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

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
18 Oct 2014
01:34:31am
Hello fellow Stamporama members:
Approval Book Moderators have been assigned the task of insuring that some simple rules are followed. A statement and explanation of the rules follow.

A few notes about the SOR Approval Books. Initiated 10 months ago, this was new territory. No other Internet site had anything like it. It took a lot of work and back and forth to develop and implement the concept, and as you probably noticed, continued improvements have being made.
It has been a resounding success. More than 2500 books have been issued, and more than 100,000 stamps have changed hands in 8 months!

When we introduced SOR Approval Books, we had voiced simple rules, but we left it vague, by design, and with no enforcement. We wished to encourage as many folks as possible to use it, to experiment and we wished to learn from our collective experience.
We wanted to hear your comments and suggestions on the Discussion Board.
Thanks to all who jumped early on the bandwagon, buyers and sellers alike, and thanks for testing the waters, and finding creative ways to do it your way!
We will now clarify the rules and expect compliance.

We asked for SOR Approval Books to be
1. Substantial, with each item individually numbered.
2. Organized by topics, with limited duplication of items,
3. Mirroring the APS Approval Books,
4. Aimed (but not exclusively) at lower cost stamps



Some books have drifted away from our stated goal, so it is time to clarify the rules and to set enforcement. This will not be applied retroactively, but from here on it will be enforced. Any book which is edited or added to after October 18, 2014 will be considered a "new book" and will be subject to all provisions of the Rules.
We are spelling out these simple rules to insure Approval Books are the quality product we envisioned.

In context, here was our philosophy: The intent was to avail the SOR membership with a number of substantial Books, organized by collectible topics, to help collectors fill gaps in their collections, and dispose of their surplus. We targeted the lower cost stamps that are almost impossible to buy effectively on the Internet, (but we are not excluding more valuable stamps). We also wanted to relieve the clutter noticed in Auctions with the many low cost stamps being listed. We expected Approval Books to be available for a substantive time, until depleted or static for significant time. We did not want books to be constantly being taken down and reissued in order to get instantaneous sales. We wanted to help collectors easily acquire wanted material and dispose of their extras, at their own pace. We hoped that Approval Books would offer a library like resource and substantial inventory of well stocked books with a variety of material for all. Each item was to be individually numbered. Books were to be well organized by topics, easy to explore for the buyers and remaining active for a while. These constitute a library of books, one could go visit at any time to help fill-in gaps in one's collection, or contribute to. We envisioned depleted books to be eventually retired, discounted, and/or restocked.

The Moderator's task will be to insure that this vision is met. Rules will now be enforced.
There have been varying interpretations by members of what Approval Books are (let me remind you: books, not pages), and what defines the term "substantial selection of stamps organized by topics". Book standards are specified. To provide firmer guidance here are the rules:

1. Books with less than 100 stamps or less than 20 covers/sets, s/s, are not considered to offer a substantial selection and should not be posted. You may wish to combine meaningfully smaller books into one larger book to meet the minimum item requirement. This minimum requirement is also subject to Moderator review. The Moderator may grant an exception for covers, s/s, sets, and countries/topics where a limited stamp selection may make the minimum item requirement unreasonable. Every item should be individually numbered.
You should contact the Moderator first for any exception, or your book may be removed. We will communicate with you initially to clarify our intent and ask for your cooperation.
2. The books are expected to be made available as a resource for some time. They are to be organized by collectible categories, for the benefit of the buyers.
We will thus discontinue the mixture and packets category that does not serve this specific goal, and we will frown on books that are just a haphazard dump of material. Packets should conform to our categories, and if you mix packages in a book, the minimum requirements are still applicables. We would recommend that multiple copies be limited to 3, unless dictated by necessity (such as cancellations).
3. The model for SOR Approvals is the APS, which were mailed back and forth and circulated among members for considerable periods of time. But we have simplified it by making pricing for all items on a page identical. We will frown upon the listings of books for brief times, with prices set like auction prices one item at a time. This is seen as an Auction item, and should be directed to the Auction boards. This is NOT a store, this is an Approval Book resource.
4. Approvals are aimed (but not exclusively) at lower cost stamps. While we do not want to discourage any items for being listed here, we would encourage you to favor lower cost items, and push the more expensive material to the back of the books, or to Auctions.

