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How do I sell my Coin Collection?

So, you feel it is time to sell your coin long-time collection, or you have inherited a collection and you know nothing about coins and you want to sell them. As with the sale of anything, you want to make sure you get a fair price. Sounds simple enough, right? In the area of numismatics, when it comes time to sell, offers for your collection can vary greatly. The following tips will help guide you to getting a fair and reasonable offer. I will talk more on the term “reasonable” a little bit later. Coin Dealers, like any other profession, number in the thousands. From part-time single person businesses to huge companies that buy and sell millions of dollars of coins annually. And like other professions and industries, we have a few crooks. By following the general tips in this article, you should be in a better position to realize your collections value. So here we go!

First and foremost, you need to know what you have. Why? If you do not know what you have, how do you know you are getting fair value? If you have thousands and thousands of wheat cents, I am not saying you need to inventory them all. In fact, it may not be worth your time. The chances of finding a key coin are slim at best. But you should know how many pennies you have. How? Simply weigh them. Wheat pennies come to about 148 pennies per pound. The same rule can apply to other common coins such as pre 1965 Roosevelt Dimes and Washington quarters as you may just a bullion price on these. For the rest of your collection, you may want to count the number of each piece. Make sure you have a complete list of your collection.

OK, time to contact a dealer? No, not yet. How do you know you are getting an honest one? Before contacting a dealer, you need to do some homework. Does the dealer belong to any organizations and clubs such as ANA or BBB? How long has s/he been in business? What is their reputation? Check out a couple of dealers before you make that call. Also, just because they advertise in a major coin collecting publication, does not make them honest. I know of one dealer who advertises in a major publication and sells cleaned coins as BU/Unc originals. Most novice collectors would not know the difference.

Now that you have done some research, it is time to contact the dealer. This can be done in many ways. You can give them a call or if you are the shy type, just send them an email. In your email, identify yourself and that you have a collection for sale. Include in the email the inventory you completed. This may come as a shock to many, but some dealers will NOT want your collection. Many dealers specialize in certain types or series, or just may have too many coins in their inventory. If your collection is an average collection of common coins, you may be disappointed to learn that many, if not all of the big dealers simply do not want to bother with you. It is too time consuming to sort the common collections and the margins are too small. Do not fret, all is not lost. Many smaller dealers will welcome the chance to obtain your collection. Many of these dealers work in mail-order only and may have only email or a PO Box as contact information. While they may appear shady, these folks generally are quite reputable. As before, contact the dealer and ask if they are interested. If they are not, just move on to the next dealer. If they are, ask them for their “buy price” list. Many dealers will publish a list of what they are willing to pay for certain coins.

After some hard work, you have a couple offers on the table. The offers are not anywhere near what you expected. Remember what I said above about a “reasonable” offer? Here is the painful truth. Coin Dealers are in business to make money. Sure, many of us chose this profession because we love it, but like everybody else, we still have mortgages, car payments, and college for kids, etc. Many people will look in the latest Coin Prices magazine to come up with an idea of what there collection is worth. Magazines such as Coin Prices are really a list of prices of what you can expect to pay a dealer for a specific coin, not what you can expect to get paid. Markups can range from 20-50% or more for smaller denomination coins such as wheat cents. As I mentioned earlier, some dealers just may not want what you have. Also, many, if not all dealers, reserve the right to revise the offer on inspection of the collection. If you think all your Morgan Dollars are BU, but they are really AU, this would make a huge difference in price. Grading is highly subjective. Also, for larger, more diverse collections, a dealer may spend a considerable amount of time reviewing the collection to ensure a fair price.

So, what to do? Take the best offer and run? Maybe, maybe not. If this is an inheritance, and you have no emotional attachment, you can just sell and never look back. If this is your collection of 50 years, well this may be painful. You can continue to contact different dealers and wait for a better offer. If you feel your collection is really worth more, you can always consign it for auction. With some of the fees the major auction firms charge, it may not be worth it. You can also try your hand at eBay but unless you have a strong feedback profile, many buyers will not bid on your items. You can also locate eBay members who will auction off your collection for you for a percentage of the take. Sometimes this works out well and sometimes not.

For now, let’s assume you have a reasonable offer and you decide to sell. By the way, this should be a written offer sent via the mail or sent via email. Many times, the buyer may be located in another city/state. No buyer will send you a check until they have seen the collection. If the collection is large enough (many, many thousands of dollars), some buyers will come to you. If not, your very viable option is to send the collection to the buyer via mail. Yes, that is right, via the mail. Wait you say, that sounds risky. It can be, but if you take precautions, you will have no problems. First, package the collection up very well. Make sure there are NO LOOSE coins jingling around. The sound of jingling coins is music to a thief’s ear. So be sure to wrap them up well and tight. When sending via the mail, the USPS is fairly safe. Usually, you will want to use USPS Priority Mail. Contact your local post office as you can usually get free boxes. Generally, you will want to use the Flat Rate options as you can ship up to 70 pounds for under $10.00 (not including insurance), but ask your local postal clerk for options. For your protection, you MUST insure your package and pay for delivery conformation. Include in your package an itemized list. Most dealers will appreciate this as they will audit the shipment to the list. If all is well, you can expect a check in the mail in no time.

In summary, here are the tips

1. Know what you have, prepare a comprehensive inventory

2. Research some dealers before you contact one.

3. Talk to dealers before sending coins to gage interest

4. Send your coins. Package them well and insure them

5. Review the offer

6. Collect the cash!

As always, happy collecting!

