1. Home

Review of Littleton Coin Company

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 3 Star Rating (9 Reviews)

By

Top Related Searches

The Bottom Line

Littleton Coins has outstanding customer service, and you just can't beat the notion of having coins sent right to your doorstep before you pay for them so you can pick what you want and return the rest. Littleton's coin grading is consistently the most conservative I've ever seen, and they've never tried to stick me with a "problem" coin or a fake. They have a bonus program where you earn "profit shares" based on how much money you spend, which you can redeem for coins and collecting supplies. But Littleton has one big negative, which is why they got 4 stars instead of 5 - their coin prices are very high!

Pros

  • Coins are mailed right to your home.
  • You get to see the coins before you buy them.
  • Littleton's coin grading is accurate, even conservative (in your favor.)
  • You need never worry about a fake or altered coin from Littleton.
  • They have first-class customer service.

Cons

  • Littleton's coin prices are very high!

Description

  • Littleton Coin was founded by Maynard and Fannie Sundman in 1945 in Littleton, NH.
  • The firm is headed today by Maynard's son, David Sundman, who is a member of the ANA and PNG.
  • Littleton employs 370 people at its 85,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters.
  • Littleton is best-known for their approval service, but they also sell via catalogs and the Web, and they buy collections.

Guide Review - Review of Littleton Coin Company

Littleton Coin Company is many collectors' first foray into the coin hobby. Littleton advertises extensively outside the traditional coin collecting channels, so they deserve credit for bringing a lot of new collectors into the fold. Their business model is called the "approval service." Typically, you buy an introductory offer at a great price, with the condition that you agree to look at additional coins on approval. Littleton will send you about $50 (retail value) worth of coins, and you can buy all, some, or none of them. Once you return what you don't want and pay for the rest, you'll get your next set of approvals. After a few months, they'll raise your credit limit. During my test buys with Littleton, my credit limit reached $200 over about 14 months worth of buying - before they cut me off because I wasn't buying enough!

Littleton's coin grading is conservative, even generic. For example, all of the Uncirculated coins I received from them were graded MS-60, and all the Proofs were graded PR-63. But these were minimum grades; the coins were often higher. The circulated grades were similarly generic. I never saw any coin from Littleton that was over-graded.

Littleton's business model is an expensive one to run. They employ 370 people at their 85,000 square foot facility, and yet they do an astonishing job of personalizing their service. Each approval coin order is hand-picked especially for you, based on the particular program you're in and what you tell them you'd like to receive. They track everything they send, so you won't get duplicates next year (unless you ask for them.) This costs a lot of money to do, though, and Littleton's prices reflect this reality. In fact, the one and only complaint I have about Littleton is their coin prices - you will pay two to three times normal retail for Littleton's fine service.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Littleton Coin Company, Member GrgSpencer

Littleton coins are consistently undergraded. Uncirculated coins seem to be graded at the minimum (MS-60) regardless of eye appeal, luster or number of marks. I fail to see how this constitues accurate grading. Rather it seems a convenient way for them to handle a large number of uncirculated coins. Of course, this doesn't keep them from charging above MS-63 prices on many of the coins which have been ""accurately graded by experts"" as typical uncirculated coins. When describing Littleton's price structure, adjectives like ""pricey"" and ""over-priced"" are insufficient unless preceded by ""outrageously"". In some instances, the coins I have received have been priced at six or more times the retail listing. In fact, even if one takes the convenience and consistency of buying from Littleton into account, very few of the coins I've purchased from them approach anything like a reasonable mark-up. It is unfortunate that their business model requires them to maximally price and minimally grade their product in order to make a profit.

95 out of 98 people found this helpful.

See all 9 reviews

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.