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  Farthest Reaches & Eugene Kranz

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Author Topic:   Farthest Reaches & Eugene Kranz
farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 903
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-08-2005 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Farthest Reaches is about to have a whole new look and feel. We're about to become more user friendly in every way, including navigation that makes finding things a breeze. Look for your favorites by choosing from Astronaut's names OR try our new search engine that accepts key words OR even a host of mission specific mission buttons. There's much much more but why not stop by and see for yourself. The adventure continues on Sunday evening (12/11/05) and we look forward to seeing you there....

Now, for those of you who have been waiting for the Eugene Kranz Memorabilia sale, the wait is almost over. On Monday morning 12/12/05 at 7AM Pacific Time, the Eugene Kranz page will be launched. This will be the first wave of wonderful items offered through Farthest Reaches, from Gene Kranz's personal collection. There are too many interesting items available to list here and more to come, so again, please stop by and join us for the Eugene Kranz Memorabilia kickoff.

------------------
Steve Hankow http://www.farthestreaches.com

[This message has been edited by farthestreaches (edited December 08, 2005).]

farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 903
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-12-2005 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Response to the new site has been incredible. All e-mails and phone calls regarding sales and inquiries will be returned with 24 hours.

------------------
Steve Hankow http://www.farthestreaches.com

[This message has been edited by farthestreaches (edited December 12, 2005).]

divemaster
Member

Posts: 1361
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 12-13-2005 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

An official Woot to Steve!

[This message has been edited by divemaster (edited December 14, 2005).]

RocketmanRob
Member

Posts: 255
From: New York City USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 12-15-2005 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RocketmanRob   Click Here to Email RocketmanRob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some terrific items are being made available as part of this sale.

Has anyone who has placed an order for an item been notified if they are the lucky person who will be able to purchase it. I put in an e-mail regarding a purchase on Monday, but have not been able to get a confirmation via e-mail or phone whether I was the person who was able to purchase it first. I recognize that there was probably a crush of orders and inquiries, but I'd like to know as the item is intended as a gift and if I'm not able to purchase this item I might consider another. Has anyone been contacted?

Thanks,

Rob

mdmyer
Member

Posts: 900
From: Humboldt KS USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 12-15-2005 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was off all day Monday and I meant to get on farthestreaches.com at 9am local time when the listings were scheduled to be up. I forgot about it until just before 10am. I had hopes Gene selling his Gemini 7/6 badge and I did find it listed but it was too much for me. Then this caught my eye. http://www.farthestreaches.com/newsite2/images/kranz_sts61flag.jpg It is the STS 6 flown flag and Tracking and Data Relay Satellite patch. Two flown items on the same presentation to Gene Kranz. I did not own a flown flag and the authenticity of this one would be un-questioned. I called Steve but I got his answering machine. I left a message saying that I wanted it then I e-mailed him and said that I wanted it. I waited about 20 minutes and I called and e-mailed again. Then I got a reply from Steve saying that it was mine if I wanted it. I called Steve back and got his answering machine and I left my credit card numbers with him. I did not hear back from Steve on Monday so I called him Tuesday. He answered the phone on the first ring. We talked for about 10 minutes. Steve described this presentation and how nice it was. We talked about the shipping charges and Steve mentioned how busy he was because of the Kranz listing and because of the new webpage.

Thanks so much to Steve and to Gene Kranz for the flown flag presentation. I am really looking forward to adding it to my collection. I never thought I would have a flown flag let alone one that belonged to Gene Kranz.

Mike Myer
Humboldt KS

divemaster
Member

Posts: 1361
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 12-15-2005 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm surprised that no one has grabbed the STS1 flown tile yet. That appears to be a real stand out item.

Loved the P Tube presentation!

A WHOLE lot of history on one page!

farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 903
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-16-2005 01:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Everyone,

That the response to Gene's memorabilia sale has created a "crush" of email and phone calls, is a huge understatement. Most items could have sold several times over. Gene and I expected a positive response to this sale but didn't anticipate so many items would be sold so very quickly.

