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Am I being too sensitive?


JayAg47
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So a couple of weeks ago at a coin show I was at a dealer's table, I was mostly interested in ancients, but also their fractional gold coins. The dealer was chatting with another customer so I waited till he finished his business with him, after that I asked the dealer what's the cost of possibly the tiniest and cheapest gold bullion, only some items had their prices. And he asked me to google the prices listed on their website! so I fumbled with my phone and checked their prices, even though the prices were alright, I got pissed off and walked away.  Shouldn't he have the prices on his hand anyway? if not why bring them to the show at all? since then whenever I come across his listing on eBay or his site online when I'm looking for new coins, I juts skip it as it left a bad impression.

Edited by JayAg47
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Maybe the dealer was / is also (somewhat) sensitive? I was not present at your conversation. Maybe the man also had a bad day? I can therefore not evaluate your situation. 

I can only tell you - value-free - something from my point of view independently of your experience.

If a customer opens the conversation with me with "what is your last / best price" (!) - then it's also the end for me. 

I sell coins with historical soul and I am not on a car bazaar... 🙂

Talk to me about the coin - and negotiate with me afterwards with pleasure about the price. But who starts only with the price immediately - there I also immediately book out.

But so each person is different 🙂

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16 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Maybe the dealer was / is also (somewhat) sensitive? I was not present at your conversation. Maybe the man also had a bad day? I can therefore not evaluate your situation. 

I can only tell you - value-free - something from my point of view independently of your experience.

If a customer opens the conversation with me with "what is your last / best price" (!) - then it's also the end for me. 

I sell coins with historical soul and I am not on a car bazaar... 🙂

Talk to me about the coin - and negotiate with me afterwards with pleasure about the price. But who starts only with the price immediately - there I also immediately book out.

But so each person is different 🙂

It's just a bullion worth it's face value, unlike my other purchases like denarius or the Reales where I had the chance to strike up a conversation with the dealers, in this case the price of the item was my only concern. 

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24 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Maybe the dealer was / is also (somewhat) sensitive? I was not present at your conversation. Maybe the man also had a bad day? I can therefore not evaluate your situation. 

I can only tell you - value-free - something from my point of view independently of your experience.

If a customer opens the conversation with me with "what is your last / best price" (!) - then it's also the end for me. 

I sell coins with historical soul and I am not on a car bazaar... 🙂

Talk to me about the coin - and negotiate with me afterwards with pleasure about the price. But who starts only with the price immediately - there I also immediately book out.

But so each person is different 🙂

I would agree with you if the price had been marked and on display. In that case, for a customer to ask for a last, best price before having a conversation about the coin is indeed a bit rude. But when, as in this case, there was no price marked at all, why in the world should a customer have to waste time in a conversation about the coin before he or she knows if its price is even in the universe of what they can afford? @JayAg47 was simply asking for the price, not for a discount or "best price." Plus it was a bullion coin, so in theory its numismatic or artistic merits shouldn't even be a consideration. My verdict: the dealer was being rude and a bad salesman, and @JayAg47 wasn't being overly sensitive at all.

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I agree that the dealer was being rude. I've had somewhat similar experiences with dealers at shows. At the ANA there was a modern dealer that had a few good slabbed ancients. I contacted this dealer prior to the show to make sure that they would have their roman imperial inventory. I indicated that I would be attending on Friday in my email, and the dealer assured me that that wasn't a problem. When I asked to see the Roman inventory, the dealer looked at me as if I was bothering him, groaned and said that he had already put them in a safe which was just behind him. I referred to his email in which he assured me that I could see these pieces. He then pointed to three aurei which he kept on display and said "well just look at these I'm not taking the other coins out". There were a few other modern dealers that had decent slabbed ancients, but all were unwilling to negotiate. Most of them didn't seem to know what they actually had. This is one of the reasons I prefer to give my business to actual ancients dealers such as CNG, NAC, Gorny...etc. This is also why I much prefer the NYINC show. I do wish that modern dealers/collectors with no real understanding of ancients would stay in their lane, but the proliferation of slabbed ancients makes this an unlikely reality. 

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I totally agree with @JayAg47. First, at a show the seller should know the prices or display them. Second, I don't think you were bothering him or wasting his time, he had the obligation to be polite.
When I meet a seller that behaves in a rude matter I also skip them for good. Online and offline. There is no coin in this world that's worth buying if the seller acts like a Neanderthal or similar.

I was at a show a few years ago. Modern stuff. I saw a cheap banknote I didn't have in my collection and I needed it. I browsed the album and I asked about the price. The seller was gone to lunch so his wife was at the table. She told me she has no idea and called the seller. I told her not to hurry if the man is eating as I'll be around. The man came literally running (he was known as an expensive seller and probably hoped I want some major stuff). Asked him the price. It was too much (the banknote had nothing special). I asked him if he is willing to take 20% less (it was already too much even so). He rolled his eyes and started making large gestures and he said that the last price is 20% more. So I said goodbye and never bought anything from him since.

Another case of an idiot - on an ebay-like website. This one had a modern coin I needed. Same story - nothing special in regards to rarity and condition but it was missing from my collection. I didn't even comment about the price (actually I think I tried to bargain maximum 3 times in my life). Since we lived in the same city, I wrote him a polite message, asking where and when is he willing to meet.

He replied "MINIMUM ORDER IS xxx". In capitals. No hello, no anything. The coin was cheap. I was willing to meet him anywhere in the city and pay the price he asked for. No, no. This enlightened one required a minimum order, to have the honor to buy something from him, I had to add 1 or 2 coins to "my order".

