ImplementedMake Printed Invoices Smaller

edited February 2017 in Feature Requests 7 LikesVote Down
Can we make a change on this invoicing letter size, etc. It is very nice if you only sell 3 items, but when the list is in the hundreds, now your printing a crazy number of pages! I just printed a 223 items order, 14 pages long! In BS that will be tops 3 pages! That is crazy, Mark. Imagine the shipping cost to Europe for 14 pages plus the stamps. Also, I posted somewhere else about the issue with the offers.
This buyer alone made over 300 offers. They have to be accepted/decline one by one. Insane. Can we fix this?


  • 64 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I figured you sellers had your reasons, Michael - I'm just letting you know that to this particular buyer, getting a printed out invoice with my order is not important.

    I resort to writing things by hand whenever I can. You know, like in the days before desktop printers! :smile:
  • I'd love to hear from buyers on this point, would they rather an e-invoice or do they want a paper invoice? I mean, to save a tree wouldn't you rather an e-invoice? If I want to check my order, it's right here on the site.

    I'd love to not print any invoice, paperless is a way to go for me.

  • Well guys and girls, how do you propose that a dealer fulfilling an order of 223 items go about pulling them out of inventory an keeping a record of what is going out? I print a shipping invoice to do just that, never mind trying to be a little professional about it. I get stuff from sellers and I have to go fishing for that order in order to keep the records straight, give feedback where due, etc. I agree that you do not have to go overboard with color pictures of the stamps, but a simple running list of the items you purchase with any notes in case something is not right. I do tell my buyers when I replace a stamp they purchase for another better because I see a lesser quality when pulling out of inventory.
    And yes, 99% of the covers received have a return name/address different than the advertise on the site or none!
    Now what?
  • I'm finding the invoice page has gotten bigger when I print them out. Used to be able to print smaller. Yeah, I know we had to get the magnifier out to see the print, but it was nice having the print smaller especially when filling larger orders.

    Maybe there could be a work around, don't know the best solution. I think from now on I'll message the buyer and ask if they want an invoice, if not then problem solved.

    I don't have a highfalutin type of business, in fact, I'm just a very small time collector that is selling some duplicates so inventory is not a priority to me. The listings are my inventory/store. And I try to make them correct.

    I remember when I did have orders at BS we could expand the listings. I would use that page and when the stamp was found I would close that listing, when all were closed, the order was complete. I sort of miss that feature. But this is a new area and we adjust.

    I agree, let's keep it simple and shrink the invoice just a little.
  • edited November 2016 2 LikesVote Down
    Mark, I tried using your method and it simply does not work. In BidStart, I had options about how to sort sold items, by date, buyer, country/catalog, etc. I could also filter by date (very useful), then by buyer and then by country/catalog. On those days that I had three or four buyers to process, this was extremely handy.

    Dovetailing off of this subject, I am having a lot of frustration trying to find the buyers and give feedback once they have received their items. I cannot search the pending feedback page for a buyer (i.e. stampbuyer22) I cannot even look at a sold item to find out what date it was sold. I just spent 30 minutes (unsuccessfully) trying to give feedback because I could not find the buyer in question!

    I agree wholeheartedly with Luree Hughes and Steve Ruecker that we need a better dashboard in order to process our orders. Just like Carlos Aristy said, a large order (over 30 items) is very difficult to process. First, the pictures are way too small to identify. For example, I sell a lot of used stamps, and I identify the sold item by the cancellation. I frequently have to open the item in a separate tab to identify the item (very time consuming). In BidStart I needed to do this perhaps only once in an order of 40 stamps. Now I have to do this with 50-60% of the sold items.

    I have gone to using a sticky pad on my computer screen to be able to keep my place to properly scroll through the listings. At the end, I count the items sold, and I still end up missing an item or two. Since we could close or open the item in the BS seller dashboard, I never had this problem...