Gene is thrilled and most apprecative to the many collectors who have supported this sale and speaking of appreciative, so is the Building Fund for True Cross Church where all proceeds are being directed.

Now as for me, well lets just say that for this holiday season, I'd most enjoy the gift of "rest" (lol), though doubt that this is in the cards. I've done my best to respond to phone calls and email but since they've easily numbered in the hundreds, it's taking some time.

I think that despite a few slip-ups, the lucky buyers all know who they are and those that weren't as lucky have been notified. In case you didn't know, orders have been accepted on a first come first served basis. I've been carefully monitoring the time of incoming phone calls and email to be as fair as possible. A number of additonal items (2-5 daily)are still being posted so keep stopping back. You just never know what you might find.

The above notwithstanding, I'm in discussions with Gene at this time and hoping to make an announcement quite shortly, regarding the Eugene F. Kranz Artifact Sale - Part Deux, so keep your fingers crossed.

Lastly, thanks to all who've taken the time to phone or email feedback on my newly redesigned site. I'm finding your comments most helpful and to that end, am using the information learned to make F.R., a space memorabilia website against which all others will be measured. In the days and weeks to come it will be loaded with new material in all catagories so please keep watching, ok? I'm also about to become a secure site so those of you wanting to use credit cards can do so without worry, by using an ordering link that I will provide.

I guess that's about it for now, so back to work for me . In the meantime, if anyone is having a hard time reaching me, please email and also leave a phone number as I'm finding in some cases my own email replies are being bounced.

Thanks again on behalf of Gene Kranz and myself, for helping to make this sale such a great success!

------------------
Steve Hankow http://www.farthestreaches.com

[This message has been edited by farthestreaches (edited December 16, 2005).]

spaceman1953
Member

Posts: 941
From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 12-16-2005 07:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And even though I was unable to participate, the fact that this money is going to Building Fund for True Cross Church is absolutely icing on the cake !

Mr. Krantz could have easily just pocketed the "profits" for him and his family....but did not !

Just one more reason our space heros are so very special to us.

Gene Bella
South Bend

RocketmanRob
Member

Posts: 255
From: New York City USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 12-16-2005 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RocketmanRob   Click Here to Email RocketmanRob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve-

A suggestion for the next round of Kranz items. The start time of the sale (10:00am EST)made viewing the items difficuly given I was at work at the time. I'm sure others working on the East coast may have encountered a similar challenge. I had to sneak a peak at the site and covertly send you an e-mail regarding an item during the middle of a meeting (still trying to find out if I was lucky enough to get the item). Luckily I didn't get caught. Perhaps you might consider putting the items up for sale on a weekend where more people could participate when the sale starts.

Just a thought. By the way, great job with the site.

Thanks,

Rob

farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 903
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-18-2005 03:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Rob,

Thanks for the feedback. Timing is always a difficult matter. Sale was launched at 7am for folks on the West Coast, so what is convenient for some is not, for others.

Would have launched on Saturday but couldn't make that deadline. Was posting Kranz items up until 2 hours prior to launch. Still, will probably shoot for a Saturday launch IF possible next time.

------------------
Steve Hankow
http://www.farthestreaches.com

farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 903
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-18-2005 03:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rob,

Please email me off list about your Kranz request.

steve

Moonpaws
Member

Posts: 685
From: Lee's summit, MO
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 12-18-2005 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I would email Steve, but since my email(s) have not been answered, I have to state my opinion here for the "many" to see. So Steve this isn't meant as a criticism of you personally because you are a really good guy, but perhaps for the second round a different approach could be utilized. I would like those who are disappointed with the first round post their opinion as well. I for one am part of the "working poor" and do not have deep pockets or all day to sit around the computer and use my clout or whatever to be the first in line for something. It would be fairer to all of us to do this by auction, so at least some of us would have a chance.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3609
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 12-18-2005 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This isn't a criticism at all, just a possible suggestion for a solution.

