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OK, when a dealer feels ignored by collectors on the bourse, who's to blame?

28 posts in this topic

Let's be fair, and turn the tables on a thread that Mark Feld posted here , titled So, when a collector feels ignored at a dealer's table, who's to blame? .

 

I've been reading and hearing collector complaints about dealers who allegedly ignore them, and who have their "back turned and/or was engaged in other business and/or talking on the phone or doing absolutely nothing, other than ignoring the potential customer."

 

What about collectors who do the exact same thing? How often does a dealer greet, or attempt to greet a collector in a friendly, courteous manner, only to have the collector ignore the greeting, snarl or stare at the dealer like he has potatoes growing out of his ears? What about collectors who don't bathe prior to coming to the show? Or lounge around in front of the dealers table, his tattoos, unkempt hair and extensive body piercings frightening off other potential customers?

 

Or, a collector walks up, picks out a dozen coins to look at, then takes a cell phone call with his psychiatrist that lasts for half an hour? Or, the collector that asks for the "best price" on practically every coin in inventory, then abruptly stands up and walks away, saying he didn't really come here to buy anyway?

 

:frustrated:

 

Your thoughts?

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At the last FUN show, a dealer had a large dish of peppermint Lifesavers™ on his table for the public. I helped myself and thanked the dealer for his courtesy. He responded, "You know, you're the first person all day to say thank you."

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At the last FUN show, a dealer had a large dish of peppermint Lifesavers™ on his table for the public. I helped myself and thanked the dealer for his courtesy. He responded, "You know, you're the first person all day to say thank you."
Lou, perhaps you were the first person to say thanks, but you were also the first one to fill your pockets and shirt with the candy. :o

 

 

:D

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At the last FUN show, a dealer had a large dish of peppermint Lifesavers™ on his table for the public. I helped myself and thanked the dealer for his courtesy. He responded, "You know, you're the first person all day to say thank you."

 

The Stack's table also had candies in a dish for the public. While I was in a discussion with Christine Karstedt at least two "pedestrians" helped themselves without so much as a nod of thanks.

 

Chris

 

PS. I don't recall seeing Lou with any bulging pockets.

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Sorry James, but somewhat apples-to-oranges comparison.

 

As a collector, I try to be polite and not waste a dealer's time and I expect the same; i can only speak for myself.

 

But at a show, the dealer is there trying to attract retail traffic and should expect some rude/smelly/clueless/tire kicking people. If they don't like it, they should get out of the show circuit as retail business in general is like this no matter what you're selling. As far as shopping habits and the customer's behavior go, It is really no different than the retail traffic at a shopping mall or flea market.

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Sorry James, but somewhat apples-to-oranges comparison.

 

As a collector, I try to be polite and not waste a dealer's time and I expect the same; i can only speak for myself.

 

But at a show, the dealer is there trying to attract retail traffic and should expect some rude/smelly/clueless/tire kicking people.

But this was the point I was trying to make in that other thread. Many collectors assume that everyone sitting behind a table on the bourse floor is "trying to attract retail traffic". Sure, I like to sell a few coins, but isn't it possible that a coin show, some "dealers" are there primarily to "show" their coins, as opposed to just selling them?

 

That is the case for me. I just simply enjoy the socializing and camaraderie of a coin show more than anything else. If I don't sell a single coin, it doesn't bother me a bit. Now, it just so happens that I do try to engage anyone who happens to stop at my table, but I rarely try to attract retail traffic. If it happens, then great. If it doesn't, it's no big deal.

 

All this being said, I do think it's different for dealers who do this full time.

 

Maybe the issue can be fairly turned around, so as to state "collectors are there as part of retail traffic and should expect some inattentive/rude/clueless/dealers".

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OK, when a dealer feels ignored by collectors on the bourse, who's to blame?

 

since i am not a dealer and i am on the other collector side of the table, my experience has been the pi$$ poor attitude of the dealer and usually in combination with crappy inventory and nutty prices on the crapola

 

 

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I just simply enjoy the socializing and camaraderie of a coin show more than anything else. If I don't sell a single coin, it doesn't bother me a bit. Now, it just so happens that I do try to engage anyone who happens to stop at my table, but I rarely try to attract retail traffic. If it happens, then great. If it doesn't, it's no big deal.

