Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association

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PNNA Home / Reference / Buy-Sell / Collectors

Coin Buying and Selling - Direct Sale to Coin Collectors

You should carefully consider the available options and their advantages and disadvantages before proceeding.

Sellers often express a desire to sell directly to collectors to reduce or eliminate the 20% or higher commission charged by coin dealers.

Advantages

  • Potential to sell some items at a higher price than dealers typically pay.

  • Satisfaction and fellowship from association with other collectors.

  • May be able to sell locally without having to ship items.

Disadvantages

  • Very few collectors (even out of a large coin club) will want to buy your coins at the same time you want to sell, especially if your collection consists mostly of common items, or items that don't have much of a local market.

  • Collectors don't want to pay full retail price unless they have a strong desire for a particular (usually hard-to-find) item.

  • If you advertise too widely that you have coins for sale (for example, in a newspaper classified ad), you could expose yourself to risk of theft.

  • If you don't know the person you're dealing with well, you're also at significant risk of other serious problems such as bad checks, or disputes about wanting to return an item.

Advice

  • If you do wish to sell directly to local collectors, you should join a coin club and meet other members who have collecting interests similar to your own. Some clubs have auctions, which works best for low to moderately priced items that have a wide collecting interest.

  • Alternatively, you can ask that an announcement concerning your coins for sale be made at a club meeting or in a club newsletter. Click here for PNNA advertising information.

  • For some collecting specialties, consider national coin clubs and organizations, a few of which are listed on our outside links page.