One idea is to go with software that allows the buyer to click the "order" button, fill out a form, and then that item is no longer listed as available once the form is complete and submitted (a little "sold" sign replaces the order button). It doesn't have to be a form that completes the purchase...but can simply be a form that submits the same information that the e-mail is required to submit. In fact, the form (when submitted) essentially is an e-mail.

That way Steve only has to deal with e-mails for items that have been "purchased." Right now I bet he is wading through two dozen e-mails for the same item, with many of those e-mails containing multiple item requests. So he probably then has to go through the e-mails on the first come basis, figure out what items were still available when the e-mail arrived, then ask the buyer if he/she still wants the one item or two that is still available, etc...all the while new e-mails are coming in requesting the same items.

Ideally, only one form for one item could be filled in at a time...so one buyer can't just snag up 20 items on a single form and later decide which ones he wants to keep. It would give everyone a fair shot at getting at least one item. Just put in a disclaimer that filling out the form is committal to buying the item. The first person to complete the form disables the form for others. So a second person filling out the form, if submitting a few seconds too late, would get a message saying "that item is no longer available."

Of course, the million dollar question is what software allows this...and I have to admit I don't know the answer. Spaceflori uses good ordering software. While his software sends the buyer to a payment window, it does remove the item from sale for other buyers. Of course, instead of removing the item entirely (since we all want to see what was sold), you just want to remove the "order" button.

It might be a small headache to perfect such a system (perhaps try using it with regular site items before using it on the Kranz Part 2 sale), but it might be a smaller headache than you're dealing with right now!

Good luck with Part 2!!

[This message has been edited by mjanovec (edited December 18, 2005).]

farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 903
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-18-2005 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All feedback is welcome and appreciated. The point made pertaining to multiple orders for same items is correct. At least 10 items received up to 15 orders each. I fielded over 700 phone calls/emails and they're still coming in.

Many of you know (though most others not) that I hold down a full time career AND Farthest Reaches (which by itself averages 60 hours per week) and have been since the beginning....and then there's the Sims/Hankow UACC events . Reason I mention this isn't to whine (though could use some "wine") but to explain why I am sometimes difficult to reach. Keep in mind that this sale is also needing to be managed along with the usual holiday "crush" of orders AND occurs at a time when I've spent countless hours totally revamping my website (largely in response to your feedback). Each of these are major undertakings unto themselves, let alone all happening at the same time.

Now that being said, I have a thought that I will implemenent the next time around. For those of you who know me, I'm actually quite easy to reach, as long as you know WHEN I'm most available. Fact is, given my being open for business almost 24/7, it's just a matter of knowing the following.

1. I'm best reached from 6pm to 12am during the week by calling the office phone # listed on my website.

2. On weekends, I can be reached all day and night on Saturday and Sunday. "Farthest Reaches never sleeps", is more of a fact than I'd care to admit.

3. I carry a cell phone and will often invite people to contact me at that number.

4. If you leave me a message, please let me know WHEN you can be reached and leave a home number as well, as the time difference can make it difficult to return calls during the narrow window of the work day.

5. I check my email many times each day though can't always repond instantly.

With respect to the above, for the most part all "winners" were notified within a reasonable period of time, and only a few holes or gaps where others were not reached accordingly were noted. The huge response to this sale could not have been anticipated.

With regard to the auction idea, it's not going to happen. I most certainly DON'T believe that the auction route ALWAYS benefits the "little guy" or is even a benifit at all, so be careful what you ask for. There are several reasons I'm leaning away from auction, though that being said, some pieces will most certainly be handled that way, either through ebay or an auction house.

Back to my original thought, I will post to my site, information pertaining to best times and days to contact me and that way, no one should have a tough time getting through. In fact, should anyone be needing to speak with me, I'm here for most (though not all) of the day and evening today.

