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Stumpy's Blog

29 Sep 2020

Confused in Nevada

Coins-United States | Stumpy

I truly hate to post a blog with just a few questions, but this is the most efficient way to get the best feedback so please excuse me this one time. I have been talking to some of the older members and have gotten some good answers but I am still somewhat confused. I am smart enough to think I know the basic reasons for their behavior but as a former corporate manager I am still stunned by a seeming lack of acute business sense, also please keep in mind that even though I'm an older guy, I only became involved in April of this year, so I don't have any practical experience with the U.S. Mint to compare to.

When presented with a product that does not sell, (I will use the American Innovation Dollar Coin, after all they are still trying to sell the coins that were produced in 2018 & 2019), they continue to increase the prices each year. I know they are committed to producing this coin, and I really don't know how much it costs to produce, but really? Increasing the cost 15% on a product that has yet to empty the stock produced in the last two years stuns me.

As Mr. Norris pointed out in his blog, the mint is looking at increasing the 3" medal pricing from $39.95 to $160.00, this also on an item that is not selling like expected and is "losing the mint money". Who is not dealing within the realm of reality here?

I understand that many of these programs are congressionally approved and have a run time, for example the Dollar program listed above is supposed to run from 2018-2032. Can we not put some logic into this program? How about when started if a product doesn't sell a certain amount within a reasonable time frame, the program is reviewed, with the option to cancel the program?

And don't even get me started on the Colorized Silver Basketball coins. The increase on the pricing for one simple red ribbon around the coin almost doubles the price? I'm not buying one anyway, but it is a classic example of what I am confused by.

I can afford these prices if I really want the item, but am I willing to do so? Are John and Susan Q. Public willing to do so? Simple Supply and demand is at work here, I don't care what your purchasing power is, the more each coin costs the fewer coins an individual will or in many cases can purchase.

What about our younger members just starting out, or as a friend whose blog I read faithfully said recently "I am a blue collar guy and have to watch what I spend", what about our Retirees living on a fixed income? Remember, it's not only how much you make, it's how much you allocate to this hobby we all love.

Something else that is on my mind is the price of Gold, Silver and other medals, we all know the asking prices fluctuate, since they are higher right now, (although silver is coming down) are the prices next year going through the roof? Does the mint set the price of the medal based on market price plus a certain percent over for profit? As my Grandfather would say to me "Boy, I ain't got a clue".

Finally in closing I will just say that dealing with the U.S. Mint is making me want to pull out what hair I have left. If times get tougher, I will adjust, heck, we all will. I am just at a loss for what seems to be a total lack of proper and logical planning . I shouldn't expect more, I was military and dealt with the government aspect for years. But if they keep on at the pace they seem to be sitting this will no longer be an affordable hobby for all, it will once again be a "Hobby of Kings". Please see if you can help explain it to this old guy. Sorry if this came out more like a rant than a question. Later Y'all

Comments

Stumpy

Level 5

Well, I agree with you there. I had not considered adding them to the annual sets, but I can see them doing that. Thanks for the feedback. Later!

Long Beard

Level 5

Where to begin? With the dollar program, which has me shaking my head as well, it appears as though the mintage levels are dropping based on initial sales. Yet increasing the purchase price somewhat makes up the difference between supply and demand but most likely will fail to generate sales on the increase. As for bullion, these are bought by the consumer from authorized purchasing agents which add their fee to the price paid. Comemmoratives are the exception. In no fashion am I defending the United States Mint for their pricing structure,. Back to those dollars, I truly believe these are going to be incorporated into the annual sets after The America the Beautiful program ends next year. How else would they justify the current prices? An absolute certainty would not be to reduce the price.

Longstrider

Level 6

Who can know what is in our betters at the mints mind? They are all so much smarter than us.. Really, I don't think they have a clue about us collectors or even care. For them, it's all about selling to "their" dealers. Guys like Modern Coin Mart and the curious name of GovMint. Maybe they should go back to just making coinage for circulation and take a time out of retail sales. They suck at it. Thanks Stumpy.

"SUN"

Level 5

Nice blog. I feel asking questions in blogs is a great way to learn what people think about collecting in general. Collecting what you like is great. It is also good to hear why some collect or not collect certain items.

