In the past, I have written about sellers who tell me that the sale of a collection is going towards funeral expenses or medical expenses. In short, they are hoping that the sympathy factor kicks in whereby Iíll buy their collection for $10,000 instead of $500 because I have a sympathetic heart and that extra $9500 is going to care for someone in need.

It never works that way. I cannot overpay for material and then overcharge my customers. No one is going to buy a $100 stamp from me when another dealer is selling the same stamp for $50. I cannot tell the customer that they need to buy my copy because that extra money went towards someoneís medical bills. That explanation will never fly.

The converse is true. I canít underpay for a collection because I have a customer who would really like that material. But they are on a fixed income and canít pay more than $100 for that album that is packed with better material that would normally bring over $1000.

This isnít fair to the seller. I cannot tell them that Iíll only pay $100 for the collection because my customer is on a fixed income. They will not care. They will walk to the next dealer who has a better offer.

Sometimes a customer will tell me that they are looking for a certain stamp (or set of stamps) within a defined budget. Many times, their expectations are realistic. There are a few collectors though that, quite frankly, must be living on another planet. There is no way Iíll ever be able to obtain a copy at that price and make a reasonable profit. Iím sorry, but you are not going to get that set of Graf Zeppelins (Scott #C13-15) for $100 in nice condition. Youíre going to have to save your money to get to a more realistic price or you are going to have to purchase other material within your budget.

I try to buy collections at a fair price. I try to sell stamps at a reasonable profit. To me, itís not about emotions. Itís strictly business decision. I have to buy and sell based on what is in front of me and what I think I can get for it at a reasonable profit.