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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Approvals Disc. : Approval Books. I WISH.......

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
30 May 2018
03:15:02pm
I wish you guys posting Approval Books would just take a few seconds more to make your title more precise.
Example: Stamps from France. (just as an example..not picking anyone)

Well we know it is stamps so you are wasting valuable title space. But France has issued stamps since 1849, and there are nearly 4000 regular stamps, and another 1000+ Back of the book stamps!
So is it too much to ask that you bracket what you are putting in your Approval Book, and define it better IN THE TITLE!

Are they Used or Mint, What years are you covering, what cat # range (if you don't put the year), Back of the Book or not? etc..etc..etc...

PLEASE, it just takes a few seconds to define your title more precisely.

rrr...

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
30 May 2018
06:53:19pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Not to take away from rrraphy's point but:-

YYYIIIPPPEEE!!!!!

I won the bet.

Hip! Hip! Hooray!!

I said that he would be the first to post on the Auctions and Approvals topic within 5 days of him landing back!!!!

rrraphy my friend your getting too predictable!!!! Rolling On The Floor Laughing Rolling On The Floor Laughing Rolling On The Floor Laughing






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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
30 May 2018
09:06:59pm
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Ian, I can see you missed me!
And I could have also said that YOUR BOOKS are just with the right level of details in the titles, Thumbs Up not like those others to be unnamed, that are just not meeting my (and I assume others) minimum expectations for the titles!
So why don't you pick on them for a bit of variety in your life! Laughing

I will remind all (except Ian) that, per our rules:
#4 The book offers stamps in WELL DEFINED, collectible topics that are clearly described in its TITLE and listed in the corresponding Approval Books Category?
NOTE: Please do NOT compile books with unrelated material, "floor sweepings", and do NOT combine unrelated countries or topics, etc.. Your book must fit one of our categories. Make sure the title contains enough information, such as year range, catalog number range, condition, topical subject, etc. to define precisely its content.

Tight enforcement consequences: Books with vague TITLES, bridging categories AND without adequately precise descriptive information will be deactivated! Book not well organized will be deactivated


And while Michael is so busy with family matters, and tight enforcement is currently absent, it would be nice seeing voluntary compliance!

rrr...

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Soundcrest
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31 May 2018
04:18:23am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

I do see your point Ralph but obviously the titles aren't a factor for at least one seller who puts "stamps from xxxxxx", he has sold 13000 stamps that way, so people are looking all the same. Most books don't give much of a clue as to what is in them other than country

I have yet to figure out why some things work for some sellers and not for others. I always put a Scott catalog # (I know Ian we don't all use Scott) and the one time I didn't I sold nothing - so I never did that again. On the other hand if I dare to list something with a catalog number other than Scott, it rarely sells.

I still don't know if indexing works to increase sales. I don't know if anyone looks at them but as I said in the beginning, its no extra work as the index page gets made up anyway.

Greg

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
31 May 2018
05:07:38am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Quote:

"titles aren't a factor for at least one seller who puts "stamps from xxxxxx", he has sold 13000 stamps that way."




It takes all sorts to make a world.

Wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same!

I know that I personally love "the chase", whether it is scrolling through auction lots or approval books or digging through mixed boxes at auction to find those "gems" that the lister or auctioneer have missed. There is nothing more boring than typing into search "Tunisia, Mint Never Hinged, Scott 188". I know that some "advanced" collectors would prefer that but lets be honest the bulk of our approvals are common stamps with no greater value than a couple of bucks.

So maybe for those "advanced" collectors there should be some kind of sales platform other than the auction. I say this as the current auction platform is biased against higher valued stamps because of the 14 day rule. (If I place an item for sale on the 10th of the month, it comes off on the 24th. It misses the start of the month and the end of the month, times missing "pay days") If it does not sell and is relisted the price has to drop 20%!

rrraphy Does this sound familiar? and YES I did miss you but glad you had a great time in Argentina!


Yes we must have rules but those bending them should be educated with understanding, tolerance and respect, if they continue then by all means have them broken on the wheel, hung drawn and quartered and their worldly possessions distributed to the poor.
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51Studebaker
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31 May 2018
07:29:47am
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......


First, I have no skin in this game (I am not a buyer or seller). But I do have experience with database development, coding, and user interfaces. From a database/searching/filtering perspective, I have empathy for the need to have good titles and descriptions. From a user perspective, I understand the value of autonomy and free form data entry.

