Posted by William Charles on November 18, 2019
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Published on November 18th, 2019 | by William Charles

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My Thoughts On The Aftermath Of The U.S. Mint Coin Deal

Update: I’ve decided to close the comments, I think at this stage people are just talking in circles and nothing new is really being said. In addition it looks like a few dedicated trolls are creating comments with different names to try and make it seem like a lot of people agree with their point of the view.

Last week we posted a deal where readers could purchase an American Eagle 2019 One Ounce Silver Enhanced Reverse Proof coin for $86.9 (including shipping) and lock in $113.10 profit by committing to sell it to PFS Coins if they were lucky enough to be able to purchase the coin. In that post we made it clear that readers should only opt into this deal if they were 100% committed to selling the coin to PFS if they were successful.

I normally don’t post coin deals as the vast majority of them are not money makers and I don’t want readers to lose money. In this case PFS was offering a guaranteed profit so agreed to post after checking with  with other coin purchasers to see if they would offer a better rate (none would at the time of posting). The coin itself sold out extremely quickly and prices quickly soared to $500+ on eBay, despite the fact that readers had committed to selling to PFS I saw a lot of comments from readers saying that they were no longer going to stick to this commitment due to the higher prices. A lot of readers were saying that PFS were being greedy by not increasing their offer after the fact.

I don’t think it’s fair to protect yourself from any downside by opting into the PFS deal and then selling to other sellers if the value increases. I think there is also a lot of misunderstanding about how PFS actually does business. This comment from Aron provides some insight:

Our business model follow this typical path – We pre-sell our EXPECTED orders to a dealer or two – we made great connections (over 13 years doing this, and work with the largest in the business – names that were mentioned in this thread, name you all know).
we do this for EVERY DEAL WE RUN. the last time PFS didn’t pre-sell our expected orders was in October of 2015 (JFK C&C sets). We have done >20 deals since. This is a fact.

Now, typically we give ~60% of the premium the we receive (over mint cost) to our members, we have about 20% of opex, and are lucky/extremely happy if we net 20% of what the total premium is.

The price and premium we get ALWAYS has to do with the pre-sale “value” of the item.

CASE IN POINT – this is our 4th deal we ran this year. We did the Apollo coins at the start of the year, The Pride Sets in July, and we just did the Palladium coin a bit ago. ALL THREE OF THOSE DEALS we received a premium, shared it liberally with our members, and they ALL – each one of the three – declined in value RIGHT AWAY – neither sold out at the Mint, and buyers (including ourselves and our dealers) were able to buy as many as they wanted 24 hours later directly from the mint.

We came through – to every buyer – there were between $700 and $1987 in spend (depending on which deal) there were commissions paid out, FedEx labels sent, emails answered, boxes packed etc.

PFS NEVER went and negotiated with our members, hey, cancel your order, or let me pay you less since they’re worth less, or let me buy the coins ourselves so we can get our own credit card points. never.

ALL OF A SUDDEN there’s a deal the works in the favor our OUR DEALERS – (for us – and our members – this was a guaranteed deal and this should be like each and every other deal – where we had the guarantee and we had the risless profit…) but no, now PFS is the villain!! PFS is preying on people that had no clue while they knew this was going to explode!

FACT: PFS sold our entire quantity – even more than we’ll likely end up getting – PRIOR to the “value” increasing.

Realistically, there are two items here, there’s the silver eagle on Wednesday the 13th – that we all had a price and a fair value for, and we were all were SO EXCITED about getting paid $100 for spending 20 minutes at lunch break the next day.

And now the item dwarfed into something so much bigger, everyone wants in on the upside! I don’t get it, I really don’t. You can’t invest in a guaranteed Bank CD at 2% interest and then call the Banker and ask for the 20% that the S&P 500 returned!!! This is precisely what’s going on.

