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What If Scott Online Went To Annual Subscription Model??

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Pillar Of The Community

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Posted 08/14/2020   03:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add DJCMHOH to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I am about to take the jump and update my Scott catalogues to the 2021 editions (my current ones are 2012). Scott offers the online-access versions of their catalogues at US$75/volume. With this you buy the digital copy outright and it is yours forever. So for the full set of catalogs, the cost is approximately US$450 (plue another $125 for the classic specialized).

I also have Michel and Yvert online, who use a different model. Rather than purchasing the specific edition of their catalogs outright, you can also purchase an annual subscription that gives the user access to the latest editions of all of the standard catalogs in their lineups for one year. Michel costs approx US$175 for a year, Yvert runs about US$130. If new editions are released during the course of your subscription you get access to the new edition for the balance of your subscription for the year.

I wonder why Scott has not considered having an option for online catalog purchasers to have a similar subscription model. Say US$150/year for full access to the latest edition of each of the catalogues (and add say another US$30-50 for the Classic Specialized or US Specialized), and access to the newest editions as they are released for balance of the subscription.

Considering its been 9 years since my last Scott upgrade, Scott would make more off someone like me using the subscription model. Dropping US$600 total to get the complete 2021 set + classic specialized, I prob won't upgrade again for several years. US$150-$200 per year to always have access to the latest editions would be something I'd definitely prefer and likely bring in more total income for Scott.

Thoughts??


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APS #173088

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Posted 08/14/2020   07:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
making the Scott catalogs in sections by either years issues or topical sections would probably be a good idea. I also think it would make sense for online versions. it would in my opinion bring in more users who do not need or want to update every year. that said they should make a better effort to be more inclusive especially in the specialized edition buy adding more now non listed but widely collected areas. in addition they should be as transparent in the reasons why some items are/are not included.
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Posted 08/14/2020   07:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
With this you buy the digital copy outright and it is yours forever.


Questions

If you buy a digital 2021 set one time paymemt, you will always have access to that version forever?

If you buy the set mid year, would you have some this year and some prior year?

I see Scott pricing for digital the printed book cost less cost of printing. They still want their foll IP royalty, overhead, etc covered. If a large number went digital, it make make the printed version a lot more expensive,
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Al
Edited by angore - 08/14/2020 07:25 am
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Posted 08/14/2020   07:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For me the word "forever" has different levels of veracity for electronic vs hard goods. If Scott folded or had business issues or technical issues within or without its control just how "forever" would the catalogs really be? What happens if you have computer or internet issues? The hard copies are in my hands. I think of this because I like to exercise and I use old fashioned equipment. A friend of mine has fancy technology driven equipment. He had a "glitch" recently that brought the equipment to a standstill. Meanwhile I just popped some weight plates onto a bar and kept on going. Just a thought.
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Edited by rogdcam - 08/14/2020 07:36 am
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Posted 08/14/2020   07:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DJCMHOH to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Angore

As far as I understand buying the digital Scott 2021 versions means they are yours permanently (unless Scott disappears into the ether, heaven forbid)

With the subscription model used by Michel and Yvert, you get updated information when new catalogs are published. So for example I purchased my Michel subscription in January, and updated values for areas they have released new hard edition catalogs for this year are included (note - Michel's online is based on a searchable database model, you search using a web window, its not a PDF version the way Scott is (Yvert is like Scott, but you get updated PDFs with new catalog releases). See image which shows the Michel interface.



On a related note, I personally prefer the Michel Database model to the PDF model that Scott and Yvert (and Gibbons, for the catalogues they have put online). It's much more flexible for searching IMO.
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APS #173088
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Posted 08/14/2020   10:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I tried to use Michel online for a year, and struggled with the interface. There was so much "stuff" on the interface (unless they changed it), the information I sought was presented in a relatively tiny area. It was cumbersome, counter-intuitive, and frustrating.
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Posted 08/14/2020   12:59 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They are only "yours forever" as long as Amos Media continues to support the current platform. Many people, myself included were left holding the bag when Amos abandoned the previous iPad version of the catalogs and it ceased to work due to no longer being updated to remain compatible with iOS.

Amos did not communicate anything to purchasers and made ZERO attempt to make buyers of that content whole or transition them to the new platform. Nothing. Nada.

It was only after I threw a tantrum that they gave me access to a set of catalogs on the new platform just to shut me up. But to my knowledge they did nothing for any other customers left in a lurch by their incompetence and lack of vision.

Also, their antiquated digital business model is consumer-hostile. They want you to spend $500 per year to get updated content, as you only get access to the year you purchase, not updated versions, and you get no break to "update" your volumes.

A subscription model would be infinitely better value for the customer and would likely drive sales, but they'll never perceive that.

Additionally, an individual country digital option would likely bring in tons of sales, but the only thing they can see is "OMG! People no longer buying printed books!!!" not realizing that those people likely aren't buying new catalogs now... they're likely buying on the used market. Someone who collects one or two countries isn't going to pay $100 for a new volume of Scott.

