How to sell coins
Many people have asked me to buy their coins, so before we go any further let me clarify that I’m not a dealer. I don’t buy and sell coins. Coin collecting is my hobby, not my business.
Now, I’ve already talked about how to buy coins, now I’ll discuss how to sell them.
Let’s say you have some coins you want to sell. You may have a collection from a parent’s or grandparent’s estate, you may have found some old coins in the attic or you may have been a long time collector who has decided you no longer want to collect coins. Whatever the reason, the time has come for you to sell them. It really doesn’t matter how you got them because the end result is the same: you want to get the most money for your coins as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Now let’s shift to the perspective of a coin dealer. You’re in the business to enjoy a hobby you love while at the same time make a decent living. When you buy coins, you need to be able to sell them for more money than you paid in order to make a profit and keep yourself in business. You most likely travel to shows around the country to buy and sell coins and may run a shop somewhere to house your inventory.
So, we have a bit of a problem because the coin collector will often go to a price guide (like NCGS’s coin price guide) to see how much their coin is worth. Then they’ll take it down to a dealer or contact one online and ask them how much they’ll pay for the coin. When they hear the price, they think they’re getting ripped off. The truth of the matter is that a dealer is only going to pay the wholesale price for the coin, not retail.
Lesson number one is, “You’re almost never going to get a coin’s retail price at a dealer.”
I mean nothing else by that statement except to give you a fair expectation so you aren’t disappointed. That’s how coin dealers stay in business.
Selling your coin to a coin dealer is not your only option. You can sell your coins on eBay or Overstock coin auctions to try to get retail values for your coins, but it’s not nearly as easy.
The best way to sell coins online is to have photographs of them and getting high quality photographs of your coins can take time. You could offer all your coins at once as a bulk lot, but you run the risk of selling a valuable coin at far less than its real value.
In the end, it’s up to you what you do with the coins you want to liquidate.
In summary, if you want to sell them as quickly and easily as possible, find a reputable dealer (being a lifetime member of the ANA is a good sign), and ask them to give you a price for the whole lot.
If you want to get as much as possible for your coins and are willing to put a little elbow grease into the process, selling your coins on eBay may be the way to go for you.
Whatever you decide, make sure not to clean the coins. It’s a sure fire way to reduce the value of your coins.