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<H1> Coin Show Attendance and Sales Down for 2017 </H1>
My experimentation of coin shows is almost complete. That is while we are heavily vested in bringing to life an Online coin store which we will pack with Lincoln Cents, Kennedy Half Dollars and Morgan Dollars. In the not too distant future, we will probably expand the products we sell online to include US Half Cents, US Large Cents and Indian Cents. The sky is the limit when it comes to having stock available online. Coin dealers can only display so much merchandise on their tables until it becomes a heap of confusion. Our online store will be as organized as possible. We are planning on offering some short-fused sales on select coins throughout the year, so make sure you bookmark our site, or sign up on the Coin Forum to receive notifications when items are going to be on sale.
I have attended quite a few coin shows in 2017, and there weren't too many blockbuster shows to speak of. I ask many of the coin dealers that are trustworthy and are willing to speak the truth about the sales and people at their tables. many a promoter will simply say "We had a RECORD turnout this year, and there were many dealers that are reporting great sales". When asked about who these dealers were, and what items sold for them, there is no solid evidence. I DO see a mediocre amount of customers within the coin shows, but in 2017, they seem to be window shopping more than actually buying. I talk to many sources during shows, I let them tell me their side of the story at length.
One coin dealer was actually frustrated. He says to me, "I don't know what is wrong, I keep striking out. I have not made one good sale". Paraphrasing another coin dealer, he was willing to give his side of the story and bluntly said "Dealers at shows are here because they don't know technology. People AREN'T buying at coin shows because the majority of coin dealers that are at shows refuse to budge on prices and they are grumpy. Online coin sales are killing the coin shows. A person need not attend a coin show. All he or she has to do is go online, find what they are looking for and when they do, they don't even need a loupe. They can magnify the coin up 20 times or better and see what they are buying. The customer can buy coins online a lot cheaper than they can get at shows." One person attends almost all shows in a large east coast zone. he attends these shows, and he is dynamite at assessing the attendance of the shows. I can trust his judgement and he has a keen eye when it comes to making an opinion on some of the shows in a three to five our trek away from my home. I sat down with him as he flipped through his calendar of events that he attends. in a nutshell, there were only one or two additional shows in a 300+ mile radius, that were longer than one day and had the people in attendance and were actively buying. This man travels to 50+ shows a year. He has both one day venues as well as three to four day coin conventions on his list and he makes notes on them all. It's a sad day when he, and I reflect and come to a somber conclusion that coin shows are slowing down pretty quickly. I have other examples, but I want to limit the size of this post.
When I dive into something, I prepare myself pretty well. I document as much as I can. I talk to dealers that travel to coin shows in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The bottom line is always sales from customers, not sales between the dealers.
There are many other website articles that mention this very subject. They document major coin shows across the country as low attendance and mediocre sales
Here are a few references:
There are hundreds of articles that express the concern at coin shows where people give their side of the story on coin show attendance being low, as well as coin dealers saying some shows are great, but there were less people than last year. The writing is on the wall, much like many other types of shows that died at convention centers and venues across the US, the coin shows are the mercy of online sales.In my opinion, online sales are a better alternative. There are many Pro's to this:
- You don't have to wait for a coin show to come to your area
- You don't have to visit a coin shop with redundant stock
- Online coin stores typically carry slabbed coins. Third Party grading service typically is far superior to any dealer who is not a certified coin grader.
- If you have a problem with a purchase, online returns are easier than tracking down a coin dealer attending shows.
- Online coin purchases can be researched at your leisure, with no pressure or distractions
- Online coin sales allows you to search multiple websites for the product and find the best value.
- Online coin sales typically can be lower. Coin dealers at shows need to pay table fees, hotels, food and transportation fees when attending shows.
In closing, it's up to the coin collectors to keep the coin shows alive. It's up to the coin dealers to offer items at fair market value, and to offer items which the customer expects at a price which is affordable. most of the coin dealers I have witnessed in the 5 state region are older people, some close to 70+ years of age. The majority are over 65, retired and appear to want to get out of the house and do something. Some coin dealers simply rent one table, throw some merchandise on the table and talk all day long with other dealers that are willing to listen to them. From the promoter's side of the house, things need to change. The good ole' boy network that exists needs change. All dealers should be treated equal, but in many cases that is not the case. The only way the coin shows are going to stay alive is coming up with a marketing plan that will draw in the younger generation that are avid coin collectors. Simply offering them the same ole' prize show after show, dealers offering bullion at over inflated prices, redundant stock and some dealers who are not the most pleasant people on the planet make up a event that could fail any given year.
My goal is to attend select shows that have more merit, trustworthiness over all of the other coin shows across the eastern USA. As we look forward to 2018 and further, we will list our coin shows we attend on our calendar of events. This post is our opinion of what the coin market and general population of coin collectors and coin dealers that have attended shows in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and were willing to offer their honest opinion on the coin collecting hobby.
I'd love to hear your side of the story on this topic. Simply join the Online Coin Forum and make a post. It's easy and free !
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