Amazingly, the 2010 FUN is a scant two weeks away. If you have decided to attend the show (and I strongly suggest that if you go to just one show all year that this you consider this one) here is a short list of things to consider. 1. Bring a good lamp. Viewing conditions at the FUN show are not optimal and a good coin viewing lamp is essential. Try if possible to recreate the conditions that you use when you view coins at your home or office.
2. Pull the trigger on really cool coins. My gut feeling is that really good coins are going to be in short supply at this year’s FUN show. My best advice is that if you see something that looks really great or something that you’ve wanted for a long time, don’t waffle.
3. Take an hour lunch break every day. The FUN show is huge and it can be a pretty intense experience for the collector and dealer alike. I think it’s a great idea to leave the show for an hour every day in order to eat a good lunch and take a coin break. Some of the worst purchases I’ve ever made at shows have been when I’ve been tired, cranky and hungry.
4. Have a game plan. If you’ve never been to a major show like FUN, it can be really intimidating. There are hundreds and hundreds of dealers and it’s hard to know where to start. Before you go, spend time on the FUN website (www.FUN.org) and make a list of the dealers that you want to see first.
5. Look at auction lots. Even if you aren’t planning on bidding, the chance to see some of the great coins in the major sales is very educational and rewarding. The FUN sale is traditionally among the very best held each year and this year is no exception.
6. Come as early in the week as you can. Many dealers (not me...) get to Orlando almost a week before the show starts and between the pre-shows, pre-auctions and pre-show hotel room trading, they are burned-out by the time the show opens to the public. I’d say if you aren’t getting there until Saturday you are coming too late. Try, at the very least, to be there on Friday when the show opens.
7. Be safe. There have been a number of robberies after the FUN show ends and you need to remember to be safe. Don’t travel with a lot of cash, don’t display your coins outside of the show, don’t discuss your purchases among strangers and, if possible, have your expensive new purchases shipped to your home/office after the show.
8. Call your favorite dealer(s) before the show starts. Remind them what you are looking for and to hold any important coins for you until you arrive. Speaking from experience, there are a lot of distractions at the show and a gentle prod from a collector is a good way to remind me to hold a coin.
9. If you bring your family, keep them off the bourse floor. Hey, coin buying is serious stuff. Do you really need your wife and kids tagging along? The beauty of the FUN show is that the family can spend the day at Disney World while you play in the world of rare coins.
10. Don’t forget to bring pricing notes. Bring your laptop, your specialized books, your price guides, Trends, the Greysheet, etc. You want to be ready when that special coin turns up.
The 2010 FUN show begins to January 7th and if past shows are any indication, this one should be memorable. If you have any questions about the show, visit the official website mentioned above or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org