Monday Morning Brief for March 13, 2023: A good start
- Published: Mar 13, 2023, 6 AM
Early impressions suggest that the U.S. Mint Waitroom, introduced with the March 2 launch of two American Eagle silver dollars, was a success.
Prior to March 2 sales launch, Coin World staff members were contacted by Mint customers who were worried that the waiting room portal on the Mint catalog website would harm their chances at acquiring either of the products. These readers voiced concern that this new approach at selling numismatic products would make their experiences worse.
Based on my experiences, the lack of any reader complaints, praise for the experience from readers, the apparent lack of website crashes and the fact that neither product actually sold out immediately suggests a positive outcome.
Waiting rooms are not new to e-commerce. I have been moved into them at other collectibles websites with mixed results, though the one I encounter most often kicks in after I add an item or three to my cart; the waiting room in this case is where I wait to complete checking out (sometimes successfully, sometimes not).
I tested the Mint Waitroom myself March 2, logging into my Mint account hours before the sales launch (9:29 a.m. ET to be precise), going to the catalog page for the 2023 Congratulations set. When noon arrived, nothing happened to the catalog page (I expected to be immediately dumped into the waiting room). I hit the refresh button before 12:01 p.m. and immediately was placed into the waiting room, which appeared as a blue screen (see the screenshot I grabbed, below). The verbiage on the screen suggested a five-minute wait was in the offing but at 12:02, the order screen popped up with the “add to cart” button now activated. I did not actually buy one of the sets, due to my personal choice of not competing with readers for potentially hot Mint products.
All told, it took less than three minutes for me to reach the point where I could have made a purchase.
Success in a launch where there was no fast sellout does not mean the same will be experienced with the launch of an even more limited and popular product. But it is a good start. Kudos to the Mint and its contractor.
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