Archive for January, 2013

Selling Your Collection; Getting the Most for Your Coins

So, the time has come to sell the collection.  Whether you are an experienced collector with an extensive collection or an beginner looking to specialize in a  new series, you will want to get the best price you can, without spending months doing it.  To do that, you may need some luck, good coins, or just follow these simple methods to maximize your coin collection’s value.

To start, you will need to evaluate just how much your collection is worth based on the average buying price for coins of comparable condition to yours.  The best resource for this would be a nationally available annual numismatic publication, “The Official Blue Book” (this is the companion to “The Official Red Book”  which gives the average dealer selling price for a coin), or “The Black Book of U.S. Coins” are good examples of places to give you an accurate estimation of what your coins are worth, now to get as close to that value as possible.

The highest coin prices are usually only realized through auctions, and there is proper reason for that.  By selling your coins with the other items up for sale in an auction, you dramatically increase the number of potential buyers that may be interested in your coin.  Be aware though, that the best collections for sale are generally sieries specific.  It is much easier to find an interested buyer for a complete series collection, than one or two issues from multiple coin sets.

Online auctions also provide a certain measure of exposure useful when selling your coins.  Be sure to specify a reserve price only if you absolutely need to have one.  Potential buyers may be turned off by the wrong coin with a reserve price.  Generally, a coin with an expected sale value of 10.00 dollars or less will not be sold under a reserve price auction.   There is a general perception that “no reserve” auctions contain the best deals in the marketplace, so use that to your advantage and offer those sales on items that you can risk taking whatever the market will bring you.

Whatever the venue, there are also some things you can do to the display, description, and presentation of your coin to maximize your value.  A coin album or similar permanent easily displayed set generally sells better than the same set packaged individually.  Also, the cheaper forms of coin preservation will conversely affect the price, so put coins of high value in secure holders, as the extra cost paid will not only yield a better preserved coin, but a higher resale value as well.  In the description, be sure to include only your honest opinion of the coin, and no filler describing the condition of the coin.  Adding the relevant history and mintage information is advised, however, as this will help the potential buyer grow interested in the coin you have.  Post pictures that are clear and show very fine detail on the coin, and be sure to answer any questions buyers have promptly and accurately.  Be proud of the coins you are selling and the person who buys them will have the same pride in them as you.


Monday, January 14th, 2013 Uncategorized No Comments

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 No Comments

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