One solution is to have database fields which hold the basic information (i.e. Country, Year, Mint/Used). Then code the input form with drop down boxes (Country and Year) or radio button (Mint/Used) which standardizes the data entry for these important fields. Users can quickly click on their choice, the drop down/radio buttons allow only predefined data entry into these fields. Queries and searches which then use these standardize fields become much more powerful; consistent and always there for every listing.

But wishing or desiring that users enter data a certain way in a free form text field is a pipe dream (eBay has proven this); the only way to ensure important fields in a database are entered a certain way is to restrict the data entry through the use of form controls and code validation.
Don

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DaveSheridan
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31 May 2018
07:40:03am
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

I spend quite a bit of time "hunting" for poorly described bargains, so I'm glad some descriptions are less than perfect!

However, as a non-Scott user, all I would like would be a year of issue included so I know where to look in the appropriate catalogue. A listing like "Scott 123" means squat to me, and deters me from looking

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Soundcrest
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31 May 2018
08:03:12am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Quote:

"I say this as the current auction platform is biased against higher valued stamps because of the 14 day rule."




Ian this is why people play the "bulk uploader game" Same auctions week after week. I remember the first week I ever listed an auction and it didn't sell. I relisted a bunch and saw that the price dropped. Then I read the rules and never did that again. To be sure the bulk uploader is an interesting concept. It would in theory let you run a listing forever and if it was more user friendly I might consider it. I simply don't have the time though to work with a bulk uploader that is high maintenance. Would the time involvement generate more sales or clutter up the auctions? Not worth wasting the time to find out.

Based on simply my own experience I have had little success in higher value stamps selling at auction, even at 20% CV which is where i start most auctions. I know its been mentioned that a higher valued stamp platform would be useful, but I really don't know if there would be sales generated out of it

While the year idea has been mentioned by others (add to a listing), again I did that once (on auctions) and saw no change in the amount of sales. To do it in my approval books is impossible as I index them and the entire process would probably triple the amount of time to create a book and I KNOW it would not result in triple the sales. I did the year thing in my 2 topical books. I am pretty sure that the sales had nothing to do with the year, as the people who bought from the book bought because they collect the topicals.

Of course we could fix the whole catalog issue if everyone used Stampworlds numbering system. After all that's their goal, to replace all the catalogs with just theirs. This week I have a book that contains some Stampworld #'s because the stamps aren't in Scott, and if they are in Michel, I don't have a catalog. I did find though that even their catalog is incomplete. I also don't know how they figure out their values

Greg
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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
31 May 2018
10:42:57am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

It all boils down to this:-

We are all individual humans!!

We have our own, our very own, unique, beliefs, knowledge, expertise, standards, wants, foibles, eccentricities, optimisms, pessimisms, interpretations and paranoias.

Of course ONE IS ALWAYS RIGHT! ( I have "She who must be obeyed"'s permission to say this.)

All Sellers and Buyers are individuals, what works for one member may not work for another, (who is right and who is wrong?) NEITHER!

As long as the members work within the rules, Fine!

It is up to the Management Team to sort out those that do not.

I repeat my final paragraph from my previous post:-

Quote:

"Yes we must have rules but those bending them should be educated with understanding, tolerance and respect, if they continue then by all means have them broken on the wheel, hung drawn and quartered and their worldly possessions distributed to the poor."



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amsd
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31 May 2018
10:53:27am
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

and, it is a fitting ending worthy of perpetual repetition, Ian


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david13617
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31 May 2018
11:05:53am

Approvals
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

The top 4 (%-wise) selling books in the Approval New Books category are listed as "Stamps from XXXXX". While I do not advocate titling in this manner, it seems to work for some sellers. Probably more to do with pricing and material offered.

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pigdoc
31 May 2018
11:49:45am
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Well, "Stamps from XXXXX" kind of compels any collector of XXXXX to take a look.

So, as a seller, if I want more looks, I'm going to use a more general description.

If the description was say, "Postage Due stamps from XXXXX", I think fewer looks could be expected, simply because there are likely to be fewer Postage Dues collectors than general collectors.

-Paul

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
31 May 2018
01:15:12pm
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Let me take a moment to clarify what Ralph is talking about regarding the four questions asked of a seller when posting an approval book for sale.

First, those statements are not in sync with the current rules. This sometimes happens when rules are copied in different places on a site rather than placed in just one spot.

