I was asked this seemingly innocuous question by a client the other day and it made me pause. Even though many coins are listed as "on hold" on my website, there are actually a number of potential scenarios that could more accurately describe them. These deserve a brief explanation and an end-of-the-blog realization (I hope) that just because a coin marked on hold it doesn't mean that you shouldn't inquire about it. In most instances, a coin is marked "on hold" because it has been ordered by an existing client and sent out to him on an approval basis. Generally, the status of such a coin will change quickly as I tend to ship coins out the same day they have been ordered by overnight delivery. If a coin on approval is sent out, say, on a Tuesday, I might known its atatus as early as Wednesday or Thursday.
However, I do not mark such a coin as being "sold" until it is paid for. If I trust a client enough to send him a $5,000 coin on approval, I trust him enough to pay me in good funds for it. That said odd things do happen from time to time and it is not impossible for a coin that I thought was sold on Thursday to become available again on Friday.
If a coin is sold to a client and he requests extended payments, the coin is taken off the website. This way, coins won't sit and fester with an endless "on hold" status. I update my website constantly and as soon as I know the exact status of a coin, it is marked as such.
There are times when another dealer or a collector will ask for a coin on my site to be put on hold for a pre-determined period of time while he tries to sell it or, in the case of a collector, he makes a decision. In most instances, this decision-making period is 24 to 48 hours. I don't think its fair for a coin to be tied-up longer than this and I do not generally allow for this to happen.
In a case where a coin is "on hold" while being considered, I will typically tell the second person who calls that they have second shot should the deal fall through. This doesn't happen often but it does happen enough that I would strongly urge you to request second shot on a coin you want even if it is already marked as being on hold.
The "on hold" process might be slowed down by a few factors. If the potential buyer of a coin wants it sent to CAC for approval or to PCGS for a crossover this will add time to the process. I don't want to take such a coin off my website as it is still not technically sold but, to be fair to the buyer I might attempt to get the coin stickered or crossed. Or, there might be a situation where the coin was shipped to a collector on Monday but he is out of town on business for a few days, slowing down the process.
Sometimes I will have a coin on my site marked as "sold." There are a few reasons for this. The first is thast, after selling a rare or important coin, I kind of like to brag a little bit. I might leave it up as being sold for a few days just to show people looking through my coins that I am capable of selling major coins. Plus, it feels good for me to browse my coins and see a few "solds" here and there.
I'm in the business of selling coins, so I want as many people as possible to feel confident about the entire buying process at DWN. I know collectors get frustrated when they go on my website and see many of the coins marked "on hold." I'd like to think that this is because I sell really nice coins and that there are a lot of people looking for the quality that I specialize in. Because I run a small, boutique coin business, I don't have salespeople who will manage want lists or send out emails with specific coins you may (or may not) be looking for. My feeling is that by maintaining and frequently updating a high-quality website, I am giving everyone an equal chance of purchasing coins with character.
Please remember that a coin marked as "on hold" could become available but if I don't know that you have an interest in it, it will never be offered to you directly. Just send me at email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me at (214) 675-9897 when you see a coin on my site that is of interest. I will give you as much information about its availability as I can and, who knows, it might be sitting on your desk in a few days!