 

I will have to make it a point to try to attend a show in St. Louis sometime and bring an ample supply of Doritos with me. Do you play cribbage, James?

 

Chris

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It’s a menagerie out there, all you need to do is stand in line at the DMV for awhile and you’ll get a good cross section of Americans. I could never ever work in a position where I would have to interact with the general public. I’d be on death row after the first week. :(

 

It takes a special kind of person to sit there and hawk his/her wares that make it easy for both the buyer and seller to be completely comfortable with any transaction. Once this combination is found, bonds are strengthened and the buyer leaves confident he got the best deal one could have gotten...no remorse and the seller is confident that he may perhaps will get a return customer or a kindly word of mouth to their friends and acquaintances as well.

 

 

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I just simply enjoy the socializing and camaraderie of a coin show more than anything else. If I don't sell a single coin, it doesn't bother me a bit. Now, it just so happens that I do try to engage anyone who happens to stop at my table, but I rarely try to attract retail traffic. If it happens, then great. If it doesn't, it's no big deal.

 

I will have to make it a point to try to attend a show in St. Louis sometime and bring an ample supply of Doritos with me. Do you play cribbage, James?

No, but bring a deck of cards. I play a mean game of War lol !!!!!!!

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I have not been a dealer at a coin show much. I usually am a floorwalker. I normally walk the entire show pretty quickly early on with a table schematic and mark the tables on the schematic which have merchandise that interests me so that I can spend more time looking at those wares. Than I try and prioritize the tables that I have marked so that I may make efficient use of my time. Then I will spend some amount of time at each table of interest looking at their merchandise unless the dealer rudely shuffles me off. I also realize that many big, national dealers are very busy and I try to wait patiently, or come back later when they have time to show me coins that I am interested in. Many tables have no one there for long periods of time and miss my business entirely, if they care.

 

Unfortunately, there are some dealers who are disgusting pigs, talking loudly while chewing open mouthed with food spilling down their loudly colored shirts over their ample bellies. Most of these type of dealer also have an amplitude of denigrating attitude to display towards collectors (in general) which makes me wonder if they ever sell anything to anyone but another dealer? I can't believe that their mothers did not teach these dealers how to eat food without revolting everyone within 50 feet. I avoid these guys like the plague.

 

All I want is the opportunity to look at coins that interest me which is normally not more than a couple at any given table. I am polite and expect people to treat me the same. All I want is to hold and inspect coins that I really am interested in buying and being offered a reasonable price for the condition of the merchandise under consideration. Looking at a couple of coins and being quoted prices will convince me if I can do business with that particular dealer. If so, a deal is struck, if not I move on thanking the dealer for his time.

 

Selling coins at shows is always a snake pit for me. I never seem to connect with very many dealers who are willing to offer me a remotely respectable price for my coin. Plus, many denigrate my coins as they tell me that they really aren't interested. They usually try and tell me that my coins are an "unpopular series" or that they are overgraded. This is strange considering that I always get very good prices for my coins in all national auctions that I have sold in. Plus, David Lawrence told me that a collection which I sold through them was a great selection of extra nice, desirable coins for their marked grades. I am not a m*o*r*o*n or a sucker.

 

This is kind of windy but covers the impressions that I have from attending shows for over (40) years.

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I just simply enjoy the socializing and camaraderie of a coin show more than anything else. If I don't sell a single coin, it doesn't bother me a bit. Now, it just so happens that I do try to engage anyone who happens to stop at my table, but I rarely try to attract retail traffic. If it happens, then great. If it doesn't, it's no big deal.

 

I will have to make it a point to try to attend a show in St. Louis sometime and bring an ample supply of Doritos with me. Do you play cribbage, James?

No, but bring a deck of cards. I play a mean game of War lol !!!!!!!

 

Mean? Does that mean that I would no longer have any feeling in my hands? I could just see it, now, picking up a $5K coin from a dealers display and dropping it on the floor.

