Poll: returns from Coin Show purchases

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Dougmeister, Mar 11, 2019.


Do you expect dealers to allow returns from purchases made at a coin show?

  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
  2. No

    24 vote(s)
  3. I need more information before I vote in this poll

    12 vote(s)
  1. Dougmeister

    Dougmeister Well-Known Member

    Do you expect dealers to allow returns from purchases made at a coin show?

    Note than I am not adding ANY details (yet) such as the reasons why you would want to return the coin. Those will come later (somehow). This is just a preliminary poll.

    I will say that the return should be made within a week or two of the original purchase.
    Bob Evancho likes this.
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  3. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    No, nor do they. Sight seen in hand purchases are final, now if you have a long relationship with the dealer they may do you a favor but once you walk out the door it’s final especially for raw coins
    Hookman likes this.
  4. NSP

    NSP Well-Known Member

    Unless the dealer offered a return policy or the coin turns out to be counterfeit, I wouldn’t expect a dealer to allow returns. If someone buys a coin at a show, they should be able to decide one way or the other if they want the coin since they had the opportunity to see it in hand before buying it. That said, perhaps the circumstances you’re alluding to may change my opinion.
    TypeCoin971793, Hookman and Two Dogs like this.
  5. Santinidollar

    Santinidollar Supporter! Supporter

    Unless it’s the dealer’s policy to allow returns, it’s your coin. Period.
    Hookman likes this.
  6. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Well-Known Member

    Yes I believe they should. Coins are a luxury purchase. And thing is, the human condition can change on a moments notice. I believe most folks whose business revolves around luxury purchases should accept returns.
    micbraun, Hookman and Bob Evancho like this.
  7. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

    Did you get a receipt?
    Hookman likes this.
  8. Dougmeister

    Dougmeister Well-Known Member

    @Clawcoins, in my case, yes, I got a receipt. But I had to ask for it. And he gave me a strange look when I did. And it was scribbled on the back of his business card. But I felt better for having it, if just for tax purposes.

    (And I should add that, again in my case, he is being generous and allowing me to return the coins, but that is another story.)
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
    Hookman likes this.
  9. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I would only expect a return privilege on an item that was proven to be not authentic by either the grading services or another industry expert.
    Hookman, DEA, Bob Evancho and 3 others like this.
  10. Rick Stachowski

    Rick Stachowski Well-Known Member

  11. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    I'm not sure of your point. When I buy coins at shows (and granted they are not large or by some standards 'major' type purchases), I generally am of the mind that similar to going into a grocery store and buying an item, that it is mine and won't be returned. That said, even for smaller items, generally (and it is better if you have a receipt and a reason), even in most grocery stores you can go back with an item or two unused or a defective item, and ask for a replacement or refund and they give it.

    And this happens with clothes, too. I had a really nice skirt that I bought and used for several occasions, one I thought I would be able, with care, to have me last many year, and it was of a material that generally people don't want to wash in the machine. So you take really nice care of it in wearing and handling, etc. Well, this one had on the tag to wash in cold water in the machine and about a year later I decided to try that method. The skirt shrunk and messed up where it really was not wearable by me for the circumstances I bought it for. I had purchased it at JC Penneys and actually (surprisingly to me) still had the receipt. I took it back, showed them the tag that said it was washable and that it wasn't and they gave me the money back. It was not a 'cheap' skirt. But if I had not had the receipt they would have just said no because there was no proof that I bought it at one of their stores or the price that was paid.

    Now back to coins and coin shows. There are a couple things to consider. It is presumed that when you buy a coin at a show, you are agreeable to both the coin for the price and the price and that you think it is worth it. The dealer may or may not think they got the worth from it, but they evidently are agreeable to selling or they actually don't know the coin (in the case if you are cherry-picking off them). And I don't know if it is true, but I think the Federal Trade Commission's Three Day Cooling off period may apply, in that for goods at a show of 130.00 and up might be applicable. Maybe even coins. This means that because the coin show is a temporary set-up, and this is not a type of set-up where they always are to conduct business (LBC), then the opportunity exists for people to be pressured into a sale or feel afterwards like they were. In that case there are protections and I would think that if the dealer knew that he sold the coin and it is definitely the same coin, that it might be best to just take it back. I'm no dealer at a show (generally, sometimes I am vest pocket), but unless the person deliberately ruined the coin or took it out of a slab or something along that line, it would be proper to seek to return it.

    (Note that this 3 day cooling off is great for the extremely high priced vacuum salesmen that come into a home and 'sell' an item and salesmen like them. It is only an issue if the homeowner/buyer is not aware they can cancel the deal within three days, delivery or not.)

    And perhaps it would be better for the dealer if he knew he sold you the coins to take a return the same day or the next even if it was a lower cost or set of lower cost coins for any reason (barring ruination of the coins or such) but it would in my opinion be also ok for the dealer to say no. Because you did have the opportunity to examine the coin, right? However, if you had the (somewhat momentary) chance to examine the coin but later found a flaw that was hidden or was only really expected to be observable,able to be identified in different circumstances, perhaps that would also be a reason to say you wanted to return it.

    I am waiting to see the details, because generally I think the answer is no, you should not expect the dealer to take back the coin. But in our country, there are certain circumstances where it is a protection that is available (and should be honored).

