International Cuban Philatelic Society (ICPS)

Sociedad Filatélica Cubana Internacional (SFCI)

Auction Rules and Guidelines

Cuban flag

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.

Lot Descriptions

Standards for describing the material submitted for auction will in general be very strict.

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 $10.00 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.

Bidding Increments

All bids must be submitted according to the bidding increments specified below.

Bid Range Increment Bid Range Increment
$1 to $9 $1 $300 to $999 $25
$10 to $29 $2 $1000 to $2999 $50
$30 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:

Guidelines for international shipments are as follows:

Additional shipping charges will be due for oversize or overweight items (more than 1 ounce).

Additional insurance for shipments over $50 will be charged on a case by case basis.

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 to 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.

Satisfaction guaranteed

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.


These pages are maintained by Robert Littrell.