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What would you have done?

PppPpp Posts: 466 ✭✭✭✭

At a recent coin show a very experienced dealer offered a past date tenth ounce gold eagle for $125-. This was a great price because I have been buying them between $188- and $220 (for proofs) so I bought it.

About 45 minutes later during my last pass by his booth before leaving, the dealer approached me and said he is embarrassed but he made a mistake and the coin should have been minimum $225-, but a deal is a deal. I told him I didn’t know his situation (ie; need money, cost, ….. whatever, your a dealer) when he offered it and it was an unbelievably great price. Instead of saying that’s tough and walk away (which isn’t my nature) I asked the dealer what he thought was fair and he asked if we could split the difference so I gave him back $50-. I got the coin at about melt and he was very happy.

Just recently, I was on the other side where I took a $100- haircut because I had a brain fart (getting old does have issues). I just took the loss.

I have been in these situations before with non-dealers and if they low balled their coins I always said that’s to low they are worth “x”and then we come up with a fair price.
Also, dealers I have a close relationship with I would have said something but I never had any transactions with this dealer over the years, but should that have mattered?

I am confident members on this forum probably have been in similar situations. Upon reflection was I initially wrong not saying something to this dealer when he offered the tenth ounce gold eagle for $125-?
What do you think?

Comments

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    DCWDCW Posts: 6,975 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1/10 oz of gold for $125 is an obvious mistake. You probably should have done the right thing here. This is bullion with an established price. It's not like cherrypicking varieties.
    But I think you know that already, and your conscience had you start this thread.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting situation... You did the right thing when the dealer approached you with his mistake. Cheers, RickO

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    TurtleCatTurtleCat Posts: 4,594 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would have split the cost as you did. You never know in the future if you’d do business with them again so it is good sense to be mindful of the big picture. He is fortunate to have caught you, too. Normally after buying what I want, I’m out the door and back to my car, I don’t tend to linger just to chat or browse.

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    pmh1nicpmh1nic Posts: 3,146 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My first thought would have been the coin is a fake since who sells coins for less than melt value. But you did the right thing in the end.

    The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice is it possible for an empire to rise without His aid? Benjamin Franklin
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    bsshog40bsshog40 Posts: 3,777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've not been in that situation. For me, it could be one of three different scenarios. First, I would have thought he got a great deal on the coin and passed the deal along to me. Second, I would have been happy with a good deal and already out the door and gone. Third, I passed by the dealer again and had the same outcome as you did. All is good!

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    TPRCTPRC Posts: 3,739 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Glad it worked out reasonably well for all involved. I think this would fall under the category of a mutual mistake, and the oral agreement would likely be "reformed" to something in line with what you ended up with. The seller here made an obvious mistake, given that the price offered was well below melt, and you knew it was a mistake. Having said that, I think some folks would simply say a deal is a deal and then moved on.

    Because this is such a well-known area with thin margins, it seems clear.

    Now, if it was a coin, it might be entirely different. It happened to me once with an early date circulated dime. I asked for a price and was quoted one. I said, "that sounds too cheap", and the dealer looked it up and as it turned out, he priced the coin as a half dime instead of as a dime. He actually tried to grab the coin from my hands, as I was still holding it, but startled, I stepped back. He then apologized and I offered the coin back not wanting to offend or take advantage of a mistake.

    Tom

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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It would have been more difficult for me, as I would have most likely already sold the coin to another dealer for a nice profit. That would have been my luck.
    Jim


    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.....Mark Twain
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    BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,164 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm handicapped by an Elementary education grounding in Ethical behavior. It's nice to see one of these where the OP is not asking us for permission to do something that they clearly understand is on the continuum between shady, unethical, and outright dishonest.

    I'm mindful of the three dos

    • What you must do
    • What you should do
    • What you can do

    And that they may be different.

    I think OP has found a nice balance between must and can. The kind of resolution where you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of the bloke looking back at you.

    Well done!

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As far as "a deal is a deal" goes, I know of a couple of dealers who'll send an additional check to the seller over and above the originally agreed upon sale price when purchased coins turn out to do much better than expected upon resale.

    If I had been the seller in a scenario similar to yours, I don't know that I'd be able to approach the buyer with a request for additional money but then again, I don't know his particular situation at the time or how important that extra $50 was to him. I don't think asking for more money is wrong and it also wouldn't be wrong say you wanted to stick with the original deal.

