and tasks which seem so simple and workable to their "inventor" may actually represent a big investment in time and energy. In this case, since your idea involves money, it would also be a huge pain!

The systems that we have in place work well. If sellers aren't happy with the number of sales they have, and occasionally have difficulty getting payment, then they need to decide if they want to continue. It is not up to other members to rescue them. If their goal is to make a living selling stamps and postal history, then Stamporama isn't the place to do that.

Bob

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04 Aug 2014
10:02:54pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"I have an idea."


Prima facie, I think this is a good idea (didn't someone else also mention this before?). The big unknown here is - how many invoices are generated per month. The idea can work if the sellers package their orders/invoices clearly.

If the idea takes off, I would be willing to volunteer as the collector on an experimental basis (say, till December). The only compensation I will demand is for the actual costs I incur (postage and stationery). Indeed, I figure that will be the most complex part of the setup. Also, I would be unwilling to do this for buyers outside the US (sorry, but filling customs forms is unappealing).

What's in it for me? Getting stamps postmarked from different parts of the United States!

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david13617

04 Aug 2014
11:21:05pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

As a current active bidder, I'd like to chime in with my buyer's viewpoint. I have made many purchases in the last 3 months from several posters to this thread as well as others and indeed have made buys from the OP. (Thank you BottomFish for graciously allowing me to "run up the tab" with new selections!)And thanks to all of you who have spent the time to create the approval books and auction listings- that requires a lot of time and effort.

I can't speak for other buyers, but I'm in a position to expand my collection and add some lower as well as mid-range stamps.But before long most of the low end stamps will be found, so the search will be on for higher value items.

The most helpful listings are those that identify the stamp by catalog number, and for approvals, pages that indicate the range of catalog numbers covered or the topic. It's difficult to cull through hundreds of stamps in random order to find one that is needed.

It is observed that most of the approvals are for low value stamps. This is fine for beginning collectors or those expanding to a new collecting area, but once these have been obtained it is difficult to find enough stamps to warrant paying the shipping and handling fees. I went to one of this thread's contributors and loved the layout of the approval books and diligently went through the listings to find that I only needed 8 stamps of the myriad listed; so the cost per stamp after shipping went from about $.08 to $.40 which was enough to sway my decision.

My suggestion is that sellers include some higher end stamps (if available) on approval or auction so that the total purchase price can justify the shipping fees. And of course, the more items the seller has available, the more likely buyers will find sufficient volume to purchase.

And of course, allowing buyers to keep open their purchase order to accumulate enough items is important also and should by mentioned in the listings.

I see many stamps that are listed a multitude of times, so it is not surprising that they are slow sellers. But it seems that some stamps (particularly the U.S. numbers 1700-3000 which I have been looking for) seem to sell quickly; and I've missed some approvals cause I was away for a day or two.

One day I hope to be a seller here, so I appreciate all the advice of the posters here and the availability of these great tools. And thanks again to all the sellers- it truly must be a labor of love.

David

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Liz

04 Aug 2014
11:50:18pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

If I were to sort all the stamps by invoice & by purchaser, I've already done all the work, except to slip the stamps into an envelope, apply a stamp to the envelope and send the envelope on its way to the purchaser.

In some cases my buyers have 80-100 items on an invoice and they want these put on stock sheets in the order as shown on the invoice.

People are complaining now because mail delivery times are so slow without having to ship to another person and have a further delay of several days before the purchaser sees his/her stamps.

I do not like the idea of having a third person involved at all. I can't imagine having dozens of envelopes arriving every month, each containing invoices and stamps and then having to sort this all out and forward same to the buyers. Sounds to me like trying to add more steps to the process when what we already have in place works just fine.

Liz



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BOTTOM_FISH_2006

05 Aug 2014
06:10:08pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

If I was a new member and read these messages, I would wonder if this club is the one I would be in. It does not paint a very good picture SOR. Let give some ideas to help this problem.

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05 Aug 2014
06:35:15pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"If I was a new member and read these messages, I would wonder if this club is the one I would be in. It does not paint a very good picture SOR. Let give some ideas to help this problem."


