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Usefulness Of Old Scott Specialized Catalogues

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 9 / Views: 440Next Topic  
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Posted 01/27/2021   11:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add captaincoffee to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm slowly easing back into stamps after a 30+ year hiatus (primarily pre-1940 U.S. stamps and some back-of-book stuff). I was planning on starting by getting a Scotts Specialized Catalogue, but wasn't sure if it was really necessary to get a 2021 version ($105.48 on Amazon). I can get a used 2018 version for about $50, or even a 2010 version for around $20. Other than the pricing not being up-to-date, which isn't a big deal to me since I don't sell stuff, am I missing out on anything? I don't have any stamps from the last 20 years.
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Posted 01/27/2021   5:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add crispinhj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Reading around on here and other forums, I get the impression that most people use older copies and spend the difference on stamps! One of my best catalogue buys ever was a 2005 Classic specialised which I snagged for less that 30 including postage.

At the time it was about five years out of date but it is a mine of useful information and is the place I start researching. After checking out the Big Blue blog of course.

It's definitely worth checking whether the catalogue you're thinking of buying has colour illustrations - I find they make identifying stamps much easier
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Posted 01/27/2021   5:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use a 2016 classic specialized every day, and the differences - even in pricing - with newer editions are minimal.
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Posted 01/27/2021   5:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I buy one every 10 years or so and haven't had problems. If I want a current Scott Catalogue Value, I go to eBay and see what sellers say. Sure, they update every year. For the most part, the changes are minimal, and obviously would not include the latest stamps from the USPS. Information-wise, an older copy is more than adequate.

My best information source is right here. If I have a question that I cannot find in my copy of Scott, I usually am able to get the info on these forums.
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Posted 01/27/2021   5:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use a 2017 Specialized and have always had one 2-5 years old. I would not recommend anything much older than 2015.

Shop around, the Amazon prices you note are on the high side by 15-25% or so.
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Posted 01/27/2021   6:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have fairly recent catalogues for the French area before and after independence. For everything else, I get along perfectly well with old Gibbons catalogues from the '60s and '70s.
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Posted 01/27/2021   6:40 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply



Don
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Posted 01/28/2021   6:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My "Specialized" is from 2007, and I seem to be doing just fine with it. I'm due for a newer one, admittedly, but it's really not a big deal. I just prefer to spend on stamps, not "other" things. I'd never buy a brand new one. If used catalogues were only ten or twenty bucks, I'd buy one, but most sellers treat them like rare gems and ask high prices. After buying them used, I generally use my catalogues for between 5-10 years before replacing them.

There are at least two reasons to use a catalogue -- (a) finding the value or prices of stamps, and (b) getting identifying information about stamps. For the former, you want a more recent catalogue, but for the latter, most catalogues from the last 10+ years will be just fine. Occasionally a catalogue publisher announces a revamping of stamp information or maybe even the renumbering of stamps, so of course you'll want a catalogue no earlier than the year that happened. But that's pretty rare on a large scale, so I don't worry about it.

If I really need to check values of U.S. stamps (and I rarely do), I can always check the U.S. section of my far more recent (2017) Scott worldwide catalogue. The worldwide Scott Volume 1 does have an entire U.S. listing with stamp values, leaving out all the detailed information you get in the "Specialized". If that's all you need.
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Edited by DrewM - 01/28/2021 6:56 pm
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Posted 01/28/2021   8:07 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It depends on what you specialize in (if anything) as to how old of a U.S. Specialized is useful. For example, the U.S. revenue section, has expanded considerably in the last decade, as well as there having been huge value increases over that 10-year period throughout. Revenue counterfeits are now listed as well.

Front-of-book material may not have seen as much revision.
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Posted 01/29/2021   01:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Last month I bought the 2018 Specialized on eBay for $31 with free shipping.
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Edited by erilaz - 01/29/2021 01:31 am
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