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James Lee Article In Linn's On The Hobby

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Posted 07/15/2017   08:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add angore to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
http://www.linns.com/news/us-stamps...forward.html

Dealer James E. Lee comments about the hobby:

On traditional stamp shows:

"Without a unique reason to attend people, can just stay home and shop online for stamps and postal history.

Dealers who have built their business model around a website and the Internet are flourishing today."

He talks about traditional social interaction especially for dealer but fails to note forums like SCF are 24x7 interaction.

He continues with getting engaged with APS and ASDA which is more about preserving the status quo and less about fully exploiting the technology that is driving the changes in the hobby.

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Edited by angore - 07/15/2017 08:54 am

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Posted 07/15/2017   09:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
JIM LEE says "believes it's time for collectors and dealers alike to embrace the change.....of the digital age."-------Oh my Gosh !! Boy did I screw up . I did that back in 2001-2003 and sold tons of duplicates and all the bulk boxes of stamps on eBay .
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Posted 07/15/2017   09:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know if I totally agree with him on this... "Dealers who have built their business model around a website and the Internet are flourishing today."

The big guys are but the mom-n-pop shops that I have relationships with, which are or have converted their business model to the internet are still struggling. In part this is due to a mindset/technology set problem as many of them don't truly understand the internet and internet marketing. I know several which have failed in recent years despite a switch to the internet. I think the strong will always survive, those that can adapt and are large enough to begin with. The small guy with few resources and understanding are still going to struggle and many fail.

I agree that he is missing a few key points and may be over stating others... I know he's trying to paint an up-beat picture of the hobby and I hope he's right. I have two kids who collect now, still working on the others but I don't see the internet having as much to do with that as I do. Kids need someone to mentor them and get them interested.. that's not going to happen magically because eBay has a lot of stamp ads on it.

So, the moral of my rant... those that are young enough, go find a girl, marry her and make lots of new stamp collectors. Those that are too old to start all that up (again), start with your grand kids and or nephews/nieces. That's how the hobby perpetuates. My father saw a moderate interest I had and guided it; I've been collecting since 1972. His uncle did the same for him. Now it's our turn.

Over the past 20 years, I've been successful with two of my kids and one of a former co-worker's kids. Maybe that's not a lot but 3's better than none. I've tripled my "philatelic footprint". I'm not done yet. Now that half of our kids are married and off on their own, I'm looking forward to having lots of grandchildren (aka prospective collectors) in the coming years.

Don't push. With my daughter I interested her via my work on the family tree. My son was interested partly due to my collection but also because of the civil war and our visits to battlegrounds in the area. My co-worker's son was interested in foreign stamps because of the traveling his father did while in the service.

In these cases I took excess stamps and even a few out of my collection to get them started as a gift. The ones from me seemed to mean a little extra to them, particularly since a few of them were also from my fathers collection. I remember the same feeling when my father gave me his.

The upcoming eclipse traversing the US coast to coast and thermo-reactive USPS stamps being released for it are an opportunity.

By all means exploit the internet as children today are going to naturally gravitate to it, so show them some of the resources it has to offer collectors of all experience levels and interests.

It's up to us.

Not a sermon, just an opinion.
Jeff
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Posted 07/15/2017   09:56 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Imagine someone 1935 saying they, 'believe it's time for everyone to embrace the change.....of the automobile age'. Gee, ya think? The internet has been an obvious paradigm shift since 1995. I understand that the hobby might not have embraced it for the first 5-10 years; but it has been over 25 years. I am not sure how to describe this, it is far beyond the term 'slow adoption'. I guess folks can fill in their own adjective.
Don

Edit: the hobby has clearly transitioned to online. Like virtually every other hobby and many industries, the availability of material exploded when everyone began using the internet to sell; this drove a major adjustment in prices.

The only reason doomsayers are whining about the state of the hobby is that they are change adverse. They only look at traditional things like stamp show attendance, decline of brick and mortars, declining membership numbers in clubs and organizations.

Many clubs and organizations simply missed the boat and resisted change; they would rather not invest in online resources but rather sit and watch as they cling to their legacy 'we charge for access to any info' approach. Why would anyone think that competing with the entire internet is a good approach?

