Questions About Greysheets

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by coinblogger, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. coinblogger

    coinblogger Senior Member

    As I surf these forums a lot of people talk about the greysheets.

    What are these greysheets?

    Where can you buy them?

    How do they track dealer-to-dealer transactions to come up with market prices?

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  3. elaine 1970

    elaine 1970 material girl

    judge the prices by yourself. learn how to grade. gray sheet is just another guide. usually, they are not up to date everything. usually it will be late. the market based directly on daily spot gold and silver prices. learn how to calculate it. just an advise.
  4. borgovan

    borgovan Supporter**

    The greysheets are reported dealer-to-dealer wholesale prices. You can subscribe at but it's a little bit pricey if you're not going to use them regularly (about $100 for a year.)

    Also, these are just market guides and indicators. As a collector, you cannot always expect to purchase coins as cheaply as they are listed in the greysheet, and conversely, you cannot always expect to sell your coins for as much as they are listed in the greysheet.

    Also, this guide does not reflect true market conditions for many coins, so use it with a grain of salt, and just make it an addition to your other coin knowledge; it's not a substitution for first-hand experience.
  5. elaine 1970

    elaine 1970 material girl

    beside that. if you are not known to them. the tendency is that they will overprice you when you want to buy and under price you when you want to sell. learn how to deal with it.

    p.s. it is by nature and very natural that they will cheat. let's said. if we are the dealer. we will do that too.
  6. borgovan

    borgovan Supporter**

    Elaine: I disagree. Not all dealers "cheat." There are many honest dealers out there who will tell you when a coin is cleaned/damaged/counterfeit. There are many who buy and sell at reasonable prices. There are also many who grade reasonably.

    I do not deal with dealers that I feel are unreasonable, or who are outright cheats. Yes, there are plenty of these, but I believe they are still a minority.

    Buying a coin for less than bid and selling it for more than bid does not make someone a "cheat." It makes them a businessman. Profit is necessary for any non-charitable business to continue. Profit is not evil!
  7. Arizona Jack

    Arizona Jack The Lincoln-ator

    Live by the sheet, Die by the sheet......

    For generics and ( I'll steal a word from Legend) : widgets, the sheet is the rule, however, in any market or specialty field you can also ignore the sheet.

    Any active dealer will know what the market is months before the sheet gets to your mailbox on Friday. The sheet will show trends and is good reading, but you must know the series in which you deal specifically to see the " real" market.

    I am but an amature. There are times I wish the greysheet sold coins, I would be placing many orders;)
  8. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    Jack, I think you are overestimating the ability of most dealers when it comes to pricing. Sure, the specialist will know their area, but it is a bit of a stretch to think active dealers are aware of the broader market. I know when I sell coins, and when I see other people selling coins, in more than 90% of the transactions, the first thing that comes out is CDN.

  9. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    Speak for yourself, please. I sell for a living and I have never cheated anyone.
  10. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    I would agree because most dealers do not specialize.
  11. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    Back to the OP's questions:

    What are these greysheets? --> They are dealer price sheets. With ASK and BID prices on SIGHT SEEN transactions. They basically set a baseline price for many numismatic transactions. Obviously, some dealers and some transactions vary wildly from these prices.

    Where can you buy them? -->

    How do they track dealer-to-dealer transactions to come up with market prices? --> That's a good question. While I'm not sure of the "real" answer, please see the bottom of the first page for what CDN says on the topic:

    Hope this helps...Mike
  12. coinblogger

    coinblogger Senior Member

    Thank you guys very much for your answers. This helps a ton!!
  13. The_Cave_Troll

    The_Cave_Troll The Coin Troll

    I agree it is a good question and fairly instructive to understand.

    First you must understand that the CDN is intended to be a sight-seen wholesale buying guide (one dealer's offer to another dealer for properly graded material when the coin is in hand for review). Coins are NOT fungible and the CDN is not to be used for sight-unseen buying (ebay, online purchases, mail order, etc) that is what the bluesheet is for.

    The majority of greysheet pricing comes from 2 sources, 1) prices reported by dealers in specialty fields, and 2) the sight-seen bids posted on CCE (the dealer only electronic trading network).

    Since dealers are providing the data the system is inherently prone to manipulation, so all prices are to be treated with a grain of salt. For example if I have a fairly expensive coin to sell that I overpaid for then one option is to post a seen bid on CCE for more than what I want my coin to sell for. That alone would probably get the CDN to raise its prices listed and since it is a seen bid I can return any coin mailed to me to purchase under the guise of "it isn't nice enough for my client, etc.).

