What is reasonable hourly rate for a coin dealer?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by AtlantaMan, Jun 19, 2024.

  1. AtlantaMan

    AtlantaMan Member


    I have done all I can to whittle down a collection of about 15,000 coins to about 400 which I think, using a grading phone app and Red Book, have a value of $100 to around $1,800 each. It has taken me about 150 hours to get here, and I now need professional help as I can't tell if the coin has been cleaned or the difference between MS60 and MS61+

    I don't want to sell them to a coin dealer. Rather, my objective is to have the dealer do a basic cut - something like...."Take this pile and slab them (or use GreatCollections to sell them, etc.) and take this pile and sell them on Ebay or a similar online coin forum." My overarching goal is to extract the highest, market value that I can rather than sell them to a dealer at a lower, liquidation rate. I have time, so that's not an issue.

    I recently visited a local dealer and he explained that if he recommended slabbing, he "could help me with that." He does use PCGS, but my experience been they are good but pricey. My preference would be that if the recommendation was to slab them, then they would go to GreatCollections where I have the option of various grading services at a discounted rate and they take it from there. Additionally, it would be cheaper to ship unslabbed coins to GreatCollections, and as they are going to wind up there anyway, I might as well have them slab it rather than my local coin dealer and save some shipping cost.

    My local dealer indicated it would take "hours and hours" and the going rate was $250 an hour. That seemed on the high side to me, but as I am new here, I don't know. What would be a reasonable hourly rate?

    MIGuy likes this.
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  3. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Brother can you spare a trime? Supporter

    What do you pay any other professional with 20 years of knowledge?

  4. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I have no idea what the answer is to your question. I have relationships developed over the years with my dealer buddies and I don’t get charged for extraneous services. I know my lawyer will charge me several hundred an hour and I expect to pay that for her legal knowledge…… But since you are looking to cut corners financially, let me offer this and see if it helps your situation. May give you something else to think about anyway….. ICG is a first class grading service and quite budget friendly. They make the process super easy and very easy on the pocket. You would get your professional grading, a slabbed coin and save your $250.00 an hour…. Just a thought.
    imrich, MIGuy, Dan Galbato and 6 others like this.
  5. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    $250 an hour? Do you get free law advice too? My advice would be to continue your education and save a bundle of dough........
    MIGuy, Dan Galbato and lardan like this.
  6. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor

    My suggestion is to pick and photograph 3 coins that you consider your best, 3 coins you consider average and 3 that would fall in between. Large coins or dollars would be best and send to ICG which is by far less expensive than the big boys, but
    just as accurate in grading if not better. This way you can get an idea as to how you might want to go forward if you show the results and get our opinions. IMO, Jim
    MIGuy, dwhiz and lardan like this.
  7. lardan

    lardan Supporter! Supporter

    I would suggest to you the advice given @Randy Abercrombie and @desertgem appears to be the best for you to take. Hope it works out for you.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  8. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    No way would I spend $250 an hour on having someone grade my coins as you suggest. Send the ones you feel are best to ICG for grading. They are reasonably priced and do a decent job. You may get a few wrong but it’s cheaper than what you suggested.
    imrich, Cherd, lardan and 1 other person like this.
  9. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    I do Carpentry for around 80 an hour Labor only, I think that anything that costs over 120 an hr is paying for influence.
  10. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    I wonder why I have the thought that this wonderful intriguing story is an excellent marketing soliloquy for Great Collections?

    Maybe mentoning Great Collection 3 times?

    My mind wanders.

    Oh well, the Yankees suck........
  11. MeowtheKitty

    MeowtheKitty Well-Known Member

    Oh, Meow makes the list. Meow would think $80hr is fair.
  12. MeowtheKitty

    MeowtheKitty Well-Known Member

    You are spot on. Meow has 35years under the fur. Meow had the same answer just before Meow read you post, replying to a post previous to yours.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2024
    MIGuy and Pickin and Grinin like this.
  13. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    If the dealer is going to take hours and hours at $250/hr, then you'll end up spending more to have the problematic coins weeded out than you'd spend by just sending them all in for grading.