We clearly warned about it to…
“*There are 30,000 of these coins being minted, and we do not want to hold any extra inventory for ourselves. It truly is impossible to know if they’ll be a good investment / speculation and if they don’t sell out, the Mint will likely lift the household limits 24 hours after they go on sale.
*You must be approved before making the purchase. If you do not receive a confirmation email to purchase you will not be reimbursed.
*On the same note, since we want to fill our entire purchase order and are not accepting extra opt-ins, if you do want to partake in this deal, please make sure that you will be available to make the purchase at exactly 12PM ET.
*We cannot afford to be a backstop for people wanting to speculate afterward. Any unfilled quantity we have, could have went to someone else that may not have been approved for the offer because of your spot. If you opt in – you must be fully committed to fulfill the deal.”

If the opposite happened and coin prices had dropped, I have no doubt PFS would have kept their end of the bargain (as they have in the past). I think it’s disappointing that some readers decided not to honor their side of the deal after the fact. In the future I don’t think we will post these coin deals, I don’t feel comfortable knowing that readers will renege on their side of the deal (and let’s be honest what coin purchase would want to offer a guaranteed deal to our readership again) if it becomes more profitable to do so.



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Sa
Sa

Hold on a second, I am sending to PSF just because I want these deals to keep coming. If you are not posting these deals anymore that does not work that well. Have faith, some of us keep our word.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

It’s most likely PFS no wanting DoC’s referrals anymore. Too many people have reneged and not sent to PFS.

Chris B
Chris B

I bet they still got at least 30-40% of the people selling to them so PFS made a huge profit already.

Hieu
Hieu

100% for sure. If you can make a profit from a third party why wouldn’t you. On top of that PFS did not want to increase there profit sharing either.

Good riddance, it was annoying to deal with the website crashing. Other websites will still list coins so at least DoC will have less traffic to the US Mint site in the future.

Doc stop posting of coin deals is a win-win TBH.

Austin
Austin

Exactly. A referral program is pointless if it only increases the demand of the product you seek, creates uncertainty on your own supply, and creates a huge headache. I’m sure PFS will probably cull the herd of folks who didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, but will continue to offer deals for those who play their game.

Chuck

Actually, PFS never communicated to us that they don’t want our referrals (to the contrary). This post has literally nothing to do with referral credits and everything to do with people’s integrity/commitment levels.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Alright was just an educated guess at the situation.

AKSF
AKSF

When you say referrals, do you mean just that you sent people to them by way of blog post? like a doctor “refers” someone to a specialist?

Or were you actually financially compensated for driving people to them?

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Chuck William Charles Why would you donate proceeds to charity? It is a nice gesture, but you can’t control what every reader of your blog does. You aren’t running the coin selling business, you simply utilized their referral program in good faith with a disclaimer saying please go through with your agreement.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Fair enough, just seems shitty that you are covering the decisions of others. William Charles

Chuck

Yes, that information is clear in the original blogpost – they have a $20 referral program for those who refer friends to the deal, and they offered us the same that we’ll get $20 per referral. In the end, we asked them to just donate any of our referral earnings to charity instead.

mountainmantaco
mountainmantaco

I agree, if you say you are going to do something. Commit to it. If this deal was less profit, everybody would buy a ton of coins (for ms purposes) and unloaded to PFS. However since this turned out to be a huge ROI people want to back out. The greed is disappointing and it really shows your commitment level. This is not sneaker twitter all. You are not 18….

Alex
Alex

Well “that’s why we can’t have nice things”, there’s always people that is not satisfied with coming ahead but they also want to abuse any system even if it breaks down.

It’s probably the same reason why credit cards have been removing lots of benefits, because abusers are too expensive.

GoPack
GoPack

I just printed out my label 20 minutes ago, sending out tomorrow morning.
Thanks Doc and PFS!

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Fair take and nothing to disagree with. My only problem is the “lawyers’ coming out the woodworks saying that PFS could sue everybody (and win) and their brother.

Erika
Erika

Why is that a problem? People had a contract with PFS, and they breached it if they didn’t perform. PFS would theoretically be entitled to damages (the amount they would have made but for the person’s breach of the contract).

