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Price Comparisons with a Competitor
We recently saw a colour catalogue from one of our competitors. We were given it by one of our customers who had asked us whether the collectors coins in it represented good value, or whether he was being "ripped off". While we never like to accuse a competitor of "ripping people off" (we don't even like the expression), we were astounded by most of the offers, and the prices. Out of about 154 offers, many were, in our opinion, junk which we would not wish to promote. Many were attractive collectable coins, but all were, again in our opinion, overpriced, some by a huge margin. The brochure itself was quite impressive, and it must have been quite expensive to produce. It kept us entertained for some time browsing through it, and laughing or gasping at the prices being asked, and no doubt obtained, for many of the items. In the end we decided to compile a list of comparisons with our own prices, which proved very interesting, and we thought we should share it with our customers. We could find 35 direct comparisons with identical or very similar items from our own stock. Incidentally we estimate that we have between 5,000 to 10,000 items listed for sale within the 2,000 plus pages of our five websites.
We debated whether to name the competitor involved but we decided against it. We thought it would be kinder to let him remain anonymous.
Update: 22nd November 2002
We have just heard that the above competitor has "gone bust" according to the Daily Mirror, and as it would appear that they are no longer trading, we guess that it will do no harm to name them. the main trading name by which we knew them was Gold & Silver Bureau, but they also appear to have had a stable of related companies, Gold & Silver Bureau (Modern Collections) Ltd., GSB (Golden Jubilee) Ltd., GSB Millennium Milestones, GSB Millennium Collections, Powerway Ltd., and GSB Golden Millennium Ltd, and possibly others.
|Coin||Chard Price||GSB Price||Difference £||% Saving|
|Austrian 4 Ducat||101||195||94||48|
|US State Quarters||0.95||2.2||1.25||57|
|1965 British Coin Set||15||17.95||2.95||16|
|1980 British Proof Set||10||24.95||14.95||60|
|1987 Britannia 2 Coin Proof Gold||125||185||60||32|
|Australian 10 Ounce Kookaburra||89.95||149.5||59.52||40|
|1936 Australia Pattern Crown||25||29.95||4.95||17|
|1964 Bermuda Crown||5||24.95||19.95||80|
|1999 British Uncirculated Set||12||19.5||7.5||38|
|1999 Silver Britannia||10||18.95||8.95||47|
|1966 Spanish 100 Pesetas||5||34.5||29.5||86|
|2001 Half Sovereigns||35||37.5||2.5||7|
|South Africa 2 Rands||75||99.5||24.5||25|
|South Africa 1 Rand||45||69.5||24.5||35|
|Austrian 100 Corona||223||349||126||36|
|1984 Gold £5||375||475||100||21|
|1985 Gold £5||375||475||100||21|
|1982 Canada $100 Gold Proof||125||215||90||42|
|Britannia 2 Coin Proof Set||125||185||60||32|
|USA Morgan Dollars Choice Grade||25||29.95||4.95||17|
|Austrian 20 Corona Gold||45||109.5||64.5||59|
|2000 £5 Gold Unc||295||329||34||10|
|French Gold 20 Francs||56||109.5||53.5||49|
|Canadian Silver Maple||9.95||16.95||7||41|
|Canadian Silver Maple 3 dates||29.85||49.5||19.65||40|
|2001 Silver Proof Crown Victorian Era||34.5||36.45||1.95||5|
Summary & Conclusions
On the 35 items listed, you could have bought them from us for £2,2821.73, compared with £4,047.75 buying them from our nameless competitor, a saving of £1,226.02, or just over 30%. Looked at another way, you would have paid over 43% more buying elsewhere!
The closest item, at only 5% saving, was a current year's coin, where we sell at a similar price to the Royal Mint, and presumably our competitor feels constrained by the Royal Mint's pricing. Similar considerations apply to two other newly released items. The maximum percentage saving was 86%.
You may think that we have, like the supermarket chains, manipulated the above figures to include only those items where we compared favourably, but this is not so. We have omitted nothing, and we have compared like-for-like. In some cases, we offer quantity discounts, and we have not included these in our comparisons. We have not included any special offers or loss leaders or other misleading items. In some cases, particularly gold bullion items, our prices are subject to market price fluctuations of the intrinsic gold content. Our prices on the day we published this page were in fact slightly lower than those shown in the table.
Update: 22nd November 2002
Readers may wonder how a dealer charging such high prices could lose money or "go bust". The Daily Mirror seems to suggest that the owner John Coppin was a "high-roller", owning a diamond encrusted rolex, driving a Porsche, and other "Essex Boy" signs of high living. We always wondered how much their national press adverts cost them, and guess that these absorbed much of their profits. Please note that we spend a tiny amount on print media advertising, our websites being how we generate most of our new business. We have over 3,000 web pages which cost us less than a single one of GSB's press adverts. Interestingly national newspapers are quick to criticise businesses who go bust, but often the very same newspapers have been accepting their adverts and money for several years beforehand!
Earlier this year (2002) we heard from people who were surprised to learn that we could deliver 2002 sovereigns and half sovereigns from stock, when they had been waiting for months for Gold & Silver Bureau to deliver. It is true that the Royal Mint had a production delay on 2002 half sovereigns for many weeks earlier this year, but fortunately we had about 500 in stock at the time, and were able to maintain deliveries without delay.
One conclusion we believe can be drawn, buying through the internet can be better and safer than buying from traditional advertisers. The internet gives the ability to publish full details and information about products, at a very low price. Traditional printed advertising and brochures are expensive, meaning that customers have to pay higher prices or companies have to absorb higher costs. We also believe that the internet can deliver information and products efficiently to interested consumers. Intelligent use of search engines such as Google (www.google.com) means interested parties can find precisely the information and products they want. This means we can market niche products direct to niche consumer segments at very competitive prices, and still make money.
You may wish to visit some of our other pages:
Gold & Silver Bureau
Complaint about Royal Mint Prices Value of my Coin. What's it Worth?
Do you have a query about coin deliveries?
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32 - 36 Harrowside, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1RJ, England.|
Telephone (44) - (0) 1253 - 343081 ; Fax 408058; E-mail:
The URL for our main page is: https://24carat.co.uk