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How Would You Improve Bulk Buys?
By Patrick A. Heller
February 25, 2014

For several years, the United States Mint has operated a Bulk Purchase Program. For businesses that qualify, you can acquire proof and mint sets, proof and some other special American Eagles and a few other products at a price that works out to a 4 percent discount from the Mint’s retail price. My company has been one of the participants in the program since it began.

To qualify, participants in this program must be licensed as a full-time coin or precious metals dealer operating either out of a shop, at coin shows, or online, or be a licensed retailer, bank, credit union, or other financial institution that is willing to expand its business into the numismatic coin industry.

Beyond that, participating dealers must spend at least $50,000 for purchases in this program each calendar year and must make individual bulk purchases of at least $5,000. Purchases may only be shipped to the business address (i.e., no drop shipments).

On Feb. 21, the U.S. Mint announced that it plans to hold a Bulk Purchaser Forum at the Mint’s offices in Washington, D.C., but did not say when it is scheduled. I have asked to be included in this forum. As part of my participation, I was asked to suggest topics for discussion in this meeting.

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Thus far, this is what I have sent to the U.S. Mint:

• Coordinate discounts offered in the U.S. Mint Subscription Program and U.S. Mint Bulk Purchaser Program.

• Consider annual rebates for achieving designated annual purchase volumes.

• Can the Mint add the option of shipping 100 percent of a bulk purchase to a different address (a drop shipment)?

• Can the Mint post its latest bulk purchase form online rather than emailing a copy every time one or more lines or prices change? There were over 30 revisions in 2013, for instance.

• Can the Mint identify standard case lot sizes for each product to minimize potential damage to loose sets in shipments?

• Set up a better system of notification of new product releases

• Set up a better system of notification when products will no longer be available – hopefully at least two weeks

Naturally, everyone would probably want to discuss the ability to buy at lower prices, which I’m sure will be discussed.

However, if anyone has other issues to raise about any aspect of the U.S. Mint’s Bulk Purchase Program, would you please email them to me at It would be my pleasure to pass along your suggestions, questions, and complaints. Any help would be appreciated.

Patrick A. Heller was the American Numismatic Association 2012 Harry Forman Numismatic Dealer of the Year Award winner. He owns Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., and writes Liberty’s Outlook, a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects.

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