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Saturday 4 June 2011

MCC Catalogue Online

I was excited a few months ago when I read that the Machin Collectors Club Specialised Definitive Catalogue was to be placed online. Now that it has actually happened, my enthusiasm has waned.

The MCC Catalogue has its share of faults, but it is a comprehensive reference work, and I thought that having online access could only be good. However, the actual implementation leaves a lot to be desired.

The online catalogue is simply a set of PDF files duplicating the printed catalogue. The pages are low resolution - a colleague who has purchased access says that the images are blurry. In addition, printing is not allowed. The usability of this online version is questionable.

The only apparent advantage to the online version is that the club promises to update the pages on a timely basis.

Finally, access to the online catalogue costs extra, even for MCC members. The cost is £10 annually for members and £20 for non-members.

You can download some sample pages here, but these are high quality and not representative of the online version. (They should really offer actual samples, so that prospective purchasers see what they are really going to get. If you are considering buying access, I suggest you write to them and ask for an actual sample page.)

Compare this to the online presence of the Modern British Philatelic Circle (MBPC). Their custom web site covers all decimal definitives, complete with sharp images. The booklet and self-adhesive product listings are derived from their own catalogue, with other listings based on The Complete Deegam Machin Handbook.*

In other words, it is a true web site, not a copy of a paper catalogue.

It is available to members only, but there is no additional cost beyond the basic membership fee, which is less than that of the MCC. So when considering the MCC's extra fee for online access, the total cost of MBPC is one-third to one-half of the MCC.

I have not been a member of the MCC for several years, so I cannot comment on their current monthly newsletter, but I can say that the MBPC's journal, The Bookmark, is excellent.

So all in all, I believe the MBPC offers much better value. And as far as the MCC catalogue online, I'm afraid it doesn't add much to the hobby.


*Corrected an error in the original post.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear Larry,
Your comments against the MCC and its on line catalogue service really do have to be answered.

The new on line version of the MCC catalogue was launched because collectors suggested it - i.e. there was a need for collectors to be kept up to date in the years between new editions being printed.

As you are aware the MCC QEII Specialised Definitive Catalogue is the most comprehensive catalogue of its type in the world covering all aspects of QEII definitives - and the most respected. After all, many of its sections, naturally mainly those covering books, were written by members of the now MBPC!!

But this catalogue not only covers books - it covers Wilding Single stamps, booklets, booklet panes, all pre-decimal single stamps, books, coil strips leaders and panes, but also Decimal Coil stamps and leaders, Cylinder blocks, Warrant (Date) blocks, Se-tenant pairs, Prestige Books, Prestige Panes, Christmas Books, Greetings books, Self Adhesive issues, Training stamps, Regional Issues - there are almost 1300 pages in full colour throughout and written by experts in their own field. AND most items are clearly priced with true retail prices - NOT false catalogue values.

Your readers are welcome to visit our sites, or to judge for themselves.

You see, the MCC only started in 1996 when a need was identified for a new service for Machin collectors. We have now had 1854 members join in that time and are still welcoming new members weekly. Our twice yearly fairs at Dunchurch are always very well attended and we are constantly striving to improve our services further. That is why, at £10 a year for UK members, membership of the MCC is by far the best 'value for money service' on offer.

Not only for Machin collectors but GB members in general.

Your readers might also like to know that we are (almost) always available to help members or readers - and sometimes non members. Our phone number is published on the web and our address is known worldwide. We do not hide behind PO Boxes, Email addresses or telephone answering services!!

That is what I mean by offering the best service, catalogue and club facilities for collectors worldwide.

Melvyn Philpott
Machin Collectors Club

jabberwock said...

This is an offensive posting on which I am pretty sure Mervyn will not bother to comment. A new MCC catalogue is not an "update". SG publish their updates free in the SG magazine but certainly don't give away free catalogues! No, I'm not an MCC member but I am a regular buyer of their fine catalogue

alec withell said...

what a pity that some people have to sink to the lowest level of comment and then do not have the courage to put their name to the statement.
Having been a long time member of the club and a contributor to the catalogues etc I find this a very useful and informative catalogue. The continual changes made by Royal Mail are always in the newsletters and now that the catalogue updates are available on the web will make a lot of difference.
The SG magazine which gives regular updates to their listings is not a free publication cost something like £36.00 per year, so the small charge of £10.00 to keep up to date is worthwhile.
i am also not afraid to put my name to this comment
Alec Withell
Machin Specialist

Machin Man said...

Please note, when leaving comments to posts slanging matches will not be tolerated.

Anonymous is out of order with his / her views on the MCC in general ,which has one of best reference books available to Machin specialists. The price is very good and in my opinion it is excellent value for money.

Comment moderation has been not been enabled on this site (as yet). Unless you wish for all comments to be approved by the blog owners before publication moderate to constructive opinions. These are always welcome but PLEASE no slagging. Anonymous,s comment has now been deleted from the post in question.