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Proposed Merger Of The APS And Asda

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Posted 10/04/2022   08:18 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
While the ASDA proposal is a merger, in my mind the HipStamp situation is more an outsourced contractor (presented as a 'partnership').
Don
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Posted 10/04/2022   10:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ecmorgan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I will simply say this.

I trust the APS membership enough that I'm comfortable with them testing the waters and discussing a potential merger. I enjoy, find use in, and find value in my APS membership and trust Scott and others to explore the various ways in which the organization can remain relevant in the decades to come.
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clay-morgan.me Some philately discussions. Some pontificating.
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Posted 10/04/2022   12:39 pm  Show Profile Check docgfd's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add docgfd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

I trust the APS membership enough that I'm comfortable with them testing the waters and discussing a potential merger. I enjoy, find use in, and find value in my APS membership and trust Scott and others to explore the various ways in which the organization can remain relevant in the decades to come.


Hear, hear !
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Posted 10/04/2022   3:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Having just read and re-read the proposal and internal memo I have to say that the ultimate objective is as clear as mud to me. What will this merger do for the average collector? If a buyer has a problem with an item purchased from a seller on eBay for example what exactly will this merger do to provide relief and/or assistance to the buyer given that it is eBay's sandbox? Am I missing the point of the whole thing?

What are the financials of the proposed merger/partnership? I see zero discussion of what costs will be. Isn't that a first step to determine whether or not the deal is viable?

Is there any transparency on the part of ASDA regarding complaints filed and outcomes? To me that is a key metric in determining how effective the ASDA is.

I hope that Scott weighs in soon.
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Posted 10/04/2022   6:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think this subject is just ------Rearranging the chairs on the Titanic .

If you ask me .....but nobody did .

This is what I would do , I would put the effort in expanding and building a base . I seen the stratgery of developing this important base at the Chicago Board of Trade back in 1969 ,the commodity futures markets were growing and new markets were being developed and interest was expanding .

Where do you find brokers and floortraders to handle this growth......surely you can't go to schools of higher learning to find risk
takers and aggressive people who would risk their own money . The decision was made to support a small exchange that did odd lot trading at the Mid-Am Exchange which was popular with younger traders ,plus it was decided to train and develope back office young people at member companies . So a huge effort was made to educate and train in house .

Now lets bring this to the APS .

The APS needs a whole new approach to education and training to develop new members {who will stick around }. You are think where do these new people come from ? They come from the bottom of Philately . Where are they ? They are the people who buy small mixtures and cheap stamps off the internet . Don't laugh about this idea because I have right NOW over 4,000 of these people ,written up on 3X5 cards who are beginners in shoe boxes in my closet ,these are beginners or average collectors who are the future of the hobby and the APS doesn't know these names exist .

If the APS made a 3 page pamphlet that fits in a #10 envelope these could be shipped out with their purchases . What is in the pamphlet it gives basics collecting info . plus the back side would be a offer to get additional pamphlets to expands their education into the hobby with a set of 12 reports for $10.00 or so . These monthly reports will advance these new collectors or connect to a online education program .

That is how you build the future
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Edited by floortrader - 10/04/2022 6:54 pm
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Posted 10/04/2022   6:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here are the people who will make the Future of philately ------- These people names are the ones who will be part of the future and the APS doesn't know these collectors exist .
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Posted 10/04/2022   7:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ScottEnglish to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The proposal is the first step toward a longer discussion. For the ASDA, the plan would have to be approved by the ASDA Board, membership, and the Attorney General for the State of New York. The APS Board of Directors would also have to approve the plan. My purpose for releasing the proposal was for both organizations' collective memberships to participate in the discussion.

Our review of the financials of the ASDA suggests the revenue stream would cover the magazine's cost and the employee, with growth potential for a larger number of dealers to participate and additional revenue for the magazine.

Whether the merger happens or not, this is a conversation worth pursuing. It is not a panacea for organized philately, but one element toward expanding our reach.

Scott
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Posted 10/04/2022   7:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In my view, the APS's role is to sustain the hobby on an existential level, while the ASDA's purpose is to ensure that the commercial side of the hobby operates ethically. Who knows, maybe I just lack imagination, or perhaps I'm missing a large chunk of the bigger picture, but I can't see the basis for even conceptualizing this idea. Besides, it all smacks of corporatizing the hobby, which I see zero need for. It is a hobby, after all.

