Coin Selling Practices Can Be Problematic
Coin Selling Practices Can Be Problematic
Coin Selling Practices Can Be Misleading
The coin selling practices I have seen are, for he most part, good. But, a few coin selling practices are misleading. These can occur even by large, trusted dealers. While no malicious intent may exist, some good dealers occasionally mislead. So, it is important the coin collectors out there know what is the real truth.
First, buying coins online that are graded or in the original mint packaging is safer than buying raw coins. For raw coins both sides must be shown in pictures. Bullion is an exception. You must know what the condition is on the other side. Even coins in original mint packaging can tone, or be switched. So, always insist on seeing both sides. The exception is when buying from a mint. Mints show stock images, which is fine. But. Ebay and Amazon, and any other online selling service, must be carefully scrutinized. Check the reputation of the seller. And read the description. Any flaw should be noted, and not in fine print.
Make Certain the Coin Exists
Coin Selling Practices Include Selling Impossible Coins
One thing that occurs is coins that do not exist listed for sale. I once saw an Ebay listing for a Trade Dollar, with a picture, and a date for a year that had no Trade Dollars minted. In fact, the United States did not yet exist in the year the coin had on it. This was an obvious counterfeit piece. Ebay will remove such a listing if notified, so if you see a problem piece that obviously cannot exist report it.
Be Aware of Boxed Coins
Coin Selling Practices Include Selling Empty Boxes
Some coins come in boxes. If one of these coins is sent for grading, the box and certificate of authenticity are left over. Some dealers sell these boxes and certificates. Why? The claim is people damage a box or certificate and need a new one. So, why do these appear for United States silver eagles, and not often if ever for foreign coins. The reason is the United States eagles have a bullion version. If you buy a collector coin in a box online are you certain it was not switched with a bullion version of the coin? The practice of selling empty boxes and certificates leads to problems. It is a practice that I would like to see stopped. Inexperienced collectors could easily be duped and even resell a coin unknowing there is a problem.
Honest Errors Occur
Check if the Image Matches the Description
Some coins on Ebay are listed with obvious errors. This is often accidental, especially if a seller is listing several coins. We do occasionally notify a seller there is an error. Our practice is not to take advantage of error listings.
One coin was a tenth ounce of platinum, clearly marked Pt on the coin. The seller referred to it as a silver metal. I notified the seller, who replied people on Ebay would be fair in bidding. It sold for about half of its value.
In another case a person mixed up the numbers 4 and 25. The seller had one-fourth ounce of gold, which is 0.25 ounce. It was clear in the picture. The coin was listed as a twenty-fifth ounce, or 0.04 ounce. After getting my email the listing was cancelled. Yes, error listings can be cancelled.
Of course errors can go either way. So, watch the listing and images carefully.
Coin Selling Practices Include Wording
Check the Claim
At Black Spaniel Gallery Coins we often get emails from larger dealers. Some use the word exclusive. Yes, some foreign mints make coins exclusively for specific dealers on occasion. But, checking with other dealers the coin is often widely available. Are the claims false? No. If you carefully read the email it claims a graded coin with a certain label is exclusive. Grading services will make exclusive labels. So, if you see an exclusive offer it is worth checking with other dealers. It might be a label that is exclusive.
It is worth being careful. These are just a few things you might check for. Buying from a mint is the safest. Buying in mint packaging, unless there is a bullion version of the coin, is somewhat safe. Buying a graded coin that was graded by a reputable service is good, but the slabs are now being counterfeited. Check the serial number on the website of the grading service. If the coin does not match, it is not likely to be genuine, nor is the grade likely to be accurate.
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