Featured "COINS - AS SEEN ON TV!" Featuring the HSN Vault - COIN COLLECTOR

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Norsk64, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Norsk64

    Norsk64 The Coin TV Critic

    Welcome back to another issue of “COINS - AS SEEN ON TV!” The last issue in March featuring Rick Tomaska and his RCTV - Rick’s Collectible Coins, was a huge hit with readers given it was a Featured Article. If you missed it, do a search here on Coin Talk or copy and paste the following link into your browser.


    Likely the last place you would consider when buying coins, is none other than the TV retail behemoth, Home Shopping Network. There are some I'm sure in the hobby, that didn't even know they (HSN) sold coins, but they've been doing it for 30 years now. So it's time for “COINS - AS SEEN ON TV!” to pay a visit to the “HSN Vault - Coin Collector,” to see what's going on and assess the “good” and the “bad,” and their prominence in the Coin TV world. Enjoy...

    Want variety? If you're looking for that high grade Morgan Dollar or Kennedy Accented Hair, you've come to the wrong place. The offerings of the HSN Vault are pretty slim. They will have the latest in U.S. Mint coinage in both silver and gold, a few recent foreign mint issues, silver bar “deals”, U.S. Mint and Proof Sets, and Eagle Anniversary Sets, to name a few. They did have some of the new 2015(P) Silver Eagles in ANACS MS69, but again...it's ANACS. HSN I think is single-handedly keeping ANACS and ICG in business. And Mike Mezack “proudly” states that HSN is the exclusive dealer of ANACS and ICG’s First Day of Issue. I can't imagine a whole lot of coin dealers crying their eyes out over that one! Just about every graded coin you see on HSN, are ANACS or ICG graded. You'll see some PCGS graded pieces occasionally, of which some are HSN exclusives. Which, as a collector and dealer, I look for if the price is right. But if you're buying ANACS or ICG, just know that when it comes time to sell your coin, with all things being equal, you will get less than if it were graded by NGC or PCGS.

    Since I touched on price when talking ANACS and ICG coins, now would be a most opportune time to look at HSN Vault coin prices. In a word, they're….HIGH. As for graded coins, your HSN choice will likely be ANACS or ICG Graded, but you'll pay PCGS and NGC prices, and then some. I can safely say that whatever coin HSN is selling, you can find one from a top-tier grading service, at a lower price, and free shipping to top it off, by shopping online. And it doesn't even have to be online! Other Coin TV shows/networks prices puts HSN’s coin prices to shame! I could give example after example, but I don't think there's nearly enough space! HSN appeals to the newest collector in terms of experience, as well as elderly collectors in terms of age. It's easy to watch an HSN presentation, with no numismatic experience needed, pick the phone up, and order what looks and sounds like is a great coin to own. A popular option that HSN offers is Flex-Pay. Splitting the payment up over 4 months is a big plus, and HSN can afford to do it. They also offer a full 30 Day Return Privilege, despite the type of coin purchased. Shipping charges are $5 for the first item, and $2.50 thereafter. Customer Service is friendly, competent, and easy to deal with. Lastly, and quite disappointing is that every order incurs sales tax. Not so with other Coin TV shows, depending sometimes on your order total and state of residence.

    Lead coin pitchman at HSN is Mike Mezack. Mike has been the coin on-air personality at HSN for 25+ years now, while also doing some non-HSN Coin TV presentations over the year. One of which I recall was when the state quarters were taking America by storm. He was on every nook and cranny infomercial station number selling coin maps and state quarters to fill them. And I'm betting he sold a bunch of them. When Mike is giving an HSN coin presentation with a co-host, you may have noticed that the other on-air personality typically knows zilch about coins, and asks questions only a grade-schooler would ask! “So these silver dollars have real silver in them?? But this gives us the chance to hear Mike take a trip down memory lane and learn from his extensive knowledge of numismatics, which he seems to enjoy a whole lot! Over, and over, and over again! He proudly boasts that he buys $20 million worth of U.S. Minted coins a year. And how he has cornered the market on the next numismatic superstars! I wrote similarly of Rick Tomaska at RCTV in last month’s issue. He is another numismatic long-timer, that in addition to loving coins, loves himself even more. Mike and Rick would have a great time in conversation, showing who can impress the other more. Rick, “I invented the DCAM/UCAM grade attribution.” Mike, “When people come up to me in the airport, I happily go through their pocket change with them.” They each have their own style, but Mike’s seems more annoying. His insistence on emphasizing each and every word in a sentence, just reeks of his salesman-speak schtick. An example? “Every! Single! Eagle! is .999 Fine! Silver!” as Mike adds punctuation at the end of every word for maximum effect. He’s got that TV laugh perfected, a polished TV voice, and wearing that full suit makes him look like he is selling a load of goods. But it's that pompous attitude and that “new car smell” that Mike puts off, that really puts me off. But that’s his style. And it has worked well for him for many years. Like many other Coin TV pitchmen, he also stretches the truth and is downright deceitful when talking coin valuations. He talks as if the last $50 an ounce silver days just happened (they happened in 2011), and we are heading there again soon, as he pitches...silver bars at 2x the price of melt, plus shipping. And for the new collector, and/or elderly collector, it's a perfect “mix” because you trust the name “HSN,” trust the face of HSN Coins, Mike Mezack, and his years of experience. And they offer a generous return privilege, percentage off coupons, and decent ship times. Experienced collectors and buyers know better, but the experienced buyer is not the market that HSN goes after. They want the uninformed audience, and newer & aged collector to be their audience. And for now and years past, they've got it. That is their niche in a crowded field of Coin TV choices.

