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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
07 Feb 2014
09:33:34am
The VC is discussing possibly tightening some rules on our auction, specifically rule 4, which i'll include at the end of this message. While we do this, I would like to remind you all of the rule, and further remind you that the full rules can be found at http://stamporama.com/forms/display_form.php?id=aurules, that requires us to properly list our lots. Please note faults or problems that affect the stamp, EVEN if they are visible on the scan. Some of us prefer that you provide additional information, which could include catalogue number, year of issue, watermark, and other distinguishing characteristics, but this is not now required.

One thing that I never thought I'd have to explain, but apparently I do: if you post a stamp or cover for sale, you MUST intend to sell it here. That precludes you from listing it elsewhere and sending it to the guy who sends in first or most or.... You may NOT sell stamps or covers that you don't possess; you may not sell those that you are actively selling elsewhere; you may not list stamps here that you have listed for sale or for bid elsewhere.

This IS covered in another section about concluding transactions, and this is not open to interpretation. If you offer it, you must be prepared to sell it here.

and a final thought: the image you use MUST be of the stamp you're offering. it can neither be representational (what a TransMississippi stamp looks like, but not mine) nor can it be a stamp that MIGHT be included in a lot, as i have seen done here. If you show it, the viewer has every right to receive it if s/he is the high bidder.

so, back to rule under discussion: any thoughts?


Stamps Offered in Stamporama Auction and Approvals Must Be Accurately Described
4) a. All lots should include, at a minimum, descriptions of any defects or other characteristics outside the norm. This includes fakes, forgeries, and counterfeits, as well as reprints, repairs, and damages. Damages that need to be described include thins, creases, pulled perfs, scuffs, tears, stains, etc. Please do not rely on scans to communicate problems; problems must ALSO be described in the lot description. Lots with multiple stamps need not have this detail, unless the high value of the lot is subject to one or more of these problems.

b. Please avoid all comparative and superlative language in your descriptions including "scarce", "rare" or similar wording. Avoid any references to future value.

c. Any references to a "value" of the lot must be supported by quoting the source of that value, e.g. "Scott catalog value", "Michel catalog value", "my own estimated realization". If a catalog is quoted, the catalog year should be given as well; for example "Scott 2002 cat. val. $3.50"

David the auctioneer
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Stampme
07 Feb 2014
12:42:12pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

I agree with your email.
Bruce

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DRYER
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07 Feb 2014
01:44:35pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

You are at the top of your game, David the auctioneer, and long may you remain there.

John Derry

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
07 Feb 2014
03:14:44pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

As long as I'm doing right, let's add one more thing. This, too, was discussed by the VC, and we are adding paragraph D to section 4, which describes descriptions.

The rationale is to make concrete the need to show THE stamp or THE cover you are offering, not a stamp that looks like or is fairly representational. It must be THE stamp. This doesn't require you to show an image, but requires that IF you do show an image, it is of the very thing you plan to sell.

David the Auctioneer


Stamps Offered in Stamporama Auction and Approvals Must Be Accurately Described
4) a. All lots should include, at a minimum, descriptions of any defects or other characteristics outside the norm. This includes fakes, forgeries, and counterfeits, as well as reprints, repairs, and damages. Damages that need to be described include thins, creases, pulled perfs, scuffs, tears, stains, etc. Please do not rely on scans to communicate problems; problems must ALSO be described in the lot description. Lots with multiple stamps need not have this detail, unless the high value of the lot is subject to one or more of these problems.

b. Please avoid all comparative and superlative language in your descriptions including "scarce", "rare" or similar wording. Avoid any references to future value.

c. Any references to a "value" of the lot must be supported by quoting the source of that value, e.g. "Scott catalog value", "Michel catalog value", "my own estimated realization". If a catalog is quoted, the catalog year should be given as well; for example "Scott 2002 cat. val. $3.50"

d. Images used must be of the stamp(s) being offered; they cannot be representative.

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Poodle_Mum
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07 Feb 2014
03:42:33pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

Thanks David. I admit I'm guilty of not describing everything like pulled perfs and creases that I can see as noticeable. I'm going to be more diligent in the future to make sure I meet those expansions.

We all need a reminder from time to time Happy

Kelly

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BobbyBarnhart
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07 Feb 2014
03:58:47pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

I realize that we cannot dictate "scanner skill" as a prerequisite to posting auctions, but I surely do wish sellers would invest more time in quality scans. Some of the poor, blurry images that are being posted are worse than no image at all. I think this is the best example of when these enhanced description rules will help most.

