Price Question

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Gregg, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Gregg

    Gregg Monster Toning

    I generally work under the assumption that if I can get a coin for the greysheet (or wholesale) price that it is a pretty solid deal. (1) Even at that the coin has to have good eye appeal.

    Naturally, I check auction house prices (Heritage) and eBay prices realized.
    There have been many times where I've thought "I cannot believe that is selling for so little money" only to do a search on eBay to find the same for even less.

    So is the wholesale (greysheet) price a good gauge?
    If a dealer won't give me within 10% of greysheet I usually walk away.

    I know this is a very subjective question; however, I need to have a place to start when it comes to evaluating a coin.

    1: This assumes the coin is actually the grade specified on the label.
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  3. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Too many variable really. Best advice I would have is to build up your knowledge. Maybe check out sold items at Heritage and begin to learn why certain coins go for more or less than others. Even within the same grade there is variability, and this is not even talking about market whims of pricing versus greysheet.

    Very knowledgable collectors usually do the best when purchasing. This is due to their vast knowledge on the series versus most others. I have a few areas in the ancient coin market I will know more than the dealers usually, and I make my best purchases in those areas. I USED to know SL halves like that, and believe I made some great purchases of those 20 years ago when I collected them. However, all other series I know I probably do no do as well as a specialist.
    Gregg likes this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    My personal opinion, not anymore. Ever since they changed their format for determining values a few years ago, they, CDN, has become little different than any other price guide. And none of them are worth the paper they're printed on !
    imrich and Gregg like this.
  5. Gregg

    Gregg Monster Toning

    Could you expand on this comment, please?

    Here is my thought process:

    For example, I purchased an 1922-D Peace Dollar (PCGS MS64) on Heritage Auctions for an out the door price of $89.00. I *think* that is a good deal because CDN puts it at $115.00. I check eBay and any similar coin (for grade and appearance) rings in for at least $130.00 (BIN).

    So using the Grey Sheet and eBay auctions I get the sense that I got a good deal. I've little choice to pursue these venues - the prices at my local coin shop and at dealers (coin shows) rarely get within 10% on the high end of the Grey Sheet. I don't even visit the coin shop closest to me (cull Peace Dollars for $22.00 - I get them on eBay for $15).

    I'm asking you to expand on this because I need a starting place for establishing the price of a coin. Yes, it isn't absolute but how else would one establish the starting point for a 1923 vs. 1928 Peace Dollar?
    imrich likes this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    To explain it all would take a good deal of writing so I'll just try and keep it brief. Short and sweet, CDN used to be a good thing because they based their listed values on real world prices from the electronic dealer's market - current Low Ask, and current High Bid. They had done it that way since 1960. A few years ago, I dunno if it's 2, 3, or 4 now but that's pretty close - they quit doing that. Now they are doing it the same way all price guides do - they base values on their opinions, not established numbers. So, as I said, my opinion, you should just ignore the CDN.

    The best way there is to determine the current value of any coin is to do your own research on realized prices from the big auction houses. Completely ignore ebay !!

    As Chris, medoraman, said above -

    You have to learn how to do that ! And you do it by studying the coins. He mentioned there is variability, but few realize just much variability there is. It is not uncommon for a given coin, same date/mint, same TPG, same grade - to sell for as much as 20, 50, sometimes 100% more than another coin just like it !

    Your job is to figure out why. The answer is really quite simple - it's because one coin is nicer than the other - no two coins are ever equal. And people who know coins know that, and they know how to recognize the nice ones when they see them. And when they do, they pay for them !
    Spark1951, imrich and Gregg like this.
  7. Gregg

    Gregg Monster Toning

    I've noticed for common coins in common conditions that the CDN seems to do a pretty good job; however, for less common coins on the high end of the spectrum the prices can jump around (as you've indicated) quite wildly.

    Here is an example of why CDN has limited usefulness:


    As you can see in the chart there is more than a $1000.00 difference between the low end and the high end even though they were sold a couple of months apart.

    (IMHO, I don't think there is any way the $1560.00 is MS67 - I'd put it at MS65+ - feel free to point and laugh at me for that).

    Anyways, thanks for the advice - I'll probably continue to use CDN as a starting point (get near the ballpark) and study the auction houses a bit more. I'm glad to know that CDN changed how they set a price. I'll use that information for sure.
  8. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Good deals are often bad deals . . . I've seen multiple accumulations of bottom-of-the-barrel coins for the assigned grade, all because the buyers were focused only on price, and not on value . . . an important trap for all to avoid.
    Gregg likes this.
  9. imrich

    imrich Supporter! Supporter

    What you're doing, I believe, is the most reliable, and basically what Doug has stated. If you constantly do this in combination with knowing when coins are correctly graded, you'll most likely really enjoy the process. I do this constantly, in conjunction with generally knowing how people bid, trying to see how close I can come to the next lower bidder.

    I really enjoy when I acquire an appreciably under-graded at a fair market price.

