A customer called the other month to inquire about the availability of some stamps. We struck up a friendly dialogue about philately and he made the remark, "You're a dying breed." I asked him what he meant.

He said that I write about the hobby and I educate customers on how to identify various stamps.

Thatís true. I do much more than just sell stamps. Yes, I like processing orders and making a profit. But I like spreading my enthusiasm for the hobby. And I like sharing my knowledge with others. I don't consider myself an expert by any means, but I do feel that I am knowledgeable about a lot of areas.

Am I a dying breed? I hope not. Dealers of many years ago operated this way and there are a few others who still operate this way.

I've always felt that being a dealer is more than just selling stamps. You're building someone else's collection. Some collectors look to you for answers to their questions.

I hope that I'm not a dying breed. I hope that I am a continuation of an earlier breed of stamp dealer. And I hope that other new dealers continue this trend. I think it's a good thing for the hobby when you find a dealer who does much more than just sell stamps.