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Please Explain "Cherry Picking"

 
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Pillar of the Community
United States
2165 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2020  10:35 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I keep seeing people say I "cherry picked" this or that coin. Well isn't any coin you picked a cherry pick? For example if I have a choice of 2 coins and 1 is nicer than the other and I pick the nicer one didn't I "cherry pick" the one I liked more?

And isn't "cherry picking" biased by a person? One's "cherry picking" is another's "cherry pits". Am I wrong?
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 Posted 01/14/2020  12:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add westernsky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cherry picking to me is going thru a lot of coins and finding a scarce date/variety/condition rarity and paying only for the coin as a generic specimen.

I buy a lot of bulk lots. 99.9% of my cherry picks have been found in bulk lots
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United States
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 Posted 01/14/2020  01:17 am  Show Profile   Check yellow88's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add yellow88 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
On the flipside...

Example- Online company selling gold coins on their website with the following product title including a couple of photos, and description of the series.

"1897-1935 Swiss Gold 20 Francs Helvetia AU (Random Date)"

1. I highly doubt you are going to receive a 1904B.
2. The photos could an 1904B.
3. AU is a fairly broad range and you also have the more subjective eye appeal factor. Even if the coin photographed is a common date you can bet that it will be a very attractive AU coin in the photos. The states that you're not going to receive the EXACT coin in the pics.

The above would be an example of the company (seller) "cherry picking".

More to the point they are appealing to logically fallacious "cherry picking" buyers.
"Reality is that which when you stop believing in it, it doesn't go away."- philip k dick

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Bedrock of the Community
Australia
17176 Posts
 Posted 01/14/2020  05:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For me, 'cherry picking' is about buying a coin at the best possible value for money.

I collect across the whole of numismatics. (ancients, hammered milled and modern across all of the World's cultures and numismatic ages. Thus, I am NOT a specialist, but a generalist.

That is why I am a member of the CCF. There are lots of guys here in the CCF, that have a wealth of specialist knowledge that I don't have, and I enjoy learning from them.


When I go to a coin show, I try to get an overall impression of all of the dealers' inventories, and pick out the best value for money standouts. I make a list of these, and closely examine each one in hand, and negotiate a price. Sometimes I come away from a show, without buying anything. But when I do buy, they are all individual treasures.

I am simply making good use of a lifetime of experience in coin collecting, backed up by perhaps 200 specialist numismatic books and research papers.

Cherry picking is otherwise known as 'buying well'.
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Canada
3547 Posts
 Posted 01/14/2020  06:22 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I usually think of it as buying something much more valuable than the seller realizes (with a low price to match). An unrecognized treasure.
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 Posted 01/14/2020  08:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kanga to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Completely.
Describe it as if there were no picture.
Picture it as if there were no description.
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Canada
275 Posts
 Posted 01/14/2020  10:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Silver101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm with @Westernsky - buying a lot of 30 coins and finding the one gem in the lot. That's cherry picking....
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 Posted 01/14/2020  10:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add GMS5 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cherry picking for me is going to shows and going through a dealers inventory and finding items like a 1876 CC Type 1 Reverse Dime labeled as VF-35 and priced at $14 Canadian. When I handed the dealer the dime to purchase he looked at the price and discounted it a further $2, so I got it for $12 total.

I believe the dealers have lugged these coins in and out of shows for years and are just looking to sell something to make any kind of money for the table, hence they may at times forget what they have. Not to mention they sometimes look like they could care less if they were there.

Just my observations
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 Posted 01/14/2020  11:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think westernsky and Oriole nailed it.

In most cases I have heard it used, cherrypicking usually indicates that the buyer caught something that the seller missed that made the coin a much better deal than its asking price.

E.g.:
- Pulling a 1909-S cent from a 5/$1 bucket of wheaties
- Buying a DD or RPM as a regular coin
- Buying an especially rare, desirable, or valuable coin in a lot of otherwise uninteresting coins

The emphasis of cherrypicking is on the skill in spotting the deal before the sale, not on getting lucky with a blind purchase.
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 Posted 01/14/2020  11:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The reason I asked is that Based on the definitions above a lot of people are using "cherry picking" wrong. For example some posters picked up a visually appealing coin and they stated they "cherry picked", but all they did was select a coin they liked. It was graded correctly, it wasn't a misplaced coin it was just nice looking.

But know this leads to morality, when I was looking through the junk silver .50 cents I found a barber, I told the LCS owner that the barber probably didn't belong there he assured me I can buy it for melt. Like I wouldn't want a dealer to rip me off I wouldn't rip off a dealer either. People do make mistakes.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
19423 Posts
 Posted 01/15/2020  11:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think it basically means carefully looking for specific coins in a pile of them.
just carl
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 Posted 01/15/2020  5:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I think it basically means carefully looking for specific coins in a pile of them.


Kind of like putting a ladder up in a tree and picking the fruit that looks just right to you.

Or even rummaging through a bag of them in the supermarket.
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Australia
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 Posted 01/16/2020  12:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Almost the same thing for me.
I rummage through all the coins for sale at a coin show.

I am taking advantage of a wide knowledge of numismatics in general, to open up the whole market. Coin dealers do much the same thing when buying for their inventory.
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 Posted 01/16/2020  04:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"Cherry picking" generally means "buying rare coins cheaply, from people who don't seem to know what they've got".

Examples:
- Sorting through a coin dealer's scratchtrays and picking out a rare date/mintmark/variety that the dealer didn't spot.
- Buying rolls of coins (or other bulk coins), picking out the nice condition/rare/variety coins and re-rolling them to bank.
- Spotting an unidentified or mis-identified coin in a dealer's stock, and buying it for a far lower price than it should be selling for.

In all these cases, the person selling the coins "should have known better", but for some reason (ignorance? haste? apathy?) did not. You would not generally use the term "cherry picking" when describing buying valuable coins cheaply off of your great-aunt Matilda who's not a coin collector. She doesn't know anything about coins so has no idea what's valuable and what isn't; the coin dealer or coin-roller is supposed to know the value of the coins they are selling.

"Cherry-picking" is generally considered ethical. "Lowballing and swindling your great-aunt Matilda" generally is not considered ethical.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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