The Main Way Coin Dealers “Rip People Off” – But Is It Unfair?

There are a lot of gray areas when it comes to coin dealing in terms of what types of behavior and buying is warranted & acceptable – this video will hopefully help people with perspective in terms of how coin dealers look at buying coins, what types of prices they try to pay, and what you can expect when selling various types of items. I think it's important to be aware of the differences in buying bullion versus buying rare coins versus buying world and ancient – basically, the more liquid it is, the higher prices people will be willing to pay. What are your thoughts?

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36 Comments on “The Main Way Coin Dealers “Rip People Off” – But Is It Unfair?”

  1. Hey Christian – I think that is a pretty good perspective. One of the bottom lines is….know your coins, and know their value before you sell them. If a coin is worth $100 and you plan to try and sell to a dealer, understand they cannot pay you the full market value of a coin, because they are a business and have to make a profit to survive. So lower your goal a little bit. If you sell to collectors, then sure, ask full value and you might get it. I see a lot of people coming into my LCS and just asking…..what is this worth, or what would you give me for this, but not already having some sort of thoughts as to what they WANT to get out of what they are selling. Luckily, my coin guy is very honest and will tell people what the values are and what he can afford to pay them. I have seen him look for key dates in a collection and let the person know that it is worth more than the others, so he will pay more. It’s great to get to know the people you may be dealing with on a consistent basis, so that you can understand their perspective when looking to sell your coins. Good video! Thanks!

    1. Right on – great perspective! That is awesome to hear about your LCS. Always nice to hear from you!

  2. you are exactly right. Wholesale is so much better. It was difficult to deal with my lcs one time on one particular time on with a 1885 V- Nickel. I bought the V nickel knowing it was cleaned and made an agreement with him. I returned it months later being “graded cleaned” he returned my money which paid for the coin. It hurts the both sides sometimes sellers and buyers. The lcs gentleman had to take the $800 coin and reduce it to pretty much half price. Now it just sits in a tiny area slabbed saying cleaned. I might go back just to go buy it again to get it out of his hair. People think that this coin dealing career is a huge profit making industry, but it is far from the truth. but you can make a living out of it, if you do it wisely.

  3. Nice.
    Very important point.
    I was thinking the same that no opportunity to realize a good sale if selling to a dealer coin shop,because they are a business owner and have to always think about while they pay a lot of rent, comercial electricity and bills they think others not have location and don’t have to pay a lot of money in bills.
    The perfect would be to sale by eBay or others Webb store.
    Can you please ilústrate us with the names stores like eBay where we can sale our coins.
    I will be grateful if you gift us with a video with the stores to sale coins information also with the coin and paper money information.
    Very interesting video thank you.

  4. Christian I have a peace dollar question. I purchased the Alexander Graham Bell Dies with stamp it came with a 1922 P Silver dollar. The Peace dollar In God We is missing the “I” no impression. Have you ever heard of this mint error or vam? Is it possibly fake? It’s sealed and has great toning on the back. Any input is greatly appreciated

  5. It’s always been easy to buy and hard to sell coins (at a decent price). It’s quite a dilemma when trying to sell nice collector coins that aren’t worth enough to grade. Forget about selling these coins to a dealer because you will feel ripped off even though the dealer maybe totally justified in their offer.

  6. Good insights … I think sellers have to be mindful of what their objective is. Coins are illiquid … if you want a quick cash you are going to get a fraction of the value. But if you are willing to do the work, you can find a way to get values that are more reasonable. I like new tools like What Not because they have democratized coin values so that we all can know what the coins are worth.

  7. Obviously bullion such as bars and rounds are the most liquid but they are unlikely to make big jumps in value which highly-graded numismatic coins are known to do. I like constitutional coins both gold and silver because they have a nice balance of bullion and numismatic value. Even base- metal constitutional coins are I believe a great investment if they are in decent shape and are the “older” ones which I define as before they started putting Presidents on them..

  8. if you have top shelf coins make arrangements with big auction houses to sell your coins when you die. you don’t want your spouse selling to local coin dealers because they will take advantage of your situation. let the auction set the market and your spouse will be better off in the long run with a trusted source like heritage or stacks-bowers.

  9. Thank you so much for this useful information! As a starting out coin collector, I’m looking for all the Information I can to successfully create my own collection. This will really help me out!

  10. Great discussion Christian. Lots of factors involved, and you covered most of them. No one has to apologize. These dealers are definitely not ripping people off. they are running a business. They are are offering a price where they are comfortable that they can still make a profit given the amount of time and other resources it will take to turn over those coins. Dealer A may pay a little more than Dealer B for a particular coin if he knows if he knows in advance that he has buyers for that type of coin, or if he doesn’t need to have a retail presence. Some collectors have to be educated, but most intuitively know the score. If a buyer is dissatisfied, let him try to sell the coin himself for more, and he will see that it takes time and effort ( and security risk ! ), and is not that easy to do.

  11. This is why i say that it’s very important to pay attention to what you’re LCS likes, what sells the most, what’s popular and what’s not. Obviously this will vary from state to state. That’s why it’s useful to build a relationship with your LCS. Get to know them. It will go a long way in the end.

  12. This was probably one on the better videos from any content creator, in a long time. Dropping truth 💣 like a MF💀

  13. Numismatics is all based on what someone is willing to pay. So the only scam would be if a dealer already has a buyer lined up at a price point and lowballs the seller.

    The real scams occur with precious metal coins. People should educate themselves on the metal spot value of their gold and silver coins.

    Just remember numismatic and precious metals are two separate price points. They may correlate, but not always. Precious metal coins have a built in bottom value (e.g. constitutional silver, cull silver dollars).

  14. The best thing to do. Just sit on your coin until the spot price goes up and then make a profit. I learned that the hard way. Learn to say no, thats something i have a hard time with.

  15. My experience with coin dealers and gold brokers has been pretty much unanimous, and to this date I’ve dealt with about 15.

    At first they are all kind but have an edgy attitude. Then when they realize that you have a sense of value anything above scrap or wholesale prices they treat you like crap.

    I have found Brokers that offer a good % up front but then either change their tune later or pass an item under value to bolster their profit.

    One of the coin brokers here, when I tried to show him a cud error and a die crack even to ask his opinion he just huffed and puffed and rocked his head and basically said he just buys out of book, that’s it.

  16. I get better prices by selling on eBay, even with their fees, then I can at my LCS. And it generally isn’t close. It could be that I’m in a smaller town but then I watch what my LCS charge and I roll my eyes.

  17. The coin dealers who rip people off “ALWAYS” start ripping you off when they unlock there doors and turn the open sign on.

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