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Unsure if you did the deal or not, but there was no contract. You simply put ur email in and hit submit.

Rob

A contract requires consideration to be enforceable. Unless they paid you something up front, and you accepted it, there was no consideration nor any contract. They can sue if they like. But they will lose.

SBR
SBR

Consideration includes more than just things of value being exchanged at the time of agreement. If you signed a contract for someone to renovate your kitchen for $10K, that contract is enforceable because there is consideration from both parties even though no money or work was paid or done upfront. The contractor promises to renovate your kitchen (consideration) in the future in exchange for you paying him $10K when it’s done (also consideration). In this case, people promised to sell PFS a coin (consideration) in exchange for payment of $200 (also a consideration) sometime in the future. That’s enforceable. Otherwise, things like futures contracts wouldn’t work since you pay on future delivery.

Jackson Rogers
Jackson Rogers

A contract with a contractor features a document either in boiler plate format with contract terms or specifically written for the scope of exact work to be done. It is dated and signed. Just because a contractor emails you telling in 1 line that he will do the work doesn’t mean you are entitled to sue if you never hear from him again. An opt in button and email does not constitute an enforceable contract unless money or something of value (a coin) was actually exchanged.

DoC is great but loses credibility by pushing for this company which isn’t even a company (no contact information on its website) and doesn’t even have a privacy policy.

Mike
Mike

A M E N !

Wangshen
Wangshen

Obviously, they don’t have lawyer. Otherwise the contract will need e-signature and they should have penalty details in the contract.

JV
JV

Spot on Dan - Legal Bank Robber, 2 years ago I opted into a deal, was not able to get a coin so never entered order information, but Aron was in my email begging/pleading me to send in the coin, yet i didnt get one. He then resorted to saying he will sue me for not sending the imaginary coin to him because i made a contact with him. I lost respect for him and PFS at this point and keep coins for my own personal collection (buy about 5 mint releases a year for myself) or sell locally to coin shops. Have not even opted into another deal, but for all practical purposes i am probably blackballed by PFS. Personally i wouldnt trust someone/company that goes from begging to name calling and threatening emails all within a day on just 1 coin. I would be fearful of doing a future deal since they could not pay the agreed amount to reclaim lost profits on the imaginary coin i never got.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Yeah I believe that is a symptom of others reneging and he is accusing you of lying. It’s unfortunate he has to resort to these, I do understand both sides. However it is not good business to vilify and name call a customer. Especially in a business that does not exist without willing buyers (customers). In the end PFS Buyers Club business model of working and relying with those that game the system of banks than not expecting them to do the same to him is slightly ignorant. Bottom line is he undershot the going cost (even with other Buying Groups) and he is seeing the result of that.

icemule1
icemule1

I’d like to hear from Aron directly whether he actually did this or not. Count me as someone skeptical of your story. It doesn’t seem worth his time to accuse one person of something like that without any proof. He obviously knows that the website crashes and slows to a crawl during the purchase windows, and sometimes it’s really not possible to get one during that window. Why would he accuse you of lying when he knows not everyone can get a coin?

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Why anyone reserved with any buyer is beyond me. A $70 flyer on a potential windfall is a no brainer. Were people really that worried about losing $70 whole dollars they committed to sell something without knowing what it would actually be worth?

scott
scott

People reserved with a buyer in this deal because they had no idea what this was. Most of us are not into coins and simply saw an offer to be paid $100 if we got this coin. When I explained the deal to my wife she was hesitant about it being a scam.

Chucks
Chucks

It’s hard to think about this in hindsight given how prices turned out, but yeah, it’s totally possible you picked up this proof coin for $70 and people didn’t really care about it. It’s an ounce of silver shined up real nice. Maybe it gets a little traction, but after shipping and eBay fees it’s barely breaking even.

