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Amos, You Infuriate Me

 
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Posted 05/14/2019   1:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add apastuszak to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I noticed that Amos recently removed their catalog app from the app store. I sent Amos an email this morning and they confirmed that the app has been "retired" and has been "replaced" by the web site.

I figured that was OK, since the eCatalog doesn't offer offline access anyway.

So, my next question for Amos was, how do I get the website to show full screen on my iPad. They send me back a screen shot of where the "full Screen" button is.

Send an email back that I don't see that button on my iPad, and I just got an email back that "full screen" is only available on a PC, and I can choose to pinch and zoom on the iPad if I so choose.

Considering the fact that I have a monitor connected to my PC, I really don't need full screen there. Where I do need it, is on my tablet.

This company just totally doesn't get digital, does it?

Even their ordering process is archaic. I should be able to go to their website and use some kind of "wizard" to select a year and a country and then be able to order those pages and download a sample PDF of one page. But instead, I need to scroll through pages and pages or do a search.
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Free Ukrainian Stamp Album and modified Mystic Stamp Album Pages - http://www.stamphacks.com


Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society Member #1212: http://www.upns.org
Eire Philatelic Association Member #2869: http://www.eirephilatelicassoc.org/

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Posted 05/14/2019   2:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Speaking only from a philatelic perspective, I do some amount of business on line. This includes bidding and paying for an occasional auction lot and using the APS Stamp Store.

Otherwise, being a stamp collector, I support use of stamps whenever possible. I order from Amos once or twice a year via regular order forms. I complete one and send it off via regular mail.
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Posted 05/14/2019   4:17 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Apparently even the 'old school' is not immune from problems. In another forum today I read that Volume 2B (2020 ed.) of the hardcopy Scott catalog has the last 60 pages are printed upside down and in reverse order.

Sounds like they will exchange them if you send them back (not sure who pays the postage).
Don
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Posted 05/14/2019   9:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In the software world, pretty much everything is going to a subscription model. That's really what they need to do - full online access available via a monthly/yearly subscription, with real time updates to prices and new issues. If they did that, I'd sign up in a heartbeat, until then I'll keep buying used editions and pages only of the handful of countries I want to stay up to date with.
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Posted 05/14/2019   10:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
In the software world, pretty much everything is going to a subscription model. That's really what they need to do - full online access available via a monthly/yearly subscription, with real time updates to prices and new issues. If they did that, I'd sign up in a heartbeat, until then I'll keep buying used editions and pages only of the handful of countries I want to stay up to date with.


Though I agree that I would pay for a subscription if they did listing updates as new stamps came out, I fear Amos will do something stupid. A complete 2020 set costs $630. I guarantee you that Amos would expect to charge $53 a month for access.

The most I'd be willing to pay is MAYBE $10/month. But for $10/month I would expect an actual database, full offline access, access to Linn's, and some collection management software.

Amos could actually build a community. Offer a catalog, a collection manager, forums, a wiki, Linn's, and some other features, and you have something nice that stamp collectors might subscribe to.
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Free Ukrainian Stamp Album and modified Mystic Stamp Album Pages - http://www.stamphacks.com


Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society Member #1212: http://www.upns.org
Eire Philatelic Association Member #2869: http://www.eirephilatelicassoc.org/
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Posted 05/15/2019   3:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CL_Arctos to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
51studebaker, I just checked my 2020 2B Scott Catalogue and thankfully everything was in the correct order and orientation. Probably just a few goofs here and there. For how much these catalogs cost I would hope so anyway, otherwise their quality control department is severely lacking.
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Posted 05/15/2019   5:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Amos will not go from a say $400 net per year revenue model to a $120 revenue model.The majority if the cost in the book price is not the printed book.
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Posted 05/15/2019   7:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Amos' digital strategy is completely inconsistent. On the one hand they only support "full screen" on a PC but to read Linn's digitally you must have an iPad. How does this make sense?

Dumb question, but does Chrome on an iPad help? I very quickly learned to hate Safari and stopped using it long ago.
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Posted 05/15/2019   8:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Chrome on the iPad does not help, because all browsers on iOS are forced to use the Safari rendering engine.
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Free Ukrainian Stamp Album and modified Mystic Stamp Album Pages - http://www.stamphacks.com


Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society Member #1212: http://www.upns.org
Eire Philatelic Association Member #2869: http://www.eirephilatelicassoc.org/
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Posted 05/15/2019   8:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Amos will not go from a say $400 net per year revenue model to a $120 revenue model.The majority if the cost in the book price is not the printed book.


Well, from me they have a $0.00/year revenue model right now. They have a chance to get $120/year out of me. I wonder if they could make up in volume what they lose in per unit sales.

I would love to see a breakdown per country of what Scott catalog users collect. Does it make sense for Scott to spend time and money to catalog countries that no one has any interest in? In 2019, do we still need a Scott worldwide catalog, or can Scott just choose to do North America, and leave the rest of the world to other catalog makers?

