This document contains all the Rules, Regulations and Guidelines established to run the StampoRama Inc Stamp Club.
StampoRama is a club that fosters, develops, and otherwise enhances the avocation of stamp collecting by offering various services commonly found in all aspects of the hobby for the benefit of its registered members. To maintain civility between members, a series of rules governing member conduct for the use of the various platforms found on StampoRama has been created. All members, when they join StampoRama, agree to abide by these rules.
B1. All content, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the member from whom such content originated. A member, not StampoRama, is entirely responsible for any content that the member posts, emails, transmits, or otherwise makes available on StampoRama. StampoRama does not control any content posted except as described in this document and, as such, does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of any such content. Each member understands that by visiting StampoRama, one may be exposed to content that may be perceived as objectionable. Members may contact a moderator regarding the potential undesired content so that it may be reviewed, and appropriate action, if deemed necessary, can be taken in accordance with Article B3.
B2. StampoRama shall not be liable in any way for any content posted by any member, including, but not limited to: any errors or omissions in any such content, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any content posted, emailed, transmitted, or otherwise made available via a StampoRama page or platform.
B3. StampoRama does not pre-screen any content posted on any platform it manages. StampoRama may in its sole discretion refuse, decline, block, edit, delete, or move any content that is posted on StampoRama. Without limiting the foregoing, StampoRama shall have the right to remove any content that violates any rules on any platform. StampoRama will not remove content solely on the basis of viewpoint. Members agree that each member must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of any content they post, including any reliance by any party or other user on the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such content.
B4. Members understand and agree that StampoRama may preserve content and may also disclose content if required or permitted to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process; (b) enforce StampoRama rules; (c) respond to claims that any content violates the rights of third parties, or (d) protect the rights and property of StampoRama.
B5. All transactions between members are understood to be solely between the members involved in the transactions. No public discussion or posting of any failed transaction between members shall be made on the web site. StampoRama assumes no responsibility, and all members agree to hold StampoRama and the Management Team harmless for any failed transaction.
B6. The web site services and all software used in connection with StampoRama contain proprietary and confidential information that is protected by applicable intellectual property and other laws. Copyrights and other proprietary rights and laws protect content contained in information presented to the membership through the StampoRama web site. Except as expressly permitted by applicable law or as authorized by StampoRama, modifying, renting, leasing, loaning, selling, distributing, transmitting, broadcasting, publicly performing, or creating derivative works based on the StampoRama web site, such as content or the software, in whole or in part is prohibited.
B7. No one may copy, modify, create a derivative work from, reverse engineer, reverse assemble, sell, assign, sublicense, grant a security interest in, or otherwise transfer any right in the StampoRama software.
C1. To ensure that all members have a safe, interesting and friendly experience, all members and any participatory contributions (including, but not limited to, text comments, photographs, graphics, video or audio material) they make to StampoRama must comply with this Code of Conduct, and any other rules and directions found in the individual areas and platforms of StampoRama.
C2. It may become necessary to revise the StampoRama codes, rules, and directions from time to time. Members should review this document, and the rules and directions of any of the platforms that they use regularly. StampoRama will notify the membership when revisions are made by posting such changes in the StampoRama Club Business Topic of the Discussion Board.
C3. If a member reasonably believes that an activity or contribution made by another member on StampoRama violates StampoRama codes, rules, directives, or web site terms, the appropriate Management Team member, Auctioneer, or moderator, as appropriate, should be notified by private message. DO NOT post any such reports on the Discussion Board.
C4. If a member objects to or desires a second opinion regarding any sanction placed on said member, the member must contact the appropriate Management Team member, Auctioneer, or moderator by private message. DO NOT post any such reports on the Discussion Board.
C5. A member's contributions to StampoRama of copyrighted material must cite the name or entity of the copyright holder, if known. Copyrighted material submitted must conform to copyright laws of the United States. It is the member submitting said material who is responsible for ensuring that such laws are adhered to.
C6. A member's activity and contributions to StampoRama must not contain unlawful or objectionable content nor involve disruptive, offensive, or abusive behavior.
C7. Material or statements that are defamatory, obscene, offensive, abusive, hateful, inflammatory, profane, or racially, sexually, or religiously offensive or otherwise objectionable or unlawful are prohibited.
C8. Do not provide unsuitable or irrelevant website addresses or URLs. Links to pornography, commercial, or other inappropriate content are prohibited.
