Youíre going to think all that I do is answer the phone call day!
A man in a nearby town called me about selling a stamp collection. I always ask two questions. How much material do you have? And is this your collection, something you inherited or what?
He had a couple of albums that he bought from someone else. The other person needed to sell it and this man bought it. It sounded like it was a lot of modern mint stamps.
Talking with him, he didnít know much about stamps. But he bought a catalog and he seemed to know a little bit about catalog values.
I explained that if he brought the stamps to me, there is no charge for looking at them. But if I have to travel, then I charge a small fee unless I buy the stamps. The man said that he never heard of anyone charging a fee before. I explained that Iíve been on plenty of wild goose chases and that there was no fee if he brought the stamps to me.
He talked for a short while. And then he said something that really struck me. He said that he doesnít work. He just buys things from other people and sells them at a profit and thatís how he makes a living. He admitted that he knew nothing about the stamps before buying them.
ďHow do you know if the stamps are worth what you paid for them?Ē I asked. He didnít have a reply.
He was going to call me back and set up a time to come over to my house and I would look over the collection. He never called and Iím glad he didnít call.
I suspect he looked at the mint stamps and bought them for perhaps face value, or thereabouts. Figuring the catalog value was higher per stamp, he would make a profit. However, most of these kinds of stamps are what I buy below face value and use up for discount postage. If he had brought the collection over, Iím sure he would have been upset with me when my offer would have been less than face value.
When this guy admits that he didnít know about stamps, but he bought the collection to resell it at a profit to make a living, my gut reaction is to stay away. I never called him back or pursued the deal any further. I suspect he still has the stamps, looking for a buyer.