Coin Shop - Experience

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Darbtalion, Jan 15, 2020 at 10:44 AM.

  1. Darbtalion

    Darbtalion New Member

    Good Morning CoinTalk Coimmunity!

    I wanted to bring up a recent purchase at the only coin shop in town where I live. It put a bad taste in my mouth and I will only buy junk silver there moving forward because of it.

    The owner knows me pretty well and I have spent thousands of dollars there over the last few months but we recently had a disagreement that I wanted to see if it was common practice. I have never seen him buy coins before from others but he buys them based on the lowest grade of the coins side minus 1 grade. So if you have a AU50 on one side and XF40 on the other, he will pay you for a VF20. Seems fair to protect his purchases and grading should be based on the lowest side. Granted, if there is a large discrepancy between the minus 1 grade, he won't go the full grade. That wasn't my issue. At the time of the incident, he bought a group of Peace Dollars, so I was interested in repurchasing some of them like a fish on hook.

    We ended up talking about A, B, C non-sense for an hour and I think he forgot I saw him purchase the coins. He turned around and told me he was selling the coins based on the highest grade side of the two sides, not the average of the two sides and not the weakest side. I really was put off by that because some of the coins had beautiful reverse sides (AU 50/58) but then the obverse would be XF40- or VF20+ with deep or plentiful scratches. The final kicker was when I noticed that several of the rare coins (1921 and 1928 P/S) had been cleaned as they had several scratches all in the same direction in a circular pattern. Granted, you could only see it under strong light but still, they were cleaned and not AU 50/58.

    I ended up not purchasing any of the Peace Dollars and just bought a bunch of junk silver at good price but wanted to see if this was a common challenge with coin shops as I hadn't had this problem before.

    I couldn't take photos unfortunately because he has a strict no photo policy.
     
    Paul M. likes this.
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  3. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I don't think there is a common experience for coin shops. My regular dealer is as stand-up of a guy as there is. I couldn't say a negative word about him. But here's the deal. Businesses are like families. There are good and there are less than good. Every business that exists is different than every other because each operates on the moral principals established and the cash flow required by the individual owner. I often see coin shops get a less than glowing review here. Just know that there is no one rule book established for them. And I can attest that there are some first class coin shops out there.
     
  4. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    "Play down when buying, play up when selling" isn't limited to coin dealers, for what it's worth.

    I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with a dealer who bought based on the low side and sold based on the high side. I would have a problem with a dealer who lied about the coins -- trying to buy the coins cheaply by claiming nonexistent problems, or trying to sell them high by denying real problems.

    At pawn shops, I know what to expect. They buy coins for a fraction of their real value, then try to sell them at inflated values. But sometimes they'll negotiate down, and often they fail to spot better dates, or distinguish an actual MS coin from polished ones.

    At coin shops -- well, I don't deal much with coin shops, because I'm a bottom-feeding bargain hunter, and of little use to them as far as buying their coins. When I'm looking to sell, I prefer to go to a show, where all the sellers know there's plenty of competition in the same room.
     
  5. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    You have now witnessed just how he runs his business. Yes it turned you off and I would feel the same. However you may be doing yourself a little damage by only buying junk from him. He may notice that change.

    I would be much more inclined to make myself aware of his practices and use them to my advantage in building my own collection.
     
    YoloBagels and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  6. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    That sounds like a bad experience. Most dealers are in business to make money. If you are not happy with a coin do not buy it. Do not feel as though you have to buy coins from this dealer. There are plenty of other places to buy coins. Online and coin shows. The thing I ask myself is.... am I going to be happy with this coin down the road ? If the answer is yes then buy it a price that goes with the grade. Get familiar with the prices of the kinds of coins you want to buy.
     
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  7. myownprivy

    myownprivy Well-Known Member

    The best thing you can do is state what you want directly and say if you don't like something. That goes for any transaction or interaction. If you passively pass and buy only junk, he will notice and probably dislike your passive aggressiveness.

    I would:
    acknowledge he needs to make money and state that you understand he buys based on x and sells based on y.
    However, state that you will pay z and are excited to get the coins.

    That gives him the opportunity to pass on your offer, rather than you passively ignoring his.
     
    JCKTJK likes this.
  8. Derek2200

    Derek2200 Active Member

    Coin shops will usually buy from walk-in customers at level they can flip at profit at shows.

    As far as his system - interesting.

    Rip buys at 60 pct CDN bid. 85 pct melt on junk silver
     
  9. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    I would for the simple fact that a coins grade is based on the entire coin not just one side. Not to mention does that mean 90 percent of morgans are going to be sold as 66s and up since their reverses are often rather pristine?

