Featured Four states, 1500 miles, 23 coins shops, a disastrous hotel stay, and 10 days later...

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Dansco_Dude, Jan 9, 2024.

  1. Dansco_Dude

    Dansco_Dude Member



    Late last December [2023], I decided to take a road trip to visit all the coin shops I could while driving back home from California to Colorado. My goal was to find as many cool Dansco products and coins as I could. As well as meet other coin collectors.

    Four states, 1500 miles, 23 coins shops, a disastrous hotel stay, and 10 days later, I arrived back home with:

    Dozens of albums & pages, 15 lbs of world coins, 200 world current notes, and many stories to share.


    Some observations after visiting 23 coin shops across 4 states:
    • 15% of shops were extremely welcoming. I was able to chat with the owners about my Dansco preservation project and they wanted to help out. They often suggested nearby shops to visit.

    • 25% of shops were generally friendly and welcoming, but I was seen more as a customer rather than a fellow collector.

    • 20% were outright hostile.

    • The remaining 40% of shops were ambivalent.

    • Some shops were extremely hostile when I said I was looking for Dansco albums. One shop owner looked at the Danscos I was trying to purchase, took them out back to look up eBay sold listings, then refused to sell half and overcharged the other half.

    • The best shop owner experiences were the ones where I got to share my preservation project with the owner and we got to talk about the current state of Dansco and coin collecting. The best interactions were ones where shop owners were curious about my knowledge of Dansco products, rather than thinking I was just a reseller trying to make a quick buck.

    • I did read the Google reviews for all the shops I went to. Generally, I found reviews skewed bimodally with mostly either 5 stars or 1 star. There was one shop in Phoenix, Arizona where it had exceptionally bad reviews and the common theme was that the shop owner was rude, inattentive, or hostile. I did not experience that at all! The guy was quite friendly. I left a positive review.
    • For fun, I ran an experiment where some days I dressed in casual clothes, and other days I dressed up a little more. When I was in casual baggy clothes, I was given worse service and experienced more hostile owners. When I was better dressed up, I received significantly better service and respect.

    • As a young person of color, I always wonder if my age/race plays into how shop owners treat me. After this trip, my experience was that race and age did not impact me as much. But class and perceived social status played a significant part in how I was treated.

    • The smallest coin shops tend to have the most personable owners.

    • Regarding my disastrous hostel stay, let's just say that it wasn't fun waking up to hear teenagers trying to break into cars in a hotel parking lot in Albuquerque when you have a few thousand dollars worth of coin supplies in your car. Ended up checking out the hotel at 2 am and sleeping on the road.

    • I saw all types of coin shops. From holes in the walls to boutique jewelry stores. It didn't matter how fancy the coin shops were, the key thing was how the owner saw and treated customers.

    • The best shop experiences were ones where coin supplies and albums were not behind the counter. Where I could physically pull out albums and inspect them. And where price stickers were already on them.

    • Every shop has complaints about how hard it is to get Dansco products

    • Around 90% of shop owners & employees were men. 10% women.

    • Around 30% of shop owners & employees were under the age of 45. 70% were over 45.

    • Some shops have old coin supplies like Whitman albums in a free giveaway box!

    • Negotiating deals is both an art and critical for coin collectors. Almost every shop was willing to negotiate the final price. The best tactic I’ve found is to purchase multiple items and offer to pay in cash if you can get a lower total price.
    Overall this was a great experience. I got to meet many collectors and build out my collection. It was quite an experience seeing the range of coin shops around the southwest United States. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do it again soon.

    Dansco Dude
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  3. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Very interesting . . . thanks for the informative post.
  4. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    Enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing. Much better than a Cliff Mishler article. And to the rest of you, don't bean me for this. I could care less how many miles he logged, what he ate and how many steps he walked. I want to read about coins. :)
    lordmarcovan and Cheech9712 like this.
  5. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Tell your dog I said hi!

    Interesting trip.

