Monday, November 02, 2009

Jeffery Morin's $5 million CoinsForAnything empire

A Washington Post story by Thomas Heath covers the history of coin entrepreneur Jeffery Morin, whose “coin” dealership brings in $5,000,000/year.
During lunch breaks, Morin would run to his barracks, package the coins into bubble-padded envelopes, address them by hand and walk them to the base post office for mailing; the envelope and postage for each coin cost him $1.05, which came off his profit.


His mother lent him $500 to buy more coins, and he was quickly earning $300 to $500 a month from the business. Profits went in to buying more coins.
Morin started with “military challenge coins” a kind of military-themed artist's medal.

The web site organizes the medals for sale by artistic theme: Marines, Navy, Air Force, Army and Other. These ‘coins’ cost anywhere from $9 to $16. The more expensive coins have unusual shapes and features, such as this Air Force Knife coin. Visitors can also order coins based on their own artwork (minimum quantity 100 coins, $2.20 per coin).
Morin was 22.

In the past five years, Morin has expanded his coin business beyond the Marines to include other service branches, weddings, sports teams, and corporations such as Starbucks, Delta Air Lines and United Parcel Service. He hired a Web designer to jazz up the online site. He changed his company name from Marine Corps Coins to Coins for Anything and has expanded into trophies, pins and lanyards (the neck straps to which security badges or credentials are attached).

The enterprise now encompasses five companies that will generate around $5 million in revenue this year, with the coins and trophies representing the vast majority. His costs include $2.5 million for the products, $500,000 in payroll for 16 employees, and about $7,000 a month in rent on a 4,000-square-foot headquarters in a Stafford office park. He pays Google around $1 million a year.
The knife coin looks cool! I think Jeffery Morin even beat the Pobjoy mint on that one. Maybe next year Palau or Liberia will be minting legal tender folding knives.

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