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Coin Show Advice

See the coin show calendar for a list of coin shows near you!

A coin show is an event, usually held on a weekend, where coin dealers rent tables on the bourse floor (usually at a hotel, convention center, or similar facility) so that they may buy, sell, and trade numismatic items with other dealers, with collectors, and with the general public. Coin shows are typically sponsored by either a coin club or by a commercial show promoter. Some shows and conventions also offer educational programs and collector exhibits. Many shows charge a small admission fee, usually just $1 or $2. Coin shows are an excellent opportunity to learn more about numismatics and to transact business with the dealers at the show.

Coin Show Advice:

  • Confirm show location and dates ahead of time if you will be traveling a significant distance; changes and cancellations do sometimes happen!

  • Plan to arrive with sufficient time to conduct your business and enjoy the show. Most shows are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, sometimes later on a Friday or Saturday evening. However, some dealers start packing up as early as 1:00 or 2:00 PM on Sunday, especially for two and three day events.

  • Plan ahead of time what items you would like to buy, sell, or trade at a show. Consult references, catalogs, and price lists. If selling, most dealers will ask how much you want for the item(s). You can start high and negotiate, but be realistic - you won't get the full catalog price! If buying, you can also offer a lower price and negotiate with most dealers, but be reasonable.

  • When selling, you may want to inquire with several dealers about their level of interest in the material before you let anyone look at your items in detail. Dealers who regularly handle the type of material you have for sale are usually a better bet than those who don't. Once a dealer has spent time to look at your material and made an offer, he/she may expect an immediate decision, as a dishonest person could come back later and substitute less valuable items.

  • Don't try to monopolize a dealer's time at a show. If you're not buying or selling, please defer to other customers who are and come back at a less busy time to ask general questions. Also, don't interfere with another customer's transaction in any way.

  • Don't be fooled by signs such as "Buying Table." All dealers who rent a table at a show have an equal right to transact business with you. However, you may NOT transact business on the bourse floor with persons who have NOT rented a table. If you do so, you may be in violation of business licensing laws, and you may be asked to leave the show by security. If you wish to sell directly to collectors, join your local coin club.

  • Be sure to attend educational programs and view the collector exhibits (if applicable)!