International Cuban Philatelic Society (ICPS)
Sociedad Filatélica Cubana Internacional (SFCI)
Auction Rules and Guidelines
Submission of material for sale or submission of purchase bids to the ICPS for any of its auctions implies an agreement on the part of the sellers and buyers to abide by all auction rules and guidelines stated herein.
Submission of Material
Each item submitted for auction must be clearly described, cataloged, and priced. An estimated and/or minimum price must be provided for items that cannot be cataloged (refer to the paragraph on "Pricing" for guidance on the subject). The auction manager will return any material that is not clearly described, cataloged, and priced. It is strongly suggested that prospective sellers send a list of the material they wish to sell to the auction manager before sending the material itself so that the auction manager can review the list and provide additional guidance and instructions for preparation and shipment of the actual material. The ICPS will not return any material submitted without prior auction manager approval that is found not to be suitable for auction, unless the sender prepays for its return with full insurance coverage. The ICPS will also not be responsible for any material sent to it without insurance coverage. Only philatelic material or closely related material such as philatelic literature will be accepted for sale through these auctions. No philatelic material subject to the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba will be accepted.
Standards for describing the material submitted for auction will in general be very strict.
- Condition. Every attempt will be made to clearly describe all items offered for sale. The following guidelines will be followed when specifying the condition of stamps: poor--a stamp that is defective in one or more ways (e.g., thinned, torn, missing perforations, stained); fine--a stamp that is poorly centered, carries an undesirable cancellation, or has minor defects such as short perforations or is heavily hinged; fine-very fine--a stamp that is reasonably centered and cancelled, is lightly hinged if unused, and has no defects; very fine - a stamp that is well centered, has an appealing cancellation, looks fresh, has no hinge remnants if unused, and has no defects; superb - these are the gems of philately: superb centering, superb cancellation if used, mint if unused, fresh looking, and with no defects.
- Gum. The meaning of the word "mint" in the auction descriptions simply means "unused". All of the stamp descriptions clearly specify the condition of the stamp's gum whenever it is described to be mint or unused. The following abbreviations will be used to specify the condition of the gum on mint stamps: mnh = mint never hinged; mlh = mint lightly hinged; mph = mint partially hinged; mhh = mint heavily hinged; mgd = mint gum disturbed; mng = mint no gum. "Lightly hinged" will be used to designate stamps that were once hinged but whose hinge has been removed completely leaving no hinge remnants attached to the stamp and leaving the stamp's gum minimally disturbed. "Partially hinged" will be used to designate stamps that have some hinge remnants attached that cannot be removed without risking damage to the stamp or the condition of its gum. "Heavily hinged" will be used to designate those stamps that have big portions of unremovable hinges or multiple hinges attached to their backs.
- Pricing All catalog numbers and pricing are from the Cuba section of the 2012 Scott Catalog unless otherwise indicated. All Edifil catalog numbers and pricing are from the 2002 Catalogo Especializado de Sellos de Cuba. All Jones-Rodriguez catalog numbers and pricing are from the Jones-Rodríguez 1990 Catalog of Cuban Revenues.
|The following are some standard abbreviations used in the descriptions of the auction lots|
|3x8 or (3x8) — 3 rows by 8 cols.||b4 — block of 4||2x3 b6 — horizontal block of 6||3x2 b6 — vertical block of 6|
|c — cent(s), centavo(s), or céntimo(s)||cds — circular date stamp||cb4 — (sheet) center block of 4||cgb4 — (sheet) center gutter blk of 4|
|cm — centimeter(s)||cto — cancelled-to-order||dcds — duplex cds||ds — date stamp|
|def — defective||€ — Euro||Ed — Cat. Edifil Especializado 2002||f-vf — fine to very fine|
|FDC — first day cover||FFC — first flight cover||H&G — Higgins & Gage Catalog||hb6 — horizontal block of 6 (2x3)|
|hgb4 — horizontal gutter block of 4||hgp — horizontal gutter pair||hp — horizontal pair||imp — imperforate|
|J-R — Jones-Roy Catalog||mhh — mint heavily hinged||mlh — mint lightly hinged||mm — milimeter(s)|
|mmh — mint medially hinged||mng — mint no gum||mnh — mint never hinged||p — peso|
|ptas — pesetas||reinf — reinforced perforations||rpf — real de plata fuerte||Sc — Scott Catalog|
|var — variety||vb6 — vertical block of 6 (3x2)||vf — very fine||vgb4 — vertical gutter block of 4|
|vgp — vertical gutter pair||vp — vertical pair||w/ — with||w/o — without|
Lots will be adjudicated to the highest bidder at one bid increment over the second highest bid received, or at the minimum bid if no second bid is received (refer to the paragraph on "Bidding Increments" below). When a lot receives two identical bids, the first bid received wins the lot. This is applied rigorously, taking into account the date and time a bid is e-mailed or mailed as evidenced from the postmark on the letter containing the bid. No phone bids will be accepted.
Bids under the minimum bids will be accepted for lots over $20.00 at the discretion of the Auction Manager and subject to the seller's decision to sell or not to sell after the auction closes. Bids under the minimum bid amount will be posted in a pink box in the last column. Bids at or over the minimum bid price will be posted in a green box in the last column.
All bids must be submitted according to the bidding increments specified below. Bids that fall between bidding increments at any range will be lowered to the next lowest bid according to the acceptable bidding increment for that range. For example, a bid of $315 for a lot will be lowered to $300 and will lose the lot to another bid of $300 that arrived earlier.
|Bid Range||Increment||Bid Range||Increment|
|$1 to $19||$1||$300 to $999||$25|
|$20 to $39||$2||$1000 to $2999||$50|
|$40 to $99||$5||$3000 to $5999||$100|
|$100 to $299||$10||Over $6000||$200|
For ICPS members: A 10% buyer's fee will be added to the purchase price of all lots bought, but no commission will be charged to members for selling through our auctions. For Non-ICPS members: A 15% buyer's fee will be added to the purchase price of all lots bought. These fees will be used by the ICPS to cover the costs of the auction and to finance the society's activities and publications.
