How to Simplify the Job of Selling Your Coin Collection

Having questions like, "How can I sell my coin collection?" and "What is my coin worth?" can leave you in a situation where you might not be sure if you'll really be getting the best deal. As is the case with most collectibles, coins are worth whatever the buyer will pay. That leaves a lot of concerns about how to find the right buyers and when you should take an offer.

Doing a Census

Before you sell your coin collection, it's a good idea to get an idea of how big it is. Take the entire collection out and start binning duplicates. Try to look closely for small differences in similar-looking coins, as the difference between a typical buffalo nickel and a three-legged one is pretty drastic.

Once you've binned them all, do a full count. Take at least one picture for each group, and then take the time to enter them into an electronic document. An Excel spreadsheet would be best, but the important thing is to have something you can quickly provide to a number of dealers and that you can readily print out or email.

Establishing Valuations

The internet is your best friend when it comes to establishing prices for coins. One thing worth doing is to learn how to utilize Google's date-range search feature, as you'll want to try to limit valuations to the last year or so to be sure you're getting an accurate sense of what the market might be when you sell your coin collection.

It's also wise to take the time to search for the most valuable versions of a particular coin. While you might not have that one in your collection, it'll give you some idea of what to look for. You'll also start to notice commonalities within the industry, making it easier for you to spot true rarities.

Finding Buyers

There are three ways to connect with potential buyers. First, you can try to sell directly, such as listing your coins on eBay. Second, you can contact dealers and see who'll give you the best offer. Third, you can sell them at an auction.

When working with a dealer, try to be aware that they need some overhead left when done buying to still turn around and make a profit. An auction is only worth the effort if you're comfortable absorbing the fees, usually around 20 percent, and selling quickly.