The History of Tipsico Coin

TipsicoCoin LLC is owned by Alex A. Pancheco, a long-time numismatist and collector before that.  The origins of Tipsico Coin trace back to 1937, with the establishment of a small mail order company by collector James Reynolds. Tipsico Coin was sold during the 1970’s to my former partner, Richard Wagner, who folded it into his existing business, called “Collector’s Choice”. As he liked the name “Tipsico” better, he decided to use that rather than the name of his own original business. More recently, as Dick realized retirement was in the near future, he offered me a partnership and I folded my own coin business into Tipsico. I took over the business full time in the year 2000.

The name, “Tipsico”, can be traced to the Lake States upbringing of Jim Reynolds. When he was young, at the turn of the 20th Century, his family lived on a farm in southern Michigan. There were still a number of Native Americans living in the area, some of which Jim’s father let “squat” in one of the creek bottoms on the property. One of these individuals called himself “Tipsico”, the name of a famous Cherokee chief who resisted White encroachment during the late 1800’s. Jim, always a fan of the Buffalo Nickel series, decided at some point to re-name his existing coin business to “Tipsico Coin”, in honor of both the individual and the reference to the coin series. You can still find many references to the Tipsico name in the Michigan area, and in fact quite a number of web references as well.

The company, under whatever name it functioned under, has always stood for service to the collector. For many years, this meant catering to the “bread and butter” issues of basic circulated coins in the most popular series. In a turn from the normal way of doing business these days, we have always strived for the 100% satisfaction of our customer base. I believe in “old time” grading standards, and have avoided the grade slippage so prevalent in the industry today. Saying this is all well and good, but the proof is in the pudding – our return rate is essentially zero for issues of dissatisfaction due to grade or quality, averaging less than two returns per year consistently. Like any other business, coin or otherwise, I do make mistakes occasionally however, and in these circumstances try to fix the problem immediately.

One advantage of being a one-man operation is direct accountability, access and fast service. I always try to work with my customers to address their concerns as quickly as possible, without the “cut outs” common to many larger operations.

The Web Site

Like most other businesses, we have entered the “modern age” with the building of this website. Lets face it – most coin dealers have a website today, and they all fight for the same business. There are only a couple ways of really competing on the Web, in terms of price or service, or by staying with a particular niche. My goal with this site is to build a small, flexible core business, catering to a relatively small clientele, who know what they want. I would rather have a relatively small group of clients who are happy with my service, than the biggest mailing list in the world.

As a matter of philosophy, I find that you CANNOT buy and sell quality, properly graded coins for “bargain” prices. (Insert link to “My Philosophy” page). If that is what you are looking for, I probably cannot help you. However, if you are looking for VALUE in the coins you purchase, that is where I think that you will find a home here. And that doesn’t mean that they have to be expensive – it is my considered opinion that a lot of coins represent a great value at current levels, based on actual availability in a grade when accurately graded.

Trust is the other big issue on the Web. All I can say about that is that we have been around for a long time, and that means we must have been doing something right. We plan to be here for a long time more. Our standard Return Policy has always been one of the most liberal in the business – 30 days, no questions asked (in the original holder of course – S.O.P.). This INCLUDES Certified coins – what is the point of “planting” someone in a questionably graded certified coin, if they don’t come back and want to do more business with me? The only way to find out is to give us a try.