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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Approvals Disc. : Cleaning out old Approval Books

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
26 Nov 2017
03:22:53pm
I am in the process of cleaning out many areas of the Stamporama system. Roy and I have been working together over the last month or so, cleaning out old image files that were not being used any more and have significantly reduced the time required to back Stamporama up every night. We are getting close to having this phase of the clean up complete.

I am now going to focus on Approval Books that are old and just not getting any interest from buyers. In the situation where a book has not had any sales in 60 days from the date of the last purchase from the book, the system will send an email to the seller letting them know that in 15 days from the date of the email the system will close the book if there has not been any sales in that 15 days of grace. The email encourages the seller to make some changes to the book (reduce price, add more material etc) to encourage more interest and hence more sales. This change should clean out old Approval Books that are just sitting there clogging everything up, making it difficult for buyers to find the material that they are interested in.

As with any change to a system, this change may cause some problems as we get used to it. If this change does cause a issue with your Approval Books, please contact me and I'll do my best to assist.

Regards,

Tim
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Soundcrest
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26 Nov 2017
03:54:13pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Does that mean the book will be deleted as well as closed? This cause problems for me as I tend to restock books which would entail an awful lot of work as I would have to look up every unsold lot again and again unless I make arrangements for a person to buy a stamp from a book every 60 days to make sure this does not happen or I create an alter ego of myself and buy a stamp every 60 days which might be easier in the long run. I for one am against this. Mark it inactive, but please do not delete old books.

Greg

We'll also assume there are no outstanding invoices for these books. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
26 Nov 2017
05:15:16pm
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Hi Greg,
The books are not deleted, just closed. But the images of closed books are deleted 6 months after the date of closure.

Don't try to "work" the system Greg.

Regards ... Tim.

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Richmond
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RICHMOND FC PREMIERS 2017
26 Nov 2017
05:56:13pm
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

In reference to the recent group email on closure of old Approval Books - I was wondering whether some form of notice could be posted /included in Approval Books section of the Site notifying members that a book will be closed within say 7 days. This would give members time to have a last look at the book before it is removed. It may drum up more sales?

I was also wondering, and this is something I have mentioned before, whether we can introduce a tick box to the approvals books to show we have reviewed /finished with it. The response I got to this is the flag identifies whether you have looked at the book. However sometimes we only have time to have a quick look and given purchasing is quite time consuming, depending on the seller, (finding stamps in Catalogues, checking existing collection databases etc ) normal life takes over and then the book is 'lost'. An alternative would to be have a tick to mark books that we wish to have another look at later. I am no computer expert and possibly changes such as this are difficult and time consuming to implement.

Regards


Richmond.

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Soundcrest
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26 Nov 2017
06:22:58pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Still it does make more work in the long run as now we have a year to perhaps restock a book and its being cut to 6 months. Images don;t really matter as much as the book disappearing. The stock cards have to be re-shot anyway. Its just the having to look everything up again that takes the time.

There are times when enough stamps cannot be found to restock a book to the 100 stamp limit unless you play the game of 30 stamps to a card put in the back with no catalog number for 5 cents each just to reach the 100 count. I have done that myself and actually found those stamps sell. Who knew? I think 60 days is quite severe to close a book down. Yes books rarely get interest after 60 days but its the serious time one must put in to break a book down that is the issue, at least for me. Richmonds idea is a good one, but I don't know if anyone will pay attention to a "final 7 days until closing" notification. It is just something about the whole concept of "if I can't be first, I won't bother" that seems to plague every seller.

Personally , if people have old unpaid invoices after I have sent a reminder - tough break. Don't come crying in a year and wonder what happened to the book. Their loss.

Greg

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
26 Nov 2017
07:05:31pm
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Richmond,

I understand life intrudes. Still, we're not here to cover every contingency. If life is looking unruly, hold the urge to open that approval book until calmer seas emerge and all should be fine.

David, just trying to protect the sole person who codes on this site


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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
26 Nov 2017
07:07:45pm
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Michael,
A notice on the Discussion Board when a Book is entering into the last 15 days is something that could be done. I'm sorry, a facility to record on the Approval Book or Page that you are interested in the page is more work than I can take on.

Greg,
I feel you are missing a small point here. This is a stamp club, not your private ebay. My focus is to clean the Approvals up so that they work well for all, not just to make it convenient for you. I suggest you try HipStamp. They are a professional organization and might meet your needs better.

Regards ... Tim.

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Soundcrest
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26 Nov 2017
07:45:44pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

No Tim, I totally understand. I like many others here already sell on Hipstamp.

Greg

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Soundcrest
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27 Nov 2017
05:48:34am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

I am also wondering if now that you are closing books after 60 days, are you sending an email to EVERY active member informing them of this? I know not everyone bothers with the DB, so placing a message here will do no good. I have one buyer who DOES buy out of older books, only once a month. He gets a pension check once a month and allocates part of it to his collecting. I don't think he and others will be that pleased that books that they have not gone through yet are now gone. To tell him he MUST buy a stamp out of a book he hasn't looked through yet just to keep it open, doesn't seem quite right. Just a thought.

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
27 Nov 2017
07:38:27am
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Hi Greg,
I sent the message that I posted above out in an email to all active members last Friday. I posted above trying to catch people who did not see the email.

