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The Future Of Our Hobby - Collector's Club Of New York Discussion Sept. 21, 2022

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Posted 09/29/2022   10:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ScottEnglish to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I just picked up on the thread. I cringed when Wade said the average age of an APS member is 70. Granted, 62 is not the best data point, but it's better.

Two contributors pushed the age up; neither has anything to do with the hobby's health. First is the free life membership program that members elected to end in 1973. While many life members are still actively collecting, it is also the reason we have more members over 90 than those under 40. Life members are declining faster than annual renewals, and death is the most significant reason for members leaving.

The other contributor was increasing dues from $25 to $35 in 2003 and again to $45 in 2008. We suffered a 22 percent loss in members in the following four years, most of them younger dues-paying members. Annual recruitment dropped by 1,000 applications a year (about 40 percent) and has never recovered.

Stamp collecting is reverting to a more disorganized or differently organized model. The internet makes it easier to further segment collectors into getting what they need from various platforms rather than a club or organization. Our website attracts a much younger and more diverse audience than we see in the membership.
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Posted 09/29/2022   10:40 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I cannot speak to the age demographics of the APS/APS site but can speak to the age demographics of several other popular philatelic websites.
I do not see a lot of philatelic online activity for teens thru 40 year age groups. I would say this population is better represented online than 'in real life' philatelic activities but this young group is not making up a large percentage of traffic or activity.
I do think that the online population is much better represented by female hobbyists and greatly exceeds anything I have ever seen with 'real life' philatelic activities. If true, I have wondered if sexism in the hobby is significant and female hobbyists are more comfortable in participating online as opposed to 'real life' philately.
Don
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Posted 09/30/2022   01:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Gibby01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As someone who has never been involved in organized philately (beyond this forum), never attended a stamp show, never bought anything at an auction other than eBay, or never joined any club I think the telling point in the video comes in the 39th minute when the gruff guy in the middle discusses telling people that the collection they have inherited is 'rubbish'. Many younger people may not feel that stamp clubs, shows, or organizations are welcoming if their participation in the hobby is looked down upon because they may only be starting, or don't spend a ton of money, or maybe they use the wrong type of mounts, etc. Sure people need to be told that their stamps are not worth a fortune, but use of the word 'rubbish' is degrading, shows contempt, and is not welcoming. What's funny is that they then go into discussing why participation is down with little thought of inward reflection.
Also, there was never any mention of any of the youtube stamp channels, such as 'Exploring stamps'. These people get thousands of views and hundreds of comments. Looking thru the comments you can see that many of these people are young, and interested. I think the collectors club is just looking in the wrong place to find the newer generation.
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Posted 09/30/2022   04:12 am  Show Profile Check KGV Collector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KGV Collector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Gibby01 that is comment. kg5
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Posted 09/30/2022   06:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am involved with one Facebook stamp related group. For those that follow the page.

45-54 is largest age group, 35-44 is second largest, 55-64 is third
India is number 1, US is number 2
91% Male

I view some as opportunists looking for potential victims.

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Al
Edited by angore - 09/30/2022 06:49 am
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Posted 09/30/2022   07:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I think the telling point in the video comes in the 39th minute when the gruff guy in the middle discusses telling people that the collection they have inherited is 'rubbish'.

Sure people need to be told that their stamps are not worth a fortune, but use of the word 'rubbish' is degrading, shows contempt, and is not welcoming.


Overall I agree with your comments and find them insightful and true. However, the above portions may be a bit harsh when a bit of context is added.

The video features professionals that put bread on the table and keep their respective companies and employees in business by selling stamps. Every day they are meeting people that think they have the Holy Grail but decidedly do not. We see a constant flow of people on this forum that think they have rare stamps, sometimes in multiples! I would bet the proverbial farm that not a one of them though uses the word "rubbish" directly with potential consignors. They are talking to themselves in the video. And if we are being honest if you want positive affirmations and rainbows and lollipops at every turn you likely won't find that anywhere in life. Someone always needs to break bad news and often it sucks to be that person. It is especially true when someone is standing in front of you with Grandpa's collection that was talked about in hushed reverent tones for decades (Grandpa constantly talked about the many rarities within) waiting for you to be awestruck and instead you see nothing of any actual intrinsic, not emotional/sentimental, value. A tough spot to be in actually. How long do you beat around the bush if at all.

My point is that if you want positivity there are places to go and places not to go. Sometimes though a little criticism is a very good thing because without it your eyes may not open to something that could be changed to benefit you. Say you were excited about a stamp purchase and shared it here. You paid $10 for a stamp you have wanted for a long time. Upon posting it is noticed that it has a major fault that drops its real value to Pennies. Do you want to be shined on with glowing praise for your find or told the truth directly but politely?
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Posted 09/30/2022   08:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
TOLD THE TRUTH DIRECTLY BUT POLITELY ----- Yea that didn't happen in 1965 ,I cried as I rode my brothers bike home after a stamp club visit with my Sunday best on and my treasured stamp album under my arm .

What kind of philatelist tells a room filled with 12 club members and a young kid in a loud voice that the kids worldwide album is WORTHLESS ?

