Hey there Sea Changers and welcome back. Today we are going to open the change purse as we discuss how to sell coins online. And whilst that last sentence maybe a bit flippant, I will say that the collection, trading and production of coins is a worldwide interest and something that many make a good living from. When this is converted to the online world, being that it is a niche covering both the hobby and ‘make money' markets then it could be a worthwhile undertaking for those interested in it. So for those of you looking to make money selling coins online, then let's see if this could be worthwhile looking into.
How do we get started?
Just so we can be sure that at least some of those interested in collecting coins are buying them online, let's make sure there is a market there. As mentioned above it does fit within a number of lucrative target sub niches so I am pretty confident, but let's just check anyway…
What are people looking for?
As we continue, let's just confirm our market numbers:
1. Number of monthly searches
As we are looking to see if there is an interest in the buying and selling of coin online, our first check is for simple niche related searches. You will need to find yourself a good keyword tool (I use Jaaxy) and enter in the keywords that best describe your market. In this case, let's start with the basics:
Just as I suspected – over 55000 searches per month – and in preparation for our niche selection discussions below, we can also see some searches for more targeted areas such as international coins, gold coins and of course, Harry Potter coins as well (I mean everybody needs Harry Potter coins). Let's now have a look at some of the narrower options starting with old versus new:
Yep, more good numbers – and another good market that can be investigated for those with knowledge or interest in this area. We could probably search within different historical times and factors all day (such as over 5000 monthly searches for Roman coins and 2000 odd for Viking coins) so let's just finish up with another sub niche search that appeared in our first search above…
Not massive numbers but it does show that coin collecting supplies are another high interest area – the list goes a long way down and highlights a nice range of different options for those working in the coin collection niche.
All in all, those numbers are very good making this a fantastic niche if you were looking to set up an online business around coins. All in all I think we can see that there is a definite opportunity here however just so we have all bases covered, let's check if it is sustainable.
2. Search Trends
Another important aspect of online sales and niche selection is to check that interest is maintained over time. To gain an insight into this let's check out how the searches for a few of our coin related areas are trending online.
Ok, so we can see that interest has been fairly well maintained over the past few years without any real spikes. I added gold coins as an afterthought as it popped up in some of my keyword research and boom… another potentially lucrative niche that you can look into as well.
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What is our niche?
Ok, now the fun part begins – in the statistics and screen dumps above we can already see that there is great interest in a vast array of areas within the coin collection and trading niche. The decision you have now is to determine whether you wish to create your online business covering one of these subjects, or concentrate on another specific area or sub niche. There are a good number of different areas you could explore here – and off the top of my head, some examples include:
- Buying and selling coins online
- Specific era coins – Roman, Viking etc.
- Gold and silver coins
- Coin valuation
- Novelty coins – such as good old Harry Potter
- New mint/release coin sets
- Special occasion releases – Royal weddings etc.
- Coin collection supplies
And that is just a few – all of which can be marketed from the point of view of the writer, or simply as a means of supplying information to those looking to purchase. As you start to think about this, the question to ask yourself is whether the content you are looking at is too large to cover effectively. The risk here is that if you start with a niche that is too broad, you may not be able to cover everything to the level required or to become authority on the subject – which you will need to be if you are going to convince people to deal with you as they work on their own coin collections. Don't forget, you can always add a new section to your site as you grow as well.
As you work through narrowing your targeted niche, consider the following:
- Are you able to solve a problem – Most people undertake searches on the internet to solve a problem – see next section.
- Is it a subject that you have an interest, or knowledge in– I am guessing that you are in this post as you know about, or have an interest in coins in some capacity. If you don't have any of these, maybe consider another market as to be honest, you might struggle make money here if you have no interest in this sort of stuff at all. Trust me, people will know immediately if your information is not up to scratch or can put their investment or collections at risk.
Let's investigate this a little further by discussing the problem solving elements of niche selection.
Do you have your own niche in mind? Enter your keywords below to checkout your ideas…
What problem are we solving?
If there is a niche or sub niche that you are interested in, you may already know what it is that you are trying to sell. If not, then maybe start to look at it from the perspective of solving problems. This, added to your area of interest is a great way to work out exactly what you think you might like to base your online business upon.
Think about your own search behaviours when you are online – I would hazard a guess that most searches you do are in order to solve a problem. Now think of these in a manner in which someone might have problems within coin related niches such as:
- You know that you want to invest in a coin collection but don't know which coins are ‘best' to start with.
- You have a problem and need a solution – I.e. “My silver coins are starting to tarnish – what can I do?”.