Frankly, I do not see a problem. SOR is a club comprised of like minded people who want a venue to talk stamps, trade stamps, buy stamps and sell stamps - all to facilitate our enjoyment of the hobby and enhance our collections. SOR was never intended to be a profit motivated enterprise for itself or for its members.

There are plenty of venues out there (Ebay, Bidstart, Delcampe) where you can get the bells and whistles you ask for, and where there is a sufficiently sizable audience to promote active and profitable bidding on auction lots. Of course, you pay fees, and it is highly unlikely you would be able to have auction lots which are comprised of lesser valued stamps starting (and usually ending) at a few cents.

I like the laid back atmosphere of SOR where sellers can place at auction the most common stamps, and likewise buy same, to grow their collections, and where, at the same time, we exchange friendly banter and grow our knowledge without fear of recrimination for our lack of expertise. I like being able to ask "dumb questions" and get answers which are not condescending or sarcastic.

Just my Image Not Found worth.

-Bobby

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Bobstamp

05 Aug 2014
06:44:01pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Perhaps we need a reality check: Members of Stamporama are people. Not all people are organized or honest or knowledgeable about philately. Ergo, some Stamporama members will forget to pay, pay late, refuse to pay. Some will complain about the service they get, about the stamps they receive, or the length of time it takes to receive them. Some will be a pleasure to work with, others will be a pain.

Stamporama's sellers are people. Not all people are organized or honest or knowledgeable about philately. Some sellers will be tardy in dealing with sales, will package their stamps in an unsafe manner, send the wrong stamps. Some may incorrectly identify stamps or intentionally or unintentionally mislead potential buyers about their condition. (I will hasten to say that I myself have never had a problem with a Stamporama seller, which is more than I can say about dealers in other venues, though even there problems have been minor and few.)
If someone comes to Stamporama expecting perfection, then they'd better go elsewhere. I think that we have accomplished a remarkable task in creating an easy-to-use web site with a minimum of rules and an abundance of reason and friendship. There is nothing broken about the organization. Sellers (and buyers) face the same problems that they will find anywhere in a free-market economy, whether it's in a monster like Amazon or eBay or a mom-and-pop stamp shop.

As for sellers who don't pay after a reasonable time, just drop 'em. Life is too short to put up with idiots.

Bob

P.S. As for the suggestion to have a "collector" accumulate invoices and collect money, well, hey, let's keep it simple, OK?

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
05 Aug 2014
08:01:00pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"What's in it for me? Getting stamps postmarked from different parts of the United States!"



What's in it for you is complete liability for any shipments that do not make it to the buyer.

"If I were to sort all the stamps by invoice & by purchaser, I've already done all the work, except to slip the stamps into an envelope, apply a stamp to the envelope and send the envelope on its way to the purchaser. "



Exactly, so where is the problem? Why the need for a "clearing house" to receive and ship items that would have been received by the buyer in the amount of time that it takes to send the items to the "clearing house". Then, it will take additional time (days) to repack the items to send to individual buyers, and the seller has to pay for this handling, which will add to the cost of selling.

"I have an idea.(good or bad you decide)."



You posted your idea, and invited others to comment on it for "good or bad". You opened the door and then get defensive, because people are not in favor of your idea, and attack the membership doing so. Where does discussion not "paint a good picture of SOR"? It is the discussion that in fact paints a good picture. The members get to discuss and are part of the decision making process here. Don't poo poo the membership by telling them that you wouldn't want to be a member here if you already weren't a member. What's keeping you here? Probably the same thing that keeps others here and what attracts new members as well. Think about that when you ask for opinions. At least here you can post ideas for others to consider, and usually get an intelligent discussion. Don't ruin it with defensiveness. If you can't accept it if people don't agree with you, then don't ask for their opinions.
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philatelia

APS #156650
05 Aug 2014
09:09:25pm

Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

The biggest problem with communicating via typed messages like this is that we miss all the information we receive when we talk to a person face to face - the look on their face, the tone of voice, body posture, etc etc. It is so easy to misinterpret and take things the wrong way. Lord knows I am the queen of this mistake! I've found myself all huffy or teary over something meant in a totally benign way.

