Wondering how to sell coins online? In this detailed guide, I'll cover everything you need to know about selling coins online and walk you through the steps to set up your online coin shop within a few minutes.
Whether you're an experienced numismatist, a collector with an extensive coin collection, or just looking for a profitable venture, selling coins is now easier than ever.
In this comprehensive guide, I'll show you how to sell coins online and make a profit.
To begin, we'll explore how to identify rare coins in your collection and determine their worth. Then, I'll show you how to set up your online store using WooCommerce, the best eCommerce platform, and showcase coins in a customer-friendly online order form using the WooCommerce Product Table plugin.
How do I find out the value of my coins?
Pricing coins requires a delicate balance. If the price is too high, you risk alienating buyers. If it's too low, you lose money. So, how can you find out how much your coins are actually worth? Here are the top factors to consider:
Buyers and collectors typically prefer coins in 'mint state' — coins that have never been in circulation and are essentially in the same condition as when they left the mint. This is because as coins exchange hands and go through regular use, their details start to fade, and they become worn out and are, therefore, worth less. In addition to wear and tear, imperfections like scratches, dents, and cleaning marks can affect its market value. Mint and well-preserved coins are highly sought after and can be sold for a premium.
Over the years, coins have been minted using various materials like gold, silver, copper, etc. In addition to the history and circumstances surrounding each coin's production, collectors value coins for their intrinsic value and the precious metals used to create them. Gold coins (especially bullions) are worth more than silver coins, which are worth more than copper, and so on.
Scarcity can significantly drive up a coin's value. Coins that were produced in limited quantity or unique variations — like the 1965 Kennedy Half Dollar, American Silver Eagles, American Gold Eagles — are some of the most valuable coins. For example, there are only five confirmed specimens of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, making them incredibly rare and valuable.
Collectors also pay attention to the coin type. Coins minted in the U.S.A are worth more than those from other countries. In addition to the preference for US coins, the coin value matters. A full dollar or pound coin will fetch higher prices than dimes, pennies, and quarters.
Old coins often carry a sense of authenticity that appeals to collectors. The older the coin, especially if it's from a significant time, the more likely it is to be valued by collectors and, subsequently, the higher the price you can command.
Coins tied to pivotal events in history are worth more than generic ones from the same era. The more intriguing and well-documented the history behind a coin, the more desirable it becomes to those in the market. A classic example is the 1804 Silver Dollar (also called the "King of American Coins"). Despite being dated 1804, the 1804 Silver Dollar was minted in the 1830s as diplomatic gifts to Asian rulers. They are highly sought by collectors and investors today, not just because of how old they are but because they are a significant part of early American history.
The combination of the above factors influences collector demand, which, in turn, influences a coin's value. The more desirable your coins are to collectors and buyers, the more you can expect to receive when you sell them.
How to identify rare and valuable coins in your collection
Unless you're a certified numismatist or a keen coin collector, chances are, you're not sure how to determine if your coins are worth top dollar or not. Identifying rare and valuable coins requires a keen eye and a bit of knowledge about them.
Here are some resources to help you recognize if you have scarce and precious coins in your collection:
- Coin grading books: Numismatic reference books and resources include valuable information about specific coins, their varieties, and market values. Renowned books like the Official Red Book or the Standard Catalog of World Coins break down coins by type, year, and mint mark. Plus, they tell you what to look for in terms of wear, scratches, or any peculiarities that could make your coin more valuable.
- Online databases: Websites like NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation) or PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) have extensive databases with images and detailed information about coins. You can input the coin's details, and the databases will tell you if it's a common find or a rare gem. They also provide historical auction prices, population reports, and even notes on specific varieties.
- Network with experienced collectors: Forums like the Professional Numismatist Guild and the American Numismatic Association Members Facebook group and are excellent places to meet folks with considerable expertise in coin collecting. You can easily get answers to FAQs about selling coins, share details about your entire collection and ask for their expert opinions.
- Professional grading services: Companies like NGC and PCGS employ expert numismatists to examine and grade coins for a fee. Professional grading provides an accurate representation of a coin's state and adds credibility to its value in the market.
- Attend events: Coin shows, auctions, and other numismatic events are great places to meet experts and coin dealers. These events offer opportunities to learn from seasoned professionals and stay updated on market trends.
Pro tip: Once you've identified your coin and got an estimate of its worth, head over to websites like eBay and cross-check what similar coins have sold for. This gives better assurance that you've valued your coin accurately.
