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Collapse In Stamp Prices On Better Worldwide Stamps .

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Posted 09/23/2021   03:32 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This issue is rehashed ad nauseam every 6 months or so, with everybody under the sun telling Amos Media how they should run their business... seemingly forgetting that in many areas of collecting, Scott is much closer to actual values than Gibbons (a far far GREATER conflict of interest), Michel, Yvert, etc., while at the same time farther away in others.

Any published catalogue is going to be both "wrong" and obsolete simultaneously. Market pricing is inherently different for the eBay dumpster diver vs. the grade-conscious collector vs. the collector of esoterica, etc.

Everyone here wants the listed values to be accurate, forgetting that in all likelihood everybody has a different idea of what "accurate" actually is.

The value in any catalogue IMO is not taking the raw prices as gospel, but rather (1) the wealth of descriptive information and (2) the COMPARATIVE differences in value between issues/varieties. Those comparative differences scale, which is seemlingly lost in all of this. If you think the "real value" of an area is 25% of Scott, then fine, just multiply everything by 25%; the comparative differences between stamps will adjust. Mold the catalog values as you see fit... but there has to be a benchline somewhere.

For everyone thinking they can do it better, then fine: start your own catalogue numbering system or license Scott's, compile your data, and put it in front of the masses and see if it's adopted. If Scott is doing it so wrong, and yours is so right, then it should only be a matter of time before your system supplants Scott.

No?... not that simple?... color me shocked.
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Posted 09/23/2021   04:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As I have remarked before, the origin of catalogues is a listing of items by a seller. This could also list the prices.

Stanley Gibbons and B. Alan (Connoisseurs) are exactly that. There is no conflict of interest. It is what was the original purpose of a catalogue: show stock prices and also provide reference for buying prices. This also is what Moens catalogue once was.

Airbus does not compile a catalogue of going "market" prices of 100, 130, and 180-seater, jets. They have a catalogue of their products with prices and give discounts on those prices. The IKEA catalogue lists products IKEA sells at their prices. They haven't the slightest reason to reflect "market" prices. And if they can sell at those prices, those are market prices.

The concept of a catalogue as a complete listing of existing stamps with "market" prices is the new one and makes little sense. Prices tend to differ by geography. Even internet auctions have not resulted in uniform prices. A catalogue in USD makes no sense in the European market: any change in the FX-rate makes it questionable. Does it reflect the market, or the exchange rate at the time it was compiled?
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Posted 09/23/2021   04:56 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You're correct, "conflict of interest" was the wrong term to use. Perhaps "vested interest" is a better term, i.e., no incentive to lower prices to reflect actual market prices if the catalogue publisher benefits directly from setting the market.
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Posted 09/23/2021   05:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am not even attempting to keep up with their catalogue prices.

Classic GB on SG's website continues to become rarer and more expensive. Very few catalogued stamps are available. They do not really bother with the cheaper stuff. Unmounted Queen Victoria) is offered at multiples of catalogue prices (that are for mounted mint for that era).

In an auction earlier this year, used Penny Blacks and Twopence Blues went far over estimate and even catalogue. I was looking at one that went for more than an equally nice example on their website. You, now, see their website as adapted to that.

SG is getting a bit detached from philately. They are becoming a kind of Cartier for wealthy people that throw money at rare classic stamps. Try to find the "shades" and in all three formats of the George V photogravure set listed in their specialised "Four Kings." If you ask them whether they have them, they will tell you to look for another dealer.

I have been trying to find out whether they have seen the 1939 steel blue-black George VI "Arms" high value shade (slightly more expensive than the ordinary dark blue one).
George V Block cypher: many shades listed, hardly any on offer. They have watermark varieties and one or two shades, but nothing below £ 50. They are not even difficult to find elsewhere.
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Posted 09/23/2021   07:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Regular SG customers receive early notice of new additions to stock and, most recently, personally "curated" lists of stock. I find these alerts extremely helpful for the less common items that you mention.
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Posted 09/23/2021   08:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Understanding "collapse " as used in the original posting.

