Has anyone tried, or have an opinion (did I say that?) on stamp management software?
As those of you who have followed any of my posts know, I've been at this less than a year. I'm pretty lucky in what I inherited. I started with what I knew was a fairly sizable US classic and contemporary collection to 2000. That has led me down the path and I've found the embossed /cut corners /postal stationary niche. This weekend, began a book of world 1840 ending at 1922-26. So, now there are FDC, topicals, perfins,precancels and BoB. :) Can one stop?
I started scanning everything because I wanted to know what I had before I started winnowing out what I know I don't want. I'm @ 2.5GB and have yet to really make a dent. And I'm still, with few exceptions, back where I was originally. I have little idea of what stamp numbers I have, or what they are valued.
So, maybe I watched too much CSI? but isn't there a software which will allow one to scan in a stamp, seach the database, and then provide one a reasonable list of ID alternatives and possible values? If there isn't shouldn't we build it?
Has anyone tried StampManage Deluxe 2010 Software? or is there a better one? What are the up and down sides.
Quote: So, now there are FDC, topicals, perfins,precancels and BoB. :) Can one stop?
Absolutely a waste of time, for every minute you will try to categorise and value, the time spent on your collection will suffer.
Specialists like Tony Mac keep a relevant and up to date value spreadsheet, but his collection is highly specialised and I would guess, his pertinent interest is watching stamps above $10 or so.
Your scans should be identified using your catalogue of choice, and I assume scott. That will keep them in at least in order.
I don't see any worth in valuing stamps or stationery that are min value. Certainly log any material you have and set a limit say over $50? $75? That way you can manage observance, auctions and trends.
That's just my take as a collector of worldwide, If you do find something that you feel is valuable in time spent and advantage rich, I would like to hear about it.
I simply use an excel spreadsheet. It was time intensive to setup but the maintenance is a whiz. I have never tried any stamp management software but have heard that they don't handle specialized varieties well. Since my collection is highly specialized varieties comprise a significant part of my collection.
Google Docs A simple spreadsheet is enough work in itself but at some point you'll just have to bite the bullet and go through a catalogue. If you organise some of your collection like my USA one by colour or topic you don't have to worry about any of that technical nonsense just appreciate the stamps in your own way.
I have StampManage (2009). I use it to keep a record of my U.S. collection so I know what I've got, what I need etc. I also keep a record of how much I paid for every stamp, who I bought it from and date of purchase (you can have as much detail as you like or just basic info listed for each stamp.) The values listed are not the Scott values, but their own "market value" that they have derived themselves, usually similar to Scott. It lists values for various conditions, so you just check the boxes (Mint VF, Used fine etc) and also has values for FDC, line pairs, plate blocks etc. For U.S. it includes all BOB, so postal stationary, Duck stamps etc. For other countries it has basic BOB, like airmail and Postage Due.
You can't scan a stamp and have it identified, but there is a stamp identifier where you type in some details (denom, colour, text on the stamp etc and it will list matches.) I find it easier to have a catalogue and just type in the Scott number however. You can also just scroll through the data base.
I would probably recommend this software only if you're a "collect one of each" type collector, and it's much stronger for U.S. and Canada than for other countries. I started to include my Australian State (Victoria) collection, but found the database way too simplified so gave that up. For U.S. it includes all Scott numbers including sub-numbers (eg 121a) and some major varieties (eg it has the "Broken Hat" 2c Columbus) but not shade variations (unless the shade is listed with it's own Scott number.) It does have the ability to add in new stamps and variations, so if you wanted to add a shade or error that's possible. A fair bit of work though to do so repeatedly. It also lets you include how many copies of a stamp you have. It lets you assign topic fields to a stamp so you can run reports on topicals, you can also include any postmark data or cachet etc. Pretty much any detail you want recorded can be.
I love the software because it suits my needs as a collector of U.S. Of course I had the advantage that I bought the software when I started collecting U.S., so I've only had to add them in as I buy them, I didn't have to log a huge collection. I think the software would suit someone who likes to be organised, likes recording detail (perhaps is a bit anal like myself, haha.) Probably not great for a World Wide collector.
Happy to answer any other questions you have about it.
