When Diogenes said "Show me an honest man", walking with his lamp... he was talking about car dealers and coin dealers!
An earlier post made a reference to "some" coin dealers being on the same social level as used car dealers. There are good and bad in both, and it is up to us, the consumer, to find out which is the right dealer for us. Caveat emptor.. buyer beware!! We need to do a little research ourselves.. call the local BBB (Better Business Bureau) and see if any complaints have been registered. Call the local Chamber of Commerce and do the same. You can even go directly to the dealer and ask for references from other customers. With a little effort, it really is possible to find that honest dealer and Diogenes would be proud of your efforts. If you want to use a light, as did our Greek skeptic, use a flashlight. Using D's oil lamp might break, causing a fire in the coin store and thus really ticking off the dealer.
I am lucky to know of two honest dealers in my area, northern Utah. Ace Coins in Salt Lake City is a brother/sister operation. His name is Ron and she is Sonya (probably spelled is wrong). I have never bothered to learn their last name. They are both very friendly (and she is pretty easy to look at too) and knowledgable. They have a bid board every week, lay away plan and a very nice variety/selection of coins. Good people to do business with.
Second dealer is Sanders Coins and Cards in Ogden, Utah. I have been doing business with them for several years too. They are NGC dealers. What impressed me the most about them was this... I took a handful of world silver crowns into their shop. I was thinking about having them graded by NGC. I didn't want to have them returned in bb's, so I asked Scott (one of the owners) his opinion. He spent about 45 minutes of his time, showing me where several of the coins had been cleaned and other "damage" that would have bb'd the coins. He did this knowing fully, that I was not going to spend any money in his store that day. What a great service that was. I did spend money in his store that day... I figured out what he saved me in grading bb coins, and I spent it there. He has had my business ever since.
I have also found trustworthy people on the internet, and there are a couple I will no longer do business with. A private email through this forum will get you that info.
I am certain there are horror stories out there too. As a "society" perhaps we could have a thread on the boards to share which dealers are great to work with and those where we may have had a less than pleasant experience. It is important information, but if we post it all here.. that is all we would get a chance to read, so... lets see if we can get a thread or two on the boards.
p.s. This coin is from my favorite online dealer.