C9. Do not promote illegal or anti-social behavior. Contributions must not contain violent or sexually explicit material nor advocate, promote, or assist any unlawful act, such as copyright infringement or rules governing GDPR, PIPEDA, and similar rules.
C10. Contributions and/or user names may not be used to impersonate any other member or person, to misrepresent a member's identity or affiliation with any person, or to give the impression that they emanate from StampoRama, if that is not the case.
C11. Flooding (when the same or similar comment is posted repeatedly in the Discussion Board even after a period of time has passed) is not permitted.
C12. Spamming (posting of the same comment, or a very similar comment, to more than one discussion topic or discussion thread) is not permitted.
C13. Advertising (advertisements, self-promotion, and commercial solicitation) is not permitted in the Discussion Boards, private messages, or member emails. However, members may post offers to buy, sell, and trade philatelic material in the Classified Ads area of the Discussion Board, subject to the rules relating to Classified Ads.
C14. Do not disclose any personal information in the Discussion Boards, including the Classified Ad area. Do not disclose any personal or personally identifiable information about oneself or another member, including email addresses and telephone numbers.
C15. Unsolicited emails and private messages, especially mass emails, are strictly forbidden. The only exceptions are tailored email or private message directed at a single member based on past buying, trading, and/or selling with the member; the material offered matches or is similar to the material the other member lists as an interest AND the member has indicated a willingness to correspond on the member's profile page; or responding to requests from that member. If the chosen member does not meet those criteria, do NOT send emails or private messages with offers to that member.
C16. Members are invited to make suggestions. These may be made in the Discussion Board, or through private message to the WebMaster, appropriate Management Team member, Auctioneer, or Moderator. However, there is no guarantee that any suggestion will be implemented.
C17. Posts and responses to posts made in the Discussion Board and Classified Ads are subject to review by a moderator, and may be edited, moved to a more appropriate topic, or removed without notice to the contributing member. This action may also be taken by moderators or Management Team Members.
C18. Auction lots and approval books are subject to review by the Auctioneers, and may be edited to fix minor errors or deleted without notice to the selling member.
C19. Failure of a member to abide by StampoRama codes, rules, and directives may subject the member to sanctions including being issued a warning, muted (unable to post in the Discussion Board), suspended from the sales platforms, or expulsion from StampoRama. Except for permament muting or suspension and expulsion, which is acted on by the Management Team, Moderators and Auctioneers have discretion as to how long a temporary adversarial action will last. Sanctioned members are notified through private message and/or email. Auctioneers and Moderators have discretion to act independently within their own spheres.
C20. The responses to misconduct described in this General Code of Conduct are not limited, and StampoRama may take any other action it reasonably deems appropriate.
C21. Members who wish to dispute an action by a Moderator, Auctioneer, or StampoRama’s Management Team may do so by contacting StampoRama’s Ombudsman.
D1. The Classified Ads area of the Discussion Board promotes member-to-member interaction in a type of philatelic marketplace. Members must conduct their transactions in an honest and fair manner. Classified ads that are not compliant with these rules may be removed by a moderator without advance notice.
D2. All members may post classified ads. Classified ads are limited to philatelic-related items, and must describe, as applicable, the item being offered, its condition, selling price and shipping terms. Ads that state “ask for details,” "make an offer," or other similar language are not permitted. The items being offered in the ad may not be for sale anywhere else at the same time that the classified ad is active.
D3. Classified ads run for a period of 30 calendar days, except for those related to auctions and approvals, which run for 14 calendar days. When the appropriate time period has expired, classified ads are removed by a moderator.
D4. Posting responses to classified ads is permitted, providing that the response is no more in scope than a request for clarification of the offer. To act upon an offer, or negotiate the terms of a classified ad, the member who posted the classified ad must be contacted through private message or email.
D5. Descriptions of stamps must state all defects or other notable characteristics. This includes mentioning fakes, forgeries, reprints, repairs. Damage that must be described includes thins, creases, pulled perfs, scuffs, tears, and stains. Reliance on images to communicate problems is not permitted.
D6. Do not use comparative and/or superlative language in descriptions including "scarce," "rare,", "nice," and similar wording. Do not use any references to future value or claims of investments.
D7. References to an item's value must be supported by quoting the name of the source of that value, including catalogue, price list, etc., and the year of publication. All references to grading must be accompanied by a current (within the past five years) certificate from a competent and recognized expertizing service.