But there are some excellent examples of how the hobby is actually quite healthy. The US Classics Society is a great example of an organization that knows how to take advantage of the internet with a good site. They offer lots of free access to good info, but also promote their membership value.

This forum is another good example of the value of the internet for our hobby. And I know that Stamp Smarter traffic has explode over the last few years.

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Posted 07/15/2017   2:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Old paradigm: The fewer people who have access to information the more valuable that information is.

New web-driven paradigm: The more people who have access to information the more valuable (revenue-generating) that information is.
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Posted 07/15/2017   2:51 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Information wants to be free. It typically costs more to limit access information than to have it freely available. (For example; safes, locks, secured rooms.) Even at the human level, people generally have to work harder to limit access to info. (For example, sharing is easier than trying to keep a secret.)
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Posted 07/16/2017   11:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Further on Jim Lee's column:

He makes no distinction between "stamp show" and "stamp bourse," but there is an important difference. The dealer bourse does indeed seem to be heading for extinction as has the storefront shop in the face of online retailing, but the "PEX" shows that feature exhibits, information sessions, society meetings etc. are another matter. These events offer much more than just dealer sales, and this extra offering has no online equivalent. As Don says, the hobby as a whole is way behind in transitioning its information base online, so the awesome exhibits, for example, that are presented at national shows can only be seen in person. Philately has far too few resources like Stampsmarter and the USPCS electronic library.

It is undeniable that the commercial side of philately went digital long ago, and it appears to be quite robust. But I'm not sure that Jim's conclusion based thereon that "there is no shortage of new collectors" follows. The fact that he has gained 200 new clients via his web presence does not mean that these are new collectors. I don't think we have any good data on the entry rate of collectors into the hobby. Traditional measures like membership in philatelic organizations are not helpful in this regard. The answer lies somewhere in the anonymous Internet universe.
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Posted 07/16/2017   12:01 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What surprises me is the level of resistance that still remains after all this time. Dudley raises a good point, very little progress has been made for bringing the stamp show and seminar experience online. Typical excuses have been floated; 'it is too expensive', 'we don't have the resources'. etc. But I think the reasoning is based more upon fear. Fear of change, fear of 'robbing' the legacy profit centers, fear of trying of establish a new set of profit centers, fear of failure.
Don
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Posted 07/17/2017   9:59 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The only reason doomsayers are whining about the state of the hobby is that they are change adverse


Only???
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Posted 04/20/2018   03:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steevh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A great example of a stamp dealer that tried to embrace change via the Internet and totally failed is Stanley Gibbons in the UK. They bankrupted themselves trying to develop an online presence, as clearly they had no idea what they were doing.
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Posted 04/20/2018   06:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I thought one of SG's biggest mistakes was believing that stamps were a safe investment for value increase.
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Al
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Posted 04/20/2018   06:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steevh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Angore, you think SG believed their own hype about stamp investment? Then they really would be crazy!!
I thought that was just a way to milk the non-stamp-savvy.

SG also prints the catalogues, so surprise, surprise, the stamps they invest your money in show reliable increases every year, despite being totally out of whack with the real world prices eg. Queen Victoria Jubilee set, Seahorse 2/6 value used.
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Posted 04/20/2018   11:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, just like Kols thought there was a huge market for autographs and space stuff.
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Al
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Posted 10/23/2018   11:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 91stang to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
great read! If you want to know the 'entry' into the hobby, lets ask the APS on new members in the , lets say, the last six months-oh wait they would have to be 'into' stamps prior to taking the next step into APS membership. They would have to be 'exposed' to the hobby-I think the web exposes 'maybe' collectors to options, options they would have if a stamps show was fours hours from home..
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Posted 12/21/2018   2:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add john1959 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
the fear is it will be successful
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Posted 12/21/2018   5:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Is philately more of a "profit center" or hobby to you? The hobby will endure on line and in the flesh - as long as there are stamps and people put them on letters. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee this quaint practice will continue many more generations?
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Edited by hoosierboy - 12/21/2018 5:58 pm
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