A time to sell

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by GregH, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Friends, Romans, Countrymen (and women)

    As you may be aware, I have two expensive competing hobbies - the coins and the travel.

    After giving this careful thought over many days, I've come to the conclusion that collecting one coin-per-ruler is not a sustainable project for the young guy who wants to visit every country in the world. As I tick more rulers off my list, so the cost of the next most affordable ruler I need increases. There only rulers I don't own have a price-tag in the thousands to tens of thousands. I have estimated that purchasing the remaining rulers would cost around $250,000 (best case scenario) - and that is excluding the rulers you will never see in auctions: like Olybrius, Glycerius, Silbannicus etc.

    An alternative collecting focus will be equally unsustainable, given my love of rarity and bright shiny things, and not having so much interest in owning more modest treasures. Big Greek tetradrachms, gold staters, Hadrian drachma are all themes I would love to fulfill - but, at the end of the day, it's just more money spent on things that will impress you and I, but nobody I have met in real life. Money that could go towards my travel passion - I really can live my dream to visit every country in the world, but I can never fulfill my dream to own every coin I want.

    The Roman portrait series project was an interesting and worthwhile endeavour - I learnt a lot and enjoyed being custodian of these coins for a while. Gosh, I wish I had them all. I wish I had an EID MAR denarius too, and @TIF 's Dolphin-Man coin! But you can't have everything in life, so I have had to make a decision.

    I would still like to enjoy coins though - and I intend to set up my own cute little online coin store to see if it can be a viable business. In the meantime, I am getting advice from major auction houses regarding my high end stuff - who have access to more high end collectors than I do. I intend to sell the midrange stuff myself. This isn't the right place to advertise - however, I would like to open the discussion about your selling experiences. What has worked for you when the time has come to sell?
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  3. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Sorry to hear you're giving up your collection, Greg.

    I think you've made the right decision with your higher end coins. As for the others, I actually do think selling some of them here on the CT sale forum is a viable option. It's free, and I'm sure there'll be some members here happy to get a first shot at the Greg Heinrich Collection.
    Mikey Zee and TIF like this.
  4. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    I can only imagine that was a hard decision for you, and I wish you the best of luck. On the other hand visiting so many countries seems like a great idea and fun! I opened my online store in 2003 and while over the years I've had some successes, lately virtually all my sales have come from eBay.

    Some advice and I suspect you already know this is that you will probably not get as much as you paid for your coins in a lot of cases. I have always looked for coins that I thought I could turn a profit on, only less than 1 percent of what I own I set aside for myself, such as my vrbs roma beata which I pay more than what I can resell for. As a collector, which I assume has been your primary goal?; was to find examples paying at or close to their value. My other suggestion would be to keep some of your favorites or at least the ones you feel are hard to obtain. If they were hard for you to get, they will be even harder in the future if you plan to collect again as new collectors enter the field.

    It sounds like you plan on consigning to auctions, which I don't do a lot of so others can give their experiences there. I'm curious what kind of store you are planning? Unfortunately everyone has fees, eBay with pp is 13+%, I was on Vcoins for 6 months and they have a fee structure we can discuss via pm if you like. Again good luck!
  5. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Yes, unfortunately there comes a time to assess one's life and make hard choices.

    Yep, I think I might sell some in CT. I wonder what @John Anthony 's terms are? :)
  6. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Yes, collecting has always been my primary goal. I have sold on eBay before, primarily when I have been able to upgrade to better coins.

    I don't intend to go down the vcoins path, I've heard the rent is pricy - instead I'm thinking of starting with an official eBay store. And maybe sell a few coins here on CT.

    I do have a few hard-to-get ones, including Gordian I, Uranius Antoninus, a huge and rare Balbinus provincial, and an Alex III Babylon stater that i'm quite fond of.
    I will just need to think about what i will do and how i will do it.

    Thank you for your sage advice :)
    David@PCC likes this.
  7. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Coins of Judaea & Syria Palaestina Supporter

    Don't give up the hobby entirely, Greg! You look young from your avatar photo. (I'm assuming that's you). Anyway this hobby needs young blood! LOL! I suggest hanging on to three of your favorite coins and then come back and visit us after a couple of your expeditions.
    7Calbrey likes this.
  8. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Yes the photo is me :) If it's three coins, it will be the Alex III stater, Uranius and an over-sized Alex III tetradrachm.
  9. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Coins of Judaea & Syria Palaestina Supporter

    The online coin shop is a good idea! That could be fun!
  10. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Perfect choices.
  11. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Sorry to hear you are giving up on coins entirely. If I were you, I'd sell my top coins and use some of that money to buy a diverse collection of ancient and medieval coins. $6000 could get you a 70-100 coin collection. You'd only have to sell your top 2-4 coins for that.

