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Experience at Long Beach Expo Dealer Pricing

JW77JW77 Posts: 460 ✭✭✭✭✭

At the Long Beach Expo I was looking to buy a nice PCGS CAC Type coin either for a 8 piece registry set or a box of 20. From my previous post you guys know at the moment I have the $50 Pan Pac and nothing else. I promised my wife I wouldn't get anything, but I sold a few gold bullion coins that I owned (gold was$1,960 at the time), so I had about $6k in my pocket, and there was a whole convention center of eye candy. So I saw several nice CC MS63 1891 half eagles from three different dealers, which would be in range of my cash. I always wanted some CC gold! They were all listed from $6,700 to $7,000, roughly $1,000 over market. In my minds' eye market is a range of recent auction prices, also taking into consideration the trends. After some negotiation the dealers came down, but not even close to where recent auction prices were. I even offered $100 to $150 over the highest auction price and there were no takers. Whether it was Witter Coin, Northern Nevada Coin, Mikes Coin Chest, Park Avenue Numismatics, etc, it was all the same experience. These are all very successful professional dealers with incredible merchandise. I can only assume they can sell their inventory at the elevated prices or they would of come down to more reasonable levels. This was just one example, I found every MS64 to MS65 common date PCGS CAC Saint, Indian, Liberty Head were all over priced, even with the smaller dealers that were at the show. I understand that for key and semi key dates this type of pricing, but for the common dates, I don't get it. My conclusion was better to buy on auctions, just be patient and you will pay a fair price. I guess if I had a relationship with a West Coast dealer I would do better, but at the moment that is not the case. Are you guys seeing the same thing, or am I just not very good at the negotiating game. Also, just to be clear, I'm not complaining, I have bought at least one coin from every one of the dealers I mentioned over the last 20 years, maybe overpaid a little, but otherwise always had a positive experience. I'm more curious whether other members are seeing the same market conditions , especially like to hear from any dealers that are on this forum. The very positive from this experience was I kept my word to my wife not to buy a another coin.

On a another note I'll be showing the slabbed Pan Pac on my other post in just a few minutes.

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    1madman1madman Posts: 1,295 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’m going to infer that the big dealers are buying these coins at the auction prices (say $6,000) and selling them at their tables for the $7,000? I thought this was basically a sin? Dealers can’t pay auction prices because that’s what the coin is worth and what they hope to sell it for?

    Quick way to go out of business if the market takes even a slight downturn

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    CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,603 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dealers often buy coins from other dealers and so there is a cumulative result where their buy price + markup results in a coin being much higher than the auction prices shown. Of course, eye appeal of a particular coin will also factor in to markups, regardless if the coin is generic.

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
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    JW77JW77 Posts: 460 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1madman said:
    I’m going to infer that the big dealers are buying these coins at the auction prices (say $6,000) and selling them at their tables for the $7,000? I thought this was basically a sin? Dealers can’t pay auction prices because that’s what the coin is worth and what they hope to sell it for?

    Quick way to go out of business if the market takes even a slight downturn

    You very well may be right. I always assume dealers buy inventory at 20% under market, maybe 10% for higher dollar merchandise. All I know is the three times I marketed my coins to a dealer(or multiple dealers for the same group of coins) on average I was offered 80% of retail, maybe somewhat more if the dealer really wanted a particular coin. If Dealers are paying auction prices that would explain the pricing, but it also confirms my observation that auction might be the best way to go when looking to add generic coins to your collection.

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    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you want auction pricing, buy from an auction house, that is the simple answer. Table fees are expensive and the times I have been to LB I felt that for most of the dealers there the prices were very strong, just my opinion. That is one of the reasons I stopped going to the LB (or any) national coin show. I'll be making an exception to that policy for the upcoming ANA show in Phx, but that is only because I live in Phx so it is a must go show for me. Even so I doubt that I will buy anything.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
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    fathomfathom Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Stacks sold one in Nov. CAC for $5500.

    That being said if those at the show were especially choice than that may be the reason. Otherwise you are correct the price is high.

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    JW77JW77 Posts: 460 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:

    @JW77 said:
    These are all very successful professional dealers with incredible merchandise.

    People with businesses like that probably have a pretty good sense of the current market, I'd think.

    Touche, yes you are correct. Market is what a buyer will pay, and obviously the merchandise is selling or the dealer prices would come down.

