The following is excerpted from Clifford Mishler’s Coins: Questions & Answers
Selling to a Coin Shop
Your local coin shop has the advantage of the personal touch that might be lacking in, for example, mail-order sales or Internet auctions. Good coin-shop proprietors do more than just run a cash register: They are fonts of numismatic knowledge, and are happy to educate and advise their customers. An active coin dealer stays up to date on the hobby and the market, knows about tax and estate laws that might affect your sale, and has the resources and experience to study your collection and make educated decisions. Many dealers attend multiple coin conventions yearly, and maintain connections with other dealers and collectors. This gives them a wide arena for selling coins—which provides the leverage to offer you a good price.
A coin shop can be a venue for selling numismatic items of any value. Keep in mind, though, that very rare or specialized coins will likely fetch a higher price at public auction. An advantage of selling to a coin shop is that the owner can often make you an offer and write you a check on the spot.
As with any other commercial venue, you should feel comfortable with the integrity of the shop’s proprietor and staff. If you haven’t dealt with them before, talk to coin-collector friends, inquire at the local coin club, and check with the Better Business Bureau. Look at the shop’s website, advertisements, and any in-house flyers or publications—do they project fairness and professionalism?
Coin shops can be found in your phone book’s business directory. Before you take your coins to a shop, call ahead to make sure the owner or a qualified assistant will be there to examine your coins. A busy dealer might be away from the office at a coin show, and can schedule a convenient time to meet with you or to examine your coins at your home or bank. It is always a good policy to solicit at least two quotes before you decide to sell.