The Stamporama auction is not a commercial auction, it is a club auction. It is intended as a place where members can offer their stamps to one another in lieu of trading. As a club auction, we have a few rules that one would not find elsewhere. Please familiarize yourself with these rules. Many of our rules are intended to protect the young and novice collectors from the caveat emptor ["buyer beware"] philosophy found in other on-line auctions.
Who May Participate
1) Anyone may view lots, but only members may post lots or bid.
Limit on Number of Lots Listed
2) There is no limit on the number of lots that a member may have active at any one time.
Minimum Bids and Reserves
3) All lots must have a minimum bid. Hidden reserves are not allowed.
Lots Must Be Accurately Described
4) a. All lots should include, at a minimum, descriptions of any defects or other characteristics outside the norm. This includes fakes, forgeries, and counterfeits, as well as reprints, repairs, and damages. Damages that need to be described include thins, creases, pulled perfs, scuffs, tears, stains, etc. Please do not rely on scans to communicate problems; problems must ALSO be described in the lot description. Lots with multiple stamps need not have this detail, unless the high value of the lot is subject to one or more of these problems.
b. Please avoid all comparative and superlative language in your descriptions including "scarce", "rare" or similar wording. Avoid any references to future value.
c. Any references to a "value" of the lot must be supported by quoting the source of that value, e.g. "Scott catalog value", "Michel catalog value", "my own estimated realization". If a catalog is quoted, the catalog year should be given as well; for example "Scott 2002 cat. val. $3.50"
If you are not certain of the application of any of these rules, please ask the auctioneer.
Lots Which Receive a Bid Must Be Sold
5) Any lot which has a bid at the end of an auction MUST be sold to the high bidder at the high bid price shown by the auction system. The high bidder at the end of an auction MUST pay to the seller the high bid amount shown by the system for the lot. Lots may be withdrawn by the seller ONLY prior to the end of an auction and ONLY for extraordinary reasons.
6) SOR has a wonderful communications interface, both through the membership database and through the invoicing function. We encourage buyers and sellers to use these to communicate. Even better, the interface can be viewed by the buyer, seller, and the webmaster, providing proof of sending, reading, and receipt.
- Sellers must send invoices or otherwise notify buyers within 5 calendar days. Other arrangements can be made, including offers to combine lots or notices that the seller will be away during a given period, but communication must be generated.
- Buyers must send payment for winning bids within 5 days of receiving invoice. Buyers who have not received an invoice within the 5 days should contact the seller, using both email and the SOR messaging system
- Buyers who are paying through the mail should communicate to the sellers by email and/or the SOR messaging system when payment has been sent. Sellers should contact the buyer when payment has been received and when purchases have been mailed to the buyer. If no payment has been received within 14 days it is the responsibility of the seller to contact the buyer.
- Sellers and buyers may request alternatives to this, such as delays in invoicing, waiting to pay until another lot closes, etc. Unless mutually agreed in writing by both parties, these alternatives are not valid, and no assumption should be made by either party that the other agrees to alternative arrangements.
- In the interest of clarity and to determine that email is properly working, it is a useful, and polite, exercise to acknowledge receipt of invoices and received lots as well as receipt of payment.
- It is the responsibility of both parties, buyer and seller, to communicate with one another. Buyers who have not received an invoice within the 5 days should contact the seller; sellers who have received neither payment nor reply within 5 days should try again, using both email and the SOR messaging system.
- If there is a failure to complete a transaction, either party may contact the auctioneer. Please provide copies of correspondence, name of buyer (or seller), the lots and their descriptions, total value (exclusive of postage) involved, date(s) of sale, and any other information that’s useful to the auctioneer in resolving a potential problem.
- Stuff happens: emails fail, people change addresses and forget to update records, hospital stays, vacations creep up, etc. This is to say that a single occurrence is forgivable, and once rectified, forgiven. Multiple occurrences will result in a participant’s loss of auction privileges.
7) In the majority of cases, the auction seller will have setup their standard Payment and Shipping Terms in their Auction defaults. The seller's default Payment and Shipping Terms apply to all their auction lots, but may be overriden on exceptional auction lots by describing the exception in the lot description. If no shipping terms are listed in the either the seller's default Payment and Shipping Terms or the lot description, the buyer has the right to assume Stamporama Standard Shipping Terms apply.
Stamporama Standard Shipping Terms:
- Buyer will pay actual postage costs. No additional handling or packaging charge is to be assumed unless specifically mentioned in the lot description.
- Seller will use reasonable care to properly package goods in such a way as to protect against damage in transit.
These terms may be changed or added to from time to time by the Volunteer Committee, with reasonable notice to the membership.
For more expensive lots, buyers should consider purchasing insurance, and should inquire, in advance, of its availability
8) Sellers are strongly encouraged to list specific payment options in either their default Payment and Shipping Terms, that apply to all their auction lots, or the lot descriptions. This is especially true of sellers who will accept only cash payments or paypal payments, as this restriction may affect bidders' actions. In the absence of any specific payment details, buyers must not assume that any particular payment method is available. For example, many international sellers can not accept cheques of any kind because of very high banking costs. When in doubt, contact the seller before bidding.
Sellers are free to choose the payment methods they accept and those they don't. Please read the seller's terms carefully. Sellers will also indicate what shipping and handling charges are required. Unless stated, buyers should assume that the fee is the cost of postage; however, sellers may choose other fees. Your bid commits you to the seller's terms UNLESS you and the seller have agreed to something else.
9) All auction bidding is conducted in United States dollars. Some sellers may accept other currencies in payment at the end of the auction at negotiated exchange rates, but you must check with the seller.
Relisting Unsold Auction Lots
10) Sellers have the option to relist unsold auction lots in two different ways:
10a) Manually relist lots. This requires that you enter (or reenter) the title, picture URL, time, description, and opening bid. You may do this as often as you want. Or you can;
10b) Relist lots automatically through the Unsold/Relist function. Lots can be relisted up to a maximum of 4 times. Each time an Auction Lot is relisted the minimum bid can be no more than 80% of the starting bid the previous time it was listed. The seller can relist at a lesser amount at his/her discretion to a minimum of one(1) cent.
Selling in the Stamporama Auction is Completely Free!
11) There is no fee for listing or selling a lot. Selling is absolutely free!
Stamporama Auctioneer Shall Have Final Authority
12) The designated Stamporama Auctioneer shall be the final arbiter of any dispute. The posting of a lot for sale or the placing of a bid by a member shall indicate acceptance by the member of the Auctioneer's authority to settle any and all disputes with complete discretion. The Auctioneer may, without limitation, attempt to negotiate an alternate settlement different from the terms of the final auction, declare the auction null and void, and may recommend to the Volunteer Committee that any member be banned from future participation in the Stamporama Auction, or that a member be expelled from Stamporama.
12a) In the event that the Auctioneer is a party to a dispute, the Volunteer Committee will act to designate an ombudsman for auction issues that can't be resolved by the auctioneer. The ombudsman shall assume the role of arbitrator, and consult with the VC before issuing a determination in the case.
Stamporama Assumes No Liability
13) Stamporama's role in the Auctions is limited exclusively to providing the venue to facilitate the buying and selling of philatelic material between Members. Neither Stamporama, nor any of the Volunteer Committee assumes any liability, nor warrants any actions or promises of action by either buyers or sellers. By registering to use Stamporama Online Auctions, you agree to hold harmless Stamporama and its Volunteer Committee in any dispute with a buyer or seller.