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Why I don't want to be a coin dealer


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Seeing some current threads, including Stujoe's "Would you want to be a coin dealer?" made me think. My answer was simply


There's way too much to deal with.


I'll explain by presenting a number of scenarios (heck, I could make a play out of this!). These include emails that I have received, and actual situations I've seen while I was at a shop, or show. Some of these are quite funny looking back, but were pretty bad to watch/reply to. For the sake of simplicity, I'm simply going to refer the the person asking as the "customer", and the other person as the "dealer"



Customer: "I have a foreign bill with lots of foreign writing on it, how much is it worth?"

Dealer: "Sorry, but I can't really help without seeing it, or a picture"

Customer: "Well, it's got lots of scribbly writing on it."



Customer: "I've got a coin I'd like to sell"

Dealer: "Okay, let's take a look"

[Customer removes a coin from their purse, and hands it to the dealer]

Dealer: "Unfortunately, I wouldn't buy this"

[Dealer puts down coin on the counter]

Customer: "But it's a 1944 penny!"

Dealer: "These are very common, millions were made and it's only worth about 10 cents"

[Customer takes back coin, and walks out]

Customer (while walking out): "I don't believe him one bit!"



[Customer walks in, browsing around]

Customer: "How much would you pay for a 1995 quarter?"

[Dealer gives a confused look]

Customer: "You've got one over there for $5."

Dealer: "That one's from a proof set. They're different from ones you'll find in change..."

(*Dealer then spends about 10 minutes explaining how proofs are different from pocket change)

Customer: "Ah."

[Customer leaves]



Customer: "How much do you pay for (Canadian) silver dollars?"

Dealer: "Depending on date and condition, $4 and up."

Customer: "Great, I'll go get them"

[Customer goes to car, and returns a few minutes later with a bag, then empties it on a counter. Dealer looks at the coins, and has a sad look]

Dealer: "Unfortunately, these are all nickel dollars."

Customer: "What's the difference?"

[Dealer explains that the last circulation-issue silver dollars were from 1967]

Customer: "Oh. Would you buy these for $1 each then?"

Dealer: "I sell these at face value to whomever want them when I have them. I've already got several hundred, and can't really tie up my money buying more."

Customer: "Okay, then."

[Dealer helps customer put the coins back in the bag, then provides addresses of local banks which would probably take them]


(I felt bad for both sides on the above. One guy has to break the bad news, the other guy has to go try several banks to find one that'd take them.)



Customer: "I've got this coin which was passed down several generations"

[Customer pulls out a mid-grade seated half]

Customer: "So what's it worth? I hear that some 1909 pennies are worth thousands..."

[Dealer spends half an hour breaking the bad news that it's a common date half, and worth $50, pointing it out in the Red Book. Also explains about key dates. This while prospective customers are walking by his table, seeing that he's occupied]

Customer (frustrated): "Well, take the darned coin then for $50 then"

[Dealer buys coin for full catalogue since he doesn't want to have to break the futher bad news the the $50 value is retail]



[Dealer goes through a coin collection that was brought in. The collections consists of a large amount of circualted pennies and nickels, and some "junk" silver coins 1940s-60s]

Dealer: "The best I could do is $20 for the lot"

Customer (with others around): "I though you might try to rip me off. Good thing I looked them up... the pennies are worth at least 25 cents each, and there's about 200 of those! Then there's the other coins!"

Dealer: "That's catalog value in MS63, these are circulated."



Customer: "What would you suggest as a investment?"

Dealer: "Coins are a hobby, not an investment. Prices can go up and down..."

Customer: "Well, which coin would be most likely to move up the most in five years?"

Dealer: "If I knew, I wouldn't be selling coins for a living."



Customer: "Could you provide me with a list of reliable dealers in the area to whom I could sell coins?"



[Customer pulls out a Churchill crown]

Customer: "I've seen one of these on ebay for $24.99, would you be interested in buying mine for $20?"

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I have been in most of those suituations....and your right it is not easy and there is a lot to deal with.


most of the time you just have to keep a smile on your face and tell the truth. Wether the customer likes the honest to god truth or not is up to them. And if a customer has an idea in their head when they walk in sometimes it's not heaven or earth will change their minds. I see a lot of people who have picked up a redbook and looked their coin up not looking at the grading standards or things like that. It's human nature to look at the highest price first. I feel bad sometimes letting people down like that but it is part of the job.

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Of course there are some good things as well. You get to spend all day dealing with, talking about, looking at, and researching coins.


No boss, you don't have to be in at 8AM, and you get to deal with coisn all day :ninja:


Sometimes the customers can bring pleasant experiences as well ;)

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Being a collector/Dealer Myself i Find that being A Coin Dealer Is Easy


I keep good payment Records,Keep Up With My Auctions,Find Coins and Notes that will sell


Once you get things going It Becomes Easy


I got Into Selling COins And notes in 2002 When i Lost My Job Due to Store Closing


And i Enjoy Selling and Collecting :ninja:

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