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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Approvals Disc. : MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
03 Aug 2020
02:16:38pm
Yes, MNH, sets and higher valued stamps in an Approval Book? I am testing the waters and this fairly substantive Book (50 plus items, mostly sets) will be issued on August 4, 2020.

I have decided to issue this Approval Book (a first for me) for MNH LEBANON, 1960s-1980s, sets and also higher Valued.
These are all MNH, and my tentative pricing will be around 1/3 of cat value (I use 2018 Scott as the base)...
I checked, and pricing is always significantly less expensive than on ANY auction site, so this is a test to decide weather to continue listing similar books in the future. From what I read here, demand seems to be less than stellar for the higher valued items. And I have no idea how to price these.

This is a test for me, and it takes lots of efforts to put together such a book, so this will determine whether it will be followed by more and similar books in the future, or adapted differently.
Alternatively, MNH could be mixed with lower valued used and M items in my regular books as I have in the past.

Looking for some feedback.
Rrr...
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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
03 Aug 2020
03:13:14pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

rrraphy:- I wish you success in this "adventure" and I hope the members give you support and encouragement.

I will scrutinise your book with an intense scrute.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
05 Aug 2020
01:56:55pm
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

The experiment so far has not been positive. Lot of work to assemble such a large choice of MNH sets and higher valued stamps etc..and few sales so far. There are 72 MNH sets and some higher valued stamps in one single book, with a few (but not many) duplicates. Mostly complete sets, all prior to 1980.

Either the subject matter is not very popular (Lebanon is ranked very low in what people collect). Could be that a more popular country would have been more indicative of potential demand. I selected Lebanon to complete my Approval Books offerings (in the other 5 books). But maybe the experiment target should have been selected elsewhere.

Or the pricing is too high? Many are hard to find, and I priced MNH at 25 to 35% of catalog, checking that every price was lower than in any commercial auction site (often by a wide margin), but pricing may still be too high for this group, at an absolute level?

Or both? Choice of country and pricing?

How would this have fared under Auctions? I don't plan to test the waters with this set of stamps.

In all cases, a verdict (to list similar books..for other countries, or not) still awaits a few more days. But what do you think?

rrr...

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roy
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05 Aug 2020
02:55:45pm
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

My opinion: limited market for the collecting area.

For a real test, try some British Colonial material prior to 1960.

Roy

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
05 Aug 2020
03:16:51pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

rrraphy:

I enjoyed looking at the book but Lebanon is not one of my collecting areas. You had a wide spread of issues and nice clean stamps however I believe you might be able to improve your presentation.

Folkies prefer to see the complete stamps for sale rather than have them overlapping and certainly NOT sideways. Let the stamps be seen in all their glory not crammed or partially hidden behind one another, it has a bigger visual impact.
If you are going to put the cat nos etc beside the set/stamp be bold, make it easier to be read and if you do it properly you do not have to type in the same information next to purchase#1 on the items page. Also show the stamps first and then the cat nos cat val etc (Because people read from left to right so they see the stamps first and then the details. The stamps are the items you want people to see)

Which is more attractive:- MY

Image Not Found


or YOURS


I hope you take this as constructive criticism.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
05 Aug 2020
04:20:44pm
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

Thanks for the inputs..anyone else?
rrr...

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sheepshanks
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05 Aug 2020
04:53:16pm
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

I'll add my two pennyworth, not that I collect Lebanon.
Agree with Brechinite that overlaid and mis-oriented stamps are a pain but the stamps look good and prices are very fair.
I would however crop the images to reduce the wasted black of the stock sheets which would have the benefit of allowing a better stamp image resolution. It's the same on auction items (not yours) where the stamps are in 102 cards and the stamp images are small.
I do not see any benefit in repeating the details at the purchase button so long as they are clear by the stamp.
As Roy says, not a common collecting area, perhaps try another book of KGV1 or early QE2, I know I would be interested if they are ones I do not already have.
Hope that you have success with your experiment.

