Bizarre experience. I really wanted to make Coins Stamps & Stuff my LCS (local coin shop), the one up here in Ames is even bigger crooks. I go in there bright and early Saturday morning to buy some silver bullion (non-numismatic silver coins or bars). I started out at Jordan Creek so its no big deal to hit Hickman Rd on the way back. In order to figure out if I was going to buy Buffalo, Maple Leaves or Liberties, I asked the woman at the counter what the spread was (the price over spot) for the 3 coins. She wouldn’t tell me!
She had it in her head I was this spy for “the guy up the street”, and that I was going to know what their prices were and tell everybody! I got to thinking about it after I walked out, “You’re a business, don’t you want people to know what your prices are?” Wouldn’t you want to be known as having “the best prices in town!” Evidently they operate under the theory that you have to buy it if you want to know what the price is!
Its crazy! Then it started coming back to me. I’ve been in these places once in awhile for 50 years, they never have posted their prices (the spread). It reminded me a month ago when I went to the shop in Ames, I was quoted $3.50 over spot on the phone, when I went in she told me $10. Her word against mine. Nothing I could do, they don’t post their prices. None of them do. Its like some closely guarded secret. A damn business needs to post their damn prices.
Is that the way honest business people operate? Not in my book. I can assure you I’ve never been an industrial spy for anyone, I thought you were an honest business. And as stated earlier, why wouldn’t you want people to know your prices?
I think the bottom line is there’s a reason they don’t want to be nailed down on their prices, to have them posted. If they keep it verbal, it can be on a sliding scale, depending on whether they think you’re a sucker or not. Whether or not they think they can “take you”. They shouldn’t be free to be all ‘carny’ like, they need to post their damn spreads.