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Why do you think we need an alternative to EBAY?  
 

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Posted 12/21/2016   1:24 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
eBay did not pull the wildcard search plug to simply frustrate users, they moved away from wildcards for valid business reasons. First, they ported between the Cassini and Cassandra architectures. Full text wildcard searches are very expensive (in terms of SQL performance) and having hundreds of thousands of users running wildcard queries was impacting performance.


Don,

I know full well the reasoning behind their change. I simply don't care. I look at how that single change affected my buying practices and the abiolity to find the items I want. When that change occurred, it was discussed and lamented about and raged about on a myriad of forums devoted to any number of collectibles.

Justified or not from a business perspective, that doesn't change the fact that it was a hugely buyer-hostile (and ultimate seller-hostile as buyers couldn't find what they want) change... the single largest step backwards in usability since the eBay platform launched.
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Edited by revenuecollector - 12/21/2016 1:25 pm
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Posted 12/21/2016   2:15 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dan,
Understood. Would you be willing to pay additional fees to have access to wildcard searches?

I am no fan of eBay but I understand that it just business. They do not stay up late at night trying to figure out how to harm sellers. They do not sit in meetings discussing how to make searching harder for buyers. They are making business decisions based upon costs and income; it isn't rocket science.

eBay is not some evil monster; they are simply a corporation making business decisions. A foot soldier may not understand why the military command is making certain decisions because they do not have the whole picture. In the same way we may not understand why eBay has certain policies but be rest assured that the marketplace will eventually decide who wins this war. (So far eBay is winning.)

What is the desire here? That they hire 25,000 support people so we don't have to use their lame automated ‘reporting' feature? Hire experts in every item category so they can make judgments calls on each listing? Support wildcards even if it means that search performance becomes ten times slower? Or make them spend millions of dollars on additional infrastructure to support wildcards without an performance impact?

Does anyone really think that adding costs would not mean that eBay just turns around and passes these new costs on to us all?

APS had the right idea in their last survey, 'let's see if the people will put their money where their mouth is' by asking if folks would be willing to buy additional service levels. eBay ought to start a subscription service for the folks who want wildcard searches. Add additional seller services for additional fees. But I suspect that this would not appease everyone.
Don
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Posted 12/21/2016   2:30 pm  Show Profile Check smauggie's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the "Devil's Advocate" point of view Don.
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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
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Posted 12/21/2016   2:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add HungaryForStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The question was why do you think we need an alternative to eBay. Citing business decisions that are considered disadvantages of the platform is reasonable. All Ebays disadvantages and advantages are business decisions. Might as well not discuss the subject if you are going to cite that as an exception.

I too think that wildcard searches are important in the stamp market place. Hence that is one reason why we need an alternative. Is an alternative likely going to rise to compete against eBay. Maybe not, but that was not the question.

In general we need a site focused on the stamp business, which would mean better/focused searching, better policing etc. Such a site, however, needs enough buyers and sellers interested in auctions and so wide-spread support. Buy it Now sales at ambitious prices are not attractive. Not sure such an auction site can survive with all these auction-houses working independently. For quality material I now turn to Stamp Auction Network rather than paying Buy it Now prices.
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Edited by HungaryForStamps - 12/21/2016 2:43 pm
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Posted 12/21/2016   3:09 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hungary,
I guess we could have some kind of non-profit alternative but frankly previous support for non-profit efforts are not promising. Any commercial alternative is going to have the same profit/loss issues. If NRE development and support costs are the same for a $1 transaction or a $500 transaction, then the business decision remains the same (reward higher sale listings and penalize lower price listings).

Are we suggesting a commercial alternative or something else?
Don
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Posted 12/21/2016   4:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheRebel1861 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm in the process of selling off my stamp collection and other items on eBay and that works for me.

I took my collection that starts from 1847 (5C Franklin)- to the early 80's to an auction house / appraiser and was basically told it wasn't worth what I was hoping it would be.

I had visions that it was worth more than what they told me as I'm looking to buy a 1968-1969 Dodge Charger.

I know they need to make money by IDing, Cataloging, listing...etc..so for me by parting out the collection via eBay is a more cost effective way for me to do it as it takes the middle man & his mark up out of the equation.

I think it all boils down to know what your buying. I'd love to ask $15,000 like that seller & have someone pay me but that really isn't realistic.

Heck someone offered me $1,500 for my concert shirts from the mid 80's after I had sold them for $500.

My name here is the same as on eBay so stop on by, take a look at a what I have and if my prices are out way out of wack let me know.
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Edited by TheRebel1861 - 12/21/2016 4:40 pm
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Posted 12/21/2016   9:54 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Many common US regular issue stamps will sell if offered in mixes or groups. The number of stamps is estimated by weighing the lot. Mixes with the potential for containing better cancels or plate varieties sell well. Mixes of 19th century stamps and Washington/Franklins sell in the range of 5 to 15 cents each. Mixes of regular issue stamps issued after 1930 sell for a small fraction or don't sell at all. Commemoratives sell for more. The most common commemorative mixes may sell for $20 to $25 per pound (about 5000 stamps) realizing 40 to 50 cents per hundred. The most common regular issue stamps may realize 5 to 10 cents per hundred.

