5 Reasons Selling Your Coin Collection at an Estate Sale Is a Terrible Idea
Are you considering selling your coin collection at an estate sale? It’s tempting.
After all, an estate sale can be a massive undertaking. You might think, “While I’m at it, I might as well take care of selling my coins at the same time.” You might expect a lot of people to attend, so it might seem advantageous to offer your collection while they are there.
1. Estate sale companies are not coin experts
Estate sale companies are generalists. They really do not tend to specialize in any one thing they are selling. An estate sale company’s lack of specialization is bad news for you if you are trying to sell your coin collection. You need someone with knowledge and experience relating to coins to handle the sale for you.
With a coin expert handling the sale, you have a much better opportunity to maximize your profits on the sale. After all, coin experts know how to display, describe, and promote each coin. They understand what you stand to lose if they fail to sell the collection for the best price. What’s more, they can ensure your coins are protected and safe until the transaction is completed.
The problem with having a coin expert run your estate sale, at least the coin part, is that most coin experts won’t commit the time, or would be way too costly. Therefore, you’re ultimately better off finding a coin dealer near you that you can trust with the fair sale of your coin collection.
This eliminates the cost of a coin expert coming out to oversee the sale of your items, haggling with potential buyers, and potential theft which is all too prevalent at estate sales.
2. Inaccurate pricing could cause you significant losses
Another way estate sale companies can cause you to lose money is through inaccurate pricing. This goes along with the fact that they aren’t coin appraisal professionals. They typically take a quick look at the coins and make a fast judgment based on very limited knowledge.
These companies and their representatives rarely even know how to tell what a fair price is for your coin collection.
If your estate sale company undervalues your coins when you are selling your estate coin collection, you stand to lose a large portion of what you could have gained. On the other hand, if they overprice your coins, they will most likely not sell at all.
In our experience, they tend to overvalue the coins and make many of the same mistakes as the general public as we’ve identified in this article. Either way, they miss the mark and leave you with unsatisfactory results or no results at all.
3. You don’t get the right target audience.
When you are selling a coin collection, your ideal target audience is made up of coin collectors. While coin hunters keep an eye out for estate sales, they do not always make it to every single estate sale.
This is not where they expect to find the pieces they are missing from their collections. These collectors would rather not waste their time at an estate sale where they only have a very small chance of finding the coins they want.
Many times, coin hunters go to estate sales looking to buy cheap and sell for a much higher profit. Often these profiteers attempt to flip the coins, which means selling them the same day they purchase them. On occasion, these individuals reach out to us attempting to sell the coins that they purchased earlier that day at an estate sale.
If you want to try selling your coin collection for the best price, you need to sell them to people who are interested and ethical enough to pay a fair market price. You won’t find those people at estate sales looking for coins. By meeting them where they typically are, you do much better than you ever would at an estate sale.
4. You typically pay a high commission on your coin collection sale
Unless you sell your coins without any help, you will pay some type of fee or commission to the person or company that does the work of selling them. Yet, those fees can be relatively low if you choose wisely. A coin dealer can help you at a lower fee or commission than an estate sale company nearly 100% of the time.
In fact, the fees charged by estate sale companies typically range between 25% and 30% of the total sales for the entire estate. That’s a very high price to pay to sell your coins. You end up adding another potential loss in total realized value due to pricing errors.
Most estate sale companies will allow you to parcel out a coin collection from the rest of the estate. If the estate company you’re working with has limitations on your ability to do this, keep searching for one that provides you with this option.
5. People coming to estate sales are looking for bargain prices
Have you ever been to an estate sale and noticed all the people searching for bargains?
They aren’t there to pay what things are worth. They want deep discounts for two reasons. Either they want to have things they couldn’t normally afford, or they want to buy low and sell high.
When you put your valuable coin collection up for sale in this environment, you should expect to receive very little for it. After all, coin buyers who are willing to pay market rates for coins go straight to the source; that is, places that specialize in selling coins.
They know they can find what they want there and be assured that the coins are authentic, accurately graded, priced, and preserved properly.
Speaking of authenticity, this is a risk to you when having an estate sale company handle the sale of your estate coin collection. Since they’re not coin experts, they could unknowingly sell a fake or counterfeit coin to a customer. This could open up a can of worms with respect to customers seeking refunds, law enforcement getting involved, reputational risk, etc.
Other Ways to Sell Your Coin Collection
Once you see that estate sales are not the right venue for selling your coin collection, where does that leave you? Where and how should you sell your collection now?
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Have a coin dealer appraise your collection
A coin dealer can appraise your collection to ensure accurate pricing. They will take note of the specific type of coin, its year and condition, its rarity, and the current supply and demand for it.
With all this information, they will let you know what the right price should be. Keep in mind that most coin dealers will have a fee for coin appraisals. Make sure to ask before taking your coins in to be appraised, but also ask if that fee is waived should you decide to sell your collection to the dealer doing the appraisal.
Sell your collection to a coin dealer
Some coin dealers, such as Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, might make an offer for your coin collection after they appraise it, and be willing to waive the appraisal fee depending on the value of the collection.
Obviously, they must make an offer that allows them to benefit from the purchase. Even so, the price will typically be much higher than you would get at an estate sale. That’s because coin dealers have a strong enough network to find buyers ready to pay fair prices.
Have an estate sale for only your coin collection
If you really want to sell your coin collection as a part of an estate, you can have an estate coin collection sale.
You would want to have an estate coin collection appraisal first and foremost. Then, you can either market the coins individually or sell them as a collection. Whether you have an estate sale event or simply sell to a dealer, you will have the right audience and the most accurate valuation of your coins.
In this scenario, you run the risk of spending money to market your estate coin collection sale and have very few or no one showing up! Unless your coin collection is larger than a few hundred coins (and even then), this option would not be our first, second, or even third choice.
There are security concerns and other factors, such as haggling all day with buyers looking for below-market value prices, that could quickly turn this type of sale into not only a frustrating ordeal but also a complete waste of time.
Get advice from your coin dealer
There are several ways of selling your coin collection, many of which we have mentioned above. However, unless you are familiar with selling coins to the public, you would be better off asking for advice. The best option (in our opinion) would be to develop a relationship with a coin buyer and seller that you trust. That could be a local coin dealer who has their own business, or potentially someone in your area that has experience marketing coins and coin collections to the public.
If possible, get to know them before you are ready to sell your entire collection. If you have a larger collection, do your due diligence before taking your complete collection in to be appraised and/or sold. Ultimately, make sure this is a person you can trust and who will offer you as fair of a price as possible for your coins or an entire collection.
Then, when you are ready to sell, ask them what alternatives you have and how the dealer may be able to help you with them.
Why Choose Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers?
We understand selling your coin collection can be a monumental challenge.
Doing it the wrong way can lead you to leave money on the table, being scammed, or being pressured into selling your collection entirely too low below market value.
On the other hand, if you choose true coin experts to help you, you can get the best outcome possible.
At Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, we have built a solid reputation for fair and transparent pricing, professional appraisals, and a high level of expertise. We buy and sell a host of different types of coins and currency, including U.S. and foreign gold, silver, and platinum coins, rare or collectible coins, and bullion in the form of bars and rounds composed of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, just to name a few.
Through years of experience and dealing with thousands of coin collections over the years, you can feel confident that the sale of your coin collection is in good hands when you choose Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers as your coin dealer. We make offers on coin collections almost daily and typically waive the appraisal fee if you accept our offer at the time of your appraisal appointment.