 

Chris

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When I am ignored at a show I usually figure it is because I have the wrong coins in inventory for the customer base. I once drove a couple hundred miles round trip to do a small one day show in Florida. I've missed the small one day shows I used to enjoy in New England. They just don't do very many of those in Florida.

 

At any rate when I got to the show it turned out be mostly penny-annie stuff (the dealer next to me agonized all day about buying a $5 item from me.) with the regulars only going to the dealers they knew. I was ignored for most of the day with my better material. It was worth a one day shot, but it was easy to see that I did not belong there.

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At the last FUN show, a dealer had a large dish of peppermint Lifesavers™ on his table for the public. I helped myself and thanked the dealer for his courtesy. He responded, "You know, you're the first person all day to say thank you."

 

He was just releived that you were not going to show him any Shield Nickels and did not know what to say. lol

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That is the case for me. I just simply enjoy the socializing and camaraderie of a coin show more than anything else. If I don't sell a single coin, it doesn't bother me a bit. Now, it just so happens that I do try to engage anyone who happens to stop at my table, but I rarely try to attract retail traffic. If it happens, then great. If it doesn't, it's no big deal.

 

FWIW, the socializing at James' table is usually the highlight of St. Louis regional shows for myself and other local collectors. I even usually manage to buy something from James.

 

All this being said, I do think it's different for dealers who do this full time.

 

This is undoubtedly so.

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You already know why any dealer could do this. They are probably the same dealers who almost certainly are trying to buy your coins cheap and then turn around and overcharge their own buyers.

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Similar experience here except that given what I collect, I am at most able to find a handful of coins that I want to buy. I bought five at the recent ANA convention including three that were actually pretty good items. That is actually better than usual..

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There are a lot of people at shows coming by a dealers table who I would describe as "Lookey Looks" No amount of conversation is going to induce these people to buy. An old timer once told me early on "if buying just hand them the coins and take their money. If selling just hand them the cash and take their coins." Easier said than done.

 

I find there are different types at shows - some want some conversation, others simply want to look without being bothered until they have found what may interest them. Others may tie up unproductive time at your table with boring yak yak if you allow it. When set up at shows I try to be cognizant of all types and see what someone is doing as they make their rounds, especially they are working their way in my direction. Are they buying or selling? Does it look they have some nice material they are offering (which you might be able to buy at your price) or they paying some solid cash to buy something? Or maybe they just look like just yak yak yak and then no transaction taking place. The worst thing is a guy who takes a lot of time at your table and does not buy anything - he may have blocked your cases while a big money buyer walked by. Yet I see dealers spending way too much time with these types then - surprise - not selling them anything. I am not saying be rude - just use your time wisely and be aware of who's coming up to your table. When you are paying $1000 in fixed cost to set up at a show - travel, lodging, table fee, meals - you owe it to yourself to use your bourse time wisely.

 

On a lighter note, I think sometimes strippers are sharper than coin dealers as most can easily tell if someone has money or is a big spender. Some of these gals have been in the industry since 16 or 17 and the brighter ones know how to find the guy who has money and will spend it. They won't waste their time with someone who is broke.

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The worst thing is a guy who takes a lot of time at your table and does not buy anything - he may have blocked your cases while a big money buyer walked by. Yet I see dealers spending way too much time with these types then - surprise - not selling them anything.

 

Then maybe you should consider putting a sign at your table, "These seats are reserved for big money buyers." or a parking meter next to each chair. :o

 

Seriously, though, that is something that you are just going to have to accept. There are all kinds of people who attend these shows, and you have to take the good with the bad.

 

Sometimes I will be looking for specific, unattributed coins such as '78 8TF, '84-O and '88-O Morgan varieties. If a dealer has a large selection of all of these, both raw and slabbed, it may take me a while to examine all of them. If the search is unproductive, then I might look over the rest of his inventory for, say, toners or DMPL's. If I still can't find anything, all I can do is say, "Thank you for your time." and move on.

 

Chris

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RESERVED CHAIRS FOR BUYERS - lol - Talk about reserved chairs for real buyers - I have seen dealers get disgusted with non buyer traffic or LOOKEY LOOKS / TIREKICKERS and remove all chairs from the front of the table so non buying / non selling traffic does not settle in very long.

