How to Sell Your Coin Collection and Work with Coin Dealers


By Louis golino for CoinWeek … ..

There is little doubt that with the American currency, parts dealers are probably the most criticized players in the parts industry.

Many collectors seem to believe that dealers are useless in the Internet age, and many question their ethics.

the Parts Dealer Information Bulletin recently published a fascinating article on the need for coin dealers. The short answer is that if they didn’t exist, they would have to be invented.

This is mainly because they provide the necessary liquidity to the coin market and are an essential source of information for collectors and investors.

The best dealers often develop close relationships with their customers and pass on coin and market information that collectors aren’t likely to get elsewhere. In these cases, you benefit from their rich experience.

There is no doubt that some dealers are dishonest.

We have all heard stories of merchants paying pennies for a dollar to someone who was not well informed about what they were selling.

But it is really the exception to the rule.

In addition, it is absolutely essential to choose a parts dealer carefully, whether it is buying or selling.

I’ve had my share of bad experiences, especially with mail order companies that often sell overpriced parts. It is a learning process that everyone must follow.

One frequently hears negative comments from collectors who sold their coins to dealers, who were disappointed with the amount they received and put off by the experience.

The best way to avoid this kind of experience is to arm yourself with knowledge.

Learn as much as you can about your parts, research the market, try to know the buying and wholesale prices of your items, and find out as much as possible about a dealer before you sell to them.

Check how long they have been in business and what professional organizations they may belong to. Be a ANA member helps a lot and means that they have accepted the ANA code of ethics.

You can request binding arbitration through the ANA if you believe you have made a mistake on the part of a Member Dealer. There are some interesting stories about this in previous issues of The numismatist, the ANA’s monthly magazine.

PNG’s member dealers, the Guild of Professional Numismatists (PNG), are held to even higher ethical standards.

When choosing a reseller to sell or buy from, I wouldn’t necessarily be afraid of major players like Stack of or Legend simply because you are a modest collector.

Such companies do focus more on the high end of the market and have lots of high net worth clients, but most also sell items in a wide price range and will give the smaller collector better service than you might imagine.

The benefits of dealing with them are many, ranging from getting the best quality parts that might outperform the inferior examples, to the security that you know your items are genuine, or at least guaranteed.

Selling your coins is a complex challenge that should not be rushed.

The first thing to do is decide which route to take: auction, reseller or retail yourself on e-Bay, at a coin fair or on another sales platform.

If you have high-end and unique or rare items, an auction is probably the way to go, but remember that you will pay a substantial selling fee in most cases.

Many people are now selling their coins on e-Bay. This can indeed be a good avenue depending on many factors, but before choosing this over selling to a reseller, I suggest doing some math.

Take into account the listing fee, sales charge, which is typically 9%, insertion charge in some cases, and shipping and insurance charges for your item, which can be substantial for parts. expensive.

There’s also the time it takes to build a good list and the need to wait and see if your item sells. If not, you still won’t have to pay the registration and insertion fees.

This leaves the option that many choose, to sell to a dealer – either your local dealer, at a coin show, or by mail if you are dealing with a large dealer who buys a lot like APMEX.

If you take care to choose an honest dealer with a lot of experience, you will have a better chance of getting a fair price.

Buy-sell margins vary widely depending on the type of parts you are trying to sell.

If you have something that might take a long time for the merchant to sell, and they have in abundance, you will obviously receive less.

You might want to try someone else who specializes in this type of part, who may be able to pay more.

If you sell a sought after precious metal coin that has a strong wholesale market, like generic pre-1933 PCGS and NGC rated gold, or better modern US Mint products with low mintage, you will likely get a price. at least equal to what you would get if you sold the coin yourself on an online platform.

Resellers buy and sell such parts with very low margins in general and make money on volume, while they have to make a bigger profit on lower end items to make up for the extra time it takes. to sell them.

Keep in mind that in most cases when you sell such an item you are selling to a dealer who is likely to wholesale your part to another dealer for a small profit, rather than trying to sell it. in their store or on their website.

It should also be remembered that dealerships have many expenses ranging from insurance to rent, personnel costs, taxes, etc.

If you are planning to sell your entire collection or a good number of your coins, I wouldn’t sell everything to one merchant unless you have some very rare items that you want to auction off.

It is also a good idea to purchase the latest issue of Greysheet, the Parts Dealer Information Bulletin, which will give you a good idea of ​​the wholesale market.

Typically your dealer will pay either the bid or a little below the bid for better coins that sell easily, and less for coins that take longer to sell like lower end collectibles. .

Another way to determine how much dealers are paying for the parts you want to sell is to look at the websites of some of the major retailers, which sometimes display their purchase prices for the items they need.

Finally, keep in mind that many people do not understand that the coin market is cyclical and that it takes time to make a profit.

You have to be patient, study the market, and remember that if you are looking to maximize your return, you may want to wait for the market to improve.

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Lou GolinoLouis golino is an award-winning numismatic journalist and writer, specializing primarily in modern American and global coins. His work appeared in CoinWeek since 2011. He is also currently writing regular feature films for Coin World, the numismatist, and, and was published in Numismatic news, COINage, and FUNSubjects, among other coin publications. He has also published extensively on international political, military and economic issues..

His chronicleThe parts analyst, special to CoinWeek, won the 2021 Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) Reward for Best Numismatic Chronicle: Coins of the United States – Modern. In 2015, “The Coin Analyst” received an NLG award for Best website column. In 2017 he received an NLG award for Best article in a non-numismatic publication with his coin, “Designs of the centenary of freedom”.

In October 2018, he received a literary award from the Pennsylvania Numismatists Association (PAN) for his 2017 article, “Lady Liberty: America’s Enduring Numismatic Motif” who appeared in The Clarion.

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