Ramping Up

I have decided to to an advertising campaign.  I have placed ads in Linn's Stamp News and the American Philatelist.  They should be appearing shortly.  Hopefully this will drive more traffic to my website. 

I have also reached out to a Shopify Guru to see if there is a way to get the alphabetic sort to sort the catalog numbers correctly.  The Title of the listing is Alphanumeric.  I know from my IT training that when sorting, the computer reads alphanumeric fields left to right, byte by byte.  This is an issue for catalog numbers in the Title.  Great Britain 1000 comes before Great Britain 90 because the "1" in 1000 is less than the "9" in 90.  The Guru says he can make the change.  I will be very happy if it works.  I will keep you posted.


Shipping & Handling

I recently made major changes to my shipping and handling.  A little background first...

In January, I had to unfortunately raise my International shipping rates.  This was due to a change in the Postal Regulations.  If you send merchandise to a foreign country the item can no longer go as a letter.  It is considered a package.  It used to cost $1.15 to send a stamp to foreign destinations.  Now the rate is about $10.00.  I have partnered with a shipping company that brings down the rate a few dollars so my rate is not as bad as it could be. Also, I must now fill out Customs Forms for all international orders.  Another bad side effect of this change is that I must buy computer vended postage.  I can't use nice stamps on the envelopes which I always enjoyed doing. 

So, I used to to have tiered shipping rates.  The rates were based on price for the U.S. and Weight for International.  I have a feeling that these rates may have been causing some hesitancy for some of my buyers to make a purchase.  I finally decided to go to a flat rate for both U.S. and other countries.  My rate is $2.00 for U.S. and $8.00 for International Addresses no matter how much you buy or how much the envelope/package weighs.  Also, If you buy $600 or more, shipping is free. 

I really try not to make a profit on my shipping.  I just want to break even.  Most buyers don't realize that envelopes, tape, paper for the invoices, ink for the printers, PayPal Fees/Credit Card Fees all add up. Notice I didn't mention postage in that list? 

Unfortunately, shipping and handling charges are part of online buying.  Wish I didn't have to deal with them.  That is true whether I'm a buyer or a seller.

Big Changes Implemented in October 2017

So, once again, it has been a while since my last post.  I have been very busy.  Since July 2017, I have added over 3,000 items.  I'm getting close to 10,000 items.  If you all would stop buying stuff I would have gotten there a long time ago.  I am just kidding of course. The ultimate goal would be to have 0 items in the store as everything got sold and have to add more to just keep the site going. 

Big changes were implemented in October of last year.  I have changed the layout of the website  This change allows me to create sub-categories of menu items and also allows limited pagination so that you can jump around from page to page.  I feel this is a major improvement as having sub-categories makes the website more streamlined.  The Home Page allows me to create a featured Collection, a featured Area and a featured Topical section. 

I have also made a few philosophical changes to my website.  In the past, I normally did not post any item that has a catalogue value that is less than one dollar.  I have decided to change that.  I believe that by adding lower catalogue valued items, it may pull in new customers who don't want to jump in and buy the higher priced items on their first purchase.  So far it seems to be working.  Another change is to add better descriptions to the listings.  For example, I would normally list a stamp as "Japan 3787d Used" but now it is listed as "Japan 3787d Used - ‭‭Baby Animals - Snow Leopard" This is a little more time consuming but I think it really makes the site more professional and it really helps in searches.  The other change I made is to scan all my items at a minimum 300dpi instead of 200dpi.  One reason I was using 200dpi is because 10 years ago when I first started selling there used to be limitations on image size on most websites.  I do not plan to go back and rescan the 1000s of stamps that I have listed at 200dpi but going forward all scans will be 300dpi. 

I also created a Discounts Page which is where you can find all the most recent available or upcoming discounts. 

That's all for now.  Looking forward to processing your orders.




Goings On & New Customer Discount

Well, it has been quite a while since my last blog post.  A lot has gone on since then.  The Stanley Gibbons Marketplace debacle is over.  Mark Rosenberg, who sold bidStart to Stanley Gibbons bought the company back and has re-branded it HipStamps.  A better outcome could not have occurred.  Since HipStamps went live, I have contemplated shutting down this website but I just can't.  I think my formatting,  tagging and search engine is much better than HipStamps.  I just need to get traffic coming to my site and get my buyers on HipStamps to shop here first. I do appreciate the sales on HipStamps but I pay higher fees than if I sold the stamps here.  I have dedicated myself to keep the website going and hope you will return.


I created a one time discount code NewCustomer30%.   Please use this code at checkout.  Even if you bought something from me in the past this code will work if you haven't used it before. 

I have been been working on comparing my HipStamp Inventory to my Website inventory.  I was able to add quite a few stamps to my inventory that I somehow missed when doing my original import. 

One of my goals is to always improve the user experience of my website.  I have  been trying to make my listings more consistent in their descriptions.  I have combined some multiple listings and hopefully added some improved explanations for my selling/shipping policies.


Well, that's all for now.  I hope to blog a little more often to keep you up to date.  Remember to check my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest websites to see  my latest listings and promotions.



I Will Be Selling at Whippany, NJ Stamp Bourse on October 17, 2015

I have not been posting much lately, but that does not mean I haven't been busy.  I have been preparing my unorganized inventory for sale.  The good thing about this is that after the bourse, any unsold items will then be scanned and added to the store.  I am also trying to prepare the inventory from my website store for sale in person.  That means I have to label books and boxes appropriately.  

