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From Supermarkets to Auctions
The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
The catalogues for high-end stamp auctions can be found online… even when it's a live
But most of the big auction houses still publish hard-copy versions of their catalogues.
They're practically coffee-table books… with high-quality color photographs, glossy paper,
and hundreds of pages. The books themselves are collectible.
They're also expensive to print and mail.
I think the days are numbered for printed auction catalogues.
The arguments for keeping them are that the big spenders – who are often older – prefer
using a took to a computer. It's often hard to get an Internet connection when attending
an auction in person…. And you can't write notes on a website.
I say the technology is already there – in the online weekly supermarket circulars. You
click on an item, and get more details, and can add it to a shopping list. You can specify
the quantity – which could easily be a price you're willing to pay. And you can add notes
on your list. Then instead of printing it out , save your auction shopping list to a file.
More and more stamp collectors have tablet computers and smart-phones. It's just a matter
of time until they use them at high-end auctions.
One other argument against doing away with hard-copy auction catalogues is that many are
kept by libraries as reference works. That's not enough to justify the expense, or the
space these books take. Librarians might want to experiment now with saving online
I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
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