 

Buying and Selling coins is a business and spending 2-3 days at a show that has fixed overhead costs demands maximum time efficiency. I think there is a mistaken perception on the part of the public that everyone set up at the show does numismatics fulltime. Instead many are either retired or have a REAL job during the week and the coin shows are a simply a sideline / tax deduction or combo hobby investment activity. This does not mean that their professionalism or expertise is any less than those who are full time in the business with a huge inventory / assistants. Coins are not my main source of income as I have a lucrative financial consulting business and major investments in stocks and mutual funds. The coin business is a tough, cut throat areana and people do not need to spend money on coins like food, lodging, fuel, etc. My point is a dealer has to use his time wisely and spot those who are real players in reaching his business goals. I do engage traffic at my table in conversation as I want to find out what they are looking for or may have to sell.

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At the just past Baltimore Show I had a "serious collector" looking at an MS-70 Certified Ultra Cameo Proof Silver Eagle for more than fifteen minutes, and before

I could give him a price he informed me that he wanted to pay MELT for the coin.

 

Another "serious collector" spent over fifteen minutes going through a 50 piece

lot of Proof Sets I had just bought, with his 15 power magnifying glass,

trying to find an outside box that was perfect. Never looked at the coins. I

guess he found a box he liked but wouldn't pay wholesale ask for the set.

 

The next fifteen+ minutes was spent with another "serious collector" who also

went through the same Proof Sets and opened every one of them, probably

looking to pick off a $15,000.00 no "s" set, and abrubtly walked away leaving all 50 boxes still open and covering up a case full of gold coins. We had to spend more

time putting the sets back together and counting them to make sure they were

all there.

 

That is a lot of lost business time that I still had to pay salaries on.

 

 

 

 

 

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At the just past Baltimore Show I had a "serious collector" looking at an MS-70 Certified Ultra Cameo Proof Silver Eagle for more than fifteen minutes, and before

I could give him a price he informed me that he wanted to pay MELT for the coin.

 

Another "serious collector" spent over fifteen minutes going through a 50 piece

lot of Proof Sets I had just bought, with his 15 power magnifying glass,

trying to find an outside box that was perfect. Never looked at the coins. I

guess he found a box he liked but wouldn't pay wholesale ask for the set.

 

The next fifteen+ minutes was spent with another "serious collector" who also

went through the same Proof Sets and opened every one of them, probably

looking to pick off a $15,000.00 no "s" set, and abrubtly walked away leaving all 50 boxes still open and covering up a case full of gold coins. We had to spend more

time putting the sets back together and counting them to make sure they were

all there.

 

That is a lot of lost business time that I still had to pay salaries on.

 

 

 

 

 

I hate to tell you this, but those weren't "serious collectors". They were escapees from St. Eizabeth's Hospital in D.C.

 

Chris

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I hate to tell you this, but those weren't "serious collectors". They were escapees from St. Eizabeth's Hospital in D.C.

 

Chris

 

lector.jpg

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Looks like you were hit by the cherrypicker monster. I have found at a good show they are essentially a non factor as they are crowded out by the people who will actually buy and sell but at a really bad show (slow sales), they seem to be out in droves. If the truth be known a lot of them don't have $20 to their name when they walk in the door.

 

I limit that kind of stuff in my cases (if I even bring some to the show), do not have it out loose for them to spend lots of time sifting thru, and in the case of the guy who wwanted to buy the PF 70 slabbed ASE at melt I would have asked him if he had one he wanted to sell me at that.

 

I will literally go ballistic if tirekickers are sitting at a neighboring dealers table and then start to put stuff on my cases or block my cases. In the past I took stuff they layed on my table and dumped it on the other dealers table or told them flat out to move as they were blocking my cases. On the other hand if I were running a shop, I would have a special area for them to look thru all

that to their hearts content. Sort of like a junk box (large plastic tub) I used to have at shows which I would refill as they drained it down over several shows. But when they kept blocking my cases (the nice stuff), I knew the junk box had to go. It would be fascinating to watch them sift thru it trying to see to see if there was a methodology to their madness but disheartening when the coins they put aside they would throw back in and then walk off.

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