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Here We Go Again and Again?
June 25, 2009

Hot product.

Fouled up phone lines at the U.S. Mint.

We might be forgiven if we say par for the course.

The hot new product is the availability through the Mint's subscription program of two-roll sets of the new Lincoln cents that will come out later this year.

A posting went up on the Mint's Web site yesterday about this new program. Shortly thereafter, a message arrived in my e-mail apologizing for technical telephone difficulties.

I called the 800 number and the automated voice simply said call back later.

I am sure collectors are still excited about the prospect of buying the third design in the Lincoln cent set on Aug. 13, and what better way to get the earliest possible delivery than the subscription program?

Hence the rush. Online profits might be hanging in the balance.

Surely there has to be a better way of doing business than these electronic stampedes every few weeks.

What if grocery stores operated this way?

Food - Here - 2 Hours Only.

Imagine that kind of stampede in a culture now used to 24-hours of daily operations? We might actually lose weight.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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