Any locale where it takes a change of planes to get to will not draw the major dealers. You can also bet it won’t draw the crowds of buyers either. That’s exactly what happened at Sacramento. The results sadly were as excepted for us (and others): VERY disappointing. For sure a huge segment of dealers elected not to attend. The majority of East Coast dealers also stayed away because the Baltimore Show is 2 weeks away.
While busy looking the first day (Thursday) in reality the crowds were not heavy and there was not much business being transacted. In fact on Friday, a good friend of ours told us he sold $130.00. Another was complaining he was down his show expenses and had hardly sold anything (and he had a case of $100.00 coins too). All we can say is this show should and does not (in our eyes) really count toward how the market is overall. Plus, from what we understand from now on shows will be in more travel friendly cities (what a difference that will make).
Legend had a bad show all around. We flew in with very little sleep (from working on our amazing deal). At first we thought it us just us being tired, but no, there was little action. We certainly went round and round to each table and only spend $20,000.00 total! This time we were even looking for widgets! Wholesale overall was very slow due to the lack of dealers. The biggest coin we sold was $75,000.00-and even scarier, we did just a little over $100,000.00 total WHOLESALE.
To be clear, we do believe there probably were dealers we do not know about who had decent shows. We do strongly believe they were in the minority.
WE HAVE A THEORY
It is finally hitting home to most collectors how seriously coins have really dried up. We have come to the conclusion its not just the fact great coins are in strong hands. For the past two plus years, the grading services have clamped down on gradeflation and of course have sent a strong message that coin doctoring has to stop. Therefore fewer coins are being made. Demand has NOT diminished during this time. It seemed like everything was slow motion until one day we all woke up and found NO coins (at Long Beach). All the spectacular coins from the FUN Show were all immediately sold and we have seen maybe only one or two floating around in different holders. In the old days, we’d see 60% of the sale regraded and still being offered. Also, CAC has helped to dry up the available supply of coins by clearly having huge demand for all its product.
To us, the message is clear: PRICES HAVE TO GO UP. There simply are NO fresh coins around at shows. And if you do find the “right” coin, you will be in a very good financial position as time goes on-no matter how much you had to stretch.
To tell you how dry things were, the #1 coin on our Want List an PCGS/CAC MS67 Morgan. The ONLY one we were offered was almost $1,000.00! WHOLESALE prices for PCGS/CAC MS67 are just not there right now and are probably being held back by the dreck that’s around.
Auction pricing is still the BEST guide. However, you have to know how to use that information (which many people do not). In addition, the CDN is severely out to lunch on a lot of its pricing. They only report “selected” trades and auction prices. Since they do not have a reporter or coin person on staff most of the time they are wrong (how the hell could they have print a bid for a PR64 $20 1893 at $40,000.00? Legend will pay $75-$100,000.00 for one!). And that’s the thing-there might be only one! The Collectors Universe prices are also a decent guide, but they too can lag. We can not stress enough how today you MUST stretch way above ANY printed prices in order to be close to reality. Do not be afraid if you “highest on the totem pole”.
Here is a lesson: Fact, we just offered a long time customer a coin that would be a 2 point upgrade on a rare gold coin for his set. We paid a lot for the coin-but NOT any unreasonable amount. It is a pop 2 for the Type (a big desirable type too) and the coin is freaking gorgeous and high end. Because the pricing guides were inaccurate (outdated basically) he thought the price we needed to get was too much. Plus, his mentality is to buy at auctions (which produces a comfort zone for him obviously). He passed on it. He made a HUGE mistake.
We can sell the coin sightUNSEEN to several dealers for the same price we offered it to him at (we have tentatively sold the coin to the first collector we offered it too after him). A similar coin will never appear, or if one does, it will be years until its for sale (this collector owns the only other one for the Type)! Lack of reliable pricing is creating MANY situations like this where collectors lose out. And considering this coin (or anything similar) had not been for sale since 1995, its his loss.
The bottom line is: you can NOT be afraid to step up for the “right” coin even if you do not know fully what it is worth-you have to trust your dealer in situations like this. In EVERY great major collection we have built-EVERY TIME we overpaid for the BEST coins (do not compare this type of coin to coins available on a buy/sell basis). Typically, those are the coins with the BEST returns over time. Also, remember, not all great coins come from auctions-in fact you can end up over paying more in auctions when you get “caught up” in the moment.
Until the pricing mechanisms stablize themselves and represent the current market better, you will not see quantities of great coins or collections being sold. Do NOT pass up great coins now. There has never been a better time to be a coin collector!
Gold-EVERY kind you can imagine. Walkers. Commems. Seemed every one was asking for them-and even selling them!
WHATS NOT HOT:
Indian and Lincoln cents, 3CN MS+PR, Shield 5C MS/PR. Of course anything drecky was dead!