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Letters To Ebay Ceo Donahoe Protesting Emr Elimination

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Posted 06/05/2014   1:11 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Art said:

Quote:
So, what's the solution? Make the issue more public. Create a face book account where everyone can contribute names, scans, stamp images, comments etc. This will allow search engines to better find out about the fraudsters and educate those about the shady dealers and what to look for. Call the account "Stamp Frauds Inc." or something along that line. Bring the questionable practices by these people out into the open where they won't be hidden by eBay's practices or lack of.


Funny that you mention that Art...
A few of us have been working on a new web site that does much of this. It is powered by a database which contains incorrect or misleading listings. We are also proactively contacting the sellers and working with them to get the incorrect or misleading information changed before frustration has a chance to fester.

I do want to make sure everyone understands that this site will be foremost about education. It is not about grinding axes or personal vendettas. Those who have beefs with specific sellers willing not be hijacking the site for their agendas.

We are storing not only links to the actual listings but also screen shots. This provides a permanent record of the listing. This is a fantastic teaching tool, not only allowing users to quickly see which stamps are most likely to have listing problems but also things like the most commonly mis-described listing sins (i.e. regumming, reperfs, repairs, etc. It also contains sellers statistics.

We will be giving the SCF folks a sneak peek at this site within the next few days and look forward to getting feedback.
Don

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Edited by 51studebaker - 06/05/2014 1:41 pm
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Posted 06/05/2014   1:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


Two thumbs up Don.



Antonio
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APS Member #: 222539 AAPE, Maplewood Stamp Club (MN), Northern Philatelic Society, US Philatelic Classics Society, Auxiliary Markings Club, Canal Zone Study Group, Minnesota Postal History Society
Edited by smauggie - 06/05/2014 1:26 pm
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Posted 06/05/2014   1:28 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I will sign a petition, if circulated, to support measures on eBay to inform and help protect from seller fraud. I applaud Bill's previous and continuing efforts, and have much appreciation for his "free" expert help. I understand that there can not be complete protection from fraud, but efforts to help provide both a reduction in fraud and the perception of a safer venue for eBay, both of which result in buyer confidence/trust, stronger prices, and, as Bill mentions better results for eBay stock holders which should translate into higher stock prices.

I have noticed eBay auctions realizing lower final bids of late. Not sure if it is a general market trend, effect of lower quality dumping, people getting burned and not bidding as much due to lack of trust. On the other hand, clearly scarce/odd material often garners strong bids - so there is still some savvy bidder/lurker strength out there, but still often buyers getting "deals".

For the few of us who still stick it out as sellers, stand by our sales with return/cert policies, store fixed price sales can realize stronger prices. Unfortunately, I believe ALL eBay stamp sellers have suffered some due to the lack of eBay fraud protection support.

Clearly, as I have a vested interest in the trust/safety/perception of the eBay "venue", I am interested in supporting efforts to reduce fraud (and perception of).

Dave
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Posted 06/05/2014   1:50 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don - I think that site is a great idea and am looking forward to seeing it active. I hope some of the search/match and analysis will be automated to save human time (where more of the effort will be spent checking/filtering the results before posting). If you need some additional help/support, let me know.

-dave
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Posted 06/06/2014   1:50 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
We would like some feedback from the Stamp Community Family on this new site. We are still in the very earliest of stages but the site and database is functional. It is located at
http://www.stampsmarter.com/

We do not have many listings currently populated but you should be able to get a feel for what we are trying to do and the value that a site like this might do for our hobby.

We will be populating a lot more listing over the upcoming weeks and would love for anyone who might often identify incorrect listings to consider joining us as founding members. We also are very interested in any comments in how we can improve the site.

The site has no commercial interest, we have all been volunteering our time and money to do this to hopefully improve our hobby by educating buyers and preventing frustrating purchases.
thanks
don

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Posted 06/06/2014   2:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have applied for membership. Looks great!

It occurs to me a nice addition to the site would be something like this:

Guidline for Successful Stamp Sales

1 - Be certain to identify the stamp correctly. (References to helpful identification websites might be refrenced).

2 - Clearly describe all faults a stamp/cover may have

3 - Provide a large clear image of the item to be sold.

4 - Double-check all information in your listing before offering it for sale.