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Linus
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05 Aug 2020
05:22:02pm
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

Page 3, this stamp looks used to me, not MNH. (the tractor caught my attention)

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
05 Aug 2020
06:29:13pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

rrraphy:- as a point of interest your set no 3 on page 4 of your book priced at $1.00 is slightly less than the same set on Delcampe which is priced at 1.25 Euros. The interesting point is that it was listed on October the 18th 2018!!!!! Which points to two things:-

a) Is the price too High?

or

b) Is the demand for that era of Lebanon very small?

If a seller lists higher value stamps from different countries in the one book they reduce the risk of expending their energy on a book that covers an era or country of little interest/demand.

If members choose to have the "Its too much trouble to look through a worldwide book" attitude, they do not know what they are possibly missing.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
05 Aug 2020
09:46:15pm
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

Linus Good catch I accidentally left the MNH stamp in my stockbook and used the used one instead. I am substituting the right one and will rescan the page ASAP.

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Ian, I still think that the way people work on their collections is one county at a time, so putting all the stamps of one country of interest in one book should meet a greater demand. If you collect Lebanon MNH, you should look in this book.

Yes, I am aware that Lebanon is not hugely collected, which may account for the lack of interest. Pricing is an interesting question. I made sure none of my stamps were priced higher than anywhere else. I don't think price is that critical, when MNH are set at about or less than 1/3 of catalog...but one never knows, and it may be worth an experiment. Each one has his/her price threshold. Mine is around 1/3 cat for MNH, 25% for M and around 20% for used...but each one will act differently based on the collection, and also react differently to opportunity or need. I wish I had tested a more popular area, but I was completing the series of Lebanon Approval Books....so there it is!

Thanks all for your inputs.
rrr...

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
07 Aug 2020
05:35:06am

Auctions - Approvals
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

rrraphy:-

I take my hat off to you!

Congratulations!

Well Done!

Take a Bow!

You have shown us what can be achieved.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
07 Aug 2020
08:14:07am
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

Ralph,

neithe a collector of Lebannon nor MNH, but a couple of thoughts

folks have already commented on overlapping stamps and misorientation. I agree with both, thinking that they will make for a better picture if eliminated. you got room, use it.

speaking of room, some of your scans cut off stamps

I thought the clarity of your scans marvelous; loved your first page explanation.

i get the sense, but don't mine the data, that 30% is high for our crowd on all but the most desired maerial.

My critical comments are ones that wouldn't stop me from purchasing those stamps if i collected the area.

Final comment; some of our members insist on seeing the gum, and without that, they close the book.

David

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
07 Aug 2020
01:48:44pm
re: MNH Approval Book being tested. Your comments, please

Thanks for your comments.
It is a learning experience.

First to Ian: I was lucky, as I guess it just takes one buyer who finds a match. You know who you are my one big buyer, and a big thank you.

The comments on scans by many are well taken and digested. I ran out of Uniplate Black stock pages, so I was crowding the stamps. I had them spaced better at first , but needed to fit all on the stock pages I had. Also my scanner is a bit off and I did not rescan, but I will next time.
It will be better next time, with fewer stamps better spread out on the page. (maybe eliminate duplicates).

I stated in the front that the stamps were ALL in pristine condition..so no need for scans of the back, maybe, unless requested. I plan to verify this as I ready to ship, because in spite of my best intention, my eyes are not what they used to be.

Turned out, a small thumbprint discoloration was spotted on the last stamp..the one with exceptionally high catalog price. And after scanning the back in high resolution, it was visible. It is already discounted to under 20% of cat, but may warrant a further discount. A note on this will be inserted in the book.

Finally, I wrestled with the price. 30%-35% of cat is a bit high here, I agree, but availability of these stamps in pristine condition is rare. I priced lower, some times significantly lower, than anywhere else, but I did wrestle with pricing, and ended up lowering the price of the most expensive sets. Should not deter a specialist collector, and I guess I was lucky to find one. This country was an odd choice for a test, But I had just completed 4-5 other books, so I decided to complete the full coverage.

I think if I had listed in an area more populated with collectors, I would have gone lower in my pricing on SOR. As I said, it is a learning experience. I will try another MNH book for France, and we can compare. I expect a bigger number of potential collectors, and the stamps are more readily available in many auction houses.

I will return to post again here when I activate the French MNH book, after I free the stock pages.
Again, thanks for your inputs...keep them coming, it will help set the standards of the next book!

rrr...


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