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

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
27 Dec 2013
08:25:56pm
Tim, you really outdid yourself on this new function. It is amazing.

One question: A digital photo will work with the approval book feature? Just upload the image of the entire page as one .jpeg?
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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
27 Dec 2013
08:46:07pm
re: Approval Books

Michael..yes it will work.
Our experience though is that the image quality has to be degraded (to about 1000pix x 1000pix) or it will get bounced as too big.
Trying scans and photos degraded to our capacity limit, it seemed scans were better defined, but that does not rule out photos.
If you download a photo with many items..like a full page, you have to number the items on the page from 1 to... This can be done with most photo editing software, even the very simple ones. I found that sharpening the image also helps contrast perforation against the background.
Truly amazing piece of software that Tim implemented!

rrr...

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
27 Dec 2013
09:21:49pm
re: Approval Books

Is there a test area where I can work on getting the best image possible for this before I send a final image? My old Z-Lots from the other place are perfect for the approval books area, but I need to redo all the images for them to eliminate the overlapping of the stamps like in the image below.

Image Not Found

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
27 Dec 2013
09:58:49pm
re: Approval Books

Michael, it is extremely easy to change an image once you load it. My suggestion is to start a book, keep it INACTIVE so only you can look at it, load an image on page 1 and look at it. We have a system that is quite accommodating. If you don't like it, try again. Once you have a resolution you like, run the rest. I am sure all of us who played with it can give you advice after you get started, but you are likely to find it quite easy to get rolling. And yes, your old system would work quite well here!
rrr...

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
27 Dec 2013
10:28:34pm
re: Approval Books

Ah, Okay. Nice and simple. I like it. Thanks for the tips.

For others thinking of selling through the approval books. Check out the books that are there already. Several different sellers, and they have different ways of presenting their material, and setting up their sales. Good ideas can be obtained just looking what the others have done thus far.

I think this will prove to be a great area to sell lower-valued stamps. Should help to clear up the clutter in the auction area making it easier to find the higher-valued stamps in the auctions.

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"My book, "The Whitechapel Fog" is available on Kindle!"

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TheBlueDude
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To error is human -to really fowl things up takes a computer
27 Dec 2013
10:33:19pm
re: Approval Books

Just posted my first book. WOW very simple and great self explanatory directions. You guy have done a GREAT JOB. So off to work I go!!!!

If some would like to take a look and let me if it looks OK or maybe needs a change I would appreciate it.
Ross

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
28 Dec 2013
03:26:35pm
re: Approval Books

Looks good, Ross.

I have noticed that as sellers are putting up more books, that they are refining how their listings look. All-in-all, real nice and easy t use. I'll be listing things too when I get some time.

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TheBlueDude
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To error is human -to really fowl things up takes a computer
29 Dec 2013
08:55:40am
re: Approval Books

Michael,
Thanks for the input. I found that by using the Vario pages I could just scan the stamps, create the page and put the page in a labeled binder . 8 binders to cover the world and a FDC binder for covers.

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cocollectibles
29 Dec 2013
09:51:34am
re: Approval Books

Good initial job, Ross; take a look at my post about using Prinz Plus pages, which have a gutter for labels. Makes it all that much easier to move them around and space your items as needed.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
30 Dec 2013
12:05:52pm
re: Approval Books

Ross: I have played with SOR templates, Custom templates, Vario Pages, Lindner Uniplates and even stock cards. All will work. Even scanning your Album pages will work! My preference goes to the SOR Standard templates which I print as needed, but I admit that it is also because I have been using photo safe 3M 811 removable tape to temporarily attach the stamps, and I am very much in love with the product.
If you put together 100+ pages of books (it will be easy to do when you get rolling..trust me), you either have to commit 100+ Vario or Uniplates to your inventory (which adds up to a few $) or move the stamps from the scanned Vario page to a stockbook...and keep it labeled error free, which I am incapable of doingAt Wits End. You also have to number the items.
If you want to reuse your cards, you have to transfer the numbers (book number, page number item number) and corresponding stamps to your storage system....without screwing up. Does not work for meWhew, but it does work for others who will favor this approach.

