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APS Membership - Worth It?  
 

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Posted 10/12/2017   10:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add lokus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Now that I'm getting into collecting I was wondering if it'd be worth my money to join APS. I found some older threads discussing this topic but nothing too recent. Is it worth joining for the price, especially someone newer to collecting? I already have plans to attend my local club so I plan on learning a lot there and meeting other local members. Thanks!
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Edited by lokus - 10/12/2017 10:39 am

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Posted 10/12/2017   10:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My answer would be yes. APS has something to offer most any collector located in the US. You can see the list of benefits on the APS website (the American Philatelist magazine, access to a stamp insurance program, access to sales circuits, more favorable pricing at the APS StampStore and access to the store as a seller, expertizing, library resources, educational programming, new collector resources, more) but I'd say that the intangibles are just as important - your local stamp club is likely an APS chapter, and APS connects you to other collectors around the country and elsewhere. APS membership provides you with credibility to other members and to dealers.

I've been a member for 25 years. The experiences I've had with APS and the friends I've made through APS can't be duplicated.

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76 Posts
Posted 10/12/2017   11:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EdziuMM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
By all means do your local club & see if it helps you in your collecting interests. It may have auctions and/or circuit books to buy from; you may find traders there. And you certainly will find helpful knowledge there -- even about your APS question, too.

Whether APS is worth the investment has to do entirely with what you're trying to accomplish in philately. Check its promotional materials to get an idea about that. APS membership is certainly not mandatory for most of us cllectors.

Don't forget, too, that there are organizations you might want to join that specialize in your philatelic specialty.

I once belonged to APS and benefited from its sales circuits, but after retiring I decided that I'd rather spend the dues money on stamps.
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Posted 10/12/2017   11:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi lokus. I went and read your introductory post. Like you, many of us collected some as kids, and came back to the hobby later in life. Myself included.

From your posts, it looks like you are looking for ways to learn about stamps, and how to get started. The local stamp club is a great start.

The APS produces a very good monthly magazine, which I think would be a good thing for someone like yourself, to get a broader view of both stamps and the world of organized philately. If you haven't already, I'd encourage you to go browse around the APS home page at:

https://www.stamps.org/
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Posted 10/12/2017   11:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lokus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What are sales circuits? And I love commemorative sets, I wonder if a specialized group exists for those.
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Posted 10/12/2017   11:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kirks to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Visit the APS website provided by txstamp: https://www.stamps.org/

Also, check out the posts in this forum area: http://goscf.com/f/55
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Posted 10/12/2017   11:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Arrows2Atoms to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I started collecting in 1991 and joined the APS in 2004. When I joined, I did it almost out of patriotic duty to the hobby, just to be a "card carrying member." The learning and friends I have made at APS functions has been priceless. I would argue that the cost of yearly dues you will get back with just the monthly journal. Best decision I ever made in my philatelic career.
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Posted 10/12/2017   11:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add centerstage98 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I cannot read a story in The American Philatelist (pub. by the APS) without learning something! Well worth the money.
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Posted 10/12/2017   12:09 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I vacillate every year whether or not I should renew. If I were an exhibitor or 'not-online' collector than APS membership becomes much more relevant to me; it would be how I would connect to the hobby. But since I am currently not either of those and now mostly interface with the hobby online; APS membership is much less relevant to me. I am also bothered by politics, bureaucracy, and lack of technical competencies of an organization that is supposed to be leading our hobby.

For example, we have Richard Frajola leading the way with online exhibiting. We have a APS website and APS Store which are in great need of an overhaul. We have virtually no archived APRL content available for real-time purchase and download. We have no virtual tours of the new facilities. We have little multimedia support for shows and seminars. And when APS does look into these things we hear the same feedback 'we have little money and it would take $100k+ to do this'.

So my recommendation is to consider how you connect with the hobby.
Don
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Posted 10/12/2017   12:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ddreisba to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As long as I can breathe and see and afford it, I will pay APS my dues. I have never met anyone through the APS or been to any meetings, because it's too hard for me to travel. But the APS supports the hobby and tries to get younger people involved. I think it is a sort of moral duty. I liked the earlier comment about being a "card carrying member." I'm part of it; I ought to be a member. For similar reasons, I support the American Diabetes Association.

Don
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4731 Posts
Posted 10/12/2017   12:17 pm  Show Profile Check Petert4522's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree fully with ddreaisba above!

Peter
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Posted 10/12/2017   1:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add HungaryForStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes
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Posted 10/12/2017   1:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you are really "getting into collecting" then yes, it is worth it. The articles in the monthly journal are high quality, and while they will not all be of interest I find that almost any month there is something of interest. And a very nice benefit is access to the APRL -- the research library. As you find yourself getting even more "into" collecting at some point you are likely going to find yourself doing research, and coming across references to books or publications you don't have. The research library is very helpful. Several times I've had them copy articles for me. They send me a PDF (often several), tell me what the cost for copying is, and I send them a check. Notice: they don't wait on the check. If you are a member, they trust you, and send you the material without waiting for you to pay. Great service, and great benefit.

The monthly magazine is also a good resource on when and where stamp shows and exhibits are taking place. Going to stamp shows, browsing the exhibits, and checking out what the dealers have in your area of collecting is time well spent.

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Posted 10/12/2017   1:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Renden to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
APS serves Americans very well - I am a member (as Canadian),but do not have access to circuits and I will not renew next year - Have joined Canadian Associations (ex: Royal Canadian Philathelic Society).
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Posted 10/12/2017   3:32 pm  Show Profile Check kcaramat's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add kcaramat to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not worth it, in my opinion


Quote:
Your opinion would be worth more if you would explain why.


You are correct, I should gave some explanation.

I have belonged to the APS several different times over the years. It seemed like the right thing to do, "to support the hobby" However forty or fifty dollars a year is not an insignificant amount of money.

Unless you live near the headquarters, the face of the organization is their monthly publication. It would arrive, and with anticipation I would scan the pages. Pages and pages of advertisements! An article about a new issue from Toga Toga but seldom any thing of substance. Oh, it was pretty but I wanted something to sink my teeth into. After a while when it arrived it found it's way straight to the trash. It was a constant reminder of what I was not getting for my 40 or 50 bucks.

When the time came for dues, I would struggle with it. But finally, "help to support the hobby" would win and I would send a check. Then monthly came The Philatelist, to remind me why I shouldn't have.

Then I found out I could belong and choose not to receive the publication. What a great choice! Go out to the restaurant and choose not to eat.

I guess what I'm saying, I was trying to "support the hobby" but the face of the hobby (APS) was not supporting me.

My 40 or 50 dollars was better spent belonging to other specialty stamp groups that actually shared information I was truly interested in. Without the constant bombardment of ads and unsolicited mailings from stamp dealers and auction houses.

Why did I not explain it from the beginning? Why bother ? From most of the comments here, most of you are not going to change, and neither will the APS!




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Edited by kcaramat - 10/13/2017 05:05 am
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Posted 10/12/2017   3:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Not worth it, in my opinion


Your opinion would be worth more if you would explain why.
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