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Where to Buy Your Coins

For many collectors, the fun part of coin collecting is in the buying. By buying wisely, that is when you make your investment and when you make your money.

You see a coin that interests you in your local coin shop. The dealer has the coin you want in the grade you want. He knows you are interested, and so the “dance” begins – the dickering between you and your local dealer on price. You point out the imperfections on the coin. He extolls all of its virtues. This “dance” has been done millions of times. Finally you both agree on a good price and you put down your hard-earned money. You bring your treasure home and admire it.

But what if there is no local coin shop where you can find such a treasure? Or what if there is a local dealer but he has no coins in stock that excite your interest? You can order coins from advertisers in Coin World, Numismatic News or another publication, but if you can’t see the actual coin, will it meet your requirements? Will you be happy once you receive it?

The Internet has made coin buying easier, but it does not come without its own difficulties. There are hundreds of dealers with their own websites. Are the photos of the coins for sale good, accurate, clear – or are they enhanced, blurry or look nothing like the actual coin? What do you know about the dealer? Are they reputable? Are they honest? Do they offer excellent customer service?

If you wander over to eBay, you will see offerings from thousands of coin dealers. Some of them are highly ethical, honest and competent dealers while others might be more accurately described as swindlers. Some are greatly experienced while others started selling coins last week. You can separate the wheat from the chaff by studying the dealer’s feedback. eBay allows buyers to rate dealers on the products they sell and the customer service they provide. The more positive their feedback, the higher the likelihood you will have a pleasant transaction with them.

You can also go to an individual dealer’s website and look through their inventory. Does the dealer offer a money-back guarantee? Are the pictures clear and large enough to view the coins of interest? Is the dealer a member of professional organizations such as the American Numismatic Association (ANA)? Is the dealer an authorized dealer for the two reputable grading services – PCGS and NGC? Are they members of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) and the Better Business Bureau? Do they have a good reputation when you Google their company name? The more research you can do the greater your chances of being a happy consumer. Always remember to do your homework and study the dealer’s information and reputation.

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