What happens if a coin dealer accidentally sells a fake coin?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Gam3rBlake, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Are coin dealers required to refund customers if they sell a coin that is found to be fake?

    I’m not suggesting that coin dealers do this or even that such an incident would be intentional.


    Ive seen a lot of Chinese counterfeits and they even make fake PCGS & NGC slabs so I’m wondering what would happen if a coin dealer got fooled and thought it was real only for it to be found to be fake later. Like if someone sent it in for a re-holder and was told by the TPG that the slab is fake and the coin isn’t real?

    Is it one of those “buyer beware” things or do customers have a right to be refunded?
    TonkawaBill likes this.
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  3. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    A good dealer wants to protect their reputation. If they have a reputation for selling fake coins and sticking their customers with it, then that isn't great. So, most dealers will quickly offer refunds if a coin is proven to be fake. There is no requirement that they do this.

    However, if a dealer is a member of a professional organization such as PNG, the organization may have rules or policies that the member has to honor to remain in good standing. How effectively these rules are enforced may be another matter.
    TonkawaBill, wxcoin, jafo50 and 7 others like this.
  4. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Ah I didn’t think about the fact it would damage their reputation if word got out.

    So basically it sounds like if such a situation occurred the dealer would rather lose some money by refunding the customer and being stuck with a fake than lose business due to being perceived as shady and untrustworthy.
    TonkawaBill likes this.
  5. potty dollar 1878

    potty dollar 1878 Well-Known Member

    3 letters FBI it depends is it a counterfeit 1849 double eagle or a 1933 proof and even worse both:nailbiting::nailbiting::rolleyes::rolleyes:.
    TonkawaBill likes this.
  6. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    I would think a dealer contemplating the purchase of a PCGS graded coin would check the number of the insert and be able to verify if the offered item is the one listed. As for being able to determine real from fake raw coins, his livelihood depends upon knowing the difference. Does this mean some coins may slide through? Probably, however, if there is significant value involved, probably not. Is it possible? Yes, but not probable. JMO.
    Magnus87, TonkawaBill, wxcoin and 2 others like this.
  7. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Most of the time the Chinese counterfeiters use real cert numbers with fake coins.

    For example I could go find the cert number for the only existing 1933 Double Eagle then make fake slabs and fake 1933 Double Eagles and put them in the slabs with that cert number.

    Or any other coin really. I could go find a cert number for a 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar and then buy a fake one and put it in a fake slab with the cert number of a real one.

    Cert numbers don't really mean much anymore.
    TonkawaBill and Robert Ransom like this.
  8. YoloBagels

    YoloBagels Well-Known Member

    I have seen several sellers pull things like this only for their address and personal info to get pasted all over the online coin community.

    You should always be able to get money back on a fake. If you bought a fake from a reputable dealer, chances are he/she didn't know and will be giving a refund if you can prove it's counterfeit.
    TonkawaBill and Gam3rBlake like this.
  9. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    The harder part is going to be proving it’s what they actually sold you. You’re pretty much out of luck if you bought it from a shop or show if it’s your first purchase from someone. Obviously it’s a lot easier with online purchases since there’s pictures
    TonkawaBill and YoloBagels like this.
  10. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Hmm..I think the only way to prove it would be to take a photo of the coin when it's purchased along with the receipt while still at the shop.

    Like put the coin and receipt on the coin shop counter and take a photo.

    Then if you bring it back you can show the dealer the photo and they can see the coin they sold you matches the coin that is fake.
  11. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Oh wow really??

    I guess that proves there are shady people in every occupation.

    However I am sure most coin dealers would issue a refund, especially if they customer is a regular. If a dealer sees someone all the time and sells them coins frequently I think they'd be more likely to refund since the customer is a regular source of income and if they didn't refund it they'd lose that customer to another dealer with more integrity.
    TonkawaBill and YoloBagels like this.
  12. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    I guess you missed my point or I did not make it clear enough on the PCGS slabbed coins. A dealer should be able to tell the difference between the photos, if available, and the coin in hand. If no photos available, their best determination is all they have to make a decision.
    TonkawaBill likes this.
  13. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    I understand. I was referring to cases where there is no photo available.

    What I meant is that I am sure there are rare occasions where fakes slip by a dealer due to the dealer being tired, or not paying enough attention, or just by accident.
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  14. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    In that case, a refund would be logical for an honest dealer, I think.
    TonkawaBill and Gam3rBlake like this.
  15. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    When you buy a used car, is the seller responsible if the engines blows soon as you drive away? It’s a sticky question and one that some dealers will make a company policy based upon. Actually, a dealers willingness to make a bad coin good is one of the first criteria that I look for when dealing with strangers.
    TonkawaBill and wxcoin like this.
  16. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Not really a good comparison. The coin didn’t break or change after being sold it was always a fake. That said aside from online sales or long time dealer relationships getting a refund is much much harder in practice than in theory. Some of it is dealers that don’t care or don’t want to admit they’re wrong and some is from experience where people do try and switch coins on them. For the most part you’re going to be out of luck for in person sales
    TonkawaBill and Gam3rBlake like this.
  17. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    What happens if a coin dealer accidentally sells a fake coin?

    Simple, you have to make good on it, and eat it if you can't work with the person from whom you purchased the coin.

    I had one instance in 12 years as a dealer. It was a 1798 Draped Bust Dime that graded Fine if it had been real. It was one heck of a counterfeit. I had to look it for 5 minutes with a 10X to really see the problem. The fields were wavy, but it was super subtle and something you would not see in a lot of cases.

    I took it back to the dealer who had sold it to me. He could not see the problem, but he went to back to Bowers' Auction when he had bought it. Give Bowers full credit. They took it back and give him a refund. Bowers stood behind their word to make good on the counterfeit.
  18. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    But coin shops aren't selling something that later breaks.

    When a customer walks into a coin shop they are under the impression that everything being sold there is genuine.

    Here is a better comparison:

    If I went to a Ferrari dealership and they sold me a Ferrari but I later found out it wasn't a real Ferarri but was actually made in China would I be entitled to a refund?
    TonkawaBill likes this.
  19. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Ah ok thanks! I'm just asking so I know what to do if the situation ever comes up.

    But it sounds from what everyone is telling me that it's totally okay to go to the coin dealer who sold it and ask for a refund.

    I just wasn't sure if it was like that or if it was a case of "caveat emptor" where the buyer takes all the risk.

    I mean afterall if the coin shop owner says the coin is real then selling a fake coin is basically fraud.

    Even if it's an accident, stating that it's real when it's not and then not remedying the situation is fraud.

    Fortunately I haven't had a coin dealer sell me anything fake but I was just thinking over what I would do in that situation.
    TonkawaBill and Robert Ransom like this.
  20. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    Now, about the raw coin. This may be more difficult because I have heard of dealers refusing to take a coin back because it has been tried before when someone brought back a different coin and tried to get a refund. Returning a fake coin may prove difficult if the dealer truly believes he sold you a genuine coin. If this is the only visit and purchase you made at his store, you may have a problem.
    TonkawaBill likes this.
  21. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Perhaps my analogy was a poor one. Fact is it is the tenet of a Capitalist system. You hand your cash. You get a product in return..... Not all transactions benefit the purchaser. That’s just the way it is....... Many, many, many quality dealers make their policy on the matter clear. If they don’t.... Ask.... If the question is met with obstinance, go elsewhere because you may not be able to return what you purchased. Dealers are not Walmart..... Though most have a reputation to uphold and will do the right thing.
    TonkawaBill likes this.
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