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Has anyone here started dealing coins after the age of 55?

ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

I would like to try my hand at dealing in coins but have not been able to jump in fully. I have sold some stuff on ebay but in no way would consider myself a dealer. I have not sold a coin in over 2 years.

I was wondering if anyone here has started to deal after the age 55? I would love to hear your story! Good or bad.

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    MeltdownMeltdown Posts: 8,667 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16, 2023 11:00AM

    I know a local guy who was able to quit his day job about that age range and open up a pretty successful coin shop here in town. He's probably been at it close to ten years now. As he told me, It was just a thing he always dreamed of doing. His wife supported the idea and he opened using a small business loan and most all of his personal collection for starting inventory.

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    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Chevyrose said:
    I got this crazy idea. I’m 31 now, gonna collect for the next 20-25 years, then I’m gonna deal coins in my 50’S. At the average rate I’ll have $600,000 in inventory.

    Long ways away

    Great plan. Live by this ..... Keep the best and sell the rest. You will be set to go after that dream at the age of 50.

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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ErrorsOnCoins said:
    I started coin dealing at around 40 or 20 years ago.

    This was my second try at starting and building a business.

    It was a tremendous amount of work to get where I am now but well worth it.

    From reading your posts over the years I gather you are strictly online. How hard is it to acquire material without a storefront to bring in coins?

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    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ironmanl63 said:

    @ErrorsOnCoins said:
    I started coin dealing at around 40 or 20 years ago.

    This was my second try at starting and building a business.

    It was a tremendous amount of work to get where I am now but well worth it.

    From reading your posts over the years I gather you are strictly online. How hard is it to acquire material without a storefront to bring in coins?

    All of my business is online both buying and selling. Figure out your sources. Know what you are buying. Spend endless hours researching potential coins to buy.

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    FranklinHalfAddictFranklinHalfAddict Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great question. I’m 34 now and over the last year or so have been thinking how enjoyable it would be to be a dealer…or at least try it out. It may be a part time retirement gig for me some day.
    If I ever decide to sell off my entire collection before then I think I will set up at a show just to get a little taste at the same time as getting rid of as much as possible in person in one or two days.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16, 2023 12:02PM

    Sure you can.

    One thing about dealing coins - no age limit.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cougar1978 said:
    Sure you can.

    One thing about dealing coins - no age limit.

    I appreciate your vote of confidence.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16, 2023 12:16PM

    I started part time in 1990 as working in Project Finc Controls. Now retired from financial / plus evening community college acctg instructor - full time shows, online.

    What’s needed - display case (2wb best) , 100 watt lighting, enough material to fill up case(s), cart to haul it in from car, cash for change, plus investment cash for deals that walkup or off bourse. Of course you will have to pay a table fee. My first show setup with a buddy from coin club. My goal move material as quickly as possible.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    No HeadlightsNo Headlights Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you want to a dealer (a good one) make sure you have plenty of patience.

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    charlesf20charlesf20 Posts: 384 ✭✭✭

    I am 65 I should abort my small newly amassed collection?

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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @charlesf20 said:
    I am 65 I should abort my small newly amassed collection?

    Why would you do that?

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Success will depend on several things. Inventory, quality of inventory, capital, type of business (online, physical shop, both), locale (city, small town), exposure (advertising etc.), personal drive (long hours, shows). It will not be an 'overnight' endeavor..... The more planning and preparation, the higher likelihood of success. Good luck, Cheers, RickO

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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 17, 2023 7:27AM

    Did you mean 1955? :D I started in 58.
    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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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jesbroken said:
    Did you mean 1955? :D I started in 58.
    Jim

    That is some serious longevity!

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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, and I hope to continue.
    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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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ironmanl63 said:

    @ErrorsOnCoins said:
    I started coin dealing at around 40 or 20 years ago.

    This was my second try at starting and building a business.

    It was a tremendous amount of work to get where I am now but well worth it.

    From reading your posts over the years I gather you are strictly online. How hard is it to acquire material without a storefront to bring in coins?