So for me, copying the SOR supplied template on colored paper(dark blue or dark green work best, per my experiments) and then attaching the stamp by "hinging...with removable tape hinges" works like a charm, and also adds a level of design consistency to the books which I like. Writing on the pages is also easy....and I tend to add (not required) additional info about the stamp.
But it is all personal preference.Thumbs Up
rrr...

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TheBlueDude
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To error is human -to really fowl things up takes a computer
30 Dec 2013
02:22:41pm
re: Approval Books

Ralph,
do you use that tape on Mint stamps or just used??? i thought about using the template's but what about mint non-hinged stamps- use mounts which can also run up the $$$
Ross

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
30 Dec 2013
02:49:38pm
re: Approval Books

Ross: I use it on both.
Actually on M and MNH it works better than on used stamps, because the smooth back surface never causes any adhesion. And never leaves a trace! (Think photograph, and this tape is photo safe). So apply the small folded tape (hinge) to the back, stick the stamp, re-position it, remove the hinge, etc...and not a trace!

On used stamps works well as well, but just be gentle on the old stamps with porous paper and with a lot of surface unevenness. You have to be a bit more cautious when you remove them (as you would with hinges) less it pulls some of the fiber off the back. My technique is (like on hinges) to work from the corner and gently fold away.

Over the years I also learned to use a much smaller hinge width, typically 1/4 inch wide...or about half the regular commercial hinge width. It goes a long way for a roll, and it works better for moving, removing and yes...even reusing!


rrr...

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
01 Feb 2014
02:47:43am
re: Approval Books

Okay. My first few books are up. Don't shoot me. I just had to do this to stop myself from going back, deleting and editing them over and over again. Now I can go with what I learned and create new books that will be better than this first batch.

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"My book, "The Whitechapel Fog" is available on Kindle!"

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
01 Feb 2014
11:31:33pm
re: Approval Books

With my first approval book sales, I am seeing for the first time how the programming works when items are sold from the seller's perspective. (Mongolia sold pretty good, by the way Winking) Equally impressive how it has been tied in with the auction protocols. Simple, and not much of a learning curve at all. Thumbs Up

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Strider
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10 Feb 2018
03:23:54am
re: Approval Books

Not sure if this is the right place for this question, but here goes.

The approval books have lots of stamps at 10c, and as I live in UK, I'd like to order enough to make it worth the postage cost. So I've looked for a seller with a lot of items to browse, so I can put together a big enough order. There's a seller with exactly what I'm looking for - but he has 59 books! If I select 15 stamps from one book, and then move to the next and choose 2 from that, then 10 from the third etc, will I still have the 15 from the first book held for me? Or do I have to confirm purchase from each book?

Also, it'll take a lot of hunting time - I'm still working, and can only spend half an hour or so at the screen each day. And can I have a few days, or a week or two, to work through the 59 books, so I can make it one big (well, biggish) order and not 59 little ones?

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angore
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Enjoying the little works of art
10 Feb 2018
07:01:10am
re: Approval Books

If the seller is the same for all books, I would contact the seller to work out something. Most will be accommodating. Some will "hold" items until you get enough to make a meaningful purpose to justify shipping, etc.

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sheepshanks
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10 Feb 2018
09:30:05am
re: Approval Books

Strider, once you have clicked on an item it is marked sold and will not now appear "for sale" to anyone else.
As Angore says, if you wish to purchase over a number of days and books, contact the seller to ask for time before invoice sent. When you have finished buying ask for the invoice.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
10 Feb 2018
09:36:29am
re: Approval Books

When you click on the buy button, the stamp is yours (once you pay for it of course). It is not like a shopping cart. Purchases are sorted by seller, not approval book, and can be seen in your "View Won Items" list. The invoice you will receive from the seller will contain everything that you bought from that seller.

