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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Approvals Disc. : Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

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cardstamp
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17 Nov 2016
11:12:44am

Approvals
The title of this post says it all... Granted I may not have put up as many books as I have done in the past 2 years. It has been a chicken and the egg scenario for me. Why put up many books if no one is interested but if you do not keep putting up new ones - then there are only a few if any takers.

Has anyone else that sells via approval books noticed a slow down in the past few months. I thought maybe with the elections going on - everyone's focus had gone away - just like the ratings for football and tv series this year are down. However in the past I have found November and December as strong selling months not only here but elsewhere as well. So far this November has been very very slow.

Have members tired of the books - there had been so many added over this year maybe it became too overwhelming to look thru to find a book which interests a person. Maybe I am the only one that has noticed a slow down ? Steve
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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
17 Nov 2016
01:05:32pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Hi Steve:
I noticed that more books seemed to be getting lower sales % figures than before when first released...but as of this last week the numbers are up again!
I stopped putting up book (for a while), as it is a lot of work, and at 5c to 10c a stamp it is hard to justify the work for a well organized book, even in a club-like set up where sharing is more important than the profit motive.
In order to be active in Approvals, you need to have several active books and you need to add to them regularly. Reworking old books also help, as I find the process of searching through a depleted book tiring and unrewarding, while a reissued book, even with the same material, sells. This is an area that would benefit from rethinking how the books work, to improve the whole experience, but it would require overcoming major software and structural rigidity. As it stands, it follows the basic concept of the APS Approvals that are mailed, without the potential benefits of computer power to cull already sold items. Imagine if sold stamps could simply no longer display in the scan, when you look through a page, and you only looked at what was available..I think it would improve dramatically the experience, but this is not achievable without many changes and restrictions...so it is not even discussed, and with good reason. ( I am thinking of the way Roy's store displays available FDC).

And yet no matter how good the material you offer is, the book with very low prices seem to be the ones who get a lot of early sales, and for Approvals there is some resistance to the higher priced stamps, even if they help complete one's collection.

It may be topic related. Some books just don't sell! One can easily find out which ones by looking at % sold...but keep in mind the starting and max prices as well.

There may be more auction material. How are Auction sales, by the way?

It may also be the organization and stamp info (or lack of) in the Approval books. I found that adding the cat numbers or organizing the book in sequential order seems to help early sales a lot. As a buyer, I will just not looks at books with material just thrown together in no order, and without some reference to year or cat #..they are just like sieving through a grab box. And lately too many books look like they were just thrown together from floor droppings..although if they sell, why would anyone put more effort?

The funny thing about Approval Books is that the sales continue to be concentrated in the early days, week at most, that follows issuing a book. Older books seldom get extra sales (possibly because looking through a depleted book is highly unsatisfactory, for a buyer...as you keep getting disappointed seeing the stamp you wanted already gone!)

As you know, I have been looking at ways to make Approval Books attractive for higher valued stamps, and also to remain a good resource for buyers beyond the rush of purchases during the early days followed by nothing.
I hope to test a few ideas next years. Seems to me that to change the system from what we have will just have to add some rigidity and no one here at SOR likes changes..any changes (remember the fight over the 100 stamp limit)... as has become apparent to me from prior efforts.
And with the small base of active regular collectors we have (I would guess a few hundreds on a regular basis), it is hard to justify much extra time to improve the system!
It will be interesting to see if activity returns, now that the election is over..but first some of us need to recover from the deep depression that has followed the election results Laughing I myself am thinking along the line of a long trip to the sunny tropical beaches with no TV and no internet...and unfortunately no stamps!

rrr....

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Soundcrest
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17 Nov 2016
02:23:54pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Steve you are not alone. I thought it was just me,picking areas no one collects. Last week I took a book that almost emptied itself out in a weekend when I put it up, added more of the same and it just sat. Could it be there are more people selling?

Auctions have always been hit and miss. Higher than a dollar or two rarely sells. This week I took 10 auctions and put a BIN price on them. I have never thought much of that option, but I figured I would try it for a couple of weeks.

