Our NBS auctioneer Brad Karoleff has a few words to say too the recent American Numismatic Association convention and the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Much has been said about the recent ANA convention in LA, most of it negative. I do agree that it was possibly the worst I've ever had from a business standpoint. The location IS NOT totally to blame. The market had more to do with the lack of business than where the convention was held. Let's face it, if the market was booming dealers would go to the mouth of a volcano for a bourse. The public would follow hoping to not be left out of an exciting time or good deal.
Conversely, in a cold market it is difficult to get many people to stop sitting on their hands protecting their diminishing cash position while still attempting to get out of their stale inventory at a profit. I priced a number of coins there for not only my stock but for my personal collection. Twice I was willing to pay substantially over "bid" for common eye appealing coins to be quoted double that price. Another time I priced a coin for a client to be told "my cost is $1100, I'll take $1150." After passing the cost came down to $1100. I had passed on similar coins on the floor for $800. This type of pricing in a down market does not stimulate sales. We will have to wait for some of these dealers to run out of cash and be forced into lower selling prices.
As far as the admission charge for the show, it is LONG OVERDUE! I suggested to the ANA many years ago that they should be charging NONMEMBERS for admission. I routinely pay $6 or more to attend local gun, antique, jewelry, rock and mineral shows in my area. The are only LOCAL shows, not a NATIONAL show of the importance of the ANA. After all, membership should have its' privileges. If someone does not want to fork over a measly sum like $6 (or $20 for a complete show pass) they aren't that interested in what's on the floor. They can join the organization and become more educated about the hobby and attend for free. Why should they have a free ride? This was NOT the reason for the sparse attendance.
The hotel location(s) were not ideal, but workable. I was multiple blocks from the convention center and walked there most mornings. No trouble. I felt secure and saw nothing that would alarm this Midwestern hillbilly.
The show did have all the educational opportunities available at any ANA convention. The lack of business just allowed more time to visit with old (an new) friends and attend more club meetings. Was the glass half empty or half full?
The ANA had record numbers of boy and girl scouts attend their merit badge seminars. GOOD NEWS! How many of those scouts will eventually be collectors and members of the organization? The Young Numismatist events for the ANA were slightly off from previous years, which mirrors the general attendance at the show. I did see many enthusiastic youngsters there looking to participate in the treasure hunt and other activities. One I met was interested in error coins and we spent a few minutes together. I would like to thank Fred Weinberg for taking some time to help him. I would bet that he will become a long term collector.
The NBS meeting was a very enjoyable part of my convention this year as always. The auction was incredible. The participants put up with a lot and were VERY generous to the society. I would like to personally thank John Adams, Secretary Sundman and President Hamelberg for their good nature and generosity in this year's auction. Without members like them the society would be a kindler, gentler oops!... I mean it would be lacking the expertise and generosity not seen in many other groups. Thanks guys!
I can only hope that those of you reading these reviews who did not attend will find the opportunity to come to a future convention and experience the package for yourself. I can't imagine going without the annual ANA convention.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS
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