Your goal here is to determine just what problem/s you are trying to solve for your readers. This maybe one problem that spans your site or differ for each post that you write. For example, if you have chosen coin collection supplies for your niche, then problems might be:
- Matching products to use– They want to know what materials would be best for storing certain types of ancient coins.
- Which to buy – There are a number of coin display books on the market – but which is best on a budget?
In these cases, people would be searching for those topics based on having a problem and needing a solution. Your site would outline and review the best options for them.
Alternatively, if your site is about the trading of valuable coins, then you would be addressing problems such as:
- What brokerage houses are ‘best' for sales arrangements?
- Should you consider a particular type of coin to collect?
- How should the coins be stored?
- How can we tell the value of our coins?
- Are there particular triggers we should look to to know when to sell?
- How can I ensure that I have purchased a legitimate coin and not a fake?
- What maintenance should be performed on my coin collection?
Note: You do not need to identify every possible problem that your readers may have straight away. In many cases, the more you write, the more ‘problems’ will present themselves so initially you really just want to make sure that there are some that may need solving as we have found here.
How are you going to convince them to buy?
Now that we know our niche (or are at least working on it) and have an idea of the types of problems that we want to solve, there is one last thing to consider which is the online purchase behaviour of your targeted audience.
This means you would need to look who will be looking at your site. Some examples include:
- Those that are purchasing for a specific need (such as for an investment) will want to know exactly what they are getting and are happy to pay for it however they must be able to see value and trust your information.
- Hardcore collectors and traders etc. will want to know all about the latest information, updates and products available and may dissect your reviews with a fine toothed comb.
- If you are dealing with those just looking for good options to keep their collections up to date then make it as easy as possible to get a decent coin or product for a decent price – give them the information and let them get on with it.
- And finally don't forget those who deal with coins as part of their hobby – they have potentially unlimited buying power as long as they have all the details.
So at the end of the day, even though we do have purchaser behaviour on our side, to be successful in selling coins online, consider the following:
- Solve problems without purchase – This is especially important in a niche such as this where it can be hard to ensure that they are not getting ripped off with fake items. Write your posts in a way that actually makes it easier for people to do their research and buy elsewhere and by doing this, you are solving problems and helping readers out. If they trust you, they will be more likely to return next time and buy from you then – especially if you follow up with posts on similar or compatible products or options that might interest them!
- Provide the intangibles – One major disadvantage when it comes to selling anything online is that we can’t really know what the products look and feel like. This is particularly prevalent within this market as in some cases it is the feel of the metals that allow collectors to know if they have the real deal or not. And keep in mind that even harmless words such as ‘old’ or ‘valuable’ can mean different things to different people. Your posts will need to cover this information in a manner that puts minds at ease and explains some of the intangibles.
- Know your audience – A big mistake many make here is to target the product and not necessarily the buyer. This is especially important when dealing with an audience looking to make investments. It is very easy for example to get carried away explaining how great a coin is because it is old and cheap all the while forgetting that those intending to buy it want to make money from it as well. The same goes for high priced options… Expensive doesn't always mean a better return. Make sure you do your research on the buying behaviours of those you are targeting before writing your posts.
Tip: Still not sure? Have a look and see what others are doing. It might just help you with some ideas.
How do we sell coins online?
And then we come to probably the most important aspect of this whole online selling caper in that we need to consider how we are going to sell the products that we have decided to promote. Depending on the area or sub niche you have decided to work in, there are a number of methods you can use to do this. Let's explore them below:
Affiliate marketing is the process of selling products via programs that are setup directly by companies or marketplace platforms (Amazon, Ebay etc.) that allow you to join and then refer traffic to them through customised affiliate links. In short, this means that you will write about your chosen area within the coin niche (such as the best display options for example) and then refer your readers to a link where they will purchase directly from the vendors. The vendors then pay you a commission for the sale. And trust me – you can even sell actual coins this way too.
Affiliate programs are especially good for those selling coins and their related products online as you can move seamlessly through changes to trends and investment returns (such as if the gold price dropped for example) without needing to sell out of previous stock first. This way you can promote/review up-to-the-minute opportunities and then refer your readers to the vendor to manage the sale without you having to hold inventory or organise shipping.
Finding affiliate programs is generally not a difficult task either. To locate them, you would normally just type “‘niche' Affiliate Programs” into your preferred search engine. Below is an example for search results on coin collector related niche affiliate programs:
As you can see, there are plenty of options in regards to affiliate programs for coin related niches and as you search through them all, you can check it all out and find programs that:
- Relate to your niche/problems that you are solving.
- Have quality/authentic products – your brand can be severely damaged if you promote poor quality or fake products.
- Have solid payment and customer service arrangements.
- Pay decent commissions.
- Have good testimonials covering commission payouts and quality of product.
