1. Understand the value of what you are buying. Different kinds of coins have different value. If you are trying to buy silver coins at circulated coins value, then you will sure be disappointed. If you have been a collector for a while, then it’s easy for you to work out a fair value of a coin or a set of coins. If you are new, you may need to spend some time on the topic you are interested in and know how much they worth.
2. Try to buy at mint first. It’s very unlikely that you can buy coin or set at below issue price. If it’s still available at mint, you are lucky to buy at issue price. In Australia, this means Royal Australia Mintor Perth Mint.
3. If you are buying silver, gold or platinum coins, you may follow the metal price. There are two parts of the coins, the cost of base mental and the coin itself, which includes the design, the topic, the mint and all other details about this coin. For the coins made from same material, the more expensive the coin is, the less the base mental value in it. But more or less, the price changes after the base metal price. You can check the metal price at Australian and World Coins Database.
4. Like all other products, coins’ values also change during a year, which has peak season and off-peak season. Not like other products which are more expensive before Christmas and cheaper at Boxing Day, coins have their own up and downs. However, different category may have different timing. You can search completed items on eBaysee how much the coins had recently sold. Also, you can find some recent sold item prices on Australian and World Coins Database.
5. Keep a good relationship with at least one of the dealers. Visit their shop regularly and have a small talk with the owner when you buy something. Ask for a discount if you feel like the price is higher than market.
6. Find out what are the dealers within certain distance. You can find the list of dealers from ANDA, Royal Australia Mintor Perth Mintwebsite. Also, you can also search retail shops on The Directory of Australian Coin Dealers.
7. Check online coin stores. Some good online coin website includes (not limited to) Downies, Peter Strich, Ye Olde Coin, Coin Cluband many others.
8. Make your own list of eBay stores. Search them first when you need something. This list includes your favourite dealers as well as some collectors who selling coins with good condition and reasonable price.
9. Count in the reward program. Some dealers will give you reward points and allow you to redeem them after certain time. Coin club even give $5 worth silver for every $100 dollars spend on their store.
10. If you pay by credit card, you may have a reward program for whatever you spend. At the time of writing, many major banks (CBA, Westpac, ANZ, NAB, Citibank and so on) are giving you about %0.50 worth point for every $100 dollars. Check your terms and conditions of your credit card for details.
11. Attend online communities and make friends there. You many have chances to exchange coins with other members. CCF (Coin Community Forum)and ACBO (Australian Coins and banknotes Online) are two of the famous forums of Australian coins.
12. Try to find coins without packages or boxes. If what you need are coins, don’t bother to pay for the packages. Sometimes this may be less than half for coins without packages compared to those with full packages.
13. Try to ask the dealer can you trade in the coins you don’t need any more and get a discount on the coins you need. Most coin dealers accept trade in but only on those coins they need. Try to talk to them and get good understanding about what they need and what they have.
14. If you believe the coin you are buying will became more popular in the future, you can buy more than you want and sell some on eBay. They will reduce your coin in the end. For example, you bought 5 2011 Tasmanian Tiger 1oz Silver Proof Coins at $94.5, and sell 3 on eBay at $199 which is quite easy now, after eBay and PayPal fees, you can make about $240, which means you can have the other two beautiful coins for free and still have some extra money.
15. Know how eBay works and get cheap price. By default, eBay return items by best match. However, you can sort by price + postage. This can help you find out what are the cheapest ones. Be careful not just sort by price, which will lead you to some coins at lower price, but higher shipment fees. Also, you can check same items from international eBay sites. For example, you may find it cheaper from eBay UK than Australia. There are many tricks on eBay but we won’t go further in this way. Search and find tips and tricks on eBay.
16. Buy coins at auctions. It’s not as easy as buy at retail shop or eBay. However, if there is a long want list, you probably find it easier to buy them all from an auction. Again, we won’t go into this direction too much. Please search for tips on auctions.
17. Count your time in. You can never say the one you bought is the cheapest one. However, the more time you spend, more likely you find the cheaper one. However, does a few dollars worth hours search? Well, that’s your decision.