    FWIW, I have had a number of buyers on eBay who have asked to have a deal cancelled after they've paid because they made a mistake (don't need that particular coin after all, didn't read the description, etc.). When that happens, I just refund the payment and move on. Stuff happens.

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    joeykoinsjoeykoins Posts: 14,869 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 28, 2022 11:49AM

    Probably mentioned above, however...

    4 scenarios;

    1. Take the money and run, without guilt!
    2. Take the money and run, with guilt!
    3. Go back and do the right thing.
    4. Keep and feel both parties are satisfied

    This decision is ALL UP TO YOU.
    ;)

    "Jesus died for you and for me, Thank you,Jesus"!!!

    --- If it should happen I die and leave this world and you want to remember me. Please only remember my opening Sig Line.
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    hfjacintohfjacinto Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This was clearly a mistake. It’s below melt. Heck even $180 is a mistake. I’m all for getting a good price but I would have told the dealer this was below melt and paid what it sells for.

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    johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,512 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @joeykoins said:
    Probably mentioned above, however...

    4 scenarios;

    1. Take the money and run, without guilt!
    2. Take the money and run, with guilt!
    3. Go back and do the right thing.
    4. Keep and feel both parties are satisfied

    This decision is ALL UP TO YOU.
    ;)

    I'll go with the fourth one. Who knows what kind of coin relation it might bring (just a thought)

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    Dave99BDave99B Posts: 8,360 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, I think you were wrong for not saying something, but I think you more than made up for it with kicking back $50. All good.

    Dave

    Always looking for original, better date VF20-VF35 Barber quarters and halves, and a quality beer.
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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another thought in the op's regard, it seems all here agree that to have at least offered the coin or additional funds to be the right thing to do. Where are these same opinions when someone posts the cherrypick of a dealer. Upon finding an 1918/17 D SLQ in a junk bin at a dealers table and not saying anything(whether obvious or only noticeable due to diagnostics which you are aware of, as you were aware of the value of the 1/10 oz gold coin) I'm not sure there are boundary lines between these two instances, but if they are I would like an explanation or your opinion.
    Jim


    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.....Mark Twain
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    pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I feel you did the right thing. I have pointed out items that were clearly mismarked at shows. A dealer had a couple silver proof sets in the $5 bin. Obviously and error when setting up.

    Good things happen to those that do good things.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,636 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 28, 2022 5:39PM

    As a dealer I have to wonder was he trying reading upside down and got mixed with another piece? Always take BV x gold spot plus markup pct in your head on those bullion deals. That is a horrible mistake to make. If selling be sure your quoting the right price. You handled it well, did right with an unusual situation - many would have headed for the exit….These mistakes can happen if a dealer has multiple items on the table. My approach - show one (or a manageable group) a time keep a tally sheet. I had a large currency deal of about 30 items totaling about $900 (cost about 50-60 pct of that). I kept a tally sheet in code along with enough of description could match and remove from inventory and be sure not be giving anything away. Then give him material take the cash money. While doing the deal do not let others off bourse interfere especially if they may be trying horn in. Just say “busy with customer right now.” Whatever it takes to get rid of them. I have had shows where 1 or 2 lucrative major deals made the show a good one.

    I have a both a cost and Sell code on my stuff so to avoid something like that.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 28, 2022 2:26PM

    With the additional information that you provided it seems clear that you were initially trying to warn the seller of his mistake before the transaction happened. Yes, you could have said more before the funds changed hands, yes you could have told him to pound sand when he approached you later. At the end of the day, it all worked out well for both parties and that is the best outcome.

    As to what I would do, that might depend on the dealer. I've met a few that I would have no truck with telling them to pound sand in this situation, but I do consider myself an ethical person and would most likely have done similar even with those jerk dealers. I would rather feel good about myself regardless of how much I like or dislike the other person.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
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    erscoloerscolo Posts: 494 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This hobby or business, just like any other, is far better off when integrity is maintained at the highest level. Those dealers who send additional monies to the person who sold them the coin when the coin sells for better than expected would have my business any day of the week, month, year, decade, score or century.

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    pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @erscolo said:
    This hobby or business, just like any other, is far better off when integrity is maintained at the highest level. Those dealers who send additional monies to the person who sold them the coin when the coin sells for better than expected would have my business any day of the week, month, year, decade, score or century.

    I had a similar situation to this. A dealer sent me $15 because we both missed an S mint mark on a WLH I sold him. I still do business with them after 10+ years.

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,215 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Did this once at a yard sale.