JustSaying
JustSaying

Well I saw the deal before the sale and looked up Ebay sold listings. They were sold about $500 already before the actual sale. So I went up and purchased the coin which was very difficult due to website’s heavy load. Then I sold it on Ebay for $550. I believe PFS is making more profit then the other deals on this coin. Besides they have been in this business for a long time so they should have experience on this matter. At least they have a data about the return percentage from their contracts. Also not everybody (including my friend) was able to buy one because it was sold out so quickly why would they sell the coins before people actually successfully purchase them. I think it is best for them to just keep the deals on their website. They also wanted to acquire more coins then usual by reaching out to you and ask to post their deal. That means they were being greedy too. Anyway there are people out there who are not going to keep their word and they should have been prepared for it.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Right, but it’s SEVENTY DOLLARS. Not $700 or $7000. That’s the point I was making. It’s a very small amount of money & worst case scenario it’s worth the spot price of an ounce of silver. I just think it’s a little comical people were so nervous about the risk they took what buyer’s clubs were offering.

Dubya
Dubya

Its not that. Its that people never even knew this was a thing (coins increasing dramatically in such a short time). So I bet many thought they were selling a $70 item for 3x Value. They thought they were ripping off the “silly” coin dealer off. Just like with CC bonuses and bank bonus. Smash and grab mentally. When they saw the prices on eBay, greed set in. They thought they needed to “win more”.

Justin
Justin

I saw the high prices on ebay but of course sent my coin to PFS today. Not only did they guarantee a payment, they taught me valuable lessons about how to buy these coins quickly before they sell out. If I decide not to opt in to the next deal and try to resell on my own, I consider the “lost” money this time a fair trade for the knowledge gained.

Bill S
Bill S

I totally agree. I just dropped my coin off at FedEx for them also. I saw the Ebay prices too, but I agreed to the PFS deal, so I honored it. It’s the right thing to do.

Why We Are In This Mess
Why We Are In This Mess

So there is a PFS vs ebay comparison, and then there is PFS vs other dealers comparison.

Ebay carries its own risks, fee etc, but even when comparing PFS and other dealers, PFS deal was sub-par. Even some of the middle persons were offering $200 commission right off the gate. Like I said in other comments, PFS relied on going in early and getting people signed-up at low rates even before they realize what they are signing-up for.

IMO, the takeaway for people who sold to PFS should be to do their own research before jumping on to any coin deal. Just because it has been posted on DoC doesn’t mean that its the best deal out there. And if you are too lazy to do your research, then use what was spoon-fed to you aka PFS.

Geo
Geo

Which is precisely why I withdrew my PFS slot once I decided to sign up with someone else for a higher bid… So PFS could offer my slot to someone else.

GOGO
GOGO

That’s the purpose of this post, pushing you guys to send the coin to PSF.

Chris B
Chris B

“In the future I don’t think we will post these coin deals in the future, I don’t feel comfortable knowing that readers will renege on their side of the deal (and let’s be honest what coin purchase would want to offer a guaranteed deal to our readership again) if it becomes more profitable to do so.”

I still believe that it will be helpful to post deals for us to decide to buy and sell (or keep) ourselves. (I did not opt to sell to PFS and just bought the coin to do whatever I want with it).
And learned from here, which I appreciate.

Chucks
Chucks

I think that’s right. I never made any promises to PFS, but just the fact they were paying such a high premium made me feel comfortable I’d be able to resell and decided to buy it.

I think Doc should cover “hot coins” and not necessarily any one single person willing to purchase. Maybe mention some.premiums and let people do the work.

Chazz Reinhold
Chazz Reinhold

I disagree. Do your own leg work, or better yet start your own site, to find these types of deals in the future. Doc posted about an offer where there was a mutually beneficial opportunity for their readers and PFS, then some people took advantage of that. Shame on us for not being better. It’s times like this that I wish they’d charge a subscription fee to access the site.

Josh
Josh

I’m surprised people were even able to buy the coin. The cart page kept crashing, I tried everything, then it was sold out.

ss
ss

Don’t know if this is an appropriate analog. You accept a job offer and there’s a better offer which you go with eventually. I know it’s not decent. People do it though.

John
John

But if you agree to take a job, and then take another one instead, don’t expect the recruiter who got you the first offer to help you find another one.

