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How do you "haggle" with you dealer on coin prices? (newbie question)

11 posts in this topic

What are some tried and true methods for getting the lowest price without angering your dealer? I don't want to pay his listed prices, but I don't want to have to look elsewhere if he ends up disliking me. I understand some dealers are just plain difficult, but I would like to have a plan while starting off our business relationship.


Do you bring a red book or grey sheet into his store?


How much premium are you willing to pay on coins under $30?


Do you compare his prices to that of a coin show?


Any advise would be appreciated.


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Hi JotaDe - The experience around here is likely to vary, but here's what I can tell you...


1) Frequent the guy's shop and look at a lot of coins. Also buy a couple that you really like and don't haggle too much unless he's way out of line. By doing this, you'll begin to set yourself in his/her favor.


2) Be candid and honest about what you know and don't know. Share what you know and ask for opinion/advice on what you don't. Again, this will help build rapport.


3) Don't be afraid to ask for what greysheet is directly from the dealer. But keep in mind that the dealer may have paid greysheet for a particular coin - they have to make some money too.


4) Don't be afraid to make reasonable offers and allow the dealer to counter. If he/she thinks that you know what you are doing (and not simply being cheap), they will work with you a bit. If they are simply stodgey, then you may not be able to develop the kind of relationship you are after.


5) You will pay more (percentage-wise) on cheap coins than you will on expensive coins. There are no bargains in the cheap world, unless you can cherrypick a particular series and get away with it. blush.gif


6) If the dealer is genuine, then ask them what they are into a coin for - they should tell you. (And in part, you should have an idea). Most friendly dealers I have met and the ones I do business with will all tell me, and I never try to pry them for their hard-earned profit.


Just a few ideas. Good luck... Hoot

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I am not much of a haggler, it's just not my style. I have always been of the opinion that the price is the price, and if there is "wiggle room" you should give it or take it in the beginning.


I have told one dealer I work with after I made a few purchases that I never haggle on price. BUT, I always appreciate it if he has some room on something that he pass it along. A couple of weeks later, I was buying a set of coins and was willing to pay $160.00. He had the coins I wanted at $175.00. I asked him the price, he told me, and I told him I would keep poking around for those because I didn't want to put that much money in that particular item. Before I left he came back to me and said they had taken these coins in a while ago, and didn't have that much in them, so if I still wanted them, I was welcome to them for $145.00, even though I had not given him my price point.


I find being a regular customer really has it's advantages.


I have been working on upgrading my short set of Walkers, and I took my ten of the 20 short set walkers to a shop yesterday. I showed them to the dealer, asked his opinion on the ones that were not slabbed. He indiciated my unslabbed coins were MS63-64, with the exception of two, which he felt were more in the 58 range.


He took out a large assortment of MS63-66 Walkers and we went through them all. I selected seven coins at various prices which were marked on the slabs with labels. In addition, I upgraded two of my 63's to slabbed 64's.


He took each of the coins I bought and marked them down 10-15% - saving me about $100.00 on a close to $600.00 purchase. He also offered me the option of taking the 63's I was upgrading back in trade, easing the cost a bit more.


I feel better and better about doing business with this dealer.


I you get a reputation as a haggler, I believe you start to not get the right price in the first place.

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Try telling them all you have is a certain amount. for example, If there's a coin for $400 and you want it for $350 tell them all you have is $350 and see if they will take it. This only works with cash, they won't do it if you pay with credit cards or checks. Also don't do it too often because then they won't like you and think you are trying to scam them. Hope this helps.

P.S. I've done it a few times and it works. (most of the time)

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I haven't had to haggle in purchasing coins since early 96, but I'll tell you this. A good rule of thumb I use when negotiating for anything is to NEVER seem too interested. A good salesman can "read" you by the look in your eye and the tone of your voice. Try being indifferent, the results can be amazing. Also, don't be afraid to offer a bit less when buying anything in quantity or as a "lot". Don't be offended if you are turned down, and be suspicious if the seller gets offended if you counter.