    Lady had 200+ auto'd prospect baseball cards.

    Sadly all failed prospects.

    I scooped them up for $20, drove to a safe location, inspected them, flipped them to a flea market dealer I knew for $200.

    Went back and gave the lady an additional $80 minus a half dozen cards I kept for future sale.

    Felt like it was the right thing to do, not sure she was happy to get the $80... wondering what I pocketed lol

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

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    U1chicagoU1chicago Posts: 5,609 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jesbroken said:
    Another thought in the op's regard, it seems all here agree that to have at least offered the coin or additional funds to be the right thing to do. Where are these same opinions when someone posts the cherrypick of a dealer. Upon finding an 1918/17 D SLQ in a junk bin at a dealers table and not saying anything(whether obvious or only noticeable due to diagnostics which you are aware of, as you were aware of the value of the 1/10 oz gold coin) I'm not sure there are boundary lines between these two instances, but if they are I would like an explanation or your opinion.
    Jim

    My guess is that the difference is mainly in how obvious it is along with how much the dealer paid for the item. In the case of a cherrypick, the dealer likely did not even know what the coin was and bought it as a generic example (so they are selling it at the price they expect). With the gold, basically every one knows what spot price is and the dealer is losing money selling significantly under spot.
    That does not necessarily make one situation better than the other; it is just what most will likely think.

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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,254 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You did the right thing, but that dealer needs to be more careful.

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    FranklinHalfAddictFranklinHalfAddict Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I probably would have assumed it was fake if they were offering it for 40% below melt and I would have just declined and moved on.

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    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As a buyer, I do not feel obligated to educate a seller. As a seller, I would not go back and try to renegotiate terms after a contract was executed. I make the deal, I take the loss.

    As a human being, try to do what is right and understand that we all make mistakes. If I was approached, I would have tried to make it right. Strong relationships are important in business, and in life.

    You did everything right.

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Considering you asked twice before the sale was complete, you did everything exactly as I would. I'm not out to take advantage of others cause I wouldn't want it done to me. Business takes profit to run and losses (other than specific 'loss leader' type situations or otherwise planned), will ruin a business.

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    No HeadlightsNo Headlights Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can look in the mirror. You did the right thing.

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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @U1chicago said:

    @jesbroken said:
    Another thought in the op's regard, it seems all here agree that to have at least offered the coin or additional funds to be the right thing to do. Where are these same opinions when someone posts the cherrypick of a dealer. Upon finding an 1918/17 D SLQ in a junk bin at a dealers table and not saying anything(whether obvious or only noticeable due to diagnostics which you are aware of, as you were aware of the value of the 1/10 oz gold coin) I'm not sure there are boundary lines between these two instances, but if they are I would like an explanation or your opinion.
    Jim

    My guess is that the difference is mainly in how obvious it is along with how much the dealer paid for the item. In the case of a cherrypick, the dealer likely did not even know what the coin was and bought it as a generic example (so they are selling it at the price they expect). With the gold, basically every one knows what spot price is and the dealer is losing money selling significantly under spot.
    That does not necessarily make one situation better than the other; it is just what most will likely think.

    I would add—and it’s related to your point—that with the Buffalo nickel, there is something else it could be (a plain 1918-D) and some amount of skill/knowledge is used to determine the coin is extra valuable, whereas the gold is valuable because it’s gold, even if it’s not otherwise special or unusual in any way.

    It’s not quite the same because there are no guarantees (and one example is all based on what the coin is today, while this is a prediction about what the coin will be in the future), but if you’re a really good grader maybe you can identify coins that will likely regrade higher or get a gold sticker and thus jump in value. I don’t see a need to tell the dealer that the coin should be upgraded.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Grade is only an opinion. A rare coin is a rare coin.
    Jim


    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.....Mark Twain
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    DeutscherGeistDeutscherGeist Posts: 2,990 ✭✭✭✭

    I wonder if this $125 gold coin experience can turn into a social experiment. A dealer would have to volunteer and price five tenth ounce gold coins for $125 each and lets see how many customers speak up and help correct the error. My guess is that it would be rare for any customer to make a correction. These customers would not particularly be unethical as they pay the price that's tagged and decide if it is a good deal or not. However, by alerting the dealer about their error, a relationship could be established.

    "So many of our DREAMS at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we SUMMON THE WILL they soon become INEVITABLE "- Christopher Reeve

    BST: Tennessebanker, Downtown1974, LarkinCollector, nendee

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