Choosing the right platform for selling coins
Once you've figured out a reliable method to value your coins, it's time to decide where to sell them. As a first-time seller, you're probably wondering: "Which is the best place to sell old coins?" and "Where is the easiest place to sell coins?"
Where you choose to sell coins impacts how much profit you make. Although there are plenty of options, the best and easiest places to sell coins online are:
- Online marketplaces.
- Auction houses.
- Your website.
Let's explore each in detail to help you decide which option(s) work best for you.
Platforms like eBay, Amazon, Etsy, the American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX), let you create clear, detailed product listings with images and accurate descriptions of each coin. Depending on the marketplace platform you choose, you can set specific prices or opt for competitive bidding.
Pros of selling via online marketplaces
- Global reach: Many online marketplaces let you access a vast audience worldwide, increasing the pool of potential buyers for your coins.
- Convenience: It's relatively easy to join and list products on marketplaces. Plus, you can set things up from the comfort of your couch.
- Competitive bidding: Some platforms like eBay have auction-style features that enable buyers to bid for items, potentially driving up the selling price of your coins.
- Secure transactions: Reputable marketplaces offer secure payment methods and safeguards to protect sellers from potential fraud.
Cons of selling via online marketplaces
- Fees: Online marketplaces aren't free to use. Depending on the specific platform, they may charge fees for listing products, processing payments, and other services. The extra costs can eat into your profit margin.
- High competition: Many online marketplaces are oversaturated. People can buy and sell many other items besides coins. This makes it challenging to stand out among numerous listings and attract serious buyers.
- Incompatible processes and policies: You must deal with customer service queries and returns through the requisite methods of each marketplace. Also, in dispute cases, marketplaces notoriously favor buyers, not sellers.
Pro tip: To avoid unwanted surprise costs, make sure you check all the fees before listing your coins for sale on online marketplaces.
Esteemed houses like Heritage Auctions or Stack's Bowers accept coins for appraisal and auction. They often request thorough documentation on each coin's history and condition before receiving them. Once professionally appraised, the auction houses promote your coins through their marketing channels and handle the entire selling process. Some houses conduct online auctions, while others only sell via offline channels.
Pros of selling via auction houses
- Expert guidance: They typically employ experienced numismatists to handle the coin appraisal, set a base price, and showcase coins in a professional setting, increasing your chances of a successful sale.
- Targeted audience: Auction houses attract a select audience of serious coin collectors and investors. This makes finding buyers willing to pay large sums for rare or high-quality coins easier.
- Competitive bidding: Auction houses specialize in competitive bidding, which can further drive up prices for your coins as interested buyers vie for ownership.
- Transparent transactions: Reputed auction houses provide clear terms and conditions to ensure a fair process for both sellers and buyers.
Cons of selling via coin auction houses
- Limited control: The final selling price is determined by the competitive bidding process. Buyers who offer the best price gets the coins. As a seller, this may not align with your desired selling price — you might want to sell the coin for a higher amount.
- Fees and commissions: Like online marketplaces, auction houses often charge commissions and fees for their services, which affects your overall profit.
- Coin value: Many big auction houses have minimum consignment values. Others are only interested in high-value collectible coins and may not even accept your coins if they aren't worth much.
Pro tip: To ensure you get the most value for your coin, ensure that you list your coins only on reputed auction houses with positive records.
Your own website
It's easier than ever to create your own site. You simply pick an eCommerce platform, configure the site, and list your coins for sale.
Although there are plenty of platforms to choose from, we recommend WooCommerce for most site owners.
If you're unfamiliar with WooCommerce, it's a powerful, open-source e-commerce platform that works on top of WordPress, another open-source platform. With a 39% market share, it's the most popular eCommerce platform in the world.
Here's why most site owners choose WooCommerce:
1. Everything you need to sell online successfully
WooCommerce comes with all the core features needed to create a website, such as:
- Inventory management options to keep track of your stock. You can easily update quantities, add new coins, and remove sold items.
- Marketing tools and integrations to run discounts and promotions and drive sales effortlessly.
- Detailed analytics and reporting features to make data-informed business decisions.
2. Variety of plugins
There are tons of plugins to help you extend your website's features — for example, linking your website with your social media accounts, adding extra product options, etc. The official WordPress plugin directory lists over 60,000 free and freemium options. Also, you can use premium plugins like WooCommerce Product Table to upgrade the default shopping page of your site (more on this later).
