Fair prices

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Surrey237, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Surrey237

    Surrey237 New Member

    Hi - I'm completely new to coins and largely just fascinated by history & wanting to own a part of it.

    I'm looking at silburycoins.co.uk which I understand to be a reputable dealer. My question is this - assuming that by buying from a site like that I assume I'll be paying "retail" prices rather than hunting bargins, are the prices fair? Do I need to become an expert on valuations or can I assume that a coin priced at, say, £300, is reasonably priced?

    I'm happy to pay a sensible markup to get through a reputable dealer however am I being sensible doing so? Are the prices such that I'd be a muppet to buy from online retailers and should I be doing proper research myself first?

    I guess I'm asking whether its acceptable to simply shop at places like this online or whether I'd be fleeced. Is there somewhere else I should be shopping?
    Robert91791 likes this.
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  3. rickmp

    rickmp Frequently flatulent.

    IMO, the only "fair" price is the one agreed upon by both the buyer and the seller.
  4. Surrey237

    Surrey237 New Member

    OK - but on that basis every price ever agreed is "fair" which renders the whole question moot.

    What I'm interested in understanding is this - if I pay £300 for a coin from a website like Silbury coins and post it here, what will be the reaction from the experienced regulars? Will they say:

    1) What an idiot paying £300 for that, doesn't he realise that the same thing is £25 from someotherplace.co.uk
    2) Hit & miss that website but this time it was ok
    3) Could have got it for £200 if he really put some effort into understanding the market but £300 is an ok price for an amateur to pay
    4) Something else
  5. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    Most places you'll pay about 50% too much. The coin will be genuine however, and almost properly graded. If you walk in their shop you'll get about a 20% discount if the coin is still in stock but better values will already be gone.

    If you're a seller you'll get about half what it's worth.

    These are just general guidelines, though.

    Now days you can use google to get a fairly good approximation of what it brings from sellers and auctions. I'd guess real ones sold in this manner will bring about 10% less than the seller's (300P) price.
    Surrey237 likes this.
  6. Dave M

    Dave M Francophiliac

    If you post what you paid for *any* coin here, you will get people telling you that you paid too much. It's human nature. Do some research on any particular coin you're thinking of buying from them, and see what the same coin will cost you at one or two other dealers, and then come to your conclusion about whether this one has reasonable prices. That's my suggestion.
    TIF likes this.
  7. Surrey237

    Surrey237 New Member

    Thanks cladking - that's exactly the sort of guidance I was hoping for. I'm comfortable with paying that sort of markup to make sure that the coin is genuine and properly graded - its a fairly typical retain markup and feels fair.
  8. Surrey237

    Surrey237 New Member

    After a bit of googling - I can see what you mean. Thanks!
  9. Hoky77

    Hoky77 Well-Known Member

    Try this: Go to eBay and find the coin and grade you desire, on the left click on sold items and see what the average is there. Some people pay to much, some people get lucky and you will find there is a sweet spot in the middle.
    Surrey237 likes this.
  10. Surrey237

    Surrey237 New Member

    Good tip - I'd be a little nervous about trusting ebay though. Are there known sellers who are reputable?
  11. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Well-Known Member

    If its British coins you wish to collect and buy go to Tony Clayton's website.
    Tony posts here sometimes.
    Look at the upto date catalog values and then pay no more than a third of those prices.
    Personally I don't buy from dealers apart from the odd eBay one.
    I buy whole collections at auction, antique fairs.
  12. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Not saying to buy from e-bay (although many of us do) but the spread of prices lets you know what is reasonable. Let's say you see a spread of prices on a similar coin on e-bay of from 250-350 pounds, 300 would be a "fair" price, 500 would not be. BTW welcome to CT.
  13. Surrey237

    Surrey237 New Member

    Of course - that makes complete sense.
    Kentucky likes this.
  14. Hoky77

    Hoky77 Well-Known Member

    This isn't necessarily the place to buy for a newbie, it is a pretty good way to find out what the trends are for a particular coin.
  15. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    The seller knows the buyer wants the coin, the buyer knows the seller wants to sell it, both sides should try to look for a price that both will be happy having. A buyer or dealer that insist they aren't going to bargain should be off of anyone's list. Time and knowledge are valuable commodity also, so don't waste them.
  16. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    EBay is unfortunately becoming a buyer's beware market. Counterfeits are serious problem and its unfortunately flooded with them. Look at the Chinese section and you might be lucky to see about 50% genuine. Its that bad.

    With well established dealers, they would at least back what they sell.
  17. imrich

    imrich Supporter! Supporter

    I believe you'll repeatedly hear your cited responses here, but you'll also hear from others that personal research is the primary suggested means for establishing YOUR "fair value", as a prudent buyer would for most purchases.