    On printing invoices, since the line entries for each item sold take so much space, I get only 9 items on one page. When I shrink the invoice for printing, at 75% I get 15, at 50% I get 30. At 25% the font is so small that you cannot even read it!. On an invoice, it is not necessary to have so much white space around each item, a solid single-line entry for each item is just fine, then at 50% I can get about 70 items on one page.
  • Yes, I agree with Jacques. Many times when a customer isn't responding to messages, I have gotten their attention by writing an email. But getting their email address thru PayPal is quite time consuming, and, of course, impossible for a first-time customer. Adding their email address to an invoice would definitely help.
  • My preference would be to not include them, but I've seen sellers cussed out on other stamp boards for not including them (and giving low ratings on eBay). So I err on the side of caution.

    When I'm in doubt about what to do pertaining to something in the stamp community, I think about what the norm would have been 10 years ago, and do that. (I'm personally a little more leading edge than that, but it seems like the stamp community is not the place for leading-edge practices, at least by one lowly little part-time stamp seller.)
  • I'm not disagreeing with you at all. Some printable, but highly simplified and shrunken, invoice could come in handy.
  • Dave,

    To answer your question there are multiple reasons to print out an invoice. First I for one use the private ID's. All my stock is scanned,listed,filed packed and pulled by the private ID. Because of the number of items I have listed,those are in a different room then from the computer. Because everything I have listed is filed by private ID and the private ID is on the invoice it makes it very quick and easy to pull the items for shipping. (About a two months ago I pulled and packed an order of 450 + covers in a little less then an hour and a half.)

    Two if you sell international an invoice is suppose to be included with the shipment. (That is for the customers end when it passes through their customs. If it's not included they can estimate the customs and duties or even confiscate the
    package and NOT return it to the seller)

    Three if for some reason the address on the package or envelope becomes unreadable and the PO will send it to the dead letter office. They do scan those packages to check for merchandise. If the package or envelope contains an invoice with the delivery address they can forward it on.

    Fourth it does help the buyer know who sent the order.

    Hope that helps as to why some of us do include an invoice with your order.
  • When the IRS auditor asks you to prove your cost in an item that you bought 3 years ago, how many of you will remember where you bought it? Even though the odds are against you remembering where you bought every stamp in your inventory or collection, lets say you DO remember. Sure enough, you bought it on the Stanley Gibbons Marketplace.

    Now, don't you wish you had received an invoice with the stamp... and kept it? So much for the brave new paperless world. Save all the trees you want, but you will pay more in taxes at audit time because of it.
  • The topic was on the importance of sending invoices, or not. I contend that if you (or any of your customers) ever get audited by the IRS, you will wish you had all of the invoices to prove your cost in your inventory, or in the stamp collection you just sold. And the demise of Stanley Gibbons Marketplace shows that you can't rely on the third party online sites to keep them for you to print out if and when you need them.
  • I agree with Bob. I keep all the invoices (that I get) and am surprised when I don't get one at all, or I get a heavily edited one. I just made a $300 purchase and received an invoice that is 1 1/2" by 8 1/2". What am I supposed to do with that?

    I always provide an invoice for my buyers purchases, but when I have an invoice with many inexpensive items on it, I have to create a summary invoice since it would be ridiculous to print out five pages for an invoice with a total of $60. In BidStart, the invoice was compact with little white space, therefore enabling me to print an invoice of 50 items before I had to manipulate the size. I could shrink an invoice and print (on both sides) about 150 items that would still be legible.

    My feeling is this -- as a seller, I should always provide an invoice, whether the buyer wants one or not. It is then their choice to keep it or not. I think that it also important so the buyer can immediately identify the lot purchased when they receive the items.
  • edited January 2017 1 LikesVote Down
    I just had a sales of 85 items. Wanted to print the invoice and it was 7 pages long. I then shrunk it down to 30% with the following results (one inch of the invoice):
    Example 1

    I then copied the invoice to Word, changed the font size to 9, with the following results:

    Example 2

    Note that the first example was so small that it is illegible. I was able to get the first invoice down to 3 pages

