BeachComber Coins & Collectibles, 6692 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
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BeachComber Coins & Collectibles, 6692 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ

August 12, 2019

Greg Hennis alongside Doug Keith and we
would like to welcome you to Beachcomber coins and collectibles located right
here in 66 92 Black Horse Pike right here in Egg Harbor Township but if
you’re saying well where is exactly 66 92 Black Horse Pike here in Egg Harbor
Township we’re actually just right down the road from Boss Hobbs and right down
the road from the new Walmart and actually we’re right by the what used to
be known as the old cart of circle Doug thanks for joining us today it really
interested to hear learn a lot about Beachcomber coins and collectibles well
thank you it’s great having you here and be glad to share my history and
experience with you and for our audience a little insight as we begin our
interview today one of the things we were really talking about off-camera was
really kind to educate people about about your industry about what you do
and about the history so let’s start off and talk a little bit about your history
a lot of people may not realize this but Beachcomber coins and collectibles
actually started in Brigantine correct that’s correct in 1970 I opened a
storefront and Brigantine it was a part-time effort because I was employed
full-time by Atlantic City Electric Company then it was just a little hobby
a little part-time business but as things went on and things changed they
became a little bit more interesting and in 1974 we were in the midst of the Arab
oil embargo and concerned me that maybe people weren’t going to come to
Brigantine they were you know conserving gas and that’s when the shore mall was
going through its third and final expansion that’s when Stein backs was
being built so I went to the mall talked to the owner
made arrangements to to rent a store in the mall small store but what happened
was now because it’s in the mall it has to be open well ours and I had a
full-time job so then I had to start hiring people and that’s a but we opened
in 1974 and we stayed in the mall and we grew over the years into a 10,000 square
foot store and we probably would still be there if they had knocked them all
down the name Beachcomber how did you come up with that well it when we first
opened business the only items that we sold and this was in Brigantine were
coin stamps and metal detector I’m an avid the metal detector user I
loved using metal detectors I was actually involved with the company and
manufactured them for a while and I just thought geez cute I’m in a sea shore
community which Brigantine sea shore community in my front window I was going
to set up it this way with the metal detectors and with the coins and things
that I found is it Beachcomber sounds like a nice nice name I want to talk
about the process first talk to us about how the process works when you come here
to Beachcomber coins and collectibles well it first of all it depends what
you’re sewing primarily what people are selling now
with the the price of precious metals and coins as high as they are there’s a
lot of gold transaction old gold jewelry that’s not needed coin collections the
things that the people have brought in or the relatives have collected over the
years and we have to we have to have our prices for the jewelry and the coins
posted that’s a requirement state law requirement we have to buy them in front
of the people no disappearing in the back room with magic hocus pocus which
some people do we have scales that have to be certified by the state of New
Jersey they have to be sealed by the state they have to be inspected every
year to make sure that scales are accurate and correct and we do
everything in front of the people we don’t any questions we answer the
questions that they have we take them through the whole process doesn’t matter
what it is is it it’s a gold as it coins as the currencies the sports cards
whatever we take our time make sure we want the customer to be satisfied that
they know what we did and we don’t want sellers remorse when they Lee is oh did
I get the best price for it we want them to be comfortable to what we did through
the whole process speaking of process one of the the items
that are probably most associated with what you do here at Beachcomber coins
and collectibles gold and silver talk to us about that talk to us about you know
marks karats things of that nature every piece of gold jewelry is supposed to be
marked with a karat mark on it and what a karat mark tells you is what
percentage of the item is gold it’s very easy to ascertain once you understand
the process you’re typically gold rings will be marked 10 karat 14-karat
18-karat and that tells me how much gold is in that item in
and the higher the carat the more gold the more you’re going to get for an 18
carat ring than a 10 carat ring 24 carat is pure gold it’s a hundred percent gold
if you take the karat mark and divide it by 24 you end up with the percentage of
gold and for easy math 18 carat ring 18 is 75% of 24 that means it is 75% gold
25% some other outweigh the other out we can determine what color the item is you
can change the color of gold by owling it with another metal to change it you
can make gold green you can make a green yellow gold yellow you can make it just
about anything you want depending on how but that carat marking
is what tells me the percentage of gold now is every carat marking accurate no
like everything else you can make counterfeit marks people have taken a
14-karat stamp stamp hit it with onto a piece of brass the gold plated it and
tried to pass it off as 14-karat we have a piece of equipment it’s an x-ray