With next weekend being Thanksgiving I am expecting very poor sales and will probably only put up 2 instead of 3 books. Christmas week I will take off completely with books as I have too much going on.

I know its been batted around about having another selling platform for higher priced stuff, but personally I don't see it getting much in the way of attention by buyers. If this site is like any other it is a different set of buyers for books vs auctions. It certainly is for me. I have only 1 or 2 buyers who buy both. I also think that many buyers find a seller(s) that they like and stick with them. I also have always felt that there are some people who will only buy from non-dealers.

Anything I make selling here gets used to buy other stamps to sell here. Less sales just means I have less to work with. Luckily I have a few months worth of books that I can make up without getting desperate!

Greg

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dell4c
17 Nov 2016
02:59:22pm

Approvals
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

I haven't found sales to slow down. I posted a book last night and it was over 40% sold today already. I think the approval platform works great and I've found 1000's of stamps on it to buy and sold 1,000's of my dup's on it as well.

My thanks to all who developed and and continue to support it!

Bob

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
17 Nov 2016
03:32:27pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

I've said before that I think the approval books are a modern marvel and surely beats having to pay today's postage rates to send back books! I will sometimes browse just to see what's there.

A while back I decided to see if I could fill some holes in my USA commemorative collection of mint singles. I found one seller who had a lot of items I needed and I bought until my eyes crossed! I lost count of what stamps I had bid on and stopped because I feared buying duplicates. I checked and saw I only spent less than $10! The seller was very nice and it was an overall good experience and cheap fun. God bless the folks who have the patience to sell nickel and dime stamps!

On the selling side, I put up a book of older US covers a while back. I put two covers to a page for 48 covers to a book. I got that initial flurry of activity as people grabbed the plump cherries I hid in the books. Then nothing! So I put up a second book a month later and again the new book got hit, but I noticed the same buyers seeked out and bought some items from my first book to make the order worthwhile to them. I noticed that again when I put up the third book.

So my advise would be to put up a book of like items every two weeks or month, and you will get some sales from your earlier books.


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Jansimon
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17 Nov 2016
04:25:33pm

Approvals
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Yes, I noticed a slow down as well and I happened to see a peculiar correlation with the fact that one of our most esteemed members and buyers was not able to come to his computer due to severe knee problems...
Some of the books I put online hardly got touched, yet there were plenty of people going through them. Now it seems things are slowly getting back to "normal". It could also be due to the fact that I put a lot of books on that turned out to be not that popular (Turkey for instance)

Apart from that, I second what Bob said. The approvals have been great, both for selling and buying. My collection has grown considerably, and so has the paypal account Happy

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
17 Nov 2016
09:17:13pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

As a correlation, as the USA election drew near, people stopped spending their discretionary money. I found this with my sales on eBay, APS Sales books, model railroad shows and my flea market booth. Talking with people who I know who sell similar items also reported similar drops in sales.

Since the election, sales have begun to resume. Last weekend at the flea market was turning out to be one of my best ever until Mother Nature dropped a monsoon on us and chased everyone away from the open air market. Things will return to normal. Life will resume.

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
18 Nov 2016
04:41:16am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Yes! Elections and Referenda are extremely bad for business.

Almost ALL businesses suffer here when elections are held.

Our gift shop sales fall by up to 17% whenever these are held. Sales normally recover within two weeks but you never recover the lost sales.

Our problem in Scotland is we have lower growth than the rest of the UK because the governing party, the SNP, who lost the independance referendum, will not shut up about wanting another one.

They are like parrots "we want a second referendum", "we want a second referendum", "we want a second referendum", "we want a second referendum", "we want a second referendum".

Hearing that everyday, wears people down and drains their confidence.

Hopefully the populace will eventually become immune to this mantra and treat it like the boy who called "wolf".

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Soundcrest
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18 Nov 2016
06:44:00am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

I have never correlated elections with sales. Economy certainly. We are all selling things that people don't need. Collectibles are like that. When a person has less disposable income then the cutbacks occur in what they get to spend their excess money on. If the economy bounces back (and I have been waiting for years for it to) I suspect sales across all sites will improve.

