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Expectations on Collector to Dealer Transaction

This is one of those notes that is ripe for snarky replies, but here goes. I'm helping a gentleman dispose of an eclectic group of coins. No rush, but I have no time to list them individually, so leaning towards a bulk transaction to a dealer (and it that doesn't pan out, auction is a possibility). For some coins, they are very commonly available at retail sites so good reference prices are available. Let's just pick a number, say $400 for a retail. Okay, the question.....what type of offer can I expect from a dealer? Yes, I know that it depends on condition, scarcity, etc. Just looking for a rule of thumb (90%, 80%, 70%, of retail?). I am very knowledgeable on one series, this is a series that I don't collect. Comments welcome.



  • DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,079 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Eclectic material? 30-40% of retail. The harder to move, the more time it takes, the more time it takes, the bigger the discount.

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,414 ✭✭✭✭✭

    From your description I would expect less than 50%, unless it is a dealer that you know and have done business with in the past. That relationship might yield a slightly better result.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    (Someone had to post it.)

    Realistically, it depends on how fast that dealer can move them at retail, if he has to wholesale them to someone else, if they're tied to bullion, etc. Then you have to multiply it by how honest the dealer is on a scale from 0 to 1. I think if you were to get an offer for $250 on a $400 retail eclectic group of coins you don't want to spend time selling, you should take it.

  • jclovescoinsjclovescoins Posts: 1,835 ✭✭✭✭✭

    so many different factors
    $400 of retail silver may melt for $300, so in that case 75% of retail would be fair BUT
    $400 of retail for a specialty VAM coin or die marriage, could be as low as 10% of retail being fair if the coin would trade for only $40 if not for that specialty attribution

    Just depends on so many factors, you really need to be specific to get a better answer. And also what does "RETAIL" me? Because to some people, it means the price to a collector without access to auction records, to others it is based entirely on auction records, etc.

  • shishshish Posts: 1,057 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "eclectic group of coins" LOL, if that's the most information you choose to share.

    Liberty Seated and Trade Dollar Specialist
  • SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,385 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Every purchase/sale transaction is different.

    The differences include who the seller is, who the buyer is, what the collection consists of, what the grades/quality of the coins in the collection are, whether the coins in the collection are raw or slabbed, how popular or unpopular the coins in the collection are, the needs/wants/desires of the seller, the needs/wants/desires of the buyer, the business practices/ethics/morals of the buyer, the business practices/ethics/morals of the seller, whether their is a middleman/woman involved in the transaction (i.e. you), the current status of the coin market, the current status of the bullion market, the current status of the economy.

    The best hope for a purchase/sale transaction that is a good one (where both sides are pleased) is where both sides arm themselves with knowledge of the subject matter, where they are under no pressure to do the deal immediately and where the consideration each sides provides to the other is of adequate "value" to the recipient of same.

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:
    I think if you were to get an offer for $250 on a $400 retail eclectic group of coins you don't want to spend time selling, you should take it.

    Based on the information provided, the above ^^^ would seem to be good advice.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,054 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Without knowing what they are, it's hard to say. Stuff that is like "dead inventory" is only worth 50% or less of retail. If it's junk silver, it's worth more because that is liquid.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • Dave99BDave99B Posts: 8,243 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The dealer I know pays 60%-65% of retail for general collector coins. Somebody has to pay the rent.

    I would expect he would pay even less for 'eclectic' material, unless he had a home in mind for them.


    Always looking for original, better date VF20-VF35 Barber quarters and halves, and a quality beer.
  • Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,165 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What’s your definition of eclectic?

    Dealer is not a great choice for selling eclectic material unless that dealer is a specialist in that particular material.

    If you aren’t willing to sell or list the items yourself, why not consign to auction? You could wait for an auction with a focus on that particular eclectic material to maximize eyeballs. Many of the auction houses have auctions focused on niches like errors, tokens, exonumia, colonials, foreign, etc.

  • pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,525 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Making a guess in this case would be like making a Guess the Grade off fuzzy photos.

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pcgscacgold said:
    Making a guess in this case would be like making a Guess the Grade off fuzzy photos.

    Agreed. The OP might get better input if he were to describe a few of the items in question.

  • FrazFraz Posts: 1,214 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a good idea, why do we readers not send private messages to the PO to see if there is something we can help him get rid of before he advertises the sale?

  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,577 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is TMI, and then ther is NEI.

    Too much and not enough.

  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,577 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:

    @pcgscacgold said:
    Making a guess in this case would be like making a Guess the Grade off fuzzy photos.

    Agreed. The OP might get better input if he were to describe a few of the items in question.

    I'm guessing AU58 or MS 62, either way.

  • pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,525 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TwoSides2aCoin said:

    @MasonG said:

    @pcgscacgold said:
    Making a guess in this case would be like making a Guess the Grade off fuzzy photos.

    Agreed. The OP might get better input if he were to describe a few of the items in question.

    I'm guessing AU58 or MS 62, either way.

    Or the old standby AU62

  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2022 3:44PM

    To OP - If your question MC I pick 70 pct but IMO that can be too high in a lot of situations. This is an area where YMMV based on market conditions and how much money they want spend.

    Just shop those around the bourse at a show.

    A dealer seeking keystone markup which is very common in the business would offer 50 pct retail. The keystone (100 pct) markup is discussed in David Bowers Book on being a successful coin dealer. One guy I know in the biz mainly uses keystone. This is a very common across the board type of retail markup. A show dealer might offer 70 pct retail on US slabbed coins but 50 pct on raw material. Bullion related coins offer could be pct of melt.

