BBB warns coin sellers to exercise caution

Traveling road shows require the consumer to beware

BBB warns coin  sellers to exercise caution

Many consumers probably have coins, antiques, or jewelry collecting dust in the attic. Better Business Bureau (BBB) would like to warn consumers who are looking to cash in their old items to be wary of travelling antique shows.

Travelling antique shows have recently come to British Columbia and the BBB would like consumers to do their homework before they sell their treasured collectibles at these limited time public events.

“We know that these types of antique roadshows show up for a week and are heavily marketed,” said Lynda Pasacreta, President and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Mainland B.C. “Consumers tend to get excited that our old junk will magically turn out to be worth a fortune. While some consumers may be sitting on a gold mine, going to these roadshows may not lead to a consumer getting fair value for their items.”

In the past, BBB has received complaints from consumers who received cheques from travelling roadshows that bounced, and other complaints that the collectibles they sold were bought well below market value. Some travelling antique shows have names that sounds similar to popular television programs which also can cause consumer confusion.

BBB offers the following tips to consumers looking to sell coins or antiques as investments:

Compare Prices Carefully. When you compare prices, make sure you are comparing identical items. A vintage $5 gold coin, for instance, is usually worth more than a newer $5 gold coin.  The value of coins minted the same year likely will vary depending on the condition. Go to an antique mall or search on eBay to get an estimate of your collectibles’ value.

Do not make an immediate decision. Consumers that are not as knowledgeable about antiques should not give in too easily or be afraid to counter-offer an asking price. Even if the offer is time-sensitive, do not be afraid to walk away.

Research businesses in advance. Before buying anything, make sure you know the name of the company, its address and, preferably, the company’s top officials.

Always check out a company at the BBB’s website: www.mbc.bbb.org.