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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : Postage & Handling charges in the auction

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Postcardman
20 May 2012
08:44:00am
I do not believe in Postage & Handling.

(Modified by Moderator on 2012-05-24 21:27:50)
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DrG
20 May 2012
12:02:41pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

So you would be selling stamps (in fact several) for a total of .30 and expect that they would be shipped to you free. Interesting concept but far from reality.

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sponthetrona2
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Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often
20 May 2012
12:30:25pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Postcardman,
So envelopes and stamps are free from where you come from.........Wow! I have to pay for them and I expect to pay the seller such as he or she is not giving stuff away below their costs. Perry

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PDougherty999
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20 May 2012
12:38:55pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Hey moderators...
Is there a reason we're entertaining this thread in this particular forum, especially since this one automatically gets emailed to everyone? I don't mind actual club business being broadcast out, but this discussion falls WAY out of the category of Club Business. Just saying...
---Pat

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Patches
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Liz
20 May 2012
01:11:24pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

I agree with you Pat. My problem is I don't know how, nor have I figured out how to move a whole thread to another section. I have to leave that procedure to Tim or someone else who knows how to do this function.

I assume the thread should be posted under the topic 'Auction Discussion' or 'General Stamp Collecting Discussion'.

Tim is there a way of moving this whole thread to another topic heading? Thanks for your help.

Liz
Stamporama Moderator.

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elliotcreek
20 May 2012
02:46:35pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Postcardman is obviously a buyer! Patches,I don't know what section except this one where we can roast this guy!
regards

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
20 May 2012
03:00:33pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Why don't you believe in postage and handling?

...and yet another blanket statement made without any supporting comment, which gives rise to speculation, inflammatory comments and ridicule.

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rgnpcs
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20 May 2012
03:01:49pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

I no longer charge for handling, probably more than six months since I stopped. I always charge for insurance, but in some cases do not insure where lot is cheap, usually under $10,00
Richaard

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DRYER
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20 May 2012
03:30:37pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Some stamp sellers do not charge for postage and handling but incorporate this expense in their selling or opening-bid prices and offer the service as "free" - a common practice of free enterprise.

My granddaughter believes in the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and Santa Claus.
I believe in good fellowship. Leonard is entitled to his belief.

John Derry



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auldstampguy
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20 May 2012
08:53:35pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Come on everyone, Leonard(Postcardman) is a new member and this is the first time that I have seen him attempt a posting here. After this reception I could understand if he wasn't game to try again. I believe that Michael posed the question Leonard, what do you mean when you say you don't believe in postage and handling? Were you suggesting that you would be prepared to pickup those costs if someone won lots from you in the Stamporama Auction?

Regards ... Tim.

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lisagrant87
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20 May 2012
10:42:53pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

It's true, we do need more information before rushing to judgement. First, I want to say, welcome Leonard. I hope you enjoy StampoRama as much as I do.

Here are my two cents about S&H. I believe buyers should pay shipping for their won lots. I don't want a seller to lose money selling stamps. If you're thinking of PayPal fees as handling fees, I absolutely agree with buyers who charge them. I want people I buy from to get the money I told them I would pay for their items. I have no problem helping to make up the difference between the sale price and the amount PayPal takes since paying through PayPal is more convenient for me. We almost always pay for convenience, right? In terms of just handling, if it is costly for a seller to have the proper packaging items and envelopes then it should be reflected in the price.

All of that being said, I still love an item with free shipping!

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lasaboy
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21 May 2012
12:03:39am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

I do not have a problem with postage or even a modest fee for packaging, but the practice of some sellers in charging a flat fee, in many cases three times or more what it should be is a little over the top.
Leo posted an excellent question for discussion, what are the basic practices of sellers, myself I have sold with free shipping (postage and packaging included no matter the selling price); postage & packaging included (postage & packaging already added at the start of the auction, which I note on the page with the amount, stating exactly what is included, hard envelope, stiff board etc.); and with an added postage & packaging price, in all three cases I have never had a complaint, nor should I as I am upfront with what is being given, besides I would never rip anyone off it is negative to business and negative to being a good honest businessman.
Of course insurance is an extra, if included the item is covered if it vanishes, either for a full refund or replacement.
In every case I am up front with the amount and what I am adding for the small cost, which I guarantee is at my cost, not me making money out of it, the biggest problem I see at the moment (besides people selling forgeries) is people selling at minimums but charging over the top prices for shipping and handling, by doing this they make up for the cheaper prices they list the item for to begin with, in my mind this should be illegal.
I believe this is a section that should be controlled to an extent by the governing group.
That in turn keeps everyone honest and stops the practice of ripping off new and naive buyers, people we should all be protecting, because without them our businesses would fail.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
21 May 2012
09:37:28am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

this is an interesting conversation.

