Another day where the personal finance community helps each other out. This time it was with my very own coin collection.
As we’re continuing to prepare for our big move to Panama later this summer, we’re cleaning house as much as we can. Between selling, giving away/donating, and trashing all our stuff, we’ve been plenty busy.
Eliminating the big stuff like furniture has been nice. It’s been pretty quick to go on OfferUp and frees up tons of space. We feel like we’re making good progress when that stuff goes out the door.
But then, there’s the smaller stuff that’s a real pain in the @#$. One of those examples is all my collectibles.
I have comic books, Garbage Pail Kids cards (remember those?!), baseball cards, Hot Wheels, autographed books, toys, and other collector’s items. Some of it’s worth some decent money and most is probably not.
But here’s the thing – it takes time to find out the value of this stuff, figure out the best way to sell it, and actually get it out the door. On top of that, once you do sell the item, it doesn’t eliminate that much room… and that room is precious in the small 10×10 storage unit we’re keeping for that first year.
In other words, it’s pretty frustrating to go through and a process I get depressed about every time I think about it.
The “how to sell your coin collection” post…
I had one of my Rubbermaid totes of this stuff in front of me about a month ago filled with collectibles, including my coin collection. I was just starting to bitterly go through it when I took a break to check up on the latest news in the personal finance community.
Of course, one of those sites is J. Money’s Budgets Are Sexy. I met J$ at the FinCon conference in 2017 and we shared a few laughs together. Later on during the event, some of my other friends I had only met days before helped me shave my head into a Mohawk. I mean, they had a Halloween party, so why not, right?
Anyway, what are the chances the day’s post from J is titled “How to Sell Your Inherited Coin Collection”? Aww, snap – just what I needed!
Turns out J. Money has a passion for coin collecting. In fact, I found out he runs another blog called CoinThrill that I wasn’t even aware of at the time.
He had some great info in his “how to sell” post and one of the points he mentioned was to take your coin collection to a local coin club. That was a completely new thought to me, but it sounded like a much better option than taking them all to a dealer.
So I expressed my appreciation in the comments…
J. ended up replying back…
Knowing J$, I think he was sincere about wanting to hear what happens. That’s a man who’s passionate about his coin hobby!
The visit to the coin club
I dug into the coin club idea right away and found out there’s a local club that gets together every month about 15 minutes from where I live. And how about this – that day for the month was the next day!
I used to have a lot more coins that my grandfather had given me when I was younger, but I sold them off years ago. The buyer was buying for the silver value of the coins. The understanding that he was only buying the coins where the silver value was worth more than what the coin itself was worth otherwise.
But who knows? I didn’t know the actual values and he could very well have swindled me… live and learn. I was young and the $362 I got for the coins made me feel like I was rich.
So I brought my remaining shoebox worth of coins with me to the coin club get-together.
That was something. Everyone was very nice, but almost everyone was at least 25-30 years my senior. And when I say everyone, I was expecting there to be maybe half a dozen folks there. But I bet there were easily 75 people there for the meet-up!
Eventually, I was introduced to the “go-to” guy at the club. He had a table and folks were coming back and forth to his little corner to buy some of the coins he was selling.
In between the business, he found a couple of coins that appealed to him, but he said most of the ones I showed him weren’t worth much. He didn’t get through everything though with all the people shuffling over to his table.
Then suddenly, he disappeared and the next thing I knew he was at the front of the room talking on a microphone. Everyone sat down and was quiet and suddenly I was awkwardly trapped in the back corner of this giant room.
He was in charge of being the auctioneer for others there who put their coins up for bid. Ugh. I was stuck there… he was basically standing right in front of the exit with all eyes in the room focused there.
So I was going to wait it out. That is until someone handed me a copy of the program… 175 items up for auction – one at a time!
For someone who’s got a passion for this, the hours that would take would probably be enjoyable. However, I’m not that person. I finally “snuck” out in between auction items as quietly as I could.
