Haggling at coin shows and beyond

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by TheCoinGeezer, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. TheCoinGeezer

    TheCoinGeezer Senex Bombulum

    I'll start this off by saying I'm a confirmed haggler.
    To my way of thinking the asking price is just the starting point for negotiations!
    I won't haggle if the seller is very busy and I won't buy from a seller who won't haggle.
    But I won't pay retail - period.
    There are too many other venues to buy good coins at lower prices.
    How about the rest of you? Hagglers or not?
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  3. KoinJester

    KoinJester Well-Known Member

    I ask what his best price is if its where I want, I take it if I don't like his price I say no thanks and be on my merry way. I don't want to waste my time or his by trying to get something fifty cents cheaper
  4. TheCoinGeezer

    TheCoinGeezer Senex Bombulum

    LOL - my haggling ability gets me stuff a bit more than "fifty cents cheaper"! :D
    I'm not gonna haggle over low priced items but once we start getting into the hundreds, you better believe I'm gonna haggle!
  5. JCB1983

    JCB1983 Learning

    To my knowledge I've only scored one really good deal so far. In the process of trying to learn the actual value of the coins so my haggling is backed up by something.
  6. chip

    chip Novice collector

    Not too much of a haggler cg. I went to a show today, one dealer had a nice au 1819/8 CBH he wanted 375. He is a dealer I had not dealt with before, so I asked him his best price, he said 370. I thanked him and told him I might come back later ( I did not). I might have paid his price if the coin was a real nice one for the grade, it was nice but not real nice (imo).

    I guess I am the type of person who figures when I ask someone what is their best price, they will actually tell me their best price. If the figure I have in mind is close to their best price I might float that figure out there. I was figuring 195 for the coin so it was far enough away that I did not even mention it.

    The coin was a slabbed NGC one, it had numerous hits and dings, rather unattractive toning, I have seen au-58 coins that I would have paid that price for, but this was not one of them.

    Let me ask you, if you see something like a brown 1909 vdb in a slab marked 64, and you figure you would pay 20 bucks for it, but when you ask the price the dealer says he wants 115, how do you close the gap by haggling?
  7. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I am horrible at it. Never have gotten the knack. I have gotten to the point where I can ask for a best price at a show, and if I don't like it walk away. I don't know why, but have never been comfortable haggling. I am envious.

  8. TheCoinGeezer

    TheCoinGeezer Senex Bombulum

    Assuming the coin in question is marked with a price AND I have a good idea of its value, I'll start off with the perennial "What's your best price?"
    If his "best price" seems like a good deal, then no need to haggle.
    Otherwise I may reply along the lines of "Well, that's a little bit more than I can afford for that coin. Can you come down to {insert reasonable figure I would LOVE to buy it for here}".
    Sometimes I get the coin for that price.
    Sometimes the seller names a price below his "best price" but above my offer.
    If the price is right, I'll buy otherwise I will politely thank him for his time and move on.
    I find haggling with online sellers to be even more profitable for me.
    I always try to be polite and I don't, under any circumstances, denigrate the seller's wares.
    My motto: If you don't ask, you don't get.
  9. mikem2000

    mikem2000 Lost Cause

    I have on both sides of the haggling. I was in retail sales for years. I can tell you that the best prices, I gave were to folks that were personable and I liked even though we were fighting a mini war.

    Those years are barely a memory now, but I always haggle, and always remember to try to build that bond with the seller. It goes a long way. This is even true when haggling on-line. Try to compliment the dealers stock, or you heard good things about him. It's all part of the game.

  10. VNeal

    VNeal Member

    Simply ask two questions
    1) is this your best price and
    2) if you want to counter offer say" I would offer XX dollars for the coin"

    A trick I use is look at the coin then lay it down and say nothing. He who speaks first looses. Sometimes the dealer will come down substantially. Sometimes not. Yes I was a dealer once.
  11. icerain

    icerain Mastir spellyr Supporter

    My experience at shows are limited but I haggle at one of the stores I go to. Whenever I feel his prices are a bit too much for me I always ask him for a better price. I usually get anywhere from a $20 to $50 discount from him.
  12. TheCoinGeezer

    TheCoinGeezer Senex Bombulum

    If a dealer has his wares priced ludicrously high, it's usually a sign of an unrealistic seller, an idiot or a crook. In most cases what you will hear him tell you "Well, I've already got x amount of dollars in that coin!" with the amount being higher than what I know to be the retail value of the coin. There's really no getting to a meeting of the minds with those people, so I usually don't even try.
    My specialty is Canadian coins and I'm fairly conversant with their market values and can proceed from that knowledge base.
    My aim is to make a deal that both the seller and I can be happy with.
  13. gboulton

    gboulton 7070 56.98 pct complete

    I negotiate everything. I don't always get the price to move, but I'll try. Even retail establishments where "haggling" isn't traditional behaviour.

    Some things I've discovered you can negotiate that you might not expect were negotiable:

    Gasoline (MUCH better chance if it's a local mom and pop shop, harder to find these days but still out there)

    Hotel/Motel rates

    Produce (even at Wal Mart, believe it or not)

    Health Care (This one's WAY easier than you think. Least talked about secret in the industry is that hospitals will collect less than 25% of the bills they send to individuals...either for uninsured services, or co-pays/deductibles. Offer to pay these costs up front, and hospitals will often take as little as $0.30-$0.40 on the dollar)


    It's also worth snooping around your local area, and FINDING places that might haggle to shop for nearly anything. For example:

    If you have a workshop, look for pawn shops for great deals on tools.

