From the Aug. 4 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Should the Mint have set an order limit for the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Coin Set?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
Yes, the U.S. Mint should have limited the number of special uncirculated sets per order/customer.
San Francisco, Calif.
Yes, there should be a limit of five sets per person. This used to be for proof/mint sets decades ago. This should be followed to ensure steady growth in monetary growth. After all, this is what collectors dream of. But as a caution, do your homework! After all, knowledge can be a powerful tool.
I feel that the Mint should place an ordering limit on special edition product items. A product with no initial ordering limit can be a problem for the average collector. The limit should be low for a period of time, say 24 hours. After that the Mint could increase the ordering limit so the big-time ordering giants could order their share. Many people would at least have a fair chance at ordering two or three of these special releases. Enjoy the hobby and promote it to others. Kids’ eyes light up when they receive a special coin.
If the Mint sets a mintage limit there should be a household limit. I have purchased two items from the Mint since 2007, those were for a friend. I tried to order the enhanced set online at 12:07 p.m. I was informed this product is no longer available. Does anyone know how many were set aside for the ANA show and counter sales, or if Mint employees were given a chance to secure a set or two for themselves? In the end, how many were actually available to online ordering?
Editor’s note: The set went back on sale two days after the sellout. The Mint did not reveal the number it had at the ANA convention. See Mint Statistics for additional details.
Absolutely should have been a limit. I tried at 11:07 CST, and it said sold out.
The Mint sent me the email reminder at 11:07. However, Thursday, the Mint sent an email saying available again. I was able to order two, confirmed order.
I don’t plan to buy a set, so its value should skyrocket after it goes off sale. I would like to see an ordering limit for every new product. If the product does not sell out within a month, then lift the limit. Everyone who wants a set ought to have an opportunity to buy one. Three hours is not much of an opportunity if one has a day job.
Bruce R. Frohman
Yes, at least temporarily, an order limit should have been set. I had to be away from my computer when sales started, and when I tried to make a purchase about an hour later, the set was no longer available. I did enter my email address to be notified if sales were opened again, and two days later, I received that notice. Within six minutes, I had ordered two sets. That was yesterday. I checked the site again this morning, and it is still possible to order this set. I wonder if the Mint decided to cancel some bulk orders because this seems very strange, that an item can sell out so quickly and then be readily available within two days.
The U.S. Mint is monumentally bad in deciding when to set ordering limits on new products. They definitely should have set a order limit on this set, at least for the first week. I think they should just set an order limit, of five per household, on all products for the first week of release.
North Hollywood, Calif.
Like many people, I tried to order the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Coin Set via the U.S. Mint's website the morning of Aug. 1. I did not login until about 1 hour 15 minutes after the set went on sale, only to find that the sets were “unavailable.” I did select the notify button, just in case the sets were not sold out.
Just after 9 a.m. EST on Aug. 3, I received an email from the U.S. Mint that the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Coin Set was available. I did not see the email for several hours until after it was sent but decided to try and place an order just in case the sets were still available.
I placed an order for five sets. The sets were shipped the next day.
I do think there should have been an order limit (maybe 10 or 20 sets) placed on the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Coin Set, at least for the first week or two, and then removed if the sets did not sell out.
With such a small mintage, there should be a limit.
No. If it is going to sell, a limit only slows sales after the first day.
You can talk and get opinions all you want, but the U.S. Mint will continue on the road it is on until so many collectors get so pissed off that the dealers are going to be the only ones buying from them. No limit on a special collectible with such a low mintage? It’s called greed, and the U.S. Mint is interested in one thing: making money, with no regard to the collectors, just making a product and selling out.
I don’t think so. In fact, I don’t understand why they put a limit on any product that isn’t mandated by Congress. I say give everyone a month to order, close the product, and manufacture to order. They could have the dies prepared and begin striking coins and shipping immediately. Does anyone have any idea why the Mint limits products like this? I’d like to hear the rationale.
St. Louis, Mo.
I wanted this special set, so I was at my computer at 11 a.m. CST and ordered five sets. The early bird gets the worm. I have gotten every quick sellout that I wanted. If it didn’t sell out, the usual critics would declare the set “another unwanted piece of junk from the Mint."
We all had an equal chance. The value is increased due to a limited (albeit large ) mintage. Now let’s see where the dust settles.
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
Yes, limit the number that can be ordered per household.
Absolutely they should have set a limit. I was on eBay in the afternoon of Aug. 1, and all were sold out. Went on eBay later and saw a number of sets already sold for big increases in original pricing. One set had a notation of 138 pre-sold already.
It’s not fair to the individual collector when you've got big buyers buying so many that puts the premiums way out of sight.
Yes, The U.S. Mint should ALWAYS have an order limit on items with an announced limited mintage for at least a week to allow all collectors a chance to purchase some limited number of sets. Depending on the total mintage, 2-5 would do it. Once a week has gone by, then allow unlimited purchases. How not to do it: The Truman Chronicles Set. How to do it: The Reagan Chronicles Set.
Yes, the U.S. Mint should set limits on low-mintage items or special items. I was on the U.S. Mint website before noon, and the Enhanced Unc. Set sold out in less than two minutes. I was lucky; I punched my order in at noon, but I could not verify I got it place in time until I got a confirmation from Mint.
The Mint is catering to dealers, not collectors. You watch the price gouging that will take place for both the set itself and the Kennedy half. The Mint and price gouging is doing nothing but drive collectors out of the hobby.
Absolutely, they should have, considering how fast it sold out and the fact that within an hour vendors on eBay and elsewhere were selling the set for 4-5 times the “mint value." By not limiting the quantity, the Mint is supporting “scalping” on their products.
I think that quantities should be limited to five (or even less) items being sold to the same credit card number or the same address and that this limit should be set for the first hour that an item is on sale at the Mint. After that, quantities could be increased.
On a related matter, I had the unfortunate experience of having succeeded in getting one of the sets placed into “my basket” only to find that by the time I went to check out (a couple of minutes later, having added another item to “my basket”) that the set had effectively been removed from “my basket” because it was by then “not available." Once an item is put into your basket, it should be yours until you check out (within a reasonable amount of time, say 10-15 miinutes). Someone else should not be able to take it out of your basket. I see this as being no different than if I went into Target or BestBuy on Black Friday and put a wide-screen TV into my physical basket only to have another customer take it out my basket as I was on my way up to the checkout counter to pay for it.
I don’t begrudge someone that has items for sale, even the U.S. Mint.
Someone from Perryville, Ohio, has 1,000 sets for $39,999.99. I hope the “flipper” gets stuck with them.
If I were the Mint, I would limit returns, and the returnee has to pay the postage. Limit returns to only defective stuff. That’s what most businesses do. It is hard to have 100 defective coins.
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