Amateur/newbie looking for advice on where to sell collection?
1 1

8 posts in this topic

Hi all--I'm sure you probably get tons of questions like this, so I just wanted to say thank you in advance for any help or guidance anyone is willing to give!  My in-laws recently passed away and in the progress of cleaning out their house, we discovered a decently sized coin collection my father-in-law had been keeping over the years.  I've spent a considerable amount of time going through sorting and cataloging into a spreadsheet all the coins in the collection and now we're looking to sell what we can to hopefully get back a little money to fix up their house to sell it.  Most of what he collected appear to be circulated coins, so there doesn't seem to be anything super rare or valuable, but some of the older pieces seem like they may be worth something more than their currency or even silver melt value, even in a lower grade condition, and there are some labeled uncirculated.  Many of them were at least kept in a binder, and some do look to have been purchased at a coin store so some have grades on them, but very few do.  There are also a number of silver proof sets and things like that, and a lot of the coins have silver content, so they're valuable in that regard in terms of melt value.

Since I don't think there's anything rare or extremely valuable, we are just looking to see what we can get for some of the coins that may be a bit valuable even circulated.  We aren't hoping to get a huge amount for anything because of this (anything I looked up values for I used a very low grade for my estimates, since obviously I am not capable of grading these myself), so we don't really want to go to the expense of having the collection professionally graded or anything like that (of course, any listing/sales posting would obviously note this).  So my questions are this:

1) What would be the best method/venue to go about selling in this case? Ebay? Postings on message boards?

2) Is it preferable to sell as a lot of similar coins, or sell individual coins?

3) What is the best method/venue to utilize to sell silver coins for melting?

Again, thanks in advance for anyone who is willing to provide any suggestions or guidance.  I actually knew nothing about the world of coin collecting before this discovery, but I've actually greatly enjoyed sorting through the entire collection, discovering what was there, and doing research about the different kinds of coins, variations, learning about grading, etc.  I've actually learned a great deal as well, and have decided to keep a few of the more interesting coins for myself and give a few to my dad, who has always had a fascination with Buffalo nickels!

Best to all in this trying time, and hope all are staying safe!

Nicole Wittlief

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I am doing the same thing.. I was given most if not all my coins and I am trying to sell them to paid off my mom house so I can  turn it over to Veteran housing. there are a lot of scammer everywhere. the advice and help I have found here has been a Blessing .. I have found that some of them have the patience of a saint.  lollol  I am very glad to have you here and I wish you well with your Dad house. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome and great first post.  There are a few ways to go about it, the easiest and fastest is to take all the collection to a local coin shop (when they reopen) and get an offer from there.  You most likely wont get the maximum value that way but you also won't spend hours and hours taking photos, listing, shipping etc.. and then there is all the fees that ebay and services like paypal charge also.  You can list your items for free here in the buy-sell-trade (marketplace) section, there is no cost to do so and you may be able to sell some items that way.  If you decide to sell these on your own either here or ebay grouping some coins may make sense and selling the better coins individually, be sure to take good photos and give good descriptions and you should be fine.  Best of luck with what ever direction you choose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be interested in pictures of what you think the most valuable coin is, just for reference on the rest of it. Coinbuf gives good advice. My condolences about your in-laws.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One way is to pick about ten of what you think are the most valuable or old coins and take them to three different dealers, if any dealers in your area are currently open. The logic is that if you take the whole collection to one dealer, you get only one price, and if you don't like that price, you've now got a dealer who feels like you wasted his time. One of the dealers in my area charges appraisal fees for this which are waived if he gets to buy the collection. But if you take a small quantity three different places, you will not use up a lot of their time, you will get three different numbers, and you will get some idea of who might pay you more.

Don't expect them to get very excited at all about bulk Lincolns (even wheat), post-silver nickels and up, or proof sets (I've seen dealers who could have built a new garden shed from proof sets). For war nickels and silver Rosies, Washingtons, Kennedys and Franks, expect an offer slightly below melt. For world coins after 1900, expect a nickel apiece if you're lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No one will want the whole collection unless they can get it CHEAP to compensate for the time/effort they have to put in to selling the individual coins.  You can maximize your profit but it will take a lot of time and effort on your part. 

If you share the series in the collection here we an help you look for the more valuable dates.

For example, wheat pennies?  Mercury dimes?  etc.

Good luck with the process. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your feedback and advice so far! I realized fairly quickly things like Washington quarters, Lincoln pennies, Roosevelt dimes, Jefferson nickels, most of the foreign coins, etc. weren't going to be worth anything so I stopped looking at them individually and just looked up "key years" to see if any of those were present.  The few that are "key" don't seem to be extremely rare or anything like that anyway though, and most are reasonably worn.  And all the silver proof sets seem to have been pretty widely circulated so I didn't expect them to be worth much more than their melt value.  Most of what I think might be of some higher value are older coins, some of which seem to be in reasonably decent condition--Morgan and Peace dollars, Liberty Seated/Barber/Walking Liberty half-dollars, Liberty Seated/Standing Liberty/Barber quarters, Barber/Mercury dimes, etc.  Some of them appear to have been purchased at a coin store, so they're in "decent" condition but I don't have any delusions that any of them are anywhere near mint or uncirculated or anything like that, so the values I estimated were at a pretty low grade.

I like the idea of taking a set to different coin stores to feel out who's willing to offer what; will definitely try this once the situation changes and stores reopen!  Do coin stores also buy coins for silver melt value, or is that somewhere else?

Thanks again!

Nicole

Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to help.

Yes, coin shops will buy what is called "junk silver" for a shade below current melt. A significant percentage of most coin shops' business is catering to precious metal buyers. Here in Oregon, a number of weed growers handle their cash situation that way. The fluctuations in metal pricing are simply the cost of doing business, and I think most of the smarter ones figure that they net out to neutral.

The reason you won't quite get melt is the same reason you would pay slightly above melt: that spread is how the bullion business makes money. To know what you should be near to getting at any given time, and to help you estimate your overall value, Coinflation will tell you the current melt of every US silver coin you're likely to sell for melt. It is updated frequently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
1 1