Postage and Insurance
Postage and insurance fees will be added to the total bill of the buyer unless the buyer specifically assumes all shipping loss risks. These fees are bound by the requirements imposed on the ICPS by its insurance provider. The auction manager will make every attempt to mail and insure all material adequately while incurring the minimum possible charges.
Shipping and Handling
Guidelines for U.S. domestic shipping are as follows:
- Minimum shipping and handling charge is $1.00 without insurance at your risk.
- Minimum charge for items sent via USPS certified mail is $3.50 – fully insured.
Guidelines for international shipments are as follows:
- Minimum shipping and handling to foreign countries is $2.00 without insurance at your risk.
- Minimum shipment for items sent to foreign countries via registered mail is U.S. $10.00 – fully insured.
Additional shipping charges will be due for oversize or overweight items (more than 1 ounce).
Billing for Purchases
As soon as the auction closes, the Auction Manager will prepare and mail the bills for purchases to all successful bidders. The bills will include a 10% sales commission on the amount of the purchases for ICPS members and a 15% sales commission for non-ICPS members. Postage and insurance charges will be added to all bills to cover mailing the lots purchased. Lots will not be mailed until receipt of payment.
Payment for Purchases
All payments must be made in U.S. dollars. Payment for all orders must be made in advance of shipment. All purchases must be paid by the buyer within 60 days of mailing of billing. The following forms of payment will be accepted: Personal or bank checks drawn on U.S. banks and U.S. or international money orders. PayPal payments are also acceptable if you add 5% of the total bill to cover PayPal commissions or arrange for PayPal to send the exact amount of the bill. Credit card payments CANNOT be accepted.
Return of Lots
Lots that have been incorrectly described may be returned within 10 days of receipt for a full refund of the purchase price and commission. Lots whose photos have been included in the auction bulletin may not be returned on grounds of poor centering, short or missing perforations, or close margins on imperforate stamps. All returns must be fully insured. Please note that sales at ICPS auctions are not made on an "approval" basis and reasonable justification must be provided by the buyer for the return of any lot. Repeated violation of this rule will result in future rejection of bids from the buyer.
Payment to Sellers
Payment to sellers will not be made until full payment is received from the buyers for all lots sold for the seller. This will be within 30 days of the close of an auction and sellers will be promptly notified of delays and their justification.
Return of Unsold Lots
Unsold lots will be returned to the seller together with the payment for sold lots, unless the seller has instructed the auction manager to reoffer the lots at a subsequent auction or has provided other return instructions. All unsold lots will be returned adequately packaged and insured at the ICPS's expense unless the seller has sent return instructions incurring extraordinary expenses, in which case excess expenses must be prepaid by the seller.
The ICPS guarantee the authenticity of all items it sells for as long as it is in operation. It will reimburse the original purchase price of any item that is ruled not genuine by any recognized philatelic expertizing committee and will pay for the cost of expertizing provided the item is returned to the ICPS in its original condition and is accompanied by the original expertizing certificate showing a photo of the lot.
You may return any item within two weeks for a full refund minus shipping and handling (S&H) if not satisfied upon examination – no questions asked.
Bidding by Persons with Inside Information
- All bids will be mailed to the Webmaster for posting as soon as possible in the auction listing posted in the ICPS Website. A copy of the bids will also be forwarded at the same time to the Secretary for backup. The Auction Manager will not receive notification of any auction bids or the names of the bidders until after the auction closes.
- Since the auction is an open bid auction in which everyone can see the bidding progress as it is going on, the Auction Manager, Webmaster, and Secretary will be allowed to bid on all auction lots until one week before the close of the auction. At that point, if so desired, the Auction Manager and Webmaster will send their best offers for lots of their interest to the Secretary, and the Secretary will send his/her own best offers to the Auction Manager and Webmaster.
- If a bid comes in from a member during the last week of the auction for which there is a best offer by one of the cited auction administrators, the Secretary will inform the Webmaster of the existence of the best offer and indicate the bidding increment at which the lot should be set in response to the newly received bid. For example, if a lot's current bid was $55, the Webmaster had a best offer on it of $100 on it, and a bid of $80 came in from a bidder during the last week of the auction, the Secretary would notify the Webmaster to increase the current bid to $85, one increment over the newly received bid. If a best offer of $120 later came in for the same lot, the Secretary would again inform the Webmaster to raise the current bid on the lot from $85 to $105, one increment over the Webmaster's best offer – an offer which at that point the Webmaster cannot change. If no further bids came in for the lot before the close of the auction, it would sell to the submitter of the $120 best offer for $105, an increment of the best offer submitted by the Webmaster week before the close of the auction. If bids are submitted against a best offer submitted by the Secretary to the Auction Manager and the Webmaster, the latter already has on file the Secretary's best offer and he would update the bids on the lots in question following the same guidelines.
- If the Secretary were to be absent for the last week of the auction, the Vice President would play the role of the Secretary in receiving the best offers from the Auction Manager and Webmaster. At that point the Vice President would also be forbidden from further bidding during the last week of the auction and would submit his/her own best offers to the Auction Manager and Webmaster week in advance of the close of the auction. Since the Vice President is not automatically notified of all bids received, the Webmaster would have to relay all bids received to the Vice President during the last week of the auction for monitoring of bidding against any submitted best offers from the Auction Manager or Webmaster.
These pages are maintained by Robert Littrell.