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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Approvals Disc. : Approval Inactivity Notification

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philatelia
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APS #156650
10 Dec 2015
10:52:17am
I placed my approval books on pause while we did our house redecorating this spring and summer. Therefore, they were offline for at least 9 months. When I reactivated them I received email notices that because they were inactive for over 225 days they would be deactivated in 30 days. LOL, ummmmm, does anyone see the problem here? In any case, I do plan to rework the old books with new material and tidy them up, but I will need a bit more time.

I also had to go through the four questions screen for each one again. Do we really need to do this every time we place our books on inactive for vacations, illnesses, moving and whatnot? Maybe it would be nicer to only go through that process when the book is first uploaded?

Thanks for considering these situations for approval books, Ralph and Bob. I was going to write to you in a message, but I thought that this information might be useful to other approval sellers. Thanks for all that you do as our approval gurus. Happy

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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
10 Dec 2015
11:00:41am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

I am afraid that this will have to be addressed by Ralph upon his return. Like Sgt. Schultz, "I know nothing!"

Bobby

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philatelia
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APS #156650
10 Dec 2015
11:39:42am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

You're right though, I forgot Ralph posted his vacation notice. But better to write it before I forget - my mind is a sieve, eh? Ohhhh don't answer that! haha


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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
11 Dec 2015
09:31:41am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Books can be deactivated by the seller and by the moderator. Approval books are not stores, thus books that show no activity for a significant amount of time get deactivated by the system computer. It has no way of knowing why the book has been sitting idle.
Furthermore, all books older than one year get deactivated by the moderator.
The point is that Approval Books are not to be used as stores.... So it is incumbent on their authors to retire them or add to them when our small membership has found nothing in them to buy over a significant span of time.
If you modify, add or subtract material from a book, you must once again certify that our very few rules are still met, before making the book active.
If you just change prices, you do not.
As Moderator, I can see the date of the last additions to the book and therefore can exercise flexibility when I retire the old books, after one year. I cannot however see sales activities ( private info), so if your book had no sales for a long time, it is the computer program that springs into action.
All this seems reasonable to me. Making more complicated rules and exceptions adds way too much software work to Tim's already full plate and to my manual ( visual) monitoring.
Rrr. ( in Mexico till 12/20)

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philatelia
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APS #156650
11 Dec 2015
10:55:39am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Thanks for the explanation Ralph. Enjoy your time in Mexico. We can discuss this when you get back.

In the meantime, I'm working to refill the old books with new material. I have 60 books, so even if I do one a day I'll need two months. Please hold off on yanking the books until I have a chance to comply. Appreciate that!

Just to clarify, I didn't make any changes to the books, I just made them inactive while I was busy and when I reactivated them I had to go through the questions.

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philatelia
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APS #156650
11 Dec 2015
08:18:08pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

WOW the books have been closed two days after I activated them and before I even had a chance to work on them! The email I received said that I would have a month to work on them. OMG PLEASE tell me they weren't deleted??? This can't be right! Help!

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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
11 Dec 2015
08:35:12pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Theresa,

You might send a PM to Tim. Obi-wan may be your only hope!

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
12 Dec 2015
10:18:23am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Theresa, fyi it may be much better to issue new books than to do what you are trying to do.
Rrr..

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philatelia
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APS #156650
12 Dec 2015
10:38:48am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Ralph, I'm not sure what you mean. Many of the books that were closed were not actually active very long before I paused everything when we tore the house apart last spring. All I'm asking is that they be reactivated until I get a chance to go through them and decide whether to rework them into new books with new stamps or just pull them. The other books that were in this group have started getting quite a few sales, so I really don't think I am asking for anything unreasonable. All I'm asking is for enough time to figure out what to do with all the stamps.

When I put the books in inactive mode, I was unaware that this would happen. If I deliberately ignored known rules, well that might be one thing, but I didn't. I simply put them on hold while I was busy. The notices that I received said that I would have 30 days - fair enough. But I didn't get even the 30 days before they were just yanked. Gosh we're talking hundreds of hours of work here down the drain.

Can't we come to some sort of compromise? I'm pretty upset and was in tears last night - I mean really, please help me out here.

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Doe
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12 Dec 2015
11:22:21am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

This is not cool. It is not an action that a friendly stamp club would take against a fellow member. I for one, will not be making any purchases through the approvals here at SOR until this matter is rectified in a way that is supportive of a long time member in good standing.