Like with other platforms, there is a slight learning curve. But once you get used to the WordPress dashboard, you'll find that it's pretty intuitive and user-friendly. You can easily add new coins, update inventory, and manage orders even if you have zero technical knowledge.
4. Customization options
One of the best things about creating your own site is that you can decide how to customize it. WooCommerce gives you complete control over your online store's appearance and functionality. You can customize the layout, colors, and design to create a professional and beautiful-looking website.
5. Platform scalability
As your business grows, you'll need a platform that can grow with you. WooCommerce can accommodate and process an unlimited number of products, customers, and transactions as your business expands. You won't have to spend money and time migrating your store to another platform later.
6. Search engine friendly
You want customers to find your website easily while searching for where to buy coins online. WooCommerce is built and updated with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. You can easily optimize product titles, descriptions, and other elements to help your coin listings be more discoverable on search engines like Google.
7. Data ownership
Most marketplaces and auction houses handle the entire transaction, so you can't access customer data. While this doesn't matter for one-off sales, if you plan to sell coins over a long period, you're better off creating your store. With WooCommerce, you own all your customer data (of course, you must still adhere to GDPR rules on processing personal data). This data is invaluable for improving your marketing strategy over time.
WooCommerce is 100% free. There are no monthly subscription fees, order processing fees, or the like. You might need to pay for website hosting, a theme, and some plugins, but it's still cheaper than Shopify, Wix, and other e-commerce platforms.
Where you choose to sell coins can impact your revenue and profits. Creating your website gives you complete control over the process. You can list coins, add prices, offer discounts, manage inventory, and more without relying on the rules and regulations of a third-party marketplace.
Also, similar to selling on third-party marketplaces, you can sell to customers worldwide.
Pro tip: You can sell on third-party marketplaces like eBay and use a bridging plugin to automatically sync your WooCommerce site with your eBay account. This allows you to access an even wider audience and ensures you don't lose out on those orders.
In the next section, I'll show you the step-by-step guide to setting up your online coin shop on WooCommerce — the easy way.
Maximizing your coin-selling success with WooCommerce Product Table
WooCommerce Product Table lets you showcase coins (and other products you wish to sell) in a stunning, professional-looking, easy-to-navigate one-page order form.
Thousands of website owners use WooCommerce Product Table to customize how their website looks and boost conversion rates.
Here's the plugin on a demo WooCommerce site that sells coins to give you an idea of how it looks to customers.
How WooCommerce Product Tables boosts coin sales
Advanced search, sorting, and filtering options
Most customers don't want to wade through all the items listed for sale to find what they want.
The plugin lets you add an instant search box above the table so shoppers can simply type in specific product names or attributes to find what they're looking for faster.
Also, you can use default filters to show products based on a particular search term as soon as the table loads, add filter dropdown lists based on tags, categories, attributes, or custom taxonomies, and add widgets to filter products based on attributes, price sliders, ratings, etc.
These options make the shopping experience smoother and help customers quickly find the desired coins.
Unlimited tables with unlimited products
How products are presented can significantly influence buyers' behavior. Some store owners choose to display products in multiple tables on their websites. Others like to showcase all products in one place.
Whichever option you prefer, WooCommerce Product Table has you covered. You can add as many order forms with unlimited products as you'd like — there's no maximum limit.
Customize the products and product data to show in the product table
WooCommerce lets you add a lot of product data to your website — SKUs, long and short descriptions, tags, etc. Although all the data is valuable (e.g., for product SEO), some data doesn't influence customers' purchasing decisions.
WooCommerce Product Table lets you select the specific product data to add to the order form. So you can choose to show just the details that matter - for example, tags, images, reviews, coin weight and dimensions, price, and the Add to Cart button.
Quantity pickers and quick add-to-cart buttons
This is another critical feature that speeds up the ordering experience.
Instead of shoppers having to visit the individual product page for each coin to place orders, you can add quantity pickers and quick add-to-cart buttons to let customers select the products they want to buy and quickly begin the checkout process.
These features combined speed up the shopping experience and increase your online coin store's sales and revenue.
Step-by-step tutorial: How to sell coins online with WooCommerce
There are just four simple steps to get your website up and running:
1. Get WordPress and WooCommerce
- Using the hosted Woo Express service: You can opt for Woo Express, which comes bundled with WordPress and WooCommerce, web hosting, and an easy setup process.
- Create a self-hosted WooCommerce website: Alternatively, get a hosting plan from a managed WordPress web host (I recommend Kinsta because they're super reliable). Then, install WordPress and WooCommerce.