D8. Outside sales promotions are not permitted, including self-promotions. Do not post ads about, and/or include links to, other websites or promotions of internet auctions or sales. However, references to StampoRama auctions and approval books are permitted.
D9. Misuse of the Classified Ads section may result in sanctions including temporary or permanent loss of access to the Discussion Boards, or cancellation of membership.
D10. StampoRama's role in the Classified Ads section is limited exclusively to providing a venue in which to facilitate one-on-one transactional philatelic activity between members. StampoRama and the Management Team assume no liability, or guarantee actions or promises of actions by any member. StampoRama and the Management Team will not act as an arbitrator in disputes arising from transactions in the Classified Ads section.
D11. Use of the StampoRama Classified Ads section is an acknowledgement of having read these rules, and an agreement to hold harmless StampoRama and the Management Team should any dispute arise between members.
E1. Members who can legally enter into a contract may participate in the auctions.
E2. Purchasing a stamp from an approval book or from an auction creates an agreement between the buyer and seller that the buyer will pay for the purchase no matter how large or how small and is based on the rules below and the seller's terms and conditions. If there are discrepancies between the seller’s rules and these rules, SOR’s rules will be the ones honored.
E3. Members must keep their profile information current.
E4. Buyers and sellers must respond to communications from the other party and/or the Auctioneer as relates to the transaction including, but not limited to: invoicing, payment, shipment and receipt of purchases.
E5. All transactions are conducted in United States Dollars. Sellers may accept payment in other currencies. Buyers should contact the seller regarding payment in other than United States funds.
E6. Stamporama’s role in the auctions is limited to providing a venue to facilitate buying and selling philatelic material. Stamporama assumes no liability, and does not guarantee any action or promise of action of buyers and sellers. Members using Stamporama's auctions agree to hold Stamporama and The Management Team harmless in all disputes that may arise between a buyer and seller.
E7. Sellers and buyers may mutually agree to alter the terms and conditions of any purchase. However, unless mutually agreed upon in writing (private messages are acceptable) by both parties, the changes are not valid, and no assumption may be made by either party that the other agreed to the changes.
E8. Auctioneers will attempt to assist in any disputes between buyer and seller.
F1. Placing a bid, buying an approval lot, or using the Buy It Now feature creates a legal contract between a buyer and seller. By submitting a bid, buying an approval lot, or using the Buy It Now feature, buyers acknowledge that they have read and understand the auction rules and the seller's terms and conditions, and that they will pay for the lot if they are the highest bidder at the time the auction closes, or the first to use Buy It Now feature or purchase the approval lot.
F2. Bids may not be retracted.
F3. Buyers must pay for auction lots purchased within 5 business days of receipt of an invoice from the seller, unless other terms have been specifically stated by the seller in the item listing or invoice. Buyers must notify the seller regarding any delay in payment. All time frames assume electronic payment and communication; time may be extended for those paying by check, money order, cash, or stamps (assuming those are accepted per the seller’s terms).
F4. Buyers who have not received an invoice within 5 business days of completing purchases with a seller must contact the seller to request that an invoice be sent.
Note: In the following rules, those written in RED relate specifically to the Approval Books.
G1. All items offered for sale must be directly related to stamp collecting.
G2. Bogus, fake, forged, counterfeit, reprinted, repaired or altered stamps may be listed for sale, but must be so identified. Describing a stamp as "counterfeit?" or "reperfed?" etc. is permitted when a seller is uncertain whether a stamp is genuine. Authentication marks on the stamp are not considered authoritative.
G3. Intentionally listing bogus, fake, forged, counterfeit, repaired or altered stamps as genuine is prohibited.
G4. Sellers must have possession of the items being offered for sale.
G5. The items cannot be listed on Stamporama and be offered for sale elsewhere at the same time.
G6. All lots, except as otherwise provided, must include at least one image of the actual item being offered for sale. Representative images are not permitted.
G7. Lots consisting of large stamp mixtures or collections must include at least one image that shows some or all of the items in the lot.
G8a. Reliance on images alone to show defects is not permitted. All lots of single stamps and sets of stamps must include, at a minimum, descriptions of all defects. This includes repairs, thins, creases, pulled or torn perforations, scuffs, tears, stains, extraneous writing or markings in ink or marker (other than owner/authentication marks), etc. For large stamp mixtures and collections it is permissible to describe only the overall condition of the lot.
