Coins on Display or Not at Your LCS?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Publius2, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    Prompted by a member's note on another thread indicating that his LCS did not display many coins: Before the pandemic, when I was regularly visiting my local area LCS's and was still very new to the hobby, I noticed that in addition to being buzzed in through the security system, there were few and sometimes no coins on display at all even though glass cases were present. They basically all insisted that the client state what they were interested in and then they would go in back and trot out some material that met the stated desire. Completely unlike their behavior at coin shows.

    I could not determine and didn't want to ask if this was purely a security arrangement, a matter of laziness, too much material to trot out and put away every day, or some combination of all of these. But it seemed to me then, and still does, to be a practice that would result in zero impulse buying. You know, that shiny object thing we all suffer from. Plus, for relatively new hobbyists, this practice limited exposure to unfamiliar series that might trigger a new collecting interest and thus new sales.

    Maybe the walk-in business just did not represent enough sales $ volume to matter so they didn't put any effort into the in-person retail presentation?

    Any thoughts on this?
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  3. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    Every LCS is different and it may depend on the risk level of the area they are in (or the experiences of the LCS owner). The ones I have visited have the glass cases fairly full. They might keep the best stuff in the back (or items reserved for certain buyers) but otherwise there is plenty to look at (slabs, raw coins, sets, albums, bullion, etc)....pricing and friendliness of the LCS owner-that is another story though. :p
    PlanoSteve likes this.
  4. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    My guy is hit and miss. He has one counter... The same place that we do all our talking and dealing that always has run of the mill stuff in it that I believe stays there. But then daily he will grab a few prime coins to lay in that case as well. Sometimes gold... Sometimes high grade Morgans... But most of his inventory stays in his giant safe. He allows me to plunder anything I want to plunder with exception of the stack that he has recently purchased and not yet put into inventory... I distinctly remember being there several months ago and said I wanted a nice double eagle. Stepped over to the safe and laid 12-15 double eagles on the counter for me. I always poke fun at him for laying all his goodies out at shows but not in his shop.... I think in this day and age, you have to be overly cautious. We have a regularly posting member here that was shot and left for dead in his coin shop.
  5. Mkm5

    Mkm5 Well-Known Member

    I'm in northern Michigan.

    The LCS here has maintained a good display inventory throughout the past year's craziness.

    I usually stop in once a week or so and there's usually a steady stream of buyers and sellers.

    Prices are pretty good for what I like, although premiums on Morgan and Peace dollars are too high right now at $27 for cull. Last summer I was finding AUs and UNC for $16 each!
    capthank likes this.
  6. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    My LCS has trays that go right into the safe at the end of the day. The good stuff gets locked up but the lower priced stats out. Not everything comes out of the safe either so you just ask and if he has it, he'll bring it out for you.
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  7. Mkm5

    Mkm5 Well-Known Member

    Yep, my guy will hold coins for me in his safe if he thinks I'm interested in them.

    Then, when I show up at his shop, he'll go bring them out from the safe, tagged with my name!
  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    A lot of the big stores won't show you much of anything. They keep it in the back and only show their best clients. They don't have any time for YN's and people who don't seem to have the wherewith all to buy nice material. I ran into this at some of the famous New York City stores when I was in my 20's and even early 30's. The dealers who did show me nice coins got my business.

    One of the most famous dealers refused to show a coin he had in his case at a big New York show in the late 1970's. His line was, "You can't afford it." Given his pricing policies at the time, he was probably right, not because I didn't have the cash, but because it was too much money. I was wearing a coat and tie, although I must admit that my sports jacket was red. I guess it didn't test well in his opinion. Of course he was wearing jeans and not so nice sports shirt so he didn't have room to talk.

    The last time I had the "You can't afford it" line dropped on me at show was when I was in my late 50s. I was dealer at the time. It was a 1794 half dime in AU-50. I didn't bother to tell the guy that I had one in the same grade in my personal collection and was interested in it for my inventory. Once again, he was probably right. The price was probably too high.

    Some dealers can't understand the concept that "You can't judge a book by its cover." I met a guy at medium sized show, who was not that well dressed, who asked to see an expensive coin. I showed it to him and give him a price. Before I knew it, he was pealing off $100 bills. And yes, they were all genuine.
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  9. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Supporter! Supporter

    Living in a rural area as a new insurance agent looking for large businesses, local farmers educated me. Met with them at 8 am after milking, in boots. Big farm = big values= big commissions
    Never underestimate someone’s credit rating
    Stand upwind though
    capthank and masterswimmer like this.
  10. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    That makes zero business sense to me. If you want a future customer base tomorrow, you get them excited about the product today. What boneheads.
    1865King, johnmilton and MIGuy like this.
  11. Derrick Combs

    Derrick Combs Active Member

    My guy probably has at least 10 of everything everywhere. I inquired about a Barber dime. He said i don't know, maybe upstairs? They're all in boxes not sure if i have that one or not... I never knew there was an upstairs but from the looks of his downstairs if the upstairs had half as many boxes i wouldn't even want to go through them even if he offered me the coin for free if I could find it lol
    Seated J likes this.
  12. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Supporter! Supporter