    I'm personally a constant buyer who uses various resources to establish my "fair value", which from posted reports on this site, is too great. I'm a collector of desired items, SO what's the point? I hope that you'll establish your own "fair value" for items, just taking our biased suggestions as another element in your calculations. They're worth what you paid for them.

    Welcome aboard, and thanks for asking.

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  18. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Surrey there's a veritable mountain of information that one has to know when it comes to establishing a "fair" value for coins. But I'll try and give you some basic guidelines. For one thing there is no such thing as a set price for any coin. That's because all coins are unique, each and every one of them. For example coin A may be nicer than coin B in one way, but coin B may be nicer than A in another way - and there's about a dozen different ways that can occur. What that means to you is that with any given coin there is going to be price range as opposed to a set price. In other words, any given coin isn't worth say $180 - it's worth anywhere from $90 to say $300 - or $150 to $275 - things like that.

    Another thing, when it comes to dealers it is extremely common for dealer A to be asking $100 for a given coin and dealer B to be asking $200 for the same coin. And dealer C might be asking $135. But you looking at all 3 can't see any difference between all 3 of them. But here's the thing, each one may be asking what actually is a fair price - or they may not be.

    And price guides ? In simple terms price guides are worthless when it comes to determining a fair value for coins. If you look at 10 different price guides you'll find 10 different prices for the same exact coin. And those prices may vary by as much as 200-300% ! So for the most part, you'll want to ignore price guides.

    And these basic guidelines, they apply to all coins, regardless of who made them, where they come from, what time period they are from, whether they are slabbed or raw. And there's a whole lot more that goes along with this.

    So how does one find all this stuff out ? It takes work and effort, study, research, and asking a ton of questions. Bottom line, when it comes to determining fair value your best bet is to research realized auction prices. And I don't mean ebay ! For most coins ebay's the last place you want to look to do that. That's because ebay is flooded with people who have no clue what they are doing - none at all ! And as a result of that ignorance more often than not they pay way too much for coins. So if you use what they paid as a reference - then you will too.

    What you need to do is use the large auction houses as your references or sources of info. This is because most of the time anyway, the people buying coins there actually do have some idea of what they are doing, and some of them are some of the most knowledgeable people in the field.

    Granted, there are some coins, mostly the inexpensive coins, that you're just not going to be able to find records for at the major auction houses. So with them, your best bet is to ask people, like here on the forum. But you have to realize, coin forums are just like the rest of the world - some know what they are doing and others don't - but they think they do. So a bit of care needs to be taken in determining who you should listen to and who you should not.

    Like I said, there's a mountain of things you need to know.
    Gallienus and Kentucky like this.
  19. Robert91791

    Robert91791 Supporter! Supporter

    No you don't have to be an expert on valuation on coins but you need to be informed and at least research as to how much they are being sold for. Lastly, you need to be to accept and learn how to walk away from a coin regardless of how you like the coin specially if its overprice. In other words, you have to be prepared to live without it.
  20. Gallienus

    Gallienus Well-Known Member

    Rarely have I gotten a coin from Ebay that I did not return. The reason was always grading or undisclosed damage. My guess is that with British/English coins, everything at the L.300 price point will be not rare and always something you can find again. Thus don't get sucked into "I must have this superb 1965 Churchill Crown" for example. You can always find another one. You won't yet be buying any Henry III gold pennies for example.

    Also an option is going to Coinex which may be held in London or other major shows. There will be hundreds of dealers and prices may be fairer than at a coin shop. However, everyone has to start somewhere and coin shops have to sell coins to customers; unless they're at a beach somewheres and can just rely on passing tourists.

    Finally there are established auction firms: many of which sell hundreds of coins at the L.300 price range in a single auction. You can even go and look thru all the lots in person before bidding. The "official" auction estimates may vary from accurate to deceptively /enticingly low as in "you can buy a brand new 2019 BMW for only L. 1.999".

    Below is an example of an English [or British depending on the year of definition] half crown I bought from a dealer many years ago. This was when only US coins were slabbed.

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  21. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    Most knowledgeable collectors and bidders at auction usually pay little or no more than a dealer will pay. Sellers simply don't care about the bonafides of a buyer, merely his money. But coins sold through venues like price lists, eBay, or in shops will have a markup of 50 to 300% which constitutes "retail" pricing in the hobby. Usually this markup is near the low end except for "value added" products like complete collections.

    It's an odd industry because most of the profits come on the buy side. Much of what's available for sale arises from estates and dealers tend to be able to buy this quite cheaply. Their ability to sell it at the highest possible price is limited by the number and quality of their contacts so the price of a coin will increase as it's passed on in the chain. Most collectors will be at the tail-end of this chain and will pay what is the most it has sold for since reentering the market.

    It's easy to buy coins cheaply, it's very difficult to sell them for full price. Only professionals get retail.
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