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First Spouse sales responses

From the June 21 Numismatic News E-Newsletter: The first two gold coins in the First Spouse series of half-ounce coins sold out on the opening day of sales by the U.S. Mint on June 19. Were you able to buy them? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
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From the June 21 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:

The first two gold coins in the First Spouse series of half-ounce coins sold out on the opening day of sales by the U.S. Mint on June 19. Were you able to buy them?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

My order for a proof version of each spouse coin was shipped June 22. I got my orders in at 11:54 a.m. and 11:57 a.m. (I used two different credit cards). I?m going to collect all of them in proof version. I can?t wait to see them!

Pat Danisch
Greenhurst, N.Y.

I was left on hold most of the day and lost out. Now I will not be in the group who will make a quick buck, or $300, when they hit eBay. A familiar condition I am afflicted with lately.

Ron Corbett
Marengo, Iowa

Your news about the First Spouse gold coins being released is news to us. We received nothing from the Mint. Looks like they are playing their preferred customer game again. If there is something that looks like a sell out, we don?t hear from them. If they are selling the usual junk then we are contacted immediately.

 This is not fair and I will contact them myself and lodge a formal complaint, for whatever that is good for.

 Thank you for your information, and keep up the good work.

Edward J. Moschetti
 Pittsburgh, Pa.

I ordered the coin online and received it yesterday (June 21). It was sent by
Fed Ex.

James W. Miller
Portsmouth, N.H.

I was cut out when the Mint sold out so quickly.
Walter Gourlay
Pacific Grove, Calif.

I was shut out of the one day gold First Spouse coin purchase because I did not even try. I did not know the date the sale was to begin. Too bad. I guess I will have to buy an older, more beautiful gold coin to make up for my disappointment.

 I don?t understand why theMint would want to offer such a limited edition for a nation of 300 million people. Perhaps they just like to disappoint people. Or perhaps they prefer to cater to speculators rather than collectors. Perhaps they don?t want to sell to people who have jobs and who can?t spend all day on the phone trying to place an order.

The best way to sell products fairly is to have an ordering period for a set amount of time and fill all the orders placed during the period. The start and end date should be announced before the sale. They should use the same policy for all products they sell so customers can buy products in an orderly manner.

If I were the director of the Mint, I would fire all the shlubs who presently make marketing decisions and hire people who believe that the ultimate goal is customer satisfaction and service to the public.

Bruce R. Frohman
Modesto, Calif.

I personally think it is disgusting the way the Mint shows favoritism toward dealers. I am ready to quit buying from the Mint completely because of this!

I have been buying from them since 1973. I for one am tired of, if I am lucky to get leftovers. It makes me feel like a second class citizen because I do not buy in volume or am a dealer. I can well afford to pay for my coins but have lost out about one too many times. Thank you for taking your time to listen. Oh one more thing, then if I do want the coins badly enough I have to pay outrageous prices for them.

Edward Barwell
Greenville, Pa.

I logged on to the Mint Web site at 11:50 a.m. to buy some other coins and by the time I had them ordered you could order the spouse gold coins. I ordered one proof coin of each. It took about 15 minutes to check out and get a order number.

Jim Crowe
Millers Creek, N.C.

I was able to get a set of each on their Web.

Richard Moynihan
Kirkville, N.Y.

I am on the e-mailing list from the Mint. The moment I got the e-mail notifying me of the coins being available, I went to order them. All sold out. This was around 9 a.m.

This was infuriating, and the second time this kind of thing has happened in the past year. If the Mint actually cared about being fair ? they would send out an advance e-mailing the day before the coins become available. I may not have waited to the stroke of midnight to place an order, but that would of been my choice.

My patience with the Mint is quickly vanishing. Sending me an e-mail to buy something that is already sold out is utterly ridiculous and also demonstrates how useless the list really is. Indeed, I am growing very weary of the Mint?s practices when it comes to their marketing. They are spitting out coins for virtually everything under the sun ? and then clearly making sure that dealers get the first crack at them. In addition, supposed limits of five coins is not being properly controlled, as multiple orders can be placed in numerous ways, thereby rendering these ?limits? meaningless. I?m getting close to simply stop buying any of the their new products.

I have grown very weary of the whole game the Mint has begun to play. And I don?t know what the answer really is ? but losing my business is certainly one approach.