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19 Nov 2016
03:16:04am
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

One of the problems for me as a buyer is the low Canadian dollar. I recently purchased a number of stamps from someone that literally only lives 2 hours from me but due to the exchange rate, it cost me $20 more. This has definitely curbed my purchases at the present time. I am still trying to get past that exchange rate. So for those who may have Canadian buyers, expect a reduction of purchases.

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copy55555
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19 Nov 2016
03:16:26pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

I've read several comments about unfair or misleading prices expressed in various currencies. Mostly those expressed in Canadian and/or US dollars.

Not sure if I understand how the exchange rate affects the stamp prices. The exchange rate is approximately $1 CAN = $.75 US. So...

If a stamp is priced at $7.50 US then the equivalent Canadian price should be $10.00. Both prices are equal. Or do I have my math all wrong?

I do see on ebay and even here on SOR, Canadian mint stamps offered at 10% (or more) discount from face (or so) but in US dollars and advertised as less than face. Not exactly true.

As a collector, I personally need to keep in mind the exchange rates whenever I make a bid or purchase.

Tad

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doomboy
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19 Nov 2016
04:26:17pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

I think Kelly's referring to the fact that the value of the Canadian dollar has been dropping relative to the US, thus making a purchase more expensive in real terms for a Canadian shopper than it would have been a few months previous, even though the US price has remained constant.


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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
19 Nov 2016
06:54:46pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

I understand what Kelly is saying. I was an American living in Germany back in the 1969-72 period when the US Dollar to German Mark ratio went from 4 marks to a dollar to less than 2! Suddenly everything we bought cost a bit more than double.

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19 Nov 2016
11:18:45pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Yes Darryl, that is what I meant. It's much more expensive right now for Canadians to buy anything that is priced in US$ than it was before. If we go back to when the US$ and CDN$ were on par or nearly so, many more Canadians were buying products - including here on SOR than today.

When I had recently purchased the above mentioned stamps, I totally forgot the amounts were in US$ until I went to PayPal and nearly had a heart attack when I saw the additional $20. Sadly, if I had used my brain ahead of time, I would have held off making the purchases that I did, although they were se-tenants that I have been needing for my one collection.

Having said that, I am keeping myself away from approvals and auctions for awhile to avoid spending money that is going to send me way over my budget due to the exchange rates.

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lemaven
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20 Nov 2016
04:11:24pm

Approvals
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

As "the culprit" in Kelly's case, and "the supplier" to Tad's example, I'll make a few comments.

1) When I first joined SoR a year ago there was quite a debate rampant about payments (in cash and/or MNH stamps for fractionals) and the currency of transactions. I got caught a bit in this issue early on myself, but someone in "Upper Management" made it abundantly clear: "All bid prices, and payments for same, are in US$". So, I can see why Kelly would be shocked to do the currency exchange calculation at today's rates - but as Tad indicated, we have full knowledge of this situation and shouldn't be surprised by it.

2) Kelly's statements about her own (and fellow Canadian's) purchases being reduced going forward isn't petulant. It's a natural response to doing trans-border business that we have lived with forever, and will continue to do so until the U.S. pegs The Greenback to The Loonie. {Check The Farmer's Almanac to find out when they predict hell freezing over..."}. When your currency is low be a net seller, and when your currency is high be a net buyer. So coupled with shipping costs to Canada, some depression of purchases from Canadians on SoR is probably natural but not catastrophic.

3) As to the good old days when 100 Loonies could buy 100 Greenbacks and have money leftover for a beer and a hotdog...we only had to wait 4 years last time (between 2008 when the Americans melted down their markets and those of the world with sub-prime mortgages and investment banker greed, to 2011). But prior to that, it was a 33 year stretch of wandering in the desert (1975-2008). I stay away from market predictions, but I suspect if my fellow Canucks are going to wait for the return of "par" before buying on SoR in droves it will probably be around the same time that I shoot same at Pebble Beach {refer to The Farmer's Almanac again}.

