coinfodder's Blog

03 Nov 2020

TV Infomercials- Coins

Exonumia | coinfodder

Well today, I ran into HSN trying to pedal me a coin on YouTube. So, I threw a brick at the computer and broke it. OK, I am exaggerating, but sometimes I do really want to.

Like some of us, people around the world stick on TV until 1:00 in the Morning. Maybe they just checked the nightly news, maybe they just watched the Braves lose a 3-1 lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS (/:-( WHY!), or they just home after a party and want to burn time until the morning watching TV. Whatever the case, there is a chance that you may run into a Coin Infomercial, a massively annoying ad telling you to buy a coin. Listening closely, you see that the wording of the script is purposely crafted to make you slobber over this coin.

Let us do an example.

Mike Browning Colt was sitting on his couch one day after watching the Falcons not know how to return an onside kick. He flipped to Fox Business channel right after the game ended. As the stock market is closed on Sunday, the channel broadcast ads instead. On of these ads featured Chuck Woolery advertising gold (no kidding- this is a real ad) at using buzzwords galore to make you attracted to gold. The next ad in the loop told this retired individual that if the economy struggled, the value of gold would go up, and selling it would help steady the guy's economic problem. Colt broke down and picked up the phone, buying a set of 2016 AGE's, for the cost of $6000.

What is wrong with this?

He fell for the infomercial. Now, we are going to break down the trap one by one.

1)- The infomercial targeted him. I said earlier that Colt was an elderly man. The infomercial targeted elderly retirees like him, with no easy source of income. They target the financial vulnerability of the elderly retiree, and told him to buy something that would stabilize his retirement income. Because of this, the company took the desperation of the elderly, and translated them into higher prices.

2)- His lack of Knowledge- As the biggest pitfall, many people pull the trigger and buy the coins before they do their research. This is the biggest pitfall of Colt. He should of done his research before he picked up the phone and bought his set of AGE's. This is a huge pitfall because if he did his research, he could of gotten the set for cheaper at another place. The company saw this and targeted him with the buzzwords and the higher price. Now that he has realized he has been scammed, he would be mad, and probably turn his back on the hobby,

3)- Bait and Switch- Our friend Colt didn't fall into this, but some others did. What companies will do when you call them up is tell you that you should buy historical pieces instead. The theorize to you that the historical coins will gain in value faster than the bullion coins would, which is what most people sign up for. The company then sells those coins at ridiculous markups, which takes a long time to recover from and actually make a real profit.

Now, some companies, such as the "King of Cameo" and his court, will try to trap you using a combo of buzzwords and knowledge, while also using career accolades to create the myth that this is a reputable seller. This is an even harder trap to avoid. On places like HSN, the folks there sound stupid, acting like they know something when they really don't. But people like the "King of Cameo" will swindle you and trick the unknowing customer into believing they are shopping from a reputable dealer. While they are rather trustworthy, the "reputable" look fools people into buying overpriced goods they think are at a bargain.

So what do ya'll think? See ya'll later!



Level 5

As always buyer beware. However, targeting the elderly is the lowest of the low.


Level 6

Too funny! I like to watch these shows sometimes when I need a good laugh ; ) Some of those asking prices are crazy! Great blog!


Level 6

I like to dvr some of those chumps. I then, like Bama, drive my wife crazy yelling at the TV. I go to the Red Book and see the real price. Not that they are current. Thanks, you have them all pegged.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Those late night coin hucksters do a great deal of damage to the hobby with their overpriced offerings. I wish I could tell everyone in America watching those shows that their local coin shop or a coin show are much much better places to obtain your coins. Oh well, as P.T. Barnum said ....................................


Level 6

When I am bored, I will watch these shows and just shake my head on the prices and offerings.

Long Beard

Level 5

What most don't consider, and by no means am I siding with them, is that television is an expensive avenue for selling anything, including coins. On top of air-time, there are a host of staff to pay. When I look at the prices listed, the profit margin is about equal to what a normal dealer would get on a mark-up. Why I won't buy from them, never touch a precious metal coin with bare hands. I actually watched an idiot shuffle a full roll of proof Kennedy halves from hand to hand, spread them out in a row on one, before putting them back into the plastic square tube. I can almost guarantee they sold that roll. Especially gold, like Rick has.


Level 5

I haven't seen a infomercial lately on coins. I don't ever buy anything from a commercial. You can usually find everything you could possibly want from a coin dealer, or coin show.

I've fortunately never had to deal with an infomercial like this. I feel sos sorry for people who have fell for this, and even worse for people who don't even realize they have been swindled.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Yeah you got them pegged pretty well. We are a well informed bunch, so I hope that none of us fall prey to that sort of thing. I'll turn on one of those shows now and then waiting for something else to come on, and then my poor wife has to listen to me ridicule the sales jockey. Although, Rick Tomaska can be educational, he's still a soap salesman.


Level 7

They are some real dandys on t.v. . They start at 7p. m. Or 8p.m go to 12:00 a.m. Rick Tomaska. It's a good show to listen to. No good for buying knows your a multi millionaire. He once sold a gold coin for 250,000. The the coin Vault.wow they know nothing about coins but know how much to charge. Chopper is the best. Unopened safe deposit bank boxes. Coffee cans and no one knows what's it this. I put them in D.V.R. So I have a good laugh in the morning..Tomaska is the highest of any seller. Except the coins in the grades now. I bought from him for less than one half when he first came on. Mike Muzack every weekend from 4.a.m.to. 7 a.m.. Sells the same stuff. That's not even worth watching. H.S.N. Mike Muzack another joke. That's were he sells his junk coins. And we have a million channels!!!


Level 5

Haha, thanks for this! I recently have been reading a book about the power of negotiating and sales tactics. Much of what you have presented was discussed. And now I see the power behind these ploys and traps. Thanks for the info! Cheers, NM

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