    At shows years ago Mike a friend I would setup with offered 20 pct bid behind CDN Bid on slabbed material which was in sync what a large slab dealer was offering. A currency dealer offered 50 pct MV on currency. A vest pocket dealer friend offered 40 pct of TPG price on slabbed mods and then shop them / flip them on bourse 60 to dealers pct TPG retail. Then dealer buyer markup for public say make 50 pct still be 10 pct below retail. One time I picked up about 15 slabbed DE on invoice from big gun dealer at my table. Any I wanted could buy at 95 pct bid. I sold 8 at bid plus 10 pct bought 2 for inventory, and gave him the rest back with money owed.

    Simply put a dealer might offer 50-70 pct retail (or expects to sell it for based on current market conditions, inventory needs, how quickly can move the item).

    I like consistency so my offer based on pct of what try sell it for. I believe it wb tough for you get an offer of 80-90 pct retail on generic coins especially where bid is 77 pct retail on say a $200 coin. 70 pct CPG most likely what dealer may offer on needed slabbed material. Dead, low end material considerably less.

    Many seller walkup on bourse have unrealistic expectations, ignorant (have no concept of the math), or not up to speed on current market conditions, supernova ego, or just pushing their own racket. Certainly exceptional high in demand coins can get more. At recent show guy nearby bought about 25 slabbed mod Commem Silver $ at 70 pct CPG from a walkup seller. A vest pocket trader visiting my table seeing that shook his head saying “he paid too much for those.”

    Last time I offered slabbed coins to dealers on the bourse was getting offers 20 pct behind bid. One guy setup next to me recently was 10 pct behind bid - buy and bid plus 10 pct sell on Pcgs / NGC material as a simple standard but this could vary based on quality of the material and market conditions.

    Coins & Currency both US and World
  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 8,723 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Show some photos of the average and the best of the "eclectic" items and we can better help you.

    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
  • airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,758 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Depending on how eclectic the group is, it may pay off to sell to different dealers. A dealer who specializes in a certain area will likely be able to pay more than one who doesn’t.

    For material that’s easy to move, selling to a dealer, getting a check, and being done may have significant value. On the other hand, if the pieces are tougher to move at a fixed price, places like eBay have lots of eyeballs in just about every category. If you consign to an eBay seller (and full disclosure, that’s what I do) you’ll pay some commission on top of fees, but otherwise get (theoretically) what the market says a coin is worth in a relatively efficient manner.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The general answers and advice given above is the best you can hope for with the lack of information given. Mainly, a group such as you describe, will garner fifty to sixty percent of guide prices.... Cheers, RickO

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,732 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the material being offered is "ordinary" I would expect any offer to be low. The economy is weakening and this is not the time for dealers to be generous. Any bullion related items will bring much better offers than numismatic related ones.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 13,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wish we had some pics :#

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978, TJM965, Smittys, GRANDAM, JTHawaii, mainejoe, softparade, derryb

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 2,914 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @J2035 said:
    What’s your definition of eclectic?

    The specific dealer doesn't customarily sell the merch, has to look up more than just the value on the grey sheet, etc.

    A dealer who specializes in, say knife money, knows whom to sell it to, so they don't have it in inventory for years attracting dust, tying up money, and space. If their customary customers don't want it, they know whom to wholesale it to.

    Definitely means what is eclectic to one dealer is bread&butter to another.

    ANA 49 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus" because ANA can't count)
  • FloridafacelifterFloridafacelifter Posts: 1,064 ✭✭✭✭✭

    25 comments and the OP is a no show- where did he (or she) go?

  • FrazFraz Posts: 1,214 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We’re curious. Shift the discussion to the classified forum with some photos since you spend time in these fora.
    No one gives me a break, I pay retail. Probably a few others here too.
    I go on the VW forum and post a lure about my situation and a bunch of NOS parts that I do not want to weigh on me. My mailbox is pregnant.
    I’m not being mean, and if you did not have the same notion, who can you trust to be honest more than the folks who reply in earnest here?
    Post some photos in the trades and let us see ‘em.

  • CryptoCrypto Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Floridafacelifter said:
    25 comments and the OP is a no show- where did he (or she) go?

    Joe moves in mysterious ways, that said I can vouch that he is as a standup guy as they come.

  • DDRDDR Posts: 1,542 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've done some high-value (for me) transactions with and through Keoj. As Crypto said, he is a standup guy.

  • FloridafacelifterFloridafacelifter Posts: 1,064 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cool let’s see some pics!

  • FrazFraz Posts: 1,214 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2022 5:33PM

    @Floridafacelifter said:
    25 comments and the OP is a no show- where did he (or she) go?

    Responding to mail.

  • Stingray63Stingray63 Posts: 299 ✭✭✭

    Agree with many on here. Not enough information provided. Are these raw, certified, both, US and/or World?

    Pocket Change Inspector

  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,606 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Crypto said:

    @Floridafacelifter said:
    25 comments and the OP is a no show- where did he (or she) go?

    Joe moves in mysterious ways, that said I can vouch that he is as a standup guy as they come.


  • SethChandlerSethChandler Posts: 1,695 ✭✭✭✭


    Collecting since 1976.
  • keojkeoj Posts: 980 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the comments (and support!!!) . A lot to think about. I'll close this thread and open up and new one and attach some images on what I meant when I used the vague team "eclectic". In hindsight, every coin is different and should be valued independently. You'll see when I post images, these coins are "Errors". Some are definitely unique, some are a little more generic (example, nickels on cent planchets). I was simply trying to gauge the options to maximize value for the owner....sell or auction or hold. Thanks,


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