Perhaps you’ve been collecting coins for some time or you’ve recently inherited a collection that you’d love to cash in. On one hand, you may know a thing or two about selling coins and on the other, you just want to determine if you can get some quick cash for your inheritance without getting ripped off.
First off, you should know that truly rare coin collections are just that, rare. More often than not, what many think is a true “coin collection” is just an accumulation of coins. This means that the value of your coins may just be in the gold or silver content, and not in the actual collectible value.
But every so often, you may just find you have a coin worth hundreds, many thousands of dollars, which makes finding out so much fun!
Today, we will examine coin collections from different perspectives and evaluate a few ways to sell your coin collection for top dollar.
How to Organize Your Coin Collection
Organizing your coins is the first step in preparing them for a sale. If you have not been told already, never clean your coins! This can reduce their value similar to the way cleaning a piece of antique furniture can reduce its value. The coins luster does not contribute to its value, so save the time you were thinking about dedicating to cleaning your coins and spend it doing something more valuable, like learning about coin value.
Check out A Guide Book of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman, available on Amazon for about $10. Reading a few coin books like this will help you understand more about the value of coins and allow you to be an educated consumer rather than one that has to trust whatever the coin buyer tells them.
Your organization process can be broken down into five main categories.
Organizing Your Coin Collection:
- U.S. coins
- U.S. paper money
- Foreign coins
- Foreign paper money
- Medals and exonumia
Organizing your collection makes it easier to sell and evaluate the worth of individual coins. Logical organization means you’ve spent some time placing your coins in proof or mint sets and can also brake coins out into folders.
Using the book mentioned above, you can match the pictures with the coins in your collection and begin the organization process. This will also help you categorize your coins by metal type — gold, silver, copper, etc. — so you know exactly where, and how many, higher value coins you are dealing with.
Cataloging your collection on an Excel spreadsheet is always a good idea too, as you can use this to reference as well as send to potential buyers who may not be close by.
How to Have Your Coin Collection Appraised
An appraisal by a coin professional is the best way to get your coin collection valued. The added benefit of an appraiser is that you can often find one that has an objective interest in evaluating your coins and is not trying to value them to make an offer on them.
The aforementioned book, A Guide Book of United States Coins, will be able to help you determine the roundabout value of your coins. Of course, the price you get from a coin buyer may differ as they may operate a shop with high overhead or will be looking to resell your coins for an additional profit.
Another roundabout way to determine the value of your coins is to perform a search on eBay for ‘completed listings.’ These, compared to the ‘buy it now’ live listings, will show you what coins like yours have sold for on the auction platform. This can be some revealing information that will help you get a grasp on what people are willing to pay online.
Finally, and perhaps the most accurate method, is to pay a professional numismatist to evaluate your coin collection. These professionals usually charge by the hour, so be prepared to pay based on the amount of coins you have and the time it takes to evaluate them.
While you may have to come out of pocket for this option, the knowledge you gain about your coins can be invaluable in your effort to sell them for top dollar.
Now that you know what your coins are worth, let’s learn about the three ways to sell your coin collection.
1. How to Sell Coin Collections Nearby
Selling your coins locally is generally the quickest way to offload them and put cash in your hand. However, this option, like the others, has its pros and cons.
One of the first places amatuer coin collectors or persons who have recently acquired a coin collection consider is a nearby pawn shop. While the state of pawn shops has been improved much in the public eye due to TV shows romanticizing them, they are still one of the worst places to sell coin collections. For starters, pawn shops will be unlikely to appreciate the true uniqueness of your coins and lowball you. Secondly, they have high overhead because they operate a brick-and-mortar and therefore need to make larger margins on the resale. Finally, pawn shops are an unlikely favorable option because they simply don’t have the audience interested in buying coins that others might.
Another place to sell coins nearby is a local jeweler. While they may appreciate the rarity of your collection more than the pawn shop, they too have high overhead and will lowball you due to their need to make margins when reselling.
Perhaps the best place to sell your coin collection quickly and for a fair price nearby is at a coin dealer like Twery’s, who has numerous reputable memberships and certifications in place that ensure compliance and high standards. Often, these local coin buyers will appraise your coins for you for free, meaning you get an honest estimate and potentially cash in hand in the same day.
2. How to Sell Coins on eBay
The online auction site eBay can be a great option to sell your coin collection but does come with its challenges. We already mentioned above that it can be used as a good place to get information on what coins have sold for. With this knowledge, you will have a reasonable expectation of the dollar amounts you may get.
The major con with eBay is that if you don’t have a sales history you won’t gain the trust of buyers and you may be subject to higher seller fees. Thus, a seller new to eBay will definitely have some roadblocks before setting their listings live.
If you do have a seller profile and decide to sell your coins on eBay, you’ll be benefitting from what is perhaps the biggest possible coin buying audience. As it is a digital platform with millions of users, your chances of finding someone interested in what you are selling is best here compared to the other options.
Still, you’ll need a few things to be successful on eBay, including:
- High quality images: Use natural light, close-ups of both sides of your coins, and a contrasting background so the buyer can see the true quality of the coins.
- Accurate descriptions and titles: Second only to images are the titles and descriptions of your products. Spend some time writing some good descriptions, as eBay will use its internal search feature to bring people to your listing.
- Detailed seller policies: You’ll want to make sure you remove all buyer hesitation by publishing your seller policies. On the same token, understand how shipping prices can affect your sale as well as what kind of return policy you’ll accept.
3. How to Sell Coins at Online Coin Shops
There a lot of online coin buyers out there like American Rare Coin and Collectibles that are reputable businesses. As these businesses don’t have the overhead of brick-and-mortars, they can often offer competitive prices to sellers. However, these types of coin buyers also will require you to send in your coins before you are paid, making the “scam alarm” go off for some sellers.
Weigh the Pros and Cons before Selling Your Coins
Now that you know a little bit more about selling coins and how to educate yourself on the value of your coins you should be better equipped to make a sale. Each of the options has its respective positives and negatives, and the option you choose greatly depends on the goals of your pocketbook as well as the caliber of coins you have.
If you are in the Palm Beach County area and are interested in getting your coin collection evaluated and potentially selling it for top dollar, contact the coin buyers at Twery’s.