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d1stamper
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12 Dec 2015
11:30:27am

Auctions
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Did you not keep scans of the pages on your computer in case you needed to reload them?

If you do not keep the scan of the pages then it would be good practice to do so in the future.

Just a suggestion.

All the best in being able to solve your problem.

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philatelia
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APS #156650
12 Dec 2015
11:39:00am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

I have back up scans for everything. But they are still in the system - I can view them. It is simply a matter of changing their status from closed to open. I mean some of those books were only active for a month or so before we tore the house apart and I paused them. I'll take Bobby's advice and contact Tim to see how much is involved in reactivating them.

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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
12 Dec 2015
11:49:26am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Doe,

I understand where you're coming from, but please realize that the deletion of Theresa's books was not intentional. It was done by the system and hopefully Tim can help her.

Theresa,

Best of luck! Our webwizard is probably the only one who can help.

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Doe
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12 Dec 2015
11:54:58am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Quote:

"The notices that I received said that I would have 30 days - fair enough. But I didn't get even the 30 days before they were just yanked."



I hope you are right Lisa.
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philatelia
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APS #156650
12 Dec 2015
11:58:03am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Thank you Lisa and Bobby for suggesting that I contact Tim. I sent him a private message explaining my dilemma - I'm sure he'll come to my rescue. Gosh some of those books were only online for a few weeks before we started demolishing the house.

Maybe this is a helpful heads up for all the other approval book folks. If you ever have something happen such as a surgery, moving or anything where you pause your sales, be forewarned that the clock keeps ticking even in the inactive mode.

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kam41566
12 Dec 2015
11:58:08am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

This is not fair. It is not a quick process to put up good quality books. And even if Theresa still had the scans, they would not be useful for relisting because it would not account for the items that were already sold.

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philatelia
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APS #156650
12 Dec 2015
12:01:30pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Awww sheesh, you're right! I forgot about the sold items. I suppose I could go through and disable every item that was sold, but wow that will take days. Gosh I hope Tim can reactivate them. Just had another huge sinking feeling in my belly.

I redid three books completely yesterday. Guess I'd better head for the stamp den and get to work.

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philatelia
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APS #156650
12 Dec 2015
12:13:05pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

The Webmaster is an Angel!!! He thinks he can fix it! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

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michael78651
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12 Dec 2015
12:32:49pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Your dilemma sounded weird. Good thing we have Tim!

I inactivated all of my books a while back, and had no trouble reviewing them as I disassembled them. But, with technology, make changes in one place, and one could affect how things work in another.

I'll repeat it, and it should be everyone's mantra here:

Good thing we have Tim!

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Rhinelander
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12 Dec 2015
01:38:59pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Alright, I have been co-responsible for the design of the approval system and will try to clarify to the best of my ability:

Books are system-deactivated automatically after 7.5 months of no sales. I believe this is a fair enough rule. We want to avoid/reduce clutter of books that the seller even might have forgotten about. As you can tell from the odd '7.5 months' this was just a compromise number where the design team split the difference among several cut-off points that had been floating around.

Counting time from the last sale means that if sellers reduce prices and have sales on old book again, the clock is reset. One month before the deactivation a reminder email is system generated to inform the seller of a possible closing of the book, so that the seller can reduce prices or do something to avoid the closing. (In my opinion the best course of action would be to relist the book with new material, but this is besides the point.)

What is not accounted for in the current programming is Theresa's case where the book was deactivated for a long time. So, the last sale was in January, but the book is taken offline from January to August and reactivated. In this case the system will be recognizing a book with no sales in the past 7.5 months period the day after re-activation and sent the automated reminder email (which should have happened at the 6.5 month mark, but the book was not active at the time). The next time (=day) the program runs through the book list and checks today's date against the last day of sale the book will be closed.

So, the possible issue here is that times during which a book is not active should not be counted against the time since last sale. This is a change/addition to the current program. I can only speak for myself when I say that I did not have this issue on my radar when designing the rule, i.e., books should be auto-deactivated after 7.5 months of no sales, but what if the book was deactivated for three months out of that period. Should the program catch this and add the time period at the end?

