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Covid-19: American Philatelic Society Announces Operational Changes

 
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Posted 03/16/2020   6:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add ScottEnglish to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
COVID-19: American Philatelic Society Announces Operational Changes
3/16/2020

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the American Philatelic Society and American Philatelic Research Library announced some operational changes. The changes are aimed at increasing the safety of the APS and APRL employees and volunteers, our members and guests. Further, these steps are designed to assist in nationwide efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Building Operations: The American Philatelic Center, including the American Philatelic Research Library, will be closed to the public through April 13, 2020. For clubs and members who have scheduled trips through May 18, 2020, please contact the APS immediately to reschedule.

Staff Operations: APS and APRL employees will continue to work and adhere to the protocols issued by the CDC. We will allow telecommuting options, flexible and staggered work hours for the next four weeks. Staff is advised to stay home if they are feeling ill or potentially exposed to remain at home. We will be focusing on cleaning efforts to high touch areas and maintain antibacterial stations around the building. Finally, we will be using safe handling protocols with mail and packaging.

Staff Travel: All planned staff travel through May 18, 2020 has been canceled.

Updates: We will continue to follow developments through local, state, and national health officials and will make changes as circumstances warrant. We will continue to update the collecting community on cancellations, postponements, and other COVID-19-related news on our website at www.stamps.org.

Stamp Clubs and Stamp Shows: Officials across the nation are encouraging social distancing for the weeks ahead. Please follow the advice of our public health officials and monitor for updated announcements. We do encourage you to stay connected with your fellow collectors electronically.

In the meantime, we hope you are able to get caught up on organizing your collection and please visit the APS website for news, information, courses, and more.

~~~~~

The American Philatelic Society is regularly updating a full list of canceled and postponed philatelic events. See the full list here.


American Philatelic Society

The American Philatelic Society is the largest nonprofit stamp collecting organization in the world, with members in more than 110 countries. Become a member today: stamps.org/Join.

Stay updated: Follow the American Philatelic Society on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, like our page on Facebook, and subscribe to our Youtube channel.
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Posted 03/22/2020   09:05 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm sorry, but disabling the online Stamp Store so that people can't even browse and save items for purchase once you reopen is an utterly idiotic decision. Who came up with this decision, and better yet who allowed it to be implemented?

The governor of Pennsylvania stating you have to shut down operations doesn't mean you have to take your entire presence offline. If you want to stop the ability for people to PLACE orders while operations are suspended, that is fully understandable (although I would argue that online orders should continue to be placed throughout the closure so people can confirm/commit the items they want), but you don't take the entire inventory offline so people can't browse and save items. You catch up on the order backlog once fully back on location.

If this was due to limitations in the storefront software such that there was no way for you to turn off orders without hiding the inventory, well then I guess your IT staff has something they can make top priority while working remotely. This should be rectifiable while working offsite and the stamp store can be brought back online... assuming the online store infrastructure was built within the last decade.

Also, as was asked on another board, are sellers' inventory time limits going to be extended by a period equivalent to the the length of time that orders are not being taken? That would be the fair thing to do.

What's missing here is some capable logistical planning...
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Posted 03/22/2020   10:59 am  Show Profile Check matttodd1's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add matttodd1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What about APS sales circuits? Are they no longer going out?
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Posted 03/22/2020   11:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with revenue collector. Mystic had to close its doors too yet you can still purchase things online. Your credit card gets charged immediately (good for their cash flow) and the items will be delivered when Mystic is back up. Not a bad price to pay considering the circumstances.

Why can't APS do something similar??

Dan
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Posted 03/22/2020   12:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Because that practice violates most card issuer merchant operating rules as well as basic principles of contract law that no merchant should ever want to expose itself to. Under at least the Visa merchant operating rules, a merchant cannot require 100% payment if the merchant cannot promptly deliver the goods, they can only require a 50% deposit with full payment just before or after delivery. And your consumer chargeback rights end 60 days after the charge in a card not present transaction. Suppose you order today, pay Mystic 100% by card, they ship 62 days later and the stamps are not right? You are at their mercy, Visa or other card chargebacks will not help.
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Posted 03/22/2020   12:33 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Then disable actual order submission, but at least allow people to browse inventory and save items to wantlist or add them to cart (APS store has both options).
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Posted 03/22/2020   12:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
... or add them to cart ...


Sounds like an insane amount of backlogging.

The APS operation will have to ramp-up gradually (non-essential service, some staff will be recovering or taking care of family members, etc); an enormous backlog (or flood) of orders to fill will not help.

Leave the APS Store closed. Do not create expectations that orders will be filled, let alone to people who may not be there to receive them.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 03/22/2020   1:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Suppose you order today, pay Mystic 100% by card, they ship 62 days later and the stamps are not right? You are at their mercy, Visa or other card chargebacks will not help.


True. I usually just buy supplies but your point still stands. However, if you know that there will be delays going into the transaction, it becomes a matter of trust in the vendor.

Dan
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Posted 03/22/2020   1:32 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Scott posted this today on another forum

Quote:
Our original consensus was that we would need to shut down the StampStore operations until we could work through some issues. Wendy and I have been talking over the weekend and we are planning to reopen StampStore tomorrow at the latest. We will communicate to sellers where things stand.
We want to continue to provide service and our primary goal was total continuity. Unfortunately, that was not possible. Most of the decisions are not in our hands right now. I was on a conference call with the PA Secretary of Health on Thursday morning and she alluded to further actions coming, but would not provide detail. It wasn't until close of business that we got word of the closure - with very little explanation to with it. We are working hard to keep serving APS members in this trying times. Thank you for your patience.
Scott
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Posted 03/24/2020   2:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ScottEnglish to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I apologize for the delay in joining back into the discussion, but we are operating under extraordinary circumstances and we're going to adhere to the old saying, "First, do no harm."

For any item ordered by 3 pm on Friday, 20 March 2020, it's in the mail. After that, we will process the purchase. If, for some reason, this situation goes longer than mid-April, we will have to consider further options. Please note, the APS has a 30-day return policy, and it will be honored from the time the items are received, not the date of purchase.

As for circuits, we did address that in the member newsletter. We are waiving delay fines right now since we have members with a shelter in place order or are part of an at-risk group that keeps them from mailing safely. We are not able to start new books at this time.

Thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding.

Scott
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