4) Stamps, like gas for your car, have a certain "inelasticity of demand". What economists mean by this highfalutin phrase is that when a Mars bar costs me $1.35 this week (compared to $1.29 last week) I might not eat one. But if gas prices experience the same trend I will still fill up my tank because I need to get to work. And when I see a stamp I want that will cost me an extra 6c I will buy it because I need it to live... Again, more selective buying by Canadians perhaps, but nothing disastrous.

5) Big Grin Just saying: even if I moved 8 hours away from Kelly, rather than being "literally only ... 2 hours" away, the currency exchange would be the same. And I could do door-to-door deliveries being so close, but my mileage charges (even though gas pricing is inelastic) would be worse than the exchange rate! Big Grin

6) Tad's point about "advertising" FV is well-taken. Personally, I gave both CV and FV along with Scott #s in the interest of better descriptions but would not assert "50% of CV" without some qualifier since I knew I was getting US$. I think that's totally reasonable. Certainly we wouldn't require a listing of a British 1 Pound stamp to be noted as a "US$1.25 FV stamp".

7) Further to Point #6, some calculations by buyers and sellers is always worthwhile. For example, I developed an algorithm from CVs and FVs, and a subjective "collectibility" parameter (e.g. a higher number applied to a $1 Jubilee than a $1 Montreal Olympics stamp). If I look just at FV sold in my recent "Canada MNH Block Party", I got slightly less than 50% FV overall. So, US$25 (my approximate average sale, excluding one buyer) became CA$32.88 (yay exchange rate!) for $50 Canadian FV - or 66% of FV. But then I threw in free shipping (for anything over $5) so I shave off CA$1.00-1.80 depending on the lot size, and PayPal takes almost 4% (of the US% amount) for their fees. My net is now about CA$30.17 (60% FV). I could easily sell them for that on Kijiji, with local buyers picking them up, and saving the 40 hours of cataloguing, scanning/editing, posting Auctions, writing witty sales prose, organizing lots, licking stamps and envelopes, writing/responding to emails/PMs, driving to the postal outlet, dodging my wife's nagging about the space I'm taking up at home, etc. Even at minimum wage that's about CA$450 (US$420). My net is now about minus 60% FV.



Anyway, this was fun to write on a -1C day with 3 inches of snow on the ground (and more dropping) two days after it was 19C and I was mowing the lawn in my shorts and t-shirt!!!

Cheers, Dave.

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21 Nov 2016
05:51:05am
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Dave - I didn't mean to make it sound like it was anything to do with you.

It was a slip from me for not reminding myself the prices were in US$.

We've all seen worse in the exchange rates. It's just something we need to keep in mind (especially if you are on a limited budget), so you aren't caught by surprise. I'm sure there will still be many Canuck buyers, I was just saying that I can see Canucks cut back for the time being - particularly during this time of the year. I certainly don't anticipate anyone waiting around for the rates to come closer together.

I went to university shortly after the '80s recession and being a Canuck in a US university was not easy doings. Both countries' students would receive their VRS cheques each month. The US students walked out of the bank satisfied - the amount on their cheques was the same amount in their pocket and account. The Canuck students walked out of the bank in dismay as we had watched our money disappear through the exchange rate.

I was just saying for myself personally, which I should have clarified, my cross-border purchases are going to be reduced because when you start adding up the "loss" through the exchange rate of a number of purchases, that's a lot of food you could have bought instead. So for me, until the rates come closer together, I have to remind myself of the currency being used by a selling venue - stores, stamps, etc.

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lemaven
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21 Nov 2016
08:33:30am

Approvals
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"Dave - I didn't mean to make it sound like it was anything to do with you."



No problem Kelly. There was no identifier and I didn't take it personally. (Never read anything into my posts other than objective argument/opinion, I just tend to be very straight-forward in my writing style so it may come across as "kurt"). I just wanted to be transparent so readers would know I wasn't trying to hide the fact that I did play a (tangential?) part in the grief over currency costs.

