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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Approvals Disc. : $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

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JohnnyStamp
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01 Aug 2020
08:21:24pm
I have been considering uploading some $$$ High Value books with Single Country entries.
Say 'Mint Belgium Sets' or 'Canada Used Blocks'. For a two finger typist like myself it would be tedious and very time consuming to type out an index for each book created. I can understand the requirement for an index for books with mixed countries and contents. Seeking other thoughts on this matter.
Larry
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AGKING
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02 Aug 2020
10:57:12am
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Can only speak for myself but without an index as a guide- I don't sent much, if any, time looking

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roy
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02 Aug 2020
12:48:48pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

I know it's in the rules, but I would say that a small tag beside each item or set with catalog number and value would do fine.

I would certainly look through the book without an index page (in fact, I am a visual shopper -- I would ignore an index page and find it annoying if the identification is not right beside the item. Having to refer back to the index page would be a non-starter for me).

To those managing the approval books, I recommend dropping the "index page" requirement in favor of an "identification requirement".

For example:

Image Not Found

Roy

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BrightonPete
02 Aug 2020
02:42:40pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quite often I have noticed the "index page" has been sold. Does that mean all stamps in the book are sold? The subsequent pages aren't marked as such...

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roy
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02 Aug 2020
03:22:06pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

"Does that mean all stamps in the book are sold? "



No, it is just a way to disable that page, showing that there is nothing for sale on it.

Roy
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
03 Aug 2020
06:36:13am

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

" I would say that a small tag beside each item or set with catalog number and value would do fine."



I was one of the first to try out "High Value" Books.

Once the requirement for an index was instituted I never produced another. I felt, for me, additional work for no good reason other than a sop to those who "didn't have the time" to scroll through a book. (It takes me less than two minutes to scroll through that type of book)

ALL my auctions and any higher value items I put in an approval book have the year, the condition, the cat no, catalogue year used and cat. value in the image

e.g.

Image Not Found


I totally agree with Roy that

Quote:

"a small tag beside each item or set with catalog number and value would do fine."



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cardstamp
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03 Aug 2020
12:29:12pm

Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

I have some limited sales from the High Dollar Books I have tried. However, I am wondering if the extra time it takes to put these books together is worth it. The index page does take me quite a bit of time to put together. I am not sure does anyone even look at it - or do they just want to see the scans of the stamps with the information with the item. These books do not have too many pages - so it would be just as easy to flip thru the pages to see what is there. I am starting to think I may stop doing these and maybe just add the higher value stamps at the end of my regular books and/or just put these stamps up directly on my other selling platform. The jury is still out in my case... Steve

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
03 Aug 2020
01:49:32pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

I am strongly in favor for having, as Roy suggests, the description of the items next to the stamps rather than as an index, to meet the description requirement.
I know Greg (Soundcrest) has included an index on his books,and I do find it useful when I am looking for just one specific item, but if I am scanning all offerings, looking not just for one item but many, then it is a waste of time (as a buyer).

I am putting a high value book together as we speak, with more than 50 items, it is a significant added burden, totally unnecessary as every item is properly described on each page. I am going to have an index page but just of general guidance rather than duplicate all the info present on the page... more like a token respecting the rules, rather than listing 50 items in a row..(who will read that?)..but I strongly recommend we amend the rule, to allow what Roy suggested.

High value stamps sold on Approvals are often a question mark, in terms of successful sales. I find that they do sell from time to time...but not as well as the lower valued stamps... but pricing (relative to catalog value) is the key. I have noticed that targeting under 20% of Cat Value works best, for used stamps and under 30% for M.
My intention is to list them in Auctions at the same price approximately, if they don't sell in Approvals, but to include them at first in Approval in the books as collectors look at one country at a time and have needs that are not limited to the small priced, more common, stamps. I do think that there are separate audiences for Auctions and Approvals, and listing later on Auctions may work...although it will not save anyone any money!
rrr..

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
03 Aug 2020
03:08:18pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

"High value stamps sold on Approvals are often a question mark, in terms of successful sales."



Quote:

"I do think that there are separate audiences for Auctions and Approvals"



These statements are reasonable

To me, they point to a couple of things that need discussion.

a) The lack of members.

b) Once an Approval book is listed for 7 days.

c) The 14 day rule for Auction Lots of Higher Value.

