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New Platform For Scott Catalogue Digital Version. Mixed Feelings

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Posted 03/24/2022   08:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wall Street and Sand Hill Road also have played key roles in driving software subscription models. Investors want to see recurring revenue streams and the assurance that today's subscription customer is more likely to be next year's subscription customer as well as a condition of private investment or to support share prices and valuations. "Where is your recurring revenue stream" is often question one that founders face in VC pitches. I would guess that Amos has never had to face the brutal barrage of questions that can occur in investment pitch rounds or Wall Street earnings calls.
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Posted 03/24/2022   08:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DJCMHOH to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Wall Street and Sand Hill Road also have played key roles in driving software subscription models. Investors want to see recurring revenue streams and the assurance that today's subscription customer is more likely to be next year's subscription customer as well as a condition of private investment or to support share prices and valuations. "Where is your recurring revenue stream" is often question one that founders face in VC pitches. I would guess that Amos has never had to face the brutal barrage of questions that can occur in investment pitch rounds or Wall Street earnings calls.


Considering the current financial condition of Stanley Gibbons, which is a publicly-traded company on the London Stock Exchange, I think overall it is a much better thing for the hobby that Scott has remained in private hands, not facing the wolves of Wall Street.
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Posted 03/24/2022   11:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with Scott staying in private hands. If I recall, Scott and Harris both used to be owned by conglomerates and suffered during the period.
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Al
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Posted 03/24/2022   12:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are a lot of interesting suggestions offered to maximize revenue. But, I agree with what Don said earlier, I'm not holding my breath.

I really don't think Amos' heart is in digital catalogs. I think they would prefer to crank out yearly hard copy catalogs but felt the need to do something as they see more and more digital information.

As for the pricing, I agree it is outrageous but they have us collectors where it hurts most - in their numbering system. It is almost impossible to buy or sell stamps in North America without a reference to a Scott number.

Unless or until collectors adopt a different numbering system they have us. The chances of that happening are, in my opinion, almost nil.
Most collectors will continue with their old methods as Amos digital flounders.

Dan
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Posted 03/24/2022   12:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I decided to go and take a look at what Scott's new offering actually looks like, and man, is it disappointing. From the initial information in this thread, I had assumed they had finally gone to a database model. Nope. Bad on me for associating "digital subscription" with what that means for the other catalog publishers. This is still just a digital presentation of a traditional catalog.

Screenshots, for those who might be interested:

I signed up for the Classic Specialized. This is the initial screen I get.

This is what it looks like within the Germany section.

There are arrows at left and right to flip pages, an a navigation bar at bottom.

There's a bar at the top to open a small index, a search window, and settings.

Overall though, not really different from their older digital offerings -- just a digital presentation of the same old catalog.

The only other digital catalog I subscribe to is Michel's, which has been discussed previously in this thread. For those who aren't aware here's what a catalog in a database form looks like, here's a screenshot. Worldwide and searchable across a variety of criteria.

The individual listings then look like this:

One day, Scott, one day.
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Posted 03/26/2022   11:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you @PostmasterGS for saving me the trouble of cancelling and subscribing.

If you read through Amos' product literature on this, they're going to offer ANNUAL updates. So, if I subscribe today, I get the 2022 catalog as printed, and won't see any new issues all year. I won't see value updates all year. And I'm not paying $100 a year to get more images. That adds no value for me.

To make this worth anything to me, I would need:

1. Monthly or weekly updates of new stamps.
2. The ability to catalog my collection and generate a overall value of my collection for insurance.
3. The ability to create want lists
4. I want to see ALL the details about the stamp: The length and width, perforation/die-cut, date they issued it, a hi-res image without a watermark.
5. The ability to generate offline files (PDF, ODF, etc) of a search. So, if I want to see all Scott major numbers issued in 1987, including definitives and back-of-book, I should be able to do that. If you're not goign to do that, then you need to give me an app I can use to pull the stuff offline onto my phone or tablet.
6. Access to the WHOLE catalog

That's the BARE MINIMUM I expect. And I expect that to cost AT MOST $20.00/month.

I swear to God, I wish Scott would become irrelevant already.
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Posted 03/26/2022   11:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
PostmasterGS, thanks for taking the time to check it out and to share your findings.
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Posted 03/26/2022   1:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can see some of the gears turning in Amos' head. They can't offer frequent updates to the online catalog, because then they'll lose their subscribers to Linn's Monthly, that only subscribe to get the new Scott numbers. And they don't want to create a database, because they don't want to lose the revenue from StampManage and other software.

I wonder how much money the stamp catalog actually generates annually and how many copies they sell.
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Posted 03/27/2022   9:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As it was discussed earlier as a competitor, some comments on the Yvert online catalogue "Bibliotheque en ligne", which I subscribe to.

It is similar to Scott, rather than to Michel, in being essentially an ecatalogue of the various Yvert volumes, with limited search/zoom capabilities. It offers access to pretty much all the Yvert catalogues (40 of them, which includes new issue supplements) on an annual subscription basis for 107,50 Euros/year, so cost is reasonable for amount of material covered.

