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Stamporama Online Auctions Tutorial

Welcome to Stamporama's perpetual auction. This document is intended as a quick tutorial to introduce the process of Registration, Buying Items and Selling Items in the auction. This page may be used together with the Auction Rules and the Auction FAQ for a full understanding of the auction process.

Registration

1. Anyone may look at our lots, but only Stamporama members may post lots or bid. If you like what you see and you are not currently a  Stamporama member, see the "Join" link at the top of the page. Please allow a couple of days for the Stamporama Secretary to process your application. Already a member? Excellent, enjoy yourself, but please make yourself aquanted with the Stamporama Auction FAQs.  It may help you with any problems that you might have.

2. To participate in the auction, you must be a Stamporama member. Our Registration form (see the "Join" function on the home page) will allow you  to register to post lots or bid. Please make sure that all information is accurate when you enter it. The data will be sent to the buyer/seller at the end of an auction. You will need to enter a Username, your email address, your name, maining address, etc. Please note that addresses will be given out only to the buyer or seller at the end of the auction. Club members information is never given out or sold to any one!

3. You will need to read and agree to abide by the "Stamporama By-Laws" and the "Rules of the Stamporama Auction", which are posted on the Auction Rules Page. Please read these rules carefully. They provide the basis for conducting auctions with integrity and the kind of gentlewomanly and gentlemanly esteem that we hope you will find appealing and a safe haven from the uncertainties of the outside world. If uncertain of a rule of its interpretation, please contact our auctioneer at teisler@abct.org.

4. You may update your registration information by using the Edit function in the Members Area (see "Members" link on the home page) at any time.

5. Enter the auction at any time by using the link in the menu at the top of every page.

 

Bidding

6. The auction is divided into categories to make finding interesting lots easier. Start searching for lots to bid on by selection a category.

7. Searching for Auction Lots:
You can search for auction lots across multiple categories by using the Search function on the Auction screen. The Search function will allow you to search for:

  1. all auction lots for a particular buyer
  2. all auction lots for a particular seller
  3. all auction lots that include a particular key word or phrase in the auction lot title of description
  4. a particular auction lot by search using the lot number.

In the case of search options 1. and 2. above you can enter the username used in either the members area or the auction, the member's first name or the member's last name. You can even enter part of these search criteria e.g. to search for auction lots posted by "patches" you can search lising "liz".

The best searches are accomplished with partial words (i.e. use "cens" instead of "censored" since that will return "censored", "censor", "censorship", etc.).

Please note that not everone is a careful typist and things are occasionally misspelled; be careful in your own searches and don't be too surprised if the seller didn't get it right; you may also try alternative spellings (for instance, Netherlands and Nederlands).

8. You can find material you have won after the auction closed by using "View Won Lots" under the Buyers menu dropdown on the Auction screen. All other material disappears immediately after the auction's close.

9. Please note that your bid is your bond. Don't bid if you don't really want it.

10. Our auctions work on proxy bids. A proxy bid and a maximum bid are the same thing. To place a proxy bid, just enter the maximum amount you are willing to pay. The system will use only as much of your bid as necessary to give you high bidder position. It will then automatically bid on your behalf, up to your maximum amount, if competing bids are placed. In this way, you can win the item at the lowest possible price. Your maximum bid is only placed when a competing bidder also bids up to that same amount. This is a great advantage for bidders, especially early bidders. Ties go to the earlier bidder. Nobody can see your maximum bid until the system needs to use it to beat another bid. Sellers may not bid on their own lots (the sytem will not allow it). To see the status of your own bids go to "View Open Lot" under the Buyers menu dropdown.

11. Last minute bidding.
Our auction automatically eliminates "sniping", bids placed in the last second with hopes of beating all competition. Our auction automatically extends the auction by 10 hours any time the top bidder changes. This means that anyone who beats the high bidder will automatically extend the life of that lot for another 10 hours, even if that takes the close past the stated end time. This gives the previous high bidder (and anyone else) a chance to respond. The lesson in this is "There is no advantage to bidding at the last second!".

11a. As you are bidding on auction lots the program determines the bidding increment amount. If you would like to know how the bidding increments work, click here to read the article in the Stamporama Articles section describing this.

11b. Buy It Now.
The exception to point 11 above is the Buy It Now option. If you see a lot that has the Buy It Now Image logo, rather than placing a bid on the lot, you can Buy it Now by pressing the Buy It Now button when you are viewing the lot. The effect of Buy It Now is that the lot will be taken out of the auction. A few minutes later when the Auction Close program picks the lot up you will receive and email confirming your successful purchase.

12. Congratulations, you won a lot! What now? The auction system will send you an email with the auction closing results. This email will appear to come from the seller of the lot. Simply reply to the email and make arrangements directly with the seller for shipping and payment. Your transaction is completed exclusively with the seller. Stamporama does not get involved in payment or delivery of a lot. Stamporama acts as a listing venue only. If you win several lots from different sellers, you will be dealing with each of them individually upon the close of the auctions.