    Gregg likes this.
  10. jhinton

    jhinton Well-Known Member

    I once sold 3K worth of pcgs/ngc graded commemoratives for gray sheet "bid"... I was sooo happy to be able to unload those at that price point. The gray sheet is a guide, fairly accurate for average material as most dealers use it. You will almost never get high quality coins for gray sheet.
    Gregg likes this.
  11. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Well they used to that's for sure. And they did so for good reason, because it could be trusted for its accuracy. But that was was because for over 50 years the CDN based their reported values on one thing, and the same thing, every single time - actual current bid and ask numbers ! And dealers knew this, had always known it, most of them for most of their lives.

    But then they changed their value determination format, based it on different criteria entirely. Now if you were dealer, and knew THAT, would you still trust it ? If I was a dealer, I sure wouldn't ! So the question becomes, do most dealers still use it ?

    Undoubtedly some do. But I also suspect many do not any longer. Instead they rely on their own knowledge of the coin market and their own research into realized prices, and the current electronic dealer market to determine prices. But when they are facing a collector on the bourse, yeah they still get the grey sheet out and look at it because that is what the collectors have become used to them doing over the last 50 plus years. And collectors are comfortable with that. But that doesn't mean they are actually using it. Or, maybe they are, on the bourse. Because as a general rule prices in today's grey sheet are higher than current prices on the electronic markets. And a smart dealer will know he can benefit from that.

    This statement is often repeated, CDN themselves even point to it and say - that's why we changed. However, is it really true ?

    Well, to determine that the first thing one has to do is determine who is the "you" in that statement ? Is it a collector, or a dealer ?

    That question is easy enough to answer. Dealers managed, and I'm speaking in regard to the past here, to buy high quality coins for grey sheet all the time. They did it on a daily basis, and hourly basis even. But collectors, well, sometimes they could pull it off if they knew the right dealer. But most of the time about the best they could do to buy any coin was at about 10% above grey sheet. So the statement is kinda sorta accurate, but not really. At best it's misleading.

    Then you have to ask, how does one define "high quality" ? Is it a coin that is at the higher end of the grading spectrum, say above 65 ? Or is it a coin that is at the higher end of a single grade, such as a really nice 65 that is almost a 66 but not quite ? Or, does it refer to a coin that is under-graded ? Or is it more simple than that, does it cover all of those definitions ? Can it be taken at its general face value ?

    This question is a bit more complicated, far less clear. I say that because it depends on whom you ask exactly what they mean when they say it. In other words, how do they personally define high quality in that statement ?

    To the last possibility for definition that I used above I have to say no. It cannot be taken as a general statement because, high end or low end, a 65 typically sold for the same price - on the electronic dealer markets. And that was also true of a 66, a 67, and so on - they too sold for high bid, low ask. So the only thing you are left with is a coin that is under-graded, that is the only definition that can be used for that statement to be true. And yes it was true, still is true.

    But now ask yourselves this - would you expect a knowledgeable buyer, or seller, to pay, or ask, grey sheet for a clearly under-graded coin ? The answers to both questions is obviously no.
    imrich likes this.
  12. Gregg

    Gregg Monster Toning

    I've noticed that for my most recent purchase ($1 1925 MS66) that the NumisMedia valuation on that coin has dropped from a high of $640 in 2010 to a current valuation of $363 - a rather significant loss. Auction values on that coin range from $285 to $360. Comments about NumisMedia aside, the drop is interesting.

    Does anyone have an opinion on why there has been such a devaluation?
    Is this a trend that is likely to continue?
  13. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    This is definitely a bear market for generic coins, and MS66 Peace Dollars are generic - enough around to fill need. These are the times to be picky and buy carefully. What goes down, also goes up.
    Oldhoopster and Gregg like this.
  14. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Well it's been going on for 10 years, and as of yet shows no signs of slowing down.


    The answer to why - is because people eventually realized that the run up over the previous 7 years was entirely unwarranted and that coins were grossly over-valued. Current coin market values are where they were in 2003, and the run up didn't start until 2001. And even then it was minimal.

    So where will it end ? I suspect about the same place.
    imrich and Gregg like this.
  15. Gregg

    Gregg Monster Toning

    I'm wondering if we're looking at a long term trend.

    I'm wondering if we have slab fatigue - that for some of these common coins the availability in high grades (or over-grading) is depressing the market. That is to say, when slabbing was first becoming a thing a MS66 Peace Dollar would be rare and command a higher price (only 50 in existence!) but as more have been submitted the supply is beginning to outpace the demand.

    For a short time a slabbed MS66 may have been expensive only because thousands had yet to be submitted.
  16. Gregg

    Gregg Monster Toning

    Nice chart.
    I hope prices continue to fall off a cliff.
    I'd like to get some nice coins in my collection for very little $$.

    I've heard dealers complaining that they've got inventory they've held onto for too long and now they're underwater on things like 1928 Peace Dollars. I'm glad to hear it. They've been way over valued.
  17. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    This is a myth. And to see that it is a myth all one has to do is look at the historical record of the pop reports.

    This has all been discussed ad infinitum so I'll not do it again.
  18. Gregg

    Gregg Monster Toning

    Mind posting a link?

    BTW, thank you for the information as you've given me some things to think about. I've found this discussion to be very useful.
  19. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    There are so many I don't know where to start ! Do this, use the search function, use - changing grading standards - as the key words and put my user name in the Posted By Member box -


    Doing that will bring up pages of posts and threads to read.
    Gregg likes this.
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