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This week’s letters (09/04/12)

 

Dealers should accommodate customers
I wanted to go to a show out my way earlier this year in Rosemont, Ill., but there were no evening hours.
That is really the only time I can go since my Saturdays are not free. I would gladly have gone after work, and was even trying to hook up with a specific dealer, but there were no evening hours.
This is very short-sighted, especially these days when I assume dealers want to see every customer they can.
Then again, when I visited a local dealer in Glenview, Ill., to have some silver Eagles graded, he seemed like he was doing me a big favor.
Someone should run a seminar or a series of seminars about attracting and retaining new business.
Here where I work, we are wholesale suppliers to thousands of independent dealers across the country.
We try to get them to learn about “RAG” when it comes to marketing:
Retention – keeping the customers you have.
Acquisition – acquiring new customers
Growth – getting more business from current customers.
Any dealer today exhibiting at a trade show needs to start marketing three months before the show.
Reaching out to every active, inactive and prospective customer within 100 miles of the show to get them to come out and visit their booth.
Just sitting there and waiting for buyers to come to you is a prescription for disaster.
Michael Chazin
Deerfield, Ill.

Reader astounded by aspects of Ganz story
As I read David L. Ganz’s article in the July 24 issue of NN, a couple of things began to sink in and rather astound me. Ganz must be my age if he was in the 4th grade in 1960 as stated.
Number one astounding part: He goes on to say that he’s been writing for NN since 1965. He would have been age 14 back then. Amazing. Good for him.
Number two, and most astounding, was Ganz’s rundown on the coin roll searching done by his political staff aide, Jared Lutz. He states that Jared searched $70,637 in various rolls in the course of 26 weeks. That equates to a lot of money, even if he was turning some of the same rolls back in for more rolls. Maybe political aides make more salary than I’d ever thought?
The tally on finds shows cents, nickels, dimes, quarters and halves searched. No tally given on the actual number of rolls of each denomination in Jared’s searching. But check my math. Assuming Jared got an equal amount of each denomination, his searching would equate to the following:
Cents – 28,254 rolls
Nickels – 7,064 rolls
Dimes – 2,825 rolls
Quarters – 1,427 rolls
Halves – 1,427 rolls
Now that’s a total of 40,997 rolls. He would have to search on average nearly 1,600 rolls of some denomination every week for each and every one of the entire 26 weeks. That’s pretty amazing. Did Jared have some help? When did he sleep?
David Smith
Somerville, Tenn.

Some aspects of argument haven’t been discussed
As a longtime subscriber to your paper, I must say that I really enjoy sitting down and reading it.
The purpose of this letter is to make a point that, in my opinion, one of the most important aspects of the “dealers leaving shows early sends a bad message” argument was missing from the article and most of the responses.
As any longtime collector knows, a huge percentage of business at shows is wholesale dealer-to-dealer. This business doesn’t necessarily take place on the bourse, either. It may take place in hotel rooms, lobbies, restaurants, etc.
Also, at all large shows most of the nice coins are gone by Friday, and at the smaller Sunday shows they are gone within the first two hours.
If I attend the Sunday shows, which usually run from around 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (advertised time), I try to get there at opening because I know that that is the best time to find what I am looking for.
I have been to some of the larger local one-day shows later in the morning, and by 11 a.m. the bourse is at least 50 percent vacant.
If I plan on attending any of the larger multi-day local shows that run Friday to Sunday, I usually take a half day on Friday to attend because I know that the best selection of original coins are to be had then.
I have only been to one ANA, but I made it a point to get a hotel room even though I only live about an hour from Boston so I could be there the first day. I was able to pick up some very nice coins at that show that I believe would not have been there if I had waited until Saturday.
I won’t dispute that, yes, occasionally a “deal” may walk in on Sunday, however, my guess is that this rarely happens.
What is the solution? I don’t have an answer. I think it’s just the nature of the beast.
Wayne Sullivan
Address withheld

NN staff gives good impression in Philly
Today I visited the Numismatic News booth at the ANA convention in Philly and just wanted to say how friendly, courteous and helpful everyone was.
I just finished the Aug. 7 issue of Numismatic News and another series of outstanding articles were written by Michael Fazzari, David Ganz, Paul Green, David Harper, Alan Herbert and Harry Miller.
I greatly appreciated “Remember all the coins from 2009 and how it was a special year for numismatists” by Ginger Rapsus.
Remembering over 30 different coin types, especially the four special Lincoln cents, brought to mind many reasons why 2009 was a good year for American coin collectors.
Keep up the good work, it is really appreciated by your readers.
Leo Darmstadter
Vineland, N.J.

