Whether you want to purchase coins for a personal collection or as an investment, the Internet gives you access to a lot more choice than shopping at shows or buying from local dealers. Buying online can also make it difficult to truly see and assess what you are purchasing before money changes hands, though, so it's vital that you know the proper way to buy rare coins online. The following guide can help you find the coins you want to complete your collection.
Check the Seller's Credentials
Fortunately, this is relatively easy to do in the information age. You can check Better Business Bureau ratings or online ratings databases on almost any company, which will give you a fairly accurate gauge to the authenticity of the coin dealer. If you are buying from private parties on auction sites, make sure they have good feedback and ratings on the site itself, and avoid new sellers that haven't yet proven themselves.
Look for Referrals
Spend some time on online coin collector forums and talk to other coin enthusiasts. Online dealers and sellers are often the subject of conversation, which will give you insider information on which coin dealers to avoid and which ones are known for providing fair deals and authentic coins. These forums are also places to seek advice, so they provide an invaluable resource of information and tips.
Take Advantage of Purchase Protection
The way you pay can also protect you. Make sure the credit card or online payment processor you choose to pay with offers some form of purchase protection. This means you will be allowed to dispute the charge and request a charge reversal if the coin doesn't arrive or if it isn't authentic. Some auction sites also offer buyer protection, which you can invoke if necessary. Just make sure to pay attention to the fine print—you may need to invoke buyer protection within a certain window of time after the purchase is finalized.
Look for Graded Coins
When buying online, it can be well worth the few extra dollars necessary to buy a slabbed and graded coin. These coins are in mint-sealed holders, called slabs, and they have been graded for condition and authenticity by a third-party grading company. Although it's possible for these to be counterfeited, it's less likely. Popular collector's coins, such as Indian head cents, are often easier to find slabbed or graded as compared to rarer coins, as well.
To get started with your online buying experience, contact a company like Penny Pincher Coins & Jewelry.