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I want to be a Coin Shop lackey...

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Hey all -


My entire career (despite being certified as a teacher in another state) has been completely in retail. I'm past ready for a change, and was hoping to get some advice.


I am an organizational whiz, experienced with MS Office, with a some background in retail management/operations/logistics; I was wondering if that (along with the patience to pour through rolls and rolls and rolls of coins) could get me in with your average local coin shop as, say, a secretary of sorts. I'm not looking for a lot of pay; I'm mostly interested in learning!


If this is a tall order, as (in this economy) it could very well be, please say so! This is mostly to gauge the plausibility of this path and hopefully tweak my resume in the right direction.


Thank you all for your help!



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I'd have no idea what the market is like in your area. In my town there are few shops and they're mostly one person operations. The few larger sellers are based in jewelry stores and the clerks sell and buy everything, coins, watches, etc.


If you don't mind relocating or telecommunting you may want to start contacting the big auction houses and a few of the bigger catalog operations Perhaps there's work that can be had there. I'd also try a few of the coin publishing houses, especially if you really want to learn and aren't all that hot on a big salary. Maybe the Red Book folks of some such.


Lastly I'd see about ebay and amazon. They sell a lot of coins and have a fairly large staff of knowledgeable people.


Best of luck.

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I think you can use your experience to your advantage. Note that I do not live in the US and therefore I may not understand the culture over there. I never had the guts to be a dealer but admire your courage to give it a shot.


I believe that being a teacher would illustrate that you have to have a good character to start off with. Organization whiz would help as well. I also believe if you have done some sales in coins especially online commerence and demonstrate a reasonable knowledge - it would be very helpful. Sales may come in handy if you have experience in selling thousand dollar goods.


Lastly, this may sound wrong but I believe the coin industry needs more female collectors or dealers.

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A good point, SM... "If I see one more Wheat Cent, I'm gonna barf" kind of thing? Maybe I'll intern first.


Thanks for the great input, all, at the very least it doesn't hurt to try :)

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Many people I have known in numismatic business hate it, hobbies and careers really shouldn't cross paths.


It's important to note, TG, that this doesn't happen to everyone. :grin: Many dealers I know are also collectors so I suspect this might differ from country to country or even the coins being collected.

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To add to Art's comments, I would say that the vast majority of dealers are one-man shows, with some husband-and-wife teams and the slightly less seen father-and-son teams.


That said, most larger cities usually have two or more larger sized stores that have employees, whether they be regular full time staff, or part timers, or in some cases, on-call / casual consultants (the latter of which may be pulled from their client base).


That being said, many stores have some sort of online presence, so there would be potential opportunity to start with assisting with the online side of things - answering inquiries, website updates, uploading listings, packaging and mailing online orders, etc.


That seems to be something that may fit in well for you since it would allow you to learn at your own pace, whereby working front end operations would probably be a very steep learning curve, since many stores deal in a wide variety of items that may extend beyond mainstream numismatics.


The main concern is that salary and career options would be somewhat limited in such a role.

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