Well done David and the VC.

I would also like to take this opportunity to state that David has done a most admirable job as auctioneer. He runs a tight ship and the few issues I have had have been quickly resolved.

Bobby

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cocollectibles
07 Feb 2014
05:14:36pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

I admire all the efforts; what about lots or collections? Would "all used" or "mixed used and mint" and something like "good to excellent condition overall, with some faults" be acceptable? Certainly, no-one is thinking of describing EACH stamp in a lot, are they? Of course, the scan should show all items offered if possible.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
07 Feb 2014
05:20:40pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

Peter, from Rule 4a:

Quote:

"Lots with multiple stamps need not have this detail, unless the high value of the lot is subject to one or more of these problems. "



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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
07 Feb 2014
08:26:34pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

thanks Michael, that's exactly right.

The SPIRIT of the rule is to have descriptions that are accurate; however, lots are a different thing entirely. It's a 'bunch of stamps' that are seldom identified with more than US from 50s, Easter Europe CTOs, or Flora and Fauna from France, Fiume, Tierra del Feugo.

I am not interested in becoming the auction police; often i point to the rule with new listers, highlighting what's supposed to be. it's easier if i have a rule than if i sound like i'm making it up.

you may always inquire prior to posting if you're unsure.

David

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cocollectibles
08 Feb 2014
07:00:45am
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

I told you my eyes were going! Thanks Michael.


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dani20
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08 Feb 2014
09:16:17am
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

Dear David,
Sir, unless you appoint someone else in your stead, you are the de facto enforcer.You do so quietly, behind the scenes,with great discretion and enormous patience, but bottom line-you are the enforcer.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!
Best, as always,
Dan C.

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sponthetrona2
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08 Feb 2014
11:22:21am
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

I agree with Dan, David is in charge.....his is the LAST word. I for one want exactly what I pay for but do not like to bid without some better identification of the item listed.

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philatelia
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04 Apr 2015
10:08:42am
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

Quote:

"Stamps Offered in Stamporama Auction and Approvals Must Be Accurately Described
4) a. All lots should include, at a minimum, descriptions of any defects or other characteristics outside the norm. This includes fakes, forgeries, and counterfeits, as well as reprints, repairs, and damages. Damages that need to be described include thins, creases, pulled perfs, scuffs, tears, stains, etc. Please do not rely on scans to communicate problems; problems must ALSO be described in the lot description. Lots with multiple stamps need not have this detail, unless the high value of the lot is subject to one or more of these problems.
"



The above is a quote from our auctioneer pulled from the discussion above.

New approval book makers might need to be reminded about this rule. There seem to be quite a few stamps in approval books with obvious tears, short perfs, etc that are priced as though they are intact. I thought it might not hurt to remind sellers that this rule applies to approvals as well as auctions.

This is just a friendly observation and reminder from a concerned member. Happy stampin'!!!
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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
04 Apr 2015
03:49:41pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

Theresa:

Quote:

"New approval book makers might need to be reminded about this rule. There seem to be quite a few stamps in approval books with obvious tears, short perfs, etc that are priced as though they are intact. I thought it might not hurt to remind sellers that this rule applies to approvals as well as auctions.

This is just a friendly observation and reminder from a concerned member. Happy stampin'!!!"





I think we need a more relaxed rule for Approval Books, given the quantity of very low cost stamps in the Approval Books, one has to assume that the seller cannot describe each stamp and its imperfections as in auctions.
While the goal of the Auctions rule is a good one, my suggestion for Approvals is to have the following more relaxed rule: Approvals: Buyers have the right to return any and all material they find less than satisfactory. Returned stamps must be refunded in full, no questions asked.

Demanding a full description of each stamp's condition in Approvals defeats the whole purpose of securing a market for low cost stamps. As careful as I am, I always find more stamps to eliminate, once I pack for shipping, and I usually include a refund with the shipment. But I cannot imagine writing a description for every stamp, especially when they are priced under $0.10.
Also, a pencil mark may be acceptable to some and not to others. (there are pencil marks and pencil marks too!) Same for hinge remains, small thins, paper adhesions etc... Now, while I try to indicate the obvious, I am not going to note this condition for every stamp...not at these prices. But if a buyer does not like my stamps and has different standards...which I absolutely respect...then for one, more than one or all of the purchased stamps I will always refund him/her fully.