Regards ... Tim

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Soundcrest
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27 Nov 2017
08:19:54am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Thanks. I have contacted the one buyer who has this issue. I'm sure he and I will think of something

Actually I never got that email. I'm not a big follower of the DB so i would have been quite surprised to have gotten the notice I received this morning for so many of my books. Not sure how I will deal with this. I have ideas though

Greg

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cardstamp
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27 Nov 2017
12:20:23pm

Approvals
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

I have to admit I was not very happy when I first saw the email about this change. I always took down books when they hit the 4 month old mark - I would normally run a 50% off sale during that last week or so to clear out whatever I could from the book before taking it down. I must have about 200+ old books now that are in various percentages of what is left in them. Then I thought about it and thought that this would only change my current method by one month because the originally email had the 30 day grace period. Now I see that was changed to only 15 days. So if someone buys something when I run a 50% off sale at the end of 2 months - by the time items are selected and paid for and reach the buyer - the book will be no longer available. The 30 day period would have been OK - because I could have marked the leftovers down for 1 week then hopefully get everything wrapped up before the 30 days expired - but the 15 days really does not give me time to that. I am afraid I will be left with even more "leftovers" now because of the timing and I would probably not even bother with a sale. Why was the 30 day period reduced to 15 ? Steve

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keesindy
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27 Nov 2017
05:15:47pm
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Greg said:

Quote:

"Actually I never got that email."



Tim, I haven't been getting emails for quite a while either and my name isn't on the list of "Members with email problems."

Are these emails relating to cleaning up the server being sent to all members or just those who are actively selling and/or buying? That would exclude me.

Maybe I have an SoR setting that needs to be changed?

Thanks.......

Tom



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Stevo45
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27 Nov 2017
11:27:39pm
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

The new rule is a disincentive to any seller that lists larger books (say 500 or 600 stamps) also there is no point to listing duplicates, since the buyers will not have access to older books.

I have found that often buyers will look at books as old as 9 month when they see items in a new book and want / need to "make up" numbers.

I for one will now have to list smaller books and that takes more time and therefore a fewer number of books and less stamps for the buyer / members here to look through.

Will you be altering or clarifying Rule 6 as there will now be fewer books / stamps "as a resource", so I guess most sellers will be breaking that rule.

My next two books of Caribbean stamps will be the last larger books that I will list.

Steve.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
28 Nov 2017
12:23:23am
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Too many people have forgotten the purpose of the Stamporama sales platforms. The sales platforms (classified ads; auctions; approval books) offer an opportunity for SOR members to buy/sell/trade stamps. Nothing more.

It was never intended that SOR users would list hundreds of auction listings and constantly relist the lots that go unsold. It was never intended that SOR users would be listing dozens, if not hundreds of approval books and let them sit on the system for years with the books acting nothing less than defacto repositories (stores). The classified ads are also temporary and good for only 14 or 30 days.

In short, the sales platforms are not:

- intended for commercial selling
- a repository of "books" to act like a commercial site's stores
- intended to offer unlimited relisting of unsold auction lots

If an auction lot doesn't sell after a few attempts, then those auction lots should not be relisted thereafter. Remember the former three-times relisting rule?

If not one stamp is sold from an approval book in 60 days, then that book should be removed by the seller. No sale within 60 days is a good indicator that the items in the book are not desired by others. The reason for the lack of sales could be many from over-pricing, too many of the same items having already been offered by many other sellers, the title of the approval book providing insufficient information for buyers to spend time looking at the book, the items being offered are of inferior quality, to name a few. Sellers should constantly monitor and rework their approval books to be more acceptable to buyers.

Constant relisting of unsold auction lots and letting large numbers of approval books stand unattended by sellers only serves to clog up the sales platforms with items that people have shown are not wanted. This makes it difficult for people to find new listings that may be more desirable.

It is the seller's responsibility to keep watch over their offerings, act responsibly and show consideration to the other users by removing those lots and books that do not sell, and not offering them again. This is not the responsibility of the SOR Auctioneer, moderators or the Management Team. If sellers do not want to take responsibility for their offerings, then the system programming will take care of things instead. Sellers have a choice.

As the webmaster recently stated, this is not ebay or any other commercial site, nor does it or will it act like one. Many sellers here use SOR as a commercial site, and protest anything that is done to dissuade sellers from doing so. As was stated, "This is not your private ebay." As was strongly suggested by the webmaster, sellers wanting a professional, commercial site to sell their stamps should seek those sites out. Stamporama is not the site for such sellers.

Michael
SOR Auctioneer
Member, Management Team

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Jansimon
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28 Nov 2017
07:00:30am

Approvals
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

This new 60 days of no sales rule was not unanimously welcomed in the MT and I for one was not convinced this was a good change. My reasoning was pretty much as Steve wrote. It is true that most sales from an approval book occur within the first week, but I also see books that are 6 or even 10 months old suddenly being rediscovered.

For instance Michael, a few hours ago you bought 25 stamps from one of my approvals. That particular book has been online for more than 6 months and I think that the last sales before you were 4 or 5 months ago. So strictly speaking according to the new rules it should not be online. You even suggested that the (remaining) items in such a book would not be desirable to buyers. But still you found it and almost emptied it. That's a bit contradictory to me and proves (at least to me) that it is not that simple.

I do not want to suggest this policy change should be revoked again, let's give it a chance. And when a book has sold for 70% or more, yes it probably should be closed. Manually or automatically.

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
28 Nov 2017
11:40:10am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Cleaning out old Approval Books

Oh the gift that God could gie us....to see ourselves as others see us.




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