What is important to realize is that we are talking about an extreme case here. If a seller deactivates the book for two weeks vacation, the issue is immaterial. 7.5 months since the last sale is a very large window to make a sale and start over.

So, I can totally see Theresa's point, and have no objection to change the program accordingly. As the approval system is getting up in age, we are for the first time seeing some of these deactivation/clean-up features being triggered and tested in real life. This is an unforeseen issue.

INDEPENDENT of all that is a recent MANUAL clean up (deactivation, not closing) of books older than one year from first day of activation by Ralph. This is not what we are talking about here.


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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
12 Dec 2015
01:54:31pm

Approvals
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

I loved the idea of electronic approvals, so I put 3 books of 48 covers each in. What I found was a flurry of activity in the first week or so... Then nothing since! The books are up since August. So I have no issues with the 7 month rule.

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kam41566
12 Dec 2015
02:19:30pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

I had a book deactivated recently with no warning e-mail. I know it has been up for a year, but I had a price reduction on the book not that long ago (because I remember posting a message about it on the Approval page). Plus I know I got sales from it more recently than 7.5 months ago. Based on all the things that were said above, I am wondering why my book got automatically deactivated.

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michael78651
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12 Dec 2015
02:21:02pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

Ah, so the bottom line is that Teresa broke it! Shame, shame. Naughty, naughty!

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Rhinelander
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Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
12 Dec 2015
04:28:11pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

@ kam41566

Your book was not automatically closed by the system. A system auto-closing will occur 7.5 month after last sale with a warning email thirty days prior. This is what Teresa had asked about.

Independent of that Ralph conducted a manual clean up recently where he deactivated books older than one year. This is not a system design issue. The approval moderator can deactivate any book at any time. Ralph has explained what he did and why he did it well enough, I believe. However, I understand that in this first ever purging of the system from possible clutter one or the other book may have gotten caught in the drag net for no sufficient reason. I have no doubts that with respect to the vast majority of the books purged, the system only got cleaned up; enabling easier navigation for buyers, and better exposure of remaining relevant books for sellers. Still, the books have only been deactivated not closed; so just talk to Ralph and activate it again. Ralph is volunteering for this task and does an outstanding job keeping up the integrity and quality of this member service.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
12 Dec 2015
09:25:02pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

The system deactivates books that had no sales for 7.5 months. I deactivated books that are older than one year, from the last addition of new material. ( with an explanation sent to the issuer). Cutting prices is information I have no access to, except like everyone else for the few days the icon is visible. So there is no way for me to consider it.
In keeping with the policy that Approvals are not to become stores, I see nothing wrong with the current approach. One year is a long time folks, get real!
Theresa's case is a special case that only Tim can fix.
It is time to retire books older than one year, or add some material to them to make them consequential again.
Unless the VC tell me not to, I will be deactivating all books older than jan 1 2015. But you can help me a lot by doing it yourselves, if you own one ( or more).
Rrr ( still in MX)

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cardstamp
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13 Dec 2015
01:13:08am

Approvals
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

I do not have to worry about the system deleting any of my books at 7.5 months because after 4 months - I reduce the prices by 50% - and within two weeks after that they are either sold out or - I just delete them myself. I prefer to create new books with any left over material merging it with new items when I can. I never thought of letting books hang on for as long as 7.5 months - truthfully after the first week or two - the activity drops off and I only have an occasional sale afterwards until I mark them on sale.

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
13 Dec 2015
11:36:43am
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

As Arno pointed out, the scenario that Theresa found herself in was not one that we considered in the design of the clean up process. I have made a small change to the cleanup program that will ensure that there is a 30 day grace period after the initial notification email is sent out. In Theresa's situation this change will mean that she would have had a full 30 days to sort out what she wanted to do with the books that she reactivated.

Regards ... Tim.

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philatelia
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APS #156650
13 Dec 2015
12:07:24pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

ApplauseThank you so much Tim! You are a godsend! Applause

I'm busy reworking them as fast as I can. Some of these were issued before January 2015, so Ralph, please give me the 30 day grace period before the annual purge. Thanks.

Hopefully this will be the last time I'm the lucky one to find the hidden glitch. Happy

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michael78651
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13 Dec 2015
09:24:22pm
re: Approval Inactivity Notification

This thread has been split, moving 12 posts onto a new Thread titled:"Stamporama Organizational Structure"

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