- Whether they have high ticket items you can promote on the side.
In most cases, you will need to apply for the program before you are allowed to promote their products – don’t take this step lightly or you will be rejected. Affiliate programs will generally want to know:
- Your website name.
- Traffic levels.
- Why you want to join – (“so I can make money by selling your gold coins online” is unfortunately not generally a good enough answer).
- How you plan to promote their products.
One thing to be aware of here I guess is to keep in mind the issues we discussed earlier in regards to selling coins and their related products online. You need to make sure that the programs you choose can be trusted and that the consumer is comfortable that they have recourse if something goes wrong.
For this reason you will need to make sure that your chosen programs are going to resonate with your readers and your niche.
Sell your own
If affiliate marketing is not something you are interested in, maybe you could try sourcing and selling your own products. This process is especially popular within this niche as as we have mentioned the buying and selling of valuable coins can be an extremely lucrative market. This means that you can source coins or relative products from a supplier and then on-sell to your customers.
This process does usually require higher setup costs as you will need to purchase your items and manage orders and shipment.
To find out where to acquire your product/s, you can do an online search such as “supplier: coins” for example:
Note: These results will usually be based on your geographical location so you may at times need to sort through a few pages.
From here you will need to follow the same processes as with affiliate programs in determining whether they are a good fit for your business plans including:
- Relate to your niche/problems that you are solving.
- Have solid delivery and customer service arrangements.
- Have good testimonials covering service and quality of product.
Alternatively, keep your eye out in your local area for exhibitions, swap meets or industry shows. These are a great way to find and purchase your products at good prices – you never know, you might even find a solid supplier for future sales as well.
Tip: This method can be very effective in driving online traffic and sales via the implementation of more traditional sales methods such as kiosks and market stalls etc. As people get to know you, they can purchase from you there and then be directed to your website for future sales.
Alternatively, if you have some real skills in this area, then you may be able to look at some other ways to make some good cash online within the world of coins. These can include:
Offer a Service – This is where you perform a task that assists those within this niche such as:
- Demonstrating purchase, care or trading requirements – either by doing it yourself or teaching others to do it.
- Trading/collecting advice – many make a great living by assisting those to set up their own collections for either personal enjoyment or for buying and selling
- Manufacture – such as making or repairing stuff used in the maintenance and/or display of coin collections using the applicable tools and methods required.
These services can be offered in person or demonstrated via an online course or on YouTube.
Make your own and sell – As discussed above, if you are more on the handy side, then make your own products and on-sell them. This could be absolutely anything such as specialist tools, parts, specialist accessories, consumables or chemical free cleaning solutions for old coins for example. Items can be made and then sold via a website or marketplace platform such as Amazon or Shopify.
What do we need to do?
Once we have all of the above sorted, or at the very least a plan in place, we need to choose and setup the media that we intend to use to sell our product. This can include:
Build a Website
If you are looking to build your online business as an affiliate marketer, supplier or consultant, then chances are you will most probably need a website. Websites allow you to solve problems via blog posts and videos that people can view in order to identify the solutions that they need. Usually, this process is fairly straight forward in that you build your website, write posts (on the differences between real and fake coins for example), then provide links so that your readers can view/purchase the relevant materials from your links.
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Promote on Social Media
When it comes to coin collecting and trading, there is probably no more powerful tool than Social media. It has the power to reach thousands and allows you to target specific segments if you choose the correct platform. In terms of coin related products online, a good platform to start with is FaceBook where you can discuss coins, components, specifications, accessories and trading techniques with your audience, display products in use and show videos.
However, if you are looking to set yourself up as an expert within the niche, then programs such as Instagram, YouTube or Pinterest also present good options. This is great for visuals such as pictures and/or videos showing you working with your collection as well as using the maintenance components/accessories that you are discussing within your posts. And, if you are able to build a following you may even get noticed and be paid gazillions to use certain brand within your pics and videos – this takes time, but it does happen – I mean really… my son watches a channel on YouTube where a kid shows you how to play minecraft – he makes over $10 million per year!!
Join like-minded groups
Anther great tool when it comes to selling products online are social groups. By getting involved with these groups you can really get a great understanding as to what its members are struggling with, what information they seek and what products they are looking to buy. Below is an example of coin collector related FaceBook groups (there are obviously groups for any sub niche you are interested in):
Note: Results are geographically based. Many of these groups will not allow you to spruike or promote your sites directly, however if you can interact and demonstrate your knowledge then people will ask you directly for the information. At the very least, as above, it is a great way to get ideas and insight into what people in this area really want to know about and what they are buying online.
And there it is – How to make money selling coins online. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share.
Do you want further assistance with any of the above or need help to build your own coin related website?
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Until next time
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