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Coin Show Etiquette Suggestion

By John Quarfoth

I appreciate the “Coin Show Etiquette” part one (as a buyer) and part two (as a seller) articles.

The articles included good tips for the collector both as a buyer and as a seller.

I think a third article is needed, “Coin Show Etiquette’” part three (dealer etiquette).

I have attended hundreds of coin shows over the years. I am astounded by some of the simple mistakes many dealers make to drive business away from their tables.

I’ve been in sales for 35 years. Here are a few things dealers might consider in order to boost their sales.

1. Acknowledge people when they stop at your table. If you are busy with another customer or two, a simple head nod will do. Better yet, let them know they are welcome to browse your goods and that you will be with them as soon as possible. When you do get to them, thank them for their patience.

2. Treat your new customers with enthusiasm. Ask them what they collect, how long they have collected? What are their favorites? Do you have a want list? This is how you establish regular customers.

3. Treat the customer with a modest budget no differently than big spenders. Their purchases are substantial over time.

4. Never, ever prejudge a potential customer. If a potential customer has given your table(s) a quick glance for the last 10 coin shows without buying anything, it probably means you don’t have what he wants. For instance, I buy coins (chain cents) in the 3k to 7k range which are few and far between. Most dealers rarely have chain cents in their inventory. I’m not slighting your inventory by quickly giving it the once over, you just don’t happen to have what I am looking for. Also, it may mean your marked prices are not realistic. Do not make this person feel unwelcome. I have experienced this first hand. 

5. Most of all, always be friendly! Customers don’t care if you’re having a good day or a bad day. They just want good customer service and to feel welcome.

In closing, I would like to say that most of the dealers I choose to deal with make attending coin shows a pleasure. They are friendly and knowledgeable. They know their inventory and they keep up with current market pricing. Most importantly, they enjoy the hobby as much as collectors.

This “Viewpoint” was written by John Quarfoth., a collector from Maine.

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