Another stamp dealer said that stamp collectors make the worst stamp dealers. I understand where heís coming from. I agree with that on some points. But there is one important point that I disagree on.
Stamp collecting and stamp dealing are two totally different animals. Just because you like stamp collecting doesnít mean youíll like stamp dealing. The only thing the two have in common is that youíre handing stamps. Stamp dealing is more about running a small business. And from that side, I agree with his comments that stamp collectors donít make the best stamp dealers. Too many collectors donít know how to operate a business and thatís what it takes to be a successful stamp dealer.
But there is one important point this other dealer misses. It is passion.
If youíve been reading my commentary in these pricelists for any length of time, it should be very obvious to you that Iím extremely passionate about what I do. As a collector myself, I understand the excitement behind finding that difficult item for your collection. I find pleasure in knowing that I was able to help another collector achieve one of their goals. It gives me great satisfaction.
Looking back now at other dealers whom Iíve known over the years, I can put them into two categories. One category is like me, a collector turned dealer. The other category is the non-collector.
To me, the collector turned dealer is different. They share in the excitement of you picking out an item for your collection. They can tell you stories about people, places, and events in the stamp world. They can help answer your questions. There is a passion in what they do.
To me, a person who becomes a dealer because they seek to make a living that way is many times, in my opinion, cool or cold to deal with. Thatís a general statement and there are exceptions to the rule. But to me, these dealers are like, ďHere is my material. Let me know if I can help you.Ē They are in it to make a living. There is nothing wrong with that. However, everything is a business transaction to them with some level of profit attached to it and nothing more. There is little if any emotion in their business transactions. They lack passion.
They say that if you love what you do, then it doesnít seem like work. That is true for me. I have a lot of work to do to build my business. But at the end of the day, I love what I do and it doesnít seem like work. And I love my customers.
I think that is part of what sets me apart from other dealers. Some dealers see a sale and a profit margin attached to each transaction. They are business people first. I see a collector on the hunt for items for their collection. Iím glad Iím able to help them obtain items they need. But I do it with a passion which you donít always find elsewhere. Yes, I make a few dollars doing being a dealer. But stamp dealing is my passion.