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 13, 2023 4:35PM

    Occasionally I’ll find a coin I like (we collect similar coins, gold type w/cac) in someone’s inventory that’s priced in line with comps, and I’ll buy the coin. Most other times, it’s priced more than I want to pay and I’m not willing to stretch that much unless it’s an exceptional example. I’ve been offered coins the past month with a 25-50% markup over what they sold at auction just a few months ago. Needless to say, I’ve been more aggressive bidding in auctions lately, because it is hard to find nice inventory right now and the dealers have to compete (or have us believe they compete) by paying auction prices like the rest of us.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinbuf said:
    Table fees are expensive and the times I have been to LB I felt that for most of the dealers there the prices were very strong, just my opinion.

    I can't speak for every dealer but the ones I know don't reprice their inventory based on where they're offering it for sale. Of course, price changes do happen but they're not driven by the venue.

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    DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,710 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JW77 said:

    I saw several nice CC MS63 1891 half eagles from three different dealers, which would be in range of my cash. I always wanted some CC gold! They were all listed from $6,700 to $7,000, roughly $1,000 over market. In my minds' eye market is a range of recent auction prices, also taking into consideration the trends. After some negotiation the dealers came down, but not even close to where recent auction prices were. I even offered $100 to $150 over the highest auction price and there were no takers... My conclusion was better to buy on auctions, just be patient and you will pay a fair price.

    I agree. And one needs patience.

    I'm running up against the same thing. I'm seeing coins I'm outbid on showing up in dealers inventories at much higher prices. The thing to remember about auctions is you can't get the coins at the sold price. You need to go one bid higher and then there is the possibility you will be outbid again. The only way you come out ahead is if you really know your values and know when a coin is actually undervalued in the price guides. I've broken auction records with coins I believe are still undervalued at the price I paid.

    P.S. I'm very familiar with the expression from the old PBS series: "Rumpole of the Bailey." "She who must be obeyed."

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JW77 said:

    @MasonG said:

    @JW77 said:
    These are all very successful professional dealers with incredible merchandise.

    People with businesses like that probably have a pretty good sense of the current market, I'd think.

    Touche, yes you are correct. Market is what a buyer will pay, and obviously the merchandise is selling or the dealer prices would come down.

    Sometimes, people (not saying you, just in general) get fixated on past auction results and price guides. Depending on the coin(s) in question, those prices may or may not accurately reflect current market values.

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    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 13, 2023 4:18PM

    @MasonG said:

    @coinbuf said:
    Table fees are expensive and the times I have been to LB I felt that for most of the dealers there the prices were very strong, just my opinion.

    I can't speak for every dealer but the ones I know don't reprice their inventory based on where they're offering it for sale. Of course, price changes do happen but they're not driven by the venue.

    You seem to make lots of assumptions and like to put words into others mouths, I never said that any dealer was repricing inventory. But those dealers that take tables at the big shows incur a lot of overhead, that has to be paid for thus they usually have high prices, everywhere.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinbuf said:

    @MasonG said:

    @coinbuf said:
    Table fees are expensive and the times I have been to LB I felt that for most of the dealers there the prices were very strong, just my opinion.

    I can't speak for every dealer but the ones I know don't reprice their inventory based on where they're offering it for sale. Of course, price changes do happen but they're not driven by the venue.

    You seem to make lots of assumptions and like to put words into others mouths, I never said that any dealer was repricing inventory.

    ??? I didn't say you said anyone was repricing inventory. I said the dealers I know don't.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    Perhaps dealer prices are high at big shows because they need collectors to pay for their hotel room, fancy meals, and first-class plane tickets. ;)

    Doesn't matter where you are when you buy from them. You could be at home, buying from their website and you're still paying for their hotel room, fancy meals, and first-class plane tickets. :)

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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,436 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:

    @PerryHall said:
    Perhaps dealer prices are high at big shows because they need collectors to pay for their hotel room, fancy meals, and first-class plane tickets. ;)

    Doesn't matter where you are when you buy from them. You could be at home, buying from their website and you're still paying for their hotel room, fancy meals, and first-class plane tickets. :)

    Did you see my winky emoji? :#

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    Pnies20Pnies20 Posts: 2,065 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think you said it yourself. If it is truly "overpriced" it'll sit in inventory and you could negotiate with them later or find a comparable piece for a better price. I think we've all been there.

