Sell a Coin Collection – Why Using a Local Coin Dealer is Best
First and foremost, when it comes to selling a coin collection it’s helpful to have someone that you can discuss your questions and concerns with. This same individual should be able to provide justification for their offer price and address any issues that come up on the spot.
Being able to read the person that you’re dealing with is also helpful. Trust your gut. Did you get a good or bad feeling? If you’re not comfortable with their approach, there are plenty of other coin dealers from which to choose.
Once you’ve established a rapport, you can feel comfortable that you’re being treated fairly and can sit down and enjoy the process as opposed to being constantly on guard. Your coin collection, whether inherited or a coin collection you’ve built over the years is valuable both monetarily and sentimentally.
If you happen to have sentimental attachment to a coin or disagree with the pricing, it’s much easier to address these issues in an appointment. You shouldn’t feel pressured to sell any certain coin or your entire collection. If you do, then it’s time to move on. Lastly, the ability to receive payment on the spot is a nice benefit of dealing locally.
It’s stressful not knowing when you’re going to receive payment, or even payment at all when selling via main-in and/or online.
Below we are going to break down each of the aforementioned points in greater detail with the hopes of providing you with more clarity when figuring out how you would like to sell your coin collection.
One quick personal example before we get into coin collections…
At the time of this writing, we’re under contract to sell our house.
Exciting? Yes, yet stressful at the same time.
For now, we’ve decided that we’re going to go the rental route until the housing market cools off. It’s been years since we’ve experienced the rental home process and it’s been eye-opening as most of the rentals in this market are corporate owned. It’s crazy! So many are nameless faceless companies with staffs that have little to no interpersonal skills. Plus, they only seem to be able to communicate electronically and are of little to no assistance in addressing questions or concerns.
For example, I responded through their communication portal (again, no way to speak with someone) stating, “I would like to speak with a human being.” Needless-to-say, it’s been a frustrating process.
First breath of fresh air came after speaking with a private owner regarding their rental. We had all our questions answered on the spot and made more headway in 15 minutes than we’ve been able to for the past week with those that are corporately owned. That’s what got me thinking about the parallels between working with corporately owned versus small businesses especially regarding those seeking to sell their coin collection.
With that said, we’re going to highlight what we believe to be the benefits of dealing with an individual or local coin dealer as opposed to mailing off your collection to a faceless corporate-owned online dealer.
Ability to Answer Questions and Address Concerns Regarding Your Coin Collection
When you’re new to any process or haven’t done it in a while, you’re sure to have questions. Having someone available to answer your questions and address your concerns may help alleviate the stress of the unknown. This becomes even more important when there’s thousands of dollars on the line.
Unfortunately, when you don’t have someone available that you can meet with in person, this is not likely to be the case, at least to your satisfaction. At the very least, you’ll want a dedicated representative that you can speak with over the phone. Utilizing communication portals and only addressing part of your questions leads you to feel like you’re not important to the other party and that you and your business is not appreciated.
It’s easy for a miscommunication or misunderstanding to occur when the only means of communication is digital. This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault, as we’re all busy and can’t expect to perfectly communicate our thoughts and feelings over a laptop or smartphone. Which is why things get lost in translation too often.
For example, on a recent dealer to dealer transaction, it was clear the other dealer was interested in a complete list of coin sets that we were advertising, only to find out that he put the comma in the wrong part of his sentence resulting in a big change in his order. Simple mistakes like this could be costly when dealing in valuable items, such as coins and coin collections.
In my house hunting example, the property management company has threatened to move on to the next applicant if we don’t sign the lease, site unseen. Had the property management company simply had someone available that we could speak to, I’m sure that things would have gone much smoother.
How Gold, Silver, & Rare Coin Prices Are Determined
When shipping your coin collection off to an online corporate entity, there’s usually not someone available to discuss individual prices and how those prices are determined. If you’re like most people, you’ll likely do your own research prior to selling a coin collection. In doing so, whether right or wrong, you at least have an idea as to the value of specific coins or the entire collection.
