I've been considering selling my collection for a while now. Up to this point I've been a pure collector/horder. I've sold a few coins on eBay but mostly for the past 8 or 9 years since I entered the hobby, I've been a collector/accumulator.
So I figured I'd see what I could get for my collection if I took it to a dealer. I called a local dealer and told him that I had a collection, would he like to take a look at it and see what he might offer for it. I brought in a sizeable portion of my collection, ie most of the US sets I've completed or am very close to finishing:
--A set of Morgan Dollars in a Dansco, minus the 93 S, most coins in XF-MS63. 94 slabbed in XF-45
--A complete set of Peace Dollars in AU/BU
--A set of SLQs in VF-XF, minus the 1916, 1923 S slabbed in F12
--A complete set of Indian Head Cents in VG-XF, 1877 slabbed in G6, 1909 S in F12
--A complete set of Lincoln cents G-VF, 1909 s VDB slabbed in VF20, 14 D in VG8
--A complete set of Mercury Dimes VG-VF, 1916D slabbed in G4
--A complete set of Buffalo Nickels VG-VF, 1937 3 legged slabbed in VF25
--A set of Barber Halves in VG-VF, minus the 92O, 96S, 97S
--A complete set of Walking Liberty Halves in VG-AU
I had calculated the Red Book value of these coins at around $38k. I know that's pure fantasy and did not expect to get anything near it. I consider myself a prudent buyer, I haggle quite a bit and try to pay between graysheet ask and bid. I actually have invested around $27-28k in the collection. Well I was a little shocked when his initial ballpark offer came in at $16k, or about 60% of what I paid for the collection. He said if I wanted to really sell, he'd take a closer look at the individual coins and the offer may differ. He didn't say it would increase, but I took it to mean he might come up a bit.
This experience really brought home to me what everybody constantly says on this forum: "As a collector, it's hard to make money in coins." It would be a lot of work and hassle, but I'm sure I could do better than that just by breaking the sets up and selling them individually on eBay, even after I took the 9% seller's fee and 3% pay pal fees out.
What say ye with experience in selling coins? Is this a typical dealer type offer? I understand they need to make a profit to stay in business but 40%? Should I take the coins to a different dealer or should I break up the sets and sell them myself?