Prices at the major auction houses are starting ,meaning opening at a lower level .Does that mean it is the selling price ----NO ! They can still climb and realise a better price and find the market level .

To give a example of this -----The Swiss PAX set used {$600.00 catalog } would be listed with a opening bid of around $200.00 or $250.00 now I am seeing $150.00 to $170.00 opening price , that is a collapse. Did it sell there yes and no depend on that auction and buyer's will to purchase it . I also see the same with better German Colonies prices are opening lower and it is left to the auction buyers which stamps goes back up to previous years selling prices .

So it is the auction firms opening better worldwide material at a smaller fraction of catalog and then seeing if the demand is their for higher prices,if not then it sells with little interest by the buyers, remember the auction houses are there to sell stamps ,not trying to hold prices .


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Posted 09/23/2021   08:39 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Prices at the major auction houses are starting ,meaning opening at a lower level .Does that mean it is the selling price ----NO ! They can still climb and realise a better price and find the market level .


We must have very different definitions of the word "collapse". Slightly lower opening prices doesn't come anywhere near the meaning of the word to me...
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Posted 09/23/2021   10:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would think that buyers of catalogs for classic stamps are a different market than buyers of catalogs for modern. One could argue that Scott would increase sales offering smaller, more targeted catalog systems. There would still be a complete set possible, just broken up differently. This would likely be a pain for dealers in foreign but not the first time Scott changed configurations. Many of you will remember that back in the day, Volume 1 of Scott's was US, UN, and the entire British Commonwealth including Great Britain, Australia, and Canada! Volume 1 covered a majority of USA-based collectors. As a Commonwealth-only collector at the time, I personally hated it when Scott changed to a purely alphabetical system.

Per Revcollector's comment above, the ultimate goal should be custom catalogs. A buyer should be able to say, "I only want USA 1847 to 1910" or, "All French area 1910-1952." Then a prorated amount is charged based on some formula. Full catalogs would have a much lower cost-per-page. And beside the great benefit of only buying what you want, the publisher benefits because custom builds won't have a robust "after" market since collecting interests are hard to match up.

Of course I am only spitballing and dreaming- Scott likely won't ever have the capability of utilizing digital data for such an endeavor.
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Posted 09/23/2021   10:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DJCMHOH to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Medium value Western Europe such as Swizerland's PAX set, Germany's Posthorn Defins or esrly Postwar Italy does seem to be rather soft, most likely because supply is increasing in the market as increasing numbers of aging European Boomers who tended to focus mainly on Europe sell their collections, while demand for West and central Europe today is not what it was in say the 70s or 80s. Collector tastes have become more global as has the collector community as a whole.

With the future growth of philately (as much else in the world) tied to interest among collectors outside the West, Continental West and Central Europe will likely continue to soften in value.

Which for me as a GenXer looking to grow my collection is not completely bad news...
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Posted 09/23/2021   10:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DJCMHOH to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Re Scott - Michel and Yvert gave up on yearly worldwide catalogs a while ago and instead publish regionally on a rotating schedule Michel does Yearly catalogs for various parts of Europe but Rest of World is like 2-3 years, Yvert is similar. Scott would not be that hurt to do something similar, since most collectors collect regionally, and most dealers do not stock much after year 2000 for most countries.

As for Gibbons, given its current financial ills who knows how much longer it will be around in its current structure.
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Edited by DJCMHOH - 09/23/2021 10:45 am
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Posted 09/23/2021   11:05 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Technically, it is quite possible to automatically gather and compile 'sold' prices from multiple online sources (i.e. auctions, dealer sales, etc.) to generate real-time market values. This is already done for cars, motel rooms, airline tickets, houses, metals, and of course stocks and other commodities.
This is part of the value of standardizing on metadata, which still has absolutely no traction in our hobby because it is filled with Luddites and others without any tech vision, but ultimately the drive to make money will drive it to happen. I am just not holding my breath waiting, old men and good ol' boys have a firm grip on this hobby but at some point they will pass the baton to folks who are not married to hardcopy catalogs.
Don
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Posted 09/23/2021   12:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That metadata already exists via online sales. The data collection tech is already available, be it called scraping, harvesting or any of a dozen other terms/methods. It just takes someone with the time, desire and funds to do it.