Dishonorable
Dishonorable

Would you want to work for a recruiter who got you a $20k job when you get an offer for $55k the next day?

HIghsky
HIghsky

Well accepting a job offer is more like a verbal agreement and this sounds like a contact.

Juicyjosh
Juicyjosh

Thanks for posting Will. While I would love to take part in future coin deals, this brings out the worst in some. It seemed to mirror the pallidium coin deal but not the more recent apmex. I guess the common denominator in those was alternative prices/demand.

Sam
Sam

Well said! I’ve been offered far more than PFS offered to me after the deal went live, but I told my wife “I gave my word to someone and my word is more important than a few hundred extra dollars” and I shipped mine today. The fact is PFS keeps their word whether it’s good for them or not, so it’s wrong to not keep yours whether it’s good or not.

Kim
Kim

I agree and that’s exactly the mindset I had, as well. Mine was shipped off to them by 10:45am on Saturday. A deal’s a deal and I was happy to participate in a win-win situation here. I was also grateful to learn about this market; it’s not anything I’ve ever paid any attention to in the past. I completely understand if you do not post anything like this again, but I, for one, will miss them.

sam
sam

hope your wife is happy with myrtle beach instead of the cayman islands. but hey, at least she’s with someone who can get taken advantage of but still have a smile on his face

Rick
Rick

You sir are a bona fide dochebag and the reason why we can’t have nice things.

Joe Camel
Joe Camel

The late Jim Henson called from the grave, he would like his muppet back..

anon
anon

I’ll bet she’s happy with a guy who comes home loyal to the wife he’s in a commitment with instead of constantly scoping at every pretty thing to pass by

Francisco
Francisco

There are some sad sad miserable people in this world. Good job man. Keep your word and the Cayman Islands will be a joke of a beach while you’re in Greece. Blessings your way.

parrothead
parrothead

I sent mine to PFS this morning.

Brian
Brian

Was debating on whether or not to keep the coin but after reading the comments on the original thread I confirmed by choice to send it in. I hope others do the same so that they can continue to run these offers.

J
J

I did not ship the coin to PSF only because I did not get it!!! Wasted 20 mins keep refreshing the USmint website trying to log in. I think this whole coin buying thing is technically impossible, and to save people’s time(life), better stop posting it.

scott
scott

Obviously not impossible. I got one in three minutes.

JustSaying
JustSaying

You need to login 10 minutes prior to sale time and have everything(shipping address, credit card info etc.) ready on your account. When it hits the time refresh the page and buy it. The website crashed but I kept refreshing, opening new tab, refreshing and everything I knew then I was able to buy one.

BlissfulApathy
BlissfulApathy

I did exactly as you describe but still failed to get an order in. I was ready to go and PUMPED. Everything set up and practiced a few dummy orders. BUT IT WAS NOT TO BE!

I’ve heard reports that paypal purchases were blocked and the us mint neglected to say so in advance. That may have been why if true.

Illa J
Illa J

I failed as well despite following all of the instructions to a T. Another part of the problem was that, when push came to shove, having the credit card info pre-populated was irrelevant – most, if not all, of the people successful in making a purchase had to skip the saved CC and re-input all of their credit card info.

Chuck

I didn’t get it either despite some effort, but many others did.

Avi
Avi

Seems random as to who got it and who didn’t. My order was completed about 55 seconds after it went on sale, with few hiccups.

tuphat
tuphat

Perhaps worth remembering — PFS and its competitors are already gaming the system, inasmuch as they are effectively bypassing the Mint’s “one per buyer” rule. So let’s not put them on some artificial pillar of virtue.

FWIW, I believe that buyers who have contracted to sell should follow through on their commitment. But “trade fail” is a risk that PFS and others have presumably built in to their pricing system and business model. As Michael C. said: “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”

dave
dave

I think you raise a good point. This is a sticky ethical dilemma. I suspect a lot of people sold to them thinking that they could get maybe an additional $50 or $100 if they really put the effort into finding a different buyer and it wasn’t worth the research. When people realized they could actually profit an extra $500+, that changed.