    Did you happen to stop at Albuquerque Coins in Ablbuquerque, NM (3216 San Mateo Blvd., NE)? Of all the coin shops I've been in, that was my most pleasant experience.
  6. lardan

    lardan Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting read, thanks for posting. The 20% hostile is not really a surprise to me in our world at this time.
    Dansco_Dude likes this.
  7. Tall Paul

    Tall Paul Supporter! Supporter

    Fun report, thank you for sharing your insights.
    lardan and Dansco_Dude like this.
  8. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    It's rare that I get to go to the 'local' coin shop, 25 miles away, but the owner is fabulously friendly. It was a real pleasure to go there.

    I make a beeline for the ancients corner.
    Dansco_Dude and Cheech9712 like this.
  9. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    That was a nice piece Thanks for sharing your trip
    serafino and Dansco_Dude like this.
  10. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    You should have called ahead maybe.
    Dansco_Dude likes this.
  11. Vess1

    Vess1 CT SP VIP Supporter

    This was interesting. I'm from Illinois and I got to visit the furthest coin shop from home I've ever been to which was in Billings, MT this last summer on vacation. The shop owner was friendly and chatty. I ended up buying a 2.5 oz poured silver bar in the shape of MT while I was there as a souvenir.

    I'm not a Dansco fan myself but that is certainly an interesting endeavor! I like percentage break downs to describe things. It's always more informative than just saying most or "a lot". Thanks for sharing.
    Dansco_Dude likes this.
  12. Joshua Lemons

    Joshua Lemons Well-Known Member Supporter

    Funny you say that... I've gotten into the habit of calling walking the dog as taking an evening constitutional!
    tommyc03 likes this.
  13. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

  14. Dansco_Dude

    Dansco_Dude Member

    I was not able to stop by Albuquerque Coins! I was planning on dropping by a few coin shops in Albuquerque, but because of the hotel incident, I ended up driving to Colorado overnight instead.
    CoinCorgi likes this.
  15. Jeepfreak81

    Jeepfreak81 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting post, thanks for sharing. I have very very little experience with coin shops because well, there aren't any around here. Ironic being that I live in the home of Littleton Coin Company. Which is also why most of my folders and albums are LCC. I do not own any dansco.

    I find your observation about the way you dress interesting but not surprising. I think in general that how someone is presented (clothing, grooming, etc.) is more of a factor than age or race.

    It's a shame more places didn't take interest in you as a collector instead of either just any old customer or even a nuisance. Can't say I'm surprised here either but sure is a shame.
  16. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    I liked your report, for as much about the general statistics as about Dansco albums.

    This thread came up when I was trying to help someone on Collectors Universe who just messaged me looking for World coin Danscos. Unfortunately it has been more than a decade since I’ve had any.

    I gave him a link to this thread, though I don’t know if he has login credentials here.
    Timothy Grider likes this.
  17. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    At 69 my Beagle takes ME for walks. If he spots a squirrel, it's not a constitutional, it's a "Run Thru The Jungle". :)
  18. Dansco_Dude

    Dansco_Dude Member

    Just replied to your DM! Happy to say I have already connecting with the collector on Instagram :)
    Timothy Grider and lordmarcovan like this.
  19. Hiddendragon

    Hiddendragon World coin collector

    I dream about traveling and visiting coin shops. I collect world coins and I just know there are shops out there with great foreign coins that they are practically giving away and I want them. Unfortunately with a job and two kids this sort of trip isn't happening.

    Isn't it weird how many shops are hostile? Who runs a business like that? I've been to shops like that though where I get the distinct feeling that I'm wasting their time and they want me to go away.
  20. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    It really is weird. And it is a thing, for some bizarre reason.
    Hiddendragon likes this.
  21. Noah Worke

    Noah Worke Well-Known Member

    I just spent the better part of an hour reading the reviews for the one in Phoenix that you mentioned. I might have to stop by and see for myself, and make sure to dress in my Sunday best.
    Dansco_Dude and lordmarcovan like this.
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