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mikelaw

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Reply with quote  #1 
Wow. Unexpected sell out.
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https://catalog.usmint.gov/currency/engravings/

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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #2 
A print run of 8,000 (3x more than last year) and they sell out the first month! That's a testament to the expanded reach of the Mint's distribution list. Bet that makes the BEP very happy.

It will be interesting to see whether the BEP decides to do an additional printing. They probably have dollar signs in their eyes.
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #3 
Update: It's possible this may just be a glitch in the ordering system. Apparently some SCCS members who have ordered from the site were having issues with the pricing. We'll see if it gets fixed or if it really is a sell-out.
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Steve in Tampa

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Reply with quote  #4 
Kinda related....The 5 ounce Silver Coin is spectacular.
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #5 
I just got off the phone with the marketing director at the BEP and he confirmed that the 2019 intaglio print subscriptions are indeed sold out and they will not be doing any reprints. He said they could probably have sold 10-12,000, but 8,000 was their best estimate at the time. He attributed the sales spike to the Mint's ordering platform and the collaborative product marketing they are doing. Hopefully this will give the souvenir card hobby a bit of a boost in visibility.

He also provided some other info on the 2020 intaglio print program, which I will post in a separate thread.
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mikelaw

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks for update. First of three cards arrived about 10 days ago. Hope the 2020’s feature engraved currency ?
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelaw
Thanks for update. First of three cards arrived about 10 days ago. Hope the 2020’s feature engraved currency ?


I would love it if they did, but can you think of any WWII-themed currency that they could use? Actually, a better place to respond would be on my follow-up thread.

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Springfield

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Reply with quote  #8 
Greg:

The Hawaii and North Africa notes relate to WWII.
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nirvana

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Reply with quote  #9 
I see the first print, The Mission, is for sale on www.thecoinvault.com for $79.98. Wow! That didn't take long.
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oklahomadanny

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Reply with quote  #10 
Would appear the "coin flippers" side will move into the currency/BEP side for better or worse. I went to the new US Mint/BEP site yesterday looking for an old 2015 engraving that might still be available with no luck. I personally didn't look closely at the Moon Landing series, didn't interest me as far as BEP engravings program. I see the individual cards are/were $22.50, what was the price for the 3 card subscription? I'm a "closet" souvenir card collector, I go in the closet for a couple months then see something I like and end up spending more money (thanks Greg!). [biggrin][biggrin]
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nirvana
I see the first print, The Mission, is for sale on www.thecoinvault.com for $79.98. Wow! That didn't take long.


That's an interesting phenomenon. But the production figures are at least three times higher than last year's sales. Meaning there are a lot more of these Moon cards out there. I would expect them to start showing up on eBay in the next couple years, and the secondary price will drop.

Something similar occurred back in the early days of souvenir cards -- dealers bought large numbers of cards on speculation, hoping to sell off their stock over time at a profit. What they didn't realize was that they had become the BEP's primary buyers. Collectors had already purchased their cards directly and there was no demand for dealer stock. This is why you can still buy most early cards for a buck or two.
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mikelaw

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Reply with quote  #12 
Another reason to sign up for subscription program. Although they don’t feature reproductions of currency still nice looking cards and worth collecting. Better luck in 2020.
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nirvana

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Reply with quote  #13 
okdanny, the subscription price was $51.00 for the three prints. I'm fairly new to collecting, started with the subscriptions in 2003, and have several of the older BEP cards. It's interesting to look back and see the change in topics and presentation for the cards.
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #14 
Nirvana, I wasn't familiar with The Coin Vault and initially thought they were just an average dealer. But I finally visited that website and now I think they were responsible in large part for the sellout. TCV is a TV marketing company, like the Home Shopping Network, but for coins. They find a product, run infomercials, and sell large quantities at inflated prices. That means they buy in bulk. The Moon cards likely caught their eye after the BEP shifted to the Mint's ordering platform. I would bet they make massive purchases of other Mint products.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, it's good to get some visibility for the souvenir card hobby (although TCV is only touting them as "engraved prints"). But their prices are artificially high -- they buy at $17 ($51 divided by 3) and sell at $80. They probably bought a large percentage of the 8000 subscriptions, creating a sellout that could be used to help their marketing.