I agree (as I hope I stated clearly, although perhaps lost in my lengthy missive) that the currency situation supports Canadians being net spenders > buyers. I have looked at variable pricing/discounts for Canadians but feel that it would disadvantage American buyers (90% of my sales). Still trying to create an algorithm that might work here.

The only thing I've been able to do, and feel is fair, is to charge fellow Canadians in CA$ if I am supplying their needs directly, so not having to scan/post to Auctions/Approvals and go through PayPal. So, if you/someone (like a couple other folks) gave me a list of stamps you need, as I run across them I can do so. (Moderator: Not a solicitation to sell, just providing an example...)

Dave.
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Tom in Exton, PA
21 Nov 2016
11:11:34am
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

A question about the Canadian Dollar...
While it's currently at about 75 US cents, I noticed that the minimum wage in Canada, by Provence is much higher than in the US. How does that equalize the costs across the border?

Minimum wage is $11.40 an hour in Ontario, Canada
Minimum wage is $7.40 an hour in Pennsylvania, USA
It's as low as $5.15 in the southern states.

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21 Nov 2016
11:30:24am
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

7.40 US$ is roughly $10 CDN$ at the current exchange.

Our general cost of living is sometimes higher than the US - for example fruits and vegetables have to be imported for the most part of the year so the cost of produce here is quite high.

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lemaven
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21 Nov 2016
11:58:57am

Approvals
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Kelly's is a typical case for most of us up North, and we have learned to adapt our spending (somewhat) accordingly. On the one hand, I took my family for 2 of our biggest-ever vacations in Mexico and California when our dollar was at par 5-7 years ago; but our last 2 big trips were Banff (Alberta) and Newfoundland when a U.S. trip was too expensive.

But you make a good point Tom. And it's not just minimum wage - look at what our teachers make and their golden pensions compared to those in the U.S. And the economic impact of a heart attack might end your stamp collecting, but would cost me (basically) just parking fees for my family to visit me in hospital.

The currency/buying issue becomes problematic partly as a result of "psychological accounting" and "bench-marking" (two issues I encounter in my behavioural finance studies). We see a stamp we want for $5 and then don't like the bank taking out $6.50 to pay for it. But if we bought it for $6.50 and the bank withdrew $6.50 we'd be ok. The real problem then is viewing the US$/CA$ difference as "more expensive" or even "unfair.

I use this to my advantage (or at least to avoid psychological pain and wasted time tracking currencies) by having 2 PayPal Accounts. One is CA$ and the other is US$. I deposited half my yearly "stamp/fun money" in each. On SoR I sell and buy in the US$ Account only so I never see (or care about) exchange rates. A dollar is just a dollar.

It's a great strategy but not for everyone. I don't fret about my "lost interest" from not having the money in my savings/chequing account (it's not just peanuts, it's peanut crumbs...). And I have no interest (pun intended) in spending time moving money back and forth (a money losing venture with bank's currency buy/sell spreads) as my "time is money" and it is perfectly hedged against currency rates (US1Hr = CA1Hr not CA45MIN).

Dave.




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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
21 Nov 2016
01:03:57pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"Minimum wage is $7.40 an hour in Pennsylvania, USA
It's as low as $5.15 in the southern states."



The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That is as low as an employer can pay a worker in the USA, except for the service industry where tips are a supplement to the wage. That's why you find wages lower than $7.25.

States and local jurisdictions can always impose a higher minimum wage, and many have. In many locales, competition among minimum wage jobs, and lack of workers provides such workers with a higher wage. In my area, fast food workers get paid more than the federal minimum wage, often receiving from $10 to $15 to start because we have so many fast food joints in the area.

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21 Nov 2016
03:58:57pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

San Jose, California from where I write is at $10.30, Palo Alto is $11 and San Francisco is $13. San Jose is inflation indexed and goes to $10.50 on January 1.

