Speaking of phone calls …

The phone rang. I answered, “Is someone there a stamp collector?” the male voice on the other end asked. “Yes,” I said, “I am a stamp collector and a dealer.”

The man continued, “Do you have any high value Presidential stamps on cover. They must be VF or better.” I explained, “No, I don’t have anything like that. Any covers I get are ordinary, inexpensive covers.”

Not satisfied, the man continued, “Do you have any dealer stocks of VF or better stamps, ungraded. They must be before 1930. Something where the stamps are a dollar or two each.” I explained that I didn’t have any dealer stocks like that, but I do have some individual stamps that meet that criteria. However, they were not a dollar or two.

“No, I really want an entire dealer stock,” the man scolded me. “Sorry, but I don’t have what you’re looking for,” I replied. Not satisfied with that answer, the man inquired further, “Do you know any other dealers who have a dealers stock for sale? Remember, they must be VF or better, ungraded stamps for a dollar or two. Can you check? If you find something, can you send me an email on where to find it at?” He proceeded to give me his email address. I won’t mention it here.

“I don’t know of any such dealer stocks off the top of my head. Why don’t you contact other dealers with your request?” I asked. “I don’t know very many dealers,” the man replied. “Can’t you just check with them and get back to me at that email address?” There is a sound of desperation in his voice now.

By now, my warning lights are going off like crazy. This guy calls me out of the blue. He doesn’t tell me his name. Oh by the way, the caller ID on my phone shows he’s calling from an Econo Lodge motel. And he’s looking for material that is somewhat expensive, but he only wants to pay a dollar or two per item. It’s time for me to end this call. He’s wasting my time. And this guy expects me to do all of his work? I need to contact my dealer friends and find this elusive stock for him because he doesn’t know very many dealers. Assuming I could even find a stock like that, no offense, but what is in it for me besides a lot of work? He wasn’t offering a finders fee or anything. I’m not out to make a million bucks, but if I’m going to all of this work to find a dealers stock for you, I want to make a reasonable profit for doing all of that work. Especially when it’s something that this guy could easily do his self if he took the time.

Desperation is really setting in now. “Can you email me no later than tomorrow? I really need to get this deal done,” he asks. “Sure thing!” I replied. The phone call ended.

The next day, I sent my reply by email, “Sorry, no one I contacted has a stock like that. Good luck in your search.” Of course I didn’t look for his material. Why did I send the email? I don’t know, out of courtesy I guess.

This guy was looking to make a quick buck. Prexy series covers often sell in the tens or few hundreds of dollars each if you find unusual postage rates. Some of the stamps are difficult to find properly used on cover, let alone being in VF or better condition. Dealer stocks are often a mix of material. Yes, there are better items, but there are plenty of Fine or F-VF material too. It’s unusual to find a dealer stock where everything is VF or better. And those stocks aren’t going to bring a dollar or two per stamp. He wanted ungraded stamps so that he could submit them for grading and reap a big profit. Or so he thought.

He never called back. I hope that is the last time I hear from him. If your phone rings and it’s the Econo Lodge calling, don’t answer!