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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Approvals Disc. : Approval Seller's Quandry

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Larryd
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21 Feb 2016
02:09:07pm
I realize that, as a seller of approvals, I'm expected to provide an invoice in a timely manner. I'd like to present a specific example of a situation that occurs regularly that I really don't know how to handle.
A buyer bought a few stamps from one of my approval books on Jan. 17,2016; another few stamps were purchased on Feb. 12, 2016. The total amount of these purchases is $.50. The buyer is in Canada, and I'm in the USA. I doubt this buyer would be happy to be invoiced for $.50 plus $1.20 postage USA to Canada plus my $.15 "handling" charge. My selling terms state that I'll accept PayPal for purchase of at least $5.00. I doubt this Canadian buyer would have any convenient way to pay for the stamps other than PayPal. I've set aside the stamps this buyer has purchased in hopes that he/she will eventually find other stamps from current or future approval books, but to be within the Stamporama rules this buyer was owed one or two invoices already. I'd be interested to know how other sellers handle this kind of situation.
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Webpaper
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21 Feb 2016
02:22:36pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

While I don't ship to Canada I have a couple of buyers who have me ship to a friend in the US. My Paypal account blocks non-US accounts so they usually pay in U S cash or postage (Canadian or US - I don't really care) or a combination of cash and stamps, whatever works for them. Sometimes I return change from cash payments in stamps - US or Canadian.

I try not to complicate it - in your case $1.85 might be payment in 2 US dollar bills and a 15 cent return in US or Canadian stamps.

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StampCollector
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21 Feb 2016
02:32:26pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

Larry, I am in the same predicament, actually three, maybe four foreign buyers with minimal purchases, didn't think much about it since I set the stamps aside and wait 'til I have enough stamps to make the postage worth it, I like to believe that the stamp collector in question would like to get the stamps much more than I care to get the 40 or 50 cents involved. However your message let me wondering about the rules...are we supposed to send and invoice within a reasonable amount of time or can we let it ride for as long as it takes, not being familiar with the rules I would like to know myself. Tony

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musicman
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APS #213005
21 Feb 2016
02:42:16pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

As a buyer, I have no problem with a seller's shipping terms from, say, Canada as mentioned, no matter how little the cost of the item/lot.

I read each seller's shipping and payment requirements before bidding/buying and BY bidding/buying, I am agreeing to those terms.

Therefore, I should have no problem with paying according to them.


I will say, however, most - if not all - are quite reasonable and lenient when it comes to paying immediately or waiting to see if more items can be added from future sales.

I believe our rules are meant as a guide in matters such as this, and buyer and seller can - through mutual agreement - bend and flex these 'rules' to decide what is best for both parties.



.....this from a buyer's and long-time member's point of view Wave

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
21 Feb 2016
02:57:40pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

I agree with Randy. When I buy stamps in the Auction or Approval Books, I like to close the transaction in a reasonable amount of time. If I only buy 50 cents worth of stamps and have to pay more in shipping and postage than what I paid for the stamps, that is on me. In most cases, I'm also happy to pay the Paypal fees, just for my convenience. The biggest annoyance that I have as a buyer is when the seller won't take Paypal.

I find that communication is the key to everything. To the 3 sellers above, I suggest that you contact the buyers and ask if they are ready for you to send them an invoice. I wouldn't give them too much time either, maybe a week. It is too easy as a buyer to forget and let time go by.

Regards ... Tim.

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philatelia
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APS 156650 25++ years!
21 Feb 2016
03:07:36pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

I offer to let the seller wait for 30 days or $50. After 30 days I request payment unless I haven't listed any new books - if that's true, I wait to give them a chance to look over new material. Several sellers also extend the same courtesy to me and allow me to build up enough of a purchase to justify the few dollars shipping cost.

I don't feel a pressing need to insist upon instant payment especially if this is a customer that always looks at my new books. I know eventually we will settle up. But I know that some folks don't like to wait so long and that is perfectly fine - it is their choice. I just like to offer as a seller what I like as a buyer.

Most importantly talk to each other - some folks don't mind paying that shipping because they REALLY want those stamps ASAP! LOL! You never know until you message each other and ask - simplest way to make everyone happy is communication. Works like a charm!

--- forgot to add - I send invoices every Monday, but skip if we have mutually agreed to wait --

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musicman
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APS #213005
21 Feb 2016
03:35:13pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

No matter what the conditions of sale or agreement decision is, the "T's" have it right (Tim & Theresa!);

Communication is key!

