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The Stamporama Auction offers members the opportunity to buy and sell stamps and other philatelic-related items. Those participating in the auctions are expected to follow all rules and procedures (see the Auction Tutorial). Failure to do this may result in the loss of buying and selling privileges, or termination of membership.

Table of Contents

A. General Rules

B. Buying Rules

C. Selling Rules

D. Shipping Terms

E. Unacceptable Listing Practices

F. Disputes

G. Filing a Dispute

H. Sanctions

A. General Rules:

A1. Members who can legally enter into a contract may participate in the auctions.

A2. Members must keep their profile information current. Providing ficticious profile information is not permitted.

A3. Buyers and sellers must keep each other informed, and must respond to communications from the other party and/or the Auctioneer as relates to the transaction including, but not limited to, invoicing, payment, shipment and receipt of purchases.

A4. All transactions are conducted in United States Dollars. However, sellers may accept payment in other currencies. Buyers must contact the seller regarding payment and exchange rates.

A5. Sellers and buyers may mutually agree to alter the terms and conditions of any purchase. However, unless mutually agreed upon in writing by both parties, the changes are not valid, and no assumption may be made by either party that the other agreed to the changes.

A6. Stamporama’s role in the auctions is limited to providing a venue to facilitate buying and selling philatelic material. Stamporama assumes no liability, and does not guarantee any action or promise of action of buyers and sellers. Members using Stamporama's auctions agree to hold Stamporama and The Management Team harmless in all disputes that may arise between a buyer and seller.

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B. Buying Rules:

B1. Placing a bid or using the Buy It Now feature creates a legal contract between a buyer and seller. Through submittal of a bid or use of the Buy It Now feature buyers acknowledge that they understand the terms and conditions regarding purchase of the item, and that they will pay for the lot if they are the highest bidder at the time the auction closes, or the Buy It Now feature is used.

B2. Buyers must contact the seller for clarification before placing a bid or using the Buy It Now feature if the terms and conditions are vague, confusing or missing from an item listing.

B3. Bids may not be retracted.

B4. The high bidder must pay the seller the high bid amount for the lot as indicated by the auction system at the time the auction lot closed.

B5. Buyers must pay for auction lots purchased within 5 business days of receipt of an invoice from the seller, unless other terms have been specifically stated by the seller in the item listing or invoice. Buyers must notify the seller regarding any delay in payment. If a buyer is unable to pay for an extended period of time, the Auctioneer also must be notified as to the reason, and which sellers are affected.

B6. Buyers who have not received an invoice within 5 business days of completing purchases with a seller must contact the seller to request that an invoice be sent.

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C. Selling Rules:

C1. All items offered for sale must be directly related to stamp collecting.

C2. Bogus, fake, forged, counterfeit, reprinted, repaired or altered stamps may be listed for sale, and must be so identified. Describing a stamp as "counterfeit?" or "reperfed?", etc. is permitted when a seller is uncertain whether a stamp is genuine or has been altered. Relying on authentication marks to list the stamp as genuine without accompanying certification from a recognized authority is not permitted.

C3. Intentionally listing bogus, fake, forged, counterfeit, repaired or altered stamps as genuine is prohibited.

C4. Sellers must have possession of the items being offered for sale. The items cannot be listed on Stamporama and also be offered for sale elsewhere at the same time.

C5. All lots, except as otherwise provided, must include at least one image of the actual item being offered for sale. Representative images are not permitted.

C6. Lots consisting of large stamp mixtures or collections must include at least one image that shows some or all of the actual items in the lot.

C7. Images are not required for lots consisting solely of literature or supplies.

C8. Reliance on images alone to show defects is not permitted. All lots of single stamps and sets must include, at a minimum, descriptions of all defects. This includes repairs, thins, creases, pulled perforations, scuffs, tears, stains, etc. For large stamp mixtures and collections it is permissible to describe only the overall condition of the lot.

C9. Catalog and/or reference values must be supported by citing the source and publication year of that value. Value estimations are permitted, but sellers must state the justification for the estimation.

C10. All lots must have a minimum bid. If the optional Buy It Now feature is used a fixed selling price equal to or greater than the starting bid must be entered.

C11. Best offers are not permitted on auction lots.

C12. All lots with a bid at the time the lot closes must be sold to the high bidder at the high bid price indicated by the auction system.

C13. Lots may be withdrawn by a seller prior to the end of an auction, but only for extraordinary reasons, and only with the approval of the Auctioneer.

C14. Sellers must send invoices or otherwise notify a buyer no later than 30 calendar days from a buyer’s completion of purchases.

C15. Sellers must either issue a full refund, including shipping fees, or provide a suitable replacement, as agreed upon between the buyer and seller for any lot sold that is not as described. Return of a misidentified item is at the seller’s discretion and cost.

C16. Shilling is illegal. Anyone acting alone or with another in such a manner will have their membership terminated. Sellers may not bid on their own lots.

C17. Sellers must ship purchases within 5 business days of receiving payment. Sellers must notify the buyer regarding any delay in shipping. If a seller is unable to ship for an extended period of time, the Auctioneer also must be notified as to the reason, and which buyers are affected.

C18. Submission of an auction lot is an acknowledgement by the seller of an understanding of the auction rules and procedures. The seller also warrants that the lot being offered for sale is as described in the lot description.

