Best New York City Coin Buyers
If you keep up with the precious metals market at all then you are aware of the wild ride gold and silver have been on during the past ten years. In 2006 an ounce of gold was only worth $600. By May of 2011 the price was up to over $1,900; and as of this writing an ounce of gold is worth about $1,270. Starting in about 2009, when gold really starting rising, you probably remember seeing all the Cash 4 Gold commercials. In most parts of the U.S. it was impossible to drive a few miles across town without seeing a handful of (or maybe even a dozen) gold buying shops. They were typically in strip malls or previously vacant stand alone buildings. Their business model was simple; they were counting on people not knowing what gold was worth. Those types of operations were usually paying 15-40% of what gold was really worth. Now, five years after gold peaked, most of those fly by night shops have closed their doors.
The big problem then and now is that someone who has never sold a coin or gold before doesn’t know if the company yelling the loudest is the best, if the company closest by is the best, or if it is the place their co-worker sold something to is the best. And it gets even worse in a major markets; there are literally dozens of different places to sell coins in NYC. And the reality is that there is no magic bullet to figuring out who the best is.
Here are some quick tips for determining if you are working with a reputable coin shop. And you can apply these rules to any gold, silver, or coin buyer anywhere in the country.
1. Sometimes it is OK to judge a book by its cover. If you walk into the store and don’t see any coins for sale, or all the coins are marked at under $100, then odds are you just walked into what we call a “buy shop” in the industry. A buy shop is basically a wholesale operation where everything the store buys is instantly just sold up the chain. Most buy shops are trying to buy things at pennies on the dollar. They are typically run out of lower rent areas.
2. The shop seems way too eager for you to sell right then. The majority of reputable coin shops are going to give you their best offer the first time around. They probably have a 5-20% profit margin based into their offer just depending on the value and quality of what you are selling. Of course any business would ideally like to close while you are in the store, but if you walk in and feel like a Mark, then you are probably the only meal that shop is seeing that day. Successful coin shops survive on repeat business and don’t have to close all new business. If a shop gets too pushy then they are probably lowballing you.
3. How long has the shop been around? It doesn’t take a lot to open a coin shop. Most are run by one person. The industry really isn’t regulated. So if you have a few thousand dollars to your name and some time on your hand, then you can open a shop. Most shops open for several months to a couple of years, realize they aren’t making much money and then shut down.
4. Does the shop actually seem knowledgeable? It isn’t fair to expect one person to know what every coin from ancient times until modern day is worth. Most good dealers have specialties in a few areas and then general knowledge about a wide range of other coins. However, you would be surprised at how many shops are run by people who actually really know very little about coins. Shops that have very little knowledge can innocently tell you a rare coin is common because they don’t know any better – and then once they have the coin bought they research it and celebrate their score at your expense. As a novice seller it can be difficult to tell who is guessing and who knows their stuff, that is why it is important to do some homework on your own and don’t just show up solely relying on the opinion of others.
Many people consider Stacks Bowers to be the best coin dealer in New York and the country. Stacks has been open since 1933. They have millions of dollars of inventory for sale at their 123 W. 57th Street location. The staff is also friendly and knowledgeable. Each major U.S. market typically has an old and established coin trading firm, but the industry standard is Stacks Bowers. Certainly if you are in the NY area then I would recommend checking them out. If you aren’t in New York then at least make sure the shop you are dealing with isn’t taking advantage of you. You can always email pictures of coins and currency to us at Sales@AntiqueMoney.com or text to 864-430-4020. We will always give you a straight answer on what something is really worth.