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Prepping for a convention


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I'm going to the Baltimore spring coin & currency convention next week. I always try to get to at least one of these shows each year. They are usually my only chance to really add to my collection. Since it's my only opportunity, I prepare for the show with spreadsheets, market research, variety research, and dealer research. I want to know how you'd prepare for the show. Please let me know how you'd prepare for the show with the following circumstances:

 

- ~$500 budget

- trying to finish a good looking Peace dollar series (most in AU-UNC but the keys can be lower grades if the coin is nice)

- working on many holes in XF-AU Barber dime and V nickel series

- many holes in the US type set (shield nickels, two cents, bust halves, etc still waiting to be snagged)

 

Which would you buy? What would your standards be? How would your research differ for each?

 

If you choose to focus on the Peace series, use the 1934-S for your research.

 

I hope someone chooses to accept the challenge, or describes their methods for similar series/circumstances. I'll add my methods below

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Sounds fun! I don't have any advice to add myself since I don't have experience with large shows.

 

If you ever want to check out some neat world stuff, Zarit should have some interesting stuff.

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Here's what I'd do:

 

To prep for the 1934-S Peace:

 

- make a table with grade increments starting with VF to higher grades

- find the associated values from the following: Red Book 2007 & 2008 (for historical prices), Heritage Auction Archives recent auctions (for semi-accurate market trends), Coinage values guide, coinage ads (for dealer trends)

- note a few tips for grade identifications

 

To prep for the Barber dime/V nick series:

 

- update my spreadsheet with the coins I do have (the key difference from above, a spreadsheet with many dates and values)

- find an average value from the above mentioned sources

- note a few grading tips

 

To prep for the type set:

 

- heck, I don't know what to do here. I never search actively for any of these. I usually only go for them if they are good looking

- as for value guides, just the red book if I have one with me. even if it's 2008, it still gives me a ballpark estimate.

 

 

I'd probably spend $200-300 on a nice Peace then shop the rest around for several barbers/v nicks.

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Personally I'm usually happy that something from my time period even shows up. I copy my entire website to my laptop and take it with me. That way I can see if I already have a particular coin or medal and if it's an upgrade.

 

I always shop the entire show before purchasing unless I run across a real bargain. I mark where I found items of interest in the show directory (in pencil) and rate which dealers I want to return to in the approximate order of potential purchase. This method has cost me a couple of nice pieces but more often it means that I spend my funds on the best material available at that show.

 

Good luck, I'm sure you'll have tons of fun!

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I usually have a list of the "need" items for each of my collecting areas. Since most of what I'm after is very common I don't spend too much time on price research. If there are items that are much higher than others on the list I highlight them and maybe put a price note next to the coin.

 

When I get to the show I always go to the exhibits first. They're the real highlight of the whole process for me. After the exhibits I walk the show floor from end to end. I'll stop and glance at stuff that interests me and visit with friends as I go around. When I find a dealer that I'm interested in, I make a note - usually mental to return there. After I've done the whole floor which at a large show might be the middle of the second day, I go back to the dealers that I want to check for purchases. I don't usually bother with haggling or with price matching. If the first dealer that I noted has what I want I simply ask them how much they'll accept for it. Good price, good coin - buy. Bad price, bad coin - move on the the next item or dealer.

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I always shop the entire show before purchasing unless I run across a real bargain. I mark where I found items of interest in the show directory (in pencil) and rate which dealers I want to return to in the approximate order of potential purchase. This method has cost me a couple of nice pieces but more often it means that I spend my funds on the best material available at that show.

 

As for my method when I get to the show, that's pretty much what I do too. I'll either use the convention map or some other notes to write down which dealers have what I want and for how much. Since my budget is so low, I want every dollar I spend to have the greatest return. Sometimes the hardest part is remembering what the coins looked like and choosing which to go home with!

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I usually have a list of the "need" items for each of my collecting areas. Since most of what I'm after is very common I don't spend too much time on price research. If there are items that are much higher than others on the list I highlight them and maybe put a price note next to the coin.

 

When I get to the show I always go to the exhibits first. They're the real highlight of the whole process for me. After the exhibits I walk the show floor from end to end. I'll stop and glance at stuff that interests me and visit with friends as I go around. When I find a dealer that I'm interested in, I make a note - usually mental to return there. After I've done the whole floor which at a large show might be the middle of the second day, I go back to the dealers that I want to check for purchases. I don't usually bother with haggling or with price matching. If the first dealer that I noted has what I want I simply ask them how much they'll accept for it. Good price, good coin - buy. Bad price, bad coin - move on the the next item or dealer.

 

As I said to Elverno, I do the same when I get to a show. It's always interesting to see what dealers in general are carrying. All I see is plastic slabs filled with Morgans and St. Gaudens double eagles. To me, it's sad that there isn't a better distribution of coins and notes out there.

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As I said to Elverno, I do the same when I get to a show. It's always interesting to see what dealers in general are carrying. All I see is plastic slabs filled with Morgans and St. Gaudens double eagles. To me, it's sad that there isn't a better distribution of coins and notes out there.

 

 

I think they're out there but you have to ask and dig a bit. At the local show I wanted to look at a few Indian Head Cents and some Half Cents. Nearly none were displayed and those that were were slabbed big buck coins -- way out of my league. As I walked around saying hello to the dealers and chating a bit I'd ask if they had RAW IHCs and 1/2 cents. Almost all said yes. One guy had like 6 double boxes of IHCs alone. I did go and look at a few of his 1870s and 1871s but we were far apart on pricing and grading -- a very bad match.