    I think a storefront is only essential if you're willing to deal in "stuff" that every collector acquires from time to time as a part of collecting. You know like the time you thought it might be fun to pick up a roll of dateless Buffaloes to slowly release into circulation, or your circulated Franklins. If you're willing to pay 50-60% of your asking price for an accumulation that includes a few coins you want and a lot of ballast that you'll leave in your showcase for years, then you need a storefront. If you're paying 80-90% for very specific coins, that's a different business model entirely. And every once in a while you can pay 97%, for example if you are offered a common date Saint in CAC 5 that you can walk across the bourse and sell for $2500 cash, paying $2425 is the start of a good day. Impossible business model, though.

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    hchcoinhchcoin Posts: 4,825 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wonder how many people try this but then realize how much work it really is. Is it a grind most of the time if you want to do it the right way? There sure seems to be a lot of disinterested and grumpy dealers out there when I go to a show or work with them online. I also think being able to detect counterfeits and being able to grade at a higher level would be very important. If I was going to take the plunge, I think going to an ANA summer seminar on both topics would be beneficial.

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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 17, 2023 12:34PM

    There are a lot of very good points being made. I have considered trying to get a job at a coin shop. Not for the money but for the experience. Working at a coin shop would probably answer most if not all the questions I have.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 17, 2023 12:41PM

    One could have an online store and do a show circuit. I enjoy the show circuit - just design one that fits best with your lifestyle.

    If I am at a show and an item sells that is in my online store I simply end / delete it from the store to avoid any problem.

    I would not want to have a shop - due to overhead costs, time, security reasons.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    jshaulisjshaulis Posts: 798 ✭✭✭✭

    In normal situations, what amount of capital is required to be successful, without having a physical storefront (online only)?

    Successful transactions with forum members commoncents05, dmarks, Coinscratch, Bullsitter, DCW, TwoSides2aCoin, Namvet69 (facilitated for 3rd party), Tetromibi, ProfLizMay, MASSU2, MWallace, Bruce7789, Twobitcollector, 78saen, U1chicago

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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jshaulis said:
    In normal situations, what amount of capital is required to be successful, without having a physical storefront (online only)?

    That would be directly proportionate as to what market you are trying to enter, in other words, what grade and type of coins are you looking to inventory and how large an inventory you plan to attempt. Good 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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    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As long as you can accept the risks and costs to deal coins then there is really no age limit. I will repeat what another person said, eyesight is a perishable attribute, and that is a rather important thing to be a successful dealer. Over ten years ago I bought a case and setup at a small local show two months in a row, it was a rather interesting experience to say the least. Still have the show case, have not used it since. ;)

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
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    1madman1madman Posts: 1,295 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @charlesf20 said:
    I am 65 I should abort my small newly amassed collection?

    This got me to ponder is it unusual or too late to start coin collecting at 65+?

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    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1madman said:

    @charlesf20 said:
    I am 65 I should abort my small newly amassed collection?

    This got me to ponder is it unusual or too late to start coin collecting at 65+?

    I would guess that is the age group that the TV hucksters target.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They eye thing is a big concern for me. Another concern is that I have collected 95% certified coins. I am not confident in my ability to recognize coins that have been messed with or counterfeits. I can honestly say I have no idea what PVC damage looks like. I have coins that CAC has put a red sticker on that says PVC and they look just like other coins that have CAC stickers. Mostly the bluish toning that I find attractive. I can not see the difference. I would really like to have someone explain it to me.

    Ya maybe I better stick to collecting.

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    1madman1madman Posts: 1,295 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ironmanl63 said:
    They eye thing is a big concern for me. Another concern is that I have collected 95% certified coins. I am not confident in my ability to recognize coins that have been messed with or counterfeits. I can honestly say I have no idea what PVC damage looks like. I have coins that CAC has put a red sticker on that says PVC and they look just like other coins that have CAC stickers. Mostly the bluish toning that I find attractive. I can not see the difference. I would really like to have someone explain it to me.

    Ya maybe I better stick to collecting.

