ANA Report – August 5-8, 2014
This year I decided to give up our corner table at the ANA. It was impossible to justify the $2,500 expense and we have more flexibility. Paul and I worked on the floor and Joe did the auctions.
We started right away with a snafu. We were held up at the airport for an hour beyond normal. We got to the show and security was closed so I had to bring our bags to the hotel and Paul went onto the ANA floor. I ended up losing another hour and when I finally got to the show I was not allowed to buy early bird badges. The early bird badges are a whopping $150 per badge. The ANA rep said they ran out of badges. I believe they gave them all to the bused in buyers a few dealers hired to stand in line for JFK mint products. So you had dealers that normally walk the floor all week and advanced collectors that stay most of the week that were denied doing hours of potential business. I know it’s hard for the ANA or the dealers that bused in people to judge the ramifications but this was poorly thought out in the pursuit of money. I will not be surprised if lawsuits arise from the auctions of a few dealers. I hope the ANA bills these dealers for any extra security costs too! The mint should use a lottery system to allocate new and popular mint issues. Doing it the way they currently are allows for too much short term price manipulation. I am also worried about future show security. Many of the people who were bused in were grouped up in clusters around the show all day, watching what was going on. I believe the potential for future security problems is great.
The show was decent; not great attendance but some very nice coins were available. However, I am noticing less U.S. dealers taking tables. The ANA does not do enough to help dealers control their expenses. The ANA’s hand is always out but they are not reciprocating. For the first time in years, we bought more than we sold at a show. Rest assured, you have to pay for quality! I’m just glad that we have clients that understand that “quality doesn’t cost, it pays!” The show itself is shrinking.
The auctions were strong. We consigned a few of our own coins and some client pieces we placed over the years that did amazingly well. Most of the coins sold for over our retail asking prices! I spoke to a client of ours this afternoon that was amazed at how his coins did in the auction. He was very thankful that he does business with RCNH and purchased our top quality coins.
I tried to submit coins to PCGS but it was difficult due to people submitting those rare Kennedy Half Dollar. The line and time involved to submit early U.S. coins was disconcerting. A person would sit down at the PCGS table with quantities of Kennedys and be there for a 30-60 minutes. If you have 5 or 10 Kennedy submitters at once, you had to wait a long time or break up your schedule and keep trying to come back to the table for an open seat.
I hope the ANA, US Mint, security personnel and dealers get together to ensure a safe and business conducive environment for the future. Overall, I thought the show was a 2 ½ to 3 on a scale of 1-5. And I can’t help but questions if I will go to next year’s ANA show. I think they exposed the coin show circuit to an element that could be dangerous in the future.