Something like that anyway. Just an idea.
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Edited by smauggie - 06/06/2014 2:22 pm
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Posted 06/06/2014   3:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Of course ALL of the fraud will never get caught. But really, even just being a thorn in the side of a few fraudulent sellers may be enough to help. As an analogy: I don't get a ticket every time I break the speed limit. Leaving aside safety issues for the sake of argument, the possibility of getting one is still enough to keep me from speeding, at least by much. However, if I knew that there were no cops and there were never going to be any cops, it might not be long before I'd be driving like a bat out of hell. Cops don't have to catch every speeder to keep traffic from getting out of hand and eBay watchdogs don't need to catch every single case of fraud to make a difference.
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Posted 06/06/2014   11:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bill Weiss to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Cops don't have to catch every speeder to keep traffic from getting out of hand and eBay watchdogs don't need to catch every single case of fraud to make a difference.";

That is an excellent point. Thank you for it! And you are right. It's easy for many folks to believe that they can't make a difference. They can. It just takes some time and effort.

There have been some great posts here and it is obvious that virtually all posters have a positive attitude about this project, so we hope you will all sign up to be members. Also consider reporting some deceptive listings.
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Posted 06/08/2014   2:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 3Dadeo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bill, I assume you don't mind if we share this info on other forums/social media?
Can we quote you?
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Posted 06/09/2014   09:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bill Weiss to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have no objection to being quoted in other forums. The more this issue is talked about, the better. Thanks for asking!
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Posted 06/09/2014   10:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 3Dadeo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree, the more it is known, the better. I just wanted to be sure.
Thanks
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Posted 09/01/2014   07:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rustyc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am new to the Board and late to this topic. (I have also been buying stamps on eBay as rustyc1 since 1999 and, of course, have noticed countless bad listings.) I was aware of the EMR elimination issue via Linn's but learned much from this great thread. I have also just applied for membership in Stamp Smarter. Thanks.
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Posted 09/01/2014   11:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bill Weiss to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rustyc;

Welcome! And thanks for joining us on Stamp Smarter. As a note of update since this thread was started, the most recent issue of the American Philatelist DID print the Letter To The Editor I wrote on this subject, so now it is possible that 25,000+ more readers are aware of this situation. Also, the article co-authored on the subject of Stamp Smarter and the eBay situation was in the last issue of the American Stamp Dealer & Collector Magazine, as was as a very supportive letter from the President of ASDA congratulating us on Stamp Smarter. Further, the ASDA Board of Directors is discussing the possibility that they might officially endorse Stamp Smarter and have unofficially stated that the site may be the best way to help combat deceptive and problematic online stamp sales.

So the National philatelic media exposure has been very good. Between the article in Linn's Stamp News, the article in ASD&C, the American Philatelist Letter, the possible official endorsement by ASDA, it would seem that by now, a high percentage of our hobby should be aware of the eBay actions and the Stamp Smarter website and movement. We hope that readers here will continue to join us at StampSmarter and that many of you will also consider reporting deceptive or problematic listings.

The one bummer in all of this has, of course, been the failure of APS to be willing to take an active role in trying to help combat online stamp-selling deception. I have explained in previous posts - so no need to repeat it again - the reason(s) given to us by APS. I will leave it to each reader to decide if that attitude makes sense. My view is well known - one of the main reasons our National Stamp Society exists is to help it's members in any way it is able. Helping to combat online deceptive selling sure seems to me to be a worthy task to undertake. It is sad that they have chosen to ignore the problem.
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Posted 09/01/2014   3:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mudhut1000 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

What a wonderful thread! Thanks to all for your posts. This has made me aware of StampSmarter, a forum which, I also feel, will be a boon to weeding out many of the items you all are discussing here. Thank you!

I am planing on selling many of my unwanted/extra stamps on eBay this Winter. If anyone here, or on StampSmarter, see any questionable stamp/s, due to my ignorance,listed by me, please please advise me!

On eBay I use the same user name, mudhut1000, as I do here on SCF.

I have been a long time member on eBay, buying and selling mostly coins. I sold nearly all of my coins now and am getting back into the hobby I love: Stamps!
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Posted 09/01/2014   3:53 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is the ASD&C Mark Reasoner column (reprinted with permission) from the July-Aug issue of the American Stamp Dealer & Collector magazine. We are very grateful for their support. Mr. Reasoner makes one point which I respectfully disagree with concerning the Stamp Smarter site. He states that, "The naive or beginning collector, the buyers that probably need the most support, guidance or resources, will, for the most part, be unaware of the site or even that a problem may exist with their intended purchase. This is not a criticism of Stampsmarter.com, only recognition that additional work is needed to fully resolve the problem."

In my opinion the Stamp Smarter site delivers a service and value to the hobby even if a person never visits the site. We have spent considerable time and effort working with many sellers to improve their listings; this means the hobby is being served even if a person has never heard of Stamp Smarter. At our current rate (about 42% of all listings we review) Stamp Smarter will have helped with improving about 500-600 listings per year. Each one of these has the potential to save time, money, and frustration for both buyers and sellers.

We welcome everyone to join us; membership is free.
Don

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