PFS also did this to themselves a bit. Their messages (I personally was unable to get a coin) talked about the importance of everything down to the second…how super important this was, gave very specific steps, send them a message to match a higher offer you have, how Aron spent hours of whatever scripting the perfect message… to the point that it started to become ridiculous to do it just for a chance at a small profit. Then the part about nullifying the deal if you don’t e-mail them within an hour… again sounded very threatening. It really came off making its customers seem like suckers. I doubt that was his intention, but it felt like I was a pawn in his get rich scheme the way it was presented.

Jim
Jim

I havent done his other offers but would imagine his specific steps are copy and paste from other deals which Aron has mentioned had coins lose their value by not selling out. Outside of links (easy copy/paste) nothing seemed specific to a specific coin.

channelz28
channelz28

I agree with the very specific language. I have done many deals with PFS and this email was definitely not cut and paste. It was more like way over the top. It definitely got me thinking that this was going to be worth a lot more than the previous deals.

arihalli
arihalli

Dave, not clear that PFS was culpable because they bypassed the 1 per customer rule. They just, as i see it, facilitated the ability of many customers to purchase one coin. The ability to maintain this ironclad win-win situation was contingent upon the buyer and seller fulfilling their part of the bargain.

They actually went to a great deal of trouble, creating the business model, removing all risk from the transaction.

People being what they are, it was probably predictable, that some would renege. Since PFS has been in business for a while, i wonder what their ‘trade fail’ was in the past. As they seemed to be taken by surprise by the preceived disloyalty of the buyers.

Dom
Dom

This is an excellent point

Brad
Brad

I agree with this comment and it also bothers me that PFS seems to actively encourage buyers to set up multiple mint accounts with different cards and addresses to get more coins. That seems pretty dishonest to me as well and I hope PFS and any of their competitors won’t encourage such behavior in the future. Having said that, I also would not have opted into the deal if I wasn’t sure I could follow through. I didn’t get a coin this time and this deal ended up being a waste of time for me, but if I had succeeded in getting a coin I would have sold it to PFS. My integrity is worth a lot more to me than a few hundred dollars.

DOC is one of two blogs I’ve ever followed regularly and I have recommended it to a lot of friends. I just wish some of the commenters on the site were a little less greedy. It scares me sometimes reading the comment threads on posts here, including on this coin deal. I hope everyone who thinks it is totally appropriate to agree to sell something to a buyer and then back out when it becomes clear that they can sell for more elsewhere takes a step back to ask why they are doing any of these deals in the first place. I’m sure there are plenty of DOC readers who are quite a bit wealthier than I am, but I am also doing pretty well and money really doesn’t buy happiness. It can contribute for sure, and I’ve very much appreciated the help I’ve gotten from reading DOC to do more luxurious travel with my wife and family at really low out-of-pocket costs. Having said that I was happy before I discovered DOC and even if all the deals dry up one day, my family and I will still be doing fine. I sincerely hope the same is true for the vast majority of the other readers of this blog.

Roman
Roman

That would be a fair statement to make, before agreeing to anything with them, not after the fact just to feel better about retracting your agreement…

J
J

In the future simply introduce more clubs with $30, $35, $40 referral bonus for you. We both earn more

chasem13
chasem13

Well I’m disappointed. Like Justin, I learned a good bit here, enjoyed the thrill of trying to purchase one to keep my word, so to speak. For what it’s worth, I appreciate the announcement post, but I understand the reasoning behind not posting future deals and I suppose I could find them through other means.

Tyler
Tyler

I assume if you create an account with PFS they’ll email you about every deal even if you never opt in. I further assume if PFS isn’t buying you shouldn’t bother buying either.

Burton

I successfully sold to APMEX earlier this summer and was shocked they didn’t reach out about this one. I do appreciate the chance at a quick locked in profit and some cc spend so I’ll keep watching for deals from APMEX & PFS in the future.

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