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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : Auction improvement - category definitions

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thebiggnome
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13 Jul 2015
08:06:00am
I wonder if some of the miscategorization of auction lots is because sellers just don't know what countries belong in which categories. For instance, there are currently many lots from Switzerland and the Netherlands in the Scandinavia & Baltic category, though neither belong there.

Perhaps including a list of countries for each category would help.

Chris
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
13 Jul 2015
08:53:25am
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

it is possible, Chris,

most appear to be just mistakes.... some appear to be efforts to milk the multiple category allowance beyond reason.

I have often corrected others' miscategorized material, only to find it back the next week.

David the auctioneer

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thebiggnome
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13 Jul 2015
09:58:45am
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

If people are abusing the multiple categories and miaking our experience worse because of it, then perhaps sanctions are in order.

If we want to make the auctions better, then shouldn't we slap the wrists of those who are making it worse?

Chris


PS, I don't know if it's a mistake or a milking but there's a lot of Epirus stamps right now that is listed in both Asia and Other Western Europe, when it should really be in Eastern Europe.

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BobbyBarnhart
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13 Jul 2015
05:49:30pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

I associate Epirus with Greece, and Greece, although physically in eastern Europe, has politically been treated as part of Western Europe (at least prior to the fall of the "Iron Curtain"). Accordingly, I place Epirus in other Western Europe. Since Epirus is divided between Albania and Greece, I presume it could be classified under either eastern or western Europe, or both.

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thebiggnome
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13 Jul 2015
06:21:12pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Then that makes the point that a list of countries would be of great help, both to buyer and seller, for I would never think to look for it there. Greece either, for that matter.

Regardless of what category one personally thinks a country should be in, having a list that we can all agree on for the purposes of the auction would help everyone. (Everyone who bothered to read it, that is.)

Chris

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TuskenRaider
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13 Jul 2015
08:09:33pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Hi Everyone;

I think that rather than bothering Tim who is already very busy, why not have our auction moderator
create a text only, down-loadable file (word for Windows) document. A simple tree type structure will
suffice. It would be very useful to me as a seller. The list could also be available as a readable file in
our auction rules for anyone to look at anytime.

Example:

Catagory 1: (France)

France
French Andorra
French Morocco
French West Africa
French Southern & Antarctic Terr.

Catagory 2: (British Commonwealth)

Ceylon
Malta
Falkland Is.
Fiji
Kenya
South-West Africa
South Africa

Some nations should appear in more than one category

Kenya = British Commonwealth & Africa

Most British colonies would only appear in one category tho....

It would be useful if Lisa Grant could add 'Search' functionality to individual categories or to the
global database (all categories). It would be good practice for her since she is trying to learn
about programming.

Just thinkin' again....
TuskenRaider

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
13 Jul 2015
09:34:44pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

i love how our members love to dole out jobs. Now they're being so helpful as to even identify which of the volunteers is best suited to do the work they just assigned. Let's see.... 200 odd countries extant today... another 200 or so dead countries.... a few postal administrations...

I know, I'll be glad to supervise another's efforts and let you know where I'd place Greece (life support, I suppose). And, no, no bodily references appropriate here.

At least Tim is beloved enough to be immune this once.


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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
14 Jul 2015
12:55:35pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

The introductions to the standard philatelic catalogs published by Scott and Gibbons contain breakdowns listing where most of the countries historically are placed. The list is not all inclusive. However, each catalog includes geographic location of where each stamp issuing entity is located at the beginning of the listings for each entity.

The American Philatelic Society has a large, list of countries contained in each of its selling categories. I have it printed out for when I prepare sales books. I tried to find it online, but for some reason I can't locate it. If I can locate it, and if the list is available to non-APS members, I'll post the link to it here.

People selling stamps usually use a stamp catalog to identify the stamp, it only takes a moment to find out where a stamp issuing entity is located on the planet.

I don't see any need to create a huge list containing the names of hundreds of stamp issuing entities when the information is contained in the hobby tools that we use everyday.

