Buying Coins Online

Buying coins online can be a great way to supplement a collection without going to a distant coin shop, or waiting for that swap meet weekend to buy a new item for your collection.  The availability and ease of coin shopping online have there benefits over brick and mortar stores, but there are some drawbacks to buying your coins online.  To decide if the online venture is right for you, and to decrease the odds that you are unhappy with any online purchase you do make, just follow this easy guide.

It must be said first and foremost, that it is definitely easier to be fooled or scammed over an online coin transaction than in a brick and mortar store.  Online buyers need to be alert, savvy, and scrutinizing over every aspect of a purchase, to ensure that you remain satisfied with your decision.  Online vendors are much less likely to have the vast coin knowledge that a coin shop dealer would have.  Also,  because all information about the coin is provided by the seller online, and is unverifiable until usually after you have paid your money and received your coin, it is vitally important that you double check what you see in the coin to the vendor’s description. Countless times on ebay and other online clearing houses, the as pictured coin varies from the description.  Error coins and other subtle differences are easily glossed over in a low resolution photo, so watch out for “mislabeled” coins.  Always be your own historian, and never blindly trust that an item is depicted exactly as it is shown.

Also, because you are  being robbed of a chance at seeing the coin firsthand before you buy it, you are also being robbed of a chance to objectively grade the coin yourself.  Internet coin dealers know this, and sometimes use ambiguous or undefined terms to describe the coin’s condition.  As condition can be a deciding factor in the price of a coin, this is a big disadvantage.  This can be negated by buying coins that come “slabbed”, or mounted and graded by a professional service.  Bear in mind though, that a professionally graded coin will cost more than an ungraded coin of the same condition.

Remember, when looking online for a seller, be sure to ask about a return policy.  Reputable online merchants will usually accept returns within a reasonable time period, but nefarious and shifty dealers never do.  It is also helpful to communicate as much as possible with the dealer while you are looking online.  Sometimes prices may go down a bit to someone willing to ask for a lower price, and the questions you ask about the coin all go toward ensuring that you know what you get before you pay for it.

Good deals are always to be had for those who look, and hopefully for those who read this guide that search wont take too long or end up in disaster.  Just keep searching.  However a coin collector finds a deal, online or in coin shop, the pursuit is the same, to enjoy the best coins you can, as often as you can.

Monday, January 7th, 2013 Blog

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