My new Mantra trying to break myself of this - "It's all good! take a deep breath!"

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06 Aug 2014
01:31:04am

re: Where are all the bidders?

I haven't really been a part of this discussion but thought I'd add a few words.

First, many sellers have an open policy of a month or 2 months or whatever as they know they will be placing new approvals or auctions online but they don't have the time "right this minute."

Second, I've had this done both ways as both a buyer and a seller. After someone has purchased something from me, say an approval book but I notice it's only one or two stamps and I know I don't have time to put up more of the same country immediately, I'll contact them and ask them if they have other interests which I can put into an approval book for their consideration. Also since the majority of my approvals I keep at $0.05 a piece with a few exceptions of higher value material, if they tell me they have specific interests or stamps that I know I have available but haven't gotten to yet, I'll put a scan together and send it to them and if they wish to purchase any of them, that's their choice. Likewise I've had sellers offer me that option. What would be a $1.25 postage for a $0.05 stamp could end up being a small packet that's worth the $1.25 and each of us is happy.

As for going through published approval books and finding an item I like only to discover it's been sold - well, that's life. As a seller when I'm active in approvals I could have up to a dozen books online - I don't have time to go through and mark SOLD on every item. I'm active in a lot of other areas of SOR which takes up a considerable amount of time, I also have a personal life and when opportunity arises, I actually get to work on my own collection.

This is a club guys. This isn't a business venture. Why waste our time on petty things when we can actually be having Philatelic conversations?

Again, not pointing fingers at anyone and I only skimmed the discussion on my phone which to read the discussion I have to move the page over so I don't even know who makes what comment.

Just my nickel's worth of thoughts.

Kelly

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06 Aug 2014
05:02:50pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

" .... But before long most of the low end stamps will be found, so the search will be on for higher value items. ....

David, I have been a active, adult collector for almost fifty years and a young collector for the ten or twelve years prior to the reawakening of my interest in stamps.
Depending on what one defines as "low value," there are easily more than 400,000 such issues.
While I often amuse myself dreaming of the day when I might have all the low end" or even almost all, I suspect I'd need to live another seventy-five years to do that. I continually find lots in the auction and the approval books that fill a long overlooked space among older pages as well as many spaces among the more recent issues.
Considering the rate at which agencies print new issues there will always be "low end" issues to consider.

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06 Aug 2014
05:30:26pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

" ... If I were to sort all the stamps by invoice & by purchaser, I've already done all the work, except to slip the stamps into an envelope, apply a stamp to the envelope and send the envelope on its way to the purchaser. ..."
I agree, Liz, and the original idea of the approval section in particular is to provide a place to offer the piles of inexpensive items that we all have cluttering up our desks and closet shelves with a minimum of work. I notice several approval books that are far more detailed than is required, but that is the seller's choice.
I suppose that would be different when a group of higher cost lots are concerned.

" ....In some cases my buyers have 80-100 items on an invoice and they want these put on stock sheets in the order as shown on the invoice...."
Some folks are finicky, but please do not ever go to that trouble for me, as far as I'm concerned, an envelope with stamps in a glassine, mixed or not, is just fine. In fact, when I receive an envelope with 30 or 40 stamps or more, from a repeat seller, the invoice goes in a file drawer to gather dust. Only occasionally do I go down the invoice item by item.

"... People are complaining now because mail delivery times are so slow without having to ship to another person and have a further delay of several days before the purchaser sees his/her stamps. ...."
I agree with that for sure. I am not sure why envelopes that cross the US-Canadian border, in either direction, do often take an inordinate amount of time to reach a destination, but it sometimes increases the pleasant surprise when some stamps arrive that I forgot I won. On the positive side, it seems that sooner or later payments sent, or lots won do arrive undamaged.

" .... I do not like the idea of having a third person involved at all...."
A sense of politeness and club courtesy prevents me from saying that this is borderline insanity.