analysis it will x-ray the item and they tell me what the actual percentage of
gold is in that item irrespective of what the mark is on it now it’s a
$20,000 piece of equipment but believe me it pays for itself over time because
you can weed out things that aren’t right so so that machine will actually
not only work with you know things like gold bars but it would work with current
so it coins all that kind of stuff works with anything they are actually used in
junkyards the same piece of equipment to analyze the difference.we copper bronze
aluminum steel any of these things they sort out the material this is mounted up
front but it can’t be taken off and handheld and walked over to any
individual like we get a big piece of silver and a silver dish or a silver a
serving tray or something like that we just take this machine off the stand hit
it on the item and we can tell reads right out what it is whether it’s over
or not silver so for all those things that are not as they appear this will
find them out it will burn out the problems one of the things that
obviously make you really able to help a lot of
people as you have a great support staff now obviously you and Linda are known as
the beachcombers but you do have other people that work on the staff here right
we have Liz and Chris they’re here full-time they’ve been with me for quite
a few years they’re well trained and they know what they’re doing as far as
buying so even if we’re not here they can handle probably a 90% of the
transactions that would come in now here’s a question that a lot of people
may be very surprised to hear the answer to but we’re going to let the folks at
home hear this are you limited Doug in what you will buy no not at all we we
are small but we are big in our capabilities we have purchased some of
the largest collections in South Jersey over the years we purchased a sports
card collection about ten years ago that ran into six figures we had the
capability we bought out a firearm steal where I’m the licensed firearms dealer
in the state of New Jersey there were four hundred and sixty firearms in that
inventory so we had the capability to handle just about anything comes down
the road professional organizations that you are a member of talk to us about
those we’re a member of numerous professional organizations the American
Numismatic Association the National guaranty corporation
PCGS were on a network that is very selective of the dealers they allow in
the network certified coin exchange we’re on nationwide with other dealers
on this is over a thousand dealers on it so we stay attuned and stay abreast of
everything and we are very active and professional organizations we used to do
years ago I used to travel around the country WA and do coin shows California
Florida Boston all over the place and I would make friends and be dealing at
these shows and I’ve cut back on that because the time limitations aren’t such
but we still have friends out there that we can contact and deal with if we found
a need we’ve obviously talked about gold and silver coins and currency another
big area especially when it comes to the classic stuff is the sport and non sport
cards and I know that even years ago you were really big into that cuz I think in
the past used to host autograph signings when people like Steve Carlton Pete Rose
people like that that’s right that we ran and it’s interesting how we go
into that part of it an outside vendor would come into the mall and run the
show and he rent tables have dealers come in he’d arrange for it and we’d see
our sales go down that week so this this is not a good thing
seventh of all management said I want to run the shows and we did so we would run
shows twice a year we bring in celebrities for signing we Pete Rose was
probably the best show we ever had we filled that mall with both vendors and
with customers and as a result we took over that aspect of it but as with
everything there’s a finite duration of the activity and then i briefed anybody
it stuttered studied marketing knows what the classic bell curve is that the
classic bell curve starts and build since with the activity builds when the
febris start and it reached a plateau and then it drops off and we’re
unfortunately down on the downside on a lot of collectibles however there’s
still interest in classic items in the eighties that are classic items classic
item typically err and this covers sports cards non sports cards and and
the the comic books pre 70s back we just purchased say a collection of tobacco
cards these were made back in the early 1900s they were included in tobacco
packs as a premium and and these are always going to be desirable because
your core hardcore collector is still out there looking to build a sense the
bed area is in the 80s and 90s when the cart manufacturers went crazy with
production at USB tops was the only one making baseball cards well FLIR and Don
Russ got into the act and then later upperdeck got into it and a few others
they’re just too many cards out there and as a result the collector who is
involved in collecting all of a sudden realizes he has to buy this much stuff
instead of this much and with monetary limitations he said I can’t do it
anymore maybe they’ve got to focus on something
I can handle or just drop out all together and a lot of people dropped out
but again you’re older collectors more sophisticated collectors they’re still
looking for tobacco cards and they’re still looking for the classic the Mickey
Mantle’s the Joe DiMaggio’s the Babe Ruth’s is seeing things like that pre
70s and and now condition has gotten into
the game it didn’t matter before what the card looked like with the centering
look nyko at the corners looked like if you got a Mickey Mantle great I got a
Mickey Mantle now it started with coins where you would submit items to an
