Motivation is different than inspiration. What motivates me to write these sections in each pricelist?
My primary motivation is you: my customers. As a dealer, I believe that I have more experiences than many of my customers: through societies I belong to, the philatelic press, talking with other customers, and so forth. Rather than be selfish with this information, I want to share it with others so that they can learn and benefit too.
There are business reasons for doing this. Some dealers understand that. For example, Pat Herst is one of my favorite dealers and someone I aspire to emulate. Pat was very successful in the stamp business and I hope to replicate that. Pat also put commentary in his publications which eventually led to “Herst’s Outbursts”. If people take time to read my commentary, maybe they will browse the material I have to offer and make a purchase. That is my hope anyway.
I’m in business to make a profit. Isn’t every business owner? However, I want people to see me as more than some evil dealer trying to squeeze every penny from my customers. It takes time to prepare this commentary. I sometimes rewrite them many times over before I am satisfied. I am not selling stamps when I spend time writing these sections. However, I think it helps drive additional sales when customers get value out of what I write about here.
In my opinion, some (not all) of the philatelic press has become stale. Here are the current auction realizations, here are the upcoming USPS releases, and so forth. One stand out is the American Stamp Dealer and Collector magazine. I have touted that magazine many times because its content is like none other in the philatelic press. It is a wonderful magazine. Some of the things I write about here are things that you rarely (never?) see in the mainstream philatelic press.
My motivation is to educate and inspire others. Maybe someone who is not a collector will read some of this stuff, take interest, and become a new collector. It would be doubly great if they became a customer of mine.
I like promoting the hobby. I want to see the hobby flourish. If you have been with me for any amount of time, I think it is obvious that I am very passionate about the hobby and I have an optimistic and enthusiastic viewpoint. Passion is contagious. I hope to infect others. My writings here are hopefully a conduit for passing along my passion to others.
I have collected stamps since age 10 in 1975. I became a dealer in 2004 after completing my MBA at the University of Pittsburgh and buying out the stock of retiring dealer, Richard Novick of Marlboro, NJ. I have been around the hobby a long time. I hope to be around a lot longer. I enjoy what I do. I hope that I can be of service to you, my fine customers.