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06 Aug 2014
05:38:03pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"... If I was a new member and read these messages, I would wonder if this club is the one I would be in. It does not paint a very good picture SOR. Let give some ideas to help this problem. ...."
I agree with Bobby's response, I do not see any significant problem when a group of fellow collectors express politely and candidly their opinions and suggestions of how to make the stamp fellowship more rewarding.

And, having been in other stamp groups over time I find SoR to be especially congenial.
Shucks, they even put up with me !!!

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TinMan

07 Aug 2014
07:42:44am

re: Where are all the bidders?

If one was to win a bid on one or two stamps. The buyer could ask the seller to hold those stamps for or him/her until more purchases are made then combine the orders. I have ask sellers to hold the order like that before and that has worked well for me.

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07 Aug 2014
09:15:41am

re: Where are all the bidders?

"If one was to win a bid on one or two stamps. The buyer could ask the seller to hold those stamps for or him/her until more purchases are made then combine the orders. I have ask sellers to hold the order like that before and that has worked well for me. "



And if push comes to shove, and you end up with 25¢ worth of stamps and a $1.30 shipping fee, I know of no seller on SOR who would not permit you to cancel the transaction should you so desire. After all, with no listing fees, selling fees, membership fees, or fees by any other name, what's the harm? Can any other site make these claims?

Bobby

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
07 Aug 2014
11:28:18am

re: Where are all the bidders?

I don't dispute any of these claims about the generosity and good will of our members. I will remind bidders, though, that revisions to a successful bid are at the sole discretion of the seller, unless otherwise indicated in the seller's terms. I would also ask that you consider that when thinking of bidding so that you're not asking sellers to unduly revise and resubmit listings you are contractually obligated to purchase.

David the auctioneer

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07 Aug 2014
01:37:11pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Sorry, David. My comments were not meant to imply a Buyer does not have an ethical and legal obligation to pay for auction lots won. I agree that bidders should not enter bids unless they have read and agree to the Seller's terms of purchase, including S&H costs. I guess I am just trying to put an end to this topic as I am tired of the whining over a few cents here and there.

Bobby

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TuskenRaider

07 Aug 2014
04:18:10pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Hi Everyone;

I'm not complaining! Sold 107 lots today, and that makes 166 since June 2nd.

I need to list faster!
Ken Tall Pines

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Liz

07 Aug 2014
04:55:17pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

I'm not complaining either! July was my best month of this year for sales thanks to my regular bidders and a few new members who have joined Stamporama during the past few months.

Liz

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philatelia

APS #156650
07 Aug 2014
05:01:16pm

Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

No complaints here, either! My last book is doing great :-)

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rwarde

08 Aug 2014
09:10:02pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I would like to bid on more stamps but I noticed that there are a few sellers that don't accept PayPal or credit cards, and thats the way I like to pay. I'm not sure why these sellers chose to go that route. It is very convenient for me to settle up with a seller using PayPal.

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Bobstamp

08 Aug 2014
11:06:12pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

PayPal seems to be like religion. Either you believe in it or you don't. I do. PayPal, that is. I've been using it for years without the slightest problem, and it is VERY convenient! Once I bought an auction lot, paid for it with PayPal, but didn't receive the stamp. When the seller failed to respond to my emails, I called PayPal and got a refund minus a dollar or so. A small price to pay for the ease of using that service. I tend to vote with my money. If a seller won't accept PayPal, I usually don't bid.

Bob

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Liz

08 Aug 2014
11:07:20pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

rwarde - WHY DO SELLERS NOT ACCEPT PAYPAL???? Most of the times you will find that the reason why a person does not accept PayPal is because of the high fees that PayPal charge the seller for receiving funds (a 30c fee per transaction and approximately 2.9$ to 3.9% of the total amount is taken by PayPal from every transaction that is credited to the seller's PayPal account).

I have no idea what is involved for an individual to be able to accept credit card payments. I would assume you would have to be a business and set this up with the bank you deal with by purchasing equipment, software, etc. to enable you to accept credit cards and then pay the bank a fee and/or percentage of each transaction.