G8b. Single stamps and sets of stamps with a general catalog value of less than $5.00 USD that contain any or all of the defects described in Rule G8a may not be offered for sale in the auctions. No damaged stamps may be sold in the approvals.
G8c. Stamps that have extraneous writing or markings in pencil may be offered for sale in the auctions, but this condition must be disclosed in the item description. The same applies to owner/authentication marks (see also Rule C2 regarding these marks).
G9. Catalog and/or reference values must be supported by citing the source and publication year of that value. Value estimations are permitted, but sellers must state the justification for the estimation.
G10. All lots must have a minimum bid. If the optional Buy It Now feature is used a fixed selling price equal to or greater than the starting bid must be entered.
G11. All lots with a bid at the time the lot closes must be sold to the high bidder at the high bid price indicated by the auction system.
G12. Lots may be withdrawn by a seller prior to the end of an auction, but only for extraordinary reasons, and only with the approval of the Auctioneer.
G13. Sellers must either issue a full refund, including shipping fees, or provide a suitable replacement, as agreed upon between the buyer and seller for any lot sold that is not as described. Return of a misidentified item is at the seller’s discretion and cost.
G14. Shilling is illegal. Anyone acting alone or with another in such a manner will have their membership terminated. Sellers may not bid on their own lots.
G15. Sellers must ship purchases within 5 business days of receiving payment. Sellers must notify the buyer regarding any delay in shipping.
G16. Submission of an auction lot is an acknowledgement by the seller that the auction rules and procedures have been read and understood. The seller also warrants that all lots being offered for sale are as described in each lot's description.
G17. Images are not required for lots consisting solely of literature or supplies.
G18a. There are three types of approval books that must contain the following minimum items:
• Standard Book: requires a minimum of 100 items, mostly single stamps
• High Value Book ($$$): requires minimum 20 items with a minimum price of $3.00 for each item
• Large Items Book: requires minimum 20 items (can be alone or in combination), such as covers, souvenir sheets. minitaure sheets, sets, blocks, multiples, and may include single stamps as long as those are not the main focus of the book.
G18b. High Value Books ($$$) are required to comply with the following minimum requirements:
• contain only single stamps (postal stationary is fine) and/or complete sets
• have at least 20 items per book
• contain philatelic items with a $3.00 minimum selling price
• not contain bulk lots of single stamps
• identify each item by catalog number
• provide a citation of the catalog used, and the catalog year of publication
• not contain damaged, altered, fake, counterfeit, etc. items.
G18c.The use of an index on page 1 of an approval book, while not a requirement is recommended, especially for High Value Approval Books, and books containing multiple countries or topics.
G19. All items in any approval book must be directly related to philately and be in the chosen approval book category. World-wide and other non-listed categories must be posted in the "World Wide" category, and must be neatly arranged by country and/or topic.
G20. Each item must be identified by number. The number must be positioned so that it is clearly visible and does not overlap any other item. Numbers should preferably be located on the left side of or directly underneath the item to which it relates.
G21. Multiple copies of an item are limited to three, except for offerings such as: collectible cancellation types, pre-cancels, color shades, etc., and must be placed together on the same page.
G22. Stamps with defects must be identified by entering the word "Damaged" in the description. This includes repairs, thins, creases, pulled or torn perforations, scuffs, tears, stains, extraneous writing or markings in ink or marker (other than owner/authentication marks), etc. Defective items are not permitted in High Value ($$$) Books.
G23. The Auctioneer may grant a waiver for approval books when a limited selection makes the minimum item requirement rule unreasonable. Sellers must contact the Auctioneer to request the waiver, and a waiver must be granted, before the approval book is posted.
G24. Approval books that are not compliant with the rules are subject to closure without prior notice.
G25. Sellers must ship purchases within 5 business days of receiving payment. Sellers must notify the buyer regarding any delay in shipping.
H1. Sellers must create their payment and shipping terms. Unless listed as optional, the terms must include, at a minimum, the following information:
• Payment methods accepted or excluded
• Shipping methods (optional)
• Shipping costs, including any ancillary shipping services offered
• Countries/areas excluded from sales (optional)
• Refund policy (optional)
• Any terms and conditions of sale that are different from those in the rules and procedures
H2. If a lot description does not include shipping terms, the seller must abide by the default terms stated below:
• Postage charged to the buyer must be the exact cost of shipping the purchase from the seller to the buyer
• No other fees may be charged to the buy
The following listing practices are considered unacceptable, and may result in summary closure of an auction lot:
I1. Item offered for sale is not related to stamp collecting
I2. Item offered for sale is also offered for sale elsewhere
I3. Item improperly identified or described
I4. Seller claims that item being offered for sale has an authentication certificate but does not provide a clear and readable image of the certificate, or the certificate is not from a recognized and competent authority.
