Every week we get emails from our clients asking our fearless leader John Brush for his knowledge and opinions on a wide range of issues within the coin industry. In the previous Just Ask John, JB answered questions about the origin of the fascinating American Bank Note Company Stamp Plate Collection which you can still view on our website! This week John pulls back the curtain on the inception of our DLRC Consignment Special and breaks down how we treat the negotiation process when selling a coin.
You have a really cool thing going, and I am mostly pretty happy with our relationship; however, it feels like you could be more generous when it comes to using auction proceeds to purchase your retail coins? Your auction business model appears to be the same whether I am taking my proceeds and running, or if I'm purchasing more coins from you. From your business perspective, which do you prefer? From my perspective, I would likely sell more, and subsequently buy more, if I knew that there was greater value in it for me.
Thank you for the business and for the email. I always appreciate feedback and your comments had me reflecting on a few topics last night.
Your question is a fair one and worth some consideration, so here are my rambling thoughts in an attempt to answer your question. I tend to type with a free-flow style, so I hope you’ll forgive that. Please take my comments for what they are, a work in progress, and an attempt to come up with new ideas by explaining our thought process.
The concept of our consignment special was that with the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized that we weren’t going to have any upcoming coin shows to source coins from. We thought that if we were able to offer a consignment program that was better than all of our competitors, it would be an attraction for those who are still considering selling a coin or a collection. Thus, the rates that we advertised (and that you received) were a stretch past what we’ve ever offered before. It’s been such a success that we’re going to extend those rates for the time-being. Although we've been able to keep our inventory fresh and bring some truly incredible coins to market, the reality is that with these rates, we just don’t have room to give additional incentives for using the proceeds. Perhaps it was a folly to come out with such a great rate (without any extra fees) but you can see the intent there.
I feel it is also worth mentioning that when you inquired as to the best price on a coin that we had offered, I cut right to the chase and immediately gave you my absolute best price on it. We’re in an unusual business that typically appreciates negotiating, and DLRC certainly does that on the buying side when working with other dealers. But when it comes to our customers we often feel that the haggling process undermines the trust we want to build with our collectors. I was once told that the best result in negotiating is when neither party is happy. I tend to think that it’s when both parties feel they were treated fairly, consistently, and without manipulation. This is something that goes back to the founder of DLRC, David Feigenbaum. One of his mantras was to price coins fairly and to always be good to customers.
These values have shaped how we do business today and it’s why we were such a good fit for Dell Loy Hansen. He bases his businesses on being fair to everyone that he’s partners with. It’s easy to negotiate for a better deal in many cases, but if you build relationships by being consistent and fair, it’ll often work out better in the long run. That’s probably way too many words to simply say, “you asked for the best price, so I gave it to you", but I felt it important to express why I did that. It’s just how we do business. We always want to be straight-forward and honest, whether you’re selling with us or buying from us.
Pivoting now to the future, I think the problem we've reached is that we offered too good of a consignment program for sellers and we didn’t build in any room on the pricing to negotiate. There are certainly other ways that we can try to build incentives when it comes to outright trading coins, or perhaps with small benefits like coin cards, shipping discounts, etc., but it’s difficult to improve on what we’re already trying to offer as the best service to our customers. This sounds like a terribly cheesy sales pitch, but it’s true. We view all of our customers as being part of a relationship where we want to work hard for you, whichever side of the transaction you’re on. We’d love to give you more, but we’ve structured our systems so that our rates and prices are always as good as we can reasonably make them.
To answer your final question on our business perspective: we prefer you to do both with us. We’re going to treat you and anyone else who works with us as consistently as we can at all angles of the industry and we believe that you’ll see this and keep coming back. If at any point we find that we can do a little better, we’re always going to try. We believe in honesty, fairness, and caring about the needs of each and every one of our customers. So, we’ll always offer our best and we’ll always try to make it worthwhile to continue working with us. And, as our client, it's never out of place to let us know if there’s something further we can do to improve your experience. DLRC is built from the ground up to adapt to the market and to the needs of our friends in collecting.
John Brush, President