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April 4, 2006: Do you guys BUY coins for these prices?????


A gentleman came to our table at the Baltimore show a couple of weeks ago, looked in the case for a while, admired a couple of coins, asked a few prices and then with a slightly pained and sarcastic scowl asked me what was apparently intended to be a stinging question:

Do you guys buy coins for these prices?

The implication of this question was, of course, that our prices are high. Too high. Really, really high. And while the gentlemen who asked may not have expected a serious reply (or any reply at all) I gave him one.

But before I tell you what I said, let me digress for a moment. You see, I really like his question. It’s a very fair question. In fact, its an important question that I believe any collector or prospective buyer of coins should ask any coin dealer before buying anything from him or her.

And while the gentleman who asked may not have realized it or intended it as such, this question goes to the heart of a larger issue which we feel is extremely important to our business and to our credibility as coin dealers.

To us it was about our belief in the items that we sell and the prices for which we sell them. It was about a two-way market.

Maybe the original question could have been asked as follows:

Do you guys believe strongly enough in the coins that you are selling to buy them as enthusiastically and aggressively as you are selling them?

And the answer to that question is unequivocally yes.

We endeavor to offer really nice, choice, original rare coins. Such coins are difficult to come by, highly demanded, subject to intense competition and are essentially unobtainable at discount prices. If we are offering a coin, then we believe in it at that price. And we would be buyers of such coins at a level where we could purchase them and sell them at a reasonable profit.

And so, what was the answer to the original question?

Do you guys buy coins for these prices?

No. We are coin dealers, and if we buy coins for the same prices at which we sell them then we won’t be coin dealers for very long. But if you have choice, original coins such as those that we are offering, we will pay very strong money to acquire them, and, in many cases, more than any other dealer would offer. And, if you buy a coin from us and later decide to sell or upgrade it, we will either take it back from you in trade at a very fair level or buy it outright at a price that allows us to make a reasonable profit when reselling it.

And thank you for asking.