Etiquette ?: How long is it reasonable to wait?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by GeorgeM, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Well-Known Member

    Several weeks ago, I picked out about 2 dozen coins at a jewelry/bullion shop, only to find out that the seller hadn't priced half of them.

    I was expecting to get a quote and decide then and there if the prices were right for me, just as I would if i were buying at a shop that priced items as you went along (not my preferred way to buy, but it does happen sometimes, especially if you ask for particular items that aren't out on display). However, the clerk who was helping me deferred to the "coin guy" who was wrapping up a cataloguing project in the back. He took my phone number and told me he'd call back with prices.

    I was pretty happy with the items I bought. There was a high ratio of rarer dates & unusual VAMS (as noted in this thread ) and I hope that the remaining unpriced coins have more of the same. However, I never got a call.

    A week later, I was in the same area and dropped in to make sure that they hadn't lost my number. The shop's "coin expert" was there, but he apologized that he hadn't gotten around to getting a quote for me. He said something about being in the middle of taking over for a previous employee & trying to reconcile the records system. In short, my read of the situation is that he's leery of underpricing items when he doesn't know how much was paid for them & also doesn't want to leave money on the table by undervaluing them. Since that's exactly what I'm hoping he does, it's not a baseless concern.

    I'm sympathetic of this (even though I try to avoid price anchoring with my own collection - it can be a trap). In my opinion, any given coin is only worth what the market will bear at its next sale. Plus, I neither want to come on too strong (causing him to raise the prices) nor be disrespectful of the "your shop, your rules" standard.

    So, my question is this - how long would you wait for a pricing answer? And is there a polite way to communicate that the clock is ticking?
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  3. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Be honest...let him know you prefer to deal in-person with an LCS rather than buy with commissions from an on-line anonymous seller.

    But if you need/want a particular coin and they're not going to be available for a while, you may bid elsewhere.
    capthank likes this.
  4. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    No sale is final until you have exchanged money and walked out with it. If you are waiting weeks just expect you will never get it.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  5. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    I'd have gone and tried to purchase one more time and if I don't walk out with them then, consider them "not for sale".

    My LCS is a lot like this. He hangs out all day with his friends in the shop, bunch of old dudes and it's a struggle to buy anything and when I do I guarantee I could get it much cheaper buying from an online coin shop. I tried to buy a couple rolls of wheat cents to go through once and he opened the rolls and started going through them to see if there was anything he missed or overlooked before he sold me the rolls. He does the same thing with anything in his display case and revalues them if you want to buy them for more than they are marked.

    I don't go there anymore, which sucks since its the only place around besides pawn shops, but maybe he does good bullion business and makes his money trading with dealers at shows to stay open.

    Yeah I'd try one more time and make an offer and if he doesn't sell then just consider them not for sale and move on with your life.
  6. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Sometimes, people have just enough "smarts" to put themselves out of business.
    ~ Chris
  7. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    I'd treat them the same way I treat any sort of contractor. If you don't respond to my second phone call requesting a quote, you're dead to me.
  8. techwriter

    techwriter Well-Known Member

    Some folks completely forget why they are in business; I applaud you for refraining from any further visits to the place. The first time a dealer attempted to re-price an item I was interested in purchasing -- I would never darken his door again.
    Besides, he is obviously not in business to sell anything.
    Stevearino and UncleScroge like this.
  9. toned_morgan

    toned_morgan Toning Lover

    Yeah stupid businessman. It takes minutes to identify prices if you're a real "coin expert", so I would have expected a call back the day after or maybe that same afternoon. In business, the customer is what determines if you make money or not, so if you don't treat the customer well, you're not surviving. It's simple, but this idiot didn't quite get it I guess.
    Stevearino likes this.
  10. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Did you make him an offer with actual $$$ ?

    Maybe that gets him off his duff.
    Mountain Man likes this.
  11. stldanceartist

    stldanceartist Minister of Silly Walks Supporter

    I've been in shops like this (a few in the Chicago area were like this, actually) - the point of a place like this is NOT to sell coins. It was explained to me by another Chicago area coin dealer:

    The point of a shop like this staying open is not to sell anything to collectors.
    The owners are wealthy men. They do not need sales.
    (Sure, they sell stuff like BU state quarters from rolls, coin supplies, and leftovers from collections they buy, but that's not the point.)
    That's purely to keep customers coming in the door and maybe to cover their monthly bills or to slowly get rid of the stuff they don't want to keep for their own collections - which is the point - they are open so they can "catch" people's collections coming in, keep the really nice, unusual, quality, profitable stuff, and then get rid of the leftovers.