Unfortunately, per our experience, you’ll likely get a take-it-or-leave-it attitude without justification of the quoted prices. For me, this doesn’t exactly give me the warm and fuzzy feeling I’m looking for regarding my hard-earned collection.
At Atlanta Gold and Coin Buyers, we purchase hundreds of coin collections a year and one of the most common questions is how we arrive at certain prices for their coins. It’s a valid question and one that coin dealers should welcome and be able to justify. After all, there’s a knowledge gap between most buyers and sellers. This is especially the case if the individual selling the coin collection is an heir of a coin collector as opposed to a collector themselves.
Reputable coin dealers should be able to explain their pricing on a particular item or collection, when asked. And just like anything else in life, demand and interest ebbs and flows over time. The item or items that you’re selling may be hot commodities with a strong market or could be something with a very limited market.
Regardless, a highly skilled, qualified and honest coin dealer should have no problem justifying any of the prices that they’ve shared with you.
Ability to Address Your Coin Collection Discrepancies on the Spot
Discrepancies arise and can certainly come up when dealing with a large collection of coins. For example, a customer called wanting to sell a Morgan silver dollar. They claimed that it was an 1890 Carson City Morgan silver dollar certified by NGC with a grade of 65. For those unfamiliar with grades, any grade of 60 or higher is considered an uncirculated coin. We scheduled an appointment with this individual, but out of an abundance of caution, asked him to forward pictures prior to his appointment.
It turned out that he had an 1890 silver dollar produced by the Philadelphia Mint, which was certified by a third-tier grading service that isn’t recognized in the industry. In this case, the difference in value was thousands of dollars.
Most discrepancies aren’t in the thousands of dollars, but they do come up. It’s nice to be able to address them in-person and on the spot if/when they arise. Much like the 1890 Morgan silver dollar example above, seemingly small differences, such as which mint produced the coin and which grading company certified the coin, can make a substantial
These issues are much easier to discuss in person, where a local coin dealer can show the individual which mint produced the coin simply by showing the presence or lack of a mint mark.
Other issues, such as the number of coins or type(s) of coin can easily be addressed when you’re in the room and face-to-face with an individual. It’s not uncommon for someone to come in with a different number of coins than they originally believed they had. We’ve even had a customer who arrived for his appointment to sell a ½ oz gold coin only to find out he had a 1 oz gold coin.
They were thrilled they were walking out of our office with twice as much as they were expecting. We can go on and on with examples like these as to the benefits of why an in-person coin collection evaluation may be of more benefit to a seller.
Establish a Rapport and Comfort Level with a Coin Dealer
We all prefer to do business with people that we like and can build a rapport or connection with. This is also why the same salespeople tend to be the leading producers year after year. They’re able to connect with their customers and build a level of trust that goes beyond a simple transaction.
Selling your coin collection is no different. It’s a high value item that you may have limited experience or knowledge with. Having someone to speak with openly regarding your questions and concerns is helpful.
You also want to work with someone that you feel will treat you fairly, which ultimately helps to reduce the stress and uncertainty of selling your coin collection. In many cases, you may even find that you have similar interests beyond gold and silver coins!
It’s nearly impossible to build that same level of comfort and rapport with an out-of-state company. You may hope you’ll be treated fairly based on the company’s online reviews or Better Business Bureau rating, but there’s a lot of trust and faith associated with shipping your coin collection to someone you’ve never met or have any prior experience with.
Of course, receiving recommendations or referrals from friends and family certainly helps.
Please don’t misunderstand – we’re not opposed to you shipping your coins or coin collection to a coin dealer. In fact, we do a decent bit of business with customers that are either outside the metro Atlanta area or out of state. The difference is that we don’t have multiple people involved in the processing of your collection.
The individual that opens the package is the same individual that you’ll hear from on the day the package arrives. Depending on the size of the collection, we usually make same day offers and issue immediate payment. In other words, it’s nearly as fast of a process as physically bringing your coins into a coin shop.