independent grading Service who had no financial involvement with the item
would pass judgment with their experts and say okay this coin is this or this
card is this or this comic book is this and seal it and with that being sealed
now it can be sight unseen transacted if you advertise you have a Mickey Mantle
rookie that is graded an eight all you have to do is put a price tag on it
because the collector will know what an eight is supposed to look like and it on
a card is a scale of one to ten actually you can go less and wanted to go poor
and then be under one but the one to ten with ten being a perfect card perfect
centering perfect print perfect corners everything is perfect in that ten is
virtually impossible to get because the printing process of these items they
don’t care there’s running sheets after sheets after sheet so there’s no care
about the centering there’s nothing that thought process the manufacturing so to
end up with one that came out perfect in the case in point is last year there was
a sports card show in Atlantic City they had an auction a Wayne Gretzky rookie
card hockey player great at ten the only one great at ten and that commanded a
four hundred and sixty thousand dollar price tag at that auction over there
needless to say a lot of link recipe cards showed up at my door right after
that all sorry yeah that one’s has been in a bike spoke
so we’re not really gonna buy that one so but this now applies okay they were
companies well now and all grading services are not equal you need to be
very careful the grading service you use because some are just they’ll grade to
order well gray do you want to I want okay that’s the grade you’re going to
get can you recommend grading services people NGC and PCGS are the the two
known entities on your coins PCGS has subsidiaries where they will grade other
things and so does NGC they will grade currency which is a big
thing now especially foreign currency they will they will grade comic books
PCGS grade stamps stamp again has to be perfectly centered on that little sheet
of paper that is printed on so these are the ones that are recognizable and and
once it if you’re going to buy an item graded focus on one at that company or
those two companies have graded real quick before you move on to our next
category non-sport cards that are ones that would be considered the classic
stuff command a better return well horrors of war this is one that was
printed during the 40s during you know when World War two is going on won the
key card and that is Hitler giving a speech and these are these are ones
again they were cards were never meant to be investments when they were made
they were meant to be toys for kids something you go buy a pack of bubblegum
you got a card oh boy look what I got I’ll trade my man Oh for your Ted
Williams in that sort of thing I remember was more fun just to get the
bubble gum than the cards changed stained a lot of cards yeah it was like
crunch you you get it you get a piece of gum that was against the back of the
card you got a black stain on the back of that card that affects the grading of
the killer but your question was class again the non sports cards were never
produced in the numbers that sports cards were baseball was always tops and
then followed by football hockey basketball and then you get into your
non sports there was Superman cards there was a series that came out to
commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Civil War in 1961 that had
Civil War pictured cards and a piece of replica civil Confederate currency so I
mean all these things another thing that really commands the value if you find
them on open packs from that era if you find unopened pack once it’s there
we bought a collection years ago of 1961 FLIR basketball
we’re had been doing some baseball they kind of lost out in lawsuit against hops
but they tried a test market of basketball in 1961 didn’t go over that
well in finally a vendor had tried to sell him
and they had an assault put him away in his attic grandson comes along years
later finds him up in the attic there on the packs unopened packs have boxes of
these things the unfortunate thing was he opened them
all up oh and built sets out of them yeah we bought ten sets from him and
they and what we would do is we would we would grade him ourselves to the best
sent the second-best set the third best set all the way down the line but he
threw out the wrappers and he threw out the box well at that point in time an
unopened box would have brought about ten thousand dollars for an unopened box
mm-hmm an unopened wrapper would have brought probably about a hundred dollars
we he did have one box and I was able to auction off the empty box for $200 I’m
going back 20-some years ago we had a couple rappers they brought $20 heat
just for the rappers no cards so these things don’t survive and you read about
some of these finds where you know either the person’s been in business
years ago and they didn’t sell and he just put them in the back of the shop
and forgot about them and years later through the archeological dig of going
through the stuff we owe where we have it we got one of these gems back there
well let’s talk about memorabilia but before we do talk about that it kind of
kind of came up recently when you talk about autographs there was a recent
article about you know some athletes that are you know signing things but
then later down the road they use a an automated process and the signatures not
correct it’s not authenticated it’s you know talk to us about that whole process
of memorabilia and signatures and autographs and stuff the signatures of
sports celebrities and non sports at non sports celebrities it started probably
again in the 80s where the sports shows sports card shows would start and people