Read the sellers' terms and conditions. For the seller who you found and want to buy from, contact the seller before you start buying to make sure that the two of you can agree together for the time that you want to go through the seller's approval books. Most likely the seller will be happy to give you the time that you need.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
10 Feb 2018
10:33:02am
re: Approval Books

The seller with 59 books is the opposite of what I usually deal with. Before I place any bids, I'll go through a book page by page and write down what I would purchase. Then I add it up. Lately I've been finding that they don't have enough for sale to warrant placing the bids.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
10 Feb 2018
02:28:46pm
re: Approval Books

The problem with the payments for Approvals is that we are applying rules designed for Auctions, and relatively large(r) piece prices, when Approval is really a totally different product. Most stamps on Approvals are in the 10c range. Most books get depleted rapidly, so even if you want to add to prior purchases from a specific seller, it may take time as a buyer to find enough material you need from a single seller. Hell...It takes 25 stamps at 10c a stamp to reach $2.50! How often do you close 25 auctions before you pay, on commercial sites?
There is a real issue for buyers to build enough purchase volume (with the 5 days payment expectations of the Auction rule) to warrant closing and paying for an invoice that is not dominated by shipping and handling charges.
I think we need to think differently. Many of the people I buy from know that I will keep adding to my purchases until I build enough critical mass and that I refrain form paying small amounts. Some will refrain from invoicing while others issue invoices after each day, and then update their invoice later after I add more material. If a seller insists on an immediate payment, I will pay and stop buying anything more from them in the future.
The key here is that you must be able to give buyers of 5-10, 15c items more time to build a critical size order!

As a seller, I bill monthly (or when requested). If purchases are under $5, I usually email the buyer to ask if he wants more time. I may bill with a note that says : want more time (another month) just let me know, and I will reissue the invoice with the added material next month (or as requested).

The other big difference is that we are a Club, not a professional store, with a bunch of professional dealers. If a Club member needs time, why not? Once I have put an Approval Book together it just stays in my "completed file drawer" until the book is retired and reworked..so I can always access my older books to ship, even months later. So I personally don't mind the wait. Also, I don't work on stamps every day, so expectations of immediate payments and immediate shipments are misplaced. I much rather save the money for stamps rather than feeding the postal services!

Now on a personal level, all sellers and buyers I have dealt with have shown total flexibility. So the 5 day pay-for-your order rule we use in Auctions (which is copied from commercial sites like ebay), is a misfit to the nature of Approvals, and a stamp Club. (my opinion, and I know Ian will object!)

Now when a seller is running out of things to sell or needs a break, he can always notify pending buyers and accelerate the invoicing and payment cycle. But I personally think that the payment rules that apply to Approvals should adjust to the reality of what Approval Books are, and what a club should be. Or if we don't change the rule, the seller's expectations should certainly be altered! Communications is the key anyway!

rrr....

PS: This is what my invoices for small amounts routinely say: As the amount is fairly small, if you want to wait another month to add some more material, let me know. I can reissue it later on request with the added material, or next month.

Also, every page of my approvals says: I bill once a month, on the first of the month, or anytime on request.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
10 Feb 2018
02:40:52pm
re: Approval Books

Quote:

"Before I place any bids, I'll go through a book page by page and write down what I would purchase. Then I add it up. Lately I've been finding that they don't have enough for sale to warrant placing the bids."



Very considerate Ben, but you also risk seeing the items you want gone. Why not give yourself more time and flexibility, especially if you are dealing with sellers who regularly post books you may like (in content and format)..and consider accumulating material over a certain amount of time. Check with the seller to see if they are agreeable to it. Or read their conditions to see how they operate. But it is a shame spending all this time, and end up not buying what you want..or being aced by a buyer more in a hurry to secure the stamps.

Personally, I work on my stamps continuously based on opportunity, so I don't mind waiting to add more later. Something more I need will come! Just make a note on your lists that you have a purchase pending, to avoid double and triple ordering material you seek.