Item a) speaks for itself. Stamporama has a distinct hard core of members who participate in the auctions and approvals. Therefore the "market" is limited. (how many George VI K.U.T. stamps can you sell on here)

Item b) Once a book has sold 30-50% within 7 days it is no longer looked at by members. Even if there is a higher value item in the book the chance it will be seen is small.

A change to Item c) may be the one thing that could help to encourage higher value items to sell. To have the same time frame on an auction lot selling for 20 cents as one selling at $20 is illogical.


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BrightonPete
03 Aug 2020
04:08:59pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Just from a buyer, the index page is a mess. Hand-written & flipping back & forth is a chore.

As mainly a buyer, I would prefer something like what Brechinite does. His is labelled & numbered with a CV. CV isn't all that important to me, as long as I can see a number. A date would be nice, a year at least so I can find SG labelled stamps easier. Countries I am not familiar with poses a problem for me, esp. when there is no info. I usually pass on those.

Just my 2ยข worth on these listings. This goes for auctions too, but there is an area to describe what is shown.Again, no info means too much work on my part to figure out whether it is needed/wanted. Pass again...

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michael78651
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03 Aug 2020
04:37:48pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

From a historical perspective, the $$$ Approval Book work group recommendation that an index be included in all $$$ Approval Books was to help buyers avoid having to go through each page of a book, and then find that there were no stamps that the buyer was interested in buying. The thought was that many, if not most, $$$ Approval Books would contain stamps from different countries, rather than stamps from just one.

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sheepshanks
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03 Aug 2020
04:52:24pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Connected to this could sellers please note that the index page is Page 1, the first page of stamps will be Page 2.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
03 Aug 2020
08:36:01pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

"The thought was that many, if not most, $$$ Approval Books would contain stamps from different countries, rather than stamps from just one."



Then they should be in Auctions This has no sense at all.

Also, when just focusing on one country or area, some chronological order would greatly enhance the experience. Much more than a list.
rrr..
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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
04 Aug 2020
05:16:46am

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

"Then they should be in Auctions This has no sense at all."



As stated previously, my opinion is that if you have a book of Higher value stamps from a few countries it makes more sense to put them in an approval book than the auctions.

WHY?

An auction has a time limit of 14 days, after that the price goes down by 20% for another 14 days and after that a further 20% reduction for 14 days (If the seller is following the rules!). Not a good incentive for sellers for higher Value stamps.

Whereas an approval book can be listed for many, many weeks. Once you've listed it you don't have to reduce the price or relist, relist, relist, relist ad infinitum for each lot, thus saving the seller a heck of a lot of time.

Sellers view Higher value stamps as a possible long term sale rather than an immediate sale and treating a $20 dollar stamp the same as a 20 cent stamp is illogical!

Of course when a seller lists any stamp here for sale it always depends on the individual stamp or set being listed, the price the seller sets, how they describe and present it, what day they list it, what day it ends, what hour they list it, what hour it finishes, the time of the tides, what the phase of the moon is and finally the cruncher:- Whether the cows in the field next door are lying down or not!!

I do not expect changes to be made to the "System" as the current one is manageable and workable.
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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
04 Aug 2020
02:22:21pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

" my opinion is that if you have a book of Higher value stamps from a few countries it makes more sense to put them in an approval book than the auctions."



Ian, you refuse to see I Don't Want To See that the way collectors search for an item is by keyword, typically country first. People collections are focused. A book grouping many countries goes against the grain. One would never find anything, and an index in front is of no real help. You refuse to admit that this is a bad idea because it came from you and you cannot see that it goes against the rest of the universe (and mine in particular Happy ). (The worldwide book category is again something I find useless..and we did not allow it once, for a similar reason...but this is another story altogether)

Your point that high priced items should stay longer in auction is CORRECT, and $$$ items should be handled differently than the 10c stamp, also correct! This is where one could have put a special category for $$$ stamps and treated them separately, and differently under Auctions. Quite frankly, your approach would work much better in Auctions, if you had adapted it there, rather than shoehorn it in Approvals in this format.
In Auctions at least you can search for an item, just like collectors need, using existing software.

Now when I was throwing around the idea of high priced approval books, it was a different set of concepts that would have consolidated all index pages into a single reference list, and it was rejected by management as requiring too many programming resources, and as not enough of a market. What you came out is just not adequate to serve the needs of collectors looking for higher valued stamps..it does not resolve the demand side, and it is not usable should the demand materialize itself.

