Selling Your Estate’s Numismatic Coin Collection doesn’t have to be difficult. Our first installment in this series gave some easy tips for becoming familiar with the different items in your collection. Now it’s time to move on to step #2.
Determining the best method of sale for you.
Now that you are organized, it’s time to ask yourself what method of sale is best for you? There are three basic methods: wholesale to a dealer, online auction, and auction through a major auction house. Major auction houses such as Stacks or Heritage usually deal with coins that are very valuable (assume $10,000 or more), charge an 18% fee of the final hammer price, AND you have to ship the coins to them a month in advance of the auction in most cases. In spite of these limitations, if you have ultra-rarities this is the safest way to sell your items and get the highest price. Online auctions through eBay are popular, but fraught with complications. If you are an expert photographer, coin grader, and have a lot of time on your hands, then this option is for you. If not, then this will be frustrating and potentially expensive. This is not the same as selling that old lamp in the basement. You need to have extremely clear photos, accurate descriptions of the condition, and a good idea of the price. If you can manage all of that, then you have to be able to answer questions, deal with disputes, and pack and ship the items in a timely manner. If you are uncomfortable with ANY of this, then stay away from online auctions. If you feel like you have what it takes, then this can get you those few extra bucks from a retail buyer that a dealer won’t give you.
Selling wholesale to a dealer is by far the most popular way to liquidate an entire coin collection or numismatic estate. Reputable dealers are all over the country, will pay good funds on the spot for any or all of the collection, and will typically give full market value for each and every item in your collection on a wholesale level. They will not “cherry pick” the best pieces and leave you with the rest. Notice that I said “reputable dealers.” There are many out there that are not. In part 3 of Selling Your Estate’s Numismatic Coin Collection, we will discuss how to find, and what to expect from a reputable dealer.