Also, keep in mind that some will actually get intimidated if they think you know more than they do about the value or condition of a particular item so don't be anxious to impress them with what you know, until you get to know each other well. I can't tell you how many times I was looked at like I was from another planet when I told some their gold coins were counterfiet from 3 feet away. Also, IMO, it is very good advice NOT to haggle if you think the price is already fair.That's my two cent piece.



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I like what everybody has said here so far. My opinion...if you find a dealer that looks promising...spend some time in the shop...buy supplies you need...let him see your face a lot...buy some low end stuff you need to fill holes first.


By all means...know your stuff cold before you go in...have an idea what you're looking for, what condition you want, and the going retail price ( I use Coin World Trends for that, but I'm sure a lot of the veterans have other sources) (Another note: I flat out won't pay above Trends price unless it's something that's really nice, that I haven't found anywhere else...lack of patience has burned me a few times in the last couple years)


If you're confident and reasonably knowledgable, but not arrogant, and you build a rapport with a dealer who has stuff you like, you're more likely to be offered or get "good deals"...it won't generally happen overnight.

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Wow, thanks for the replies everyone-very good information.


I have to admit I'm not much of a "haggler." I'd rather find a fair price and purchase the item at that price. However, I hate the idea of someone else buying the same coin from the same dealer for a cheaper price just because they asked for a cheaper price mad.gif


I've started building a rapport with a local dealer. He is the only close dealer that has a good inventory. So far I've spent about $60 on coins and supplies, I didn't haggle on anything, just trying to make a good first impression. I've bought about 12 SBA's and Sac's and probably overpaid anywhere from $1 - $3 dollars a coin-according to my red book.


I was surprised at some of his prices; $35 for 2002 proof sets, $26 for Bicentennial Silver 3 pc. set, and $8 for roles of circulated wheaties. Went to a local coin show recently and they had Bicentennial sets for $17 and wheatie rolls for $1.50. Is it fair to ask the dealer for these prices? I would think taking that much off his price would tick him off...


Please understand, I'm not trying to have you guys do the dirty work for me. I just want to be tactful when countering his prices. I am willing to "give a little extra" on every purchase to stay on the dealer's good side. I just hope my effort, and time doesn't go to waste if he starts being a butthead when I counter his listed prices-thus ending our relationship.


Thanks again for the information everyone!

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I'm betting the dealer won't give you "show" prices....you can mention to him if you see an item you like and saw at a cheaper price at a show...he might knock off a little.


I don't know how big this dealer is...but if he's a small guy, relatively speaking, he'll probably be reluctant to deal on stuff too much...his margins are probably real low already. By the same token...if you go back several times and see the guy isn't selling the stuff you're interested in...that's when you pounce...he probably wants to get that stuff out of his inventory.


One more thing...don't rely real heavily on Red Book prices...they're a good general idea, but coin prices are really volatile right now...folks like me who lost a bunch in the stock market are putting their money elsewhere...either as a pure investment or as a collectable that has potential growth as well as appealing to the hobby. Recommend you use Coin World Trends, PCGSs price guide (both available on line) or other more up to date "retail" data when planning your bargaining stand.

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I have found one other thing that helps with getting the best price you can with a Dealer you have a good relation with. If you should have anything For Sale give him the First Shot at the items. This has worked real well for myself. Most smaller coin dealers are always looking for fresh material and they will usually remember who has some or may have some for them. Two local dealers I deal with usually ask Me first what I have For Sale and then what I am looking for. Make the Dealer a Buck by selling to him and just maybe He will save you a Buck when you buy from him. smile.gif



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I am all over the map with this.

-On coins under $100, I don't haggle.

-It depends, if the coin is really a stunner, pay more for it.

-I haggle more at shows, than locally, because of the overhead differences.

-I often just tell the dealer that I can't pay that much for the coin and ask if he is open to negotiation.

-Keep a poker face and level tone of voice.


All of the others have given good input as well. tongue.gif

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