Once that's set up, fill in the details and complete the steps in the WooCommerce setup wizard to create your eCommerce store.
2. Add products
Here, you'll need to add each coin you want to sell as a new product.
- Go to WooCommerce → Products → Add new within your WordPress dashboard.
- Update the details for each product. You need to add the product title, descriptions (long and short), product gallery images, regular and sale prices, inventory, product type, tags, categories, etc.
Follow the Managing WooCommerce product data guide for a detailed walkthrough.
3. Add the WooCommerce Product Table plugin
After you've added coins for sale, you'll need to present them in the product table. Follow these steps to install WooCommerce Product Table on your site:
- Purchase the WooCommerce Product Table plugin.
- Download the plugin to your computer (it's in zip file format).
- Go to your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to Plugins → Add New to upload the plugin to your site.
- Click Upload Plugin → Install Now → Activate.
- Activate the plugin by typing your license key into the setup wizard.
4. Configure WooCommerce Product Table's settings
Now, it's time to configure the plugin's behavior and add the product table to your site. You'll find the settings in the setup wizard or at WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Product tables. I recommend setting up the following options:
Add filters to make it easier for customers to find what they want
The product table can have filter dropdowns above the table and filter widgets next to it for customers to narrow down based on product categories, tags, or attributes like year. This option is quite helpful if you have a lot of products.
Choose the product details to display in the product table
Select which product data is shown to customers on the product table. For example, you can showcase essential information like the product name, description, size, categories, tags, image, reviews, 'Buy' column with variable products and the quantity picker, weight, dimensions, price, Add to Cart button, and more.
Select the number of products to display at a time
If you have a considerable number of coins in stock, presenting them all at once may overwhelm customers. You can control how many coins are displayed at a time and add pagination links to the bottom of the product table so customers can navigate to the following pages.
Alternatively, you can choose to skip this setting and display all coins on one page.
Add the product table to your site's front-end
Once you've configured the plugin's settings, the final step is to choose where on your site's front end to display the product table(s). The options are to:
- Replace the default grid layout on the shop and product category pages in the plugin's default settings.
- Use a shortcodr or Gutenberg block to create new pages and add product tables to them.
That's it! Head to your site's front end to check out the coin order form.
How to avoid scams and fraudulent buyers
Scammers look for creative ways to defraud eCommerce sellers. Follow these tips to sell safely online.
- Implement secure payment methods: Although WooCommerce lets you accept payments via several methods, it's usually best to void unconventional payment methods like wire transfers or cryptocurrency. Stick to established and secure payment processors like PayPal or Stripe, which offer seller protection features and built-in security measures like address verification.
- Monitor buyer behavior to spot possible fraudulent activities: Rush orders, multiple failed transactions, and suspicious addresses often indicate attempted fraud. Review and cross-check shipping addresses before shipping orders. Be wary if the shipping address differs significantly from the billing address or if the buyers' contact details seem made up. Flag or investigate orders from unusual addresses or addresses that have been associated with fraudulent transactions in the past.
- Be transparent about return and refund policies: Clearly stating your return and refund policy on your website builds trust and sets the right expectations with buyers. Be transparent about whether or not you accept returns. If you accept returns, specify the condition that coins must be in for returns or the timeframe within which buyers can request refunds.
- Extra verification for high-value orders: Consider adding additional verification steps for transactions over a specific threshold to add an extra layer of safeguards against unauthorized transactions. This could include requiring users to create accounts and verify their email addresses, manually reviewing orders, direct phone communication with buyers to cross-check their details, or even requiring a secondary form of authentication for high-value purchases.
- Restrict fraudulent customers: If there's already been fraudulent activity, you can add checks to ensure they don't happen again. Keep a denylist of known fraudsters — people or addresses associated with chargebacks, scams, or repeated fraudulent activities to prevent them from making future purchases.
That's all you need to know about how to sell coins online!
The market for coin collectibles is booming and will only continue to grow. There's no better time to sell coins!
In this post, we've looked at everything you need to know to about how to sell coins online. To summarize, you need:
- WooCommerce - The world's most popular e-commerce platform that works with WordPress. WooCommerce itself is completely free — you'd only have to pay to host your website and buy a domain. Also, it's beginner-friendly, so you can easily use it even if you don't know how to code.
- WooCommerce Product Table - This plugin showcases coins in a beautiful order-form layout and lets you add quantity selectors, Add to cart buttons, and a variety of additional features to boost sales.
Get WooCommerce Product Table and start a successful coin-selling business today!