    Apply for part time job there
    1865King and Derrick Combs like this.
  13. beaver96

    beaver96 Well-Known Member

    My favorite LCS changed from a regular store front to a private office and deals on an appointment only basis. No display cabinets. Very private but limited impulse buying. You mostly know what you want when you make an appointment.
  14. Derrick Combs

    Derrick Combs Active Member

    We have one here in NH that's like that. It's in the top of a bank. When I went the first time I didn't know it was appointment only. The place acted like I was there to stick them up. The entry way was just some plants. Thought I was in the wrong place. A guy came asked me what I needed. I told him I was just a casual shopper just interested in looking at display cases. He wanted me to wait there and he'd be back and all this. I was like I'm sorry I thought this was a coin store with display cases. He said well it is a coin store but you have to have an appointment. Then I started to follow him back. He was like no you gotta wait out there. I said look I'm obviously in the wrong place. If it's this much trouble it's not worth it to me. I never went back, even with an appointment.
  15. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    In an online world, brick and mortar coin shops exist primarily for buying from the public. The days of the neighborhood coin shop as a social club are waning, I'm afraid.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  16. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    While that's generally true, if you have some big spenders that spend often if you aren't holding back your best stuff to give them the first chance at it you are making a mistake. Part of the reason why the best customers are the best ones is because they get first shot at things.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  17. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    My LCS for instance, has a wrap around display case of items that never changes, then he's got his buckets for world coins and junk, littleton stuff that people sold him, ect.

    Everything you'd want he either has to order online and bring it in for you, or get it from the back,,, I guessing he stays packed up for travel for coin shows because If I ask for something, either he has to go to the back, or he has to order it, it's never in the front of the shop, and he does have gold and silver coins in the display cases and stuff so it's not a security thing. I know he was closed a lot, even before the pandemic, he never answers the phone and it's hit or miss whether his shop will be open because he's always going to coin shows but you gotta go there and roll the dice to find out if he's open.

    I think his shop is basically a "We buy gold and silver" place and otherwise storage for shows, where he does his coin business, which is probably more of an out of control hobby for him.

    He's somewhat helpful if you go in asking for something, but he comes across as distracted and distant also, like he really doesn't care about making a sale or not.

    Basically I think the LCS is storage and a place for him to buy and sell silver and gold bullion when he's not following his hobby at the coin shows.
  18. Chris11111952

    Chris11111952 Member

    In the lower Hudson Valley my regular guy has gone to a small enclosed area for selling and if you want a particular coin look on his web site call ahead and you can look at it in "Hand" The times we live in
  19. john65999

    john65999 Well-Known Member

    years ago me Da' went to a well known jeweler in our town and asked to have a piece mad, the dealer looked him up and down (jeans and a white t-shirt" and said, sir, you cannot afford it, shop elsewhere...well he did, he found an Iranian jewler in the next town, told him what he wanted, and the guy made it, then showed it to him then told me Da' the price 3200.00 it was a 50th anniversary wedding present to me Ma' he whipped out the Benjie's and took it with him, on the way home he stopped by the other jeweler and said, hello, i want a duplicate of this made, he looked at it, weighed it, then said 4900.00, me Da laughed and said, yup, if last month you would of talked to me i would have done it, but you disrespected me, so i went elsewhere, and also saved 1200..00 lol the moral of the story never judge a book by the cover, my dad was a commercial artist..making 35.00 an hour back when min wage was like 3.00 per hour..and a the time of this purchase was a studio manager..first thing he did was abolish suit and tie, it was a studio, why be spiffy?? be another friend of mine (also deceased) owned an auto body shop and a large gun collection as well as famous pieces of jewelry, even a piec belonging to (at one time) queen Isabella of Spain) but that for another time, but anyways, he always looked like a slob, holy t shirts and dirty jeans, but when i used to go on buying trips with him, he always took 70 or 80 100.00 bills with him..he got that talk a time or too, but he would whip out the wad of 100's then when they changed their tune, he would say, nah you disrespect people see ya...
  20. Bubs

    Bubs New Member

    Guess I am lucky to have an old school coin dealer. He has a few cases of common coins in nice grades displayed for people who wish to fill holes in their collection. He also has a case full of key date/high value coins to look at. He Will sit and chew the fat with ya for a while and answer any question you have about his items. He is always willing to take anything out for you. He is a wealth of knowledge who is getting older and I am going to sorely miss him when he retires.
    masterswimmer likes this.
  21. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Reminds me of a Paul Harvey "Rest Of The Story" story about how a midwestern farmer and his wife showed up at Harvard to check about perhaps building a building to honor their son who had died a few years previously. They waited a long time to see the president who disdainfully told them it would cost over one million dollars (this was in 1885) and they couldn't afford it. The farmer responded that he didn't know it would be that cheap and perhaps they should start their own school. The farmer's name...Leland Stanford...
    john65999, johnmilton, ddddd and 2 others like this.
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