Some time ago, I bought a collection and part of the material was moderately valuable, but not in an area that would interest my customers. I decided to consign it to an auction. I selected a dealer who claims to be the worldís largest seller of this kind of material.

Six months went by and I heard nothing. I sent 3 emails and one written letter to him inquiring about my consignment. I heard nothing. Fearing the worse, I sent a certified letter saying that if I didnít have a response within two weeks, I would take appropriate action.

That got his attention and he called me. He explained that my package with the material went into purchases and not consignments. OK, but if it was a purchase, someone should have sent a check, right? And when I mailed the package to him with the material, there was a letter inside confirming that I was consigning this material to his next auction per our email exchange. No one read the accompanying letter? As for the unanswered emails, he claims that they went into spam and were never received. Even if that is true, what about the first written letter that I sent? Did the post office lose it? He never said.

In short, I think this dealer was lying to me. To summarize: someone handled my package wrong, the emails were never received, and my written letter inquiring about the status was never mentioned. This was the perfect storm across multiple events spanning six months that just werenít adding up.

When I see letters in the philatelic press from collectors saying about their awful experiences with dealers, I think many times these accusations are exaggerated or there was just miscommunication between the two parties. Iím sure there are some dealings that that were not on the up and up.

I point out my case here to illustrate that yes, even I can have a bad experience with a fellow dealer. And what am I doing about it? The same thing that I would recommend to anyone else who is unhappy with a particular dealer: Iím taking my business elsewhere next time. Should I run into any more material like this, Iíll find another dealer to dispose of this material.