Reader has to wait until October for S.F. mint set
As usual, I have to wait until the end of October for my San Francisco 75th Anniversary two-coin set that I ordered on the first day, and I’m seeing it on the TV on Aug. 9 for sale for an outrageous cost to the public.
James D. Santeufemio Sr.
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Why do BU cents not remain in BU condition?
I’ve been a coin collector off and on since the early 1960s. I enjoy your column, Class of ’63. You frequently write about subjects that are close to my feelings and thoughts about coin collecting.
Having said that, there’s something that’s been bothering me for over 40 years. Here it is.
Why was it, when I would buy a BU Lincoln cent, that after two weeks, it starts turning brown?
Once I bought a complete set of Memorial Lincoln cents, BU. I went back to check on them in a month, and they were not BU anymore.
How does that happen? And even more so, I see ads all the time for early Lincolns in BU condition. How can that be? Do dealers store them on the moon? Or some hermetically sealed contraption?
I was so disappointed in copper coins that I gave up trying to collect BU examples.
So how about it? What’s the secret to keeping BU copper cents BU?
Keep up the swell work.
Philip Raczka
Twinsburg, Ohio

Editor’s note: If copper is exposed to the air, it begins the toning process. To slow it down as much as possible it is important to keep the coins in air-tight holders. Check out a dealer in supplies to see what is available to you.

Why was there no sellout for ‘S’ silver Eagle sets?
On Wednesday, Aug. 12, at about 10 a.m. I looked at the Mint website. Guess what? There seemed to be an abundance of 2012 coin and currency sets for sale. I placed my order for two in about 40 seconds. I wonder why there was no sellout on the “S” silver Eagle and special numbered paper?
Tom Brown
Wichita, Kan.

Two-coin silver American Eagle set is beautiful
Just thought you might like to hear from one of your readers and their delight of receiving the two-coin silver American Eagles (one reverse) set.
The set, handsomely presented in a sound, smooth, neat, dark blue and modern presentation case, arrived this morning, Aug. 7, having ordered it June 15.
It’s most beautiful. Another most handsome set of proofs I’ve had the honor of owning. In addition to the 2006 SAE proof coin set.
It is with sadness that those within the administrative capacity did not consider the collectors who had planned to own a special set at the time of ordering, only to have that “special issue”, dashed with a change of strategy by the Mint administration. Not only the timing, but the act itself was unfortunate, to do an about-face and increase the mintage production after the ordering period had elapsed.
Some of the lustre has been tainted on this one.
Thanks again, Dave, for your dedicated friendship to/for the forever coin collector.
Kenyon Miers
Esperance, N.Y.

Dealer weighs in on topic of leaving shows early
I’d be happy to add my two cents’ worth to the debate over leaving coin shows early.
I no longer attend many shows, and the ones I do attend are in places that I want to visit and are run as both dealer-friendly and public-friendly shows, at least in my opinion.
I’ve been in business since 1993 and maintained a very rigorous show schedule until around 2002. Why did I stop traveling at least a couple of times a month to coin shows and paying for a table? The reasons, in no particular order, were shows that ordered me around as if I were someone’s employee (e.g., “You must stay on Sunday or you will be in violation of your bourse contract and punished”), inhospitable airlines, security issues (coin dealers are specifically targeted by thieves, and local law enforcement is often unsympathetic) and an increasing desire to have a life where I lived, not just a life working out of a suitcase on the road.
I was making good money and wanted to see how much things would change if I stayed at home and looked for other sources of coins.
It’s 2012, and I’m still making a great living at a business that I love without anywhere near the hassle that I once had.
I have a life, family and friends at home and have more free time than I expected I’d ever have by my age.
To those who wanted me to stay Sunday at their shows, I’m not there, and you won’t find me on Friday or Saturday, either. I’m not upset about it; that’s just the way it is. No more airline employees yelling at me on Sunday night that I am uncooperative in insisting that my carry-on containing my inventory ride with me on the plane, and not be taken on the jetway for stowage with checked luggage; no more crammed flights; and no more non-smoking rooms that nonetheless reeked of stale tobacco.
There are downsides. A regularly traveling dealer just asked me if I was OK; he’d heard that I was ill from several people. They hadn’t seen me at a show in a long time and figured that was why. I was pleased to inform him (and them) that I’ve never been better. Less stress. More time.
To the shows, I’d offer the advice that you may at least occasionally get folks like me back if you just put us in the back and let us leave when we want.
When I do a coin show (yes, I still do some), I like to pay for a table for three reasons: 1) my most profitable time on the bourse floor is almost always dealer set-up when I’m out buying from other dealers, and a table gets me automatic access to that; 2) it’s nice to have a place to leave your inventory and to be able to rest in safety – my table is a refuge and safe deposit box; and 3) I actually do like to support the organizations putting on the shows.
Coin shows are a very vital part of our hobby/business, offer great exposure to the public and putting them on provides many clubs with the necessary revenue for their outstanding educational and outreach services.
I automatically eliminate from consideration any shows that require me to stay on Sunday and won’t let me on the bourse floor during set-up (i.e., as an “early bird”) unless I have a table. For how I choose to do business, what’s the point?
I’m always polite to the retail public and am happy to show or sell them anything in my display, but they’re not why I am there.
Two more related but disparate points: If a retail customer seems to be reluctant to ask to look at a coin, I remind him or her that it’s a coin show, not a coin sale so of course I’m happy to show the coin.
Also, since I live locally in the Orlando area, no matter what FUN decides to do at their shows, you can find me at or near my table all day any Sunday that FUN is open. I can drive home in less than an hour and often pick off some last-minute business that all those early-departing dealers have left behind.
Don Bonser
Clarcona, Fla.

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