Ability to Know if You (and your coins) are Being Treated Fairly
We’ve briefly touched on this issue, but there’s truly no substitute for sitting across the desk with someone to gauge if you’re receiving a fair shake. Obviously, it’s impossible to read someone’s body language from hundreds of miles away. On the other hand, it’s quite easy to do when you’re in the same room. You’ll quickly determine if the coin dealer seem overly anxious to purchase the collection or if they bad-mouth the collection to set low expectations. These are signs that they may not be operating with integrity.
We’ve even heard stories from clients that they’ve been chased down in the parking lot with a higher offer only minutes after they’ve passed on the initial offer from other coin dealers! These used car salesman tactics have no place in the coin industry or any other industry.
Our approach, and that of other reputable coin dealers, is to provide competitive pricing from the get-go, similar to how CarMax operates. Right off the bat, we give you what we believe to be our best offer. On occasion, there may be some room for negotiation, but the final price will be very close to the initial offer.
For the most part, coin dealers operate with integrity, but you may need to do your due diligence to identify those that are the best fit for you.
Ability to Choose Which Coins You’d Like to Sell
When you ship your coin collection to an out of state coin dealer, you may feel that it’s an all or nothing proposition. This is especially the case when you’re happy with the pricing on most of the items, but you disagree on a few things. In fact, some out-of-state or online dealers may respond with a take it or leave it offer.
In other words, you sell everything together, or they will send the collection back to you.
This is another benefit in meeting with a local coin dealer. There you can discuss pricing for coins on which you have a differing opinion. In some cases, a simple explanation may be all you need to justify the price. For example, in a recent appointment, we met with a client who was selling a large estate coin collection, including some high-end Morgan silver dollars.
Our offer differed from his opinion regarding the value on one of the coins. However, once we explained that his coin had been cleaned and showed him evidence of cleaning from multiple surface scratches, he was satisfied with our offer. Obviously, this isn’t possible to do when you’re not meeting in person.
In the above scenario, the customer could have requested to keep the coin if he disagreed with our assessment, or for that matter, any other coin. However, he chose to sell us the entire collection. In many cases, there are certain coins that are sentimental to a person, and for this reason, they may decide to keep them.
Regardless of the reasoning, having the ability to choose not to sell specific coins is a benefit in dealing with a local coin expert. If the dealer you’re meeting with pressures you to sell the entire collection against your wishes, then they’re probably not the best dealer for you.
Ability to Receive Immediate Payment for Your Coin Collection
There are a few reasons why someone might be interested in selling a coin collection.
It could be a collection that was inherited, maybe to help fund an unexpected expense, or it could be a collection that you’re no longer interested in and you’re simply ready to move on to other endeavors. Whatever the reason, it’s always nice to receive immediate payment for your collection.
We’ve all had situations in life where we’ve had to wait weeks or even months to receive payment. This is common with returns, insurance claims, and even tax refund checks. In fact, it took approximately six months to receive our tax refund check this year. Granted, a nominal amount of interest was paid due to the delay, but this doesn’t quite make up for a six-month delay in issuing payment. We had plans for the funds, which had to be put on hold for six months.
While out-of-state or online coin dealers aren’t likely to make you wait six months for payment, we’ve heard horror stories of people having to wait a month or more before receiving payment. In a couple of situations, coin companies have been shut down by authorities or they’ve filed for bankruptcy, leaving their customers high and dry.
Unfortunately, a few bad apples tend to spoil the whole bunch.
If the local coin dealer that you’re working with isn’t willing to pay you on the spot, run, don’t walk, as they likely aren’t properly capitalized or may be experiencing cash flow issues.
In conclusion, we’ve highlighted a few reasons why it might be in your best interest to deal with a local coin dealer as opposed to an online dealer when selling your coin collection.
If you’re convinced that selling your coin collection locally is your best option, we recommend you reach out to us at Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers. We are a transparent dealer that pays competitive prices and operates with integrity.
We pride ourselves on treating our customers fairly, which has resulted in many repeat and regular customers along with referrals from satisfied customers. And we would be happy to provide the same level of industry-leading service for any out of state customers who choose to do business with us through the mail as well.
Give us a call today at 678-922-4909!