    BHNC #248 … 108 and counting.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @MasonG said:

    @PerryHall said:
    Perhaps dealer prices are high at big shows because they need collectors to pay for their hotel room, fancy meals, and first-class plane tickets. ;)

    Doesn't matter where you are when you buy from them. You could be at home, buying from their website and you're still paying for their hotel room, fancy meals, and first-class plane tickets. :)

    Did you see my winky emoji? :#

    Yes, I did. Did you see my smiley emoji? ;)

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    JW77JW77 Posts: 460 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BryceM said:
    It saves time if you ignore how much a person paid for the thing they are trying to sell. They're not going to tell you and, frankly, it's irrelevant. In my experience, lengthy negotiations aren't likely to get you anywhere. I usually say "what's the best you can do?" and leave it at that. The offered price is either acceptable or it isn't.

    Of the 1% of coins at a big show that tempt me, I probably try to buy 15 or 20 coins for each one that actually ends up coming home with me.

    Don't make the mistake of buying an average coin (sight unseen) from an auction for $5k instead of a really nice example that you can carefully inspect and evaluate for $6k. Really, really savvy people with money to spend have personally looked at almost every coin in a big auction. They usually go for about what they're worth in the market.

    Bryce I agree with you. When I do buy at auction I stick to PCGS CAC coins. PCGS does the most conservative grading and with a second opinion from CAC that it's solid for the grade, I feel I can't go wrong, which has been my experience. Now when I'm at a dealer or show I'm more open to buying a PCGS coin without the bean or a NGC coin because I have coin in hand.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 13, 2023 6:54PM

    CPG for 1891/CC $5 is $4700. Pcgs CF is $6000.

    Perhaps these were pieces simply marked up cost plus or simply PQ per the sellers.

    I don’t consider auction prices MV as these could be what somebody gave away for or way overpaid. MV is per CPG or PCGS CF, NN Coin Mkt. YMMV. CPG is based on CDN bid.

    I think this could be material marked up cost plus for certain investor clients. That you would not pay the money no biggie as they were after rich investors who would. Did they have the only ones in the room?

    One guy I know who deals in cc gold simply picks nice ones then marks up keystone - 100 pct. Many of his clients multi millionaires. David Bowers book about coin dealing mentions keystone retail markup - this not uncommon in RCI arena.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It’s interesting that little is mentioned about how the coins look when talking about prices. Some of the dealers listed above deal in top tier quality coins. They should not sell for the same prices as low end pieces. Mike’s Coin Chest has amazing coins. The coins I have bought from Shaun are worth the premium I paid.

    I always pay more for quality.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coins that are PQ trade higher than average quality pieces. An expert dealer will price the nicer pieces higher in recognition of this market fact. Because somebody gave away coin A at auction means nothing to me. Perhaps it was low end.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,943 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pcgscacgold said:
    It’s interesting that little is mentioned about how the coins look when talking about prices. Some of the dealers listed above deal in top tier quality coins. They should not sell for the same prices as low end pieces. Mike’s Coin Chest has amazing coins. The coins I have bought from Shaun are worth the premium I paid.

    I always pay more for quality.

    Buy the holder not the coin. 😀

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    raysrays Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pcgscacgold said:
    It’s interesting that little is mentioned about how the coins look when talking about prices. Some of the dealers listed above deal in top tier quality coins. They should not sell for the same prices as low end pieces. Mike’s Coin Chest has amazing coins. The coins I have bought from Shaun are worth the premium I paid.

    I always pay more for quality.

    Someday, when you go to sell your coins, you will discover whether those coins were worth the premium you paid. You can’t always predict this. It really depends upon who is looking for the specific items you are selling at the moment you sell them, whether by dir3ct sale to a dealer or public auction.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well the market can fall too.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just for a moment, consider what coin shows would look like if all of the coins were priced to sell very quickly.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    bidaskbidask Posts: 13,861 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MrEureka said:
    Just for a moment, consider what coin shows would look like if all of the coins were priced to sell very quickly.

    Pandemonium!😄

    I manage money. I earn money. I save money .
    I give away money. I collect money.
    I don’t love money . I do love the Lord God.




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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cougar1978 said:
    Coins that are PQ trade higher than average quality pieces. An expert dealer will price the nicer pieces higher in recognition of this market fact. Because somebody gave away coin A at auction means nothing to me. Perhaps it was low end.

