Andrew Brunhart Explains How to Sell Coins at Auction

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Information about Andrew Brunhart Explains How to Sell Coins at Auction
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Published on February 3, 2014

Author: andrewbrunhart

Source: slideshare.net

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Many collectors have only been amassing their collections for five to ten years, and many need to sell their coins in a pinch. Consigning coins to auction can be a very complex process with numerous factors to consider: Have you had trouble selling these particular coins through other channels? Is your collection too large/expensive to be sold together as one unit? To place reserves or not to place reserves? What type of sale should you choose? Andrew Brunhart of the WSSC navigates these tricky waters.

How  to  Sell  Coins  at  an  Auction   By  Andrew  Brunhart   December  5,  2013     Eric  P.  Newman,  a  102-­‐year-­‐old   retired  lawyer  from  St.  Louis,   recently  auctioned  off  his   unparalleled  1,800-­‐piece  coin   collection  in  New  York  City.   Newman  began  the  collection   in  the  1930s  and,  all  told,  spent   about  $7,500  on  it.  The  sale,   hosted  by  Heritage  Auctions,   took  two  days,  and  in  the  end   earned  Newman  a  grand  total   of  $23  million.     That’s  all  well  and  good  for  a  rockstar  collector  like  Eric  Newman,  but  what  about   the  rest  of  us?  Many  collectors  have  only  been  amassing  their  collections  for  five  to   ten  years,  and  many  need  to  sell  their  coins  in  a  pinch.  Consigning  coins  to  auction   can  be  a  very  complex  process  with  numerous  factors  to  consider:     1. Have  you  had  trouble  selling  these  particular  coins  through  other   channels?  If  so,  there’s  a  very  good  chance  they’ll  have  trouble  at  auction   too.  Avoid  selling  your  best  pieces  elsewhere  and  saving  your  least  popular   for  the  auction  block.  Instead,  sell  the  low  quality  coins  as  soon  as  possible,  at   a  discount,  and  save  your  best  ones  for  auction.  It  seems  intuitive,  but  a  lot  of   people  make  this  mistake.   2. Is  your  collection  too  large/expensive  to  be  sold  together  as  one  unit?  If   so,  many  potential  buyers  won’t  be  able  to  afford  your  collection,  or  they   might  be  uninterested  because  they’ll  already  have  some  of  the  pieces.   Generally  speaking,  it’s  usually  better  to  break  up  your  collection  into   individual  coins  to  yield  yourself  the  most  profit.  Of  course  there  are   exceptions,  for  example  in  cases  where  buyers  would  prefer  an  original,   matched  set.   3. To  place  reserves  or  not  to  place  reserves?  While  not  placing  a  reserve   can  be  frightening,  coins  consigned  without  reserve  are  usually  given  the   best  commission  rates,  and  bidders  are  often  more  excited  by  unreserved   coins.  At  the  same  time,  if  your  piece  is  part  of  a  specialty  field  or  an   otherwise  thinly  traded  market  with  a  low  number  of  buyers,  you  would  do   well  to  place  a  reasonable  reserve  to  prevent  the  first  bidder  from  snatching   it  up  for  an  unreasonably  low  price.  Of  all  the  factors  on  this  list,  reserves  are  

probably  the  most  complicated,  so  I  recommend  seeking  help  from  a   specialist  who  knows  your  case.   4. What  type  of  sale  should  you  choose?  If  your  collection  is  small,  you  could   get  easily  lost  or  outperformed  in  a  huge  convention  auction.  At  the  same   time,  if  your  collection  is  very  valuable,  commission  rates  can  be  higher  at   these  types  of  auctions.  Internet  auctions  are  also  a  possibility,  but  these   don’t  always  have  the  excitement  of  an  old  fashioned  floor  auction.  When  it   comes  right  down  to  it,  the  most  important  thing  is  to  find  an  auction  that  fits   your  collection.     Coin  collections  are  very  precious  things.  Oftentimes,  you’ve  spent  a  great  deal  of   time,  money,  and  energy  amassing  one,  and  you  don’t  want  it  to  be  all  for  naught.   Always  know  all  your  options  and  always  get  advice  from  an  expert  before  making   any  big  decisions.       Andrew  Brunhart  is  currently  leading  the  start-­‐up  of  new  functions  for  the  Bureau  of   Engraving  and  Printing  focusing  on  strategic  change,  portfolio  and  project   management,  order  management  and  delivery  systems,  and  quality  assurance.   Previously,  Andrew  Brunhart  was  Chief  Operating  Officer  of  the  United  States  Mint   charged  with  leading  a  turnaround  to  become  a  learning,  accountable,  results-­‐ oriented  organization.  Prior  to  this  service,  he  was  Chief  Executive  Officer  of  the   Washington  Suburban  Sanitary  Commission  (WSSC)  in  Laurel,  Maryland,  the  nation’s   eighth  largest  combined  water  and  wastewater  utility  serving  2M  citizens  of  two   counties.  In  that  capacity,  Andrew  Brunhart  led  utility-­‐wide  turnaround  efforts  and   guided  revitalization  of  Engineering  and  Capital  Programs  ($1.5B)  proactively   addressing  WSSC’s  aging  infrastructure  via  1,500  employees.  During  his  tenure,  WSSC   received  recognition  as  one  of  the  “Best  Places  to  Work”  in  Maryland  for  three   consecutive  years.      

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