On SOR's auction, we allow sellers to charge whatever postage and handling fees they think is appropriate, as long as their terms are part of the description. If there are no terms, sellers can only charge postage to cover their own expenses.

As far as having high S&H fees, it's really no different from high starting bids; it merely represents money the winning bidder will pay. If it's too rich for one's blood, one doesn't bid.

On our auctions, many inexpensive things go begging (i've seen many sound items listed at 10% and 15% go with no bids) while some higher priced material gets bids. It's often about demand.

David

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daveanddeb
http://www.americancollectiblesmuseum.org
21 May 2012
10:14:45am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

I buy and sell both...and when I sell I have to consider what is appropriate for my costs..including paypal fees. When I buy, I read all the terms of sale and if I think, in my opinion, that the postage / handling is too high...then I pass it by. I think that's about all anyone can do. I read an earlier post that referred to protecting naive collectors from paying too much for these costs. As a collector, I'm not sure that we should be in the business of trying to police sellers' postage and handling charges anymore than we ought to be policing what percentage of catalog that any seller should start his/her starting bid at. There is one Bohemia-Moravia used stamp, for example, that I'd gladly pay 10 times catalog value for any day of the week so does that make me naive or does it just mean that, for me, there is a great deal of demand for that particular stamp? I love the idea of collectors looking out for one another...it's just the idea of policing either buyers and sellers based upon some imaginary consensus of just what is appropriate that troubles me.

Dave

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DaSaintFan
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21 May 2012
12:53:43pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Quote:

"Come on everyone, Leonard(Postcardman) is a new member and this is the first time that I have seen him attempt a posting here. After this reception I could understand if he wasn't game to try again. I"



Gotta agree Tim.. I've already said why I prefer SOR to the bigger "better known" SB's discussions.. and I'd hate to see him get the same opinion of this board compared to the one i have of htat one.

That being said, it'd help if Postcardman helped explain what he meant in his comment?
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PeterG
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23 May 2012
04:11:51am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

In my humble opinion it´s ok to charge for postage, but handling? Come on, if you don´t want to pack a letter and send it, then don´t sell via mail

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
23 May 2012
09:38:49am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

"Handling" is more comprehensive than simply stuffing an envelope. It includes:

- cost of the glassine or card to hold the stamp(s) - costs run 3 cents and up depending on size

-cost of the mailing envelope can run 2 cents and up depending on size, such as a 6x9 envelope costs around 15 to 20 cents

- paper to print packing slip

- printer ink/toner

- cost of gas to go to post office

- fees charged by firms such as PayPal to process the payment (minimum fee is 34 cents)

- end of sale fees (not applicable to SOR

Now many will say that these are part of a seller's cost of doing business, and should be part of the actual selling price of the item, or simply absorbed by the seller. Would you pay 50 cents or more for a minimum value stamp? Should a seller process and send a stamp that sold for 10 cents, absorbing the costs of doing business and actually losing money to do so?

If collectors would pay full catalog for stamps, then it would be easier for a seller/dealer to absorb these costs. However,many if not most collectors expect to pay no more than 50% or even less of catalog, refusing to buy stamps from a dealer charging more. Then they expect the same dealer to pay full catalog when they want to sell their collection. Can't have it both ways.

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amsd
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23 May 2012
09:55:57am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

I'm with Michael on this, mostly.

With SOR, I typically charge mandatory postage costs (whatever the stamp cost) and offer optional fees to cover my paypal costs IF the buyer wants to use that service because, as Michael correctly notes, there's a minimum fee incurred of 30c plus 3% of total charge. I figure throw in the cost of the envelopes and stiffener (in most cases, material that I'm reusing from some other previous incarnation).

With eBay, I have a handling charge because it costs to sell a lot and I'm not interested in losing money. That charge anticipates my minimum eBay and Paypal fees (10% and 30c plus 3%); i'm willing to pay higher fees when the lot sells at higher than my minimum opening bid.

Most sellers' fees are clearly delineated, AND THAT is the cost of buying something. Whether that cost is shown in the opening bid or the S&H is really a matter of marketing, as the fees assessed to the seller are the same regardless of how they are assigned. And because a potential bidder can ask eBay to list all lots in TOTAL COST order, it's simple to see what the real cost will be.

As long as the seller is clear, and the bidder is observant, this should work. After that, it's a function of demand and price.

David

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alyn
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23 May 2012
10:01:09am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

What I see with Michael's example is what I would determine to be simple overhead. When I sell, I just charge postage. If I choose to sell by mail, my business costs (for lack of a better word) must include:

• Envelopes
• Stiffeners
• Printing Costs
• any Transportation costs to mail the items
• listing/selling fees

These, in my opinion, should be included in the price for the item. Using shipping and handling to artificially raise the cost of the item is poor business practice in my mind.

