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The Stamporama Auction offers members the opportunity to buy and sell stamps and other philatelic-related items. Auction lots are limited to philatelic-related items, including stamps, covers, supplies, catalogs, albums, album pages, literature, and other philatelic ephemera. Those participating in the auctions are expected to follow all rules and procedures (see the Auction Tutorial).  Failure to do this may result in the loss of buying and selling privileges, or termination of membership.

Table of Contents

A. General Rules

B. Buying Rules

C. Selling Rules

D. Shipping Terms

E. Unacceptable Listing Practices

F. Disputes

G. Sanctions


A. General Rules:

A1. Members who can legally enter into a contract may participate in the auctions.

A2. Members must keep their profile information current.

A3. Buyers and sellers must respond to communications from the other party and/or the Auctioneer as relates to the transaction including, but not limited to: invoicing, payment, shipment and receipt of purchases.

A4. All transactions are conducted in United States Dollars. Sellers may accept payment in other currencies. Buyers should contact the seller regarding payment in other than United States funds.

A5. Sellers and buyers may mutually agree to alter the terms and conditions of any purchase. However, unless mutually agreed upon in writing (private messages are acceptable) by both parties, the changes are not valid, and no assumption may be made by either party that the other agreed to the changes.

A6. Stamporama’s role in the auctions is limited to providing a venue to facilitate buying and selling philatelic material. Stamporama assumes no liability, and does not guarantee any action or promise of action of buyers and sellers. Members using Stamporama's auctions agree to hold Stamporama and The Management Team harmless in all disputes that may arise between a buyer and seller.

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B. Buying Rules:

B1. Placing a bid or using the Buy It Now feature creates a legal contract between a buyer and seller. Through submittal of a bid or use of the Buy It Now feature, buyers acknowledge that they have read and understand the auction rules and the seller's terms and conditions, and that they will pay for the lot if they are the highest bidder at the time the auction closes, or the Buy It Now feature is used.

B2. Bids may not be retracted.

B3. Buyers must pay for auction lots purchased within 5 business days of receipt of an invoice from the seller, unless other terms have been specifically stated by the seller in the item listing or invoice. Buyers must notify the seller regarding any delay in payment.

B4. Buyers who have not received an invoice within 5 business days of completing purchases with a seller must contact the seller to request that an invoice be sent.

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C. Selling Rules:

C1. All items offered for sale must be directly related to stamp collecting.

C2. Bogus, fake, forged, counterfeit, reprinted, repaired or altered stamps may be listed for sale, and must be so identified. Describing a stamp as "counterfeit?" or "reperfed?", etc. is permitted when a seller is uncertain whether a stamp is genuine. Relying on authentication marks to list the stamp as genuine without an accompanying certification from a recognized authority is not permitted.

C3. Intentionally listing bogus, fake, forged, counterfeit, repaired or altered stamps as genuine is prohibited.

C4. Sellers must have possession of the items being offered for sale. The items cannot be listed on Stamporama and be offered for sale elsewhere at the same time.

C5. All lots, except as otherwise provided, must include at least one image of the actual item being offered for sale. Representative images are not permitted.

C6. Lots consisting of large stamp mixtures or collections must include at least one image that shows some or all of the items in the lot.

C7. Images are not required for lots consisting solely of literature or supplies.

C8a. Reliance on images alone to show defects is not permitted. All lots of single stamps and sets of stamps must include, at a minimum, descriptions of all defects. This includes repairs, thins, creases, pulled or torn perforations, scuffs, tears, stains, extraneous writing or markings in ink or marker (other than owner/authentication marks), etc. For large stamp mixtures and collections it is permissible to describe only the overall condition of the lot.

C8b. Single stamps and sets of stamps with a general catalog value of less than $5.00 USD that contain any or all of the defects described in Rule C8a may not be offered for sale in the auctions.
Listings containing damaged stamps must include a catalog and/or reference value and cite the source and publication year of the quoted value in the item description. Failure to provide this information shall be a presumption that the item does not conform to this policy, and subject the item to removal from the auction.

C8c. Stamps that have extraneous writing or markings in pencil may be offered for sale in the auctions, but this condition must be disclosed in the item description. The same applies to owner/authentication marks (see also Rule C2 regarding these marks).

C9. Catalog and/or reference values must be supported by citing the source and publication year of that value. Value estimations are permitted, but sellers must state the justification for the estimation.

C10. All lots must have a minimum bid. If the optional Buy It Now feature is used a fixed selling price equal to or greater than the starting bid must be entered.

C11. All lots with a bid at the time the lot closes must be sold to the high bidder at the high bid price indicated by the auction system.

C12. Lots may be withdrawn by a seller prior to the end of an auction, but only for extraordinary reasons, and only with the approval of the Auctioneer.