I have one bulk auction running: http://item.ebay.com/361855148985



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Edited by cfrphoto - 12/21/2016 10:18 pm
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Posted 12/21/2016   10:23 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've gotten up to 40% or so of face value at auction for mixes of recent (last 5 years or so) used US commemoratives and high values. Stamps are so infrequently used on mail anymore and even most collectors tend to use older discount postage. As a result, recent issues, particularly those from souvenir sheets and issues with 10 or 20 different designs, can be a challenge to find postally used. A good mix of recent used commemoratives can bring 10 or 20 cents per stamp for the right kind of stamps. Used current definitives and booklet stamps are still common enough, though.
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Posted 12/22/2016   06:16 am  Show Profile Check duncanvr's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add duncanvr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes the eBay fees are high but you have to spend money no matter where your going to sell online or if you sell in auction houses it will still cost you money to sell. One just has to accept the fees for the use of the eBay platform. And it must cost eBay a fortune to run the site considering its not just selling stamps but everything. I find after selling on eBay for some years now that week after week things just keep selling. Some times there is down time but other times all auctions sell out. New buyers are coming in all the time. I can sell all over the globe. Someone may take a huge number of buy it nows in one go. Others may have a serious battle over one item 99 cents to $768 as an example. Its tiring work scanning and listing but there is always demand on eBay for stamps and covers so I keep offering more. The other part is I made some serious friends through selling on eBay to. I found none of the other sites match eBay. Despite pros and cons its remaining my choice of place to sell. And I am sure many buyers prefer to keep with eBay to, you can always find what you want. You could try to start an alternative stamp site but what makes you think you could get the full traffic eBay is getting? People feel secure with eBay there are millions of people clicking on eBay every day. Its an amazing fact that I can list a QV stamped cover on eBay in Australia and someone in Ireland buys it 5 minutes later, or anyone from any part of the world can buy at any second of the day or night. On eBay I sell things in my sleep.
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Posted 12/22/2016   06:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe someone could convince APS to turn the stamp store into something more usable. From what I have seen eBay is the best of what I have seen as a buyer. I have not sold much on eBay.
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Al
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Posted 12/22/2016   10:43 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Maybe someone could convince APS to turn the stamp store into something more usable.


What about the current implementation don't you like? I have no problems finding what I am searching for. My only real complaint is the size and inconsistency of the image quality. This isn't 1993; we don't need to constrain image sizes for dialup users any more.
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Posted 12/22/2016   11:00 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Off the top of my head....
- APS is a desktop only website.
- APS Store interface is horrid for simply browsing. The opening page should not be a complex, advanced search page. It should be a navigation page which allows users to quick move to grouped offering. (i.e. US Revenues). If APS Store was marketing sushi it would be displayed as 'raw fish'. It is supposed to be an enticing experience, something that encourages folks to browse, run into things that might cause them to buy on an impulse.
- As mentioned, the image presentation is lame. They need to support multiple, higher res images. Each item deserve its own page with better description and detail space.
- No PayPal? Wow.

There are four things that should double sales. APS has an incredible opportunity for an online store but this implementation isn't it.
Don

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Posted 12/22/2016   2:20 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I will agree that browsing isn't an option. You need to know what you're looking for.

The image limitation is inexcusable, especially in light of the fact that this is a completely overhauled version of the store software. More idiotically, it was DESIGNED with a hard limit of only one image per listing! So if an item has a cert, they CANNOT show an image of the stamp and then another of the cert. That is simply mindboggling.

It's as if their entire model is stuck in an era where image storage cost $$$$$ per MB rather than pennies per GB as it has for the last 5+ years and they think that images only need to be 400px wide. For any varieties or cancels, the stampstore images are useless.

Heck, even eBay actively encourages sellers to have images in excess of 1000px on the shortest side. Even they get it.
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Edited by revenuecollector - 12/22/2016 2:21 pm
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Posted 12/22/2016   8:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Why do we need alternatives? Simple - for reasons that maybe none of us have even thought of. Competition historically breeds innovation, and the more small companies try to gain an edge on eBay, the more innovations, and the more new (useful) approaches they will need in order to succeed. This is a simplistic answer, but it's as true today as it was 100 years ago in business.

My point being that we don't necessarily always know what we need, until some clever individual invents it, and shows us what we always wanted (consider numerous Steve Jobs examples).
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Edited by txstamp - 12/22/2016 8:30 pm
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Posted 12/22/2016   9:03 pm  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I looked at the APS store for the 1st time today. I think for a collector that wants to get rid of some duplicates and doesn't need the cash flow it might be a good way to go. A collector wouldn't need to learn the intricacies of eBay and all sellers are treated equally so the new sellers aren't disadvantaged. Fees are higher (20% for items selling for under $100) but this is offset by the APS doing the scanning and shipping. However for sellers such as myself the APS is completely unusable. I list, sell and receive payment in a 2 week period. Waiting for the APS to list my items, for items to sell and to receive payment would be devastating to my cash flow, plus I almost always use multiple pictures.
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