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Jansimon
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23 May 2012
10:21:35am

Approvals
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

These business costs do exist but instead of including these in the selling price for each item it would also make sense to list them separately as handling costs, because it would be overcharging if you have a buyer who takes multiple items. Most sellers will put these in one envelope, with one stamp, etc.

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lasaboy
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23 May 2012
10:52:31am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

50c to $1 for a handling fee that I would rate as modest, but I have seen many where they are charging $3 postage & handling minimum, more if multiple items, the postage is 60c, a standard envelope a plastic bag (not glassine)so how can they justify $3??, $1.50 would be enough to cover most costs and then some.
Anything more is simply a rort

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alyn
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23 May 2012
11:07:47am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Jan Simon that is where the problem occurs, not all sellers will combine shipping on items. For the most part, here at SOR, it isn't an issue but at other places it is. Larry illustrates the problem perfectly.


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elliotcreek
23 May 2012
11:09:49am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

I agree with alyn,its not like we are packing a leg vise down to Puralator...by the way what ever happened to Postcardman.
regards

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michael78651
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23 May 2012
12:31:29pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

I agree with you, Lasaboy. I personally charge a flat rate for postage and handling. I based the flat fee on the average cost for me to mail an order.

I have seen those who have a starting S&H fee, and then add 25 cents for each item thereafter. I do not agree with that when it comes to S&H for stamps for the reason that three stamps are not going to ship for more than the first one purchased. Yes, the fees will be a little bit higher, but an extra 25 cents per stamp is hard to justify.

One thing to consider is that without the S&H, sellers would be cost-prohibited from selling low-valued items. One cannot sell at a loss. Many people are looking for minimal valued stamps to complete sets and don't want to have to spend extra dollars to purchase an entire set for just one or two stamps and then have duplicates to contend with.

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DRYER
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23 May 2012
01:12:14pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Much ado about nothing:

It's time to stop dancing around the Maypole. This discussion has gone nowhere, something like "twitterspeak":
So I was, kind of, like, you know?


As a buyer, I ignore the flapdoodle and look directly to the bottom line, what will this cost me to get it to my door?

John Derry

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DaSaintFan
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23 May 2012
03:50:36pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Quote:

"I have seen those who have a starting S&H fee, and then add 25 cents for each item thereafter."



It all depends Michael.. those stamp sets I sent out to various SOR members, the post office basically charged me $1.05 for postage (basically 30 glassine envelopes per send)... would it have been less if i had only put in 24 items instead?) I doubt it very seriously.

So obviously if there were "ENOUGH" items to mandate a S&H increase. i'd have to add something to it, but i'll be honest, I'm still not 100% sure what it would be... but I'd like to think it's minimal

That's one reason I had volunteered to pay postage for those, items, just so I knew what the appx. rate would have been when I do put some stuff on the auction (haven't yet, as I'm still sorting/cataloging.)


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PeterG
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24 May 2012
08:15:15am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

There´s apparently huge differences in how people pack the stamps they´re sending. I´ve tried receiving them laying loose in the envelope (I wonder: Is it so hard just to wrap them in something?), but I can also see there are huge differences in prices. I send a lot of shipments out, so I buy my envelopes in bulk, which makes them quite cheap. Glassine envelopes for the stamps are definately reused, I guess all here reuse them. But I wonder: How often do one send out 1-3 minimum price stamps? I mean: They´re far from minimum priced when postage is added If one send 15 single stamps I would consider it natural to put them all in one glassine envelope. Those minimum priced stamps are usually something collectors have obtained "for free" through many years of collecting, so it´s not like you paid 3 cents and sell for 5, so now you lose money because the envelope also costs 3 cents. I agree with alyn: Buyer pays postage, the rest is on me/the seller

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RossTO
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Back in the hobby after a 25+ year absence. Currently with VERY few stamps, no albums, no tools, no supplies and LOTS of time! I love a challenge!!! LOL
24 May 2012
09:40:17am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Since charging PayPal fees has been mentioned, I thought I might point out one issue here. Per the PayPal User Agreement that you would have had to agree to when you signed up for it there is a section that covers charging fees for using the service to receive money.

"4.6 No Surcharges. You agree that you will not impose a surcharge or any other fee for accepting PayPal as a payment method. You may charge a handling fee in connection with the sale of goods or services, as long as the handling fee does not operate as a surcharge and is not higher than the handling fee you charge for non-PayPal transactions."

As an FYI.

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
24 May 2012
12:54:06pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Thank you, Ross Chapman, for that information on the "paypal" user agreement concerning the charging of fees.
As a buyer who frequently uses "paypal", I suppose the only leverage I have with those sellers who do charge a fee for using "paypal" is to report their user-agreement violation and request "paypal" credit my account accordingly.


