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Shipping and Receiving Rare Coins: Jeff Garrett

By Jeff Garrett for Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) ……
 

Jeff Garrett, Courtesy Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC)The internet has vastly expanded the reach and scope of the rare coin business. You can now buy and sell coins with companies and individuals around the globe. With a few clicks, you can find coins you have been looking for and add them to your shopping basket. For those wanting to sell coins, you can offer your coins on multiple sites and get offers from dealers around the country.

It all seems so easy, but there is a catch: You have to deal with shipping and receiving the coins. This is not a simple matter when you consider the value of coins these days.

My company receives inquiries daily from people wanting to know the value of their coins. With certified coins, we can usually give a close ballpark of what we would offer. For uncertified coins, this is impossible, as we would need to see the coins to make a fair offer.

After discussing the possibility of a sale or the need to see the coins, many if not most of the people who call us have no clue how to ship valuable coins. Understanding the basics of shipping and receiving coins in today’s numismatic marketplace is critical for success.

The following is information we offer on our website rarecoingallery.com for those who need tips on shipping:

At Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, we make it easy to submit your rare coins for our assessment and potential purchase. We almost always choose to purchase your coins, but if for some reason we don’t, we’ll return your coins to you at no charge.

To send your coins, we recommend you first contact us. You can simply ship your coins to our office via US Postal Service (USPS) or FedEx. Both methods are easy, safe, and fully insured.

US Postal Service

United States Postal Service Priority Mail Boxes. Image: Adobe Stock.
United States Postal Service Priority Mail Boxes. Image: Adobe Stock.

Registered Mail through the USPS allows packages to be tracked throughout the shipping process. The Postal Service insures packages for up to $25,000. Be sure to tightly pack your coins to prevent rattling, and carefully wrap your package, covering all corners of the box with paper tape.

You can find shipping supplies at FedEx Office and other shipping stores. Always be sure to include paperwork that includes your contact information and a list of the package contents. You should also double box the material in case the package breaks open. You should have your mailing address information on the interior package as well.

FedEx

FedEx Express Envelopes. Image: Adobe Stock.
FedEx Express Envelopes. Image: Adobe Stock.

FedEx offers the easiest way to get your coins to us. You can even overnight your package for immediate service. FedEx supplies boxes and shipping labels at no charge. There is no need to purchase insurance from FedEx; our private insurance covers inbound packages for up to $75,000 each. Be sure to complete your mailing label as shown in the example below (package MUST be sent from Jeff Garrett to Jeff Garrett using my account information).

Jeff Garrett's sample FedEx Shipping Slip.
Jeff Garrett’s sample FedEx Shipping Slip.

Then package your coins in a box, carefully wrap it and place it in a larger FedEx box for shipping. We recommend using clear tape on both ends of the box to prevent tampering. If you choose FedEx, we’ll give you additional shipping tips to make the process as easy as possible.

The above information is for sending higher-value packages that need to be fully insured when being shipped. You can also use other services such as UPS and other USPS services. Many of these cost less depending on the amount of insurance coverage you decide to purchase.

ShipandInsure.com

Another popular option is to use the services of ShipandInsure.com in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Many coin dealers and collectors around the country use this service. The following information is from the company’s website:

Image: Adobe Stock.
Image: Adobe Stock.

Shipandinsure.com is a member benefit of the North American Collectibles Association (NACA). If you are interested in learning more about the NACA and the benefits of membership, you are welcome to visit the website at www.nacacollectors.com. Membership in the NACA and through their affiliated associations is required prior to insuring packages through ShipandInsure.com.

  • Join the North American Collectibles Association (NACA) to take advantage of shipping insurance at low rates
  • View rates and calculate your savings
  • Realize much lower cost per $100 value than through shippers
  • Purchase insurance easily online, no minimum shipping quantity
  • Expect safety and security
  • Experience prompt payment of claims

Shipping Instructions and Procedures

Packaging & Labeling

  1. Always double box to help prevent break-in (most boxes fit inside each other). If you use your own box, the box must have a dimension of one cubic foot or dimensions similar to a FedEx box. The shipping information must be on both the inner and outer boxes.
  2. Seal the ends of the box with extra tape to help prevent break-in.
  3. Mark the outside of the box with a small mark so that you can identify if your box has been switched. When making this mark, do not make it obvious to others; use initials or tracking number or even company stamp. This cannot be reproduced and would make it easier to determine the nature of the claim.
  4. Labels must have your account number with the delivery service in the appropriate space provided. This is your account number for the carrier, if you have an account with them.
  5. Do not use words describing valuable contents on the label, such as jewelry, gold, coins or other items perceived as having a high value. It is better to use an abbreviation or person’s name on the package.
  6. Make sure you are named as the sender.