Thank you for that because ,that was never forgotten.
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Posted 09/30/2022   08:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most of us started out with "rubbish" but look at us now. "I have met the enemy and he is us" as Pogo said.
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Posted 09/30/2022   09:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ScottEnglish to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I do think that the online population is much better represented by female hobbyists and greatly exceeds anything I have ever seen with 'real life' philatelic activities. If true, I have wondered if sexism in the hobby is significant and female hobbyists are more comfortable in participating online as opposed to 'real life' philately.


It's probably not a simple answer. There is a degree of sexism left in the hobby. I've received complaints at our shows from female collectors that dealers ask whether they were shopping for their husbands or if he was at the show. Or point them to the beginner area or topical dealers. I also think it's the perception of a typical stamp collector being an old man and the ease of finding a community online much easier.


Quote:
The video features professionals that put bread on the table and keep their respective companies and employees in business by selling stamps. Every day they are meeting people that think they have the Holy Grail but decidedly do not. We see a constant flow of people on this forum that think they have rare stamps, sometimes in multiples! I would bet the proverbial farm that not a one of them though uses the word "rubbish" directly with potential consignors.


I think professionals understand the need to direct the individual to the appropriate place. We often serve as a repository for low commercial value stamps directed by dealers to find the stamps the right new home. There are outliers in the professional community, and it's probably more common at the stamp club level. I don't think that's unique to the hobby; society, by and large, is full of people who deliver their unvarnished opinion.

I've learned in my time in the hobby the most beautiful stamp to a collector is the one they just bought, the ugliest stamp in the world is the one someone is trying to sell you.
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Posted 09/30/2022   10:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ecmorgan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
TOLD THE TRUTH DIRECTLY BUT POLITELY ----- Yea that didn't happen in 1965 ,I cried as I rode my brothers bike home after a stamp club visit with my Sunday best on and my treasured stamp album under my arm .

What kind of philatelist tells a room filled with 12 club members and a young kid in a loud voice that the kids worldwide album is WORTHLESS ?

Thank you for that because ,that was never forgotten.


These type stories are too common in stamp collecting.
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clay-morgan.me Some philately discussions. Some pontificating.
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Posted 09/30/2022   5:22 pm  Show Profile Check jamesg's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jamesg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I joined APS a few years ago and quit the very next year. Didn't see ANY value in my membership. This is just one datapoint, but I think one worth considering.
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Posted 09/30/2022   6:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ScottEnglish to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I joined APS a few years ago and quit the very next year. Didn't see ANY value in my membership. This is just one datapoint, but I think one worth considering.


Just curious, what were you expecting to get out of the membership? What would have been a value?
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Posted 09/30/2022   8:34 pm  Show Profile Check jamesg's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jamesg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I received the membership as a gift which I didn't elicit. I may not have given it much of a chance, but the little poking around that I did at the time didn't wow me at all. Some of what I'm suggesting may be there, but given a quick recent look, it still doesn't seem like the online presence is really very "accessible".

Here are just a FEW ideas/thoughts:

Well designed interface and access to an online library akin to stampsmarter, plating . com, swedish tiger, and more combined.

Maybe a zoom type identification/experts service

Social media group(s): maybe for key countries, collector level - like scf but with more accommodations for beginners/intermediate/advanced/expert/dealer groups moderated by more PATIENT senior/advanced collectors interested in advancing knowledge of those less aware/able.

Discounts on blocks of certificates

Realistic pricing of certs (i.e. it is less expensive to buy a high catalog value stamp with a cert than a stamp without a cert and have it certified).

Well organized/Centralized links to "EVERYTHING stamps" such as collecting and sales data/value trends/statistics, country collecting trends, forgeries, reprints, proofs, albums/supplies, social media (like scf), san, etc...

Catalog makers numbering cross reference (scott, sg, yvert, and other majors)

Reference collections with scott/gibbons catalog numbers and detailed identification information (without any retail pricing inforamation). If scott and sg won't allow use of their numbering systems to the biggest philatelic societies they should be blacklisted or actively boycotted by collectors.

No popup ads (don't know if APS website or me, but mine is totally cluttered with crazy annoying popup type ads/coupons)

Anything/everything possible to make collecting easier, less frustrating, less dangerous (fraud prevention/monitoring of major sales platforms, active liason with law enforcement when intentional deception and fraud is going on).

Beginners and Senior discounts on membership, sales, etc...

Free international stamp collector registry (intent would be to actively encourage collectors to register allowing better statistics about who collects what at what level). Don't need to be a member to register or update your profile.

Spend ALOT more time on this subject and encourage all the ideas you can and then vote on the best/most useful and doable ideas and prioritize them.

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Posted 09/30/2022   10:59 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Aside from the odd duck all of the houses have been around for years, and nobody is closing up shop."

Well there was Regency and then Harmer-Schau and there was a house in Hong Kong (I think it was) that have all quit and I'm not sure how long Rasdale is going to continue.
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Posted 10/01/2022   12:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Well there was Regency and then Harmer-Schau and there was a house in Hong Kong (I think it was) that have all quit and I'm not sure how long Rasdale is going to continue.


Hence the odd duck comment. Regency had more to with cancer and mismanagement than anything. So we can point to three out of a hundred that list on SAN that have closed. There are at least three that have opened since Regency. The point being that the market is there to support a lot of auction houses.
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