This is the vision we have. Much like the Auctioneer, the Approval Moderators will insure that the rules are followed. Now that we are past this period of experimentation and exploration for all, we will require that all new books conform to set minimum standards.
We value your opinions, but we are also firmly committed to our goal which is is to serve all our members better, with this unique quality product. We realize that changes are often disruptive, but our firm objective is to steer Approval Books towards a more quality, more standardized product, within well defined goals. We would hope that you will make the necessary adjustments (if any) to your future books to meet these objectives, and thus help shape the SOR's vision of Approvals.

Sincerely,
Booby, Ralph
Approval Book Moderators


(Modified by Moderator on 2014-10-18 11:38:47)
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philatelia
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18 Oct 2014
03:47:47am
re: Approval Books Rules

Ummmmm who is the moderator "Booby?" Rolling On The Floor Laughing

Seriously though, all I can say is YAY! I really like the "vision" and will do my best to adhere to this policy. I would be happy to hear any constructive feedback on changes I could make to my approval books so that they are more in compliance with the Stamporama model.

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18 Oct 2014
04:05:30am
re: Approval Books Rules

Theresa,

Booby has appeared a number of times on the site. Booby is Bobby's twin - we just haven't figured out if it's his evil twin or his angelic twin. The jury is still out on that one Confused

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BobbyBarnhart
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18 Oct 2014
06:51:59am
re: Approval Books Rules

I get no respect! Laughing

Booby AKA Bobby

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dell4c
18 Oct 2014
02:07:12pm

Approvals
re: Approval Books Rules

As i understand this then any book with less that 100 stamps in it should not be entered?

Does that mean that approx. 50% of the books currently in the approvals selection would not be allowed under the new rules?

Just looking for clarification

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
18 Oct 2014
10:07:04pm
re: Approval Books Rules

That is correct Bob. Books are books, so we are just setting the minimum size to avoid further misinterpretation of what we mean.
A page is not a book, two pages is not a book, a few words(stamps) on many pages is not a book. We had indicated it before (Approval books must be substantial, and patterned on the APS books) but we let it ride, as we had no mechanism for enforcement (and we had other things to do). We also wanted all members to be able to experiment. Remember that this is new territory for everyone. I don't think that the minimum standards we have defined are very demanding.

But clearly many "books" posted before would not make it today. We refrained from criticising or commenting. Still many of the books falling under our standards could have easily been combined to achieve the required minimum, or just modified slightly. So they would still find their way into Approvals today, just in a modified form. Otherwise, they could go to Auction, and clearly some belong there.

For Approval Books (since they are designed to stay in the system for long periods), we want to avoid unnecessary clutter and be a resource that members can easily explore and tap into, not just when issued but at any time.

Finally, to allay all fears, as Moderators we intend to work with you all to help you adjust to the change. We will allow exceptions when they make sense and will make adjustments when it will enhance this platform. But the computer-enforced mechanisms when they go on line (any time) will be color blind, so this is a heads up!
rrr...

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Poodle_Mum
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A Service Dog gives a person with a disability independence. Never approach, distract or pet a working dog, especially when (s)he is in harness. Never be afraid to ask questions to the handler (parent).
18 Oct 2014
11:28:11pm
re: Approval Books Rules

I'll post the rules in the next Rambler which will be published first week of December.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
20 Oct 2014
01:27:35am
re: Approval Books Rules

If you don't understand the Approval Book Rules we now have activated, please read my very first post here:

Quote:

"Approval Book Moderators have been assigned the task of insuring that some simple rules are followed. A statement and explanation of the rules follow....etc...etc..."


rrr...

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BOTTOM_FISH_2006
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22 Oct 2014
03:42:27am
re: Approval Books Rules

"Books with less than 100 stamps or less than 20 covers/sets, s/s, are not considered to offer a substantial selection and should not be posted."
It would be hard for me to put in 100 block of 4 stamps in a book. Would they considered as sets/or s/s?

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
22 Oct 2014
07:34:06am
re: Approval Books Rules

If you publish a book with 25 blocks of 4, you can click "yes" to the 100 items question and the software should accept it.

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