If you are in the area, come on out.  I would like to meet you.

Here is the email blast for the show...

Dealers/collectors offering material with all areas represented, but strength in U.S., U.S. Back-of-the-Book & Fancy Cancels, Western Europe and postcards/postal history coming to northern New Jersey October 17.

A 10-table stamp bourse, sponsored by the Jockey Hollow Stamp Club of Morristown and the North Jersey Federation of Stamp Clubs, will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Whippany Parrish Hall, 494 Route 10 West, Whippany New Jersey 07981. from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Parking, located behind the church, and the show admission are free.

Directions: Parish Hall is at 494 Route 10 West — at the light and next to the Antique Railroad Station. From Route 287 exit at Route 10 east, proceed 2.1 miles to the church on the left and go past it to the U-TURN, come back west on Route 10 to the church (now on your right).

For more information, contact Hugh Merritt, at 973-263-9012 or via e-mail.


My article about the 50th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift First Day Covers was published in the First Days Magazine of the American First Day Cover Society (  It actually made the front cover.  The hard cover has not come out yet but if you are a member of the AFDCS, you can read the article on line. If you collect First Day Covers, I would highly suggest you join the AFDCS if you haven't already.  

I am attaching a copy of the cover.




It is hard to believe, but my website is now live.  Amazingly, I have already made my first sale from a valued previous customer and friend.  This is very exciting.  I really hope everyone likes it.  I know it's not perfect and I am constantly finding something to fix, but for now it is the best I can do.  Remember to use parkinlotDebut to get your 20% off until April 30th.

Been a While...

Well, it has been a while since my last post.  I have been very busy.  I'm looking back at my previous posts and it is making me chuckle.  I can't believe how little I had gotten done back then.  Unbelievably, I am very close to completing my inventory.  I still have a bunch of FDC, Event Covers, Plate Blocks and Germany to list.  I also have Monaco and Malta complete.  

I was rolling along with my listings and then Shopify changed the layout of the Product Input screen and threw off my Mojo.  The new layout is actually better but it is going to take me a while to get used to.  

I am also trying to learn other applications that I need to operate this website.  Hopefully you will sign up to to receive my Newsletter.  I promise not to spam your inbox.  I will send one or two emails a month when I have something interesting going on.  Just click on the Blue "Subscription" Button at the bottom of my webpage.  I am using Mail Chimp to create my Email Campaigns and there is a bit of a learning curve to get the hang of it.  I'm still learning.  

I also had to set up my Social Media links.  I prefer to post more often on Facebook and Twitter.  Please follow me on these sites for information on the latest listings, specials, promotions and breaking news.  The links are also at the bottom of my webpage.

One of the banes of using Shopify is that their inventory management is woefully lacking.  I have tried to load my inventory on but screwed it up royally.  I have to revisit it.  At least I can export my inventory into an Excel spreadsheet.  I have a basic understanding of Excel, but I need to learn the finer details.  

That's what I have been up to.  I hope to live very soon!!!  I have a date in mind but don't want to post it just yet.  I have a lot to do.  A lot of testing to be done.  Looking forward to my first order.  



I am noticing as I am transferring my items from bidStart, that I am not very consistent with my titles.  This is mostly for my Covers and Plate Blocks.  I sometimes put the Subject of the Stamp at the end of the description, sometimes it is right after the catalogue number.

I am trying not to be so anal about it.  It is going to a very difficult and time consuming to get everything exactly the same.   I think the Titles though are much better here than on bidStart.  I am trying to put a description of every items title.  Some of the older stamps, I am not going to put Victoria on all the British Commonwealth and Great Britain Stamps.  (=

I have been concentrating on the United States.  I am trying to put at least 100 items (if I have that many) in each category.  I finished Back of the Book, Coils, First Day Covers and I am now working Plate Blocks then it is on to Revenues.  Wish me luck!!!

Shooting Myself in the Foot

Barbados (Slowly I turn...) -  I realized as I was seeding Bermuda from bidStart, that I had mis-categorized all my Barbados Stamps under Bermuda.  Before listing them here I had to fix that on bidStart.  Then, when I did list the stamps of Barbados here, I did the same thing.  I had them listed under Bermuda.  Had to go back and fix all of those. 

Then I realized I had made a much bigger error!!!  I mis-spelled the category Caribbean.  I had it spelled Carribean.  See, my spell checker here caught that...  You probably can't see it.  Anyway, I had to go back and change all my Carribean tags to Caribbean.  That took a while.  Quite frustrating.    Didn't I say previously, that I am not perfect?  

Anyway, it has been a while since I posted.  I have finished seeding Australia & Oceania, Asia, Middle East & Africa.  I broke the Caribbean out as a separate category.  I was originally going to have it under Latin & South America like bidStart does but I figured I would have enough countries to make it its own category.  That is finished.  Central America and Mexico are also complete.  I am very close to finishing seeding all of my Stamps Categories.  Then I will seed the Sports Cards and then come back around to stamps again.  I think after 2 rounds of seeding, I can go live.  We will see.

Oh, by the way Happy New Year!!!  Sorry, I should have started there.  So much on my mind. 

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