To return, or not to return, that is the question (NOT what you're thinking!)

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Howard Black, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Howard Black

    Howard Black New Member

    Two things arrived today. Or, three, depending on how you count them. We got the UPS return label to return the two PMD Silver Reverse Proof Sets to the Mint on their dime. (They'll cover the return ticket, but ONLY if you bring up the topic. They will not volunteer that information! If you don't ask for it, you're left with the tear-off return tag on the invoice, and its terms -- i.e., seven day return priv., and YOU-pay freight.)

    We also got -- in our mailbox -- two boxes from them, with one of the sets per box.

    I'd been seriously considering/pretty much planning on leaving them in the sealed/unopened boxes, on the theory that this would impute some additional value to them in a few years.

    But, after our 20% failure rate, and the even worse disasters others have experienced (one guy had a 100% failure rate; another guy posted photos of his PMD coins -- good grief, worse than the worst bag-marked crap I've ever seen) -- and using "standard extrapolation metrics" (i.e., something like for every one customer who complains, a hundred will silently grit their teeth and either eat the loss, or try to resolve it without going to post something about it on the net), I concluded that there is a nontrivial chance of one or both of these sets being crap.

    Now, this will probably be common knowledge in a few years ("2018: The Year the U.S. Mint Crapped on its Customers") -- which will either 1) make people say NO WAY am I gonna buy a pig in a poke!, or, 2) add to "the thrill of the chase" (only to those addicted to gambling).

    What do I do? Do I open them up and look for damage? And if there is some, return them, and hope there's still remaining stock when they finally get around to processing it? (It took them two stinking days to email us a link to get the shipping label!)

    I checked yesterday; as of Tuesday, they'd sold roughly 3/4 of the maximum number of sets to be minted (no one outside the Mint knows the actual number to be minted -- everyone seems to think it's 200,000, but it clearly states that's the maximum number, not the actual number) -- so, I'm worried about even getting the ones we're sending out today returned, instead of refunded.

    PS: To quote Procol Harum, "If I'd known then, what I know now..." -- I'd have opened both our bad sets, swapped dimes, and then instead of having two sets with one bad coin each, we'd have one bad set with two coins. That way, even if they're out of stock, we'd at least only be losing one set. But, since I did not learn that the "lenses" were openable until after we'd reported two bad sets and gotten the wheels turning, we were committed to following through.

    This is a mistake I won't make again -- assuming I open these boxes, and, find two different problem coins on two same-coin lenses. (If only it'd been a bad dollar (or dime) in one kit, and a bad quarter in the other, it'd have been a quick presto-chango. Story of my life...)

    So, the question is, do I open these boxes, or do I not open these boxes?

    Advice eagerly solicited!
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    TONYBRONX Well-Known Member

    I would open them, their not going to be more valuable with PMD, and if they sell out after you do open them, then what. I have had my return experience with the mint all I can say is do you watch grass grow? How fast is it? By the way WELLCOME!
  4. Howard Black

    Howard Black New Member

    In other words, before handing the box over to UPS, I should kiss our coins goodbye -- or hope that the steady drumbeat of purchases ceases before they run out?

    What part of da Bronx are you from? I grew up near the Allerton Ave./White Plains Rd./BPE area (near "da coops" in "da project").

    TONYBRONX Well-Known Member

    KEEP IN TOUCH HOWARD. - edited -
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2018
  6. Howard Black

    Howard Black New Member

    Same age here. Had an uncle who lived in the tall "project" building on the corner of GHR and WPR, next to the tall EL (where the IRT met with the 3rd Ave. line). "Marty" was filmed not too far from there. I attended Evander for a short while.
  7. Howard Black

    Howard Black New Member

    PS: I used to get White Castles where Allerton and BPR met. A block or two W. on Allerton was the world's best Pizza -- 15 cents a BIG slice, real pizza, unlike the crap they call "pizza" here in the midwest. A couple of real fish markets on Allerton, too. I'd sometimes get up real early, walk down to the fish store, get some fresh flounder caught that morning and fry it up in butter for breakfast. There was also a bagel bakery (wholesale, but they'd sell if you'd walk in), SO much better than the bagged stuff "sold in stores" out here. I've read that the secret to NY bagels and pizza is the water, there's something about NYC water, which is piped in directly from the mountains.