    That's what they care about - buying someone's hoard/collection, keeping anything worthwhile, and getting rid of what they don't care about. If they need to liquidate a large quantity of inventory - to pay an unexpected bill or to fund a new purchase - they have other wealthy people in their network who will buy a bunch of common, lower-quality "stuff" sight unseen.

    If you think of it from that point of view, everything else makes sense.

    Note: I'm not saying they are bad people, I'm not specifically judging them. This is just most likely the reason why no one at that place feels it's a high priority to price some random coins for someone who walks in the door to buy and seems like they know what they're doing.
  12. Millard

    Millard Coindog

    Etiquette works both ways. And you have much more patience than I would have extended.
    Stevearino likes this.
  13. harley bissell

    harley bissell Well-Known Member

    Tell him in a non threatening way that your money can't sit idle any more than his can and if you haven't heard anything in another week you have other purchases that you can make. After that you may or may not have the funds to complete the deal so it will be catch as catch can and you don't want his efforts and time to be wasted. You might mention how quickly you can make up your mind once you hear from him.
    GeorgeM and Stevearino like this.
  14. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    You've been patient and tried twice. I would try once more and that's all, forever. I'd go back and look at what he has one more time. While looking, I'd make a polite inquiry about the first visit and I'd mention the second visit as well.

    You should be able to judge by the reaction if they are serious. If they have something that interests you and the price is reasonable, buy it. Leave your contact information one more. After that, I'd do nothing. I wouldn't even consider thinking about it.

    If they don't call, never go back. And relate your poor experience to other potential customers. If you hear from him, regardless of the timing, act appropriately and decide what is best.

    Best wishes.
    Stevearino likes this.
  15. Joshua Lemons

    Joshua Lemons Active Member

    Unfortunately, I have a LCS in much the situation. They inherited their business from their father and focus on what seems to me on bullion and jewelry mostly. In fact I get much more response and interest if im buying/selling bullion. They have tons of slabbed and raw coins and I'd say 75% don't have prices on them. If you show interest in a coin the dealers will look it up and down with loupe and state a price. Luckily, many times the price I consider fair so I don't haggle much.
    I think if you do get a reply soon, im im w the others. I think the bad etiquette is on the dealer's part at this point.
    GeorgeM likes this.
  16. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Well-Known Member

    If I really, underline really, wanted the coins, I'd tell the guy that while you appreciate his position of just taking over, I would expect him to want to make sales based upon his knowledge. If he hemmed and hawed, I would offer him what I wanted to pay, take it or leave it. If he still balked, I'd tell him I wouldn't be back.
  17. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Well-Known Member

    I like your way of doing business. I contacted a dealer that works out of an office. I asked him if he had gotten any gold coins recently. I few years ago, he sold to me 4 gold coins. They weren't the best, but they were gold and the prices were reasonable. This time, I got a short response, "I don't have any." I don't want to sound critical, but I am wondering if gold coins are being hoarded due to the economy or some other reason. The dealer isn't bad, but he is in business to make money.
  18. Gallienus

    Gallienus Well-Known Member

    Coin dealers are strange creatures. They seem bent on ridiculing and being rude to their clientele. Maybe collectors also have a self flagellation bent? Eventually it becomes too strong for collectors in one particular area and they move to another collecting area.

    I did this with US coins. It seemed that unless one was prepared to plunk down $40K at every single meeting with them, US coin dealers would have nothing to do with you. Thus I moved to foreign coins.

    Now the same thing is happening with some foreign coins. I have one dealer that I've been trying to buy this same coin from for 3 years now. You would think that after one or two years, if nobody else would pay his price, he might become more flexible??? Nope.

    Thus my advice to you is that you need to give it at least 3 years. If bugging them after 3 years doesn't work, it may be time to move on and look for something else to buy.
  19. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    I’m a little confused.... a retail shop is displaying items for sale, but they’re not priced and therefor not actually for sale???? Weird.
  20. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    In my business, I bid construction work. I am offered dozens of opportunities each day. Fact is, I don't want to offer a bid for maybe 50% of what is sent my way. And I am fully aware that it may appear to the person that offered me the opportunity, that I don't want his business. And it isn't that at all. Having been at this as long as I have I can foresee the problem projects that I don't want any part of.

    Your shop guy may have his own unforeseen reasons for not offering you a quote. Yes, two weeks is plenty long enough to wait. I would make one final call. I would be pleasant and simply ask him.... If you aren't prepared to sell these items, I understand. Just please be frank with me so I can show my interest elsewhere.
    GeorgeM likes this.
  21. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    I understand the connection your making, but this is quite a bit different scenario than a retail store.
    GeorgeM likes this.
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