Sell my gold coin on eBay or to a coin dealer?
December 27, 2012 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Coin dealer or eBay to sell a 1 oz. Canadian Maple Leaf gold bullion coin? eBay seller fees are $62.50 for the first $1,000 + 2% of the remaining balance over $1,000.
posted by Bushmiller to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Coin dealer!
posted by thelonius at 4:31 PM on December 27, 2012

Wouldn't the obvious path be to take it to one or two coin dealers and get a price and then compare it to what you would get on eBay? If the eBay price isn't significantly different than the dealer price, sell it to the dealer. If the eBay price is higher than the dealer price (as it would likely be), you can judge if the price difference - seller fees is large enough to justify the extra hassle.

I know nothing about coins but the difference with things I do know about is generally high enough to justify the extra hassle of eBay. Numismatics may vary.
posted by Justinian at 4:42 PM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Coin dealer, pawn shop or "We Buy Gold" jeweller. What they'll pay is the spot price based on the fix (and note - Monday is usually the best day to sell gold) - a small percentage of what they'll sell it for. There isn't a huge mark-up on coins like that - it's based on weight, not age or being "collectible." Check online, know what you should be close to getting, and move on to the next place if they won't meet you there.
posted by peagood at 5:21 PM on December 27, 2012

Be sure to factor in any fees you'd take on receiving payment, ebay restricts which payment methods you can use and PayPal fees can be high, and the risk of selling a high value item on ebay.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 6:37 PM on December 27, 2012

Really depends on your location, the number of coin dealers, and the price you can get. Ebay has such a large user base that you'll usually get close to (if not "above") book value. Coin dealers can/will give you a lower price (usually) than the ebay "final price", but you might come out ahead when factoring in fees, shipping, and your time.

PS - Did you know that you can search finished auctions on ebay to get an idea of what the coin is going for?
posted by NYC-BB at 7:12 PM on December 27, 2012

Final price with ebay will almost certainly equal or better what a dealer will offer. The question is if the fees will get you in the end. Only way to find out is to see what a few dealers can give you, and how much you value your time.

If you're not experienced with Ebay I would be inclined to avoid. There are many things you can do to maximise sale prices and someone inexperienced won't know them, or will feel uncomfortable with them (e.g Start with low, or no, reserve).
posted by smoke at 8:09 PM on December 27, 2012

Here's what an eBay search for "1 oz. Canadian Maple Leaf gold bullion coin" turns up, sorted by highest price, when you check the "completed listings" box in the left-hand column. The green prices are actual sold prices; the red are what folks are asking that no one has yet been willing to pay. If you go to the 2nd page of results there seem to be a lot of them selling regularly for $1800, like this one last week. I'm totally not a coin person but that seems like a decent first-pass triangulation of the value of your coin, given that it looks like a few different sellers are getting those prices (though I don't know what differences in the descriptions might do to those values, or how easy it is to fake eBay coin listings). FWIW, the prices on the 1/4- and 1/2-ounce coins appear to confirm an approximate $1600-1800 valuation for a 1-ounce coin.

Compare those values with whatever you've been told by a coin dealer (take the coin to at least two reputable dealers and probably three), then decide if it's worth your time and the eBay fees, or whether one of the dealer offers is enough for you. The dealers will offer less, of course, since they have overhead and profit to figure in, but it might be worth it if you don't want to bother with eBay.
posted by mediareport at 9:22 PM on December 27, 2012

I wonder if you could get a better price on Craigslist? As long as you meet the buyer in a bank and deposit the money immediately, you should be safe, right?
posted by Slinga at 7:58 AM on December 28, 2012

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