As a final thought, in my opinion, there is NO other dealer more willing to be available to field calls and email as round the clock, 365 days per year. I'll actually answer the phone at hours when most of you are soundly asleep in your beds, and am happy to do it. In fact, much of my work takes into the wee hours. I don't mind this and as long as I so enjoy what I do, expect these odd hours will continue.

Again, my sincere thanks for everyone's support of this sale and hope those of you who didn't pick up something thus far will keep checking the site as other items remain and are being posted each day or two.


------------------
Steve Hankow http://www.farthestreaches.com

[This message has been edited by farthestreaches (edited December 18, 2005).]

fabfivefreddy
Member

Posts: 1067
From: Leawood, Kansas USA
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 12-18-2005 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve-

I enjoyed discussing space collectibles with you. Thanks for the great Kranz item. I look forward to receiving it. Hope to see more great items from you in upcoming weeks.

-Tahir

Leon Ford
Member

Posts: 309
From: Shreveport, LA, United States
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-18-2005 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leon Ford   Click Here to Email Leon Ford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sale vs Auction

I was out of town and away from my computer for the launch of the Kranz collection and didn't get to see the items until Thursday. I was able to purchase several of Kranz's badges by calling Steve. I prefer the out right sale instead of the auction. If these items had been offered for auction, I would have totally missed everything.

I also do not feel that you get a cheaper price by going through an auction format. Those with the deep pockets will bid whatever they need to to get an item.

We also do need to remember that there are a lot of items in our hobby that are priced for everyone. A lot of paper items, astronaut autographs and even flown items are available to everyone for a small fee. The items in Kranz's collection are in a little different catagory. I feel that the items that Steve has listed, while maybe in the upper range of the items worth, are at a fair price and I feel that these items will hold their value in the coming years.

Thanks to Steve for making these items available and easy to order!!

Leon

Moonpaws
Member

Posts: 685
From: Lee's summit, MO
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 12-18-2005 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great, Leon...

So for the 14 out of 15 people(per item) who thought it sufficient to choose to email vs CALL directly, our hats off to you. It's always easy to like the way things are done when it is in our favor.
I am now officially done with my whining.

[This message has been edited by Moonpaws (edited December 18, 2005).]

Leon Ford
Member

Posts: 309
From: Shreveport, LA, United States
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-18-2005 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leon Ford   Click Here to Email Leon Ford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Moonpaws..

I guess you just wanted to throw a punch at Steve and not have anyone else say anything. I called several days into the sale and was able to purchase some items I really wanted. There were a number of items I would have liked to have gotten, but they were already sold. That is just the way it works sometimes. I was happy with the service and the way the sale went and that is what I posted on.

Your post also seemed to make it sound that people who knew Steve or had some sort of "Clout" had a better chance of getting what they wanted early in the sale. I was just pointing out that I called 3 days into the sale and still got what I wanted. He didn't "hold" anything for me.

I didn't know I was doing anything different by calling the number on the web site instead of using e-mail. It sounds like both systems had a lot of people use them, I just happened to pick up the phone.

Leon

farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 903
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-18-2005 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moonpaws:
Great, Leon...

So for the 14 out of 15 people(per item) who thought it sufficient to choose to email vs CALL directly, our hats off to you. It's always easy to like the way things are done when it is in our favor.
I am now officially done with my whining.

[This message has been edited by Moonpaws (edited December 18, 2005).]



Actually Moonpaws, I don't consider your comments as "whining" at all though I do hear your frustration. Fact is I appreciate you're sharing your thoughts on this issue. Despite my thinking it was a very smooth process, it clearly wasn't without some glitches and to that end, your feedback will help me refine the process in round 2.

The only other thing I'd like to offer, is to say that the larger majority of those who DID make purchases, did so through email, without so much as a single telephone call. I mention this because you're somehow thinking that those who used the phone had an edge, and that just isn't the way it worked. Sales were made via phone OR email based upon the order your request was received, so it really didn't matter which method you used.

