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Stamp Auction Network Now In "The Cloud"

 
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Pillar Of The Community
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2218 Posts
Posted 01/11/2019   12:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Can somebody explain to me what the issues are? I could use the education as an admittedly non IT savvy regular guy.
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Posted 01/11/2019   12:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Redtail to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rogdcam, one very non tech issue is an iPad is not a phone and most mobile users use a phone (with small screens) so try SANs out someday on your phone and you will feel some tech pain!
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Edited by Redtail - 01/11/2019 12:29 pm
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Posted 01/11/2019   12:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ah, got it Redtail. I hate trying to do things on a phone but I can understand people that do it. Thanks!
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Posted 01/11/2019   1:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't want to pick on SAN too much here, but good, clean UI is actually more important with an older demographic that isn't as "computer savvy". In any case, I find it a very useful service, so I'm glad it exists. But it could be much better - and far more appealing to novice users - if it went through a face lift.

Great example is Stampsmarter - there you have a modern, responsive design that doesn't overwhelm the user with walls of text, and plays nicely on smaller screens.
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Posted 01/11/2019   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
Rog,
SANS exists to serve dealers and others companies who want to use their venue. It is not about stamp collectors, it is not about buyers. It is an online auction venue service.

With that perspective in mind consider the job at hand. The objective is to attract and entice dealers and companies to the venue. You have to convince them that you can deliver both promotional traffic (eyes) and ultimately buyers (money). Now imagine you are a salesperson for SANS, the food on your table counts on you being able to get new in dealers and companies. Would you want to walk into a quality dealer or company and pitch that interface?

If I were a quality dealer or company I would have to be willing to look past the 1996 interface but it would require me to have a level of confidence about the future. So my first question would be is 'why does your interface suck'? The only correct answer would include acknowledgment without excuses. If they got past that, they are showing some vision. After all, the desired relationship here is a long-term growth for SANS and the dealers. So next question would be, what is the plan for improvement? If they were able to at least outline a plan then I might be onboard.

I never fault a company for failure(s). I do not fault a company for struggling at times. But not understanding that you have a horrendous interface or not understanding that a big part of your objective is to impart vision and a level of IT expertise to the dealers and companies who are using your service seems ludicrous. IT is a core competency for them.
Don
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Posted 01/11/2019   1:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the explanation Don. Perhaps there is little incentive on Tom's part to do more since firms such as Siegel are either satisfied with the status quo or have Tom over a barrel somehow. (multilple reasons come to mind) I often wondered why Cherrystone and Rasdale go their own way for live bidding but players such as Siegel and Kelleher stick with SAN. In any case it would hurt if SAN went away. It would be a real pain in the butt to deal with all of the auction firms on an individual basis using mail bids, telephone bidding etc.. and to track my history. It is super convenient.
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Posted 01/11/2019   1:54 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,

I disagree with your assessment that "SANS exists to serve dealers and others companies who want to use their venue. It is not about stamp collectors, it is not about buyers."

While the people that pay the bills for SAN (premium features notwithstanding) are auction houses and dealers, the purpose is to make the wares of SAN's clients available to buyers, i.e., collectors.

SAN's customers are auction houses, but SAN's audience is collectors.

If collectors cannot effectively utilize SAN to make purchases from SAN's clients, the clients will pull the plug... so even through we buyers aren't directly paying SAN, it ultimately behooves SAN to ensure that collectors can effectively use the site.
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Edited by revenuecollector - 01/11/2019 1:58 pm
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Posted 01/11/2019   2:04 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Dan,
Understood. This is the same debate about a venue like eBay. I guess we will just have to disagree. :)
Don

Edit: I view buyers/hobbyists as SANS 'employees'. They are absolutely needed, if they do not show up then the doors close. You have to keep them happy for sure.
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Posted 01/11/2019   4:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
.
Decades ago, MAD magazine had a cartoon of a kid walking into his home, shoulders slumped, clearly dejected, with a text along the lines of:

"Disappointment is finding out that you have been living in a ghetto, when you always thought of it as home."

I will remember to 'dis' SAN the next time I use it; the last time I used it was last night.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 01/11/2019   5:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 01/11/2019   6:46 pm  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I guess you guys upset Tom, SAN is down! What am I going to do tomorrow and Sunday if it doesn't come back up? I guess I'm with Rogdcam & Ikey, I've used it for 15 years and have no problem with the interface and never realized it was outdated, but then I'm pretty outdated too.
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Posted 01/11/2019   7:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is down right now and it makes me realize just how valuable it is to me. I use it frequently to peruse, look at great material, price material and bid on items from auction houses across the Country and around the World all in one place. It is a tremendous asset to philately with a value that would only be truly realized if it disappeared. For Ebayers just imagine if you went to the stamp categories and they were no more. I really do not care if it is not slick enough or does not "flow" correctly.
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Posted 01/11/2019   7:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
.
Loose jargon about whether the customer or client is the auction house or the online bidder clouds our understanding of SAN's environment.

For me, as a bidder, all that matters is that, if I want to participate in (say) Dutch auctions (in Delaware, not Europe), I can drive, I can fax, or I can SAN.

Since driving takes time & money, and faxes require transferring information from a website to a document, SAN does not have to pass a high bar to be easier to use ... and, frankly, it is more than good enough.

The requirement for commercial references does not bother me; in fact, it makes me feel like I am dealing with grownups who are making an effort to vet their bidders.

Siegel's asked for references when I registered to bid in person; why shouldn't SAN require references when I register to bid at Siegel over SAN?

For the auction houses:

- they want SAN to make it relatively painless to get their lots up on the internet, and

- they want SAN to provide a reliable interface so that the online bids do not conflict with the mail & other bids, and

- they want SAN to keep robots & vandals & other corrupting bidders out of the system, and

- they don't want their existing bidders who transition to SAN to complain ... about anything.

I think that's about it. The idea that lots of those bidders are going to complain to lots of those auction houses that the SAN interface is insufficiently slick for 2019 is, well, unlikely.

As for viability, right now SAN serves enough auction houses to enjoy a network effect, wherein each auction house sees an advantage to being where the other auction houses take their bids.

That is, as they say on Wall Street, a pretty deep moat.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 01/11/2019   8:21 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is the 'world wide web'. This means that auctions will occur at any given time on the 24 hour clock around the world. Some folks work, travel, or otherwise cannot be sitting in front of a desktop computer when an auction fires off.
Supporting mobile devices was something that even a first year IT person would have understood since 2002. Cutting some slack for the 'stamp collector demographic' moves the mark to about 2009; so being behind the times by a decade is pretty significant.

Obviously a person who has the time to be login from their house with their Windows XP desktop computer and CRT monitor will not care much about any of this... but the thread is about SANS adopting new technologies.
Don
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Posted 01/11/2019   8:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have bid on SAN from my car using its wifi and my Ipad and that is about my limit. If I really need to bid on SAN while flying to Dubai I suppose it might present some challenges but probably still doable. I guess it is a case of how far does one want SAN to go as opposed to what is necessary to please the lions share of users. I am still puzzled about what the issue is except for the phone thing. My personal preference is not to watch movies, TV or bid on a small screen that fits in my hand because I do not enjoy the experience. The cool kids do I know. I have used SAN while overseas for years before I came home to roost for good. Never had an issue. I guess I am thick because I am not understanding the issue. (Still)

Techno Dummy Sr.
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