First Time Coin Show Vendor (maybe) Questions

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Jim-P, Jun 21, 2021.

  1. Jim-P

    Jim-P Supporter! Supporter

    I'm considering going to the Annandale Coin Show. To sell. NoVa community college Annandale is pretty close to where I live, but I've never been to a coin show before, let alone set up to sell at one.

    Over the last few months I've had a lot of coins slabbed, but I also have quite a few ungraded. What should I expect customers' expectations to be when it comes to ungraded coins? Do potential customers prefer to look at coins free of container? Or does the ease of handling make it necessary to have a holder? Are saflips the most common way to display ungraded coins? Do people want to be told what grade a coin is, like written on the cardboard 2x2, or are they there to judge for themselves? I'm sure many if not most are more adept at grading than I am.

    Are credit card transactions the most popular? Will a vendor miss out if they don't have a Square card reader? Or are most of the non-cash transactions by something like paypal or applepay where the recipient can check the account to see payment has been made? Other than paypal I'm not set up for electronic payments.

    Does there seem to be a preference for slabbed vs. ungraded? Or is that too dependent on prices and inventory to see a trend?

    Thank you for any experiences/recommendations/advice you can share.

    MIGuy likes this.
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  3. LRC-Tom

    LRC-Tom Been around the block...

    I used to set up at Annandale. Like most shows, some customers will only be interested in slabbed coins; others have no problem with raw ones. Definitely have them in a holder such as 2x2s or don't want their grubby fingers all over your coins.

    Much of show transactions are still cash or check, like 50 years ago. Some dealers are set up to take credit cards, but I doubt you'll lose much business if you're not.

    Think about this, though... if you aren't confident in grading, how will you know how to price stuff? Maybe that would be a good reason to just deal in slabbed material until you gain more grading experience.

  4. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I always go to shows flush with cash. I think it is easier to wheel and deal with cash money. And I think it is in poor taste to whittle a fellow down on his price only to present a credit card that assures the dealer of an additional 3% loss on the deal. I shop for both slabbed and unslabbed coins. I prefer unslabbed pieces when I am plugging holes in a Dansco.
    Kentucky, Dynoking, MaryK and 8 others like this.
  5. stldanceartist

    stldanceartist Minister of Silly Walks Supporter

    Haha...well, I was going to start typing some of my experiences at coin shows back home when I set up as a dealer...but then I quickly remembered that I rarely sold anything. In fact, I rarely had anyone even stop at my tables to look at what I had to sell. Half the time it was just another dealer who expected to buy something really expensive from me for almost they could re-sell it themselves.

    Maybe that's something to keep in mind when it comes to expectations for your show - lots of customers have their "trusted dealers" that they are familiar dealing with, and they might spend their entire time at those tables.

    I always ended up buying wayyyy more than I sold, and I was very disheartened that no one even stopped at my table to see what I was selling anyway, so in the end it just wasn't even worth setting up a table any more. I could get far more accomplished by showing up as a customer.

    Personally, I would second the statement from @LRC-Tom - put your nice coins in 2x2 or flips so people don't get fingerprints all over them or drop them quite so easily. I might also bring a desk lamp or two, something to write on, something to write with, a charger for your phone, and a power strip.

    There are always YN at shows, so I usually would try to bring something to give them for free. Again, if they stopped at my table.
  6. Jim-P

    Jim-P Supporter! Supporter

    Good point. I tend to grade low. Last batch I got back from a slabber, My test grade was low three times as often as high or equal.
    Jim Dale likes this.
  7. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Unwell Unknown Unmembered Supporter

    Also recommend cointinuing to sell on the BST, happy buyer here!
    Hiwatt likes this.
  8. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    Cash is King at California coin shows. With cards you have to pay 10% sales tax. As a seller I would not take a personal check.
  9. Jim-P

    Jim-P Supporter! Supporter

    Well I've decided I'm going, and going to vend. Don't know what to expect except I suspect I will get some fun out of it.
    Hiwatt, Jim Dale and MIGuy like this.
  10. coin dog

    coin dog Well-Known Member

    At a coin show or coin store, I have never paid with anything but cash. I don’t know about you, but I darn sure would not accept a check from a stranger at a coin show. Make life simple and avoid scams and fees. Put up a sign “Cash Only”.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
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  11. Jim-P

    Jim-P Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks. I don't NEED to make sales that bad that I will take the risk of a bad transaction. Besides, I got nothing over a couple hundred anyway.
  12. Two Dogs

    Two Dogs Well-Known Member

    @LRC-Tom's comments are spot on. At your first shows, focus on learning, making connections with those who you hope to deal with at future shows, and figuring out how to best present the coins in your case attractively. Slabbed coins are easier to sell than raw. It helps to have a variety of coins which will attract customers to take a closer look; have a few Morgans, have a couple gold coins, have a couple with CAC stickers, have some 90%, and anything else that will catch someone's eye from a few yards away. I'd also recommend to put prices on your coins.
    Be nice to the show organizer! (If you come across as a jerk, you may get a bad location in the room).
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
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  13. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    Since you'll be doing cash sales only, make sure you have lots of change. Nothing more annoying having a $5 sale and the customer hands you aa$100 bill. Leave your cases locked at all times. Trust no one.
    Kentucky, MaryK, coin dog and 5 others like this.
  14. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    You will be fine. I am sure you will enjoy the experience and have a book of stories to share. FWIW, make an effort to kibitz and wander and meet and talk to the other dealers, especially the more "established" dealers like Tom. These people will be important contacts in the future, whether or not you do or don't participate in any other such events. I assume you will have somebody to assist you at your table. You will need it.
  15. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Well-Known Member