What is lacking and how I think it should be for $$$:
* Books would be one country focus, possibly one region
* Have an index that is a universal index Format that is sortable by computer and can be processed further (country year Used/M/MNH etc...and/or some identifiable cat number option for those who use them (cat name/cat #))
* Create a single list of all items in all $$$ Approval books in one place (pulling the data from all books), and order it alphabetically by country, year, cat, cat # etc.. and seller. Date of issuance could also be a field.
* No expiration date to $$$ books
* $$$books would be separated from the rest of Approvals (a separate lis such as $$$Book #)and as number of items listed grows the index would eventually reach a critical size, and would thus motivate collectors to look through it.

I can see that this would require a lot of software development and was probably not worth the effort here. But what we have now does not make the cut.

Quote:

"Whereas an approval book can be listed for many, many weeks. Once you've listed it you don't have to reduce the price or relist, relist, relist, relist ad infinitum for each lot, thus saving the seller a heck of a lot of time.
"



I say, get rid of Approval $$$ books in their current form, or just leave it if you are enamoured with it (if you don't have the ressources to do it right) and MODIFY the Auction platform to treat $$$ items differently, allowing no expiration time, and with a dedicated $$$ index as well. Treating $$$ uniquely in Auctions would just work better.

That may be the easiest approach. And the most effective one.

rrr...


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roy
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04 Aug 2020
05:51:55pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

"MODIFY the Auction platform to treat $$$ items differently, allowing no expiration time"



No, no, no, no .... allowing no expiration time

Don't even go there.

The outcome of such a strategy is completely predictable. The sales site would grow and grow and grow, stale merchandise would accumulate and the site overhead would increase beyond what I am willing to support. I won't speak for Tim, but I suspect he may agree with me.

Those of you who were around 15-20 years ago, may remember this is EXACTLY what happened to the Yahoo stamp sales venue.I have written about this in the past.

Stamporama is a CLUB site, not an ebay, Delcampe or Hipstamp. We have just reached the 20th year of my support of this site. I set up the first website in the summer of 2000, right after the Providence RI APS show where I met Jerry for the first and only time, a few months after my initial involvement with the club. I am perfectly willing to continue to host the site as long as I am breathing, but I am not willing to host a site that morphs into a free version of Hipstamp.

Stamporama's policies and procedures are DESIGNED to place a load on the sellers. When something is free, there MUST be an effort called for from the sellers to keep listings current or they will load up the site beyond its capabilities and simply allow material to stagnate. It's the effort, rather than cost, that weeds out the undesirable material that doesn't sell and ends up polluting the whole effort.

Roy
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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
04 Aug 2020
06:35:48pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

I hear you Roy, even if what I am talking about is just the high value stamps, typically cataloging at $20 or more
rrr...

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roy
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04 Aug 2020
06:37:39pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

After reading my message above, I would like to add an addendum about "effort".

I do not mean that there should be a great deal of effort to list items on Stamporama. Listing new material should be as easy as we (and especially Tim) can make it. An ease of putting things up on the site encourages a consistent flow of fresh material -- and that's what the buyers want.

However, keeping items listed should require some effort. If there is no effort required from sellers, they will just "let it ride", hoping for a sale, regardless of a very low "sell through rate" (sales to listing ratio). That's what plugs up the system. On a site that charges fees, the listing fees take care of the clean-up.

That is the reason behind the auction price reduction requirement on relisting -- to force some degree of "clean-up". Unfortunately, some sellers have found a work-around through the use of the bulk uploader, which does not enforce the price reduction requirement upon relisting. They only have to keep their spreadsheets up to date (with the very few sales some of them make). That's a "hole in the dike" that we haven't found a finger to plug yet, but we can't expect perfection. Plugging such holes requires additional "rules", and experience indicates that the imposition of any additional rules sets off a windstorm of opposing views.

That's also the reason for the retirement policies for approval books.

Roy

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roy
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04 Aug 2020
06:42:31pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

"what I am talking about is just the high value stamps, typically cataloging at $20 or more"



I have no problem with longer auction listing periods for higher priced items, just not indefinite. And only for Buy it Now listings.

Would also be an easy programming adjustment for Tim.

If price > X (X being your $20 or some other threshold decided upon)
AND
BIN = True
then DAYS allowed up to 30.

