A gentleman emailed me asking how to tell the difference between Scott #523 and #547. He admitted that he was looking around on eBay and a lot of the copies claiming to be #523 looked very red to him. Heís on eBay Ė so my radar goes up a little bit.

Itís a simple answer. So I write back about incorrectly described stamps on eBay and that #547 is clearly red and that #523 is orange. I sent him two images that I grabbed from the Internet. I told him that I didnít think it was possible to chemically alter a #547 to make it look orange.

He replied back thanking me for the explanation. And then he threw me under the bus. To protect himself from incorrectly described items, he was going to buy a copy from his regular dealer. He mentioned the name of the dealer.

Wait a minute! I answered your question. Granted, it didnít take long to formulate an answer. You donít have to buy from me. Youíre under no obligation. But donít rub it in my face that youíre taking your business back to your regular dealer. Why not ask him the difference between #547 and #523?

Now you understand why I donít spend a lot of time answering questions from people who are not customers of mine. Many times, these questions donít lead to a sale. I donít want to be ignorant and ignore people. But Iím not going to spend hours researching something when it isnít clear there is any motive for me to do so.

Established customers, yes. I go the extra mile for them. They bought from me before. There is a good chance they will buy again. So I donít mind going further, but within reason, to help out existing customers.