Monday, September 1, 2014

New Subscriptions Increasing To $19.95/year on September 15th., Upcoming Email Alert Feature

As noted over the last few months, the subscription price for all new accounts is increasing to $19.95/year on September 15th, 2014.

Existing subscriptions are unaffected by this increase, but will get access to the new features we have planned. doesn't currently have tiered subscriptions or differentiate users. It is doubtful we ever will.

After this price increase, there are no plans to increase the price of a subscription for at least 1 full year.

The increase in price also reflects work that's been happening behind the scenes to offer new features. As briefly mentioned in the previous post, several are currently in the works. One of them will be discussed further below.

Upcoming Email Alert Feature

We actually maintain two databases.  We track all completed auctions under the "Boy Scout" category in "Historical Memorabilia," but we also track most active auctions and store items that are currently for sale. provides the searching interface to the ever growing collection of completed auctions (nearly 3.5 million at the present).

The search interface for all active auctions is known as (you have probably seen the links around or even used it.) It is free to use and helps support our efforts by utilizing eBay affiliate links (so please do use the site for eBay searching if you can.)

The new Email Alert feature for members will provide an automated way to be alerted for new items that get added to the completed auctions database, the active auctions database, or both.

Users will be able to specify:

  • search string 
  • search window (all-time, last 1-7 days)
  • min/max bid count
  • min/max price 
  • max results shown
  • frequency of alert (daily, weekly)
  • hour of day to conduct alert search (and send email)
  • day of week to conduct weekly alert search (and send email)
Emails will be sent as both HTML and text-only. Both formats will contain search results, including a section on statistics computed over the entire database for that search query.  The HTML version will also contain images links and item links for your convenience.

The idea here is to allow members a more convenient and tailored way to track active auctions, but to also be alerted when an interesting item is recorded in the completed auctions database.

This feature is currently in testing and is scheduled to be released for member use by the end of September.

If you are interested in becoming a tester for this feature, please contact You must be a member of to participate.

There are also a couple of other features in the works that future blog posts will discuss.  And due to user feedback, we are investigating augmenting the data we track on each completed item.

Please let us know your thoughts on anything contained in this post or really, anything else that is on your mind as it relates to

Thank you,

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Newsletter - Exciting Site News, Houston Trade-o-Ree


Site News

I try to avoid talking about the technical aspects of the site, but I have some news to share. I spend many hours a week on the site, but they are changes that you will never see or know about. The result of the hard work I put into the site is reflected in the speed of the searching over the growing millions of items in the database. It is also reflected in the site's reliability and very low downtime rates.  My goals is always a 100% A+ user experience for my members.

I don't do just maintenance. As time permits, I work in features that I think will take - and your memberships - to the next level. Here is a brief list of some of the features I am working on:
  • Email Alerts - manage searches and emails that alert you to new items as they are added to the database; searches will also be integrated with the live eBay auction database, This feature is about 85% complete, and I am shooting to release it by the end of September.
  • Automatic item classification - this feature is more of a backend change, but the main value added here is that as new items are added to the database, I will have a system that automatically classifies them into simplified tags using a variety of heuristics.  For example, all items that are related to cancer or cause awareness will be tagged with the "cancer" or/and "awareness" flag.
  • Real aggregate data and statistical information - there has been a great need for some to aggregate the results of a search into statistics. I plan building up the capabilities of to provide aggregate (min, max, average, variance, etc) information. I also plan on providing charting capabilities that would allow one to view moving averages and compare metrics for one set of results against other sets of results over the same time period.  This will make the "trends" in a reality.
  • Personal list builder - this feature is one that I think people will really like; the idea is that you will be able to "save" results into specific buckets. You will also be able to add your own categories and labels. The net result is that you will be able to build and maintain your own list of items. I also plan on making these lists exportable, so that they can be useful for individuals doing research for their own person or guide or for guide authors who might happen to be working with to publish their own guide.
I have few other hairbrained ideas floating around, but all of these are list above are the results of real feedback that my members have given me.  And still after all of this has been delivered, there will be no increase in price for existing subscriptions. It's becoming clear that joining NOW is going to pay off in the long run.