J$ to the rescue!
So, I got back not surprised that I didn’t hit the lottery there on my coin collection. But I was disappointed that I still had my coins in hand.
I gave J. a reply just to follow-up…
And then, the light at the end of the tunnel…
We then exchanged a couple of emails and I sent him a crap-load of photos of my coin collection. Yes, a crap-load. Like over sixty. That might not be a crap-load if we were talking about photos of Jennifer Aniston, but that’s too many photos of coins for my liking.
After a few days, J. hit me back. He didn’t see anything worthwhile at a glance, but I could send him the coins and he’d make me an offer.
I didn’t hesitate. I shipped the coin collection right out to him.
At this point, you might think this was silly. Why not just take them to a dealer and cut my losses with whatever they give me rather than paying to ship a heavy box to another state in the country?
Well, first off, I trust J. Isn’t that weird? I’ve met the guy only twice and feel like he’d never screw me over. Sucker, right?
Second, he’s already taken a bunch of his time to help me out on this.
Third, it only cost me $13.95 to ship him that heavy box through the post office.
So I shipped it and waited…
Well, hello, super-model!
I love J. Money, but the highlight of this transaction had to be related to a super-model.
When I mailed my coins to J., I thought it would be fun to include a completely different collectible in the shipment. I put in a poster of the one and only Kathy Ireland in the box.
I realized that J. got the package when he put this on Twitter…
Now that’s funny, right? And of course, I told J. that the coin collection is the better choice!
But the big surprise came when the star of the tweet, Kathy Ireland herself, actually responded…
Not only was it cool that she responded, but she actually put in a little time in the reply, too! And with a net worth of over $420 million, I think she fits in pretty well in the financial independence community, don’t you?! 🙂
The grand finale of the coin collection
To me, what actually happened with my coin collection became irrelevant. It was all worth it just to have my ultimate crush in my teenage years be a part of a conversation with me, J$, and the personal finance community.
But, I suppose you want to know what transpired.
Well, J. confirmed what he had already told me via the photos he looked at earlier – I didn’t have anything too worthwhile.
He spent FOUR HOURS going through my coins and determined that the lot of it would probably retail for about $200-$300. This is what a dealer could sell them for, not what they would offer.
He offered me $150 for them all. Or, he gave me the option where he could sell them individually over the year for likely a little more money and cut me a check minus a small commission.
Uh, yeah – $150 is good. I’m done with it for sure and need to get rid of it. Desperate seller, anyone?
So I took him up on the $150 offer and he sent me over payment via PayPal. One less box of stuff to worry about getting rid of before the move!
He did say that he was going to resell everything but keep one of them. That got me curious to know which one.
The answer – an 1896 Morgan silver dollar. In his words, “It’s not worth a whole lot but it’s just a pretty coin and has some nice toning around the edges!”
Hopefully, he enjoys it more than I did. I just kept it in a shoebox for probably the past 35 years!
So there you have it… the day I sold my coin collection to the rock star, J. Money!
Not only that, but we had the famous Kathy Ireland be a part of this story as well. You couldn’t ask for anything better!
Oh, wait – yes you could. During our PayPal transaction, I learned J. Money’s real name!
I probably shouldn’t share this with you, but I like you guys and I’m sure you won’t spread it around. Keep this on the down-low, but his real name is [redacted by the Budgets Are Sexy corporate mega-attorneys]. So there you go – ssshhhh! 😉
Now before you go bugging him to send him all your old coins, know that he was just doing me a favor. And likely, that was just because I was willing to shave my head like his a couple of years ago.
I doubt he’d want to put in the amount of effort he did for everyone. My suggestion is that you shave your head into a Mohawk first and only then ask him if he’d be willing to look over your coin collection as well.
No, please don’t. Leave him alone. He’s too nice. He shouldn’t have even appeased me as much as he did.
What do think? Think I made the right move selling my old coin collection to the infamous J. Money?
Thanks for reading!!