By CoinWeek …..
At the February 2011 Long Beach Coin Expo, CoinWeek conducted an exclusive taped interview with numismatic internet auction pioneer Ian Russell, President of GreatCollections. In this segment, Ian discusses the newly launched business and explains how his trading platform will attract buyers and sellers with its competitive fee structure and its focus on modern coins.
On June 25, 2010, Ian Russell, the former Chief Operating Officer of Collectibles at Spectrum Group International, announced the forthcoming launch of the new online coin trading auction website, GreatCollections.com. GreatCollections launched in December of that year and quickly developed a following amongst collectors and dealers who were looking for a more efficient way to buy and sell certified coins.
In the years since its founding, GreatCollections has taken its place as one of the three biggest coin auction houses in the United States. In 2022, the company was named official Auctioneer of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and exceeded $270 million dollars in sales. In 2023, the firm launched the numismatic social media website MyCollect.com.
David Lisot: Ian, you’ve worked a long time to create a new company. Can you tell me what it is?
Ian Russell: Yes. For the last eight months, we’ve been working on a new company called GreatCollections, which is a venue for buying and selling certified coins. And, it’s all based online. We have two main ways of buying and selling coins, we sell and buy at auction and we have items for direct sale at a fixed price. We also have different areas on the website, which are 24-hour deals, which are only available on the day, in which we are usually offering something special at a discounted price. We will also be selling books and accessories… things like the new Red Book that’s coming out in a couple of months, which will be available at a discounted price.
Coin-wise, we will launch with several thousand certified coins to begin with. And its the whole market. It’s coins that start at $25 that go up to $20,000 and everywhere in-between. We’ll obviously will be big in modern coins, since they sell online everyday and we’ve been selling modern coins for the last eight or nine months as we’ve been launching this company. But we’ll be all parts of the market: Morgan dollars, classic coins, all the way to the latest Silver Eagles.
Lisot: It’s fairly competitive in the auction market. How will your rate structure be, that people will come to you?
Russell: It’ll be very cost effective to sell and to buy through us. We have a low’s buyer’s fee of 10% and the seller’s fee depends on the value of the coins, but it’s no more than 5% and for coins over a thousand dollars, it will be zero. So, it will be very cost effective to buy and sell through us.