I sometimes get comments from customers who say, ďI sent a question to XYZ Stamp Company, and they never responded.Ē The company they mention is usually one of the larger ones in the stamp business.

This may come to a surprise to some collectors, but in the case of larger stamp dealers that have many people working for them, the people filling orders and answering correspondence (like requests for catalogs) are employees only. In many cases, these employees may have no real knowledge of stamps or a very limited knowledge of stamps. Employees know how to read an order and pull stamps out of a drawer to fill that order. That may be the extent of their philatelic knowledge.

Larger companies operate on volume sales. With many employees, they process many orders. They canít stop and answer questions. They are paid to fill orders. And in some cases, the person filling your order may not understand your question. So it goes unanswered.

Donít get me wrong. Iím not putting these big companies down. Iím just saying that their way of operating is very different from the way smaller dealers operate. By smaller dealers, Iím talking about stamp dealers who are in business by themselves, or perhaps there are one or two other people working with them.