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D. Shipping Terms:

D1. Sellers must create their payment and shipping terms. Unless listed as optional, the terms must include, at a minimum, the following information: 

  • Payment methods accepted or excluded 
  • Shipping methods (optional) 
  • Shipping costs, including any ancillary shipping services offered 
  • Countries/areas excluded from sales (optional) 
  • Refund policy (optional) 
  • Any terms and conditions of sale that are different from those in the rules and procedures, such as invoicing frequency

D2. A seller's default payment and shipping terms apply to all lots, but may be modified by describing the exception in the lot description of any item where the default terms do not apply.

D3. If a lot description does not include shipping terms, the seller must abide by the default terms stated below:

  • Shipping charged to the buyer must be the exact cost of postage from seller to buyer
  • No other fees may be charged to the buyer

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E. Unacceptable Listing Practices:

E1. The following listing practices are considered unacceptable, and may result in closure of an auction lot without prior notice:

  • Item offered for sale is not related to stamp collecting
  • Item offered for sale is also offered for sale elsewhere
  • Item improperly identified or described
  • Seller claims that item being offered for sale has an authentication certificate but does not provide a clear and readable image of the most current certificate, or the certificate is not from a recognized and competent authority.
  • Image not provided, when required, or poorly created (representative, too dark, out of focus, too small, improperly cropped, etc.)
  • Description contains comparative or superlative language ("scarce", "rare", "nice", "beautiful", etc.)
  • Description contains references to future value or investment potential
  • Items are not priced competitively compared to the pricing of similar material being sold by others
  • Shipping and/or handling fees are excessive

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F. Disputes:

F1. All participants in the auctions must conduct themselves in a civil manner in accordance with the auction rules and procedures. This includes proper and timely communications between buyers and sellers.

F2. Complaints must be sent directly to the Auctioneer. Never post specific complaints about a buyer or seller on the Discussion Boards.

F3. The Auctioneer shall be the final arbitrator in all disputes arising in the auction and approvals sales platforms. Participation in the auction or approvals sales platforms indicates acceptance of the Auctioneer's authority to settle all disputes.

The Auctioneer may, without limitation:

  • Negotiate a settlement different from the terms listed in an auction lot or as agreed upon in writing by the buyer and seller
  • Declare an auction null and void
  • Suspend buying and selling privileges
  • Recommend that a membership be terminated

F4. The Management Team's Ombudsman may act as arbitrator in any dispute at the request of the Auctioneer, and shall have the same authority as the Auctioneer. In the event the Auctioneer is a party to a dispute, the Ombudsman shall assume the role of arbitrator.

F5. The Auctioneer’s involvement in disputes is for the sole purpose of maintaining the integrity of the sales platforms. The Auctioneer does not act as a debt collector. The Auctioneer may attempt to mediate an acceptable resolution to disputes providing that the dispute is filed no later than 30 calendar days from date that the original invoice was issued, and the rules and procedures were properly followed by the aggrieved party. There is no guarantee, stated or implied, of a satisfactory resolution to any dispute. There also is no guarantee that a dispute will be accepted by the Auctioneer, especially if either or both parties created agreements that varied from the rules and procedures.

F6. A buyer filing a dispute that involved payment by personal check or through PayPal should file non-receipt disputes with PayPal or stop payment on any check where the seller is not responding to communications from the buyer, or refuses to ship the items that the buyer purchased and paid for. These actions are subject to the rules of PayPal or the buyer's financial institution, and are totally independent of any investigation conducted by Stamporama. The buyer must notify the Auctioneer when this action has been taken.

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G. Filing a Dispute:

G1. A seller may file a dispute against a non-paying buyer when all the following apply:

  • Seller sent original invoice per Selling Rule C14
  • Buyer did not pay for purchase per Buying Rule B5
  • Seller sent buyer reminder notice within 5 business days after payment due date
  • Buyer did not respond and/or pay invoice within 5 business days

G2. A buyer may file a dispute against a seller when:

  • Buyer received an item that was not as described when all the following apply:
    • Buyer notified seller of discrepancy
    • Seller did not respond, or did not offer a refund or replacement per Selling Rule C15. (Note: If a seller requests return of an item, the seller may withhold issuing a refund or sending a replacement until after having a chance to examine the item.)
  • Buyer did not receive items purchased when all the following apply:
    • Buyer notified seller of non-receipt of purchase
    • Seller responded to confirm shipping, or seller did not respond
    • Buyer did not receive shipment (Note: Buyers must take into account circumstances that might delay delivery, such as severe weather, international shipping, and areas of political unrest.)

G3. All disputes must be sent to the Auctioneer via Private Message, and must include the following information:

  • Date of purchase
  • Date of original invoice
  • Name of buyer/seller
  • Follow-up action taken
  • Text of messages sent, especially of any agreements made that are outside the rules and procedures
  • Any other facts believed necessary for the Auctioneer to be able to properly review the matter

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Stamporama strives to maintain quality sales platforms for its members to buy and sell philatelic items. The cooperation of the members using the sales platforms is paramount to maintaining that quality. Members violating rules may be subject to sanctions as determined appropriate by the Stamporama Auctioneer and/or the Management Team. Note that the Sanctions are progressive, but may be escalated depending on the severity of the violation(s).

H1. Progressive Sanctions For Sellers:

1 - item(s) closed, if appropriate; reminder of the rules
2 - access to sales platforms suspended for 3 months
3 - permanent suspension to sales platforms and/or Stamporama

H2. Progressive Sanctions For Buyers:

1 - access to sales platforms suspended pending outcome of dispute
2 - access to sales platforms suspended for 3 months
3 - permanent suspension to sales platforms and/or Stamporama

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This page was last updated on January 19, 2017


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