Many of you have written to say that you enjoy my commentaries in each pricelist. Thanks for your compliments. I appreciate it. I hope some of the information Iíve shared with you has been of help. Thatís my main point in doing these pieces Ė to help educate my customers.

Iím not the first to do this. Pat Herst and other dealers have done this in the past. Nor will I be the last. I hope there are other dealers who continue the tradition of not only selling stamps to customers, but to also help educate customers about stamps in general.

One customer told me that I really try to relate easily to collectors. Thatís true. Thatís because Iíve collected stamps for about 35 years. Iíve been on both sides of the table. I was a collector for a long time (and I still am) before I ever put my stamp dealer hat on. So I know very well what it is like to collect stamps. I think my enthusiasm for the hobby comes through in my writings and my dealings with customers.

You may be surprised to know that many stamp dealers are not collectors. That is what I think makes me (and some other dealers who also collect) different from the dealers who donít collect.

This isnít an issue of right or wrong. And Iím not suggesting that one is better than the other. But in my opinion, I think that dealers who also collect stamps are more personable than dealers who donít collect. Why? We dealers who collect also understand what itís like to be a collector and we understand the excitement with building a collection. Therefore, I think we have a little more of a personal interest (and to some degree, satisfaction) in knowing that weíre helping someone else build their collection.

I think dealers who donít collect are more ďdown to business.Ē Thatís not a negative statement about them. Iím just saying that in my experience, dealers who donít collect see stamp dealing more as strictly a business transaction, which I think removes some of the personal affect. To some collectors, I think these dealers are viewed as cold or uncaring. However, that isnít the case. And not having collected, these dealers donít fully comprehend the satisfaction that comes with building a collection.

A dealer who collects may say, ďYes, thatís a wonderful stamp in perfect condition. It would be the key item to your collection.Ē Whereas a dealer who doesnít collect may say, ďThere are only 500 copies of that stamp known. Itís missing from many collections. My price is $500 if you want it.Ē Does it sound different? To a collector, yes.

There are all kinds of dealers. No two dealers are alike. I notice differences between dealers who collect and those who donít. I bet you notice differences too. Again, itís not a question of right or wrong. Dealers with different backgrounds approach the same situation differently. Youíre just going to have to realize that some dealers donít collect and they may not seem as interested in your collecting interests.