I'll try this next time a Stamporama seller charges me a "paypal" user fee and report back to club members the reaction I receive.

John Derry

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Patches
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Liz
24 May 2012
01:27:16pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

There are two ways for us to resolve PayPal fee issues. Sellers can just stop offering PayPal to buyers and buyers can stop purchasing from sellers who charge anything they do not agree with. Simple!



Liz


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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
24 May 2012
02:21:20pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

This conversation could go on forever. Don't we always pay for convenience in this world? Isn't that why Walmart offers free shipping to your local store or you can pay for shipping to your home? Isn't that why many take out restaurants have a delivery charge? I personally would not buy much if anything at all if I could't use PayPal. It should NOT go away as an option for buyers. From what I've seen, you always have the option to pay by check or money order so you don't have to pay a fee for PayPal.

If we told all SOR sellers that they can't charge PayPal fees, the cost of their items would likely go up to cover the cost. If that happens, someone who wants to pay by check ends up paying the fee as well. I have no problem paying for something if I know what it's for and I appreciate sellers who tell me it's a PayPal fee.

Regardless of whether PayPal allows it or not, sellers will find a way to charge a "fee." As I stated earlier in this discussion, I want the seller I buy from to get the appropriate amount of money for the sale and shipping and I don't mind paying for the convenience of PayPal and therefore knowing the seller gets the correct amount of money.

And I agree with Liz. If you don't like the price, don't buy it!
I've only dealt with a few sellers on SOR and I find them all to be fair and honest. I see no point in hurting them by reporting them to PayPal and forcing them to eliminate that option altogether.

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mcrosby
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24 May 2012
03:33:50pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

I have to agree 100% with Lisa. Having been a victim of losing money on sales in the past due because of all the fees on other sites, I don't mind paying the fee so the seller gets the fair amount. If the seller is up front about it instead of charging higher postage than is necessary, I don't mind paying it (did just that last week).

Mike

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larsdog
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24 May 2012
05:22:18pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

The biggest disadvantage to high fees, in my humble opinion, is that low prices with high fees can be problematic if I have to return the item. Unless it is explicitly stated that the seller will refund purchase price AND S+H if the item is not what they said it was, I'm probably not going to pay 10 cents for a stamp and $4.90 S+H even if $5 is a really good deal for that stamp. I bought about 8 postage due stamps from a guy in the Philippines (J69-J76). Prices were VERY low and shipping was VERY high, but the total price was the best deal, so I placed the order. I got the stamps but they were not what I ordered. It turned out the guy uses an SG catalog to organize his stamps and when he lists them for auction he uses the Scott equivalent. SG doesn't differentiate between 1930 Perf 11 Flat Plate Postage Dues (J69-76) and 1931 11 x 10.5 Rotary Press Postage Dues (J79-86). There is a HUGE difference in Scott price, though. J69-86 used is about $25. J79-86 is about $1. (I'm going from memory here - don't have a Scott Catalog with me). They were listed as the higher priced J69-76 even though they were really J79-86 with no indication on the listing that the Scott numbers were translations from SG. I could have mailed them back, but to pay for postage with proof of delivery to the Philippines just to get reimbursed the purchase price didn't make financial sense (he refused to refund shipping - said it wasn't his fault).

Of course, once I have established a good relationship with a seller I will buy from them even if the price is slightly higher since I feel like I can trust the merchandise.

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rgnpcs
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24 May 2012
05:34:42pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

OK, will try to post this message again, lost it last time in the middle. Do not have much time as wife needs caring.
Shipping - I place most all stamps, when filling a want list, on to small stock cards, then mark catalog number under each stamp; then place card in acetate sleeve, then into a poly bag, which is attached to a stiffener, usually corrugated board, and then into the envelope for mailing. All these extra steps are part of my service at no charge.
Richaard

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rgnpcs
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24 May 2012
05:40:51pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

PayPal- I give my customers a choice , then I charge an additional 7% on the whole shipment including shipping & insurance. Customer knows in advance there options. There are no hidden charges. I have been selling stamps since 1946, and I think that I know how to deal with people, and run an honest business.
Richaard

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JaceStamps
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24 May 2012
06:21:06pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Could this thread please be moved or closed and re-started in a more suitable area. 40 emails is a little excessive for "non-club business".

I'm almost ready to add SOR to my junkmail blacklist (which I don't really want to do).

Thanks.

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
24 May 2012
09:32:05pm
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

I have moved this thread from the original "Club Business" topic. Liz has opened a second thread to continue this discussion.

Regards ... Tim.

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elliotcreek
25 May 2012
12:52:34am
re: Postage & Handling charges in the auction

Considering Postcardman's innocent remark I think we got a lot of milage out of it....learned a few things too.
regards

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