would sign for fees and what-have-you and then it became a problem that well a
Mickey Mantle autographed back then probably $50 item well I can do that
just because Mickey could yeah and and sign it well what’s sprung up then was a
service and we’re to the grading service or coins is an authentication service
and we now and and especially if you’re
dealing with eBay you have to have a certificate of authentication
authentication for every item that you sell don’t say that one five times man four more times for you but what this
company does and we deal with the James Spence authentic he’s in precipitate New
Jersey and we used to have in our shows he would he would witness the signing of
our celebrities and he would furphy have anybody that came in with whatever they
wanted to authenticate it he would look at it if you agreed it was right he
would give him a certificate that would say this item has been looked at by this
gentleman who is recognized throughout the country does all the majors auction
houses all their authentication so he is recognized as being and he’s a
third-generation collector has a big firm he’s a good personal friend of mine
he’s been my houseguests on several occasions down here and his word is gold
if he works at an autograph and he says it’s real it’s real you don’t have to
have any questions about it real quick comic books you touched on those real
brief just give us a little bit more informaton
comic books again the classic era the ten cent era the 12 cent era 60s we’ve
got and as I mentioned we evolved into these businesses due to again the
classic bell curve going on a downside we had to figure what we’re going to do
to make up the downside and we got into comic books we got into sports cars but
the comic books suffered from the same problem the sports card suffered in the
90s and is they’ve got to be mass produced although comics are showing the
resurgence on the the collector and the reader level the classic ones are still
the more desirable from a collection standpoint you will get a comic book you
will never read it because it’s sealed in that same plastic that the sports
cards or coins aren’t but it’s graded by a company that says this comic book is
in this condition are you talking about like the 10 cent 12 cent titles 40s 50s
60s yeah exactly those are the ones Batman Superman the superheroes Spider
Man these you know and and themes such as the first appearance of or the origin
of or things of that where they’re it’s an important event in the comic book
and these are the titles that usually bring the the most interest that you get
your classic Illustrated from when you and I did book reports back in school
yeah I’m not a yeah nothing on those and our book reports probably weren’t that
gradient okay but in any event the you know these are the ones and my mother
was against violence so when I bought comic books as a kid I had to stick with
Donald Duck Mickey Mouse things like that I couldn’t do the Superman Batman
or one of those so my books really didn’t turn out to be great but the ones
that were able to save and we bought a collection in Brigantine about six
months ago woman’s dad had saved them they were in the 40s there were all the
10-cent titles and and we ended up buying those and the problem in this
area those because of the humidity the storage of those things is very iffy so
you got to be to find one that’s a the covers aren’t missing pieces and things
like that is very difficult Doug we’re down to our last couple of minutes but
there’s a couple things we want to try to get in so we’ll we’ll do the the
cliff note version if you will okay it’s really educational firearms you’re a
authorized a firearms dealer that’s right you know talk to me off-camera
military in particular is where where the the the better demand is especially
non United States Germany as you’re paying things like that it’s unfortunate
but in in the case of war from a collectible standpoint the losers are
the winners in value German firearms Japanese firearms with the exception of
a few items from collectible standpoint are more desirable the exception is the
the colt military 1911 the semi-automatic firearm that the pilots
carried and the officers carry those are good collectibles we are more of a
collectibles dealer at this point in time you will not see any firearms in my
shop I do not offer them to the public just because we’re too small and I don’t
from a security standpoint but we are an active buyer
we will buy any of the military and there’s others collectibles as a result
in Germany they everybody had their own special dagger that they wore in dress
uniform those daggers are collectible the helmets are quite capable uniforms
are collectible the badges not so much the awards not so much but the the other
items are more do you work closely with the area police
on not only you know the purchasing of things and absolutely we have worked
very closely we’ve been instrumental that is a a concern amongst all of us we
obviously don’t want to buy anything is stolen because we’re not it doesn’t do
us any good we have been instrumental in assisting police departments to catch
people and in the mall we actually had a couple physical takedowns in the mall
where we alerted the police that somebody was in that they were looking
for and went back room called he’s here and actually you know you know the
police are on them and then you know that had some violent takedowns in there
as a result of it but to work very close there’s a requirement that we have to
adhere to it’s called the rapid system it’s a computerized system now used to
be on paper and now it’s all by computer we when somebody comes in they’re
required to provide us with their driver’s license we copied the driver’s
license into the computer we picture what they’re selling and that goes in