    I have, as of this date, been to a coin show. I live in the country 20 miles or more from the closest town in North Carolina. There was a show recently, in Raleigh, but due to bein 73 with poor health, my boss (wife) wouldn't let me go by myself, and she said she would not take me.
    I do my viewing on the internet and buy the coins that I like from ebay. Luckily, I have been able to get coins that I like or need for a set over the internet at reasonably good prices an were good quality. I start small on my sets. I just finished my set on FDR Dimes. All the coins are raw, but would probably grade at MS.
    Do as much research as you can before the show to know your coins that you want to sell. Best of luck at your show.
    john65999 likes this.
  16. John Skelton

    John Skelton Morgan man!

    I've never sold at a coin show but have been to several. I'm going to the annual state coin show this weekend.

    I tend to look at the raw coins because they are typically priced within my budget. When I'm looking for a specific coin I'll ask the dealer if they have what I want. Then I'll decide if I'm willing to meet their price. I always pay cash because I can negotiate a better deal. And I'm able to walk away if I can't.

    This is the way I do these shows but I'm sure there are many ways to do it.
  17. john65999

    john65999 Well-Known Member

    back 35-40 years ago i did 4 to 5 coin shows per month and used to make a good profit, i stopped dealing (and collecting for almost 30 years, then got back into it around covid era, i collect errors , but buy and sell regular coins, i did one coin show back in december, and bombed, i only sold one coin ( a half cent) to the dealer next to me, but did wind up buying about 800.00 of coins for resale and errors for my collection so all was not lost, so,. personally, i have no idea, i think the one i did due to lack of advertising (the owner of the show said he could only have 10 visitors at a time not counting seemed everyone went to their regular guy then left, i had about 5 people tell me oh, i wish i brought my want tlist, lol but anyways, that is my experience...i seem to do better at the fle a i have 10 times as many coins as the 4 guys out there, lol
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  18. Mac McDonald

    Mac McDonald Well-Known Member

    While you indicated not too savvy on grading, think you should at least bone up a bit with/through a current Red Book on some of your better and key-date least know the general ranges of prices even if you don't know the ranges of their conditions...or through some other current price publication and take it with you to read/study while there, if needed, etc. Also, use the non-adhesive one wants to have adhesive residue stuck on their flips or holders. Avery has both adhesive and non-adhesive in different sizes...usually at most stationary or office depot, WM, etc. stores or online.
    Cheech9712 likes this.
  19. Dug13

    Dug13 Well-Known Member

    When at shows, I carry a moderate amount of cash. Also have check book for the larger purchases. When I do pay be check, I always ask the dealer if they would like to take a picture of my drivers license. The vest-pocket guys always accept, the big dealers almost always pass.
    Cheech9712 likes this.
  20. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Perhaps you should attend a show before trying to sell at one. Look at the inventory, talk to the dealers and buyers. See how they are set up. Learn what you can before jumping right in.
    dltsrq, Jim-P, John Burgess and 6 others like this.
  21. 1865King

    1865King Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to bother looking at anyone else that responded to your post because it may affect my comments.

    If you have never been to a coin show DO NOT set up a table and try to sell your coins. You should first go to at least a few shows before thinking about setting up. That way you'll at least get a feel for what a show is like and how other people are selling their coins. Watch how they make transactions and maybe buy a coin or two for yourself to see how the transaction takes place. Don't assume a coin show is like a flea market. Some very small shows are but, the larger show are a totally different.

    Don't forget you'll need to pay for the table space and at some shows this can be pricey. At larger shows you may have to actually rent the table too.

    Once you figure out how a show works then you need to decide on how you want to get your "feet wet". If you're friends with a dealer at the show maybe they would let you sit behind their table just to get a better look at the process. It's similar to a coin shop but you need to be very alert and watch each customer that stops to bourse and look at coins. Most people are very honest but, watch their hands when they look at the coins. Don't get side tracked by someone else that "just" stops by to talk.

    Next thing you need to do is depending on the state you will most likely need to get a Federal and State tax ID number with the state your selling in. This is so that you can pay them the sales tax on items you sell and of course income tax too. Getting a tax ID number is usually easy. However, I would advise you talk to a tax accountant. They will be able to explain the process as well as tell you what permits if any you need. Do not skip this part thinking you can get way without doing what's required.

    I've had my own business for over 30 years selling industrial equipment and the tax man will want their cut. I have never seen it happen but, I have heard of the state tax man just showing up at coin shows to spot check people selling at the show. The tax man will NOT walk around a show advertising who they are. They may look just like any other nut at a coin show. So it's in your best interest to have all the proper info on hand. The tax man doesn't care if you didn't charge the buyer sales tax (which is common at a coin show) they will assume you included the tax in the price. So it's best to record each sale and keep that paperwork handy. It's nothing fancy a simple binder or note pad is all you need. Write what you sold and the price.

    Good Luck!
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