Steve Gregory
Schaumburg, Ill.

I live in Hawaii. I was at work when they started taking orders, by time I placed my order, it was a sell out. Only a waiting list.

Wise K. Nicola

Once again the U.S. Mint has released a limited mintage and sold most of them to the speculators. A sell out in three hours is ridiculous. There is no consideration for their collector base. Have they ever thought of a one or two per person limit when the mintages are this low?

 I will be trying to buy on the secondary market, but I refuse to pay more than the issue price. In my opinion that was to high to begin with, but they know they can gouge on a limited mintage!

 As a side note, how do first ladies rate a half ounce gold coin while the presidents get a circulating dollar?

Doug Dillingham
Auburn, Mass

I ordered online two of each coin(proof and unc for each first lady). The order was accepted at 12:35 p.m. ET the first day (I don?t know whether I will ever get them.)! I got hustled on a previous gold order last year when there was a hot issue so I don?t trust them any more. Then my order was accepted and my ship date kept getting pushed back and finally someone else profited (this was on the gold 20th anniversary pieces).

Bill Ibsen
Windsor Heights, Iowa

For the first time in a long time I did not order from the Mint on the first day, don?t know what distracted me. I suspect the sellout on the first two coins will affect sales of the whole series, as now no one can have a complete set without buying the first two on the secondary market. I see the offers on eBay are in the $600-700 range, don?t know whether I want to pay that much for a half ounce gold anyhow.

 Wonder why the 40,000 limit in the first place for a profit making item? A sell out in a few hours indicates vastly underestimating demand for what should be a service to the public, to make the coins available.

R. W. Barker
Midland, Mich.

I guess I was one of the lucky ones!

I only wanted to order one of the UNC Martha Washington coins thinking that a sellout would soon occur. I was right! I actually called the US Mint a couple of minutes before 12 noon (EST) but was told by the customer care representative to call back after 12 noon! The last time I tried calling ?just under? the magic noon order time, I was able to place my order! To make a long story short, I started speed dialing shortly after noon and finally got through about 20 minutes la ter to place my order! I wasn?t surprised to hear that both the First Spouse series coins had sold out so quickly! Now I?m anxiously waiting to find out what the breakdown or ratio of UNC to Proof will be.

Terry M. Hoepner
Address Withheld

Although I had a difficult time with the Web site (slow and slower) I managed to complete my order at 12:36 p.m. EST. I ordered one of each Martha proof and unc and 1one of each Abigail proof and unc. Through yesterday (6-20) my order showed ?your order request is on hold? and showed each item as being on backorder. Today the status was updated and showed ?your order request is in process? but still showed each item as being backordered but shipping July 7th. I?m hoping for the best!

Norman H. Carlock
Nashville, Tenn.

I would have purchased probably one or perhaps two or the gold wives coins, but did not even know when they went on sale. Never got a notification from the Mint which I usually get on new products.

William Martin
Springfield, Ore.

I was able to get both the Martha Washington and the Abigail Adams Gold Proof Coins on line from the Mint by ordering at 12 Noon as soon as they went on sale.

It did take about 30 minutes to complete the order since the Web site was very slow!

Joe Kube
Florissant, Mo.

I was able to buy two of each variety for a total of eight gold coins.

I got on the site around 9 a.m. PST and although the site was slow I was able to get confirmation.

I noticed by 2 p.m. PST the red letter notes were on the Web site for each gold coin.

Ronnie Beyersdorf
Auburn, Wash.

The Mint says that I have them backordered and the expected ship date is July 6, 2007. I received a reply from the mint on my order at 12:37 PM EST. When I ordered it took 25 minutes to log in and then another ten minutes to navigate the site to order them. I am still not sure that I will even get the coins. Hope that is what you wanted.

Jeffrey P. LaPlante
Webster, N.Y.

We were shut out by the quick sell out.

Frank Leone
Glen Oaks, N.Y.

I was shut out and not too happy about it. With the low edition size, don?t you think they could have put a limit of one on each coin so more people could have had a chance to at least get one? The Mint must be run by a bunch of idiots or monkeys. With all the error coins they?ve been putting out and then let people buy five of a piece that sells out in three hours is a joke.

Terry Weissberg
Corydon, Ind.