C13. Sellers must either issue a full refund, including shipping fees, or provide a suitable replacement, as agreed upon between the buyer and seller for any lot sold that is not as described. Return of a misidentified item is at the seller’s discretion and cost.

C14. Shilling is illegal. Anyone acting alone or with another in such a manner will have their membership terminated. Sellers may not bid on their own lots.

C15. Sellers must ship purchases within 5 business days of receiving payment. Sellers must notify the buyer regarding any delay in shipping.

C16. Submission of an auction lot is an acknowledgement by the seller that the auction rules and procedures have been read and understood. The seller also warrants that all lots being offered for sale are as described in each lot's description.

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D. Shipping Terms:

D1. Sellers must create their payment and shipping terms. Unless listed as optional, the terms must include, at a minimum, the following information: 

  • Payment methods accepted or excluded 
  • Shipping methods (optional) 
  • Shipping costs, including any ancillary shipping services offered 
  • Countries/areas excluded from sales (optional) 
  • Refund policy (optional) 
  • Any terms and conditions of sale that are different from those in the rules and procedures

D2. If a lot description does not include shipping terms, the seller must abide by the default terms stated below:

  • Postage charged to the buyer must be the exact cost of shipping the purchase from the seller to the buyer
  • No other fees may be charged to the buyer

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E. Unacceptable Listing Practices:

E1. The following listing practices are considered unacceptable, and may result in summary closure of an auction lot:

a. Item offered for sale is not related to stamp collecting

b. Item offered for sale is also offered for sale elsewhere

c. Item improperly identified or described

d. Seller claims that item being offered for sale has an authentication certificate but does not provide a clear and readable image of the certificate, or the certificate is not from a recognized and competent authority.

e. Image not provided, when required, or poorly created (representative, too dark, out of focus, too small, improperly cropped, etc.)

f. Description contains comparative or superlative language ("scarce", "rare", "nice", "beautiful", etc.)

g. Description contains references to future value or investment potential

h. Items are not priced competitively compared to pricing of similar material for sale by others

i. Shipping and/or handling fees are excessive

j. Item contains information about and/or links to, other websites or outside promotions of internet auctions or sales

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F. Disputes:

F1. Buyers and sellers may file a dispute against the other party to a purchase for reasons such as non-shipment, item not as described, and non-payment. All disputes must be sent to the Auctioneer via Private Message, and should provide as much information as possible regarding the transaction and the problems associated with it. Posting complaints about a specific buyer or seller on the Discussion Boards is prohibited.

F2. The Auctioneer shall be the final arbitrator in all disputes arising in the auction and approvals sales platforms. Participation in the sales platforms indicates acceptance of the Auctioneer's authority to settle all disputes.

The Auctioneer may, without limitation:

  • Negotiate a settlement different from the terms listed in an auction lot or as agreed upon in writing by the buyer and seller
  • Declare an auction null and void
  • Suspend buying and selling privileges
  • Recommend that a membership be terminated

F3. An Assistant Auctioneer and the Management Team's Ombudsman may act as arbitrator in any dispute at the request of the Auctioneer, and shall have the same authority as the Auctioneer.

F4. In the event the Auctioneer is a party to a dispute, an Assistant Auctioneer or the Ombudsman, if not also a party to a dispute, shall assume the role of arbitrator.

F5. The Auctioneer’s involvement in disputes is for the sole purpose of maintaining the integrity of the sales platforms. The Auctioneer does not act as a debt collector. The Auctioneer may attempt to mediate an acceptable resolution to disputes providing that the dispute is filed no later than 30 calendar days from date that the original invoice was issued. There is no guarantee, stated or implied, of a satisfactory resolution to any dispute. There also is no guarantee that a dispute will be accepted by the Auctioneer, especially if either or both parties varied from the rules and procedures.

F6. A buyer filing a dispute that involved payment by personal check or through PayPal should file non-receipt disputes with PayPal or stop payment on the check when the seller does not or refuses to ship the items that were purchased and paid for. These actions are subject to the rules of PayPal or the buyer's financial institution, and are independent of any investigation conducted by Stamporama. The buyer must notify the Auctioneer when this action has been taken.

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Stamporama strives to maintain quality sales platforms for its members to buy and sell philatelic items. The cooperation of the members using the sales platforms is paramount to maintaining that quality. Members violating rules may be subject to sanctions as determined appropriate by the Stamporama Auctioneer and/or the Management Team. Note that the Sanctions are progressive, but may be escalated depending on the severity of the violation(s).

Sanctions imposed are:

  • seller's item(s) closed
  • access to sales platforms suspended for 6 months
  • access to sales platforms permanently suspended
  • expulsion from Stamporama

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This page was last updated on February 17, 2020


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