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World currency and eBay...  
 

 
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New Member

United States
46 Posts
 Posted 10/10/2017  2:18 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add coinpictures to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
By way of background, I've been collecting, buying, and selling all sorts of collectibles for the last 30 or so years. In the pre-Internet days it was selling comic books on Usenet. In the 2000s I was heavily into raw and slabbed U.S. and world coins, especially non-U.S. rainbow toners. For the last 8-10 years, my collecting and trafficking focus has been on Civil War-era U.S. revenue stamps and documents.

I've used eBay since 1998 and have had an eBay store for 10+ years now.

That's a longwinded way of saying that I'm no newb and am familiar with eBay dynamics when it comes to collectibles and the price ranges that one can usually expect for raw and graded types of collectibles... or so I thought.

I haven't done anything with U.S. or world currency for a LONG time. However, recently a collection of world currency came through the local watering hole and I and several other people have been picking through it. I've been buying pieces with an eye towards higher-grade pieces (XF or better) and using the 3 Krause catalogs as my pricing guide.

I tend to be a very conservative buyer and grader (IMO of course) when it comes to collectibles. I figured this would be an experiment and/or learning experience, given that I have not been active in the currency field for so long.

With coins and ESPECIALLY stamps, I'm used to items selling for considerably below "book value". Before I list something I usually look for similar examples (1) currently available on eBay, and more importantly (2) that have sold and what they realized.

I have been shocked at just how much currency material sells for at or above full price guide values. I've listed several items at prices that I thought were fairly aggressive (high) only to have very fair offers come through in short order, or sell outright. In one case I had 3 offers come in within 6 hours and before I could respond to any of them, the item sold at my asking price.

Another interesting aspect is that interest appears to be all over the map with respect to both country and era. In other words, areas where I would expect interest to be dead based upon what I know of stamps, e.g., Central and South American countries, appear to have a ton of activity. Modern or semi-modern material appears to have buyers, not just classic material.

I've been getting PMs on eBay from people both domestic and overseas asking "What else do you have from country X?"

My appologies if this is old hat to most, but I'm very suprised at how active the world currency market appears to be. It seems to be somewhat of a seller's market (assuming the seller is at least somewhat reasonable).

Are buyers starved for fresh material?
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
3067 Posts
 Posted 10/10/2017  3:40 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've experienced something similar. I'd got several old Spanish 100-peseta banknotes from the 1960s that someone gave me after the Euro was introduced. They weren't in great shape. I put one on eBay just to see what would happen and was amazed. I've sold a couple of Latin American notes for quite good prices as well.
Pillar of the Community
United States
726 Posts
 Posted 10/13/2017  8:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add paxbrit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've collected stamps for 50 years, coins and notes for over 30 years, and I can tell you from my experience that clean XF-condition or better notes are indeed in good demand across the board. It's not a hobby that kids can get into by gleaning the postal deliveries of the day, or checking their pocket change, it requires putting by a negotiable instrument that has quite a few potential demands upon it, from candy bars and sodas to their first date at the drive-in.

Then consider that international travel and local economies were infants as little as 40 years ago for a great deal of the world, with little attention paid to hobbies, and the population of material is thusly not great.

Pillar of the Community
United States
547 Posts
 Posted 10/16/2017  12:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add lettow to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Certain world markets are doing very well. The Krause catalogs are useless for pricing many notes as they are not updated often enough and when they are the information in them is already a year old.
New Member
United States
46 Posts
 Posted 10/16/2017  12:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coinpictures to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yeah, I'm finding that for the most part Krause is useful only for identification purposes. For pricing I'm using current and completed eBay listings.

In many cases, undercutting the cheapest completed result for comprarable grade STILL results in a price higher than Krause.

Amazing. I just wish I had more material.
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