July 08, 2015

Consolidating inquiries

June and July are normally slow times in paper collectibles. Every year at this time, correspondence from readers slows substantially. I know correspondence will increase in August and peak between November and April, but between now and then I have a bit more free time.

I receive images, prices and serial numbers almost exclusively from email. Within a few days, I enter that info into my personal database and then transfer it to my online database twice a month. Information about specific certificates rarely ages more than 15 days before appearing online.

My most interesting correspondence, however, involves questions about certificates.

Questions about certificates and the hobby come from five primary sources: email, this blog, my personal Facebook page, the Coxrail Facebook page and regular physical mail. LinkedIn contributes very little correspondence.

The truth is, many of my answers already reside somewhere on my Coxrail site, but with over 400 pages, people sometimes have a hard time finding that information. It is simply easier to write.

Answering person inquiries is usually fun, but I am always frustrated by the fact that others would probably like to ask the same question and don't. After consideration, I have decided to start posting significant questions and responses in this blog in hopes that more people will benefit.

However, waiting for new questions to come in is highly inefficient. After, all, I often answer the same questions many times a year. Therefore, I think I will begin by taking advantage of the summer slow period and start re-posting earlier questions and answers here.

Don't expect me to get in a big hurry. My time is still extremely short. But I promise to start going back through old emails and pulling conversations that might help others enjoy this hobby a little more.

Be patient. Re-posting will not be immediate, so feel free to ask questions in the interim.

If concerned about privacy, I want you to know that I will eliminate names of collectors when I re-post their letters here. On the other hand, if anyone already uses his or her own name or internet "handle" in correspondence in this blog, I will leave it here unless instructed otherwise.

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