Now, as I did earlier, I invite you again to contact me off list. I'd like to speak with you by phone...lol. Seriously, have something I'd like to discuss with you, if you're game. 310.791.4800


------------------
Steve Hankow http://www.farthestreaches.com

[This message has been edited by farthestreaches (edited December 18, 2005).]

divemaster
Member

Posts: 1361
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 12-19-2005 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll speak out of turn and address Steve's software issue.

The "problem" as it exists now is that Steve has a TON of items for sale - much more so than Florian. Each item would need it's own code for its own shopping cart. That is a very time consuming and very expensive proposition [especially when the proceeds are going to charity].

Also, people wanting to buy items often fall through and/or there are questions that need asking and answering. A sold sign would be posted while everything is still in Limbo - and there's not an easy way to flag who was second, third or forth in line. At least if you're not #1, your card isn't being charged or "held" until you hear something. This also gives collectors a chance to use payment other than credit cards and not lose their place in line.

Just my two yen.

[FWIW, this was seriously considered during the revamp process of the site. Remember, Steve writes the code for all of the content on the site. Adding a shopping cart for each item would quadruple [at least] his coding time]

Larry McGlynn
Member

Posts: 807
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 12-19-2005 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve,

I am personally upset that you wouldn't take my Wal-Mart charge card as I get air miles with every purchase.

Larry

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3609
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 12-19-2005 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by divemaster:
I'll speak out of turn and address Steve's software issue.

The "problem" as it exists now is that Steve has a TON of items for sale - much more so than Florian. Each item would need it's own code for its own shopping cart. That is a very time consuming and very expensive proposition [especially when the proceeds are going to charity].

[FWIW, this was seriously considered during the revamp process of the site. Remember, Steve writes the code for all of the content on the site. Adding a shopping cart for each item would quadruple [at least] his coding time]


You make some really good points...and I can see a good reason for not doing it with that many items being up for sale.

Whatever the case, it sounds like a lot of work no matter what, so my hat is off to everyone who invests time to run these sites (and facillitate these sales from astronauts and other NASA personnel). I know a lot of people will have some really nice Kranz memorabilia in their collection now, thanks to Steve.

By the way, I wonder what offers have been received for the white vest...

spaceflori
Member

Posts: 1393
From: Germany
Registered: May 2000

posted 12-20-2005 01:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just as an idea for Steve...

I use OSCommerce shopping software which is FREE of charge as it's open source. Installation etc. is not tough and it offers all the things you need to run a shop.
It's not perfect, but it works perfectly !

Actually once installed it saves you a LOT of time, easy payment functions and so on.

I'd seriously recommend that to Steve.
The only trouble is to custommake it to your design needs, that's where you pay some bucks to an agency. But the startdesign isn't bad either and there are tons of free modules and designs available on the net as it's all OPENSOURCE !

I also had the trouble with my old website when a ton of people ordered a ton of the same items, absolutely time consuming....

best regards
Florian

------------------
Flown artifacts, autographs and more !
www.spaceflori.com

farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 903
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-20-2005 03:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to all for your comments but will let my web designer make those decisions. As it stands, Farthest Reaches is far superior in every way, as a result of his efforts. I'm still a busy bee, but all is under control.

On another note, wanted to mention that orders for the Kranz artifacts are now being shipped, with mugs being the first items to be processed.

Lastly Flo, how are the spices holding out? Heard I might be receiving an order sometime soon

------------------
Steve Hankow http://www.farthestreaches.com

[This message has been edited by farthestreaches (edited December 20, 2005).]

spaceflori
Member

Posts: 1393
From: Germany
Registered: May 2000

posted 12-20-2005 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nah, guess we have some spices left at the moment, count me in for another order before the grill season starts again !

Florian

------------------
Flown artifacts, autographs and more !
www.spaceflori.com

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