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SandraUK
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21 Feb 2016
03:35:27pm

Approvals
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

I quite often get customers on another site from mainland Europe who buy a single stamp, there quite willing to pay the postage which is often four times the cost of the stamp, quite often it is not possible to communicate as we have no common language, the site translates the invoices, any messages have to go through a online translator and they dont come out very well in english

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
21 Feb 2016
07:12:52pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

" .... Most importantly talk to each other - some folks don't mind paying that shipping because they REALLY want those stamps ASAP! ..."

I appreciate all the sellers who are willing to let things accumulate so the postage is spread over several, even better a lot of, stamps. But there are times I want a lot sooner because it has happened that I see one of the specific items I want somewhere and I bid on it, having forgotten that I have one en route either more purchases or awaiting payment.
The answer is communication. A simple note from me to the seller usually works miracles, and I think builds up a rapport between the parties.
Ignoring such friendly messages so that the sender has no idea if it was received or agreeable is just plain rude.
In the several years as a member and some 6,000 lots among easily fifty sellers I have only come upon one seller who had to be hit in the head with a virtual hammer to get what should have been a simple answer.
I'll say no more about that for now.

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lemaven
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22 Mar 2016
09:20:07pm

Approvals
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

Not much experience, but I can already see how this PITA could become a barrier to listing. (I am shipping from Canada).

Case #1: Auction item sold for $1.60 buyer paid $1.25 shipping to U.S. Shipping is 44% of total which sounds high to me. But a bargain on the sale price (probably 50% less than I expected) so a good deal for the buyer all in, which I assume would be a deciding factor when bidding. Everyone's happy.

Case #2: Approvals - 37 items sold for $3.40. Foreign buyer wants to add more items from future sales before I invoice, which I'm ok with since it's $2.45 shipping. Although, interestingly, shipping would be 42% of total (not much different from Case #1). Request to hold off until $8.00 of purchases (reduces shipping to 23% of total). I'm ok with it as long as the buyer is patient and does not back out (I haven't gotten around to listing anything else since the sale 2 months ago). And there is also the possibility of the additional items bumping up shipping to a higher level.

I know we can't formalize anything but maybe some chit-chat around reasonable parameters would be helpful. I may even take it and codify it within my future sales "rules". Sort of like a reverse "will combine orders for shipping".

For discussion purposes, how does this sound?

Will normally invoice once purchases made from a single Approval sheet or Auction Series (e.g. 8 items listed simultaneously with a common sales code like "H###"). So bids can be calibrated accordingly.

But If requested by buyer will accumulate items from future Approvals/Auctions until the sales value exceeds 2 times (?) 3 times (?) the shipping cost (making shipping 33% or 25% of total respectively) then immediate invoicing.

Just thinking about some reasonable guidelines - does not usurp communication and occasional flexibility.

Thoughts?


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Webpaper
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22 Mar 2016
09:56:42pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

I've been a collector and "kitchen table dealer" since 1985. Times have changed since typed and xeroxed lists and small monthly auctions without pictures.

A basic set of guidelines is essential. But do not try to complicate them. Every customer and every order is different. Too many rules back you into a corner you sometimes don't want to be in.

Use the KISS princple - honest. It is much easier just to communicate and take each issue as it comes along. 95 per cent of us are adults and want to keep things fair.

Same with shipping quotes - if I misquote low I eat the difference. IF I end up high I generally reduce it a bit. It evens out on both ends.

Just some late night thoughts

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ikeyPikey
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22 Mar 2016
10:54:15pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

Quote:

"... any messages have to go through a online translator and they dont come out very well in english ..."



I have developed what I like to call The Reciprocal Turing Test.

1) I reduce anything I want to say to a series of simple, declarative sentences.

2) I use Google Translate to take each simple, declarative sentence from English to, say, Klingon.

3) I use Babylon Translate to take Google's Klingon back into English.

If the same sentence goes back & forth without mangling, then each translator has been fooled (the Turing part) into thinking that the other translator is speaking intelligible Klingon ... so I use that result.

If not, I fiddle the simple, declarative sentence, usually by splitting it into two even more simple, declarative sentences.

Won't work for Latin, sadly, as Babylon does not do Latin.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Croman66
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22 Mar 2016
11:06:55pm
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

both parties need to communicate with each other.....I personally also like my approvals sent right away because I'm an instant gratification junkie when it comes to stamps.I usually browse all the books that interest me and make my choices and I may look at them again in a few days and pick some more, but other sellers have been good about asking if I wanted to wait or go ahead and pay. I know now though that I'm not the only one that will pay more in shipping sometimes than the stamp is worth..lol my addiction,,everyone just have fun with it ..Cool

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
23 Mar 2016
07:53:24am
re: Approval Seller's Quandry

Johnny's adage:

Quote:

"both parties need to communicate with each other....."


is the key..... use that and success will likely follow; forgo and, well, forget about it
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