Good companies therefore will sell to private individuals and they will take you serious. The larger the company, the more serious they are about it. If they don’t take you serious, then switch the microscope dealer. Companies know very well that teachers, schools and amateurs are important factors for creating a positive image of the company.
A short story: When I bought my first microscope from a reputable manufacturer, I had a long talk with the sales person. It was the first time that a sales person tried to talk me into spending less money than I wanted to spend, I told him that I am an amateur microscopist and am looking for an appropriate device. He told me that his company does not depend on the sale of individual microscopes and that he has no interest in selling me an expensive, inappropriate device for the purpose of making quick money (which would hardly impact on the company revenue anyway). He explained me, plausibly, that they are interested in long-term customer satisfaction. “The enthusiasts of today are often those who decide tomorrow on the brand of a microscope a school or university will buy.”
The best part of the buying experience was the detailed information and hands-on trials that I got. I made a separate appopintment with the company and I talked well over an hour with the person. He tried talking me into buying a cheaper model of the scope, because I won’t need the features of the more expensive one. I still got the more expensive one, because I wanted to buy myself a present – but this is a different story. A satisfied amateur microscopist, in his view, will carry forward the positive company image.