    I finally got my now late father to leave the area around 1980, maybe a year or so later. He'd moved to "da coops" after he gave up his fight with city housing to keep the apartment (a single person living in an apartment? Unthinkable, can't have that! So what if he pays his rent!

    The best government money can buy...

    Anyway, by the time I finally persuaded him to leave, the place made Beirut (during one of their wars) look like a vacation resort town. Murders, rapes, 13 year old dope dealers armed to the teeth. When I was a kid back in the 50s I'd wander around deep in Bronx Park, alone, taking landscape pictures, picking wild berries (blackberries, thimbleberries, mulberries), perfectly safe. By the time he left, you were literally taking your life in your hands just walking down the paved path 20 feet in from the stone wall at BPE.

    The city went to hell so damn quickly... I hope it's better where you are, one of the few remaining safe enclaves (I've heard that a few blocks of Allerton were considered "off limits" to the gang bangers, but that was a decade or two ago, so who knows now).

    Not to digress from the digression... I knew a guy named
    Tony who lived in the same general vicinity as BPR/GHR (back in the 70s), he worked for New York Life, was a Health Underwriter, IIRC.

    TONYBRONX Well-Known Member

    That's not me, I used to sing Acapella with the Five Chancels we used to practice on Gun
    Hill Rd. We won a Acapella contest at the RKO Fordham, and got a recording contract and sang all through the tri state area. The good old days. Do you remember the great restaurant Gino's on Allerton Ave across from the White Castle? It's nice to talk to some one who remembers the neighborhood and the happenings!
    Hope to talk to you soon.
  9. Howard Black

    Howard Black New Member

    I've seen it, but never ate there. Frequently stopped at the tiny pizza shop on the north side of Allerton a block or two west of the GHR intersection (several blocks all came together there, as I recall. I remember an A&P and a lumber yard too, unless my memory is playing tricks on me).

    Cannot remember the name of the pizza place. It was small! Just about wide enough for his pizza oven in the back, had maybe three small tables, but most of his traffic was walk-in "by the slice" -- a slice was 15 cents, huge, and delicious! The guy who ran it had a thick Italian accent, did everything himself, from spinning the dough in the air to cutting off a slice to blast in the oven when purchased.

    Literally the best pizza I have ever had. PERFECT crust -- crisp on the outside, big, filled with huge, soft bubbles, reminiscent of baguette bread. The sauce had an aroma that caused a Pavlovian reaction. The crust beneath the sauce and cheese was also absolutely perfect: crisp on the bottom, soft on the top, NOT very thick at all. Here in the midwest, you generally have a choice between "regular" crust, which is about 1/4" thick (or even thicker), or "thin" crust which is like a cracker!

    There is one local place that almost has it right -- but when you add up all the things that are "almost" right, it just ain't right!

    The only bad thing about "The Pizza of My Youth"? The bad thing is that I took it for granted! I had no idea just what a fantastic delicacy I had. Oh, well...

    When I was really young, my mother would take me to the double feature at the Allerton "movies" ("going to the movies"). Out here, it's called "The Theater" or "The Show"). She would never pay attention to when the start times were! We'd always walk in right in the middle of a movie.

    After the first movie would finish, we'd watch the second one, and then te first one would run again.

    We'd finally get to see how that one started!

    When it got to the place it was at when we got there, my mother would stand up and tell me, "This is where we came in," and we'd leave.

    Since, "This is where I came in" has become a saying, I suppose she wasn't the only one to watch movies that way. (To me, now that I'm "grown up" (although my wife would beg to differ<g>), it makes no sense at all to start watching in the middle, trying to figure out what's going on, and then a couple hours later finally watch the first part. But, back then -- for her, at least -- it was perfectly normal!)