I see it as a seller's responsibility to know what it is being sold. If a seller isn't sure, then the Discussion Board has a place where questions can be posted. Of course, this should not be used to get members to evaluate, identify and price quantities of items that a seller wants to sell. That is the seller's job.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
14 Jul 2015
02:07:45pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Here is the link to the list of the categories and countries contained in them at the APS Sales Division. It is a .pdf file, so you should be able to save it to your hard drive, or simply print it out. If the link doesn't work, then it probably is only accessible to APS members.

APS Sales Countries and Categories

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thebiggnome
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14 Jul 2015
04:03:37pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Thanks for the link. It works for me and I'm not an APS member.

The list, however, does not correspond with our existing categories. Baltic States, for instance, are grouped with Eastern Europe rather than Scandinavia.

It is also hard to use for this purpose. It took me several minutes to figure out where Epirus belonged. It is not listed in Eastern Europe, but there is no category called "Western Europe." It is listed under Greece. Now where is Greece categorized? It is not under Eastern Europe, as I had previously assumed, so it must be in Western Europe, right? Well, as I just mentioned, there is no category called "Western Europe" so it's hard to check for sure. However, in perusing the list I happened to notice that Greece is listed under the Balkans category, and the Balkans are listed under Eastern Europe. So apparently my first instinct was correct; Epirus is under Greece, Greece is in the Balkans, and the Balkans are in Eastern Europe, so Epirus should be in Eastern Europe. However I don't think folks are going to spend as much time as I did trying to figure that out.

If there were an alphabetical list that went something like this:
Ecuador - South America
Epirus - Eastern Europe
Finland - Scandinavia & Baltic
France - France & Colonies

it would be easier for sellers to list things correctly and for buyers to shop for what they want.

It would only be useful if sellers actually used it, though. I'd be willing to go through that APS list and create a list that would match our categories, but only if there was some consequence for sellers that didn't use it.

Here's another thought. Some of us like to be nit-picky, and would gladly point out every mistake people made, but we don't necessarily want to be seen as that jerk who's always correcting people. If there was an anonymous button/message/thingy that I could use to tell sellers they've miscategorized something, I'd use the heck out of it. If a particular seller only generated a few clicks, then they were probably just mistakes, but if a seller generated say ten clicks in a given week, it could throw up a flag and if a moderator agreed they were doing a horrible job they could make them correct them or put their auctions on hold or something.

This is probably the single biggest reason I don't buy anything in the auction; having to wade through stacks of crap to try to find what I'm looking for. At the time of this writing, there are 166 lots in the Scandinavia & Baltic category. Sixty-six of them are neither Scandinavian nor Baltic. 66!!! That's almost 40% of the listings that don't belong there!

Chris

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
14 Jul 2015
04:25:12pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Chris, thanks for letting me know the link works for anyone.

There have been over 600 stamp issuing entities since 1840. I for one don't have the time nor the desire to put together such a list. However, if someone is willing to pay me $2 per entity for the complete list, I will do it. If someone wants to pay me $4 per entity, I will also cross reference country names between Scott and Gibbons.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
14 Jul 2015
04:25:16pm

Auctions
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

I have no horse in this race, but I'd go more towards simplifying things than making a lot of very specific categories, many of which would be empty much of the time.

My suggestion would be to limit posting of an auction to one category. Early in my membership here, I went through the cover category and then went to the USA category. I soon realized I was looking at the same auctions all over again.

Just yesterday when I got interested in this thread, I went to the cover category and there were stamps and cut squares that weren't even covers.

If we went to making people choose one category, they'd have to choose wisely and that could straighten out a lot of issues here.

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
14 Jul 2015
06:08:48pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

I think Shakespeare wrote a play about this thread, something like "Much Ado About Nothing"Big Grin

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thebiggnome
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14 Jul 2015
06:20:04pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Well, thanks for nothing.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
14 Jul 2015
07:19:37pm

Auctions
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Quote:

"$100 i'll come to your house & mount them in your album for you. (airfare not included!)"