A state law passed last year will increase the minimum wage statewide to $15 by 2022, with an increase of $1/year to get there, and after 2022 it is inflation-indexed with a maximum annual increase of 3.5%.

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copy55555
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21 Nov 2016
04:03:09pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"The currency/buying issue becomes problematic partly as a result of "psychological accounting" and "bench-marking" (two issues I encounter in my behavioural finance studies). We see a stamp we want for $5 and then don't like the bank taking out $6.50 to pay for it. But if we bought it for $6.50 and the bank withdrew $6.50 we'd be ok. The real problem then is viewing the US$/CA$ difference as "more expensive" or even "unfair."



So, Dave, that was what I was trying to say in my post but you did it better. Thanks! You also commented on teacher's salaries.


Quote:

"And it's not just minimum wage - look at what our teachers make and their golden pensions compared to those in the U.S."



I remember not so long ago during the political struggle for the governor of Wisconsin that teachers were crying that Walker was against unions and it would mess up their livelihood. And those teachers were making the equivalent of over $100,000 US annually in salary and benefits. So in Canadian currency that should be about $135,000 CAN plus. This is in a state that ranks 43rd in 8th grade reading skills and 37th in 8th grade math skills.


It would be interesting to see how that compensation compares with the average Joe here in the US and Canada.


Tad

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lemaven
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21 Nov 2016
05:35:50pm

Approvals
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"And those teachers were making the equivalent of over $100,000 US annually in salary and benefits. So in Canadian currency that should be about $135,000 CAN plus. "




Wow! I have been totally misinformed about teacher's salaries in the U.S. I thought they were about half what you quoted Tad. Not sure I'd make currency-adjusted comparisons though, because that would represent a 35% raise for Canadian teachers in the past 5 years, which I'm sure they'd be ecstatic to get!

Comparing our countries is always a mug's game. There's income tax and sales tax rates, which I believe are generally lower for Americans. And your ability to deduct mortgage interest (almost everyone's largest debt) which we don't have here is huge. But our "free" health care is a major offset for us - especially the geezers in the crowd (90% of us???). But you pay lower costs for mutual funds and stock trades and get a free gun with every checking account in Texas (according to the Michael Moore movie I saw). Bottom line, we probably have more people in the middle financially, and Americans have more pushed out to the high/low ends.


But what's that got to do with buying stamps? Everything if you want to focus on "disparities" or nothing (my view) if you just set aside what you want to spend and do so. If the currency rate means my buying money runs out faster then I'll spend some time actually putting stamps in albums and my wife will be happier seeing fewer rooms with piles of stamps.

Dave.
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michael78651
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21 Nov 2016
05:55:44pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

The median annual public school teacher salary in Round Rock, TX is $49,908, as of November 07, 2016, with a range usually between $43,571-$57,627. I'm sure the teachers here would love to make what others make in other parts of the country. I'm not so sure I could stay in my house if they got such a salary increase as my property taxes would go further beyond the roof than they already are.

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youpiao
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21 Nov 2016
06:22:25pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"my property taxes would go further beyond the roof than they already are."


In Texas, when you reach age 65, you are exempt from paying the school portion of the property tax. So, there's that to look forward too. Big Grin

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Tom in Exton, PA
21 Nov 2016
07:40:29pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"The median annual public school teacher salary in Round Rock, TX is $49,908, as of November 07, 2016, with a range usually between $43,571-$57,627."



That's more the salary range I'm used to seeing. My daughter is a teacher in New Jersey and that's the numbers.

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lemaven
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21 Nov 2016
08:32:11pm

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re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Toronto Elementary teachers: brand new $46-55,000 10 years experience $76-94,000. High school add another $5,000. Many of the teachers I see who are looking at early retirement around age 50-55 have a choice between a lifetime pension (60% to surviving spouse) of about $40-60,000 (Principals $70-80,000) or commuted value of $800,000-$1.4M.

Haven't met a stamp collector in the bunch...

Question: Why on earth did I sidetrack this thread with my comments about cross-border salary differentials in the first place???

Dave.