    On the same side of the street (as "the movies" -- across from the pizza place) there was D'Allessio's grocery (I probably got the spelling wrong), and closer to the "EL" there was a tiny (smaller than the pizza place!) "Appetizer" store, run by a guy from somewhere in Eastern Europe, IIRC, most likely one of the many survivors from the nazi death camps in the neighborhood (my doctor -- Dr. Jolleck -- had those vile numbers tattooed on his arm; during the war, he somehow managed to suture up wounds on others in the camp).

    I'd stop at the appetizer store for delicacies like "Jells" which he sold in bulk (they -- or something similar -- could be purchased in small "candy bar size" boxes as "Joyva Jells" -- they also made halvah, which was also sold in bulk at the appetizer, as I recall. (It's about impossible to get halvah OR Jells here. There was one time when a guy who seemed to consider himself a gourmet offered to stock anything people would request -- so, Ii requested Joyva Jells. He got them in -- once. Apparently, I was the only customer. No one seemed to know what they were! If they'd been brave, and tried them... My son became addicted at his first bite of one!)

    Ah, memories...

    As to "the other Tony" I knew he was someone else, he's several years older than us. I just thought it an interesting coincidence.

    Sorry for taking so long to reply -- I am dealing with a major toothache (on top of everything else), am probably going to need another root canal. I finally get to see the "specialist" my dentist sent me to in one more day. Was supposed to see him a week ago, but my wife was not up to a drive, she was really under the weather, so, we rescheduled it.

    As a result I have not been up to writing more than a one-liner here and there, not the kind of reply your message merited. Hopefully in another day or so I will be more similar to a functioning human (unless he plays the "I'll examine your tooth today, and then schedule you for work on it in a week or two" routine.)

    Not to digress... UPS tried to deliver my coins today (signature required, so, I won't get to get at them until Friday, since I'll be at the dentist tomorrow). So apparently the US Mint processed the return before they ran out of stock. As of the 19th, they'd sold 189,325, out of a maximum of 200,000 (they never did give an actual number minted), so I was on the proverbial pins and needles. IMO they'll definitely be sold out this week.

    So, I will have one box with two sets, and two boxes with one set each, and I still don't know if I should open them or not!

    Since I asked the question (at the top of this thread) there was a major error discovered: A JFK Half with NO Cameo finish on its obverse! The entire side was mirror-surfaced!

    I know the odds are slim, but, it is possible that there's one of them in one of these three sealed boxes. If I don't open them, this could increase their resale value, as a potential buyer "of the gambling type" may be willing to pay (much?) more in the hopes of getting a coin that might be worth a small fortune.

    On the other hand, how would I feel if I sold it for an extra $25 or so, and found out that the buyer sold that coin for $25,000?

    Besides that, there's the issue of damage -- with the high rate of damaged coins for this issue, do I really want to gamble on these two boxes not having damaged coins? Or, on the flip side, should it turn out that coins documentable as having been damaged by the Mint are worth more... well, it'd be the same thing as with the "potentially sealed JFK Half error" situation.

    I'll probably just open them, but, I might try selling one of sealed "singles" and see how it goes. I'd give a spiel about the recently discovered JFK Half error, the possibility of receiving "rare" Mint-damaged coins, and the possibility of their having higher value at some point. No lies, no BS, just the same issues I'm wrestling with, included as part of the ad copy (otherwise, really how many people seeing a listing like that are going to even know about these issues?)

    Well, my Spidey Sense is telling me I'm starting to ramble again, so I'll sign off now. <g> [edited to fix a few details]
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018

    TONYBRONX Well-Known Member

    I remember Nick's Pizza right next to the Gun hill Road train station was the best around, I worked for him when I in Junior HS 113. He is a millionare over and over.
    Hope your tooth gets better and you wife is alright! Bless you both. By the was I got my San Francisco 50th Anniversary Reverse proof set. The nickle is a little off center other that that is ok!
    Hope to talk to you soon Howard
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