It boggles the mind... and will ultimately doom the company.
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Posted 08/14/2020   1:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ecmorgan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I really think Scott is missing some real financial opportunities.

Those who sell pages by country on eBay seem to sell quite a few of them.

Why not subscribe by whole catalog, country or even topic (easy once the database is set up)? Why not delve into collector inventory management, or dealer inventory managment/pop software?

The focus of the company seems very narrow to me.

My catalogs are 2007. I bought them via eBay from a library. My primary goal is identification and refernce, so the '07 works fine for me. Dependent upon price, a subscription model to a good, searchable, easy-to-use digital version would be quite appealing.
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claymorgan.me Some philately discussions. Occasionally other stuff.
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Posted 08/14/2020   2:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
An online product should be 100% illustrated. If Stampworld had catalog numbers that people used it would meet most of my general collecting needs.
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Al
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Posted 08/14/2020   11:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Andyrich74 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just my two cents, but as long as there are paper catalogs I'll use them. Purely personal preference; but paper is part of the experience for me and I have no interest in an online subscription. Just like I want to read a paper book and not a screen.

Not knocking technology in the least, but part of the reason I like stamps is that they are real, and in front of you to examine, admire and organize how you like.

And to parrot Rogdcam; a book isn't susceptible to power outages, internet glitches, cables and so on; just like a push-up is a push up. 46 and I sound like a grumpy old man! :-)
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Posted 08/15/2020   12:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JRockne to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I just bought the online Mexico tonight. I was going to post here and ask why not a reasonably priced subscription model for the entire set. How many people would pay $25 a month for the entire catalogue. I would.

I'm not going to buy the new printed version. My 2015 Specialized is falling apart. I'm not going to buy a new one of those.

I think I like (love?) the digital single county access. My interests move from country to country, so maybe I have the best now.
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Posted 08/15/2020   02:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I go Old School, too. I prefer a hard copy to a digital copy, sort of. My Scott set is also from 2012 (It is probably time to get a new set), but I get the Specialized every couple of years. I mainly collect US, but I have a set of Internationals that I 'play' with. I also have 2 or 3 countries that I actively collect. For those countries, I go to eBay and buy hard copies for those countries only - small country Scott Cat pages start at about $5-$10. When I get those individual country catalog pages, I scan them and keep them on my 'puter for quick-access (mostly intended for if I am away from home). Like others, I use them mostly for reference. If I want a current SCV for an area that I don't update often, I go mostly to eBay and see what the latest value tends to be.

I don't think I'd be interested in an online subscription. I need a paradigm shift that simply ain't happenin'.
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Posted 08/19/2020   11:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Scott is missing a few key features to make it worthy of a subscription:

1. There is NO offline access. This is a huge problem for me.
2. The thing is still a book, and not a database. I could forgive the no offline access if they made it a database that was more easily searchable.

One of the things I struggle with is stamps issued over multiple years with the same design by different microprints and/or perforations/die-cuts.

I should be able to search for something like "Flag over farm" and just have it list every single variety of that stamp on one page.

I think the amount of money Amos would have to spend to make it a true database, and to use that database to generate a paper catalog is more than they'd be willing to spend. But, in my opinion, they would need to do that to actually have a product worthy of a subscription.
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Posted 08/20/2020   05:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
if they made it a database that was more easily searchable.


Easily done if you are a 1 country collector.
I scan the appropriate pages, form a *.pdf and a colleague makes it searchable for me.


Quote:
"Flag over farm" and just have it list every single variety of that stamp on one page.


Again, you can do it, via image scanning, use appropriate text string ID's
I do it for the Chinese Opts, and my entire Turkey Collection.
Thereto, a simple 1 click ID route.

I click "flag" result on a collection that is very rudimentary
I have 180 US Flag Stamps
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Edited by rod222 - 08/20/2020 05:52 am
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Posted 08/22/2020   02:20 am  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'd sign up for a digital subscription in a heartbeat, especially if it had fairly robust functionality and was accessible from any device - PC or Mac, tablet, smartphone, etc. It should be 100% illustrated (not just a single type) and updated in real time as new issues are released. It should be searchable by any field in the catalog - cat#, denomination, watermark, perf, color, topic, etc. Ideally it would also be bundled with album page creation functionality, which could be a premium version of the product for an extra fee. Just check the boxes of the stamps you want and tell it to create pages for you. If I really want to engage in pipe dreams, I'd be able to take a picture of a stamp with my phone and identify it (or at least point me to the type for further study, if necessary)
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Posted 08/22/2020   07:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My belief is the content should be open sourced, and not stored inside a database.
This way the community can maintain and update it, long after the publisher goes away. This leaves the data disparate from the viewer/data retriever, page creator or any other "front end". This is what a nextgen catalog should do/be.
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