Procedures

  1. The person shipping the goods must be an authorized employee or agent of the approved company in order to place insurance coverage on the package.
  2. Make sure the recipient or their personal representative is present when the package arrives.
  3. The shipper is responsible for making sure a signature release is not on file at carrier.
  4. You must never authorize a shipment to be released without a signature. There is an area in the shipping bill for this; NEVER SIGN IT.
  5. Coverage is limited from the time of acceptance by the delivery service until the completion of delivery at its destination, so use common sense in picking your destination. For example, do not send to a hotel for delivery to a person; have the person pick up at a local delivery station or Post Office.
  6. Do not insure the package with FedEx, UPS, or the Post Office.
  7. For statistical purposes, please report losses on all packages shipped, whether insured or not, to ShipandInsure.com. This will help us identify problem areas that the delivery service is experiencing, so we can inform the delivery service of the issue.
  8. If you are shipping to a known exchange, it is recommended that you use an alternate address. Contact ShipandInsure.com for special instructions on a case-by-case basis.
  9. If you drop-ship using another authorized member, it is your responsibility to make sure all instructions are clearly followed. If not, this could result in denial of coverage.
  10. You are authorized as the insured, so do not permit others to ship on your behalf using your account; they must be authorized by ShipandInsure.com in order to secure coverage.

Additional Tips

Regardless of how you ship your coins, you should take photos of the coins before sending them. This will be extremely helpful if the package is lost or if you have a dispute with the person to whom you sent the coins.

For high-value packages, you may want to consider adding an Apple AirTag or other tracking device. These can be returned by the people receiving the package. This could be very helpful tracking if the package is lost.

When sending any package by any service, do not allow the package to be redirected. This has been a problem in the past when criminals hack accounts and redirect packages to their address. Ask your shipping company about this for high-value packages.

The above covers a lot about shipping, but every case is different. When sending coins to a rare coin company, be sure to review the company’s policies and procedures.

Our company ships a lot of packages every day. I can only imagine how many packages a company like NGC must ship and receive. We rarely have issues, but caution should always be used when sending valuables by mail. Hopefully, these tips and words of caution will help you successfully navigate the business of shipping rare coins.

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Rare Coin Gallery

 

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Jeff Garrett
Jeff Garretthttps://rarecoingallery.com/
Jeff Garrett, founder of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, is considered one of the nation’s top experts in U.S. coinage — and knowledge lies at the foundation of Jeff’s numismatic career. With more than 35 years of experience, he is one of the top experts in numismatics. The “experts’ expert,” Jeff has personally bought and sold nearly every U.S. coin ever issued. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t call on Jeff Garrett for numismatic advice. This includes many of the nation’s largest coin dealers, publishers, museums, and institutions. In addition to owning and operating Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, Jeff Garrett is a major shareholder in Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries. His combined annual sales in rare coins and precious metals — between Mid-American in Kentucky and Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries in Florida — total more than $25 million. Jeff Garrett has authored many of today’s most popular numismatic books, including Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins 1795–1933: Circulating, Proof, Commemorative, and Pattern Issues; 100 Greatest U.S. Coins; and United States Coinage: A Study By Type. He is also the price editor for The Official Redbook: A Guide Book of United States Coins. Jeff was also one of the original coin graders for the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). He is today considered one of the country’s best coin graders and was the winner of the 2005 PCGS World Series of Grading. Today, he serves as a consultant to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), the world’s largest coin grading company. Jeff plays an important role at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Department and serves as a consultant to the museum on funding, exhibits, conservation, and research. Thanks to the efforts of Jeff and many others, rare U.S. coins are once again on exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. Jeff has been a member of the Professional Numismatic Guild (PNG) since 1982 and has recently served as president of the organization. He has also served as the ANA President and as a member of the ANA Board of Governors.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Good information. Although I’m not a seller, stacker, investor, flipper, treasure hunter or doomsday prepper…I’m just a collector, I believe I have amassed a respectable collection. Though not a fan of “certified coins”, yes, from a buyer perspective I know it would simplify the offer process, I feel most “certified” coins are certified for marketing purposes and not so much authenticity and quality and quality is always a subjective call to start with. Of course items where provenance is key to value certification is a must, such as shipwreck artifacts. A subject for a follow-up article may be “What Information to Leave Loved Ones About Your Collection”…including some recommendations of fair and reputable companies they could reach out to should they want to liquidate the collection. I keep a fairly detailed inventory of what’s in my collection but as for value we know that is fluid concept and influenced by a myriad of factors. I’m realistic that my wife whose standard response when I show her my latest acquisition is “that’s pretty” will likely not be continuing the collection so I want to make it as easy for her to get a fair offer for the collection as I can. I’m afraid a lot of collectors don’t prepare for that inevitability of someone having to deal with the collection after they’re gone.

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