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Define Wholesale Dealer and Vest Pocket Dealer

yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,025 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited April 17, 2019 2:21PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I saw alot of deals going on in Dalton. The dealers seemed to outnumber the collectors.

It was hard to discern the type of dealers.

Had me wondering about the whole osmosis of the dealer network.

One guy just leaned over hogging the display case chatting as he fingered every slab with a notebook of dates and grades spread on the other case.

Others were in deep conversation sitting across from one another. Others negotiating on the fly as they walked past confirming a price.

Funny one dealer was griping about another dealer across the room. An hour later? Still griping about the dealer with another chiming in he could not believe he was still in business... something nefarious had been done to one of them.

Just had me wondering how you define each and their role in the coin industry/business?

Are the vest pocket guys scouring the flea markets, small coin shows, and coin shops and bringing up new material?

Are wholesalers just moving widgits?

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  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 2,913 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wholesaler won't sell to retail scum like you. Vest pocket dealer is too cheap to buy a table.

    As for the clown blocking the entire showcase? I've been known to pick up their book and move it so I can see the coins on display.

    ANA 49 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus" because ANA can't count)
  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 30,391 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No simple answer to that question. They come in a lot of varieties. Some are series specialists. Some are primarily collectors trying to sell material at the lowest cost possible. Some are basically just part time dealers who don't carry enough inventory to make taking a table worthwhile. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  • specialistspecialist Posts: 956 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A wholesalers buys coins usually at or below wholesale, and works with dealers to help them sell their coins

    A vest pocket dealer does not take tables and buys and sells out of their brief cases at shows. Our "seceret stealth sellers" is one of the most successful vest pockets around. He sells nothing but other peoples inventory

  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 10, 2022 11:20AM

    Vest pocket trader (does not have a table) goes around the bourse at shows making deals with dealers. At last show young vest pocket trader seemed 11 or 12 offered me some Pmg currency. Had his special briefcase going around trading / flipping stuff with dealers. He was the son of a large national dealer who had a really nice shop here. Knew his stuff. Another I know, real sharp guy who is a world coin specialist especially gold. One time we deduced we were bidding against each other Teletrade -France 100 Franc gold Angel NGC if I recall.

    Wholesaler will have a table mainly doing dealer business - example shop owner with boxes of slabbed coins at or slightly below bid. Had one next to me at recent show. Bought a classic commem which I sold online about a month later. At another show shared a table w him bought lots of deals he had. Then retailed this material online or at future shows. Once you take a table on the bourse many deals come your way. Just bring lots of cash.

    Coins & Currency both US and World
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Those terms just represent different sales venues... they are all coin sellers...To me, it makes no difference if it is someone walking the bourse, selling on ebay/instagram etc., a table at a show or a shop.... If I like the coin and the price is right, I do business....I am an equal opportunity buyer.... :D;) Cheers, RickO

  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 19, 2019 6:08AM

    wholesalers depend on volume because their margins are usually slimmer.

    the term "vest pocket dealer" has changed over the years probably due to the internet. today it sort of defines someone who is a dealer, doesn't take a table at a show and will do several shows in a geographic area on the same day. they move fast, know what they're looking for and then move along.

    in the past, maybe 20-30 years ago, a "vest pocket dealer" would be a guy who works the show floor for whatever dealer(s) he knows. he would find out what dealer X wanted and what he'd pay for it, search the floor and make the deal, maybe pocketing $5-10 on the flip. those were the days when shows were more crowded and dealers didn't really have the time to walk the floor. a smart guy might make $500-1000 per show if he really hustled.

  • ARCOARCO Posts: 4,291 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No difference...middle-men making the hobby too expensive. :D

  • shorecollshorecoll Posts: 5,445 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Somewhat as BStrauss said, vest pockets (to me) work retail, wholesalers...well, duh! VPs buy coins one at a time based on want lists, a wholesaler might buy everything you have of a certain type.

  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,272 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Updating a 2019 thread.

    I've always seen plenty of these "vest pocket" guys at the big shows, often obscuring dealer displays. Dealers seen going through their boxes, noting prices and making purchases. Seems to be a big source of material for dealers, especially these days with competition from collectors at auctions? Are there more of them working the bourse than previous years? Thoughts?

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 10, 2022 11:56AM

    Yes / I have seen more vest pocket traders. One who does world banknotes and coins a real sharp guy do business with. The bourse chairman guy known for years had a bunch of PCGS coins (walkers, $ , Commems) and bought a few from him at his table (price attractive)at his table as my USA Classic been sold out. The shop owner with boxes of slabs flip have not seen him. Maybe he blew them out at auction. It has been tough for me get USA stuff at decent price so my focus has stepped sideways more to slabbed world coins or currency (graded or raw). I have one major WPM buyer who has bought a lot from me. Did pick up some ogp usm products from last show offered to me. One just needs find deal that works.

    Vest pocket traders can be a source for dealers just like auctions. The general public has little if anything to offer.

    Online auc there seem to be many nuclear bidders.

    Coins & Currency both US and World
  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 11,086 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 10, 2022 11:55AM

    A (true) wholesale dealer sells only to other dealers. He might or might not get tables at shows.

    A vest pocket dealer, which is a subset of a wholesale dealer, typically doesn't do business out of an office, doesn't get tables at shows and walks the bourse floor, doing business with other dealers.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • TomthecoinguyTomthecoinguy Posts: 846 ✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:
    Vest pocket dealers do the same circuit of coin shows within a geographical area as the dealers with tables, but generally avoid the expense of taking a table. A few of the vest pocket dealers want to avoid the expense of a table, while others cannot give the time commitment of a full day, or a full several days. I've known some vest pocket dealers who were fully equal in knowledge and fully equal in financial firepower to the guys with tables.

    Some of the vest pocket guys can pick out a coin at one table, and then resell it just a few tables down the line. This is a very great skill, as it requires an eye for coins, an eye for prices, and the best guys at this have a knack for cultivating relationships with others.

    Many of the vest pocket dealers I have delt with actually have much larger financial resources than the average show dealer. I have sold some of my my most expensive coins to them.

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