I buy ancient coins only from houses so there is no human link to the seller. My modern collection was bought from individuals, so I like remembering "this was bought from Joe, that seller who always jokes and we like to chat" or "Sam, that seller who sent me a thank you note".  Not from idiots who think they are smarter than they actually are. When I was collecting modern coins and notes, I preferred buying from people I liked. Even if I paid 10% or 20% more. I even sold some coins and notes simply because they were from people I disliked. I don't want to remember them in any way.

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When I was a teenager and in my early 20s I used to go to some 'fairs' where there would be everything from coins/notes to old furniture pieces and old vinyl albums. I used to buy vinyls -- particularly old school hiphop and the greats like Beatles, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye etc -- and coins/banknotes. All types of people at these gatherings but you could really see a pattern after visiting 2-3 of them: there were 2 kinds of sellers 1. those dreaming to get rich and 2. the normal courteous people who actually knew what they were selling and encouraged haggling and bartering. For some reason, most of the second category were younger people <40 while the older ones would behave in a very unpleasant way to everyone who was not interested in the expensive and 'very rare' items they wanted to unload, especially towards us younger folk. I had an instance of someone not even acknowledge my presence and question. And then you'd hear these same bitter curmudgeons complaining that the hobby has no future. People are strange and sometimes working against their stated interest in all fields and walks of life.

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The complaining kind of stuck with me more than the rudeness towards me or other potential buyers that were turned away. And I would reckon, were it not for the internet, a lot of potential young interest in coin-collecting as a hobby and/or scientific endeavor would not have happened.

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`When I was a young collector, I had a lot of disposable income -- I had no wife, kids, need to save for retirement, etc. I'd go to shows dressed in a t-shirt and jeans because it was my day off and I suppose I "looked poor." I was often ignored by dealers because they assumed I couldn't afford anything. I never patronized a booth at a show where the dealer didn't seem to want my money.

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I've only had interactions online with a few dealers, but they have all been very pleasant. For some positivity I will share one anecdote. 

I accidentally and unknowingly overcharged myself for delivery from Lodge Antiquities on vcoins by selecting the wrong option. I think I selected a delivery option with the word "insured" in it for peace of mind, even though it was unnecessary for my small £67 order.

They issued a PayPal refund of the difference in shipping which was £4.10. It was very kind of them not only to notice this, but to take the time to sort it when I would have been none the wiser that I was out of pocket. 

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13 hours ago, DonnaML said:

I would agree with you if the price had been marked and on display. In that case, for a customer to ask for a last, best price before having a conversation about the coin is indeed a bit rude. But when, as in this case, there was no price marked at all, why in the world should a customer have to waste time in a conversation about the coin before he or she knows if its price is even in the universe of what they can afford? @JayAg47 was simply asking for the price, not for a discount or "best price." Plus it was a bullion coin, so in theory its numismatic or artistic merits shouldn't even be a consideration. My verdict: the dealer was being rude and a bad salesman, and @JayAg47 wasn't being overly sensitive at all.

 

In this case, of course, I have to agree with you. As English is not my mother tongue, I did not translate it correctly for myself - at first glance I thought it was about normal coins. But from that point of view - you are of course right in this case.

(Besides, I've learned that it's always best to agree with a woman if you don't want to get into trouble. That was a joke)... 😉 

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I've never been to a coin show, but I can relate with the following two stories.

#1 We keep in touch with owners with properties near our apartment complexes, in order to keep in touch on neighborhood issues and to know if they want to sell. Sure enough, the owner of a building we wanted called us with an offer to sell. We called our agent to write it up, who then sold it to a different client because she promised to list something with him. Pretty shitty.

Though we now send these types of deals through another agent, we still work with him. If he sends us an interesting building, we're still going to buy it, because it's all just business.

#2 I used to collect antique firecracker packs and there was a pretty big seller at a show. One day my father comes up to his booth to look and heard the owner whisper to another guy "watch this guy. He looks suspicious." My father was horribly offended, as was I. However, he was a major source of firecracker packs at the time (until he died the following year of a heart attack and his entire collection was destroyed) and I continued to buy from him when the price was right. He actually sold me some of my best packs.

So, yes - people piss us off from time to time, but keep in mind that it's just business. If someone has a coin I want for the right price, I'm still going to buy it even if he's a prick.

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1 hour ago, kirispupis said:

I've never been to a coin show, but I can relate with the following two stories.

#1 We keep in touch with owners with properties near our apartment complexes, in order to keep in touch on neighborhood issues and to know if they want to sell. Sure enough, the owner of a building we wanted called us with an offer to sell. We called our agent to write it up, who then sold it to a different client because she promised to list something with him. Pretty shitty.

Though we now send these types of deals through another agent, we still work with him. If he sends us an interesting building, we're still going to buy it, because it's all just business.

#2 I used to collect antique firecracker packs and there was a pretty big seller at a show. One day my father comes up to his booth to look and heard the owner whisper to another guy "watch this guy. He looks suspicious." My father was horribly offended, as was I. However, he was a major source of firecracker packs at the time (until he died the following year of a heart attack and his entire collection was destroyed) and I continued to buy from him when the price was right. He actually sold me some of my best packs.

So, yes - people piss us off from time to time, but keep in mind that it's just business. If someone has a coin I want for the right price, I'm still going to buy it even if he's a prick.

 

If I were to approach numismatics from the standpoint of a business I would probably operate the same.

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1 hour ago, seth77 said:

 

If I were to approach numismatics from the standpoint of a business I would probably operate the same.

It's not a business (for most of us) in terms of making a profit, but if someone has that coin you've been looking for at a reasonable price, why not buy it? You're only hurting yourself.

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