Liz




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Bobstamp

08 Aug 2014
11:32:08pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Good point, Liz, and one that I should have considered. My apologies. I have never been a seller in Stamporama. Tried years ago to sell approvals, and pretty much went bust. Selling stamps is not for sissies!

When I had my photography studio, I did take credit cards, and it was a major pain, and expensive. But my sales were a lot higher than they would be for most vest-pocket dealers. It's probably easier dealing with credit cards on-line than it was then, before the internet.

Bottom line, Stamporama sellers probably shouldn't worry about pleasing all of their potential customers. In fact, it's not possible.

Bob

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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
08 Aug 2014
11:40:25pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Don't know if you all have seen it, but I myself just recently discovered this feature, on the Approval Book first (cover) page, and it is a terrific tool:

"New Books Notification Subscription

If you would like to subscribe to the New Approval Books Email Notifications for this seller, that are emailed once each day, press: -------------"


Tim, you are terrific!

Now I won't miss anything posted newly by my favorite Approval Books sellers! It takes time to build a critical transaction level, at 10c an item, so this really helps. Getting there early does help!

Now Kelly, you won't miss anything newly posted either.

" As for going through published approval books and finding an item I like only to discover it's been sold - well, that's life. As a seller when I'm active in approvals I could have up to a dozen books online - I don't have time to go through and mark SOLD on every item. I'm active in a lot of other areas of SOR which takes up a considerable amount of time....etc
"


By the way, I really liked your comments above.

rrr...

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09 Aug 2014
01:20:16am

re: Where are all the bidders?

"WHY DO SELLERS NOT ACCEPT PAYPAL???? Most of the times you will find that the reason why a person does not accept PayPal is because of the high fees that PayPal charge the seller for receiving funds"



But that is part of business, and some sellers include that into the shipping fees and / or have a minimum charge for Paypal acceptability. Other sellers mention outright that Paypal fees will be added on. All are fair methods to tide over the Paypal "problem". But there is no justification for not offering Paypal as an option at all. Now, residents in some countries may be disallowed from using Paypal, and that is the only case when I can sympathize with the seller.

For me, safety and security are paramount. Cash is always risky, sending credit card information over unsecured channels can equally turn into suicide. And sending personal cheques (checks) involves exposing bank account numbers. Each method disseminates more personal information than Paypal, where all that is shared is an email address.

I am also in love with Paypal, and will never pay using any other method. No stamp, however desirable, is worth that amount of risk for me.
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Ningpo

09 Aug 2014
07:23:55am

re: Where are all the bidders?

rwarde wrote:

"I would like to bid on more stamps but I noticed that there are a few sellers that don't accept PayPal or credit cards, and thats the way I like to pay. I'm not sure why these sellers chose to go that route. It is very convenient for me to settle up with a seller using PayPal."



Unfortunately, those of us from abroad are out on a limb in this situation. There have been a few lots I have had to pass over because of this.

I guess that using the 'gift' option on Paypal (which does not attract a charge to the recipient) is not an option, unless such payments are infrequent.

This gift option is used all the time on another board to which I belong. However, the sellers are not business sellers and don't sell in an auction format (offered more as a 'buy it now' type format).

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philb

09 Aug 2014
11:50:13am

Auctions

re: Where are all the bidders?

I am here everyday...Buy,Sell,Trade !!! It took a while but i am making contacts !!!

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philb

09 Aug 2014
12:15:38pm

Auctions

re: Where are all the bidders?

Its true Paypal incurs a cost...but people pay for convenience nowadays...i can not make a two mile round trip to the bank in my truck to cash a 3 dollar check for 30 cents !Big Hug

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Bobstamp

09 Aug 2014
01:14:36pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

And, of course, cheques are often prohibitively expensive to cash once they cross international borders.

Bob

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
09 Aug 2014
02:14:25pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

it seems that we've covered a lot of territory here, and it seems that we need to offer the stamps that people want at the prices they are willing to pay and conclude transactions with the speed and convenience we have come to expect.... or not.

Past discussions also tell us that some people will not bid if a BIN offer is there and others wont if the shipping cost is either too expensive, in general, or as unit of sale.