Failure Is A Learning Curve Part One

Before I started my internet marketing business I was involved in several other business opportunities many years ago and there were reasons why I didn’t see them through to the end. Now these opportunities were genuine and had excellent potential to make me a huge profit!

So what happened and why didn’t they work for me? Well I’ll tell you what they were all about and why I failed at them.

Back in 1999 I was introduced to a fantastic opportunity to sell website packages to businesses. These were sites that the owners could update themselves and back then this was a relatively new thing.

I would earn £350 for the lowest priced package and could earn up to £850 on the highest priced package. This was an opportunity not to be missed. However, there were other fees that I had to pay.

I had to pay £100 per month for this opportunity but still could be highly profitable as just one sale per month would easily cover this.

What I didn’t really think about was how to market this product. The best way would’ve been to approach businesses, but I was in a full time job and found that this would be very difficult to do.

I have never been involved in sales before either so the thought of walking into a business and trying to sell them something was extremely daunting!

So being naïve I thought that I could just place ads in a magazine and sales would poor in. After placing my ad in a magazine which cost me a small fortune I waited for a response. I waited and waited and guess what… nothing.

My money may as well have been flushed down the toilet! I then took out another ad in a business start up magazine. This gave me some response and a sale. The sale covered the cost of the ad but no profit.

So in the end I didn’t want to risk anymore money, I just didn’t have the time to visit companies or the confidence to walk into their premises to sell them something and so I decided to give it up.

But then another opportunity rolled up. One which could make me lots of money again and instantly I could see the massive potential.

This was getting businesses to use email marketing promotions which I handled for them. I would give them a box with forms attached which would sit on their counter. Their customers would fill in the form with their name and email and place it in the box if they wanted to receive promotional offers from the company via email.

I would collect the forms and send the emails to their customers with their promotional offer. I got everything I needed to run the business but then it came to selling it again. I realised that I was in the same boat as before… I would need to go out selling!

I just couldn’t imagine myself going out and selling and I was not going to spend lots of money on advertising again! So I gave up again without even trying to promote it.

Some time later another business opportunity came my way. This time it was an offline marketing business. How this worked was I would put up boards in pubs, community centres, gyms, libraries etc where many local people go.

These boards were not just plain boards, they had a centre part where local people could put personal ads in it and the businesses would have professional looking ads around the edge.

It was a great idea and this time I was going to go out and sell it. I decided to face my fear and approach companies!

I managed to get my local pub to sign up for a board which was free to them. He gave me a couple of businesses to visit to see if they would like a space on my board. I was feeling great at this point I could actually make some progress.

So, feeling good that things were looking up and I had some referrals from the landlord I decided I’m going to go for it and approach these businesses.

I sat at home rehearsing my sales pitch. After a lot of thinking and anxiety building up I could’ve easily just stayed home and shut myself in… but… this was it… I gave myself I kick up the rear end and went for it!

I got in my car and rolled up to the first business on my list. It was a bed and breakfast. I sat in my car for a bit thinking about what I was going to say and anxiety started building up again… I could’ve easily have just turned round and gone home!

What’s The Difference Between Collecting And Hoarding?

There may appear to be many obvious similarities between collectors and hoarders. The truth is, collectors and hoarders actually lie on opposite sides of a single prism. For those outside the orbit of professional organization, the differences might be confusing, but the difference between the two is a distinction well worth noting.

The Hoarder vs. The Collector

Once shopping behaviors evolve to the gathering and maintenance of countless objects that carry no value to others, and the mounting bric-a-brac begins to creep across all available space to cover beds, countertops, couches or staircases AND any attempt at discarding the detritus causes pain, that gatherer has likely crossed the threshold of the collector and marched right into the realm of the hoarder.

Hoarders tend to have great difficulty when making decisions about where to keep their profusion of artifacts. As a result, they tend to keep almost all their stuff “out” where it won’t be forgotten. This results in masses of ‘things’ being strewn about from floor to ceiling; used paper coffee cups laying forgotten next to an expired refund check and a pile of unopened boxes amassed over weeks of tuning into a favorite TV-shopping site. The reverse is true for the collector who, by nature, has a place for everything in their collection, and most everything in its place.

The Primary Differences Between Hoarders and Collectors

Collectors value and categorize their belongings, often showcasing them in display cases or archives. Hoarders often lump things together without the benefit of system or sequence.

Collectors often carry great pride in their treasures, and delight in exhibiting them to any interested party. Hoarders are often embarrassed and hide their belongings (home, car, etc.) from co-workers, neighbors and even repairmen.

Collectors are usually able to classify, quantify and articulate their exact knowledge of the various items in their collection. Hoarders will assign inflated values to arbitrary things based primarily on sentiment.

Collectors house their collectibles in specific environments, and often find joy or contentment in the company of their treasure. Hoarders harbor little rhyme or reason within the muddle of their mess. Exquisite jewels might be kept with worn socks, rare books in a dirty dog kennel, or cherished photographs among old and slowly decaying magazines.

The Decisive Difference Between Hoarders and Collectors

Most often, there is little logic to the manner in which things are heaped together within a hoarder’s home. In lieu of surrounding themselves with friends and family, hoarders will often confine themselves behind a fence of stuff instead. Most hoarders do not appear to suffer (though many admit to feelings of shame and isolation), but there are irrefutable health and environmental side effects.

Despite the accumulation of things, collectors are able to lead engaging, social lives.

Do you have a hoarder or collector in your life? Are you able to tell the difference?