    Sounds like you are in a perfect position right now. If 95% is already graded, just give them to greatcollections and sell everything that way. And you can continue to buy sporadically like you’ve been doing. Being a dealer at a show doesn’t make sense (imo) for you. Take the easy road.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 17, 2023 7:42PM

    Being in the coin business allows you a schedule c tax deduction. Is your goal to liquidate or use your current material as an inventory starting base for further expansion?

    Coins can go bad in the holder and have poor eye appeal and look like they need a dip. Being able to tell what is PQ or a dog is a needed skill. If your not confident in your ability to pick nice coins perhaps auction or conservation is for you. If you don’t believe in your inventory how are you going to deal with the low ballers, tirekickers, and vest pocket traders trying talk you down? High overhead costs will sink you. One low baller on one of my nicer coins told me “I buy below bid from dealers to flip them.” I told him “well go find one.” I was amused at his gall (stupidity to even say that) but you run into all types.

    After you have done a few shows your confidence should increase. If your running in the red then and not having fun it may be time shutdown that project. Competition from the big gun dealers is tough and they can operate on narrower spreads vs the little guy. Having material your competition unlikely have helps.

    Handling low ballers is easy:

    Just tell them:
    1. It’s just $5 over what I have in it.
    2. That’s the lowest the consignor will go.
    3. It’s exceptionally PQ.
    4. Do you have one sell me at that?

    You will find many coming in bourse room doing well have even $100 to spend. Having raw coins and currency under $100-$150 helps. It may even help pay your expenses.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Th> @Cougar1978 said:

    Being in the coin business allows you a schedule c tax deduction. Is your goal to liquidate or use your current material as an inventory starting base for further expansion?

    Coins can go bad in the holder and have poor eye appeal and look like they need a dip. Being able to tell what is PQ or a dog is a needed skill. If your not confident in your ability to pick nice coins perhaps auction or conservation is for you. If you don’t believe in your inventory how are you going to deal with the low ballers, tirekickers, and vest pocket traders trying talk you down? High overhead costs will sink you. One low baller on one of my nicer coins told me “I buy below bid from dealers to flip them.” I told him “well go find one.” I was amused at his gall (stupidity to even say that) but you run into all types.

    After you have done a few shows your confidence should increase. If your running in the red then and not having fun it may be time shutdown that project. Competition from the big gun dealers is tough and they can operate on narrower spreads vs the little guy. Having material your competition unlikely have helps.

    Handling low ballers is easy:

    Just tell them:
    1. It’s just $5 over what I have in it.
    2. That’s the lowest the consignor will go.
    3. It’s exceptionally PQ.
    4. Do you have one sell me at that?

    You will find many coming in bourse room doing well have even $100 to spend. Having raw coins and currency under $100-$150 helps. It may even help pay your expenses.

    My goal is to have extremely nice coins that I can enjoy and then move them along for other extremely nice coins. I would use my current collection as inventory with the exception of a few favorite coins.

    I feel I do really well with certified coins with the exception of PVC which fools me from time to time. The only way I know this is from submitting to CAC. I collect 99 percent uncirculated certified material. Proofs and MS with MS as the majority of my collection. A shop is what I would like to do but not having the experience with raw coins is the major negative and why it will probably never happen.

    I have retired from Ironworking and have the time to try and start a second career dealing in coins. I am not opposed to work and would like to take part in the coin community with like minded collectors and dealers. I thought about getting a table at shows but just have not taken that leap as of yet. The biggest concern there is the margins on certified material is not enough for me to pay for travel and show expenses much less turn a profit.

    I appreciate all the responses and look forward to more opinions on the subject. I am not giving up on my dream to to make this a second career.

    I find @coinbuf 's post about his coin case very amusing and fear that I might wind up with one collecting dust in my basement.