the computer if there’s anything identifiable class ring is like a
fingerprint I can do I can track a person down by a class ring because his
initials in there the school was there and the year he graduates there he can
be tracked down currently where he is be still alive so yes we work very closely
with the departments okay couple more things here in our last minute or so
Lionel trains talk to us about those we’ve dealt in all these things we
talked about then we we still buy Lionel trains he was a good article in The Wall
Street Journal last year the average age of a train collector is in his mid 60’s
that’s kind of the down side of the curve now the people buying trains today
what the modern version they’re not collecting them they want the modern
version they can show their son or daughter set it up around the Christmas
tree they have all the sounds now the what they call the crew chatter those
bells and whistles and things like that they’re not your grandfather’s train
these are ones that are highly sophisticated they’re digital and they
run excellent the collectibles again it’s a situation where the the market is
such that there’s no body continuing that there’s some people continuing but
it’s a smaller audience as people age okay
next area there’s a lot of folks out there they probably have a great
collection of humbles that are stored away
and those that also have the Hess trucks that are stored away in the boxes so if
I want to bring them in am I going to hit a big payday you know we used to say
that we would set up a balloon and when somebody came in with something like
that we had popped the balloon because we popped their expectations uh we used
to be humble doer we used to buy direct from humble we used to sell hundreds of
dollars for different ones and we used to buy okay unfortunately it’s again the
bell curve is done rock-bottom we did an appraisal of a humble collection in
Ocean City a couple years ago which the executor was a lawyer did his homework
and said I know what these things are going to bring us a good because I’m not
going to itemize every one of these I’m gonna write down a hundred and sixty-two
Hummels at $10 each sixteen hundred and twenty dollars that’s the value of your
estate does I agree I seen one eBay for that what happened is Hubble started
after World War two where the husband or the boyfriend husbands came home from
Europe brought a humble back with him well that started the collection now mom
wife grandmom whatever continued over the years let’s get mom humble for a
birthday let’s got mama home correct let’s got grandma on the homo for around
for it lets get yeah well now grandmom unfortunately is passed away the next
generation calls and dust collectors no desire whatsoever for these things so as
a result without a demand there’s no Hess trucks we used to sell his trucks
when the hesitation coast in Westland ik City we deport him from Florida
brand-new in-the-box they’re on our counter in nineteen ninety-five 2495
whatever they were that absolutely did Linda reluctantly Bosma two dollars each
new in the box but elect n’t let’s really reluctantly has I think she has
elect over group from her last purchase that was kicking around for a while
final question I know you’ve kind of alluded to this but let’s just make it a
little cleaner for folks what is it as a general rule why do items certain items
increase in some decrease I know you’ve kind of talked about different examples
of bell curves and different things there’s three legs to evaluation stool
without one of those legs the stool falls over supply demand condition you
need all three of those if you have the only item ever made this is the only
item ever made and there’s no demand for it
therefore conversely if this is the item only item ever made you me and everybody
wants it you throw it an auction let the let the market determine what the value
is condition I alluded to condition on the cars with a grading of the cards
that you know at n Wayne Gretzky sky’s the limit Wayne Gretzky has been
the bike spokes nobody cares so it’s you need all three legs of that
stool to stand upright a lot of times dog will close a show by me kind of
wrapping it up but I kind of thought you know you’re great speaker and a lot of
folks know you you know you’ve got your radio program where you’re on with Don
Williams and different things why don’t you say goodbye to the folks at home
tell them where you’re at give us your hours website and all that go ahead well
thanks for viewing hopefully it was educational to you that
you enjoyed and be more than glad to continue this discussion that’s be
warrant we’re open Monday through Saturday 10:00 to 5:00 you can come in
anytime in those hours and be more than glad to help you again my staff is here
to help you at any times and been doing this for almost 50 years
may not do it for 50 more but I’m going to keep going as long as I can if they
want to see you or Linda they should just come in ask for the beachcombers
when we work basically I have an office and absecon that I I’m at on Tuesday
from 10:00 to 3:00 I have an office and bring a teen on that from 10:00 to 5:00
I am here on Thursdays also Linda’s here Tuesdays Thursdays Saturdays but again
that’s the call just to make sure if you need to see us again if it’s for just
average you need to see us so call six oh nine six four five one oh three one
and ask for our schedule and be more than glad but again only if you need to
see us and also for very large collections or things I think we will
visit you we will visit you your bank if that coin collection in your vault if
you have something that’s valuable you don’t want to transport you feel that
it’d be better if we came to see you or first to bulky or difficult we make
house calls wholesome

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