At this time data scientists and data warehouse engineers are too busy with bigger/higher dollar markets and larger industries... but it really is not being held back by paper catalogs or good ol' boys. You find the same variety of nebulous terminology and unstructured data in car sales, housing and other industries.

Database developers generally want everything structured in neat boxes, while data scientists argue that it's not a matter of changing the industry to fit a database, its creation of a system that can understand it. And they have done it to support many areas. I am neither but do regularly work with both camps and see the divide.
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Posted 09/23/2021   1:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As for the validity of catalogs at large. I think the mistake is expecting them to be rock solid and based on trusted/reliable data.

I use catalogs as a guide, not a rule. Although it can provide comparison values... this variant is more valuable than this one, but only as a comparative weight [not counting my shekels].

- Many collectors, although they acknowledge it, do not take the constraints on condition and grade as stated in catalogs to hart.
- Sources for catalog values are suspect at best and in many cases is just regurgitating what an uncompensated volunteer contributor has told them.
- Policies of the companies producing them can be self defeating.

I have plenty of misgivings about all catalogs, Scott's included so I quickly adopted the mindset that they are general guides.

Regarding the metadata discussion above, some day this will change but it will take someone a good deal of effort. When it happens it should shake the pillars of the catalog foundations and change their production processes. Hopefully for the better.
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Posted 09/23/2021   1:24 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In this wonderful utopia of scraped data that will automagically be more accurate than any printed catalogue, who pray tell, will vet the mountains of data? There's only so much you can do algorithmically.

Who or what will determine whether the $499 that a purported VF/XF NH Scott #11274a garnered is a valid result? That:

1. The image actually shows an #11274a
2. That it had no faults
3. That it was VF/XF
4. That it was NH
5. That it was actually paid for.
6. That it wasn't returned at some future date for being not as described

In terms of eBay, I can tell you that their item specifics are a hot mess. They are frequently irrelevant, sellers loathe them, and will frequently just put garbage data in fields because they are required.

Much of this is due to ineptness in eBay's systems. I've been posting a number of music CDs this week and its a fustercluck. So they require a UPC code, album artist, and album title (irrelevant for many CD singles, 7" vinyl, 45s, etc., but we'll ignore that for now), but when I scan in the UPC, and eBay prefills all of the information, it won't fill in those VERY required artist and title fields???... that I am still forced to MANUALLY type in the very data they already read from the UPC code.

Why? Who in God's name would consider that functional? And you wonder why people want to bypass all of the hurdles?

And we'll skip the automated specifics that eBay's algorithms parse from whatever item title you put in, that are guessed WRONG 95%+ of the time, so it takes MORE time to uncheck those and select/type in the correct ones.

Until there are better and easier ways for sellers to provide meaningful accurate data, it's going to be garbage-in, garbage out.

I posit that there won't be anything reliable cataloguewise gleaned in this manner in my lifetime... and I'm one of the comparative youngsters here.
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Edited by revenuecollector - 09/23/2021 1:26 pm
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Posted 09/23/2021   2:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Only time will tell. All I can say is that it's been done for some and being done right now for other industries. As my post said, it's all a matter of who has the time, desire and funds to do it. If it was easy, it would be done already.

All those issues you mention is true of any data source currently used to produce catalogs only worse because it's largely vapor from our perspective. but turning unstructured data into useful information is what it's all about. As for 100% reliability, no such thing as the data would change continuously so the content delivery would also have to be real time. All we can really hope for is a more accurate snapshot in time.

This is a much deeper discussion than a few forum posts can cover but there are volumes available on data warehousing, data lakes, unstructured data analysis, IA and data science. I deal with these data people frequently and what I've seen is astounding.
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