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NYt Op-Ed Piece On Stamp Collecting

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 09/30/2017   01:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Sounds like the author was trying to sell a childhood stamp collection with common stamps, so it's not surprising he didn't get much of an offer. He talks mostly about the hobby dying without delving into how the internet has changed things, etc. Anyway, not too often we see articles about the hobby in regular media, and it seems when we do, it's usually not a good picture...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/...-left-region®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0




Quote:
Silver Spring, Md. — I got rid of my stamp collection the other day. It was no great loss from a monetary standpoint. The emotional loss, though, was enormous.

There was a time when my collection might have fetched a good amount, because there was a time when people cared about stamps. They used them to mail bills, letters and postcards, and in the process paid attention to what was on them. You didn't have to be a collector to value the beautiful, quirky and rare.


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Posted 09/30/2017   02:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dry Tech to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"There was a time when my collection might have fetched a good amount".

Looking at his photo of his collection, well, sorry pal that time was never.
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Posted 09/30/2017   05:58 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
More bad logic by using APS membership declines to conclude that the hobby is dying. How does the success/failure of a single organization to stay relevant to it's members have anything to do with the overall health of the hobby?

How ironic that the article mentions eMAIL. So instead of noting that the internet is simply the next generation postal system he acts like it is an alien invader which has abducted the hobby.

I wish someone would find a metric which would accurately reflect the state of the hobby. We can't use the number of catalogs sold, we can't use the number of albums sold; both of these metrics have been influenced by the internet.

We need multiple metrics including some that capture how the hobby has transition online. It is time to stop saying that automobile travel is dying because the number of wooden covered bridges is declining.
Don
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Posted 09/30/2017   06:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, it's the NYT, so you were expecting real news coverage? I know it is an Op-Ed, but the editors choose what they like.

Important omission of any piece supposing to assess the state of stamp collecting.

eBay.

Basil
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Posted 09/30/2017   06:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Moyock13 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
At least for this forum, what's the growth rate? Is there an increase in membership?

Since an overall growth rate assumption can be based on a small control group polling. Would it make sense that membership growth or decline on this forum could indicate the overall "state of the hobby"?

Just sayin!
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Posted 09/30/2017   06:46 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just like the APS, this forum could have membership increases and decreases for many reasons which have nothing to do with the general health of the hobby.

Competition is a big factor here. Has the number of brick and mortar stamp stores declined? Yes. But is this because probably due to the advent of online selling vs a general decline of the hobby.

Has APS membership declined? Yes. But is this because probably due to ability of hobbyists to connect to the hobby online for free.

If 10 new stamp forums opened next month then this forum might see a drop in membership; but it does not mean the entire hobby is declining.
Don
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Posted 09/30/2017   06:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Moyock13 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yea, I can see your point. Difficult to pinpoint any growth rate without some sort of metric.

I for one am trying doing my part. I've built starter stamp kits for my Grand Babies. They showed an interest and love to help me "count" the stamps in my collection. So, now they have a base. Understanding that initially the kit may find it's way into the closet or under the bed, but the hope is that in later years the planted seed will flourish.

Starting with Batman and Wonder Woman stamps doesn't seem like much, but it really catches their attention.

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Posted 09/30/2017   07:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
APS has completed a survey of member dealers and it will be interesting to hear what conclusions are made from that. The real endangered species are dealers that frequent shows who have to foot the bill for most of the show expenses. There are a number of dealers who have set up shop on the internet but can be hard to find.
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Al
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Posted 09/30/2017   08:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wtcrowe to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The fact that Maryland Stamp and Coin suggested donation to a Veterans organization means it was a childhood like collection with most likely a commercial value of under $50.00. It sounds like he never bought any stamps and is disappointed that the rate of return on $0 is zero.
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Posted 09/30/2017   10:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is the NYTimes. Enough said.
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Posted 09/30/2017   11:20 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So is anyone going to write in a rebuttal pointing out all the erroneous conclusions in the editorial?
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Posted 09/30/2017   11:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ah, metrics.

One important direct benefit of membership in the APS is the monthly magazine.

Q/ How's the print magazine business doing?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 10/01/2017   06:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You see it all time...people posting here saying they inherited collection and think because a stamp in 100 years old it must be valuable. Most are disappointed. This person got their gripe published as an Op ed piece in the NYT. The positive view of collecting by the general public has declined. This may be what attracted the NYT to publish it.
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Al
Edited by angore - 10/01/2017 06:13 am
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Posted 10/01/2017   07:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am surprised they did not blame stamp collectings "problems" on the Russians or climate change.
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Posted 10/01/2017   10:08 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nah, everyone knows that the decline in stamp collecting is Trump's fault.

#makestampcollectinggreatagain

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Posted 10/01/2017   10:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Revenuecollector - Thank you for that belly laugh! I spit coffee all over my cat when I read it. Excellent.
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