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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1madman said:

    @ironmanl63 said:
    They eye thing is a big concern for me. Another concern is that I have collected 95% certified coins. I am not confident in my ability to recognize coins that have been messed with or counterfeits. I can honestly say I have no idea what PVC damage looks like. I have coins that CAC has put a red sticker on that says PVC and they look just like other coins that have CAC stickers. Mostly the bluish toning that I find attractive. I can not see the difference. I would really like to have someone explain it to me.

    Ya maybe I better stick to collecting.

    Sounds like you are in a perfect position right now. If 95% is already graded, just give them to greatcollections and sell everything that way. And you can continue to buy sporadically like you’ve been doing. Being a dealer at a show doesn’t make sense (imo) for you. Take the easy road.

    This is pretty much what I am doing currently with the exception of selling every thing. I have been holding everything I acquire. Auctions scare me because once you send it you do not have a final say on price. I am not comfortable letting coins go for less than the replacement cost. Which I believe could happen more than not.

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    bigjpstbigjpst Posts: 3,033 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ironmanl63 said:

    @1madman said:

    @ironmanl63 said:
    They eye thing is a big concern for me. Another concern is that I have collected 95% certified coins. I am not confident in my ability to recognize coins that have been messed with or counterfeits. I can honestly say I have no idea what PVC damage looks like. I have coins that CAC has put a red sticker on that says PVC and they look just like other coins that have CAC stickers. Mostly the bluish toning that I find attractive. I can not see the difference. I would really like to have someone explain it to me.

    Ya maybe I better stick to collecting.

    Sounds like you are in a perfect position right now. If 95% is already graded, just give them to greatcollections and sell everything that way. And you can continue to buy sporadically like you’ve been doing. Being a dealer at a show doesn’t make sense (imo) for you. Take the easy road.

    This is pretty much what I am doing currently with the exception of selling every thing. I have been holding everything I acquire. Auctions scare me because once you send it you do not have a final say on price. I am not comfortable letting coins go for less than the replacement cost. Which I believe could happen more than not.

    I’m small time for now but started with virtually no inventory and no money using Teletrade to buy coins for inventory.

    You can start an eBay store and get your feet wet that way. Couple of notes.
    Yes starting with your collection is great, but remember that when you bought as a collector you may have paid retail so profit may not be in the cards for some of those coins.
    Cash flow and turnover are important. I know lots of big time dealers buy super expensive coins on credit but if you can’t buy new deals when available you’ll miss out. Having good inventory turnover allows for new purchases. Seems like there are dozens of auctions every month.

    Not every coin buy is a winner. Markets change and sometimes new coins get graded or new sales change recent pricing. when you paid too much(it will happen) you have to get to grips with selling market unless you have unlimited funds.

    Try not to chase coins at auction. Know what your margins are and don’t get caught in bidding war. This is the hardest thing for me as a collector/dealer. I see a coin I like and I might stretch my bids. Nothing worse than going to shows and dealers have coins/bullion priced at levels from when they bought and their cases are more like museum displays.

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    1madman1madman Posts: 1,295 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ironmanl63 said:

    @1madman said:

    @ironmanl63 said:
    They eye thing is a big concern for me. Another concern is that I have collected 95% certified coins. I am not confident in my ability to recognize coins that have been messed with or counterfeits. I can honestly say I have no idea what PVC damage looks like. I have coins that CAC has put a red sticker on that says PVC and they look just like other coins that have CAC stickers. Mostly the bluish toning that I find attractive. I can not see the difference. I would really like to have someone explain it to me.

    Ya maybe I better stick to collecting.

    Sounds like you are in a perfect position right now. If 95% is already graded, just give them to greatcollections and sell everything that way. And you can continue to buy sporadically like you’ve been doing. Being a dealer at a show doesn’t make sense (imo) for you. Take the easy road.

    This is pretty much what I am doing currently with the exception of selling every thing. I have been holding everything I acquire. Auctions scare me because once you send it you do not have a final say on price. I am not comfortable letting coins go for less than the replacement cost. Which I believe could happen more than not.

    This tells me you deal with coins that fall into a thin/slim market, or you’re overpaying for average coins. Precious metal prices are very high right now, and that is buoying a large sector of the entire coin market. You should easily be making money on most all coins right now, and if that’s not happening, you’ve gotta reevaluate your model.