I think I just outsourced my stamp collecting! Big Grin

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CapeStampMan
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Mike
14 Jul 2015
10:12:57pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Quote:

"This is probably the single biggest reason I don't buy anything in the auction; having to wade through stacks of crap to try to find what I'm looking for."



Chris,
I'm sorry but I don't see what the issue is if you don't even buy anything from the auction. Why do you even bother looking, if you are just going to get aggravated with the system that has been quite successful for several years. I don't know what, or how you are looking, but I always use the "search" function for what I'm looking for. That will at least show the country or actual stamp that I am looking for, regardless of the geographic area where it is listed in the auction.
Mike
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TuskenRaider
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15 Jul 2015
07:33:25am
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Quote:

"tuskenraider creates a list of all auctions ending in the next 24 hrs, categorized by
country & sales price, and emails it to all of us. Of course, he does this on a daily basis..."



OOOPPS just fell into fermentation vat....that list will have to wait til tomorrow or until I empty
this dang vat....Burrrrrp Party
TuskenRaider

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thebiggnome
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15 Jul 2015
08:39:25am
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Mike,
Thanks for at least offering a helpful suggestion. The auction system has worked successfully, yes, but there was much talk in the last few weeks about how to make it better and encourage more participation. If it works for you, great. If it worked better, then I might buy more too.

If you only use the search, I shudder to think what you might be missing. For instance, I collect Sweden. I just did a search for Sweden and it returned 9 lots. However when I went into the category and browsed (yes, past all the junk that didn't belong there) I found 17 Sweden lots. Eight of them are listed under the French spelling of Suede. I would never have thought to search for that. If I was only using search I would have missed almost HALF of the Swedish offerings today!

Chris

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
15 Jul 2015
12:17:51pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Quote:

"i love how our members love to dole out jobs. Now they're being so helpful as to even identify which of the volunteers is best suited to do the work they just assigned.
At least Tim is beloved enough to be immune this once.
"


I always thought it was the job of the auctioneer...Rolling On The Floor LaughingLOLRolling On The Floor Laughing

Incidentally, I have started to monitor "mis-assigned" Approval Books listing categories, but only if it is a gross error do I ask for corrections. The case for Epirus is proof that one must be flexible.
We must also admit that geography is often a failed subject in the US (and other countries) education system.
And who has ever heard of, let alone placed on a map...Khor Fakkan? (clue, it is one of the Trucial states), or Rouad (a French Mandate territory off Turkey). Here is a game: Who can name the most obscure country that issued stamps, or what would be your favorite choice of stamps from a far off country (and where is it)? My favorite had been "White Russia", because the stamps are few in numbers(5), cheap, colorful, plentiful, available perf and imperf, undecipherable, with plenty of forgeries to boot, and you will find it (footnoted) in Scott, not in Volume 5, for R (N-S), nor in volume 6 for W (S-Z), but in volume 1.

In Auctions, you have the luxury of being able to assign more than one Category. But as we only have a single assigned label in Approval Books, one has to be a bit more generous with people's knowledge of geographical boundaries. Also realistically, one could have a different view of the world. Is Andorra part of "French", "Spanish" or Other Europe? (3 justifiable opposing views, ask any European where they place it). As far as I know, if you blink while driving through it (after buying the contraband tax free items you find everywhere), you have exited into the adjacent country (unless you got stuck in a snow storm in August, which happened to me once)..and then good luck finding a hotel!

But I digress...again Big Grin
rrr...

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
15 Jul 2015
12:41:32pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

I was checking on Rouad and here is a resource I came across "Dead country Stamps": http://www.dcstamps.com/

And this is what the said about Rouad (but I found nothing on White Russia!):

Quote:

"fast facts

Region: Middle East / Central Asia
Group: Syria Area
Classification: Occupation (France)
Prior Regime: Ottoman Empire
Key Dates:
1915, Sept 1 – France occupies Ile Rouad
1918, Sept/Oct – Ile Rouad used as a staging area for the taking of Damascus
1919 – Ile Rouad Becomes a part of the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (East)
1920 – Ile Rouad becomes part of the Alawite State
Following Regime: Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (East)
Scott Catalogue: (Rouad, Ile) #1-16 "



A great resource. rrr...