    I agree with your overall sentiment. As with all things, one must do the homework. Auction records in black and white without any context or accompanying info have little value. Lucky for us, all of the modern records are liked to the auction listing where you actually compare the coins appearance and eye appeal. If I have recent auction comps within the past year, and I think the coin being offered is superior to all of them, I’ll gladly pay stronger if I want it. On the other hand, if I think it’s inferior to 1 or more of the comps, I’m not going to want to set the new record.

    If it’s a thinly traded coin with old comps, all bets are off and you have to compare to a different date/mm with similar census population and assign a value. Pricing a rarity is entirely different than pricing a widget.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 13, 2023 8:52PM

    Just go with the expertise of the Long Beach dealer pricing and don’t worry about it. :D

    Otherwise suggest go shop around. That’s how I find some neat deals….

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    keyman64keyman64 Posts: 15,456 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see similar things happen. A Mercury Dime in 68FB with more than a dozen other examples in the same grade and still not being a top pop. The coin had a sliver of attractive toning on the reverse(non-money-side) that I liked and thought would be a decent hole filler. The coin was NOT CAC and in my view would never CAC since it had way too many obverse prominent contact marks. Still a flashy and nice coin. The dealer wants $3000 over PCGS Price Guide...more than 50% higher! It makes no sense to me. I called and they were willing to drop the price by $1K. Whatever, now they think they are giving me a deal. Hilarious, they can keep it for a very very long time. I flush plenty of money but try not to flush money for the sake of flushing money. Last year, two examples sold and the most expensive selling price was $250 under price guide. There's one up for auction right now at an auction house and I will be watching it. I won't buy it but I will watch it for entertainment value.

    Patience is key! There are plenty of dealers that seem like they are trying to set records with each sale, even when the coins don't come with pretty stickers...because you know, the coin has never been to the sticker factory...that they know of... ;)

    There are dealers and auction houses that over-sell all the time. Attractively Toned specific auctions...I scan the entire auction and view most of the coins as NEUTRAL, not attractively toned, while others are just ugly, bad, yuk, finger printed, have terminal toning etc. Another place that also runs auctions has descriptions that are way over the top. None of the coins would be considered for my collection....but these companies think their goods are AMAZING when they seldom are in my view.

    I am willing to pay up and pay way over to get coins I like but dang they better be freaking awesome. Be willing to do this for the right examples and avoid all other examples like the plague.

    "If it's not fun, it's not worth it." - KeyMan64
    Looking for Top Pop Mercury Dime Varieties & High Grade Mercury Dime Toners. :smile:
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    pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @rays said:

    @pcgscacgold said:
    It’s interesting that little is mentioned about how the coins look when talking about prices. Some of the dealers listed above deal in top tier quality coins. They should not sell for the same prices as low end pieces. Mike’s Coin Chest has amazing coins. The coins I have bought from Shaun are worth the premium I paid.

    I always pay more for quality.

    Someday, when you go to sell your coins, you will discover whether those coins were worth the premium you paid. You can’t always predict this. It really depends upon who is looking for the specific items you are selling at the moment you sell them, whether by dir3ct sale to a dealer or public auction.

    Interesting that you mention this. I sold coins last year to move out of $2.50 Indians and into Early Gold. The 1811 was one coin I bought after that move.

    Of the 20 coins I sold, 12 were CAC and 8 were not. Currently, 1 CAC is remaining and 3 non-CAC. All 11 CAC coins sold above guide (some well above guide). Of the 5 non-CAC that sold, nearly all had to be discounted below guide prices (even though they were not dogs).

    I never buy a coin with the thought "What will I be able to sell this for". This is a hobby for me. Most hobbies cost money to enjoy. I really enjoy collecting PCGS, CAC, Gold coins.

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    DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,710 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When we are talking about CAC coins and price guides, I keep asking myself, are we talking about the CAC price guide?

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    pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DisneyFan said:
    When we are talking about CAC coins and price guides, I keep asking myself, are we talking about the CAC price guide?

    For CAC coins I only use the CAC price guide. Not sure what others use.

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    davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,853 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have noticed big coin shows all have prices hgher than the markets I am used to (eBay, Heritage, Stacks, GreatCollections) but you get to see coins in hand.

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DisneyFan said:
    When we are talking about CAC coins and price guides, I keep asking myself, are we talking about the CAC price guide?

