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Time to sell your coins?

You would be surprised how often people walk in to a coin store, say they have 'no idea' what this junk is worth, and just want some quick cash. This brings us to a fundamental rule of selling coins.


An educated seller will almost ALWAYS get more money.

There are a few important things to consider:

With the current value of gold and silver, it is often the case that the coin has more value as a precious metal, than as a collector coin. This makes it easy to compare bids from various coin shops.

This can be thought of as the 'coin-nerd value'. What would a coin-nerd pay to own this coin?

As often as you encounter someone who has no clue about coin values, you find people who think, if it's old, it's valuable! Let me tell you now... your coin collection may be best used in the soda machine. Perhaps crazy uncle Leroy saved every 1976 bicentennial quarter he could find, in this case, Leroy was just saving the 'different looking' quarters because he liked them, and no coin dealer / collector will give you any more than the bank will.

Getting the highest price for your collection.

Beware of buyers that just want to pick out the 'good stuff', and leave you with the rest. You want to find a dealer that will buy everything, and pay you fairly for it all.

Selling advice: Test the waters

A great way to select which coin shop / dealer to sell to, is select approximately 10 coins, and bring them to various shops / dealers. Pay attention to how the dealer treats you, how much he offers, what he tells you about the coins. If you can, ask questions. I've seen it a hundred times, people bring in a dozen coins to test the waters. The shop with the best service and/or highest offer, gets a chance to buy the sizeable collection.

This school of thought also works at a coin show. Grab just a few coins, and take them to dealers booth by booth. Grab a business card of the few dealers that treat you with respect and have a solid offer, and give them a chance to make a bid on your coin collection either at the show or at a later date.

I actually use this method when deciding where to spend my money at a coin show. Recently I walked to everything booth and purchased something (albiet sometimes a small purchase) at every single dealer who said hello and didn't glare at me like a theif (as I'm a bit younger than the stereotypical collector). Out of 104 coin tables at that show, I only made 8 purchases.

Multiple Bids

I once heard a coin dealer say, "If 7 people are bidding on the collection, I don't even want it". Now ask yourself, why would a coin dealer not want a coin collection? Simple answer: he believes the price will be to high. The lesson to learn here? Get multiple bids if you do not trust the buyer of your coin collection.