Stumpy

Level 5

Golfer and Kepi said it better than I could. One, forget buying a coin from the mint for value or potential value, cause most are going to be selling on e-bay cheaper in just months to years, and the mint isn't in it for the truly collectable coin, as Mike B says; They seem to have no imagination/creativity when designing coins. They truly seem to have become a mid to high price gift shop. Having said that, I will continue to purchase some coins from them. I leave you folks with one thought, "Why was I able to buy a Slabbed 2019 ASE, graded PF69 for about what I could purchase a non-slabbed Proof 2019 coin from the U.S. Mint? That my brothers and sisters is just wrong on so many levels. Later!

Mike

Level 7

When the mint figures out what there doing maybe then we will know what there doing. There looking money on some items so they up there price. There designers have no imagination. They have all the equipment but no imaganotion. That's a big problem.. Thanks. Don't lose your mind over them!!

Kepi

Level 6

I love your blog Stumpy! I agree with everything you wrote. Its mind boggling what our Mint does and doesn't do for that matter. I can't remember the last coin I purchased from the Mint. It does seem like they want to be a "gift" shop...

Golfer

Level 5

U.S. Mint is making more novelty items then true collectibles. It truly is buy what you like for the subject matter and appearance. I think the products make great gifts for someone you know is interested in the subject matter. Say a coin with a sailboat for someone who sails or loves the boats and ships. I believe the mint is saturating the market with so much stuff that even low mintage material wont bring a premium. But that is my investment mind working. I think most of us want to feel were buying a collectible with some monetary potential in the long run ? The price hiking is sad, but if someone will pay it, that is their decision. Nobody wants to buy a 3 inch medal for 160 dollars, only to find out in a couple years its selling for 95 on ebay ! Buy mint products for the enjoyment of having a nice coin or medal.

Stumpy

Level 5

That is exactly what I was thinking. Do something creative to lower the stock and don't produce as many in the future or cancel the program entirely. As we have both experienced, Government policy is seldom logical. Thanks for the reply.

Mokie

Level 6

If you think about most retail businesses, when they have an overabundance of a product they usually discount it to clear it from their inventory. The Mint, being a government entity does the exact opposite? I worked for the federal government for 30 years so I know how wasteful and inefficient they can be, but raising prices when you have leftover stock or because the product is a money loser seems counter intuitive. If it doesn't sell, lower the price and draw down the inventory, if your losing money on the item, either discontinue it entirely or make a modest increase. 400% on those medals is RIDICULOUS. So, bottom line, I have no answer to your question of WHY other than to say it is the government way to do things in a half-ass manner..

Stumpy

Level 5

Yeah, FUBAR, SNAFU, PPPPPP. In case you've don't recognize the last it was our Commander's favorite saying, "Proper Planning Prevents P _ _ _ Poor Performance! Silly Wabbit! What was I thinking? A government entity behaving rationally? I deserve any scorn thrown my way.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

What is that acronym Stumpy? Something about FUBAR? Its been that way for a long time but exactly when did Government become synonymous with frivolous and wasteful spending. Obviously the mint is out of touch. I always liked collecting business strikes anyway.

I don't know why they keep making the things they do. maybe if the listened to collectors instead of Congress like they did when the mint was first created they wouldn't be losing so much money.

Stumpy

Level 5

I was trying to say, it wasn't the existing coins pricing that I was objecting to, it was the new yearly price increase on coins that weren't selling, and the crazy increases on some of the products, not all. I apologize, I wasn't clear enough on that.

Mike

Level 7

First it would help if the mint knew what they are doing. When Congress passed the law for a coin or series to be made you can't stop it. It's like any other law. Why did prices go up? Well no one's buying them so to cut there losses they increase the price. I know nothing about the medals going up to 160.00. For some bronze?Bronze goes for about 15.00 an ounce. I haven't checked latley. Basketball was.a test and it's failing. I just check the prices on ebay. They have already gone down. My friend explained it to me. They have all the equipment to make beautiful coins. However the designers have no imagination. I sent an email to the mint. The first one they never answered.. I mentioned there worse commen. Ellis Island. I came through there. They have a family with a small boy holding a big flag. Not one star. Then they put New Jersey on it. Didn't do there homework. In the 1990's The Supreme Court ruled a percentage belonged to N.Y. Not on the coin.. I could go on but I'm getting tired of them. Take care

coinfodder

Level 4

Very very interesting... this is why it is paramount to buy coins at the introductory price to avoid being ripped off. IF you don't, the price will rise quite a bit.

TheNumisMaster

Level 5

Very interesting.... I havnt heard of this issue before now, but reading this makes me think I know whos crazy and who isnt, but I have not done the research to publicly publish my current opinion. I am very interested in what other people say. Love the blog stumpy, Cheers, NumisMaster

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