David

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BOTTOM_FISH_2006

09 Aug 2014
06:54:17pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

If some one pays 49 cents for postage to send a check, or pays 30+ cents for PayPal. It makes a good deal for PayPal.

Ps. Sorry about being a downer at the begging, I had no one to blow off steam.

YOU ALL ARE A GREAT BUNCH OF PEOPLE.
Your Stampbudy.
Jerry

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Liz

09 Aug 2014
07:16:24pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

"I had no one to blow off steam"



Jerry - That reminds me of the time I was talking (almost screaming) in a VERY loud voice when my daughter walked through the door. She looked around to see who else was in the room. I was talking to the walls & myself! D'Oh

It's a great way of letting of steam Happy

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09 Aug 2014
07:50:37pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Jerry, have no fear - we don't kick out "venters" Winking

Kelly

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
09 Aug 2014
08:35:58pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"Jerry, have no fear - we don't kick out "venters""



Yeah, for real. If that happened, I know of one person who would have been gone a long time ago. Thinking

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09 Aug 2014
08:57:53pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Michael - tee hee - I wonder... LOL

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04 Feb 2018
04:10:03pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

With both the auction and approval books just putting a pitcher of the stamp means nothing to me. Some people say it is too much work to do put the catalog number down! However unless it is just a glassines filled with 250* stamps for a few dollars it not worth me spending hours of going thru a book to see if I don't already have a stamp, most dealers will list catalog even for low catalog stamps. There are dealers who list the scott number or sometimes other catalogs numbers when needed. So when I find a dealer who list the numbers I'll buy from them. Also most people on SOR are not new to the hobby. Because it would take to long for me to find stamps in an approval or auction list without catalog numbers. I only stick with the people who list them. You want people to buy from you, take a little time to list the catalog number.

I hope that answers why less people seem to be buying from SOR.

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Richmond

RICHMOND FC PREMIERS 2017, 2019, 2020
05 Feb 2018
04:36:18am

re: Where are all the bidders?

Just taking a break whilst I sort a few logistical issues (humidity and printer issues) - once these are resolved I will be back bidding

Regards


Richmond

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
05 Feb 2018
11:38:10am

re: Where are all the bidders?

#1

" I only stick with the people who list them."



I think most of us find the sellers whom we like the most, and buy from them. Nothing wrong with that. If a seller doesn't provide what you need to easily make a purchase, then you should skip over that seller. There are plenty of sellers here.

#2

"take a little time to list the catalog number"



Don't forget that Stamporama has a large contingent of members who live outside the United States. Those people use catalogs too, but most likely do not use the Scott catalogs. Do you buy from sellers who list stamps with a Gibbons or Michel number? I doubt that many outside the USA will be able to afford, or even want to pay to get a Scott catalog. The catalogs in their own countries aren't cheap either.

Should a buyer purchase the other catalogs such as Gibbons or Michel for the sellers who meet your requirement of including a catalog number (albeit a non-Scott number, but a catalog number none-the-less)? I think that would be an unrealistic expectation, which brings us back to #1. Let that be your guide and go with the sellers who provide what you need so that you can enjoy your buying process the best.

Michael
Auctioneer

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
05 Feb 2018
01:32:17pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

Well said Micheal:-


"Don't forget that Stamporama has a large contingent of members who live outside the United States. Those people use catalogs too, but most likely do not use the Scott catalogs. Do you buy from sellers who list stamps with a Gibbons or Michel number? I doubt that many outside the USA will be able to afford, or even want to pay to get a Scott catalog. The catalogs in their own countries aren't cheap either.
"




Also please see the thread "What drives me Nutz"
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05 Feb 2018
02:02:08pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

" ... I think most of us find the sellers whom we like the most, and buy from them. ..."

Exactamundo !

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d1stamper

05 Feb 2018
02:11:36pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

It would be nice if the year of issue was included in the Title of the of the auction item.

What drives me nuts is seller that type as little information in the title of the lot. If you want to sell the item put some information in the title. eg. Mint or Used, Country.

Also the sellers who when they send you an invoice you fine addition cost that they did not mention in the listing or their terms.

