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To Buy New Scott Catalogs Or Not...?

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Posted 07/20/2020   4:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Andyrich74 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Been working with the 2015 printing for world-wide; which for identification/learning purposes is still just fine; and I'm not buying a lot of higher-dollar (I'll say above $200) worldwide stamps right now, so am operating under the assumption that common stamps that listed for $.25 are still the same as listed 5 years ago.

The question I have is how much fluctuation have people seen in the world-wise market in the $100+ range, and is it worth it to update to 2020; or even buy used books from 2018 or 19?

Understand that Scott prices are a reference and my question is going to vary from country to country; but curious how much fluctuation there has been in the past 5 years in a generic sense.
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Posted 07/20/2020   4:52 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think that catalogs serve two purposes; identification and values. But since most catalogs values do not reflect actual market values; for me the primary purpose is identification.

Some folks say that catalog values have purpose in that it gives you a relative idea of market value. But whenever I come across a stamp that I think might have value, I find it easier, faster, and more accurate to simply search online for market values.

Lingering questions in my mind that impacts my catalog buying decisions...
1. Would hobbyists buy new catalogs each year if they reflected drops in price year after year?
2. What percentage of cataloged stamps reflect the 'minimum value'?
3. What percentage of values are actually researched?
4. Do I want to support hardcopy publishing vs. digital publishing?
5. Why are inclusion criteria not published? Is inclusion a 'good old boy' network of influencers who have the ear of publishers?
6. Why not save my money and buy more stamps and covers?
Don
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Posted 07/20/2020   6:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Why buy new? they'll br outdated next year.
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Posted 07/20/2020   6:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Why buy new? they'll be outdated next year.
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Posted 07/20/2020   7:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So I have a 1990 4 volume Scott's WW, a 1996 Scott US Specialized and a 2018 Scott Classic WW. I don't intend to purchase any more catalogs and in other respects agree with Don.
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Posted 07/20/2020   7:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add canyoneer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use a 2008 set. I deal with mainly cheaper stamps in my worldwide collection (up to $25 for higher end things in my Minkus album) so the catalogs are mainly for ID'ing. There are times when I'm surprised how different "current" catalog prices are compared to 2008. I usually just look up eBay "sold" listings to get a feel for what's reasonable for bidding or making offers. Can buy a lot of stamps for the price of a new set of catalogs.
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Posted 07/20/2020   7:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Honestly, I update more frequently than necessary because I like to support the remaining philatelic resources that are left and Scott is an icon that I would hate to see disappear. Yes, they could go all electronic but for me that just does not work or provide the experience that I enjoy.
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Posted 07/20/2020   8:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
i agree with Don. between my reference materials and a year or two old Specialized I have all I need in my collecting area. as for pricing, auctions give a good indication of value for the higher end items and an internet search will do for the rest.
in the revenue field at least item 5 raises a lot of issues.
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Posted 07/20/2020   10:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I work from a 2011 set that lives on my laptop, and a 2015 set of hard copies. I noticed a lot of quite significant price changes between 2011 and 2015, especially in Asia. There are times when I wished I had a newer set of Scott's for those moments of "sticker shock" when shopping for material. But eventually I figure things out. For purposes of ID, that only thing that matters is that your catalog cover up to the recent limit of your interests.

One thing I am considering is that for items still on my want list, I may take out circulating Scott catalogs from the Hilllsborough County library to record the newest catalog values. IF I have enough time, I may also update pricing in my Excel sheet for items I already own.
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Posted 07/21/2020   06:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StatesmanStamper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My current working set of Scott includes a 2009 edition on my computer and a hard copy 2016 set. Space considerations mean my computer desk is also my stamp desk, so having a set I can reference without taking up space is very handy. I also have 2017 editions of both the Classic and US specialized.

As I don't buy single stamps at this stage in my collecting, having the most recent "pricing" is not important to me. I have been focusing on identifying and organizing my collection this year, and so far have not run into many stamps that are not not in my catalogs. For those few that are newer I have electronic copies of Scott's monthly with the new issue updates. I'm considering printing those out to make finding things easier.

I'm not sure when I'll look to pick up a more recent set of catalogs. I don't have sufficient justification for doing it now, but that could change.

Dale
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Posted 07/21/2020   08:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have a hardcopy set of 2016/2017 catalogs and do not plan to purchase new catalogs for a long time. I do not have a lot of confidence in the pricing. If dealers raise their prices when a new catalog comes out this tells me that the process is working backwards if Scott is supposed to reflect dealer prices not set them. In this international economy (able to buy from Europe, etc). it is not just a US market.

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Al
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Posted 07/21/2020   09:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It depends somewhat on what you are collecting. As other posters have said, the Scott catalog valuations are more relative than reflecting actual market values. Places like eBay, Hipstamp, Zillions of Stamps and the APS Stampstore are closer indications of current market value.

Many collectors, myself included, use the catalog for identification purposes only. If you collect new issues, you might want to consider an upgrade every few years to keep current with the new issue catalog numbers.

I set 1990 as the cutoff date for my collection so new catalogs don't do me much good.

Dan
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Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example.
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Posted 07/21/2020   10:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ecmorgan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I work off a 2007 set. Most of my stamps are lower value, so I see no need to keep up with the catalog value of stamps. And I know my limits. IF I purchased a new set, I'm not about to take the time to look up my stamps and see what happened in regards to Scott Cat. Value.
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claymorgan.me Some philately discussions. Occasionally other stuff.
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Posted 07/21/2020   3:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A fond wish; one that will never come true; is for Scott to re-format the catalogs to match the Big Blue International. Meaning Part 1 of the catalog would price 1840-1940; Part II of the catalog pricing 1940-49; Part III pricing 1949-1955; and so on.

Since that won't happen, I do things a little different. I have Scott volumes from 2011, 2014, 2018. I buy the Classic Specialized about every three years and have a 2020. Also bought the 2020 US Specialized, the first one since 2012.

I further rely on Linn's reviews of each new volume that comes out. For example, I learned in the June 15, 2020 Linn's issue that certain Horta and Inhambane material increased over 2020.
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Posted 07/21/2020   3:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I really wish Scott would move to the geographical model of Michel/Yvert - having it alphabetical is just plain silly, and I refuse to buy all those bulky volumes 90% full of countries I don't collect, with the ones I do scattered throughout. So I've moved to more of the European catalogues, or specialized ones covering just a country/area (e.g. Unitrade, Edifil, Sassone, Maury French Africa).

I do heavily use Scott Specialized (up to 1940, 1952 for Commonwealth) and find that quite good as a general classic resource. And Yvert publishes a "Semi-moderne" catalogue covering 1940-1960 that is quite useful, since I generally only collect up to the 1950s, except for a couple countries.

Together with the above mentioned, the collectors website (that cannot be mentioned on here) on occasion, and further buying of country specific cats as needed, that works pretty well. It lists multiple catalog numbers for most of their listings, so it's a good resource when selling/buying internationally. Michel also has an online catalogue, but tried out the demo and found it fairly cumbersome. Would love to hear from someone who uses it extensively.
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Posted 07/22/2020   9:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EMaxim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Honestly, I don't pay much attention to value. It's not one of the reasons I collect. I don't spend a lot buying, because I'd rather have a dozen or more common stamps that I like rather than one more valuable one. So most of what I have wouldn't be worth much on the market anyway. My catalogues are for identification only, and older ones are generally fine.

Interesting thread, though. Suggests that I'm not alone in feeling as I do.
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