OFC as a Service

When I first started thinking seriously about these OFC ideas back in 2004, I set about trying to turn an intuitive art into a clear repeatable process. I produced three documents  of which only the White Paper has appeared in this blog. The other two are essentially draft documents which have not been properly tested and refined; however, I’ve decided to include them here as they do at least provide an indication of the sort of detailed activities that OFC entails. They are a Service List and a Process List. Both incorporate the notion of charging for the service – though that is by-the-way; I no longer have any ambitions to create a business, though I would dearly like to be able to try out my ideas on some real world collections of objects which belong to someone else and with which I am not already familiar. The OFC exercises documented within this blog have been informative but are almost certainly not sufficient to be able to define a fully generalisable process.

I have applied OFC techniques to one set of material that was not my own: it consisted of 6 large egg boxes containing the stamp collection of an old friend’s mother who had died. My friend is not a stamp collector and was having trouble disposing of the collection. I am a stamp collector so I was excited by the prospect of both exploring the collection and having the opportunity to apply some  OFC techniques. In my first encounter with the material I took about three hours to go through it all, divide it up into the major categories, and get an overall picture of what it consisted of. I agreed with my friend that I would sell the material through Ebay, so subsequently sorted it into sub-categories that I thought would interest potential buyers. I ended up with approximately 37 Lots which I proceeded to sell on Ebay over a 3 week period. For each Lot I took photographs and wrote a description for it’s Ebay entry; and I managed what I was doing in a Word document which contained the following information for each Lot:

  • Ref No
  • Title (for use in the Ebay entry)
  • Description (for use in the Ebay entry)
  • Two or three of the 12 free photos allowed by Ebay
  • Weight (for use in estimating postage costs)
  • Size (for use in estimating postage costs)
  • Postage (type of service and cost)
  • Date put into eBay
  • Disposal if not sold in Ebay (which could include ‘re-list in Ebay’)
  • Date auction ended
  • No of bids
  • Amount paid by buyer
  • Paypal fee
  • Ebay fee
  • Packing costs (if any)
  • Actual Postage Costs
  • Net amount after all expenses
  • Date sent
  • Buyers name and address

I was able to give a copy of this document to my friend as a permanent memento of her mother’s stamp collection. This was an instructive experience, and I continue to look out for other opportunities to try out OFC techniques.

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