    But for many of us in numismatics, it's the “mix” that makes the experienced buyer yell at the TV screen when you see some of the crap being shoveled by on-air hosts. And then to see items in the hundreds sell-out in mere minutes, because the typical HSN watcher just doesn't know any better. Not that HSN is the only Coin TV show/network sticking it to buyers. They're not. That's what I hope to uncover with “COINS - AS SEEN ON TV!”. An unbiased, yet I will call them as I see ‘em, type of analysis of the Coin TV Shows & Networks on cable and satellite systems everywhere. Here’s the scorecard on HSN Vault - Coin Collector….


    As always, comments are appreciated. You may agree, you may disagree with my assessment. In regards to my last write-up featuring Rick Tomaska and RCTV, I was accused of being too hard on them by some, while others said I wasn't hard enough. But discussion is a good thing. Just hope you're enjoying it! Next issue I'll take a look at the “NEW” AAN-TV. Don't miss it!

    Till next time…

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  3. Bambam8778

    Bambam8778 Well-Known Member

    I can't believe the ridiculous prices they're charging for those coins. Crazy.
    SchwaVB57 and tommyc03 like this.
  4. dwhiz

    dwhiz Collector Supporter

    It's really is sad that people think they are getting a deal.
    paddyman98, SchwaVB57 and tommyc03 like this.
  5. fretboard

    fretboard Defender of Old Coinage!

    Mike Mezack! laughhard.gif The master at ripping off ignorant elders, disgraceful!!
  6. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

    If Mike Mezack didn't, if Mike Mezack didn't, I say if Mike Mezack didn't repeat so many phrases over and over and over and over and over and over again, he might sound honestly legitimate instead of being a big-mouthed rectal excavation.

  7. Santinidollar

    Santinidollar Supporter! Supporter

    HSN and Mezack are one of the biggest black eyes the hobby has sustained. Nice review, though. Keep them coming!
  8. CoinZone

    CoinZone Active Member

    Typical used car salesman shtick.
    Once in a while, when I am up late, And just for ships and giggles I do an Internet search of his products. Always, Always, Always his stuff is double if not triple the normal cost. He has fun information and good trivia, but they are robbing people.
    SchwaVB57 and tommyc03 like this.
  9. Johndoe2000$

    Johndoe2000$ RE-MEMBER

  10. Santinidollar

    Santinidollar Supporter! Supporter

    And they know it. They're too busy laughing all the way to the bank to care.
  11. GaryLomax

    GaryLomax I collect, therefore I am

    I have my DVR set to record this and though I would never buy anything from the show, I do like to watch it for some odd reason. Usually I just have it on in the background while I am working on something else.
    My favorite catch phrase of his is when he says not to look for better prices elsewhere because "the internet is the wild, wild west" and you might get scammed!
    He often quotes prices from "a national leading catalog" to tell you what a great deal some set is if sold individually. If you notice, he is referring to the Littleton catalog, another company selling coins at 5-10 times their value.
    As you stated, the co-hosts are hilarious in their lack of knowledge. And they always remind you what a great deal it is that included with purchase is some cheap display box that is really a "$49 value if sold seperately!!!"
    Also, one correction in your article is that when he refers to silver at being at $50 an ounce "not too long ago" he is talking about 2011 when it briefly hit about that level before crashing down. That brief bubble is how he always justifies selling you silver 2-3 times spot.

    SchwaVB57 likes this.
  12. Norsk64

    Norsk64 The Coin TV Critic

    Will do and thanks!
  13. Norsk64

    Norsk64 The Coin TV Critic

    Got it, thanks! It has been corrected.
  14. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Someone leave the gate opened? You're preaching to the choir brother.........
    SchwaVB57 likes this.
  15. SchwaVB57

    SchwaVB57 Well-Known Member

    Very good overview of Mike the "Shark" Mezack! As stated his Ego so big his head barely fits on the TV screen. As GaryLomax stated "He often quotes prices from "a national leading catalog" to tell you what a great deal some set is if sold individually. If you notice, he is referring to the Littleton catalog, another company selling coins at 5-10 times their value." I think all TV "CoinMercials" use the same catalog to reference pricing. They feel they are doing the buyer a favor by only exploiting the customer a little; instead of the full amount charged by Littleton!
    CoinZone and Norsk64 like this.
  16. BruceS

    BruceS Member

    Nice report and a well written. I'll have to catch one of his shows. Weekly?
  17. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Did Billy Mays come back from the dead?
    JBOCON and Cheech9712 like this.
  18. Norsk64

    Norsk64 The Coin TV Critic

    Thanks for your comment! Show is not on very often, and when it is, it is for only 2 hours a shot. I record it, and there hasn't been a show since the 11th of April. Strange, but not surprising. I think it all comes down to Mike Mezack's schedule. Without him, there is no HSN Vault.
  19. Richard Stack

    Richard Stack New Member

    I enjoy when the host calls him Mark instead of Mike. Gets him a bit worked up. I thought I was the only crazy person who yells at the TV. Only when Mark is on lol!
    Norsk64 likes this.
  20. Don P

    Don P Active Member

    I got a KEN GRIFFEY rookie card with my coin order!! LIMITED EDITION! lol
    Norsk64 likes this.
  21. 19Lyds

    19Lyds Member of the United States of Confusion

    I need to add on to this because, I believe the "REASON" Mezack continually repeats the same thing over and over again is that he KNOWS his buyers are stupid and he want's to be sure that they heard him.

    I cannot begin to describe exactly how "stupid" I feel on those rare occasions when I tune his show in. He just talks to me like I am "stupid" and I really feel sorry for the "suckers" that actually purchase his products because they are going in to his venture in complete ignorance yet trusting the words he speaks.

    His program is a scam at best and very reminiscent of the boiler rooms running similar coin investing scams across the country.

    A true embarrassment to the Numismatic Community.
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