Now this is different than buying a rare or expensive stamp on Auction that you want to secure quickly! But they seldom list in Approvals (and when listed, they seldom sell, even at 10-15% of catalog ), so it will take time to build a critical sized order.

rrr...



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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
12 Feb 2018
12:11:24pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books

rrraphy is correct! (don't faint rrraphy)

Approvals have to be treated differently.

The one thing that I would add is that when a buyer receives an invoice from a seller please please please scroll down the invoice and read the comments that the seller has written.

Numerous times I have added that, due to the small amount, I am prepared to wait a wee while for payment in case the buyer spots something else to ease the postage costs, only to get a personal message asking if I can wait for payment.

So please read the comments on the invoice.

As rrraphy says we are a club and most sellers know that waiting for small amounts will not break the bank at Monte Carlo!

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
12 Feb 2018
12:34:32pm
re: Approval Books

I don't understand what the grumbling is about. Yes, a seller can send a buyer an invoice whenever the seller wants, but it makes more sense for a seller to send an invoice when the buyer and seller are ready to complete the transaction. There's no point sending an invoice before that, unless a seller wants to nudge a lethargic buyer into finishing up.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
12 Feb 2018
01:52:55pm
re: Approval Books

I agree Michael. and I agree Ian.

Sending an invoice for a very small amount is unnecessary, or must be treated differently.

And sending separate incremental multiple invoices day after day for small amounts is ridiculous. First you can combine amounts and issue ONE invoice (use the power of the computer..it will simplify (and avoid calculation errors) payment, acknowledgement, notification of receipt etc...)

And 2, what is the point, if the buyer has told you he will wait to pay until a certain amount has been accumulated?

Now you may want to remind a buyer of an old purchase that occured some time ago (that could have fallen through the cracks), but for current transactions, Michael is correct that it makes more sense for the seller to wait, especially if you are adding books on a regular basis. Otherwise the buyer is in conflict with our payment rules.
If you are taking a break, or run out of material, or are too busy, please notify the buyer, as he/she may be waiting to explore more books before paying.

As a club, we deal with a relatively small number of buyers and sellers, so please use the messaging capability of SOR to communicate.

rrr...

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
12 Feb 2018
01:53:32pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books


The simplest timeous way as far as I as a seller is concerned is to invoice the buyer when anything is purchased. This way the seller has a hard copy of sales and can put the purchased item(s) with the hard copy, keeping everything together safely.
The buyer then knows exactly what they have bought and how much the postage will be and can then decide when to pay.

It is especially good for those of us who are on metered broadband/wifi systems as we can work from the hard copy without having to keep checking and changing screens, which adds to internet costs.

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
12 Feb 2018
01:56:59pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books

Please remember that we are all humans that have our very own idiosyncrises.

What suits one person may not suit another.

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"One persons idea of improvement may be detrimental to others...........Some are more equal than others. (Always to be avoided)"
michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
12 Feb 2018
03:32:10pm
re: Approval Books

Ian, you can display and print out what you have sold from the ITEMS SOLD page. No need to create an invoice to do that. The page is arranged by buyer, and you can select the time frame to display.

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
12 Feb 2018
06:23:14pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Approval Books

Micheal:- Aye but the invoice has all the details for that one buyer, once it is printed I put it in a poly pocket, the stamps in an envelope also go in the poly pocket, everything is secure. Hopefully mistakes are not made and the stamps are not damaged. (If they were left on stockcards or in stockbooks etc the stamps could be lost/damaged quite easily especially if one drops a stockbook, pandemonium ensues.)

If I waited for buyers to contact me and say I am finished buying, in some cases, hell would freeze over first

Most buyers and sellers are reasonable people and come to an arrangement between themselves but there are the odd one or two that take it to the very limits of good manners.

I know what you are saying and what would/should happen in an ideal world but Utopia involving humans does not exist.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
12 Feb 2018
07:21:07pm
re: Approval Books

What you're saying is the same as what I'm saying Sometimes a buyer needs a little nudge too. In any event, do things in this regard as works best for you.

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