Last week, the Perth Mint released the 2012 Year of the Dragon 5 oz. Silver Proof Coin. To the disappointment of many collectors, the coins could not be ordered on the Perth Mint’s website by US customers.
This product is being exclusively distributed within the US by the New York Mint. As covered in a previous post, these exclusive products are created when a distributor approaches the Perth Mint with a product idea. Once approved, a number of coins is negotiated for them to distribute exclusively within their territory. In general, there are no restrictions on these distributors with regards to how the coins are offered.
Depending on the approach taken by the distributor, this may not be the most ideal situation for a potential customer within the exclusive territory.
Many readers expressed their concerns in this post summarizing the Perth mint’s June 2012 releases. Besides the preference of ordering directly from the source, the biggest concerns included the fact that the coins were not yet listed for sale and the possibility that the coins may be offered for sale at a large mark-up to the Perth Mint’s price.
I contacted the Perth Mint to bring these concerns to their attention. Below is the response received:
The Perth Mint’s 5oz coin releases are only available from the New York Mint through direct telephone sales and not via their website. Their direct sales number is #800-642-9160 and we will be sure to feature this contact number on our website product pages and in marketing materials provided to distributors and media in the future.
Regarding your concerns about pricing, we are unable to comment on the price at which our distributors sell our products. Not only would we not presume to offer them advice on how to sell in their regions, but under Australian law, we are not permitted to intervene in their pricing policy. Although we understand your concerns, and those of your readers, our distributors play a vital role in our product distribution worldwide, and many collectors do prefer to purchase our coins from a local supplier, as they benefit from the knowledge and advice they are able to offer.
With regards to the 5oz Dragon release, the New York Mint has not yet received the coins back from being graded, so promotion of this release will not commence until 16 July. In the interim, I believe the Mint has suggested that customers can call on their sales number (above) and they will capture names and orders for when they arrive.