I5. Image not provided, when required, or poorly created (representative, too dark, out of focus, too small, improperly cropped, etc.)
I6. Description contains comparative or superlative language ("scarce", "rare", "nice", "beautiful", etc.)
I7. Description contains references to future value or investment potential
I8. Item contains information about and/or links to, other websites or outside promotions of internet auctions or sales
J1. Buyers and sellers may file a dispute against the other party to a purchase for reasons such as non-shipment, item not as described, and non-payment. All disputes must be sent to the Auctioneer via Private Message, and should provide as much information as possible regarding the transaction and the problems associated with it. Posting complaints about a specific buyer or seller on the Discussion Boards is prohibited.
J2. The Auctioneer shall be the final arbitrator in all disputes arising in the auction and approvals sales platforms. Participation in the sales platforms indicates acceptance of the Auctioneer's authority to settle all disputes.
The Auctioneer may, without limitation:
• Negotiate a settlement different from the terms listed in an auction lot or as agreed upon in writing by the buyer and seller
• Declare an auction null and void
• Suspend buying and selling privileges
• Recommend that a membership be terminated
J3. An Assistant Auctioneer and the Management Team's Ombudsman may act as arbitrator in any dispute at the request of the Auctioneer, and shall have the same authority as the Auctioneer.
J4. In the event the Auctioneer is a party to a dispute, an Assistant Auctioneer or the Ombudsman, if not also a party to a dispute, shall assume the role of arbitrator.
J5. The Auctioneer’s involvement in disputes is for the sole purpose of maintaining the integrity of the sales platforms. The Auctioneer does not act as a debt collector. The Auctioneer may attempt to mediate an acceptable resolution to disputes providing that the dispute is filed no later than 30 calendar days from date that the original invoice was issued. There is no guarantee, stated or implied, of a satisfactory resolution to any dispute. There also is no guarantee that a dispute will be accepted by the Auctioneer, especially if either or both parties varied from the rules and procedures.
J6. A buyer filing a dispute that involved payment by personal check or through PayPal should file non-receipt disputes with PayPal or stop payment on the check when the seller does not or refuses to ship the items that were purchased and paid for. These actions are subject to the rules of PayPal or the buyer's financial institution, and are independent of any investigation conducted by Stamporama. The buyer must notify the Auctioneer when this action has been taken.
Stamporama strives to maintain quality sales platforms for its members to buy and sell philatelic items. The cooperation of the members using the sales platforms is paramount to maintaining that quality. Members violating rules may be subject to sanctions as determined appropriate by the Stamporama Auctioneer and/or the Management Team. Note that the Sanctions are progressive, but may be escalated depending on the severity of the violation(s).
K1. Sanctions imposed are:
• seller's item(s) closed
• access to sales platforms suspended for 6 months
• access to sales platforms permanently suspended
• expulsion from Stamporama
K2a. Automatic Approval Book Closure
When 60 days pass without a sale from an approval book that is in "Open" status, the system places the book on the "Closing Soon" list. The seller receives a message that the book will be closed by the system in 15 days from the notification date.
K2b. When an approval book is in "Closing Soon" status, it remains there until it is closed. If 15 days pass without a sale from the book, the book is closed. If there are sales from the book at any time during the 15 day period, the book remains active, and the 15 day countdown starts over. The book is finally closed when no sales occur from the book within a 15 day period.
K2c. An approval book remains active, regardless of whether it is in "Open" or "Closing Soon" status as long as there are sales from the book within the time frames related to the book's status. Eventually every book is closed when interest in the book wanes
The following is a short list of suggestions to help sellers achieve better sales, and offer buyers a better experience when viewing approval books.
• create books that are neatly organized
• offer stamps that are different from those others are selling
• make approval book titles specific and describe the contents of the books
• limit, or, better yet, do not include damaged stamps that are of low catalog value
• price damaged stamps less than sound stamps
• make sure every stamp is fully visible, and not covered by part of another stamp or item number
• include the catalog number and/or year of issue, as many buyers appreciate this
• reduce the price of the stamps in an under-performing approval book
• announce new approval books by posting a classified ad in the Discussion Board.