How do you locate good coin dealers and coin shows?
There are a number of ways to locate coin dealers, but are you finding a reputable one? You can find them listed in phone books, newspaper ads, the internet, such as ebay and craigs list. There are also sites that are shared with a number of dealers who buy and sell online. I have even found them at established weekend flea markets.
Coin Shows most often cater to a type of traveling troupe of dealers that go from city to city and state to state on the weekends to buy and sell coins. But the question remains who is reputable and will I be treated fairly if buying or selling coins?
The answer is simple. It is best to do your homework when it comes to buying or selling coins. You need to understand what you have or what you wish to buy or sell by either going to the local library, bookstore or online store or information resource such as CurrencyHelp to learn about grading, dates, and mint marks of different coins. This is most important concerning the coins you either wish to buy or sell or currently possess. Don't overwhelm yourself with coins that may not interest you at this time.
I have found most dealers to be reputable. You just have to realize that there is a buying price and a selling price. If the dealer can't make a profit, then he/she has no business being in business! Most dealers will help you if you are a novice to the art of collecting coins. It is exciting when new collectors become interested in numismatics. Most dealers would want you to be interested in what they like to do. The dealers at a coin show are usually certified by the ANA (American numismatics Association) and other reputable organizations that require dealers to be upstanding and honest in their dealings.
Sure you can find one that has a lousy reputation. The best way to find out who is honest and who is not is by word of mouth. Take the time to ask around. Often the local jeweler is also a coin dealer. That doesn't mean the local jeweler is honest, but word of mouth will tell the story. If the local jeweler is reputable then you now have a good resource for buying or selling coins. Please remember that a dealer that supports the local community with his business also has to deal with the tax man as well.
Often, buying or selling coins at a Coin Show can alleviate tax burdens on either party, thus a savings which is much like a flea market. But what I like about coin shows is that you get to meet different people who share your interest in collecting. You will meet different dealers that specialize in certain coins. You will get to see who buys or sells high value coins and who mostly deals with the more down-to-earth items. Usually, you won't see this kind of variety of coins or people at a local coin shop. That doesn't mean you still won't get a good deal. Once you get to know the owner of a local shop, you will discover that a rapport develops that can be a win-win for both the dealer and the collector alike.
The best bet is to join the local coin club in your part of town if you are fortunate to have one. These organizations have a low yearly fee and often meet once a month. They are full of helpful member collectors - some of them experts in the field - and can be the biggest help to a collector trying to learn the ropes. These members are also a great resource with information of where to get the best deals and who to avoid. Coin clubs often sponsor the local coin shows that usually come to town once or twice a year.
I have purchased items on eBay. You just have to be careful and knowledgeable on what you are buying. If you get caught up in the frenzy of last minute bidding you just might pay too much for the item. It would have been better to wait for the coin show or go to your local dealer. Sometimes the price is right but shipping cost will send it way over the edge from being a good deal. Sometimes it is a fantastic deal waiting for you! Take all these things into account and you will be a smart investor or numismatist when buying or selling coins.
Last but not least for those whose interest is in paper currency, foreign coins, tokens, or other unusual items of interest....not to mention baseball, football, etc. cards, you may just find them at a coin show as well. The larger the show, the better the chances to find dealers who also have these items available or on display. If they don't, ask! They probably know someone who does. That can also apply to your local dealer as well. Clubs, shows, or local dealers are excellent resources to network and find whatever it is you are looking for that is a collectable.
There are excellent publications that are a great resource for finding large, medium, and small dealers including specialists in their field. Coin World is a weekly news magazine that offers a collector a wealth of numismatic information and access to dealers that advertise weekly in the magazine. They also offer an online subscription. Book stores will often have excellent monthly publications. Local Libraries may also offer these publications FREE as well.