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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
15 Jul 2015
01:26:53pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

The Scott catalogs, in addition to the informative introduction also has a large index. Looking at the index for "White Russia", it shows right away to look in Volume 1 for it. If you look at the index for Volume 1, it will tell what page White Russia is located. (Belarus, by the way.)

It is not that hard to find things. The catalogs contain much more than just pictures of stamps, catalog numbers and values.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
15 Jul 2015
01:32:22pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

The White Russia stamps are considered to be a fantasy issue, although there are tons of forgeries of the issue.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
15 Jul 2015
06:19:52pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Quote:

"It is not that hard to find things. The catalogs contain much more than just pictures of stamps, catalog numbers and values."


Thanks Michael...what would I do without you?Confused Rolling On The Floor Laughing
You must admit that the normal method is to look at it in alphabetical order. Belarus did not exist prior to the breakup of the USSR, so where do you think Scott put White Russia's stamps then? And is it common knowledge that ...oh well, you get my point.

Another question: why are there so many counterfeits of a "fantasy" issue. I am not sure I understand the business model of the counterfeiters.
rrr...


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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
16 Jul 2015
01:31:50am
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Alot of counterfeits of stamps were made for the packet trade.

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Soundcrest
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24 Aug 2015
07:34:12am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

I also see this morning that there are 2 worldwide books in the supplies section. Now I for one would LOVE worldwide as a category (within reason I suppose like British Commonwealth or Europe) as it would allow me to start moving over stock from another site where I don't have nearly enough to create sensible books due to all stamps of the same price on the same page. I know we can put a couple of countries together and it passes muster through the censor but to be able to put a dozen or so countries in the same book would be ideal. While the drop downs with multiple countries is nice, it can become crazy (check out Delcampe if you don't list there already). I would like to see the "post a new item" page in alphabetical order but after a while you get used to it out of order.

Greg

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bobstew617
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24 Aug 2015
02:02:30pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Quote:

"My suggestion would be to limit posting of an auction to one category."



Sorry I did not see this until now, but I could not disagree more, especially when an a stamp is a topical.

I have an example--one of my favorite areas PAPUA (&) NEW GUINEA (PNG as I call it).

Let's say I have a butterfly stamp from there. (of which there are many Cool )

Theoretically, I would want to place that stamp in three categories:

1) BRITISH COMMONWEALTH
2) AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, and OCEANIA
3) TOPICALS

BOB



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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
24 Aug 2015
04:44:22pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

I wouldn't allow more than three categories. Two at the most is usually enough when there is some overlap.

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doodles69ca
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Suzanne
24 Aug 2015
04:58:16pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

I like that list of countries. I printed it off to have it handy. Usually if I don't have the catalogue handy, I just do a google search for it. That works too, but this list will be so much easier. Thank you for sharing.

Suzanne

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thebiggnome
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24 Aug 2015
05:22:53pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Quote:

"I would want to place that stamp in three categories"



Bobstew, I can't find the post you quoted. Is it from another thread?

Three categories would be fine if they were the correct categories. We can't get people to list things in one category correctly.

Chris
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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
24 Aug 2015
05:51:52pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Chris

See BenFranklin1902's post of July 14

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thebiggnome
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24 Aug 2015
06:10:39pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

I see it now! I swear it was not there earlier. I even Ctrl-F'ed 'suggestion' and 'limit' and it didn't hit on that post either time. Just an internet hiccup?

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
24 Aug 2015
07:50:33pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

I have the same problem following conference sessions with Maker's Mark. Big Grin

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fredcdobbs
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APS # 224327
24 Aug 2015
09:55:17pm
re: Auction improvement - category definitions

Quote:

"I have the same problem following conference sessions with Maker's Mark. Big Grin "



Mr. Beam and I have had the same results during sessions as well. Laughing

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