By Marcy Gibbel
With coin show season well under way, it’s a perfect time to offer a few tips that will make your experience even more enjoyable as you plan your show schedule for the year.
#1: Establish a Budget.
Unless you have unlimited funds, you may regret coming home from the coin show with a case full of coins you didn’t budget for.
If this is your first coin show, you’ll learn just how easy it is to spend money. Set your budget 10 percent below what you can afford. If you end up spending slightly more, that 10 percent cushion will keep your cash in check.
#2: Speaking of Cash: Bring It.
Even in this day of debit cards and electronic payment apps, many coin dealers aren’t able or choose not to complete credit or debit transactions at coin shows. Cash will come in handy, too, if you have to pay for parking.
#3: Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes.
Shoes so comfortable, you’d wear them for a day at an amusement park.
Big coin shows are held in big venues, like major convention halls, or hotel ballroom suites. The bourse floor of some shows covers multiple levels of a facility. And don’t forget the parking lot or structure. Between the two, you’ll easily walk a few miles.
#4: Bring a Friend.
Someone to walk and talk with, maybe even get a little help or advice from, can make the day more enjoyable. And make sure you have a parent’s permission before planning your show trip.
#5: Bring Your Want List.
You’ll never remember every coin you want to get, so don’t even try. Make a want list and remember to bring it with you to the coin show.
#6: Early Bird Gets the Worm.
Arrive early, not toward the end of the day, when some dealers may be packing up.
#7: Pick Up a Program and Map.
Major coin shows attract hundreds of dealers. Even if you plan to attend multiple days, you’ll have to pick and choose which ones to visit, because there really is no way to stop by every booth. Decide which type of coin dealers you’re looking for – ancient coins, bullion coins, rare U.S. coins – and go to those dealers first.
#8: Take Names.
… and phone numbers, addresses, websites, and email addresses. There will be many dealers you may want to work with in the future. Make sure you have their contact information so you can stay in touch.
#9: If You’ve Got It, Hide It.
Don’t flaunt your purchases or flash your cash, and watch your back. Some unsavory characters will tail their victims. If it seems like you keep seeing the same person behind you, it’s possible you may be a target. If you feel uncomfortable, seek out an adult you trust, a security guard, or police officer and have them walk you to your car, or another pre-designated meeting place.
#10: Get More Bang for Your Buck.
Many major coin shows now charge an admission fee, so make the most of it. Buying or selling coins on the bourse may be your main reason for attending a show, but take advantage of the other activities offered. Attend seminars or lectures, sit in on an auction, view the exhibits, and make some new friends who share your interest in coins.