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    bigjpstbigjpst Posts: 3,033 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 18, 2023 8:25AM

    @BryceM asks some great questions.

    Since you are retired and may be just starting

    Before you go all in and buy your table for the large national shows. You can avoid some expense and kill a few of the items on his list by walking local and regional shows as a vest pocket dealer. This will allow you to meet all the locals, find out who/where you can make deals and save you much of the cost of travel/table fees etc. You will find out who is fair, who deals in the type of material you are looking for, and who to offload the junk/stuff/bullion that comes with deals that you don't want to keep for your core inventory.

    Not all dealers are like the ones on this forum that have millions in inventory and travel the globe. Lots of successful dealers are just like you. Retired and traveling to local and regional shows.

    Security is huge. You have to change the way you think.

    I personally don't like walking around from table to table with a box of coins trying to sell to other dealers, although I do it from time to time. I typically use shows to purchase inventory, deal with dealers I know who I have relationships with. Then post stuff for sale online. I tried for a while doing just certified coins, but it didn't work for me and now I buy what I think I can sell for more. This includes coins from $1-$2500.
    Having a niche or area of focus is a good idea, but you also need to have a broad market view.

    Editing to add.

    Keep good records of all expenses.

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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bigjpst said:

    @ironmanl63 said:

    @1madman said:

    @ironmanl63 said:
    They eye thing is a big concern for me. Another concern is that I have collected 95% certified coins. I am not confident in my ability to recognize coins that have been messed with or counterfeits. I can honestly say I have no idea what PVC damage looks like. I have coins that CAC has put a red sticker on that says PVC and they look just like other coins that have CAC stickers. Mostly the bluish toning that I find attractive. I can not see the difference. I would really like to have someone explain it to me.

    Ya maybe I better stick to collecting.

    Sounds like you are in a perfect position right now. If 95% is already graded, just give them to greatcollections and sell everything that way. And you can continue to buy sporadically like you’ve been doing. Being a dealer at a show doesn’t make sense (imo) for you. Take the easy road.

    This is pretty much what I am doing currently with the exception of selling every thing. I have been holding everything I acquire. Auctions scare me because once you send it you do not have a final say on price. I am not comfortable letting coins go for less than the replacement cost. Which I believe could happen more than not.

    I’m small time for now but started with virtually no inventory and no money using Teletrade to buy coins for inventory.

    You can start an eBay store and get your feet wet that way. Couple of notes.
    Yes starting with your collection is great, but remember that when you bought as a collector you may have paid retail so profit may not be in the cards for some of those coins.
    Cash flow and turnover are important. I know lots of big time dealers buy super expensive coins on credit but if you can’t buy new deals when available you’ll miss out. Having good inventory turnover allows for new purchases. Seems like there are dozens of auctions every month.

    Not every coin buy is a winner. Markets change and sometimes new coins get graded or new sales change recent pricing. when you paid too much(it will happen) you have to get to grips with selling market unless you have unlimited funds.

    Try not to chase coins at auction. Know what your margins are and don’t get caught in bidding war. This is the hardest thing for me as a collector/dealer. I see a coin I like and I might stretch my bids. Nothing worse than going to shows and dealers have coins/bullion priced at levels from when they bought and their cases are more like museum displays.

    Where do you get your inventory. Buying retail and trying to turn a profit does not seem viable.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BryceM said:

    Do you have access to great coins?

    The above ^^^ will make things tough if you don't, if...

    @ironmanl63 said:

    My goal is to have extremely nice coins that I can enjoy and then move them along for other extremely nice coins.

    Most everybody wants to have "extremely nice coins" to sell and won't want to sell them you at a price level where you'll be able to sell them to someone else for more.

