At The Show, A Study in Different Dealer Methods

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Randy Abercrombie, May 11, 2024.

  1. Joshua Lemons

    Joshua Lemons Well-Known Member

    I didn't mind having the seller greet me. I prefer prices to be displayed. Because I have a narrower collecting area, I generally ask them if they have any German States coins. If they don't, I thank them and usually go away. If they aren't too busy, I glance at the inventory because I'm always on the lookout for things my coin friends are interested in and might like.
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  3. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    I enjoy those that can capture me in a conversation. They are quick with finding what I like. A good dealer knows his cases and see's what you are spending the most time gazing at. There have been a few that I swear, knew every dollar that I had in my pocket and gave me a deal just to make a sale. It's give and take.
  4. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    The prices being listed is helpful but I can also understand why not having them on some coins makes sense (like gold or others that fluctuate often).

    From the three scenarios mentioned, I don't have an issue with any. What I don't like is when there is no one there and the dealer won't look up from their phone or desk (and it feels awkward to get their attention). I also don't like it when a bunch of people are sitting and talking in a corner (usually at a coin shop) and you can't get anyone's attention to look at or buy a coin (and these aren't customers making a deal).
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  5. Hiddendragon

    Hiddendragon World coin collector

    It's funny the people who visit a coin shop daily like it's their local bar and just want to chat.
    MIGuy, ddddd and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  6. MK Ultra

    MK Ultra Well-Known Member

    I like it when coins aren't priced. Sometimes it's indicative that they're not a full time dealer and don't value the stuff very much. I've bought silver coins below melt that way. Plus it also starts a dialog.

    I don't like having my name on a tag. Like OP wrote, it gives the dealer the upper hand. I think, while friendly, the acting like they know me is also duplicitous. I interpret it as them saying, "You can trust me". Plus if they negotiate against themselves, the $100 is the new starting spot that I negotiate down from.

    With the helper, never thought it was a setup, but if they're able to afford to pay someone I suspect they're buying lower, buying the hot item, (are those 2021 Peace & Morgans still selling for super high prices?), or sell at such high volume that they're prices are the lowest in the room. If they are selling at low prices I'll look, otherwise I'll move on.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  7. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I don't like dealers who don't mark prices on their offerings. I will still buy from them if the deal makes sense, but it's my least favorite way of doing business. Often I will walk past such displays which is lose - lose for me and the dealer.

    So far as dealer codes go, I used them when I was a dealer, and I have no problem with them. The alternative is to have an inventory list. The dealer then has to go rifling through it ever time he makes a quote except for the (usually expensive) items he happens to recall. Remembering what you paid for everything worked when I was a kid, but back then my mind was more agile, and I had far fewer items.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    You see dealers at the major shows who don't man their tables or who spend all their time on a computer, with their back to their front cases, totally ignoring potential customers. The message is clear. They are not there to deal with the public who might come to the show. They are there to make deals with other dealers, period.

    To me it's a dumb strategy. Who knows? You might make a sale to a person is willing to pay a retail price, as I who would rather buy coins at shows than at on-line auctions. To each their own, but often those dealers are unpleasant people who are not fun to do business with.
  9. Jeffjay

    Jeffjay Well-Known Member

    If a dealer can't buy a coin and know what he needs to price it at in order to make a profit and pay expenses and thus mark a price on it I move on.
    I have sold a lot of things in my life coins included and once I make what I feel is fair to me if the buyer makes a buck on it I say more power to him.
  10. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Because we're introverts. We love coins so much that we can't help approaching them, even when they are guarded by scary, potentially vicious other-people -- but if those guard-humans start talking to us, all bets are off. :rolleyes:
  11. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I was glad you responded..... I think I wasn't clear when I laid out my three scenarios. I believe that a genuine outreach to the buyer is by far the best sales strategy (scenario #1). It's the way I do business and it has always worked for me. People want to trade with someone they consider a friend and a dealer at a show may only have a few brief moments to endear himself to a buyer in that way.

    I'm not sure why some get so spooked at the offer of help, but they do.