    Long story short, the TPG will do the same job for less money.
    MIGuy likes this.
  14. mikenoodle

    mikenoodle The Village Idiot

    Truthfully, most dealers that I know charge $250/hr for any type of grading, evaluating, or appraisal. It seems to be the industry rate.

    The expertise of a coin dealer is often undervalued, but if you think about what you're asking, there is no substitute for the experience that a good dealer offers.
    Tall Paul and CoinCorgi like this.
  15. mikenoodle

    mikenoodle The Village Idiot

    If you can't tell the difference between the valuable ones and the problematic ones, should you REALLY be having the coins graded?
  16. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    I call Baloney.
    imrich and MIGuy like this.
  17. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    I-800-Great Collections....

    GC is Outstanding, and, the fact is the OP is a ShoutOut for GC, as intended.

    Read it...does that "sound" like a person without experience in need of advice from this or any Forum concerning the subject, and decides to register here as a new member to seek the answer to the conundrum?

    Yea, yea, I also knew Private Andrew Malone.

    Difference between a 60 and 61? Really?
  18. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Whether he should be having coins graded is a different question.

    Assuming that he is going to have the coins graded, paying somebody that much money to weed out problematic coins before sending them off to the TPG makes no sense. Having them rejected by the TPG will cost less money than having them weeded out by the dealer.

    There is probably some threshold where my statement wouldn't be true. But that line would be something like the overwhelming majority of coins being problematic. If that's the case, then the guy is going to be out a good bit of money either way.
  19. mikenoodle

    mikenoodle The Village Idiot

    In what way is any of that not true?
  20. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    The "truth" is couched and limited to the statement "...most dealers that I know..." and you then extrapolate and expand this 'truth" to "....seems to be the industry rate....".

    How may dealers is that? How many are "most" in that total?

    This kind of statement is Baloney by misdirection and the use of obfuscation, in order to present the appearance of 'fact" and fait accompli. It isn't.

    Yes, it could be you are aware of a few dealers that charge the rate stated and it may be the "most" out of some unstated amount.

    I am certain we both have personal knowledge of quite a few dealers.

    I have never met a Dealer or group of Dealers that charges $250.00 for an "appraisal".

    I know the majority of Dealers would however, offer to buy if the Dealer deemed doing so was monetarily advantageous to the Dealer. That is Capitalism. I know Dealers that will "appraise" and receive the pick of the litter for doing so. I know Dealers that will sell for 10-15% fee.

    I know of one Dealer that has a published rate, and it exceeds the amount stated and is the amount charged to the requested entity for an appraisal to be used in a legal evaluation of worth of an Estate, subject to fiduciary responsibility similar to a Real Estate Appraisal...which is also a published amount in the Good Faith estimate of the mortgage loan entity and that is usually $3-400.00, and requires the Appraiser to be vetted.

    There have been a heck of a lot more than a few Dealers that have had legal action filed because of the "subjective opinion" that has caused serious monetary harm to the requesting Party.

    I am sure you know all this, and I acknowledge that the choices of phrasing you shared was not intended to be finite in any manner and is simply conversational phrasing and not meant to imply more than that.

    However, you are not an unknown entity in the numismatic community, and your opinion is important to the community and is trusted and deservedly so. That is the basis of my reply.

    How many Dealers do you know that have been vetted by a Government process inclusive of fiduciary responsibility, to do so? That is quite a mountain of subjectivity to climb, when at the top there is a risk of litigation for doing so.

    Anyway, let the tomatoes and rotten cabbage fly. I can take it.

    The Curmudgeonly Old Guy.
    green18 likes this.
  21. mikenoodle

    mikenoodle The Village Idiot

    I'm flattered that you recognize who I am and that I play a role in the community.

    When I said "dealers that I know", I was being serious. The dealer that I work for (did you know I work in a large national shop as a professional numismatist?) charges exactly that for written appraisals. $250/hr. I know others at the same rate. I did not take a national poll, so the sample size may be small, but to my knowledge, it's accurate.

    I think what the OPs LCS was trying to say was that it's not worth his time to look through them for the OP. It's generally not the evaluation, it's the thorough explanation of the evaluation that takes a lot of time.
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