    For me, no. It’s easier for me to check PCGS guide with coinfacts than to check CAC price/pop report. I do always check CAC guide when buying but unless I specify in a comment I’m most likely talking about pcgs guide.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Price guides, auction histories are merely opinions and historical markers. Sure, they provide some contextual information. They do not necessarily tell you the quality (visual appeal, in hand evaluation of condition etc.) of the particular coin you may be interested in. If this is a hobby for an individual, research and learning are critical to good buying decisions. If a business, many more factors must be considered. One cannot take a stand on guides and auctions as a be-all, end-all for true and final evaluation of a specific coin. Cheers, RickO

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    skier07skier07 Posts: 3,692 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have bought only a few coins at shows and I have attended almost every Long Beach show the last 20 years. I find that coins are priced aggressively at shows especially if they have a sticker. If a coin is ridiculously priced (of course that’s subjective) I thank the dealer and don’t even bother countering. Unless the 1891-CC that you viewed was spectacular I would have passed also. It’s the most common date Carson City half eagle and there’s nothing rare about it. You can follow it on the dealers website and if the price goes down to an amount you’re comfortable with buy it or just wait for another one to come around.

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    ElcontadorElcontador Posts: 7,421 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 14, 2023 12:24PM

    Dealers price coins at what they think they can get for them in a reasonably short period of time. You have to decide if they are pricing a coin on the high side, whether or not it is nice enough to warrant that premium.

    My experience is that most coins I look for are not scarce, and that little I see is genuinely what I would consider PQ. There is a difference between nice for the grade and PQ. If you are looking for what to you is an expensive coin, you need to know the difference.

    I like Bryce's comment, which is what I do, "what do you need for this coin," and then I pass or play. It has been my experience that a dealer will come down on a coin if he / she has not moved it for a few months.

    "Vou invadir o Nordeste,
    "Seu cabra da peste,
    "Sou Mangueira......."
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    GoldFinger1969GoldFinger1969 Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭✭

    Inquiring Minds Want To Know: How do dealers acquire inventory to sell at a reasonable profit ? Are they going to run a bid-ask shop, where they buy at the bid (lower) price from retail clients and sell at the ask (higher) price, pocketing the difference ?

    I've heard that 80% or more of a dealers activity/profit at a big show like FUN or Long Beach is before the show is open to the public with dealer-to-dealer trades. But how can one dealer buy cheap enough -- and how can the other dealer sell high enough -- for BOTH to make a decent profit ? And if the guy with the inventory bought very cheap and the market moved in his favor, why cut a deal on the cheap to sell 5-10% below FMV if you can easily get FMV from another dealer or more likely the public/retail ?

    Having never run a business I guess I'm having trouble visualizing how they balance inventory and buying low and selling high -- and how in the aggregate ALL dealers can do this if they mostly do trading with each other. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem paying a markup -- you get what you pay for -- and I'm happy to pay for the convenience of online with slighly higher pricing and also pay a bit more at times to support my LCS. :)

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    DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,253 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I, for one, think the coin market is in for a reckoning someday when folks start refusing to pay so high over auction prices on things and these dealers either have to make their own coins via cracking/regrading, or source the slabs they want to retail themselves. I think the present market dynamic is sustainable for another 5-10 years tops.

    You could see the trend line pushing things together and flattening the spreads between auctions and the bourse in the couple years running up to Covid-19, but it seems that rubber band has snapped back to elevated show pricing in the post-Covid world, I'm guessing due to elevated demand.

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

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    GoldFinger1969GoldFinger1969 Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭✭

    @JW77 said:
    I always wanted some CC gold! They were all listed from $6,700 to $7,000, roughly $1,000 over market.

    Carson City coins have been RED HOT -- the hot streak is exceeded in intensity if not length only by the 1989-90 Coin Bubble -- so I'm not so sure that they were really over $1,000 over market.

    They MIGHT be -- I'm not familiar with this series -- but going by Doug Winter's recent articles you either pay the premium and over sticker or you go home empty-handed.

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    GoldFinger1969GoldFinger1969 Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 14, 2023 10:28PM

    @JW77 said:
    I found every MS64 to MS65 common date PCGS CAC Saint, Indian, Liberty Head were all over priced, even with the smaller dealers that were at the show. I understand that for key and semi key dates this type of pricing, but for the common dates, I don't get it. My conclusion was better to buy on auctions, just be patient and you will pay a fair price.

    I'm surprised that you also saw a scarcity premium on those coins, though I would venture it wasn't as big as with Carson City stuff.

