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by Lloyd A. de Vries

Vol. 3 - APS Stampstore

If you don't have a computer, you may feel left out in the cold...even if you have no interest in computers or the Internet.

The American Philatelic Society was feeling a draft, too, as its sales circuit traffic began to lessen. Internet sales seemed to be the cause, and Internet sales seemed to be the solution, too.

So the 50,000-member organization drew up its own plans for selling members' stamps on the Internet. What it came up with is a net-price system that I think is a winner. (Of course, I'm Secretary of the APS, and offered my two-cents' worth during the planning, so I'm prejudiced.)

For those of you without Web savvy, without Internet access, without even computers, you now are able to sell stamps on the Internet via the APS' StampStore.

(You may be wondering why we'd run an article here on the Internet of interest to people who don't have access to the Internet. Simple: We figure some of you will print this out for your less-fortunate friends and relatives.)

Here's how it works, in a nutshell: Only APS members can buy or sell, but anyone can browse the items being offered. Sellers send their stamps and covers to the APS, which scans (takes a picture) of them, edits the descriptions, at least spot-checks the accuracy, and presents them on the Internet.

If an item is sold, the APS will then package the item and ship it to the buyer, and collect the money.

All the seller has to do is send the item to the American Philatelic Society with a description and desired price, then cash the checks when they arrive. Oh, and they'll arrive monthly, rather than after a sales book has completed a circuit in 18 months.

Now, all this isn't without a price, of course: The APS will charge fees and commissions, and probably more than eBay and the rest are charging...but the online auction firms require you have Internet access and, if you want to illustrate the items, a Web site (or you can pay extra for picture-hosting). Also, since this is a net price sale, there's no chance that someone will bid up your $2.50 stamp to $15. C'est la vie.

Who knows? You might make enough money off your duplicates on the APS Internet sales site to buy a computer.

For more information, contact stampstore@stamps.org or write to the StampStore, Internet Sales Unit, American Philatelic Society, PO Box 8000, State College, PA 16803.

©2001 Lloyd de Vries

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