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A Personal Look at GFRC

Originally published throughout 2017 and 2018

GFRC is blessed to have some great friends who provide advice to help maintain my sanity. One of those friends is Len Augsburger. Len and I shared the same professional paths through the high technology industry and shifted careers into numismatic centric professions at nearly the same time. We went from burnt out to loving our new careers. Len is GFRC's table assistant at the Baltimore shows and also a guest blogger when I'm traveling and unable to write for several hours in a day.

On Thursday, an email arrived from Len suggesting that I provide a Blog tour of the GFRC office complex; the packing and shipping room, the inventory vault and the photo booth along with USPS and FedEx trucks that arrive at the door daily. Oh yes, and the stereo room where Gerry goes for stress relief after a long day in the office. After a much needed laugh, I thanked Len for his encouragement.

We start the GFRC business complex tour with a look at the photo booth. Were you expecting a high tech setup with expensive camera, lens and lighting stands? There is indeed something to be said for simplicity.

GFRC Florida Photo Booth - Simplicity is Beautiful

Many emails arrive from satisfied consignors and yes, customers. The common theme is quick consignment processing and fast order shipments along with the quality of GFRC coins. GFRC service levels continue to be optimized by using tricks learned in the semiconductor industry. GFRC's service levels result from a passionate focus on personal efficiency and enabling ever increasing productivity via computer technology.

Following is a snapshot of the current GFRC office configuration. There are two laptops, wirless keyboard and mouse, and three available screens running in parallel for fast information access. The right most monitor always displays the COIN Database and is the heart of the GFRC business. The center screen/laptop is where emails, the Blog and online research is conducted. And on the right monitor/laptop is where image processing takes place. Connecting these three systems is a wireless mouse which can switch between the two laptop with a click of a button. By using OneDrive, I can process images on both laptops without saving on a USB flash drive.

And yes, that is the view of the front yard which is often mentioned in the Blog......

A Day in a Numismatic Life

Each GFRC day is becoming quite predictable with a 6:00am start along with breakfast and hot coffee while writing the Blog. Luckily there is no commute with GFRC office arrival in seconds after the hot coffee is brewed on a Keurig. Writing the Blog is the most mentally challenging portion of the day. Order packing and shipments follow just in time for Doug, the mailman's arrival somewhere between 11:00am and noon time. The FedEx delivery truck typically arrives at 11:00am and USPS overnight express shipments appear at about 1:00pm. Lunch is predictable; a self prepared salad at 11:30am. Then the photography window appears typically between 12:00 and 1:00pm if weather conditions are adequate. Images files are transferred into the laptop computer and organized. Early afternoon hours bring image processing and COIN system entries to enable price list postings. By 4:00pm, there is a predictable Client Gallery preview in the following day's Daily Blog and new listings appears on the price list. Finally, scotch time is 5:30 while dinner at prepared. Depending on the amount of energy that is available after dinner, the evening shift typically kicks in at 7:00pm and wraps up at 9:00pm. China orders will appear during the evening shift along with more domestic orders.

Throughout the work day, phone calls take place. Sometimes you may hear me taping boxes while on the speaker phone. Other times, I'm writing coin descriptions. All calls are appreciated. Somewhere in a regular day, time is made for a health walk or some outdoor yard chores. End of day normally occurs with some self indulgence in the basement music room. Just last evening, I feel asleep while listening to an early Weather Report jazz recording.

I've worked my entire life starting at a young age of 12. This numismatic life is the best job and career imaginable. I'm my own boss and free to mold the GFRC business model into any direction that I see fit for supporting and growing the collector community. The number of new relationships made throughout the United States rivals that of my years in the semiconductor business. I could have never imagined the long term outcome when making that fateful decision to restart collecting coins during 1988 followed by joining the Liberty Seated Collectors Club during 1989 and seriously engaging in Liberty Seated Dime die variety research in 1992. Twenty-five years later, I'm sitting at a laptop and writing a Daily Blog each morning as a career. Simply Amazing and Thank You for being part of a Day in Numismatic Life...

Being a 21st Century Coin Dealer in the Online Domain

Days fly by when operating GFRC. Some individuals wonder why I am not present on the PCGS message board, not actively managing my Facebook page or not found on CCE. So let's walk through the day in the life of a coin dealer in the public domain.

During a typical GFRC day, there is a substantial amount of correspondence including requests for help and immediate attention that will consume precious time. Speaking with regular customers and consignors breaks up the monotony of sitting in an office processing coin images and writing descriptions and is always welcomed. However, there are phone calls and emails that drain my energy as I try to provide excellent service to the hobby. These type of correspondence demonstrate the vast educational opportunities in the numismatic hobby but there is little time when operating a one person coin business to support these needs. Here are a few typical examples...

Individuals have dug up "seated" coins thinking they are treasures and request my full attention to price them. One notable email from an unknown individual was entitled "You Need This Error Coin" with no personal message and included 12 poor quality images of an 1856 Medium O dime that had been harshly cleaned. This person thought he had a treasure or was taking some strong medications.

Then there are the phone calls with "what will you offer me for a coin" with just a verbal description of their "gem" coins. I typically ask for a cellphone image to make a determination and in many cases, none appear.

Or how about the phone calls requesting a traditional paper price list after seeing my Coin World ad. I've found these phone calls are typically from collectors in the deep south.

One individual wished to trade his coins for a GFRC inventory item but did not perform homework on the value of his coins. I receive some images and after assessing the potential value, determine the trade amount is much less than my coin. This individual says, "Oh you are correct" and then disappears. At least this individual took the time to send images. Other individuals will simply point me to their coins on a set registry or a message board and expect me to do the research for them.

And finally, the ongoing requests to purchase a low priced raw coin only if I will provide the service to have the coin graded...

The range of inquiries is broad and I try to help where possible but become more cynical for those who seek to capitalize on my time and free advice. The ongoing increase in spam emails is also troubling as their sophistication continue to grow. One must immediately make a decision on those emails to ignore/delete and those that could be worthwhile.