Houston TOR Recap

On August 22-23, attended its first Trade-O-Ree. It was located in Houston, Texas and held at the Sam Houston Area Council. It was hosted by Colonneh Lodge.

The table was about as non-traditional as one could expect at a TOR.  I was not selling patches, but I had some of my dupes out so that people didn't pass me up thinking it was an admin table.

I had a couple of computers set up so that dealers, vendors, and attendees could sit down to look up prices. I had plenty of visitors and I appreciated meeting everyone.
The most exciting aspect of the TOR was that I got to finally meet, face-to-face, so many great individuals that I have been knowing over the years from my dealings on the Internet.  And, not surprisingly, they were just as great and nice in person as they are online.

The first night of the TOR was relatively slow. There was very little foot traffic that was not a result of the vendors and dealers seeing what each other had.

I made it a point to visit each table and talk to the purveyor for a while. They all had very cool stuff and interesting stories to tell. Of course I introduced myself and told them a little about I also told them about the larger and growing Scout Patch Buyers/Sellers Facebook group that I manage. It's a great place for small time and big time sellers to sell. It's a great place for casual and serious buyers to also visit.  As of current count, we have over 1,300 members.

My greatest joy during the TOR was when I was able to discuss the site with individuals. Many took up the opportunity to use the site on one of the two laptops that I had open to

In particular, I wanted to make sure that each and every Scout I saw in the place had a chance to test drive the site. They were also made well aware of the fact that I provide youth Scouts with free accounts.

A great time was had by all, and I am definitely hooked on this TOR thing now. I can't wait until I am able to attend the next one.  I met a lot of great people and really appreciated the opportunity I had to spread the word about  But I keep going back to the real reason I had such a great time - the people.  You never know who you're going to run into, and in my case I had the amazing chance to meet a fellow former Lodge Chief of Chilantakoba #397 - albeit our tenures were separated by a span of 30 years.

It is my goal to make strong inroads into the many TORs that happen each year in this Country.  I certainly can't attend all of them, but I am going to try very hard to make the ones within driving distance for me in the coming year.

Since I am located in Houston, these would include: The Lonestar TOR (Grapevine), The Capitol TOR (Austin), and the world famous Dallas TOR.

Thank You is a labor of love, and I hope that you consider joining if you are not already a member. My focus on customer satisfaction is bar-none in this hobby, and I really want a chance to provide you with an exceptional experience and a great product.  If you are interested in joining, please visit. Once a member, you have all rights and accesses as everyone else. There are no tiers and no classes. All members are equal and all members are a priority.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Newest Patch Guide on the Block - The Guide To Collecting Scouting's Breast Cancer Awareness Patches

I am proud to announce that Justin Carlisle and I have recently released the Guide To Collecting Scouting's Breast Cancer Awareness Patches for sale in electronic format (PDF) for only $10.

For a preview, visit

What's Included?

  • Immediate download
  • 1 FULL year of FREE updates
  • Full color
  • Checklist
  • Over 40 items
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Free Updates for 1 Full Year

For 1 full year after purchase, you will be able to download the latest version of the guide.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

If you are not happy with the guide, we will work with you to resolve your issues. If we can't then we will happy to give you your money back.

Why No Print Version Yet?

We are currently working hard to find the best solution to provide a high quality printed version.  Our plan to provide the guide in electronic format was made based on considerations of time to market , cost of the guide, and make sure we provided the best quality/price.

Guide Authors, Wants to Work with You!

This Guide represents the culmination of a lot of hard work by Justin and myself. In addition to the Guide you see before you, has worked very hard to position itself as a leader in providing specialized collection topic guides.  While this Guide is the first one created with the help of, it is just the beginning.

If you are one of the following, I want to work with you as I worked with Justin to create and publish your very own guide:
  • if you have an existing guide and need price data points to update your
  • if you have accumulated private research and wish to polish it up and sell it as a guide
  • if you're starting from scratch, but have an inkling that you'd like to author your own guide

What can offer Guide Authors?

