Bluesheet: CONVERSATIONS FROM ANAHEIM, PART 3
BY JOHN FEIGENBAUM, PUBLISHER
This week we wrap up the series of conversations based on feedback we received from dealers at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Anaheim. Generally the feedback we have gotten from dealers and collectors has been extremely positive with most folks really happy that we have extensively reviewed pricing, updated the layouts and generally brought Bluesheet and Greysheet into the 21st Century. We’d love to hear from you, so please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have anything to add to the conversation.
WHO HAD A GOOD ANA SHOW... AND WHY?
It’s no secret at this point that the Anaheim ANA was not everyone’s best coin show. In fact most dealers had one or more complaint about this event, whether it was the location (a city too close to the three annual Long Beach shows), venue (convention center under construction with poor parking facilities and a lack of quality hotel rooms), attendance, duration (too long), cost, or simply a general malaise overall. Of course all of these factors contributed, and many of these issues have been a reality for many coin shows
over the years, but all of them were somehow less painful, or less significant, in a better market.
First, a number of dealers reported to us that they had very good shows. But more booth-holding attendees reported to us that they struggled during the week-long event and found themselves wondering if setting up at big national events like the ANA make the best sense for their businesses.
Walking the bourse floor late in the week, I would ask everyone I encountered with nearly the same simple question. “How is your show going?” I quickly learned that I couldn’t reliably predict the answer based on my assumptions. Some dealers I assumed would struggle reported that they were having “a great show.” Others, who I feel are better equipped for this market told me quite the opposite. Clearly something is going on.
Upon reflection, it seems the dealers having successful shows have a couple things going for them. For starters, they carry a distinct inventory that “browsers” at the show cannot trade out for the dealer in the next booth. It pays, at a coin show, to have unique inventory. It’s also incredibly important to have “fresh” inventory that others haven’t seen already. Buyers at a coin show can sniff fresh coins like a bear at a camp site. There always seems to be one or two tables at the ANA with all the buzz going on.
One such booth was Mish International who had a new release Chinese Silver Panda issue (commemorating the show itself!) for sale at his table on Wednesday and Thursday. There was a line of over 50 dealers at one point waiting their turn to buy the limited issue. Finally, the mark of the successful show dealer is market-priced inventory. There’s nothing worse than coming to a show with inventory that is not competitively priced. Having beautiful coins at the wrong price may be good for conversation, but won’t pay the bills.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF COIN SHOWS IN OUR HOBBY? Like most other commercial industries, our hobby is rapidly changing and to succeed in the rare coin business as a dealer you must adapt as well. Coin shows are very important for a number of reasons from turning over inventory (cash flow) to keeping an eye on the pulse of the market. It’s also great to spend time with other dealers to learn from them over a nice dinner at the end of the day. However, it’s also important to grow your customer base away from coin shows. This reality has never been more prescient. Most of the business is evolving to internet-based sales and you should strongly consider building an online presence to make new customers. If you own a coin shop, you still need new outlets for incoming purchases. We also recommend joining CDN Exchange – an online dealer-to-dealer community where you post messages to buy and sell or place bids to demonstrate to other dealers the areas you make a market in. Check it out today at www.cdnExchange.com. The cost is only $100 per month and we’ll give you a free month just to check it out.