    This reduced the invoice from seven pages to 1 1/2 pages, shrunk down to 80%. Note there is no white space (unused area between the lines). Please, fix this issue on the invoices -- you would make many sellers happy!
  • I agree with Steven. It certainly would save on paper, and postage, if the purchased items on an invoice were spaced more like PayPal's packing slip. It still looks very nice and professional, yet allows for several more items per page.
  • Thanks for your response Paul. I followed your instructions, and got nothing—presumably because my myriad of purchases were all "Buy It Now" items and none were action for bids that were placed and items won. I can get the list of items won, but the format on screen is very spread out compared to BS. It would take by my calculations some 80 pages to print what used to fit on 20 or so—and the visual effect of the printed page in atrocious.
  • ok, 352 items sale, that's great, but... 22 pages invoice. just ridiculous!
  • I totally agree. This was never an issue in BidStart.
  • Ecology minded collectors appreciate your efforts to save the trees. I like what it may do to my postage/shipping fees, and it may encourage more sellers to include the list of purchased items with their shipments, without spending more on postage.
  • Would it be possible to add to the Invoice, the Email address of the customer? This would save the time to "run over" to PayPal to get it. I know, I could use the Message feature, but I would prefer using Email.
  • Oh, I don't do auctions, that's why I didn't know. But still, when I win an auction, I want to pay right away. I want what I just won.

    I have never understood why customers feel it's okay to delay payment.

    Why is there no deadline as to when payment is due?
  • Paul, not much of a shortcut. Can't be that complicated to include it with the invoice/packing slip,
  • It is a lot cheaper to ship 223 stamps than it is to ship 14 pages of invoice (over 2 ounces on my postal scale plus requiring a large mailer - not a number 10 envelope).
  • Not that this suggestion solves the problem, but it is a bit of a work-around for now that saves paper: you could always set the printer to print only one half of the pages, then flip them over and print on the other side of the paper, effectively reducing your weight by 50%, fwiw.
  • Another workaround for now, if you can use Chrome as a browser, is to select the option to print to a PDF file, which you could then send to the customer electronically.
  • I was wondering just that, Luree -- why does a seller feel it is so necessary to print out an invoice?

    I don't care one way or the other -- if I ever have need of an invoice after buying something here there is plenty of information that I can print out myself either from my Member's Area or from Paypal.

    Unfortunately, the invoices that I do receive with my items usually just go straight to the waste pile! It seems like a waste of paper - and printer toner - to send an invoice.

    I'd much rather see a simple handwritten 'Thank You' from the seller! :smiley:
  • Thank You Dave! I know back in the beginning of time having an invoice was so very necessary, but in these days of electronic this and that, what is the real need? Just to clog up the waste basket? What happened to the paperless system that computers were supposed to create?

    I'm all for not sending an invoice, definitely always a nice handwritten thank you!

    And you are right, there is PayPal, Credit Card and certainly here for us to bring up what we have bought/sold for tax purposes or even curiosity.

    More thoughts?
  • edited October 2016 0 LikesVote Down
    Luree, the only thing I could think of is that it's sometimes nice to see a paper invoice with an order of 75 stamps where the seller has obviously put down a check mark or something as he/she fulfills the order.

    Does that mean I really WANT a multi-page printed invoice? Nope. But an indication like that (somehow or another) is never a bad thing to see as a buyer. Overall, I'm a fan of conserving the paper.
  • edited October 2016 0 LikesVote Down
    The point is Kurt, that we can make this work BETTER. In BS it was just right never had this issue, even with 500+ items!
    Everybody can do as they please, include shipping invoice or not.
    Take for example the other issue, accepting offers. NO problem when you get one, but you get hundreds NOW the problem is HUGE. I am sure we can click a box and select one, two, etc. and with another click select yes/no, simple and LOGICAL.
  • Luree Hughes - "I remember when I did have orders at BS we could expand the listings. I would use that page and when the stamp was found I would close that listing, when all were closed, the order was complete. I sort of miss that feature. "

    That was an extremely useful feature on bidStart!!! A similar feature here on HipStamp would make filling orders much more efficient.
  • edited November 2016 0 LikesVote Down
    Keep in Mind that the "Items I've Sold" page on bidStart is equivalent to the Listings > Closed / Sold page on HipStamp (at the top left filter by Sold Items). This is because bidStart had no concept of Orders - so there was no Sold Orders page.

    As with bidStart, on the Listings > Closed / Sold page, there's a checkbox next to each listing on this page. So if you're filling a large order, and just want to keep track of what you've pulled - it should be the same result there.
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