For my own philosophy on price-setting, and some insight into the relationship between catalog prices and actual dealer prices, see my article A Question of Price. In brief: Within my areas of specialty I check other dealers' prices, and do my own research on rarity and demand to come up with what I think is a price that will sell the quantity I have in stock in a reasonable time. This means staying on the low side for most items, but reaching for the sky on truly rare items or hot series. I pay very little attention to "catalog" prices, because I know that I know more than the cataloguers.
If you are new to the field and think you will be getting your money's worth by only buying at a %age of KM catalog, you will end up with mainly common or down-trending items which will be difficult to resell. There is no substitute for actual price research. Ebay is a good source of fresh pricing information, but be sure to compare grading. For many series, what appears on Ebay are low-grade and/or common items. You will need to check true numismatic auctions and printed price lists to get data on better items.
Wholesale: As a wholesaler, I maintain a double tier on some items. This does not mean that retail on these items is artificially high to acommodate a wholesale level. It means I was able to buy low enough to retail reasonably and still make money wholesaling, or that I am blowing off less desirable items at or near cost at wholesale. Dealing with direct sources and buying in large volume gives tremendous leverage in this field. Dealers known to me may request wholesale lists and recieve a % discount on unsold items from retail lists.
Discounts: I do not offer "automatic" discounts to particular buyers, nor based on the amount of the sale. However, if you are inquiring about material that has been on offer for some time and not sold, or material I have in quantity, we can probably do something. It is my experience, however, that buyers asking for discounts are usually interested in material that will sell without a discount. I won't promise to "meet or beat" others' prices, but if you see something I'm selling cheaper elsewhere, I'll try to make it worth your while to draw it to my attention.
Discounts on Books: I carry books in order to encourage collecting and research in my specialty series, more than to make money on the books themselves. When I factor in cost-of-money, overhead, and the higher handling costs of books vs. coins, and then price at or below the lowest price I can find from other sellers, there is sometimes little or no profit margin left. If I were to offer discounts generally, I would have to either raise prices across the board, or dump many academic and even mass-market titles with short discounts. I would rather advise in my offerings when a particular book can be had cheaper and send you to that source directly. However, if you are willing to do the work, find the cheaper seller, and educate me, I will likely match the other fellow's price or indeed give you a discount for your effort.
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INDEX OF ARTICLES
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