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21 Nov 2016
08:39:04pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Dave -

'Cuz that's what we do! We go off-topic and then eventually come back to a circle and back to the original topic. That's what makes it fun! Big Grin

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doomboy
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22 Nov 2016
09:50:32am
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"Haven't met a stamp collector in the bunch..."



I am. About 15% of my local stamp club is also.

Edit - removed grumpiness.

DB



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michael78651
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22 Nov 2016
11:05:45am
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"In Texas, when you reach age 65, you are exempt from paying the school portion of the property tax."



Hey Ted. That's not how it works. When a homeowner in Texas turns 65, the homeowner can file a form with the county tax collector's office. That freezes the school property tax rate at the amount that it was in the previous year. Then the homeowner pays that school property tax amount each year for as long the homeowner owns the home.
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cardstamp
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22 Nov 2016
12:42:45pm

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re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

This is an interesting discussion but it really has nothing to do with my original posting. The initial comment about the Canadian dollar value may be why some of my Canadian buyers have not been buying recently and that was a great point. However the rest of the discussion may have been better in a separate discussion - so others can see it because it had nothing to do with my first comment and anyone browsing thru the board may not read thru the rest of this discussion ! Thanks, Steve

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lemaven
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22 Nov 2016
01:41:11pm

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re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"This is an interesting discussion but it really has nothing to do with my original posting..."



Sorry Steve. My bad as I noted above.

I think people didn't like my pedantic macroeconomic and psychological explanation of the effect of currency on cross-border stamp sales.

Teacher's salaries on the other hand...

Anyway, I hope I at least gave some insight into your issue before it spun out of control...

Dave.



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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
23 Nov 2016
12:16:19pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Quote:

"The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That is as low as an employer can pay a worker in the USA, except for the service industry where tips are a supplement to the wage. That's why you find wages lower than $7.25.

States and local jurisdictions can always impose a higher minimum wage, and many have. In many locales, competition among minimum wage jobs, and lack of workers provides such workers with a higher wage. In my area, fast food workers get paid more than the federal minimum wage, often receiving from $10 to $15 to start because we have so many fast food joints in the area."



Um, no there are all kinds of state minimum wages much lower than $7.25 an hour. Wyoming and Georgia are listed on the federal chart at $5.15 an hour. And there are all kinds of exemptions by state, not involving tips.

http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-minimum-wage-chart.aspx

And the minimum is just that. Employers are able to pay anything they need to above the minimum to attract workers. As you said, in many areas people are paid a lot more because there is a shortage of workers. And fast food has advertises higher wages for different shifts, like openers and closers because many people won't work those hours. That's the marketplace at work.

Many years ago I worked for a large company that outsourced a bunch of job categories to service providers. In very short order the security and janitorial companies failed to hire full staffs. It turned out that the local McDonalds was hiring for more than they bid the contract at!

Right now UPS is advertising on the radio to fill seasonal jobs. Their commercials actually seem like begging. They are advertising $15 an hour for truck helpers.. stressing that they need not have a drivers license and can be picked up at their homes!



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rrraphy
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23 Nov 2016
01:06:26pm
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

Meanwhile, slower sales or not, I am preparing the next set of Approval Books (BACK ON TOPIC) for early December. After a 6 months break, I have more duplicates, and stamps from areas I no longer collect, that I will be sharing via Approval Books. Do you have any urgent need, (it is a blank slate, apart from areas I am working actively in my collections..like Latin America) just drop me a Private message. And I hope activity will have picked up significantly by then! Any noticeable pickup as we approach Thanksgiving? (with all the sales going on).
rrr...

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michael78651
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24 Nov 2016
12:17:31am
re: Approval Book Sales Not What They Once Were (For Me Anyway !)

OK, Tom. I see it. Interesting list. The state minimum wage is for employees not subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Some allow the state wage for employers that earn less than certain amounts. That would certainly incentivize employees to work harder to boost company earnings. Makes me wonder if they actually try to do that.

Maybe if the minimum wage was increased for all, people would buy more stamps!

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