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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

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ScanStamps
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12 Oct 2011
12:23:14pm
Maybe this is just a "vent" or something...

But what is with the large number of stamp dealers/sellers who STILL list thousands of stamps for sale on their web sites-- and third party web sites-- without a photo? And expect people to BUY those stamps... which I suppose people must be doing, or they wouldn't persist in doing business, that way.... right?

Yes, I appreciate that perhaps they have a "return it if you don't like it" policy... that's fine. But it's also annoying. VERY annoying.

"I just don't have the time to scan all those stamps," they say. To which I reply "I just don't have time to order a stamp, get it here, discover I don't like the postmark, put the stamp back in an envelope, send it back and wait for a refund."

Yes, I know... it's a free country. And many dealers are "old timers" and the way they sell stamps online is similar to "the way they have ALWAYS done it," which was send out a list of printed catalogue numbers and prices, with no photos.

That was THEN. "Then," photography required film and photo processing. Expensive. Time consuming. Or, at the very least, photocopying pages of stamps. Also costly.

But this is NOW. We have the capacity to create instant photos. Online storage (image hosting) is cheap, if not free.

I suppose part of this "rant" is not just about "buying stamps without photos," but also about our greater collective concern that stamp collecting is "dying." Well... it sure as &%$#()! isn't going to help stamp collecting "survive" if we remain stuck in outmoded ways of PRESENTING it to the world...

Just saying.

What do YOU think?

Cheers,
Peter

(and I'm really not curmudgeonly...!)
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sponthetrona2
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Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often
12 Oct 2011
12:56:39pm
re: Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

Kudo's to your post....................Perry

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
12 Oct 2011
02:05:51pm
re: Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

I cannot imagine making a serious online bid for a stamp or group of stamps that was not clearly scanned.
I doubt that I would even make a non-serious bid mocking the seller's half a$$ed efforts either. Personally such a seller would appear to me to be either an uninformed dilettante, a scammer or a fool.

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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
12 Oct 2011
02:40:47pm
re: Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

Peter:

Why are you dealing with these people?

It may be that you are too easily annoyed; or that the hobby of collecting stamps is not satisfying your enjoyment level. I can find lots to complain about in the world of stamps, starting with this club, Stamporama. (And, once I become the perfect member, I intend to do just that.)

A gratuitous suggestion: pursue this hobby for the sheer pleasure of it and focus on the aspects that please you.

Nonetheless, I thank you for expressing your views so unequivocally.

John Derry

P.S. So what if the philatelic universe is shrinking? For every thing there is a season.

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"Much happiness is overlooked because it doesn't cost anything. "

parklanemews@gmail.com
ScanStamps
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12 Oct 2011
04:09:09pm
re: Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Charlie, sadly some of these sellers are what I'd characterize as "Large Old Name" dealers who've been in the market since who-knows-when. But yes, also a share of newbie scammers and others.

John, I do love this hobby. The above was prompted by recent efforts to find new stamps... and my amazement that online searches for items of interest yield so MANY listings without pictures. I do stay away from photoless listings, and the sellers who create them.


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Andrejs
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12 Oct 2011
05:46:35pm
re: Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

Great comment, Peter!

You hit the nail on the head. Stamp collecting is a very hands on hobby. Every collector is different and one man's treasure... well, I'm reversing my sayings here. The point is that we don't know if we want a stamp until we look at it. You're right, even a money back guarantee doesn't account for the disappointment of receiving a stamp you don't want and going through the hassle of returning it, hoping the letter doesn't get "lost" in the mail and waiting for the refund.

On the other hand, scanning is pretty time and labour intensive. At the risk of self-promoting (which I know is a no-no, but I'm trying to make a point), I just posted 15 lots on the SOR auction. To post the images, I had to:

1. Collect the stamps I wanted to list and put them on a stock sheet in order.
2. Scan the entire sheet in my scanner and save the master image.
3. Re-scan the stock sheet with the higher value stamps turned on their faces to get an image of the back of the stamp for the higher value stuff and save that master image.
4. Open up the master images and crop them to show individual stamps and save them as separate files (including the images of the stamp backs).
5. Upload the images to Photobucket so they can appear on SOR.
6. Take the stamps back out of the stock sheets and refile them in my stockbook of stamps I've got up for auction for easy access.
7. Eventually delete image files for stamps I've sold in auction (hopefully!).

I'm pretty quick with this process, though I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination. It is a lot of work, especially if I'm listing a stamp that I'm offering for 15 or 20 cents as an opening bid. Fortunately, it's a labour of love that supports my stamp collecting habit, so I don't mind. If it was a business, though, I might have reservations about listing them all, including multiple copies of the same stamp, if only for profitability's sake. It's definitely a conundrum.

To swing back to your original rant, I am behind you 100%. I would never buy individual stamps or small lots without setting eyes on them first.

Andrew

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""If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." Rush"
ScanStamps
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12 Oct 2011
07:11:57pm
re: Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

Andrew, thanks for commenting... I was just doing the same thing (listing), and actually thinking about this post as I processed images of stamps for sale.

And I do get (and honor) the point that stamps I sell are not there to "make a living," but to "fund a hobby," so perhaps my perspective is different. I asked myself if I'd "bother" if I were dependent on stamps for a living... would I just be writing "see scan" instead of examining each stamp?

I also honor that for some collectors, all they need is "ANY version of the piece of paper that's supposed to fit in THAT space," in which case the image is not very important. Meaning... that my opinion is colored by the fact that condition is very important to me.

Cheers,
Peter

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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
13 Oct 2011
06:25:25am
re: Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

Andrew, that is why, at least for now, I only list stamps that have a catalogue value of at least $1. I also think that poor images may even be worse than no images at all. Some dealers images are so small or blurry that they are useless. I also don't really understand why some sellers on ebay and elsewhere put a watermark on their image.

Bob

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"APS - AFDCS - GBCC - USSS - SCC - IPDA"

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
13 Oct 2011
02:13:32pm
re: Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

ACT OF CONTRITION

Peter:

On second reading of my comments (above) on the subject of stamp scans/photographs, I see the error of my ways.

Had intended my commentary to be helpful and constructive, but it reads as criticism. Please accept my sincere apology for any offence or ill-feeling I may have caused you. ("The road to hell is paved with good intentions.")

Please do not let my insensitivity colour your views about Stamporama or its other members.

To assuage my guilt burden, I have bid on several of your recent auction-lot offerings.

John Derry

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"Much happiness is overlooked because it doesn't cost anything. "

parklanemews@gmail.com
ScanStamps
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13 Oct 2011
02:59:46pm
re: Photo quality in our auctions...more of a general discussion from different perspectives

John, no worries... no offense taken!

For me, part of the joy of stamp collecting is not only that there is no "one right way" to collect, but also that we (as collectors) are are of many different opinions and perceptions, yet we all come together and get along over this hobby we share.

My perception of Stamporama remains completely positive.

And I do appreciate your bids... and hope that my "stamps I don't need" become something that you do want and will get enjoyment from.

Best regards,
Peter

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