    Look for signs/ads for upcoming gun shows to haggle deals on ammo, gold/silver, and firearms.

    ALWAYS drive back country roads when car shopping. Cars and trucks can be found for 20-30% less than a used car lot might ask, and private sale owners are much more willing to negotiate.
  14. gboulton

    gboulton 7070 56.98 pct complete

    That line always annoys the **** out of me. :too-funny:

    I don't CARE what you have in the coin/car/airplane/whatever. What you spent on your stock/hobby/toy isn't really my concern. My concern is what you'll sell it for.

    Whenever someone brings up what they've spent on something, they're playing on your perception that every transaction must be profitable for the seller. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

    Sometimes, a "loss" is perfectly appropriate due to the depreciation of an item...say a car, for example. Sometimes it's because the market changed (very true amongst collectibles in a down economy) Sometimes the seller is incurring costs in storage, overhead, payroll, or other expenses by holding on to the item, and the "loss" of money is acceptable to get rid of these costs.

    For me, "I've got more than that in it" is just an excuse to go on the offensive, and pick apart all the reasons the seller should accept my offer. Doesn't always work, but any time you can plant even a seed of doubt in the seller's head about whether (s)he'll get a better offer any time soon, you stand to win the negotiation. :)
  15. Owle

    Owle Junior Member

    Wow, I never thought you could negotiate those things you mention, with Walmart, even?

    I am not very good with haggling, but the dealer looks up his code figures what he has in it, etc.. He has a right to make a profit.
  16. Vess1

    Vess1 CT SP VIP

    It depends on the coin, the price on the holder and the demeanor of the seller for me. Sometimes the price on the holder seems reasonable. If I'm targeting a slabbed coin that I've done my homework on and know what they sell for online, I base it on that.

    I was just at a show today too. I tend to look at a coin closely and then I let the seller know I am "interested in it" and hand it to them. Without saying anything more, they usually take it, look at it, look it up and shoot a new price that is lower than what's on the holder without asking. Many times it's considerably lower. This is pretty common at most shows Ive been to.
  17. SSchus87

    SSchus87 New Member

    I have always found the best method is to not ask first about the coin you are most interested in. Look at a couple of other coins first, maybe even totally different styles and then say "Hey, what about that one?" If you show serious interest right off the bat, you probably get labeled as a serious collector for that coin, and the dealer is going to try to get as much out of you (not out of the coin) as possible... I learned a long time ago, back in my baseball card days, that you don't want to wear a Detroit Tigers hat or shirt to a card show and ask for Tigers cards. You weren't likely to get much of a discount... Hope this helps someone....
  18. gboulton

    gboulton 7070 56.98 pct complete

    Yep. Not all of them, but every so often, you can catch a produce manager out tending to the produce. Grab some examples of whatever you're after, and say "Hey...I see you're out here restocking stuff...maybe we can help each other out. I know you'd like to get as much fresh stuff out here as you can, I'd like $QUANTITY of these $ITEMS for ____________. What do you say?

    Sometimes they just look at you like you've grown a second head...but every so often, you catch one who'll play ball.

    Don't try it with kids under 30 though. They haven't a clue what you're talking about. :too-funny:

    I quite agree...he has EVERY right in the world to make a profit. I'm a ruthless capitalist, and wouldn't want it to be any other way.

    That doesn't absolve the seller, however, from the responsibility of earning that profit. His right to make a profit doesn't mean I'm obligated to give him as much of it as he wants simply for the asking. :) The responsibility to purchase his materials or supplies at a favorable price, or market them in an appealing way, or provide quality merchandise, or to manage the costs of bringing it to market...all these are up to him, not me. :)

    I have a right to place a value on an item, and either purchase it at that price or do without. :too-funny:
  19. TheCoinGeezer

    TheCoinGeezer Senex Bombulum

    A dealer has no divine right to make a profit.
    If he got carried away at an auction and paid too much, if a coin didn't grade as high as he expected or if the market has changed are just some of the reasons a coin dealer might have to eat some of the cash he's put into a coin.
    I refuse to subsidize a dealer's bad business decisions and he has no right to expect that I should.
  20. aandabooks

    aandabooks Member

    Never been to a coin show. Hoping to find one nearby to go to soon. I do however frequent a couple local gunshows. I always take the opinion that the price on the tag is just a starting point for negotiations. If a dealer won't budge at all, then they don't need my money.
  21. imrich

    imrich Supporter! Supporter

    A Gentle "Haggler"

    When you stated that you were a "Haggler", I envisioned someone different, that I personally despise, an obnoxious insulting oaf. One to which I wouldn't even respond, but merely roll my eyes.

    Upon reading your tactics, I view you as a considerate negotiator, one with which I'd enjoy dealing, as I consider these genteel tactics. Ones with which I personally have developed many respectful relationships, and mutually beneficial exchanges.

    I hope that you're mentoring others, as I find respectfully considerate negotiated transactions rewarding to all.
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