    I can directly address this comment because I was one of them most of my collecting life.... Most of my years, I was a very poor collector. However I still wanted to admire the coins I could only dream of owning. I would find myself lurking over a beautiful double eagle and feeling very spooked when the dealer addressed me. I didn't have any business drooling over that dream coin when all my budget allowed was well worn Franklin halves... Oh yes, I absolutely was that guy not all that many years ago.
    nerosmyfavorite68 and -jeffB like this.
  12. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    I usually don't bother asking to see the super-expensive coins. Too bad I was a poor college student when Jon Kern had bags of $500 solidi.
  13. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    I too started out a poor collector. It was only by prefacing my request to examine a coin out of my reach with the disclosure that I had no intention of buying it that I was able to learn about such coins. Most dealers having such items were understanding enough, and accomodating, as long as I waited respectfully until they were not busy.

    There were doubtless times when they too wanted to examine coins they couldn't buy.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  14. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    I used to collect inexpensive, colored gemstones. So, I attended gem and mineral shows, which is where I did at least one half my buying. Many dealers would have specimens displayed but not only did they not have prices, they didn’t even identify the gems. For any particular colored gem, there could be a dozen or more possibilities. I think some of them did this so they could give a sales pitch if someone asked about a gem. But I think it was sheer laziness in most cases. I was amazed to see dealers sitting on their butts chatting to other dealers or companions or surfing the net behind a case of gems with nary a one identified. If the gems weren’t identified, I passed on that dealer.

    Coin dealers are much better with regard to labeling raw world, ancient and US coins.

  15. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor

    Identification of ones self at a show as a dedicated coin person helps in obtaining good treatment to yourself ( at least to me) I decorated a T shirt with " COIN TALK" in large letters and "Member" in small letters but stopped going to many a few years ago.
  16. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    I have bought some of my highest value coins when it's just me and the dealer.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  17. dimeguy

    dimeguy Dime Enthusiast

    Maybe I am the naysayer or in the minority, but I think responsibility of the buyer needs to be in play as well. It is a buyer beware market, and if you don't know your budget or what a coin you are looking for is approximately worth, then that is on you. To me, it matters not if a coin is priced beforehand or if dealers utilize codes. I am realistic to know the coin I am looking for has silver and that price fluctuates with market trends. Now, don't get me wrong, if a dealer ignores me, I will likely walk on by unless the coin in the case is something I want.

    I prefer those dealers like one I experienced at our first local coin show. Scenario played out where he offered, "Hello, what can I help you with?" I told him I was looking for late date Walkers in MS priced under $100 each. He said, "I have these you can look through, pulled out 5, but if I may be so inclined, I have this one which I think is a nice upgrade for the date priced at (looks the code up) $150." So, you guessed it, I went a little outside my budget for that nice Walker, but in the scenario him offering helping with my collecting and me offering what I want and what I am willing to pay pans out well for all involved.
  18. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    2008 Balt:
    Best tactful reply ever....

    Collector (paraphrased): I don't understand why you won't even make me an offer on my coins. I bought them earlier from blahblah (Wei) and he sells a lot of coins.

    Tactful Reply: Yes, I know....I just can't buy what WE can't ever sell. Thank you for offering.
    (Paul Battaglia).
  19. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Yes! A seller absolutely must understand that a dealer has to make money on a transaction.... A seller isn't a banking institution.... Well, unless prior arrangements have been made...;)
    Last edited: May 15, 2024
    charley and -jeffB like this.
  20. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    There are also those coins that you see over and over. Honestly, when I see the same coins over and over, it can be a negative.
    That means to me, look only for the ones that catch my eye. What I went in there for has long past. A dealer should pull those coins. Put another on display first.
    Player11 and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  21. Player11

    Player11 Bullish

    I don’t like players that always expect a discount. For that scenario I have to usually pad it up in anticipation of that play. A good dealer strategy leave plenty room. Once I get to know a buyer the easier fine tune process. Some items I may be able come down on some can’t. Perhaps the price on it the lowest the consignor will go. Or it’s a $100 item already have $95 in. Bullion am on such a tight margin can’t come down. Those items priced as marked lol. Junk box material less than $10 / I might knock off 10 pct if buyer has selected multiple items lol. Gotta make that table fee. We are not in the game for free.

    in general if setting up at show leave some room for negotiation if possible. If doing a lot of high margin material - plenty room negotiation. Raw items $10 and above usually plenty of room. A friend has one big currency buyer who always wants a 25 - 30 pct discount - so he either doesn’t have prices on it or marks it up 100 pct (absorption pricing) so he still makes money even if that discount. Many just tell hagglers “item already at our best price as we operate on a 5pct spread.”

    if buyers really lowballing you - ask them if have one sell at that. I find shows fun and if they want play game then great I play game too.
    Last edited: May 16, 2024
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