Each volume (all are in French) is accessible separately in the interface (which can be in English or French), you select the volume and then page through or search for what you want. Opening a volume and paging through is slow (my internet isn't great, but not as bad as that), and the search functionality is poorly implemented and also slow, so I need to search a couple times for the search term to come up with results, such as they are. Since the volumes are done by period/region, there isn't as much jumping around from volume to volume, so better than Scott if working on South America for example.

So with those drawbacks noted, I've found it slightly useful as it is cheaper than buying volumes for areas you only need to look up a few stamps in, but I certainly would rather use one of their printed catalogues. For me, already having the Classiques du Monde, Semi-moderne volumes and the French Colonies volume, and given how cumbersome it is to use, I won't be renewing. Michel's offering is far superior from what I've seen.

~Greg
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Posted 04/02/2022   6:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A lot of companies that move to a subscription model give you a value add.

For example, Microsoft's Office365 subscription gives you the full MS Office suite AND 1 terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage. And Office updates come out quarterly. Adobe also offers cloud storage, though I think it's only 5 GB, and you can pay for more. But they also release feature updates on a more frequent basis, and offer some freebies to subscribers.

Amos took their $100 catalog and just took it from a one-time purchase to a subscription model, and offered nothing interesting in return over what their old offering was. It's really kind of sad. I know they don't get it. But I don't think they can get it. The stuff we're all proposing ae just things they don't understand.

I spoke with some UPNS members that said they worked as consultants for Scott on the Ukraine section of the Scott Catalog and he found them a pain to deal with. They were pushing hard to have Scott use the Ukrainian transliteration for words [e.g. Kyiv (Ukrainian) vs Kiev (Russian)] and they were not interested.

I dealt with Amos trying to get a license for their numbers for my Ukraine pages, and they would not license them to me. They told me my pages are a direct competitor to their own Ukraine album. They also told me they will NEVER license the Scott numbering system to any website, because that would jeopardise their licensing agreement with StampManage and other software.

I think the two major desktop apps are also suffering from the same problem. They both use the Microsoft Access runtime, which locks them into the Windows operating system. And I'm sure neither author wants to take the time to learn a new database backend and create a cross-platform front end. I'm sure one of them must have thought about a web-based version. But they can't get a license from Scott to use the numbers online.

I had often hoped and prayed that someone would come up with a new numbering system that was sane, and we could all switch to that.

My other HUGE beef with Scott is how they actually list stuff in the catalog for definitives, especially for the US. In the US, the USPS will often use definitives over a number fo years and change the microprint. Well, if you crack open a Soctt catalog and go to a certain year, and it has definitives using the same design as a previous year, you need to go to the previous year in order to see those stamps. This makes it very hard to find definitve stamps, if you don't know their number.
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Posted 04/02/2022   7:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
They told me my pages are a direct competitor to their own Ukraine album.


Must be the Scott Ukraine pages that they sell 56 sets of in a good year but are perpetually "out of stock" anyway if you want them.
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Posted 04/02/2022   11:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

Must be the Scott Ukraine pages that they sell 56 sets of in a good year but are perpetually "out of stock" anyway if you want them.


Someone please explain to me how "print on demand" pages can be out of stock?

The Scott album pages for non-US countries are really a low effort work. I can forgive the lack of stamp descriptions, but not even a stamp name? Just a box with an image of the stamp and a Scott number that immediately gets covered over as soon as you mount the stamp. And that left margin is HUGE. That's a lot of wasted space there.
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Posted 04/03/2022   07:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
They told me my pages are a direct competitor to their own Ukraine album


I believe the better answer would be they do not license their numbering without being compensated for the use. If they give to someone permission at no cost then other licensed users of similar products would complain. It would also likely impact their legal defense of IP.

Mystic uses Scott numbers but then Mystic buys ads in Amos Publications and may pay a royalty for each album sold. Mystic likely outsells the beginning albums from Scott.
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Al
Edited by angore - 04/03/2022 07:17 am
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Posted 04/03/2022   07:52 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My understanding is that you cannot copyrighting a numbering system. If you think about this it makes sense, there is little, if any, creativity in numbering. If everyone could claim copyright for numbering systems, hundreds of thousands numbering schemes would now be under someone's copyright and no one could assign new numbering to their products or parts. So there is legal precedence where courts have not allowed copyrighting of numbering systems. Of course this does not stop anyone from bringing legal actions against others (for any reason and whether or not there is legal standing) with the purposes of running up the legal fees until the other party gives up.

In the same way they cannot claim copyright on the stamp colors in the catalog, describing a stamp as 'red' comes nowhere near the required creativity criteria in my opinion. But Amos certainly has copyright on their catalog values, images and other content in their publications. So I assume that those who license with Amos are getting to use Scott values and other content.
Don
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Posted 04/03/2022   07:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Just_fella to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Didn't Y&T win a trial for there numbering system?
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