    I guess my answer would be usually no, but there certainly may be cases why you should want to return a coin you just purchased at a coin show and for reasons that should be respected by the dealer and honored.
    green18, Hookman and Bob Evancho like this.
  12. CoinBlazer

    CoinBlazer Numismatic Enthusiast

    I think it depends on a lot of factors. If I was a dealer, I would consider a return on a larger sale, probably over $5,000 or a significant rarity. Why? Because if you don't like the coin, then you will probably sell it real quick to another person or dealer and I would rather have the coin back and able to sell in a different venue or person that could be more profitable. Just a thought
    Hookman likes this.
  13. If you want to be able to return coins, buy them on eBay. In order to be a top rated seller, you need to offer a 30 day return period where THE SELLER Pays return shipping. The buyer has nothing to lose, but if they return the coin, the seller gets screwed out of quite a bit of shipping. 30 Days is enough to take the product to at least one show to see if you can sell it, and then return it. Returning coins at coin shows is not really accepted where I am unless the dealer actually wants to buy back a coin. Besides, you also get to hold the coins in your hand and examine them at shows.
    Obone, Hookman and Two Dogs like this.
  14. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

    was it slabbed ?

    Because one can always wonder if it was the same, exact coin (being devils advocate).

    If it was slabbed I can see more openness to returns. If it was raw I can see more hesitancy for a return.
    Hookman likes this.
  15. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser Just plain busted

    Other than a fake, you saw it; you bought it.
  16. Dougmeister

    Dougmeister Well-Known Member

    These are the (raw) coins that I purchased:

    1900 $5 Liberty Head

    Six (6) members here believe it to be fake from the photos, and one believed it to be real (just a late die state).

    Two local coin shops, with the coin in hand, told me that it was genuine (one of them tested it with an XRF scanner, which validated that it was the correct metal composition).​

    1853 $1 Princess

    Five (5) members here believe it to be genuine, although damaged. One thought it to be a fake.

    One local coin shop said it was a fake because:
    A) an XRF scan reported metal composition outside the expected parameters
    B) the "double ring" or whatever is going on with the rim
    C) the overall "look" of the coin

    The other local coin shop said it was genuine (the rim was just how some of these coins looked); he didn't notice the scratches, or believed that they would not result in a "details" grade.​

    My takeaway? Advice from a very knowledgeable moderator here: only buy from dealers that I know and trust because they will accept returns [if I have a good reason].

    After all of this drama, the coins may or may not in actuality be legitimate. But the very fact that they have caused this much controversy makes me leery of buying any coin worth over $100 at a show from a dealer whom I do not know (raw *or* slabbed).

    Long-time collectors and dealers here may say that dealers don't want people like me buying from them anyway. That's fine; that is their prerogative.

    HOWEVER, I also expect dealers to accept returns if a buyer finds something "wrong" with the coins once they get home. Many of you believe that once I buy it, there are no returns, or only if the item is proven to be fake. I have come to the conclusion that I expect too much of dealers at shows and will work on both curtailing my expectations and examining the coins much more closely if I ever decide to buy at a show again.
    Kasia, PlanoSteve and ddddd like this.
  17. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    I do think this has entered a bit of a grey area. If the coins were proven to be fake, then you should definitely get a refund.

    If they are real, but have issues (details grade), then that gets tricky. Did the dealer misrepresent them or were they just offered as is?

    These two coins might be good candidates to send to Anacs or ICG as a cheaper method of determining authenticity (since there is some dispute).

    A dealer that has integrity should agree to take back the coins for a full refund (and likely refund your grading costs) if Anacs or ICG can’t verify the coins to be authentic.
    Hookman and Classickidcoins like this.
  18. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Ah, XRF.

    I've wanted to own one of these scanners since I first found out they existed. Point it at an object, get a quantitative analysis? Sign me up! Oh, they're $10K or more? Rats. :(

    But I've seen some reports here (and maybe elsewhere, can't really remember) that make me think they're pretty easy to misuse, producing unreliable readings.

    In particular, I'd expect it would be hard to use them on something as small as a gold dollar without getting readings from whatever the dollar is sitting on. I'm seeing spot sizes of 5 to 10 mm, and a gold dollar is only 13mm in diameter; that's a challenging shot.

    As for the rim issues, I've seen some really funky rims even on three-cent nickels, and definitely on gold dollars.

    You shouldn't keep a coin you aren't comfortable with, of course.
  19. Dougmeister

    Dougmeister Well-Known Member

    Yeah, you hit the nail on the head right there.

    Since I was studying the coins in person, "caveat emptor" applies. FWIW, the cardboard flips had grades of "BU 62" and "XF/AU" respectively. He believed (and still does) that they are both genuine and problem-free.

    I already mailed them back. I thought it was more fair to do it sooner rather than later, and I didn't really want to go weeks or months waiting to get an official answer. Having $600 tied up for that long was a factor as well.

    It remains to be seen whether he gives the full refund (as promised during a phone call) or deducts a $25 return fee (as stated in a later email reply).
    ddddd likes this.
  20. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Caveat emptor may apply, but if fakes are sold as genuine they are always returnable because the seller cannot pass good title to them.
  21. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Slabbed is fine and would have solved a lot of these issues.

    Local shows are notorious for problem coins being sold raw problem free some of which were cracked out to do so.

    The buyer had the chance to inspect the coin during the time of purchase.

    Only if you can prove that they were the ones that sold it to you and that is what they sold. Good luck with that on raw coins if they fight it.
    Dougmeister likes this.
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