The matter of using "well defined" titles for an approval book is contained in the approval book rules in Section E. "Suggestions for Better Sales", to wit:

Quote:

"make approval book titles specific and describe the contents of the books"



As this is a "best practice", it is not considered to be a rule or something that is enforced by the moderators.

If a seller posts an approval book that is not liked, then it will not see much in the way of sales. As a result, the automated approval book closure program will nab the book and move it to the "Closing Soon" status, and if lack of sales persist for the book, the system will close it.

As a result of this post and some other recent comments, we are taking a look at how the approval books work here. We will let everyone know more about this when we have some news to share.
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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
31 May 2018
02:42:43pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Quote:

"If a seller posts an approval book that is not liked, then it will not see much in the way of sales. As a result, the automated approval book closure program will nab the book and move it to the "Closing Soon" status, and if lack of sales persist for the book, the system will close it."




A fair sensible approach, limits the time required by the moderator, those that like "the chase" have an option AND "the market" decides.

All HAIL TO THE MARKET!!!





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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
31 May 2018
03:14:51pm
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Quote:

"rrraphy Does this sound familiar? and YES I did miss you but glad you had a great time in Argentina!"


This is off topic, but for those who wondered about my silence (or for those happy about it), I am posting (separate discussion board heading) a few photos from this trip to the ATACAMA desert area of Argentina and Chile. Base elevation 7200 ft. Highest elevation 14800 ft. Moon (or is it Mars) landscape. And this time we did NOT get rained out. (I attempted this trip 10 years ago an we got the rain storm of the millenium, and it was the most harrowing drive of my life!)

Now for the titles. I think it is NOT too much to ask for more details. The persons not doing it are just not aware of the guidelines, and they could be reminded about them. I still don't see the rules and guidelines easily accessible for reference (not like the Auction rules).
A simple reminder would remedy it! It is not the end of the world, but I think it is something that can be corrected with no disruption to anyone! Just my 2 cents.

rrr..

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pigdoc
01 Jun 2018
08:31:20am
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Don said:

Quote:

"One solution is to have database fields which hold the basic information (i.e. Country, Year, Mint/Used). Then code the input form with drop down boxes (Country and Year) or radio button (Mint/Used) which standardizes the data entry for these important fields."



I really like this idea.
Being able to reliably search only Used items would be huge for me. Because, in some of the collecting areas I'm working in now, I want only Used material and there is only a small percentage of that material in the marketplace. In my experience as a buyer, searching "used" in the item description is a useless filter.

I can see where sellers might want to select "Both" for mint/used for some lots...

-Paul
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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
01 Jun 2018
11:05:49am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Having a quick shuftie through the approval books, there are:-

464 Books,

42 Different Sellers,

11 Sellers could "improve" their titles.

2 of these sellers are the major "culprits" in my opinion. However they sell a heck of a lot of stamps. OK do we really want to lose them as sellers thus reducing the choice for the members?
As a seller myself it would be easy for me to say punish them, upset them and let them go as it rids me of the competition.

What I do believe is the members should have as wide a choice as possible, if members do not buy from them then they may be forced to change.
However these sellers are within the Rules but maybe not in the spirit of the Rules. That is their choice.
Do we really want to go down the road of penal enforcement, thus increasing the workload of our voluntary moderators, limiting the choice to members and driving away some Sellers, who are also members and enjoy the other benefits of Stamporama?

Nay! Nay! and thrice Nay!

Let "the market" decide.

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smauggie
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01 Jun 2018
11:34:02am
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Quote:

""One solution is to have database fields which hold the basic information (i.e. Country, Year, Mint/Used). Then code the input form with drop down boxes (Country and Year) or radio button (Mint/Used) which standardizes the data entry for these important fields."
"



This is the solution of a computer expert (which Don is).

I think I have a different take on the approvals. I think they should be simple.

I don't have a problem with asking approvals sellers to come up with descriptive titles for their books. I think that is helpful for some people who are verbally oriented (like myself).

But we are talking about the sales of often the most common stamps. So I don't think we should invest a lot of additional thought and energy into a platform that seems to be doing quite well. For most if not all sellers, listing approval books is more a labor of love than anything.
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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
01 Jun 2018
11:43:40am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books. I WISH.......

Quote:

" I don't think we should invest a lot of additional thought and energy into a platform that seems to be doing quite well"




Well said!!!





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