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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,733 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 18, 2023 10:10AM

    I was interrupted while typing out my post above. A couple of things I would add:

    For me personally, I don't think it would make sense to try to do this as a primary income source. I do think it would be fun someday when I slow down to maybe share a table with some dealers, "help them out" at shows, do a little wheeling and dealing, and see if it's worthwhile. All of the glitz and glamor comes from 5% of the coins. To really make a business go, you need viable skills with the other 95%. I think I do a reasonable job assessing and understanding the coins, but I don't think I'm a natural salesman. It's just not my thing. I have a difficult time selling anything that I wouldn't want to own personally.

    I think there are a reasonably large number of people in the quasi-retirement age that do this reasonably well. A percentage of them are truly great at it, and do it well enough to run a business.

    When I think of people out there who really "make it happen" I think of McIntosh Coins. They send out mailers to their clientele, attend regional and big shows, and there's always a crowd at his table. He sells really nice stuff, really pedestrian stuff, and everything in the middle. I imagine he turns a ton of volume and probably does OK for himself. Super-specialty guys like John Agre also have a great business, but he has carefully developed his model and contacts over a very long period of time. Breaking into that exact market would be more difficult.

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Pretty much what Bryce said. Try working for one or two dealers first, to see if you enjoy it. Being a dealer is a much different world than being a hobbyist/collector. The majority of business will be lower grade or lower cost coins, and you need to move a fair amount to keep the business afloat. Many of us in the hobby specialize in a few series, and develop a pretty good eye for quality. Being a dealer means you have to be knowledgeable in just about all of them, plus currency as well.

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    Che_GrapesChe_Grapes Posts: 1,851 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Never too late to do what you love!
    And the older you are the more successful the endeavor!

    Take marriage, for example. Those who get married in their 50s and 60s are significantly less likely to get divorced or have a bad marriage than those in their 20s and 30s ….
    Just sayin..

    All the best of luck - doing what you love may not make you wealthy on paper but makes you rich at heart! (Try paying paying the electric bill with a rich heart - yeah, okay - but you get the point)

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,936 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think being a "dealer" seems more romantic than it is. It is usually not the best way to build a collection of great coins. Your not a "dealer" if you skim the good stuff and sell the junk. There's not a lot of profit in junk. You'd be better off seeking match box cars and using the profits from that to buy coins.

    Coins are a very low margin business. So low that it becomes unprofitable if you skim the good stuff unless you're a thief in your buy prices. In that case, you become exactly the kind of unethical dealer that you used to claim to abhor.

    I have handled a lot of great coins. I've also sold almost all of them. I have a ton of widgets and garbage that I will eventually sell. I also have no money tied up in the junk because I paid for them by asking the good stuff. I really don't think it is possible to reverse the model.

    There are a lot of reasons to try it. You learn a lot. You might have fun. It's a good way to stay active and social after you've left the workforce. But you really need to have sources first, not become a dealer to allegedly get access to coins you can't get now. And dealing is not the same as collecting and culling your collection.

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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jesbroken said:

    @jshaulis said:
    In normal situations, what amount of capital is required to be successful, without having a physical storefront (online only)?

    That would be directly proportionate as to what market you are trying to enter, in other words, what grade and type of coins are you looking to inventory and how large an inventory you plan to attempt. Good luck.
    Jim

    And, of course, how quickly you need to turn it over. Essentially, the amount of capital is related to the amount of profit you need to make.

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    ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:

    @daltex said:

    @jesbroken said:

    @jshaulis said:
    In normal situations, what amount of capital is required to be successful, without having a physical storefront (online only)?

    That would be directly proportionate as to what market you are trying to enter, in other words, what grade and type of coins are you looking to inventory and how large an inventory you plan to attempt. Good luck.
    Jim

    And, of course, how quickly you need to turn it over. Essentially, the amount of capital is related to the amount of profit you need to make.

    I think less the profit and more the turnover. Obviously, if you need the money to live, the profit matters. But you can only buy so low and sell so high and be competitive. But if you don't have cash reserves, you are forced to flip quick or you can't buy the next deal that comes through.

