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Has Anyone Recently Opened Up Their Own Coin Store?

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169 Posts
 Posted 05/20/2022  6:59 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CanadaPennies19 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've been in the hobby for around 18 years now. I generally hoard my coins, I rarely sell them, unless they're low end stuff that just takes up space. One of the main coin stores I shop at has been in business for around 15 years. They started in a local flea market on weekends and around 5 years ago they opened up their own store front. It was ran by the owners son and the owner eventually retired and was able to work full time in the store.

Opening up my own store is something I've always wanted to do, I have the knowledge, I have the capital, and inventory to do it, but it's not something I want to dive right into.

I'm not a huge fan of selling on eBay, I'm located in Canada and I find the eBay market is tiny for Canadian collectors.

I love the idea of coin shows, having a booth at an antique store, and maybe pop up shops but would love to see how people are doing it post COVID times. Is there still a market for physical shops or is it all online now?

I live in the Region of Waterloo and we only have 2 coin shops for a 1 million population. I'm around 1 hour from Toronto, 1 hour from Hamilton and 1 hour from London which all have multiple stores but I'd love to try to make it work.

I'm going to talk to the coin store I shop at frequently and see if they're willing to mentor me, volunteer and see if I can learn the ropes a bit. My intention isn't to be a huge store but I love buying collections, sorting and learning.
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United States
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 Posted 05/21/2022  04:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think I would test the waters by having a table or two at a local coin show. Just because there is a million people in an area doesn't mean any of them are coin collectors...just sayin'
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
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United States
3674 Posts
 Posted 05/21/2022  08:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The biggest value of a store front is to get a walk in selling coins. If I was going to start a coin business, I would want to keep my overhead low, so the last piece would be the store front. Your idea of starting with coin shows is good. I would build a quality coin selling website as your business is not locked into a geographical area. The value of selling coins on eBay or other online outlets is to promote your website, and you also promote your website at coin shows. If you sell a coin on eBay, the buyer gets your business card with information to check out your website. If your website prices are lower than eBay, the repeat buyers will start buying on your website. Very important to get a good short company name that works for your website and future store front, and the online domain is available. I built my son's company website using WIX, but I am not sure how difficult it would be to build a coin selling website without professional help.
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United States
20719 Posts
 Posted 05/21/2022  4:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I wouldn't do it. Maybe because I've seen to many coin stores go out .
You need a lot of inventory and good sources for more. If not in a heavy populated area, you could just end up siting there all day long. Then there is theft to worry about, fires, floods, electric bills, water bills, phone bills and on and on and on with bills. Don't forget insurances too. And next you'll need some help for when you can't be there. Hiring someone will not be easy you know.
I've seen others try it and end up also selling lots of other items too. Sort of ending up as a hobby store.
Well if you do, good luck.
just carl
Valued Member
United States
172 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2022  12:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SpeedDemonND to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Whatever you decide, good luck to you and please let us know how it goes.
New Member
United States
48 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2022  02:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add LuckyPunk to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My closest coin shop is 5 hrs away. Internet works all night, when a lot of folks hobby shop.
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 Posted 05/22/2022  8:24 pm  Show Profile   Check Pacificoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Pacificoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I had a shop for many years .
Since I discovered online in the late
1990s, we have our own website and
a major online presence on EBay and
Etsy . Never done better than in the last three
years .
Our only retail operation is a weekly market
one day a week that recently reopened after
2 Years of Covid Closure.
To open a coin shop again , I would truly need to
have my head read by a shrink.
The costs involved to open a retail space in our
area incredibly expensive and that business model
is not in the realm of reality .
The only drawback is not having a daily opportunity
to buy from the public . That is easily solved by a bit of
travel to coin and collectibles shows and buying wholesale
from dealers you know and trust .
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United States
677 Posts
 Posted 06/08/2022  8:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CentSation to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not to dissuade you from opening a shop if you have your mind set on it but, I've "heard" that thinking of a hobby as a hobby is quite different than thinking about a hobby as a business to run [i.e. the hobby is no longer a hobby].

The other thing: if you are finding it hard to part with coins now that will need to change as a business owner.

Those who know what's best for us, must rise and save us from ourselves -- Witch Hunt
Edited by CentSation
06/08/2022 8:31 pm
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 Posted 06/08/2022  11:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Finding someone who would "mentor" you would be a challenge, I expect. All coin dealers are struggling, they do not need to create extra competition for themselves by helping another coin dealer start up. And most aren't big enough to afford to hire assistants, which is the only way someone could actually gain real-world experience in coin dealing.

"Brick and mortar" coin dealers were struggling with the competition from the Internet even before COVID; COVID lockdowns forced everybody to either close up shop completely or go online, and most folks who hadn't tried the online thing before have now realised how much less hassle it is. Many shops that closed during COVID are not re-opening.

Here are some challenges to being a successful B&M coin dealer.

You need to be a "people person". People won't want to sell you their coins, or buy from you, if they don't trust you, and it's much easier to trust someone that you actually like.

At the same time, you need to be a hard-nosed business person. You need to make a profit to pay your bills and buy in new stock, and that means you need to buy low, and sell high. I know one person who was a coin dealer for years; he was an ex-collector and very knowledgeable about coins, but he wasn't as successful in the business as he could have been, because everybody who came into his store with a sad story about how these are coins from grandma who's just passed away, or they've got to sell off their coin collection to pay for lifesaving cancer surgery, or whatever, he would pay them extra for their coins because he felt sorry for them. "Feelings" are very human, but also very anti-capitalistic. I realise that this second point can directly contradict what I said in the first point; you have to work out how to strike that balance.

Likewise, as noted above, and just like people who "invest" in rare coins, "sentimentality" about your own stock can get in the way of profitability, and thus whether you can stay in business or not. I know that some coin dealers remain coin collectors and routinely "buy their own stock" for their personal collections, but only the richest and most successful dealers can afford to do this as much as they might like to. You might really, really like this coin or that coin, but if a customer comes in and likes it too, you've got to sell it, and got to be keen and enthusiastic about selling it.

You have to be prepared for the discouragements. Can you tell someone, to their face, that grandma's expensive coin collection is worthless because she polished the coins to death? Or that the 1970s plastic coin album they've kept their coins in since they were a kid, has ruined the coins? Or that those expensive Franklin Mint coin sets their great aunt bought for them in the 1980s are now worthless because the packaging has decomposed and destroyed the coins? Or that the ancient coins they bought on a cruise to Greece and Turkey are actually fake? Or how about the person who insists that grandpa's coins must be worth a fortune, and says you're lying and trying to rip them off by not paying a fortune for them?

Then there's the "mercenary majority" angle. Several of the coin dealers that I visit regularly, have told me that I'm just about the only "real coin collector" they regularly see; practically everyone else who walks in the door just wants to buy and sell bullion, or to flip the latest Mint products, or whatever. Meanwhile, their awesome inventory of amazing coins just sits there, unlooked-at by all but the tiny minority of their customers.

No wonder most B&M coin dealers still sell most of their stock online.
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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 Posted 06/16/2022  08:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I like coins too much - I would buy them but not sell them out.
I feel like I would suffer the same results.
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