Frequently Asked Questions

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1) Can I have all of the specimens shipped together from different dealers to reduce shipping costs?
No.  This defeats the purpose of this auction.  Besides, you would have to pay for the dealer to ship specimens to me and then again to have me ship them to you.  Keep in mind that you are buying minerals from your home or office from around the world and not having to incur traveling and boarding expenses that would run you into the thousands of dollars. 

2) How come shipping costs vary between dealers?
Each dealer has his own procedure for packaging and shipping specimens to you. The costs will vary and depending on where the item(s) are coming from the cost can vary a lot.  Sometimes specimens that weigh a lot may end up costing more to ship than you paid for the specimen. 

3) Can I wait over several auctions to have more than one specimen shipped from the same dealer instead of paying shipping on a per specimen basis?
This is something that you will have to work out with each dealer.  If you want to have the dealer hold the specimen it will probably be ok but you should be prepared to pay for the specimen now instead of waiting to pay all at once after a series of auctions has passed.

4) Can I return specimens I don't like after getting them?
You can return a specimen to a dealer if the specimen arrives damaged or it was not as was advertised.  This means the description said the specimen had no damage or the images of the specimen were embellished in terms of colors.  You may not return a specimen just because you don't like it after you receive it or have buyer's remorse. 

5) What happens if there is a conflict between the dealer and me?
PLEASE contact me (John Veevaert) with any issue that you have regarding a dealer.  I will intercede on your behalf to find a resolution to your problem as expeditiously as is possible. 

6) Can I have more than one registration and username?
Yes.  You can register as many usernames as you would like to.   But you will have to fill out all of the fields in the registration form for each profile.  This is the only way we can tie your shipping information to you.

7) Will Items shipped overseas have tracking numbers?
You can request a tracking number for the specimen shipment if you are willing to pay extra for this service.  If specimens are shipped via UPS or via FedEx this happens automatically but it is a lot more expensive than using the Postal Service.  It can be done also using Global Express mail with the US Postal Service but it will cost more.  You can read up on this service at the USPS website located here

8) Missing shipments to foreign destinations
From the USA all items will generally be shipped via air mail.  The length of time varies depending on the country of destination from 5 days to several weeks.  Typically it is 7-10 days for Japanese and European destinations but can be longer.  Sometimes, through no fault of the dealer, an item shipped air mail is sent by surface (boat) through an error with the Post Office.  This has happened on occasion though rarely.  This can mean up to 8 weeks for delivery.  Therefore, if a shipment has not arrived after 2-3 weeks we will ask that you be patient and wait for the full 8 weeks to pass.  If 8 weeks passes without a shipment arriving we will refund your payment - assuming you paid to have it insured.  If insurance is not paid for then the loss will be yours.

9) Should I have insurance for foreign shipments? 
We have been asked repeatedly by foreign customers to not have the full value of the shipment posted on the customs forms.  Hence, it is not possible to insure a shipment unless its full value is declared.  Without insurance the risk of loss or damage is assumed by the customer.  We will gladly insure packages but you must ask for this service to absolve yourself of any risk.

10) What if I need to update my email and shipping address... ?
On the auction page with the specimens there is a link, once you have logged in, in the User's Menu called Edit Profile.  You can change your email address as needed.  This is important as the only way you will be notified if you win a specimen is via email after the auction closes.  You are also responsible for making sure that your shipping address is correct as this is the address we will use to send the specimens you win to you.

11) What triggers a proxy bid and how does it work?
As an example you (User A) have selected the proxy option and have the highest maxium bid - a bid of $100 for specimen X. 
The system sets your bid at $1 for specimen X as it is the initial bid. User B sees the specimen and decides to place a bid on it also. User B enters a maximum bid of $35 for specimen X. The proxy system alerts User B that he has been outbid and records User B's bid of $35 in the table and then enters a $1 higher bid of $36 on User A's behalf.  Then User B decides to bid again and this time enters $75 as the maximun for specimen X.  The proxy system alerts User B that he has been outbid and records User B's bid of $75 in the table and then enters a $1 higher bid of $76 on User A's behalf.  User B then decides to bid again and enters a Maximum bid of $100. The proxy system alerts User B that his $100 is identical to that of User A's and since User A was first the credit for the $100 bid goes to User A.  The system records User B's bid of $100 in the table and then enters a $100 bid on User A's behalf.   (Both $100 bids appear in the table but the User will be awarded the specimen if there are no other bids for it.) User B decides to bid again and this time enters in $200.  The proxy system lets User B know that he has the high bid of $101 for specimen X and then sends and email alert to User A indicating that he has been outbid and that the current bid level is $101.  If no other bids are received for specimen X then User B wins the specimen for $101 at the end of the auction.

12) Do I have to use the Proxy system?
No.  You have an option when you bid of having the full amount posted to the bid table. If your entered non-proxy bid is higher than the maximum proxy bid entered by other users then you will be told that you are the high bidder.  If your full bid entered is less than the maximun proxy bid entered by another user the system records your bid in the table and then enters a proxy bid on the high Users behalf that is equal to your bid plus $1 and records that to the table. 

13) How come some bids are only one second apart in time of entry?
If the system enters a proxy bid on a users behalf it will be entered 1 second after the unsuccessful bidder's entery.  It actually happens a lot faster than that but this is a quick way to know that a proxy system bid has been entered.

14) Will I have to pay the full amount of proxy bid if I win the specimen?
Only if bidding drives the level to your maximum amount.  In most cases the winner will pay an amount less than the maximum amount they were willing to pay for the specimen.

15) What if the same bid amount is entered at almost the same time?
Fortunately for us computers can work on nano seconds.  When a bid is entered it is time stamped and compared to other bids that may be being entered at nearly the same time.  It will place the bids in the order received and if one is too late will alert that user that he or she was behind someone else's bid that was higher.

16) What are dealer ratings? 
We have installed a system that allows you to rate the dealer you have won a specimen from.  The rating system allows you to enter a numerical value between 0 and 10.  Dealer's won't have their rating posted until they have at least 10 entries from users.  What you think matters to me a great deal! If a dealer's rating slips below 5/10 he or she will be removed from future selling on this site.  You can only rate a dealer who you have had buying experience with on this auction site.

If you have other questions or comments please send John Veevaert a note about them.

Thanks for your interest!