    That really becomes the difference between the hobbyist and the dealer. The hobbyist is seeking one coin here or there and maybe buying one coin here or there. A "dealer", though the term is broad, in my mind needs to buy and sell regularly. That means buying things you have no interest in but that you know you can sell. It means buying things you're not interested in because you need to buy the whole collection. That takes money and that takes time, and the trade off tends to be between the two.

    I tell people all the time. You want to be in business, consider anything but coins. They are fairly liquid but the margins suck. And low margins require high sales volume. One year when I was between jobs, I decided to try dealing full time. I quickly discovered that I could make money easily enough but it was hard to buy enough to make it equivalent to a full time job with benefits. You have to do every show, beat the bushes constantly and have enough capital to keep buying while you're selling. I decided it was easier to go back to work and stick to part time dealing. Lol.

    If you want to be a dealer in retirement, you really need to spend the 20 years before retirement building relationships and identifying sources and she's venues.

    This post kinda nails why I haven't made the jump. Although I still have the desire to try. The vest pocket thing sounds like it could work for me. The problem I see with that is I do have a lot of sub $300.00 value coins. I would need a fairly large pocket. ;)

    For the vest pocket dealers how many coins will you bring to a show? I would imagine you use a briefcase to carry the coins around. How much value would you carry? I also see security as an issue which has been pointed out frequently in many posts. Curious if anyone would share what they do or what they have witnessed with this type of dealer.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:
    One year when I was between jobs, I decided to try dealing full time. I quickly discovered that I could make money easily enough but it was hard to buy enough to make it equivalent to a full time job with benefits. You have to do every show, beat the bushes constantly and have enough capital to keep buying while you're selling. I decided it was easier to go back to work and stick to part time dealing. Lol.

    Like Tom Hanks told Geena Davis in the movie, "If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it."

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    bigjpstbigjpst Posts: 3,033 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ironmanl63 said:

    @bigjpst said:

    @ironmanl63 said:

    @1madman said:

    @ironmanl63 said:

    Where do you get your inventory. Buying retail and trying to turn a profit does not seem viable.

    You're right, that is why I deal with people that I have spent the decade or more building buy/sell relationships.
    Most shows have early bird or "dealer' days. Pay the extra to get in the show early, and many dealers will give you a better price than if they think you are a collector. Not all, but since I have been setting up at shows off and on and walking all my local shows for years, I know many of them now. Deal with them regularly and build relationships. This all takes time, and it is a two way street. If you have coins they want, you have to show them you are willing to deal.

    Which makes buying right much more important. As many have posted above, being a dealer requires that you purchase just about everything at some point. Not all dealers have the time to research every variety or new fad in coins. Or, know the price some items sell for online vs at a show. Knowing what things are actually selling for and being able to adapt is key. This is where a niche comes in handy. The problem with having a niche is that when others find out it's profitable, everyone is doing it.

    I'm sure my coins get cherrypicked from time to time, or I sell something for less than actual value. It happens. Every time someone hits Buy it now on one of my coins instead of hitting make offer, I wonder. :)

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    Glen2022Glen2022 Posts: 843 ✭✭✭✭

    @Klif50 said:
    Worst thing about waiting until you are 50+ (I'm 70+ now) to become a full time dealer, is that your eyesight is not what it was when you were 20. I could grade with the best of them when I was in my 20's and 30's due to constant practice and hanging with some of the best in the business at the time. Today it takes a whole lot longer and I wouldn't bet my eyesight up against a 10,000 dollar coins that looks like a 65 but might be a super slider.

    Your age and mileage will vary.

    There is a gentleman in Oregon who runs a coin store and an auction periodically who is legally blind. He has a trusted assistant upon whom he relies to visualize the coins for both selling and buying. I've never been to his store, but I have been to a couple of his auctions. From what I understand, he also does appraisals for estates for attorneys, etc. I'm guessing he's quite successful because he's been there for quite a while. He also attends many local coin clubs in the evenings and runs the auctions.

    I agree that eyesight is extremely important and mine is clearly not as good as it was when I was in my 30s. I'm concerned about buying raw coins, accurately graded for R reasonable price.

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