  1. Free and confidential consultation
  2. Free use of as a research platform
  3. Permission to publish data researched on
  4. Free services to create tools that make your research easier
  5. Access to a graphics designer and book layout help
  6. Marketing and promotion assistance (via the network)
  7. Customized e-commerce solution to sell your publication 
  8. Free website creation and hosting promoting your publication
  9. Plus lots of other things that I haven't even though of yet!!
Not guide author has the same vision or needs, so I'll work with you to create the guide that you have envisioned for yourself.  No idea is too big or too small, so please contact me today for a free consultation. PATCHTRENDS@GMAIL.COM.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Updates - March Newsletter

New FB Group for Buyers and Sellers

"Scout Patch Buyers/Sellers" Group -

The rules are simple - no trade (buying/selling only), and obey the Scout Oath & Law. I would love to have all of you on there.

Hard at work improving!

Upcoming Special Topic Price Guide

I have teamed up with a well known individual in the community to put together a guide on a very popular topic. As the publishing date gets closer, we'll make more announcements about it. I have a lot to say on the topic of guide creation, and if you're interested in doing one, please let me know.

It has been my goal to be more than an online price database. I want to be a comprehensive publishing platform for guide authors and researchers to use in their quest to create and update their excellent publications. With this upcoming guide, it is a first great step in this direction, and I am truly excited about it. If you have a topic for which you'd like to create a guide and don't know where to start, let me know! Plans

I have plans to update the user interface. I also plan on interfacing with Patchbazaar to create an alerts system. That is, members set up alerts and when items matching their searches appear, they will be alerted. I also plan on automatically finding and recommending underpriced items based on Patchtrends data and current price of live auction items. It should provide a huge value to most PT members.

Free Scout Memberships

I am still giving away free accounts to Scouts that meet some basic requirements. If you know one interested, please let me know.

Never overpay. Never undersell, Know its worth. Join today!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Free Accounts for Youth Scout Traders

First - What is and Why should you care?

I have begun a pilot program that provides to youth Scout traders a FREE fully functioning membership account, provided they fulfill the following requirements:
  1. Get parent/guarding permission by sending an email to
  2. Scoutmaster verification that:
    • they are First Class or above; or
    • they have earned the Collections Merit Badge
I understand that "youth" in OA is under 21, so if there is an Arrowman who is still active in their Chapter or Lodge, I will consider them as long as they are also still active in the Troop. This may be verified by the Scoutmaster.  If extenuating circumstances exist, please contact me. I'd be willing to make an exception in certain cases.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Updates, Hopes, and Dreams for the New Year!


So far the New Year has been good. I have not posted in a while, but I've just been busy continuing to improve the site's ability to collect and store data for a very long time. as a service began operations in January of 2013, so we've been up and running for a year now.  In that time, we collected over 1.4 MILLION records and have succeeded in becoming a very popular service.

New Subscription Price Increase

Because of the maintenance and overhead involved in the service, we have decided to raise the base subscription rate to $17/year for all NEW subscriptions.

I can't stress enough the fact that once a subscription is bought and paid for, it will never go up. Only new subscriptions will increase. This is important because I plan on increasing the price for new subscriptions each year for the foreseeable future.  The price increase will only ever apply to new subscriptions.

Refer a Friend

The RaF program is still in place and has encourage a fair number of sign ups. is a useful and valuable service, and should be appropriate for anyone buying and selling on eBay - even the casual buyer or seller.

New Projects

Late last year, I launched a service for tracking the prices of Virtual and Crypto-Currencies on eBay.  The project is called Check it out if you want to find the best prices on virtual currencies.

Goals for the New Year

  • One-time use mode, for those not interested in subscriptions
  • Statistical reports for all the data we're collecting
  • Spreading the word about
  • Continuing our excellent customer service
  • Seek out more user feedback and strive to make improvements to the site
Thank you, and please remember to spread the word about!