Tips on Buying Coins Online

March 23, 2017

Some of you may think that you need to buy coins to start a collection. As a matter of fact, coin collection can begin with the change in your pocket. To grow your coin collection, however, browsing through several websites would help a lot. While buying coins online can be a very rewarding hobby, it can also be a very risky business. There are just as many "bad coins" as there are "bad sellers." When dealing with online businesses, you need to be mindful of who you are dealing with and what you are buying. Here are a few expert tips on how to buy coins online:


1. Don't assume that all old coins are in very poor condition.


If you are buying coins, expect them to be in respectable condition, even if it is over 500 years old. Of course, an older coin in mint condition will always have a higher value.


2. Avoid purchasing problem coins.


You should know that defective coins that go unnoticed will sell substantially less to a numismatist or a sharp-eyed coin dealer.


3. Buy coins because you enjoy collecting them, not because you hope to get rich.


Realize that what you like about coins, others will as well. Therefore, the numismatic value of your collection should grow over time, though not necessarily. Coins are often good investments, growing in value faster than the rate of inflation. If you buy and sell carefully, there is money to be made in collecting coins.


4. "Buy the book before the coin."


This is an oft-used saying in numismatics. It means you should learn about the coins before spending a lot of money on it. One of the best ways to "buy and sell carefully" is to read the book before you buy the coin.


5. Inspect coins before buying.


When purchasing coins, some deals can be "too good to be true." Look for signs that the coin is authentic and not a replica or a counterfeit.


6. Make sure that you have enough information about the coins you're going to buy.


There have been widespread reports about counterfeit old coins that are being mass produced in China. If you buy coins through the internet, make sure that the seller has a good reputation.


7. Be careful when you purchase coins from online auctions.


Unscrupulous sellers often over-state the grade or conditions of coins. Moreover, there are widespread reports of sellers not delivering coins at all.


8. Avoid coin sellers that:


  • Do not show a clear picture of what they are selling or have no pictures at all.

  • Have an account that shows no activity for a few months and is suddenly offering expensive coins or an unusually large amount of coin auctions/listings.

  • Have feedback that has several recent negative reviews. This might be a possible sign of a hijacked account.