Consolidating = dissolving divisions of labor. That should be read as "dissolving essential divisions of labor." Merging invariably weakens the component parts. And during transitions, everyone suffers. It is a hobby. There is no need for suffering.

Again from the memo... "As sales migrate online..."

I'll stop right there to point out that that horse left the barn a looooong time ago, both for long-established and vest pocket dealers.

"...buyers and sellers must rely on the platform's policies, hoping for fair arbitration by knowledgeable philatelists."

Let me ask... Are there any actively participating (or payrolled) philatelists involved in, for example, eBay's buyer-protection program?

There is no question that the hobby would greatly benefit from a watchdog organization to handle disputes of autheniticity for items bought online. But the timetables for obtaining a cert and a seller's return window are usually incompatible. There'd have to be financial incentive for philatelic experts to serve this need in an expedited fashion. Not sure how merging the APS and the ASDA would achieve that, especially if a shady seller isn't a member of either organization and thus only beholding to eBay's terms-of-sale policies. I don't have the solution, but I don't think this proposal is the answer.

[edited for spling erorrs]
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Edited by essay_proof - 10/04/2022 8:59 pm
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Posted 10/04/2022   9:07 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Consolidating = dissolving divisions of labor. That should be read as "dissolving essential divisions of labor." Merging invariably weakens the component parts. And during transitions, everyone suffers. "

I've been thru a corporate merger. t was awkward, not smooth. People got fired. People got pushed aside. Cultures clashed.
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Posted 10/04/2022   9:17 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
After trying different approaches, I have found the best merger strategy is to fire everyone and then offer their jobs back (at same salary and with whatever benefits they originally had) under the newly merged organization. This creates a clear and solid delineation, puts everyone (from both companies) on equal ground, and allows you to re-enforce the policies and procedures that will be in place moving forward. I also used the opportunity to communicate and get buy-in from everyone, a bit of a 'come to Jesus meeting' where each person is presented the vision and then goes off on their own (and with their family) to decide if the new organization is something they desire to pursue. No hard feelings if they chose to leave.
Don
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Posted 10/05/2022   06:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do not think the challenge of integration is the staff of APS/APTL and ASDA,. Does anyone foresee mass layouts due to redundant positions? It starts with leadership.

But wonder how long APS (thanks to the APRL) can call itself a non-profit as it expands into more commercial aspects (dealers, Hipstamp).
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Al
Edited by angore - 10/05/2022 06:41 am
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Posted 10/05/2022   06:48 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Intergration of staff is one thing, it is more about integration of cultures.
Don
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Posted 10/05/2022   07:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Oh ...well , that idea of building a solid base of new and developing collectors thru education assistdence doesn't work with this crowd .
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Posted 10/05/2022   08:00 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think the challenge is to find common ground between the mission statements of each organization. Some might say that the two mission statements stand somewhat in opposition to each other...

Quote:
APS
- To promote stamp collecting for people of all ages
- To offer services to its membership and to philately in general, including knowledge and education, which enhance the pleasure and friendliness of stamp collecting


Quote:
ASDA
The goals of the American Stamp Dealers Association, Inc. are to publicize the professionalism and dependability of ASDA members and to promote the stamp industry and your share in it.

To paraphrase the mission statements
The APS mission is to promote and support hobbyists.
The ASDA Mission is to promote and support those who make money on hobbyists.

At the least I would imagine that the two organizations have very different cultures and perspectives.
Don
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Posted 10/05/2022   08:51 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One organization supports the sheep and the other those who do the shearing.

Just sayin'...

While the ultimate goal best for both groups is for philately to flourish, what each group gets out of that state of the hobby is vastly different, and the marketing, policies, and procedures for each constituency are also very different.

Is an ASDA dealer who runs their own online storefront going to see the value in APSDA (or whatever the new org is) expending organizational resources on a Hipstamp partnership or any other internal ecommerce venture that offers direct competition to their own business?

That's just one example. I'm sure people can come up with a myriad of potential conflicts of interest between the two groups.
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