    As for why commons were more "out of whack" than key dates....I think that's because all the newbies to our hobby are going for the most affordable, entry-level stuff and that is certainly true with more expensive (1 oz.) gold coins which are a quantum jump up from silver and other coins in terms of price.

    Many of those newbies who discovered Ebay and the online auction houses during Covid in 2020 may have also increased their targets with CAC coins, more expensive gold or silver, etc. There was a front-page article in CDN Greensheet a few years ago talking about how newcomers and keyboard collectors were buying large denomination bills in lower-to-medium grades where they still had a semblance of affordability. Numerically, stuff in the 35-55 range instead of Mint State 60's.

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    GoldFinger1969GoldFinger1969 Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭✭

    @JW77 said:
    I always assume dealers buy inventory at 20% under market, maybe 10% for higher dollar >?>merchandise. All I know is the three times I marketed my coins to a dealer(or multiple dealers for >the same group of coins) on average I was offered 80% of retail, maybe somewhat more if the >dealer really wanted a particular coin. If Dealers are paying auction prices that would explain the >pricing, but it also confirms my observation that auction might be the best way to go when looking >to add generic coins to your collection.

    Great analysis and posts.....if this is true (and I don't doubt you)....it must be such that the higher fees from the auction house or coin shop (online or B&M) are going to reduce your price below FMV (retail) to the price offered by the dealers at 10% or 20% below FMV.

    I realize we are dealing with a volatile, illiquid asset class that dealers take big risks in holding inventory....but I wonder if today, as opposed to 30 or 40 years ago...that volatility risk is LOWER and the spreads or discounts to FMV should be lower givent the Internet, price transparency, better price discovery, etc.

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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GoldFinger1969 said:
    Inquiring Minds Want To Know: How do dealers acquire inventory to sell at a reasonable profit ? Are they going to run a bid-ask shop, where they buy at the bid (lower) price from retail clients and sell at the ask (higher) price, pocketing the difference ?

    I've heard that 80% or more of a dealers activity/profit at a big show like FUN or Long Beach is before the show is open to the public with dealer-to-dealer trades. But how can one dealer buy cheap enough -- and how can the other dealer sell high enough -- for BOTH to make a decent profit ? And if the guy with the inventory bought very cheap and the market moved in his favor, why cut a deal on the cheap to sell 5-10% below FMV if you can easily get FMV from another dealer or more likely the public/retail ?

    Having never run a business I guess I'm having trouble visualizing how they balance inventory and buying low and selling high -- and how in the aggregate ALL dealers can do this if they mostly do trading with each other. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem paying a markup -- you get what you pay for -- and I'm happy to pay for the convenience of online with slighly higher pricing and also pay a bit more at times to support my LCS. :)

    1. Yes, by and large. When you have coins that you don't want, for whatever reason, they'll take them. Then they'll give you, or someone like you, coins that you do want. There is a huge convenience offered here, and the transaction costs are pretty darn reasonable. When you want to sell your accumulation, you no longer have to find a person in whose collection every single coin fits, and when you want to add to your collection you needn't go to every single collector to see if they have a piece they're willing to sell. Add to that all the legal and transactional things that dealers handle, you'd be excused for wondering how they can keep the spreads so tight and how they can avoid getting killed when the markets move against them.

    2. A lot of times they can't. Liquidity can be far more important than profit. If you have a $2000 coin you paid $1600 for six months ago, it can be a long time to have $1600 tied up not working for you waiting for the right buyer to come along. And many dealers are severely undercapitalized. So they may be willing to sell the $2000 coin for $1500 just to get the money moving again. So if I have a customer for your coin at $1700 then we can both be happy; you to re-liquify and me to make $200. You're not likely to see my customer, and if you do you're not likely to offer him the coin for $1700. And if you can sell the coin instantly, you can work on very small margins. I recall a story from a FUN somewhere around 1990 about a dealer buying a gold coin for $795 and selling for $798, literally walking it across the floor.

    And, if you've learned one thing from this discussion, it's that there is no such thing as THE FMV.

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    johnny010johnny010 Posts: 1,089 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Catbert said:
    Dealers often buy coins from other dealers and so there is a cumulative result where their buy price + markup results in a coin being much higher than the auction prices shown. Of course, eye appeal of a particular coin will also factor in to markups, regardless if the coin is generic.

    Agree

    I’ve had several dealers say they are having a hard time finding enough coins. Supply and demand.

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