In general, schemes like this are damaging to a hobby. Uninformed collectors buy the products as "investments" only to find out later, when they try to resell, that they paid far too much. That sours them on collecting and gives the hobby a bad rep.

Marketing these BEP prints was probably an experiment for TCV. If they are successful you can expect future cards to show up as products -- although the BEP is more likely to jack up the amount printed next year, which will prevent a sellout. If TCV sales are just mediocre, then you may see a ton of these dumped on eBay, eventually.

The real question is whether the BEP marketing department knows what's going on, or if TCV colluded with them in advance. I would hope the BEP was blissfully unaware. If not, then they've sold dedicated souvenir card collectors down the river.
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mikelaw

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Reply with quote  #15 
Good points and excellent analysis. If true, another reason to join the subscription program.
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #16 
Did anyone purchase the series? Despite my personal feelings about these cards, I still need a 300 dpi scan of the card and its info sheet to post on the SCCS website.
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mikelaw

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Reply with quote  #17 
Will these work? If not , will try to scan mine at office and forward.

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Steve in Tampa

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Reply with quote  #18 
Personally, I passed on this series. I didn’t want a set of cards with one having Nixon’s portrait.
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nirvana

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Reply with quote  #19 
Your thoughts on this are interesting and certainly a real possibility. I guess time will tell.
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelaw
Will these work? If not , will try to scan mine at office and forward.



Thanks, but those are a little smaller than I need. I'm looking for a full size scan at 300 dpi. You can PM me rather than posting here.
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JackRehner

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Reply with quote  #21 
As someone has said, the BEP dropped the ball this time. They always used to send a subscription enrollment form to previous customers but not this time. Could be due to the transition to sales through the Mint, Government shutdown, or just fell through the cracks, but I am bitter at the current situation. Perhaps it's partly my own fault for not keeping a close enough eye on the SCJ, but like many of you I was disappointed to find out the enrollment was sold out. The first card was listed as unavailable, more may be available later, so I put an email alert on it. I did in fact get an email that more were available but in the 10 minutes it took me to get online they were once again unavailable. A search on eBay will provide as many as you want, for $70-$80. I don't know how many of these are from TCV. Another factor seems to be the interest from space collectors. It seems like many of the buyers of the first card on eBay are space collectors, not stamp or souvenir card collectors. Personally I hope TCV gets stuck with all of them, but there are probably enough suckers who won't know any better and will buy them at the stupidly inflated price. And I can find no mention of the issue dates of the remaining two cards in the series, or if any will be available. Thanks a lot BEP, you really sold the souvenir card collectors down the river, collectors who have faithfully been buying your products for decades. I hope some of our members with close ties to the BEP let them know how angry we are.
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nirvana

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Reply with quote  #22 
Jack, it appears an opportunity was missed for whatever reason. Let's hope the old law of Supply and Demand holds true and eventually the "right" price point is established. As Souvenir Card collectors time should be on our side.
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #23 
Jack, I will let the BEP marketing folks know that there were a number of displeased collectors thanks to this situation. My solution would be to impose a 10 card ordering limit for any address. 

I know TCV did not buy the entire print run, but it would be useful to know what percentage they did purchase. I am fairly certain there will be no more individual cards available through the BEP. TVC plans to market all three cards, so that would indicate they bought full subscriptions.

I'm in agreement with Nirvana, I think these will become available at a more reasonable price over time. Give it another year to see how things shake out.
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DepressionScripGuy (Rod)

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Reply with quote  #24 
I think the BEP is missing the boat here.  They could do a print run of 10,000 additional cards and people would buy them up.  And I'm sure more profiteers would also try and swoop in.   10,000 x $20 per card = $200,000 for the BEP.  Someone over there should be smacking themselves in the forehead.  [biggrin]
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JackRehner

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Reply with quote  #25 
But it is possible the outfits like Coin Vault would not be interested in cards without a broad subject appeal, such as the space-themed cards. War anniversary cards might have sufficient  non-card collector appeal, but I doubt most cards would.
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