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Great marketing; read offer thoroughly

I don’t like e-mail spam, but even with the best filters, some still gets through. If it is numismatic spam, there is a greater chance of it making it to my inbox.

Perhaps I shouldn’t call any e-mail advertising a numismatic product spam, because after all, this is part of a business that gives me a regular paycheck and keeps me in food and clothing.

This morning I happened to read an interesting offer. It is clever marketing.

What is being sold is a standard one-ounce American Eagle silver bullion coin that is slabbed and grades MS-69. The hook, however, is it is paired with a Proof-69 2009 silver American Eagle.

The catch? Well, the proof version hasn’t been issued yet and a target date for release hasn’t even been revealed.

The e-mail covers that by saying “pre-order.”

However, that word will likely be overlooked by many. I will soon be inundated by e-mails demanding to know how a private firm gets preferential treat by the Mint.

The short answer is it doesn’t. It stands in line like every other business buyer.

But it is first to advertise and that will have a distinct advantage among collectors who hanker after the coin but don’t understand what “pre-order” means.

The best part for the private firm is the price. It is asking $99. That’s a premium price of about twice cost. The bullion coin retails around $20 and the proof when it is issued will be priced around $32. Consider the cost of slabbing roughly matching the discount from retail at which the firm buys the coins and there you are.

Good marketing it is.

It also tells me that the proofs must be about to become available because I don’t believe any business would want its customers to wait too long.

Now I await my first collector e-mail.