 

The big ANA Conventions have an area set aside for dealers who have the lower priced material. An important place to spend some time. I believe there's a similar section in Baltimore. When you get to the show stop at the ANA table and ask for John or Nancy Wilson. Tell them you're a friend of mine and ask John if he can direct you to any top notch dealers with the kind of material you want. (They're really nice folks. John was President of the ANA and Nancy was a Director for quite a few years.)

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First throw away my old scribbled sheet of prices (lazy man spread sheet) from inside my red book. Next write down prices and grades realized on auctions of pcgs and ngc coins for any coin I'm looking for. I may hit a couple sites also just to round things out. The day it comes around bring that, a loupe, and my red book. Next stuff what money I can spend in my pocket so I can throw money at them to buy a little money with a lot of money. :ninja:

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I'm very simple.

 

- Red Book

- Coins I am looking to buy (I keep it under 10 at a time as to not cause confusion on which to buy!)

- A good eye

 

I don't like to keep myself at ONE coin to buy and that's it. I love going to large shows and just digging. A lot of my world coins I've bought not because of their history, metal content, rarity, etc but because they simply look cool. My most recent obsession has been Swiss, German, and large copper coins. Why...don't know. Just something that has really caught my eye.

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I have not been to the Baltimore show in a long time and I kept the little postcard for this Thur when it starts, but I doubt I will make it. I think my strategy is somewhere in between well planned and focused and kid-in-a-candy-store. If I am looking for one high priced coin (and to me that means $150) then I have been there and literally covered every dealer there for that coin. Other times I just browse until I am weary - then go to the lobby for a cup of coffee and then head back in for another hour or so. One thing I do like to do is to take my check lists because shows are a great place to catch album fills.

 

Be sure to let us know how you did.

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Can't really help you with a large coin show. I avoid them completely. I go to about 2 to 4 coin shows a Month and have been for many, many years. Over these years I've found that prices at any large coin show are inflated massively. Naturally there is a reason for that though. At most large coin shows dealers come from far distances since they know that large shows draw large amounts of people. Due to the time frame, dealers must pay fo transportation, many bring families, pay for hotels or motels, pay for food at restaurants, pay more for table rentals and lots of other things. So this means they have to raise prices to cover all that. Of course the advantages are the large amount of coins available due to the large amount of dealers. But still greatly overpriced. And most dealers at those large shows are not as flexible with prices since they figure they are not going to ever see you as a customer again, so why give you a break on a price. Also, at most of these larger shows you must pay for parking a car, an admittance fee, overpriced food and coffee too.

I've been to many large shows in the past and now avoid them all.

I'll just stick to smaller shows to avoid all that.

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Can't really help you with a large coin show. I avoid them completely. I go to about 2 to 4 coin shows a Month and have been for many, many years. Over these years I've found that prices at any large coin show are inflated massively. Naturally there is a reason for that though. At most large coin shows dealers come from far distances since they know that large shows draw large amounts of people. Due to the time frame, dealers must pay fo transportation, many bring families, pay for hotels or motels, pay for food at restaurants, pay more for table rentals and lots of other things. So this means they have to raise prices to cover all that. Of course the advantages are the large amount of coins available due to the large amount of dealers. But still greatly overpriced. And most dealers at those large shows are not as flexible with prices since they figure they are not going to ever see you as a customer again, so why give you a break on a price. Also, at most of these larger shows you must pay for parking a car, an admittance fee, overpriced food and coffee too.

I've been to many large shows in the past and now avoid them all.

I'll just stick to smaller shows to avoid all that.

 

I believe you're right on all accounts. But you live in Chicago and have that wonderful monthly show to attend (I only got to go once and found a great note. thanks for suggesting it). I do not have a great coin shop within 100 miles. This show is pretty much it for me. Well worth the 3 hour drive, the $10 parking, and the occasional driving ticket.

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I believe you're right on all accounts. But you live in Chicago and have that wonderful monthly show to attend (I only got to go once and found a great note. thanks for suggesting it). I do not have a great coin shop within 100 miles. This show is pretty much it for me. Well worth the 3 hour drive, the $10 parking, and the occasional driving ticket.

Sorry to hear so few shows for you. However, I think you misunderstood about the coin shows here. Not just one Monthly show, but 4 every Month. On the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sundays of every Month, all year long and even on Holidays. Each show is in a different location so people from all areas get a chance to make it to them easily. All are within about 15 miles from my house. All are free entrance, free parking, sort of expensive coffee and really bad.

Next time your in the area let me know and I'll tell you how to get to all of them. Also, in this area there are gun shows, knife shows, cameral shows, computer shows, electronic shows and much, much more.

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What I do, is I make a List (15 items max), and look in the red book for details about each item. I make little notes on the bottom about the highest points, common counterfiets, and prices. Other than that, I bring my favorite loupe and a good "unintrested" face.

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I got to the show last week. I decided to focus on finding one of the key Peace dollars and one of the missing notes in my Silver Cert. series. I did the usual research, brought the books, made the spreadsheet, walked the floor, noted dealer offerings, etc.

 

Now, one thing that proved to be a problem was how many dealers arranged their notes. Much of the time, they were in bundles with seemingly little order to them. The notes I need aren't common enough to find in many of the bundles. Instead of sitting down and sifting through the piles of notes only to come up short, I asked dealers if they had my notes. This is where I made my mistake. Instead of listing off Friedberg numbers or signatures, I just showed them my spreadsheet.

 

It only turned out to hurt me once or twice. The dealers would question where I got my values. Kind of awkward.

 

But, a few dealers were helpful and could say whether or not they had the notes.

 

Anyway, my strategy helped me come home with what I wanted and got some decent prices. For future shows, I would make another sheet with the coins/notes I need but leave the values off. This sheet I would show to dealers if I needed to.

 

If you want to read about my full experience at the show and see what I came home with, check out this link:

 

http://www.coinpeople.com/index.php?s=&amp...st&p=489216

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