Question not answered?
First, read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), by clicking here to see if we've already covered it there. If not, contact the auctioneer.

Selling

13. When you first try to submit a lot to the auction you will be asked to setup the default Shipping and Payment Terms. Please take care in setting these terms up as they will apply to all the lots that you post on the auction. If you don't notify the bidders of a possible fee they will assume that you will only charge the cost of postage. There can not be any "hidden" charges. 

14. Sellers are led through a step-by-step series of up to three screens in order to post a new auction lot. The following information will be required after you click on "Post A New Item":

15. Title/Item Name: for instance "US Scott 65" or "Czech collection". You are limited to 80 character (HTML is not allowed).

16. Categories: Choose as many Categories as appropriate to adequately describe the auction lot. Your auction lot will appear in each of the categories that you select.

17. Images: You can add two image URL's (optional). You can either upload your images to the Stamporama website or you can paste or type in the URL address of the image stored on an image hosting site such as photobucket.com. if you don't want to have an image displayed on your auction lot, click on the "No Image" checkbox. Let's first look at using an image hosting site. The process to upload images to the Stamporama webiste will be described below.

Using an Image Hosting Site:

Enter the complete URL to the picture (starting with "http://"). The picture must be hosted somewhere on the internet. Note that some free picture-hosting services will not allow pictures hosted on their sites to be served to another site like Stamporama. Check the rules of your hosting service if you are uncertain.


18. Choose the length of the auction. You may enter any number from 1 to 14 days. This is a required field and you must enter a value.

19. Provide a Description: This may include HTML. Please provide an accurate description of the material that you want to sell. If you make a mistake, don't worry because our system has an editing facility, which you can use to change the details of your auction lot at any time. Be careful if you use HTML because errors in your HTML may make your lot unreadable. Your description should include any relevant notes about the condition of the item, its centering (or grade, especially if not pictured), and any faults, whether visible in the picture or not, catalogue value (and catalogue used), payment and shipping information and any other information the buyer should know. Note: You do not have to include shipping infomation or payment terms because you will have setup your default Payment and Shipping Terms which will be automatically included in each of your auction lots.
 

20. Enter your starting bid: Do not use dollar signs ($) or commas(,).

21. Press the Next Step button when you are happy with the information you have entered. If you left the images fields blank, the program will now display the File Upload screen.

22. Uploading Images to the Stamporama Website:
The File Upload screen allows you to upload up to two images files. Press the Browse button to start the file upload process. Some internet browsers display this button as Choose a File or something like that. On pressing the Browse button, the program displays the file structure on your compter, allowing you to navigate to the directory where you have the images stored. Click on the image file that you want to upload and press the Open button. Some internet browsers may call this button Select or something like that. The program then returns you to the File Upload screen and you will see the address of the image that you just selected displayed on the screen in the first entry box. If you want to upload a second image, repeat  the process by clicking on the second Browse buttom. When you have selected the image/s that you want to upload, press the Upload button. The program will now upload the selected images to the Stamporama server and will display the Review Posting screen.

23. The Review Posting screen:
This screen displays everthing that you have entered back to you so you can check that it is correct. If information that you entered is correct, press the Complete Posting button and the auction lot will be posted so everyone can see it. If you find you have an error in the information entered, press the Edit button, and you will be passed to the Edit function where you can correct the error. If you have a number of auction lots to post and want to copy the information that you have just entered into the next auction lot, so you can change the appropriate information but not have to re-enter everything, press the Complete Posting and Copy button.

24. Posting Lots and "On Hold":
If you are posting a large number of auction lots one after the other and you want to be able to activate them all at the same time and to have them closed by the system all at the same time you can.  At the bottom of the Review Posting screen (described above), you will see a list box to select the status that you want to post the lots as.  Using this list box select "On Hold".  Once you have selected "On Hold" the first time the program will remember the selection for the remainder of your session. Once you have posted all your lots into "On Hold" status, run the "Activate On Hold" program found in the Sellers dropdown menu, which will change the Status of the lots "On Hold" to "Active" status and will update the posting and closing dates so that they will close all together.

25. Buy It Now:
All you have to do to make a lot available for the Buy It Now option is to enter a Buy It Now Amount as you post the new auction lot. If you enter a Buy It Now Amount it must be greater than the Starting Bid Amount. 

26. By placing an item up for bid, once a member has placed a bid on your item, you have a contract between you and the buyer. Prior to a bid being placed on the auction lot, you have the ability to delete the auction lot if you find that you have posted it in error. After a bid is placed on the auction lot, the lot cannot be deleted. If you don't want to sell it, don't place it up for bid!

27. Selling Commission:
There are no fees of any kind for using the Stamporama auction. Selling is absolutely free!

28. There is no limit to the number of lots that you may have active at any one time.

Good Luck!

Tim Auld, Stamporama Webmaster and David Teisler, Stamporama Auctioneer. 





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