EZStamp is the way to go.. And if you have a win7 64bit OS wait a month, the new version is coming out. EZstamp is the most complete stamp database of all of them, it also contains the most images. I tried the 3 major ones and EZStamp is the best.
BTW.. the StampManage website.. he shut down the help section because too many people were complaining about his software.
I'm spinning my wheels and not becoming much of a collector of anything. I can't collect until I understand what I have. I'm still just trying to figure out how to sell what I don't want without missing something important... which no one, in this day and time, can afford. Good will means a lot, but I can't afford to give away "that once in a lifetime" stamp or cover, because I did not recognize it and someone took advantage.
Unlike some of our "friends" on eBay, I'm willing to do the homework... and, in the process, have recognized some of the wonderful things my Grandfather and Mom collected, and come to wish they had spent more time on... Just not my niche.
Everyone seems to agree that FDC's, with or without ArtCraft pages (of which there are inches)which go with covers I have yet to merge, are pretty much a dime a dozens and I've multiple dozens to divest.
I know I don't want to carry them forward. But they sit in my closet... calling my name. I need to scan, get a price, catalog and move on. If you have an easier way, please, SHARE! Maybe I should just bite proveribal FDC cover and Art Craft kilo?
I took a look at Daryl's EZ and the other major competition. I can craft an excel spreadsheet with the best of them, thanks and (since one cannot validate excel..., well/ SQL offers possibilities) But, I need pictures. EZ offers depth of content, in that for US. and Balf's StampManage offers a better pricepoint for some of the things I need to expand to.
That all makes perfect sense, good luck with your search, keep us posted on what you encounter /try / use. It would be a point of interest for all, I would imagine.
There is one alternative, which appeals to my own hoarding instinct. Why divest? If money/space is not an object, box up, seal, use a few chips of napthaflakes nearby and place out of eye view. Once divested you can never get them back.
Rod, et al, I guess feel this way because, I truly, don't want some things. I don't understand why collect the same pieces over and over, in FDC and plate blocks and sheets and canceled. Move on, spend some of that buying the rarer piece from some other interest... Sorry.
Unlike my ancestors, to hoard a collection, just to say one owns it, is somehow... unjust? I don't believe that he who dies with the most ... wins. I see no justification in owning something which lives in a darkened closet for decades, only to be rediscovered by someone like me, and then be banished to some closet for more decades. Treasures need light, polish and some appreciation, or somehow, the lessons are lost and the treasure, tainted.
Collections - are, by my opinion, to be enjoyed and passed from one generation to another. Maybe some who "hoard" are doing that. But in my very humble opinion, if it is stuffed in a box, and doesn't see the light of day, and no one knows it is there, then it is no real enjoyment or use to anyone. Life's gifts should be better spent by being disbursed among those who share an appreciation of not only life, source and effort, to collect and preserve, but of the knowledge and history of who they were.
When you bury, you do not know what civilization will "rediscover" or (re)-interpret you or your motives. My understanding would have been far more sensitive, if someone had bothered to discuss what they had earlier on instead of hiding in secret. B<edit> sorry really off on an emotional tangent here... Dunno why. But maybe truth, is outside the edge of the coin or in the glue of the stamp? Sometimes it comes and bites you. Sometimes the Gods smile.
Barb, Any FDC's that you have that ARE NOT from some company just pumping them out by the billions, you should always take a close look at. Because you never know when one of those stamps maybe an error stamp. Some errors weren't found until long after the stamp was used.
I have reviewed the 3 major stamp collecting software packages. StampManage deluxe is cheaper in price. However, the amount of images is very small compared to EZStamps. The data in SM is full of errors, some of it just plain wrong. After entering 10 stamps in the software I found 4 of them had bad, missing, incomplete and wrong data. The pricing is what the decide to put in it. and most countries are missing.
EZStamp, for USA and Canada is complete. The number of images is astounding, when cataloging your stamps you hardly ever need to reference the scott catalog. This is the scott catalog in the software. The suggested prices are about 10% higher then what I normally see, but also more accurate when it comes to real world sales. The ease of use of the software is much better then anything else. I have been beta testing the new version and it is so far above the current version it is great. The new version lets you assign values by grade if you like. If you buy the current version you get an upgrade to the new version. and if you mention my name in the order form you get another 10% off.