Dear friends, regarding the philatelic trade, the catchphrase that I summarized in my ironic title has now spread in social environments and - honestly - also in live meeting opportunities such as philatelic conferences.
But is it true that there is a lack of customers in philately today? Is it true that the philatelic trade is at a dead end? And again, is it true that Italian philately is marking time commercially?
The reality is very different from what, completely free of charge and without any knowledge of the facts, is disclosed through some of the most powerful methods of mass information today.
But let's analyze the topic clearly.
Often on the internet and even more so with the help of social media, those who put information into circulation are not specialists in the sector, but someone who perhaps barely knows that sector, has interacted with it for some reason, perhaps has been disappointed or embittered for incidents of a personal nature, etc. etc.
When news is spread in this way, it lacks the main characteristics of authenticity, has totally unreliable assumptions and consequently develops without foundation.
However, the means used for dissemination are powerful, those who read and are not informed of the facts always run the risk of falling into the trap of fake news and therefore believing what they read, even when unfortunately there is no trace of reliable sources but they are mere parts of the imagination of some improvised influencer.
Unfortunately, Italian commercial philately does not have an official channel for disseminating news, it completely lacks a point of reference that can critically and competently analyze all the sources from which to draw, to create a statistical database that has a minimum of officiality and reliability. .
In this difficult panorama, where a subject like commercial philately is still very tied to the past and to the methodologies that once made it great, the few credible voices that appear on social media today are buried by the hundreds of unreliable but noisy voices present, and therefore they are unable to distinguish themselves or emerge, leaving it devoid (or lacking) of representatives and therefore at the mercy of the false sirens who praise its inevitable twilight.
Based on the analysis done above, customer research is not strictly necessary today. To return to our title, it is not true that philately lacks customers, nor liveliness, nor brilliance. What is missing is the correct interpretation of the historical moment; today's clientele is divided into two large sections:
  1. advanced or very advanced collectors, who are looking for few and almost unobtainable pieces to complete their collections, are generally trained, very specialized and above all demanding collectors, who can hardly be served by common suppliers.
  2. neophyte collectors, who have started recently, are young or very young, do not have the means to make large purchases but a lot of passion and desire to learn, purchase comparisons, grow and decide, perhaps later, which collecting path to follow and in which then , one day, improve.
As is unfortunately happening in society in general, a whole middle category of collectors interested in that material which is not very common but not rare, which many low/medium trade traders are in possession of, is disappearing, as it is a commodity available in quantity; this creates an overabundance of supply in these sectors with a consequent reduction in prices, with the result that traders tied to an old interpretation of the retail price remain cut off from the competition on ordinary material, but very strong and irreplaceable in the supply of exclusive material, with a consequent temporary suffering because that type of material - today - is very difficult to place for the reasons explained above.
It is therefore necessary to interpret the market for what it is, that is, a growing market where the target to focus on are young collectors for whom modest prices must be offered, which allow them to gradually learn the subject they are dealing with by purchasing interesting objects. and valuable with little financial commitment; spreading philately is not "talking about everything more", but it is "providing more of everything", to allow the enthusiast to touch the philatelic subject first hand and therefore to be able to discuss it, yes, but with greater knowledge of the facts and with the stamps physically in sight.
In conclusion, looking for customers to sell the large piece that you have had in stock for some time is a sterile exercise while you need to look for dealers who can offer the right stamps at humble prices to generate a virtuous and enlightened trade that can contribute to exciting young people, without neglect the more advanced collectors who will always be able to implement their collections through the lacks; if the customer then asks for the large piece, whoever is able to supply it with the necessary guarantees will be happy to sell it, but only to put the icing on a cake built on an honest, competent, varied, flourishing trade within everyone's reach the pockets.
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1 comment

Condivido l’analisi e, in particolare, l’inesistenza di una base statistica attendibile cui fare riferimento. Sarebbe assai utile una piattaforma in cui venissero catalogati i pezzi e prezzi venduti almeno nelle aste. Io sono un anziano collezionista e riconosco l’esistenza di una certa difficoltà a cedere pezzi delle mie collezioni soprattutto con pezzi di pregio.

Giovanni Pernarella

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