Dear Rare Coin Enthusiast …………
As a ‘child of the sixties and seventies’, I grew up with Gilligan’s Island, Gunsmoke, and because there was nothing else to watch at that hour on Saturday evenings-Hee Haw. During my formative years, we had three channels on our TV set-ABC, CBS, and NBC. Sometime in the late sixties we got a fourth UHF station and expanded our horizons immensely. The funny part of my memory of the ‘new’ UHF station was that it had programs we ‘really’ wanted to watch-mainly reruns of popular sitcoms.
Early on Saturday evenings especially, my brother Jeff and I were often bored and often migrated to the ‘TV Room’ because my Mom would NOT let us have a TV in our living room. You know the line you probably heard from your mother-‘TV will rot your brain’-HA! Saturday evenings were the worst! You see we had two choices. Two of the network stations had news-boring. The third network channel and the UHF channel had the Lawrence Welk Show (totally lame and for REALLY old people) and Hee Haw which was almost as bad but at least they had scantily clad ‘Daisy May’ girls on the show.
At that point in our lives both my brother Jeff and I hated country music. The problem was we REALLY hated Lawrence Welk music. Regardless of the talent of the musicians on both programs, we just weren’t ‘with it’ and we usually settled on Hee Haw because the skits were sometimes funny and the music was more tolerable than the ‘Elevator Music’ on Lawrence Welk. Although I clearly remember several of the musicians-especially Roy Clark-I will always remember the classic used car salesman-Junior Sample. You remember the phone number-‘call BR-549’?
One of the things that has stayed with me all these years were the simple, yet incredibly enduring lessons that sometimes came with the skits on the show. You see, everyone knew Junior, the used car salesman, was a huckster. The beat up jalopies and wrecks on Junior’s car lot were JUNK. You get what you pay for-right.
OK, I have steered everyone down ‘memory lane’ once again, but my point is that although we have an incredible amount of choices and information available to us, how much of that information is truly accurate and without bias? Regardless of whether you are selling a ‘Vegamatic’ or a ‘Ginsu knife’ the secret to a good sales pitch is convincing the potential customer that they truly NEED the item. The funny part about Junior Sample was that it was clear ‘to even a child’ that you DID NOT want to buy your car from Junior.
Coin pricing is SO deceptive. I have written quite a few articles on the tips I use to determine the value of a coin. I have also written articles about how deceptive and downright inaccurate many coin pricing ‘mechanisms’ are. One of the advantages to being a dealer is I buy lots of coins. Some of these purchases are winners and unfortunately some of them are losers. While a dealer can average his ‘losses’ in against his ‘good’ profitable purchases, the collector doesn’t have that luxury. So what is a collector to do?
I use my eyes and my training to spot coins that have ‘something’ going for them. Once again, because I am a dealer, I buy lots of coins and often buy a ‘loser’. One of the disadvantages to being a dealer is finding enough nice coins to satisfy my customers. I too collect other objects and I use a couple of rules to guide my purchases. These rules are pretty basic, but most often I put price last.
First, is this coin worthy of purchase-is it rare, scarce, or just unusual? Second, does the coin have ‘eye appeal’? Third, does the coin meet or appear to be ‘high end’ for the grade? Last, and only after these other guidelines are met do I consider price.
Don’t get me wrong, it is human nature to have a price in your ‘head’ early in the transaction. What I try to do is ‘price last’. In other words, if a coin isn’t rare or scarce, or doesn’t have any eye appeal, or doesn’t meet the grade I AM OUT. What is the point of even listening to a price? If the coin is missing two of these three criteria, I AM OUT! You are wasting valuable time on an item that is nothing more than ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’!
The price you have to pay for nice coins is always the BIGGEST consideration-even if it is the LAST consideration. When I find a coin that meets ALL three of the mentioned criteria, at a price I had in my mind already, I buy it. If the coin is more, I reexamine all the positives and negatives about the coin. What I have found as both a collector and dealer is that the coins I really liked, even when priced more aggressively than I would prefer, I often buy anyway. Like a seasoned collector has told me on numerous occasions, “the coins I regret the most are the ones I missed, because I passed’. Just be sure you aren’t shopping at ‘Junior Samples’!
Thanks and Best Regards,
Vic Bozarth/The Rare Coin Road Warrior.
Bozarth Numismatics Inc is a full service rare coin dealer. We buy and sell PCGS, NGC, and CAC graded and approved high grade U.S. coins. We sell coins at shows and on both our website bozarthcoins.com and in our EBay store bozarthnumismaticsinc. Because of our extensive show and buying travel schedule we can often locate those ‘hard to find’ items. We offer free confidential want list services and will call or email you ‘first’ if we locate an item for you.