Recently my husband talked about taking up coin collecting as a hobby. I know many people enjoy it and it seemed like something that would suit his personality. Suddenly, I entered the sometimes tricky world of coin collecting clubs and businesses.
Did you ever find yourself lured into filling out one of those cards in a magazine where you received twelve CDs for a dollar? After the excitement of getting your twelve CDs wore off, you may have found CDs by groups you didn’t like in your mailbox because you weren’t fast enough with the reply card. Even if they were groups you liked you found them surprisingly expensive. In the very fine print of your offer, there is an obligation to buy twelve more overpriced albums. If only you did the math first, you’d have realized what you thought was a bargain was no bargain. Many companies are smart enough to get members to agree to have the charges put automatically on their charge card. Good luck trying to get that removed.
So what does this have to do with coins? A lot, many coins and stamps business work on the same premise. They send you overpriced coins you don’t want, bill you for it, and even threaten collections if you do not pay. If you are thinking about responding to a wonderful offer in your Sunday paper, check the complaint board first. This allows you to see if several people have a complaint against the company. Learn from their experience.
I have found legitimate companies that offer coins at reasonable prices. I like Littleton Coin Company they only send you coins you are collecting and send a prepaid envelope to mail back what you don’t want. They aren’t overpriced. You build up points with every purchase that becomes a form of currency to buy future coins. Coinword is a handy online resource that allows you to look up the value of a coin before purchasing it.
At first, coin collecting appears expensive, but it depends on how you do it. My husband started out with pennies and nickels. We told friends, families and co-workers that he started collecting. Suddenly, people are bringing us their excess change or collections they started and loss interest in. There are many ways to collect coins.
1. Legitimate firms-Littleton Coin Company
2. Estate auctions-most collections go for less than they are truly worth.
3. Ebay-often the items up for bid are part of an estate auction (Use you Coinworld to check prices.)
4. Amazon-there are decent prices on Amazon.
5. Coin Swap Meets.
6. Antique or junk shops
7. Friends and families
8. Yard Sale—mainly I buy coin books at yard sales
9. The bank-ask for a roll of nickels or pennies to start your search.
Some people will try to inflate an item price by telling you it’s uncirculated, It should be in some type of sealed container and pristine. Honestly, you won’t know. The best way to deal with this is to go back to people you’ve had the most luck with. Sometimes the dealer doesn’t know either. It isn’t that important unless you plan on selling the coin to another collector.
Consider coin collecting as a hobby as opposed to a wealth garnering mechanism. With this in mind, you’ll have fun and not get taken.