Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Complaining about the mint

The delays in shipping the Baseball Hall of Fame coins have caused many complaints. I have to say that I'm not happy that the gold proofs I ordered were delayed so long and I do have complaints about packaging (see "Here's your crap: Baseball Hall of Fame Clad Proofs", but some of this carping is, I think, unfair.

One of the more frequent charges is that the Mint should have better computer systems as that has been where the blame has been placed.  People say that Google and Amazon have no trouble handling large volumes of customers, so why should the Mint be so hampered?

That's just ridiculous. Amazon and Google have billions of dollars at their disposal, but even they don't design for loads that they consider impossible to imagine. That would be a waste of money.  The demand for BHOF's far exceeded expectations - it would be like Amazon suddenly finding itself with billions of new Chinese customers tomorrow morning.

If the Mint (or really, Congress) had spent the money to handle that demand, the Tea Party folks would be screaming that it was a waste of their tax dollars and in this one case, I think they'd be right. The demand was unexpected. Nobody - NOBODY - builds servers to meet demand they cannot imagine happening.

There is plenty I do not like about how Congress handles the Mint. I don't like the Commemorative Coin programs, I don't like the sloppy way proofs are handled - everyone one of my BHOF gold proofs has very noticeable scratches and yes,I'd rather pay more for better coins and better packaging. I also don't like the large order limits that let dealers snatch up the majority of coins before ordinary collectors (see 2014 Kennedy Commemorative for more on that)

By the way, my gold BHOF's were ordered 03/27/2014 at 01:18 PM (first day, order 42927xxx) and were finally shipped on June 3rd.

Clue for the second 2014 Silver Eagle Giveaway: Are there really 1001 ways to beat the draft?

Note:  All my coins are in a safe deposit box.  I keep nothing in my home. 

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