    If I really want to push it then I can get one of my dealer friends to "hit my bid" and then simply not send a coin. This would look to the CDN as a completed transaction at that price and now I can put my coin into the market with the guide price increased and potentially make a profit. The majority of dealers do NOT do this, but it is an inherent risk of the system.

    Also, the main CAC buyer lists his bids as Seen bids on CCE. He will actually buy the coins as long as they are CAC stickered, so for any coin he is bidding on the CDN will reflect his bid, even if the real market for non-CAC coins is 65% of what the CAC coins bring. Be cautious! Since the CDN reflects CAC only bids on a number of coins it is very inaccurate for the remainder of the coins in the market for those pieces.
  14. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    Great post, Troll! Well said.
  15. Vess1

    Vess1 CT SP VIP

    You can buy a single, up to date greysheet on ebay for 4 bucks any time you would like. It's a printed, wholesale price list that comes out weekly in order to try to stay up to date as much as possible.

    It's somewhat generic, in that it will break down Morgans by date, MM and grade because they are so popular. But other, stuff like Barber quarters will just get one generic line for the average common wholesale price.

    Gold piece listings will only be separated by a range of dates such as motto, no motto, or by types in the series. Most stuff isn't broke down by date and MM like the redbook.

    They're wholesale prices so you can't hardly go to a show and expect a dealer to comply but it should give you a decent idea of the approximate markup on many coins. If you do pay close to greysheet than you can probably assume that you got a reasonable to good deal.

    For example, I have the Jan. 16th issue in hand. They list modern $5 gold commemoratives in a column on page 3B. If I wanted to buy a 2006 S.F. $5 gold PF commem, the Bid price is $225. Ask is $240. You can look on ebay and find NGC PF70s selling for 310.00 or less.

    This narrows down a reasonable range for this coin at this point in time. $320 for an ungraded example would apparently be too much. (Wouldn't be surprised to see somebody trying to sell at that point)
    But they likely aren't going to give you ask price as a customer either. Thus, you should find this coin with a negotiable price within 250-300 range. You can't hardly ask for much more of a guide than this.

    Use it in conjunction with the best deal you can find online.
  16. elaine 1970

    elaine 1970 material girl

    if there is no any standard price list for the common collectors. then certainly we are always the losers. in most cases, 50% gap between bid and ask for dealer to collector. we are not talking about dealer to dealer averaging 10% bid and ask gap.
  17. Catbert

    Catbert Evil Cat

    Just a point to underscore while we examine the limitations of the greysheet. It is a heck of a lot better reference tool for the collector than the retail pricing in the Redbook in order to determine what one is willing to pay for a coin.
  18. coinblogger

    coinblogger Senior Member

    Great information here guys. Thanks
  19. clembo

    clembo A closed mind is no mind

    It is the collector's responsibility to be infomred isn't it? Isn't this what we do a lot of on the forum every day.
    There is a simple way to not get ripped off Elaine. Just say no.

    A knoweledgeable collector will get better prices. Greysheet helps. My boss frequently shows customers the greysheet numbers so they can decide. I would certainly not call that dishonest.

    In addition to Greysheet we use computers at work - A LOT. My boss is older and computer illiterate but he's no fool. We have two computers and two employees that know how to use them. This is part of what he pays us for - this is also overhead.
    We are constantly looking up realized prices from several sources. Some of these sources require subscription fees as well.

    In other words dealers have a lot of hidden costs as well if they want to be successful. It's way more than Greysheet.

    If we didn't have dealers the hobby would die. Sure some are crooked but the vast majority are not. They keep the hobby alive by supplying for the demand and sharing knowledge.

    Some don't realize this but step BEHIND the counter for a while and it becomes clear very quickly.
  20. coinblogger

    coinblogger Senior Member

    Dealers absolutely have to be able to make a profit. Otherwise they would not be able to stay in business.
  21. elaine 1970

    elaine 1970 material girl

    let's us name some honest dealers so that we the collectors can go there and try to buy from them. forget the dishonest one. i go first. i think julian jarvis is good and honest person. prices fair for both bid and ask. i should said prices were very cheap against most of the dealers. i bought 99% directly from u.s. mint. so i should said to myself. i don't have any problem. the remain 1%. mostly i bought from him. the worst were the big name coin stores from new york city. they thought everybody is just new comer from a foreign country.
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