"I think most of us find the sellers whom we like the most, and buy from them."



I agree that I buy from sellers who provide information that makes me want to check out there stamps.

Doug

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
05 Feb 2018
02:38:54pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

"send you an invoice you fin[d] addition[al] cost that they did not mention in the listing or their terms."



Hidden fees are not permitted. If a seller's fees are not disclosed in the terms and conditions and/or item description, then shipping fees (where this most likely applies/occurs) are defaulted by rule to actual postage cost only with no other shipping/handling fees permitted.

Michael
Auctioneer
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philb

05 Feb 2018
05:22:03pm

Auctions

re: Where are all the bidders?

Theres an ebb and flow to the bidding ...at times it can be quiet but sooner or later new folks show up.

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jtfat

10 Mar 2018
07:25:58pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I am buying less a couple of reasons, approval pages mounted in disorder with no catalog numbers ( any catalog would do) and this business of not using current stamps on the sending. I am paying the postage and do not need more older common stamps.

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musicman

APS #213005
11 Mar 2018
09:03:25am

re: Where are all the bidders?

James makes a valid point;

a lot of buyers would prefer in-period use of the stamps on the receiving cover, either for the cover or just the current stamp.

I tend to do both ways - older stamps when I have them, newest when I don't.

Maybe knowing /asking your buyer would help.

....or even the seller - I haven't sold on here in a long time, but I often sent payment thru snail-mail.

I should ask the receiver which they would prefer....or IF they have a preference....I'll have to remember to do that from now on.

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dani20

11 Mar 2018
10:04:21am

re: Where are all the bidders?

Reading over the comments from 4 years ago and seeing the names of some no longer with us tugged at my heartstrings. Just a shout out to voices of the past who are both on the spiritual plane and those still on this plane. You are all missed, but one's journey is sacred and to be embraced. Just saying!!
Best,
Dan C.

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
11 Mar 2018
11:42:48am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

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

The HARSH REALITY of not getting current stamps on your packages is that:-

MANY Post Offices do not have current commemorative stamps. In fact they refuse to put on stamps at all and use Machine Labels.

WHY?

They get PAID MORE for using Machine Labels.

The majority of sellers try to use current stamps!

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Soundcrest

11 Mar 2018
12:31:08pm

Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

Ian does have a point. If I were to go to my PO (which I do not for any reason other than to pick up my mail) they often do not have current stamps. In fact twice recently when I went to get international airmail stamps, they had none of those, no $1, and nothing other than first class booklets. Of no use as I would have had to add other stamps to the forever stamps anyway. I was buying discount postage all along for my first class mailings (2 stamp combos as they are called) for 70% face. I added international airmail to my discount buying now. Takes 4 stamps, but 70% face. Not worth the time to wait at the counter to hear the words "we have nothing". Their loss.

Greg

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bobstew617

11 Mar 2018
02:23:24pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

As a buyer, having stamps on the envelope is nice, but is a nonissue for me. Why? More than 1/2 the time, the stamps are not cancelled (or worse, gone through with a sharpie!)

I have to confess I am not buying as much on here because I am 1) buying more at HipStamp, and 2) I am more comfortable buying at shows than I used to.

BOB

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Dakota

11 Mar 2018
04:14:06pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

I hear you Greg.

I went to our Post Office the other day to mail an APS Circuit. I wanted to buy some Priority Mail stamps and $2 stamps. They were out of both. The International rate that they had were the older moon type. They get very few of the newer stamps except for booklets.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
11 Mar 2018
08:47:31pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Last week clerks at my post office told me that they had new stamps in, but are not allowed to sell them until they sell out all the old stamps first. I was able to buy the new priority mail stamp, but they were not allowed to sell me the new $25 Express Mail stamp.

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Brechinite

Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
12 Mar 2018
01:19:00pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Where are all the bidders?

Where are all the Bidders?

It is nothing new!

This thread originated in July 2014!!!!!!!

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
12 Mar 2018
01:31:14pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

that's a long time to hide, no?

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
12 Mar 2018
02:38:32pm

re: Where are all the bidders?

Good point, Ian!

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