A long time in customs

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    4 years ago I won 2 coins from an auction firm in
    Europe. First 10 days of tracking seemed OK. Then
    2 months nothing. I contacted the firm and asked them
    to start a search on their end. I started on this side. There
    was no response from either postal service.
    Finally after several Emails and 2 offers to refund my money
    the coins show up. All this with the package still showing
    "In Transit". For a year and a half after I received the coins
    the U.S. tracking site still showed "In Transit". Isn't
    technology wonderful??
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  3. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    I had the opposite experience of @Valentinian. I recently received a coin shipment from the UK in less than a week!
    Alegandron and Carthago like this.
  4. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    I'm still waiting for a coin from 2014. Last stop ISC New York.
    TypeCoin971793 and Kentucky like this.
  5. Carthago

    Carthago Does this look infected to you?

    Me too!
    Alegandron and Carausius like this.
  6. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Last year I had a coin disappear once it hit New York. Right now I am waiting on a coin from Cologne that’s been in the US since August 31. Keeping my fingers crossed. They aren’t striking coins for Galba anymore
  7. AnonymousCoinCollector

    AnonymousCoinCollector Reintroduce silver coins to circulation!

    When I ship international, I always use FedEx, never the Postal Service. WJBjPyM_d.jpg
  8. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    My worst "slow mail" story nearly turned me off to collecting completely in the process. I had been collecting for about 6 months, buying a pretty eclectic mix of fairly low priced bronzes of various types, mostly under $25 or so. I was finally buying my first denarius and my largest purchase to date($125) and I'd picked out a very specific type I wanted: the Trajan "ARABADQ" denarius with Arabia and a camel on the reverse. I really liked the history of the type and found the reign of Trajan interesting. After wrestling for a week or so over whether or not I really wanted to spend that much on a coin I finally placed the order and the wait began.

    The coin shipped pretty quickly and within a few days was in customs and then nothing for days and days. After about a month I contacted the dealer who asked me to be patient, so I waited. Then the two month mark went by and at about the three month mark I asked the dealer for a refund. He then informed me that the $15 shipping I paid for did not include insurance but as a courtesy he'd offer me store credit on his Vcoins store of half the coin's price. I was a new collector and thought that was just how it worked so I begrudgingly agreed.

    (Side note: I'm nowhere near as nice about this stuff now. A seller's job is to get the coin to me and it's their responsibility until it gets to me. You get a PayPal chargeback at the 2-2.5 month mark unless there's a good reason that I should wait longer and risk losing PayPal buyer protection, though I'll pay it back if it does eventually arrive).

    In truth, I was really about ready to give up on ancient collecting in general after this. I'd accepted the dealer's offer but I didn't want another coin, I wanted my denarius. After agreeing to this crummy compromise with the dealer I went off to another online forum to show off my lost coin, report it as lost/stolen and try to garner a little sympathy because I was feeling a bit depressed about this turn of events. Several collectors commented saying it was a great coin and whatnot but I was shocked to see one collector post a picture in the comments of the same denarius I had lost, claiming that he had purchased it a month ago. The toning and marks confirmed it was the same coin, so how had this possibly happened? Had it been stolen in customs? I was mad as hell now and determined to find out.

    After several private messages, texts and phone calls between the buyer and a couple of dealers I finally learned that the coin had been sold as part of a group lot a couple months before at a British auction house. The purchaser of that lot then sold it at NYINC to a dealer who sold it to it's current owner. That all made sense, but how did it get to that auction house? As it turns out the consignor was none other than the dealer who sold it to me. After that I demanded a full refund including shipping and it was very quickly granted and I thought that was the end of it.

    Then, a month after that(now at the four month mark since ordering), a package arrived from the dealer. The tracking number was the original one and it even had a "customs inbound" stamp from four months earlier. Confused, I brought it inside and tore open the package to reveal a different denarius than the one I'd ordered but the same type. The dealer had apparently shipped the wrong one, either by accident or possibly after realizing he'd already sold the one I originally ordered, I'm really not sure on this point. At any rate, I was sick of dealing with international postage by this time and I did now have an example of the coin I wanted so I sent the dealer an email with an update and offering to pay for it rather than send it back and we parted way. I've long since sold that coin and I think the original coin has been resold and upgraded by the buyer as well but every time I see this type I can't help but think of the trouble I went through at one point to own one.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  9. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wow! That is an incredible story.
  10. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Hate to say it, but I bet they are being struck about every day, probably Bulgaria.
  11. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Well, sadly, you're probably right about that. Mine is coming from Kölner Münzkabinett, not Cyprus or Bulgaria, so I'm reasonably confident of its authenticity.
  12. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    I, for one, am glad you stuck with the hobby after that horrid experience.
    Orfew and red_spork like this.
  13. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    I'm glad I kept collecting as well. It's been a very rewarding hobby and I've met many people through this hobby whom I've become good friends with over the last few years. Though I had a bad experience with that dealer, as I worked through "what happened" with the other dealers & collector involved it became immediately apparent to me that this was a great community because several strangers across multiple countries ended up spending their Saturday morning figuring out what happened and making sure I was going to get a refund. The other collector even offered to send me the denarius before he even had time to fully verify my story but at that point it was his coin and I didn't think it was right to ask him for it.
    Carausius likes this.
  14. IanC

    IanC Numismatist

    They should have sent it to Africa, then to Russia, then to the Czech Republic, then back to the UK, then to China, then finally to the United States, just to go to Japan. After a few years, it may have finally ended up on your doorstep ;)
  15. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    I've never had an issue getting coins into Canada. Always arrive pretty quickly but I am in the big city...

    Although, one day I got a knock at my door around 7 PM. It was my neighbor. She had found a padded envelope in the middle of the street with my name on it. It had been run over a few times and there were tire tracks on it. When I opened it up it was a quinarius I had ordered of Antony's wife Fulvia. No damage!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  16. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    That is incredible! I think sometimes we underestimate the strength and durability of the coins. Sometimes I handle coins as if they are raw quail eggs with very thin shells.
    Jay GT4 likes this.
  17. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    My worst was a coin I bought from a Swiss auction. I live in Canada and the address as well as the postal code were correct but instead of Canada they put U.S.A. Well it bounced around the five boroughs for quite a a while went up to Rhode Island, bounced back to NYC, shipped back to Switzerland, bounced back to NYC back to Switzerland and then after all of this sent back to the vendor and then sent to me yay. I think all of this activity took over three months (or was it four?) abdera3.jpg
  18. Muzyck

    Muzyck I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a biscuit today.

    At least I don't feel all alone. Last scan was April 8th.

    Coin track.JPG
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