Roy

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
04 Aug 2020
06:55:35pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Roy, I am, and other members as well I am sure, forever grateful for your hosting the SOR site, and for your invaluable inputs.
The High valued stamps issue on Auctions is a distraction as it is undoubtedly a small market here given the size of the membership. It may be best to leave these in the commercial marketplace. I thought it would add to our club member's total needs, but I suppose most of us will first look at ebay Hipstamp and others when searching for the elusive missing high valued stamps.
Putting together the software to do better on Approval is most likely not worth it. I myself list higher valued stamps at the end of each book, and this works just fine.

We may all be creating a problem when there is none. Plenty to do with what we have. And it works well.

rrr

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
04 Aug 2020
07:09:31pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

" A book grouping many countries goes against the grain. One would never find anything"



rrraphy:- Its all about "horses for courses". You search your way and I search my way and everybody else does their own thing their way. Who is correct? I honestly don't know or care.

Using Keywords is important on other sites but not here when you can click on the country list, you can search by seller as well here and lets be honest the average lots in the auctions is 3500-5000 lots and approval books are 500-600 with "New Books" being 61 of which only 30 have sold less than 33%

As I said previously I can scan through a Higher Value Approval Book in under two minutes and decide if there is anything in it that may need further attention. Am I unique in that I am prepared to "waste" two minutes of my time? Anybody who cannot "waste" a couple of minutes to look through a book must be a very very important person indeed.

The Higher Value Approval Book allows sellers to offer a choice of "better quality" stamps to members without the seller having to relist or reduce the price of the stamps/sets/covers as in the auctions.

It is a compromise solution that can only benefit the buyers and sellers without having to make major alterations to the "System" and there is no additional work for Tim and the Management Team.

I totally agree with Roy's statement

Quote:

"No, no, no, no .... allowing no expiration time"



and his reasons for saying it.

The "System" has its faults but it is the best it can be under the circumstances. It is easy to use. It provides members with the ability to buy or sell and most important of all educate us all about the world of stamp collecting whether we are beginners or old dinosaurs.

MY thanks go out to the "Founding Fathers" and the Management Team and especially to Roy for allowing us to have this Club.
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Soundcrest
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20 Aug 2020
09:04:32am

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

The pricing is different at auction than in books, at least for me. I may be wrong, but I suspect that if I was to list an auction at 1/3 to 35% catalog value it would not sell. Additionally, higher priced items, again, for me, do not sell anywhere if the price is not at 20% CV, and even then outside of US, virtually no sales. As far as extending the auction time, unless he has packed up his tent, there is/was a person with the same auctions running for months perhaps even a year. It does however take time to set it up to do this especially if there are weekly sales from the upload. Believe me, before I submit a spreadsheet of BIN auctions it is checked back three different ways to be sure I have not listed something already sold. I will also add that 7 weeks is the max for any of my BIN auctions. I figure if no one wants it after that time, it belongs elsewhere. I have thought of tinkering with my pricing and extending that by 2 weeks with lower pricing on the oldest stuff for two weeks, but the non loading in order makes it tough for potential buyers to find which are on sale unless I put on sale in the title. A possibility to be sure, but that could add potentially up to another 25 listings a week and that may just be 25 too many.

I index because its easy. It causes me no additional work to scan a looseleaf page that contains all the information I need to put a book together. Then again, I put catalog numbers for every stamp. Many do not. It's all about figuring out what works and how much time it takes to get it to work. I have one more high value book to try out, once I have 25 British higher value stamps. I could just go and pull them off a another site and close the listing, which I may just do, as I will no doubt be surprised at what some of them are now worth as these listings date to 2008, and I don;t have the time to go and update catalog values. Three other attempts fell flat so for me, its not worth the time

I had in fact figured out a way to scan for a particular stamp in a book, but no way to check to see if the stamp was sold. Never tried out the theory though.That, and its just too easy to make a typo when entering catalog numbers when you are not a touch typist. You would think after 45 years in front of a computer I would be.....

Greg

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angore
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20 Aug 2020
11:51:27am
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Greg

What I plan to do is have two browser windows open. One with your scott numberlist and the other that pages through the book.

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Soundcrest
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20 Aug 2020
12:03:20pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Way to easy!

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
20 Aug 2020
03:40:23pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

"That is the reason behind the auction price reduction requirement on relisting -- to force some degree of "clean-up". Unfortunately, some sellers have found a work-around through the use of the bulk uploader, which does not enforce the price reduction requirement upon relisting. They only have to keep their spreadsheets up to date (with the very few sales some of them make). That's a "hole in the dike" that we haven't found a finger to plug yet, but we can't expect perfection. Plugging such holes requires additional "rules", and experience indicates that the imposition of any additional rules sets off a windstorm of opposing views."