Just my suggestion for a different set of written rules for Approvals. Although the goal of the Auctions rules is commendable, it goes too far for Approvals.
rrr

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
04 Apr 2015
03:56:04pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

Incidentally, instead of mandating returns, a seller may also elect to simply issue a refund. No point returning a bunch of very low valued stamps, one stamp or a few stamp at a time.
The difference between SOR and the commercial auctions sites and stores, is that SOR is a club, and we are all collectors sharing the hobby, having a conversation and helping one another.
rrr...

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philatelia
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04 Apr 2015
04:06:40pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

My message was referring to stamps with MAJOR faults that are priced at 30c or 50c or more with no mention of the damage.

A very simple solution is to separate badly damaged or faulty and group them together and sell at a discount. Yes, labeling all the damaged stamps is very time consuming and isn't practical for approvals, so just taking the damaged out of the mix solves the problem.

Personally, I wouldn't feel right selling faulty stamps to my friends for full price even if it is only a nickel or a dime. But I'm a bit of a girl scout at heart.

Also different people have different standards for what they consider faulty. I tend to be on the fussy end of the spectrum - I don't like pencil marks, etc.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
04 Apr 2015
04:23:25pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

I would not either, Theresa, but if you are packing several hundred 10c stamps, there are some with defects that will escape attention. Also, we all have different standards, and some collectors object to pencil marks, while others don't. Same with hinge remains, especially on unused stamps. I assume that hinges can be removed on used stamps, but it is extra work, so it even applies to them.

We also put the Approval books together from different sources, stockbooks, envelopes, old collections etc... so the ease of doing what you suggest is quite variable. For example, if you offer stamps mounted on pages, are you going to check the back of each one for defects?
Also, a higher valued stamp with flaws may be a great deal at 10c, as a slot filler, and I would rather offer it than not.

So I think, given what Approval Books are, that we should be more flexible. Just my opinion.
rrr...

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 Apr 2015
04:57:19pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

speaking as a member with no official position on this, I envisioned approvals much as Ralph has described. A pix and a number.

I think faulty stamps have no place, except as described fillers, but that's my opinion. Frankly, I see plenty of unremarked faulty stamps in the auction, and I just let it go. Often I know the sellers are not fully educated on standards.

I would not want the approvals burdened by the same level of detail that most auction lots carry.

Just my opinion.

David

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
04 Apr 2015
06:39:55pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

I have no problem with requiring mention of defects on stamps sold (in any manner in which they are sold, or for any price). Sellers should not intentionally omit damage to stamps. Most collectors don't want damaged stamps. The approval books should not be a method for sellers to make some money by peddling damaged material that is not identified as such. It destroys the integrity of the approval books sales area to sell undisclosed damaged material. It doesn't matter the price. There should be no presumption that just because something is priced at a nickle that it is or may be damaged. I want to know ahead of time. I normally do not want junk in my albums.

I disagree with the blanket mandated returns with a "no questions asked rule".

I try to describe any defects in the stamps that I sell in the approval books, although most stamps with defects that are of minimal value I rarely sell. Since I describe defects, a buyer is aware of it at the time of purchase. If my eyes got tired while working on listing stamps for sale, and I made a mistake, I have no problem discuss it with the buy to arrive at satisfactory resolution with the buyer. The transaction was between the buyer and me. SOR had no part in the transaction. The buyer's recourse, if the two of us cannot reach a satisfactory solution is to contact SOR for assistance.

Mandated no questions asked refunds could be a way for an unscrupulous buyer that might come along who buys a bunch of cheap stamps from a bunch of approval books, pays, receives the stamps from several different sellers, requests a refund, gets a refund as mandated, and hopes that the sellers will just tell the buyer to keep the stamps. What happens if the seller wants the stamps back, and the buyer refuses, or won't return the stamps? What recourse does the seller have?

In addition, if an approval book is closed, the images are lost, so there is no way for the seller to prove that a buyer got a refund and then substituted good stamps for bad. Yes, sellers will have their image files, but that is not definitive proof of a substitution as the images contained in the approval book as posted are the proof.

Now and then someone makes a friendly suggestion regarding approval books, and then we're faced with a slew of proposed new rules. I think almost everyone will agree that the approval books are working fine. Can we please stop trying to fix what isn't broken?

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BobbyBarnhart
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04 Apr 2015
07:02:35pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

If I receive a stamp with undescribed faults, I fully expect a complete refund, including postage both ways and all miscellaneous fees. Many sellers feel a refund is complete once the purchase price is returned, but with approvals, often the "added" fees for paypal use and postage is a substantial part of the price.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
04 Apr 2015
07:38:18pm
re: Auction Descriptions and Illustrations

agreed

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