    The rest you can sell and buy yourself a few trips, and you'd still be in the business of coin collecting...but more as a generalist in the low to medium price range.
    7Calbrey, Deacon Ray and GregH like this.
  12. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    I would speak to some specialist auction houses first. Sam Spiegel at HA immediately comes to mind. They might want to include your collection in a special targeted auction featuring ancients.

    Also, may I suggest you either go for a Buy it Now or Best Offer type of listing or set a Reserve price if listing on eBay. I've noticed that ancients do not achieve the same prices on eBay as at specialized auctions, even after factoring the fee differential, especially if they are not slabbed. I recently purchased a shekel on eBay at 20% less than the guy bought it for on HA 6 months ago.

    That's my personal experience and opinion.

    Good luck whatever you decide :)
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
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  13. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Before you finalize your decision, give yourself some time to think on it. I've read so many posts from people who either had to or just wanted to sell off coins, only to later say they wish they had their coins back. Your decision may be right, but be certain before you sell off your precious coins.
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  14. DUNK 2

    DUNK 2 Well-Known Member

    Greg -

    I understand and appreciate your desire for world travel. Life is short and we only get one shot at it.

    That said, so long as your collection impresses YOU, you've accomplished your collecting goal in my opinion. Heck, the only person who ever sees my collection (other than the pictures I post here, of course) is my wife and that's only because she wonders where all our money went!! :)

    Best of luck to you, no matter what you decide.
  15. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    At least your wife looks at your coins. My wife cares not except for the money spent.
  16. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    As one who was literally forced to sell off my initial collection five years ago and later returned to the hobby back in January, 2015 I also suggest you keep a few of your favorites, whether the most costly or those that you are the most emotionally attached to. Of course, choosing which to sell or to keep can be an utterly exasperating and depressing experience for an addicted collector.

    At your age I wanted to 'see the world' (Hmm, I sound like a Navy recruiter LOL) but so many other responsibilities took precedence, so I certainly understand your passion for travel.

    Good luck Greg !!!

    BTW: I will also be interested in a EX-Greg Heinrich coin or two:shifty::D
    GregH likes this.
  17. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Of couse. So would I (especially at a special price for a special coin friend;):kiss:).
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  18. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    It saddens me to hear that you are given up coins. I have sold some coins because of hard times. Do I regret doing it ? sure I did, but there's always another coin to buy. That's the beauty of coin collecting it can be and is a lifetime hobby. you can always come back to it when you are ready to do so. no time limits here with coin collecting. my late coin dealer Jordan Allgood told me "you can't buy every coin". that I learned the hard way. :(. he was right. The good thing I came away with is that you can still have a great collection anyways. I have heard people call a collection of 5-10 coins a collection. for example take a look at panzerman's gold coin collection. he might only have so many coins, but they are so amazing to look at. someday in the near future I might sell/trade half my collection to get better/scarcer coins. I wish you the best of luck in your future travels. I look forward to seeing pics of your most exotic places visited :cool:
    GregH, Sallent and Noah Finney like this.
  19. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    And there is no shame in owning more common coins either. Coin collecting is whatever you get out of it. This is not a competition between me and say John Anthony, TIF or Stevex6 or anyone else here (not that it would be much of a competition anyway, their collections would kick mine's rear any day). What's it really is about is whether you yourself are having fun in your individual journey.

    Believe me, there will always be plenty of people here who will appreciate a low budget coin as much as they would appreciate a high end coin, so no need to worry or think you are in a race to achieve this or that, or complete whatever set, etc. This hobby can be a very rewarding life-long experience at any budget and level of experience. That is the most important lesson I've learned over the last few months.
  20. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I agree totally 100% with Sallent. it is in the fun of it and what you get out of it, learning about the history of a coin, holding history in your hands, appreciating the artistic aesthetics of a coin/pattern/token/medal. the hunt, the camaraderie of talking coins with other coin collectors is very enjoyable to me. enjoying a coin no matter what the cost is. I too have learned this over the course of 18+ years of coin collecting.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
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  21. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis

    When I began selling off my non-RR coins I tried eBay, reddit(/r/coins4sale) and CoinTalk's "for sale" forum. I found that eBay was a bit of a pain due to fees, but I had really good luck on Reddit and here. Because the fees of just using PayPal were a lot less I was able to offer more competitive prices on them and in some cases, coins I had listed on eBay for months sold within hours of listing on CoinTalk. I'm not sure if it's because I'm a "nobody" on eBay and more well-known here or what, but I've given up trying to list coins there.
    However you decide to sell, good luck! I know how difficult it can be to sell coins you really like. That's another plus of selling them on a forum like this I guess: you know they're going to a good home in many cases which in my experience makes it easier to let go.
    Paul M., GregH and spirityoda like this.
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