Roy, the way round the Bulk Uploader "problem" is to remove that option. (Sorry Greg!)

A seller doesn't have to list straight away, they have the "Place on hold" option for 14 days if they want.


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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
20 Aug 2020
04:05:16pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

or just relist, without using the automated relisting function.

I have found that those who relist the same stuff with great regularity are folks I avoid in their entirety.

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Soundcrest
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20 Aug 2020
04:26:24pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

I do not agree. Collectors have told me they love this feature of being able to hold off purchasing something they want but don't want it right away, We are getting into an area then where we are telling the collector what they are allowed to buy. Certainly I could just increase my weekly to 200 uploads one at a time, or list the same thing over and over until it sells. We all know that once you start doing auto relist, you can almost be certain that people will not buy the first week even at 20% CV. I toyed with auto relist and starting auctions at 50% catalog on the assumption of how many people sit with a Scott catalog and check the cv before bidding? Without the BIN stuff I do now I would probably experiment with that concept with BIN stamps but I suspect that it is a lot of work to relist as they must be done one at a time and for all I know there is some sort of "are you sure" prompt before doing so. Still, is it right to tell a collector who wants a $50 stamp and wants to set aside $10 a week to purchase it, that they are not allowed to have it? Some of my older BIN's are pricey and they sell - surprising me - but they have been running 4-5 weeks before actually selling. Lets take it one step further. The person REALLY wants the stamp and has a budget of $50. So instead of spending $40 with others, and saving $10 for me, they buy from me and nothing from you. It should be all about the collector and what they want, not imposing what we think they should have.

Greg

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
20 Aug 2020
06:00:57pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

we'll look into layaway.... it used to be a thing

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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
20 Aug 2020
06:58:37pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

" Some of my older BIN's are pricey and they sell - surprising me - but they have been running 4-5 weeks before actually selling."



That is what I have found as well.

It puts some sellers who do not use the bulk uploader at a disadvantage as after 14 days, the price has to drop.

I have downloaded the bulk uploader but couldn't get to grips with it as to me it is too long winded and complex.

Maybe I should just list an item for 14 days, then just list it for another 14 days at full price without using the relist function, but to me that goes against the spirit of the rules regarding relisting.

I have said this before to treat a stamp selling at $20 the same as a stamp selling at 20 cents is illogical.

amsd:- please do not look at layaway as it is a big no-no as far as I am concerned due to the severe problems it causes.
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
20 Aug 2020
08:54:31pm
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

i'll look away rather than at layaway


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Soundcrest
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21 Aug 2020
04:49:55am

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Ian the bulk uploader is really very simple to use. I cannot say which is quicker, individual or bulk, as you do have to look up every country and put in the code as well as the area. If it is all for the same place its easy. The time comes into play when you need to go through each week and delete the sold lots from it after adding the new ones for the week, In my case it is 40. I have had collectors tell me that I should sell used this way as well, but again, it just becomes way too many auctions from one seller and I am pretty sure someone would gripe. So I stick to mint. Then since each week is listed on a separate sheet of paper, I then triple check the spreadsheet to the paper lists and then remove the oldest batch of unsolds. Is it worth the trouble? I do it for the collector. My wife asks me why do I bother as selling stamps really probably generates much less than minimum wage when you think about it. I could fold up my tent and monetarily it will make no difference at all to the household finances. Believe me at times when I put up a book that sells a dozen stamps I tend to wonder myself. But back to the bulk uploader. If you need some help or want to see what a filled in sheet looks like send let me know. I'll send one to your regular email so you can view it

Greg

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
21 Aug 2020
05:28:49am

Auctions - Approvals
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

Quote:

"i'll look away rather than at layaway"



amsd:- Thank you. My wife in her shop has shown up the problems with layaway, no doubt the same problems would arise here.
Currently it is left up to the individual seller here if they want to go down that rocky road.

Greg:- Thank you for the offer but I shall decline. It can be difficult for "an old dinosaur to learn new tricks."

The solution to the higher value items would be to allow longer than 14 days for these items.
However it is probably something that we shall just have to live with or work around by putting them in Approval Books.
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michael78651
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21 Aug 2020
09:44:17am
re: $$$ High Value Books ~ Why is an index required for a single country book?

If two members want to work out a time payment between themselves, that's their business. I know some who do that.

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