    I get the whole its easier to just say something is xf when buying and au when selling instead of explaining you need to make money on an au to resell it eventhough many are doing that to just try and get more money, but the single side thing is just silly.
     
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  10. coin dog

    coin dog Member

    What is being discussed above is one of the major reasons that third party grading was started.

    Dealers would for example say a coin was VF when buying, and AU when selling. This has been going on forever.

    Third party grading evened the playing field for collectors.
     
  11. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    OK, I think I understand your situation about these specific coins, but I'm not sure you have a valid complaint. Let's look at your statement:

    This suggest to me that you have already established an acceptable buying process from this dealer. Whether it was for graded or raw coins, the prices were acceptable to you & you did the deal.

    So now you have a new & different situation where these are presumably raw coins, & you happened to witness his purchase of them:
    Now I think most of us, like you, try to negotiate the best price, even in a shop. But realize it is a shop, & not a garage sale, flea market, or pawn shop.

    Most of us buy when 2 things occur: (1) we determine it is a coin we want or must have; (2) it is an acceptable price & grade, to us.

    It sounds like you want credit from this guy for past purchases, & rather than grading/evaluating (realizing that even given established numismatic grading standards, it's still subjective) these specific coins on a go/no-go basis, you don't want to pay what he wants. That's OK, just pass.

    I'm at a disadvantage not knowing how you handled your previous "thousands of dollars" of purchases from this man, but I must assume you were happy since you keep coming back. Now you want to cut off your nose to spite your face, because you think he's unreasonable on a bunch of raw coins???...so you'll only buy junk silver???...makes no sense!

    Your going to run into all kinds of dealers (just ask Mike & Frank when they're negotiating with junk dealers about motorcycle parts); it's your ability to be able to walk away & not affect your thought process that will make you a successful collector.

    One thing I have done in the past, which worked quite well for me, is to first find my target coin, at my acceptable grade & price. Then I look for a secondary coin that I want, & offer a "bundle" price. This has worked for me very well on most occasions (sometimes I only purchased the original coin I came for). It also works well for 3 or more coins. I have saved up to 20+% on the total purchase when I've already agreed (in my mind) to the asking price for the original coin I was after.

    Don't carry a grudge, be aware of your go/no-go criteria, carry on & good luck!

    JMHO :happy:;)
     
    green18 and Paul M. like this.
  12. jb10000lakes

    jb10000lakes Member

    Yeah, you have to know your price and be ready to walk away, just like buying a new car at a dealership. Learned that from my dad. Have to be willing to play the game, but when I told my dad what I got the car for, he wanted to check my pockets for the salesman's gold fillings.
     
    green18 likes this.
  13. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    He's got to make his money too. He has a right to buy low and sell high (or try to) and set his prices how he sees fit. Your choice to buy ir not from him, but I don't see what he is doing as dishonest. He has to have some system for doing it. If he is dishonest, that's an entirely different story.
     
  14. jb10000lakes

    jb10000lakes Member

    Exactly; if anything, it's almost like you figured out his 'tell', you know how he works, find a way to take advantage of it. Maybe only buy coins that are roughly the same grade front and back.
     
  15. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    I think at best it's disingenuous to grade by the worst side buying and then the best side selling. I would consider that to be dishonest since that isn't how grading is done
     
  16. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    There are honest people, dishonest people, business people and every shade of
    gray in between all of these things.
    The coin business has been notorious for sharks, profiteers and people less than completely honest. People are inherently greedy, it's a character flaw that many people share. Of course in his mind he can justify what he is doing as he has to make a profit, this is his livelihood. How fair and honest and how low a profit margin he is willing to accept is going to be on a dealer to dealer basis.
    To me, what he did is borderline and I have seen worse. If you don't like how he does business, don't do business with him anymore.
     
  17. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    What are you talking about??? There is no requirement to sell something at a particular price, just because of a "perceived grade" (raw coins, subjective grading: strange bedfellows!). It comes down to whether or not you are willing to pay what he is asking, or willing to walk away from the deal!!! Sheesh!!! o_O
     
  18. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    No there's not, but misleading people on how grading is done or just making stuff up like one side only is disingenuous at best. You can price things however you want, but shouldn't use misleading grading styles to do so
     
  19. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Supporter! Supporter

    Caveat Emptor... there is no requirement that a seller of goods do ANYTHING except they can't discriminate against a protected class, for example charging different prices because of race, creed or religion kind of stuff.

    The dealer has his algorithm, you can choose to buy or not buy. That's your option. Doesn't matter if the algorithm is to undergrade to buy and overgrade to sell or selling for prices ending in the day # of the week.

    You can probably march up and down the sidewalk with a sign, as long as you have the appropriate permit from the city and don't commit libel or slander.
     
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