Does anyone still keep a collection of worldwide current issues? Could anyone even afford to do it?
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Free Ukrainian Stamp Album and modified Mystic Stamp Album Pages - http://www.stamphacks.com


Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society Member #1212: http://www.upns.org
Eire Philatelic Association Member #2869: http://www.eirephilatelicassoc.org/
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Posted 05/16/2019   08:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BwanaBob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good point. They could offer country subcatalogues, with varying prices depending on popularity; much the same way that some (maybe all) baseball teams charge more for tickets against a "popular" rival. US collectors are going to pay top dollar, Andorra collectors, probably much less, much to their delight.
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Posted 05/16/2019   08:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Another idea is for Scott to emulate Gibbons and provide a catalog set with a cut-off date in time. Perhaps 1840 to 1970, or even 1980. I doubt that most users would miss listings after 1980 but would be happy to buy a Scott set that is more compact and less expensive to produce and buy.
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Posted 05/16/2019   11:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
shermae wrote:
Quote:
".....to read Linn's digitally, you must have an iPad....." Are you sure? I do the vast majority of my work on an iMac desktop, with a MacBook Air laptop to keep up with e-mails when traveling. I don't need an iPad, especially since I plan to upgrade my ancient iPhone 3 later this year. My subscription to Linn's expires in early July and my thought has been to drop the print subscription entirely in favor of digital. That's a $60 per year savings based on current price quotes. Of course, I'd save $90 per year by dropping Linn's entirely.


apastuszak wrote:
Quote:
"....in 2019, do we still need a worldwide Scott catalog......" Last year, I think, someone opined on another thread that the primary buyers of the annual Scott catalog set are auction houses and dealers. Anyone have current thoughts on that?


shermae wrote:
Quote:
"Another idea is for Scott to emulate Gibbons and provide a catalog with a cut-off date in time......" To me, that makes a lot of sense, since Scott already does that with the Classic 1840-1940 catalog (to 1952 for British). My retained collections end in the mid-late 1960s, with exception of Portuguese colonies There, I go to de-colonization in 1974-75 (I also stop Macau there, even Portuguese Macau went on until 1999). I have no need for updates on anything issued after 1975. Thus, I seldom buy current Scott catalogs, meaning Amos/Scot gets almost no business from me. I buy the Classic about every 4 years.


Unfortunately, I don't see Amos/Scott changing their business model just because a few collectors are opining and complaining on a message board. It will take the "big dogs" of the industry, like the ASDA and large auction houses, weighing in before any change happens.
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Edited by Climber Steve - 05/16/2019 11:08 am
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Posted 05/16/2019   11:31 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with Steve that they will not change. And any company that refuses to change will go out of business.

The 'old school' hobby that we all know is (and has been) shrinking while the new iteration(online hobby) is (and has been) growing. So I do not agree with Steve with his generalization of "a few collectors opining". I will not bother with the metrics, but the online hobby is clearly thriving by anyone's measurements.

I really wish there was not resistant to change. Our hobby has always had a HUGE dependency upon technology. But somehow every generation thinks, "things used to be better in the old days" and resists technological change. For decades mail moved long distances almost exclusively across the US by train and ship. When automobile travel and highways began to take over the 'old school' methods, there was resistant to the new technology. And then there was airmail... And print technology...and cancelling technology...and sorting technology.

History and technological changes are intertwined in the very fabric of our hobby. You would think that stamp collectors would be 'history aware' and not be likely to repeat same change resistant biases of previous generations.

If catalog publishers do not change, they will not survive. They do not need to listen to "a few collectors opining" here, they only need to look at their shrinking sales and the decimation of other hardcopy publishers who have not transitioned. Change is hard and scary, but not rocket science.
Don
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Posted 05/16/2019   11:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eligies to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This may be a little off track but when I was at the NY Show in 2016 I saw an advertisement by the USPS for an APP that would allow you to search for all USPS issues, build lists of wants & haves, it was their 'electronic Guide' & cost (I think) $9.99. I didn't get it for whatever reason, and was wondering if this was still available & did anyone in the Community get it & how pleased are you with it.??
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Posted 05/20/2019   01:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Even their ordering process is archaic. I should be able to go to their website and use some kind of "wizard" to select a year and a country and then be able to order those pages and download a sample PDF of one page. But instead, I need to scroll through pages and pages or do a search."

Yes, definitely. Browsing the Amos Advantage website for supplements, albums, and other material is slow and cumbersome. I have a letter I've been writing and rewriting about all the problems with their website listings and how their website seems clunky and hard to use, and I'll send it someday. As if they would read it and take it to heart which I doubt will happen.

You'd think they'd have developed a really good digital catalog by now. They've had years to do this. Or at the very least a good checklist with pictures and boxes to check off what you have -- maybe with constantly updated catalogue values.

But even their listings of albums, supplements, and so on, are right out of the 1980s. It's like they've listed a paper catalog on a website. Well, maybe not quite that awful, but I'm a total non-techie with no programming knowledge whatsoever, and I can see how archaic and difficult to use their website is. Ironically, the current Amos website is the improved version they completed just a few years ago. It looks much better, but that's mostly what they updated. Not the "finding" part of the website or the "ordering" part or the "online catalogue" part or the "online checklist of what you have" part or the "print your own album pages" part or the . . . . Sigh.
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Edited by DrewM - 05/20/2019 01:31 am
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