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MARKETING COMMENTARY - An Interview with Bill Herzig of Herrick Stamp Company

Moelis:  Bill, I have known you for many years but perhaps you can introduce yourself philatelically speaking to our readers.

Herzig:  Well, Rob, I have been a full time stamp dealer since 1966. My parents, Arthur & Dorothy Herzig, founded the company in 1946. My grandfather was also a collector and a part-time dealer when he was not practicing medicine. I have seen a lot of stamps over the years.

Moelis:  You must be in touch with many collectors. What is on their minds these days?

Herzig:  Naturally, there is a wide variety of philatelic matters to discuss, but right now most just want to find stamps that they always wanted and could never either find or afford.

Moelis:  What are the most popular areas of collecting today?

Herzig:  Herrick sells more Botswana than Beligum and more Comoro than Canada.

Moelis:  What does that answer mean?

Herzig:  Herrick customers want the unusual stamps and the thematic stamps that they are missing. Belgium stamps are in every stamp dealer stock, Botswana stamps are not.

Moelis:  Herrick Stamp Company has a large website. What are you hearing from the internet?

Herzig:  Herrick's site is a busy one. New issue sales are strong and thematics are the most searched for subject on our site. Herrick's website as 120,000 listings and averages over 20,000 hits per day.

Moelis:  Really? Is that true?

Herzig:  Actually it is an understatement. I prefer to keep the exact numbers private.

Moelis:  Herrick Stamp recently ran an advertisement showing five generations of stamp collectors in the Herzig family. What kind of response did you get to that ad?

Herzig:  Interesting question and the best one you have asked so far. Herzig family membership in the American Philatelic Society started in 1927 and continues to this day. We heard from other multi-generational stamp collecting families and have started ongoing philatelic diaglogues with a few of them. This advertisement also lead us into some buying opportunities that we might not have otherwise had.

Moelis:  Speaking of buying, what is the reason that Linns Stamp News has so many of full page buying advertisements? I see very few offers to sell stamps. Certainly no full page selling listings that there were years ago.

Herzig:  The dealer selling listings have all gone to Global Stamp News which greatly resembles the old full size Linn's Stamp News and is affordable for dealers and inexpensive for collectors to subscribe to.

Moelis:  You did not answer my question about the glut of buying advertisements in Linns.

Herzig:  Herrick Stamp Company is a major buyer of stamp collections and we have a reputation for paying fair prices. At least I think we do. A number of the dealers advertising to buy stamps in Linns actually sell these collections to us. About 50% of the Linns advertisers actually have no stamp customers at all except other dealers and auctioneers who will sell the stamps for them.

Moelis:  What is the state of the market? In just a few words, please. This is supposed to be a short article.

Herzig:  The market for rare stamps in top condition is the best I have ever seen. Prices are very strong. The market for stamps in fine to very fine quality is price sensitive and is down a bit. Stamps from small countries are more in demand than stamps from large European nations. Topical stamps from small countries are in great demand and are rising in price. Quality is more important now than it was 30 years ago.

Moelis: Bill Herzig of Herrick Stamp Company, thank you for your time and information. May I come back soon for another portion of your experience and perspective?

Herzig: Anytime Rob. Always a pleasure.

Contact's: Interview Conducted by Rob Moelis of National Stamp News