Vallejo Coin Exchange a rare find
VALLEJO — Bigger is not always better.
That’s truly the case for Vallejo Coin Exchange, a quaint shop that specializes in gold, silver and, of course, coins in a space that’s a little more than 200 square feet.
Owners Bob and Shari Morgan have been at the helm of the shop for 30 years, and both they and the shop are going strong.
As for lasting for 30 years?
“Number one, I think it’s the customer,” Bob Morgan said. “I think the customers come and know they’ve gotten treated fairly. We treat them kindly and fairly and they like that. We explain to them what they have. We’re not here to say this is what you’ve got and goodbye. We sit down and we explain to them, ‘OK, you have quarters today. We are looking for this particular date,’ and we tell them what they could be worth. We try to be more personal with the customer, instead being like, ‘This is what you got’ and sending them out the door.”
Of course, in a business like gold, silver and coins, honesty has to be the first step.
“We want to be as honest as we can,” Bob Morgan said. “We’re here to make a living but we’re also here to treat the customer correctly. That’s one of the things we’ve done, or we wouldn’t be here.
“I love it when someone comes in and says, ‘You’re still here.’ That really makes you feel good,” he said. “I have some customers with kids that actually grew up coming here, and they are still coming.”
For a small store, Vallejo Coin Exchange handles a pretty decent volume on a daily basis, but it always comes down to the customer.
“We want to be more personal with the customer,” Bob Morgan said. “On Facebook or even on the phone, a customer will call and say, ‘How much is my silver dollar worth?’ You have to explain to them, ‘What does it look like? What condition is it in?’ They have no idea. They’ll say it’s in beautiful condition and then you get it and it’s worn out. The point is, we tell people to bring it in and we’ll be more than happy to tell you what it is and what it’s worth. That’s the thing. I think it’s more personal.”
“It’s probably a little bit of both,” Shari Morgan said. “We do advertise in papers and the radio, some television ads. But we have a lot of people come because ‘Oh, my dad used to come here,’ ‘my grandparents came here,’ or ‘I was talking to my neighbor and they told me I should come here.’ There’s a lot of that.”
The Morgans’ business is also kind of like going back to school.
“One of the things we do is to try and educate people because people don’t know,” Shari Morgan said. “(Bob) has been doing this for years and knows a lot about it. We don’t mind educating people. People come in here and they aren’t sure, and they don’t know what they have and they don’t know anything about what they’ve got. So we like it when they leave here and they feel like they’ve learned something. We present that to them. He will sit here and talk to them for as long as they want to be in here.”
An education that’s more valuable than the coins.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.barnoldr.
Vallejo Coin Exchange
Address: 127 Tennesse St., Vallejo
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
1992 graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism.