What Are the Best Tips for Selling Coins?

S. Reynolds

Coin collecting, also called numismatics, is a popular investment and hobby. Selling coins in a collection can be profitable if one does it the right way. Tips for selling coins for the best value include accurate coin grading, posting accurate sales ads, employing successful marketing techniques, and watching for cycles.

Antique coins may be sold to a dealer.
Antique coins may be sold to a dealer.

Accurate coin grading is important when one is attempting to set sales prices for the coins. Pieces that are in mint condition fetch much higher sales prices than degraded coins. One can grade coins by taking them to a coin dealer for appraisal. This method may result in quick cash, but selling coins to a local dealer is not usually the best way to get the most money for the coins. And in some cases, the dealer will not grade the coins if the collector will not sell his collection directly to him.

A coin collector should always check the going sales price of her or his coins online.
A coin collector should always check the going sales price of her or his coins online.

Dealers must turn around and resell the coins to make a profit, so they typically offer the lowest amount they can to sellers. If the coin dealer refuses to grade the coins, the collector can always grade them herself. There are coin guides that describe what each coin should look like according to levels of wear. The grade scale for US currency generally goes from "Perfect Uncirculated," or MS-70, at best to "About Good," or AG-3, at worst.

A coin collector should always check the going sales price of his coins on online sites to get an idea of the profit he could make from selling his collection. There are websites that give out the daily prices for all types of coins. A good rule of thumb when investing in anything is to buy low and sell high.

Once the collector has an accurate gauge of a coin's quality, he can start to advertise on various venues. Online auction sites are common choices for their ease of use. High-quality photos and enticing descriptions can lure in potential buyers. Some collectors also add free shipping or a free box or storage device for the coins.

There are also free online ad sites for people to advertise their items for sale. Photographs usually are allowed, so the collector should choose the highest-resolution, highest-quality photos to display the coins for sale. In these selling situations, potential buyers typically contact the seller via email.

Collectors of very rare or valuable coins also might choose to visit an auction house. One can get the coins appraised by the auctioneer, who generally is in a position to get the best price for the collection. Auctioneers are skilled at both coin appraisals and selling coins.

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