Kudos to another house that read the Unified User Agreement; your lawyer should, too

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Nostalgia Connection, new to the portal, is off to a great start because its policies are aligned with Proxibid’s Unified User Agreement concerning counterfeit, doctored or misrepresented items.

 

Unlike many other Proxibid houses that maintain, often in all caps–ALL SALES FINAL; NO RETURNS!–Nostalgia Connection reiterates the Unified User Agreement in one concise sentence:

We only give returns if a product is fake, counterfeit, defective or inaccurately described.

The Unified User Agreement states:

If, within a reasonable amount of time, Buyer gives notice in writing to Seller that the lot so sold is a counterfeit and after such notice the Buyer returns the lot to Seller in the same condition as when sold, and establishes to the satisfaction of Seller that the returned lot is in fact a counterfeit, Seller as agent for the consignor will rescind the sale and refund the purchase price.

We encourage all Proxibid auctioneers to read 6.3 of the Agreement, to which they are bound, which covers disputes concerning when lots are significantly not as described.

If your attorney has encouraged you to put in your service terms, “ALL SALES FINAL!,” you should encourage him or her to read the US Hobby Protection Act and US Federal Code: Chapter 25: Counterfeiting and Forgery (Sections 485-492).

Violate the Hobby Act, inform your attorney, and you can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Sell counterfeit coins or currency, and you will be dealing with the Secret Service. We like to remind Proxibid and its clients that national experts on counterfeiting are located right there in the Secret Service Office in Omaha, where Proxibid is located, at 2707 N 108th St.

Here’s some good news, though, for auctioneers. You don’t have to be entirely liable for fake, defective or counterfeit lots. You just have to create a contract with your consignor, as some of our best houses do, stating that all non-genuine and/or defective lots will be returned to the seller with any payment due to the auction company.

 

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Don’t take photos on the slant!

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We know this auctioneer and don’t think what he is doing is intentional; nevertheless, it is bad practice. He takes his photos on a slant and then hypes a grade for a raw coin. We think he is just over-enthusiastic about his lots. But with a slant photo he is doing his customers a disservice and deserves to be called on it.



A slant photo (camera angle that avoids the straight-on shot) intensifies luster, even on cleaned coins, and so hides bagmarks and other flaws.

The auctioneer assigns a ridiculous grade–MS67 for a scarce 1991 Morgan, which would retail at $40,000 as PCGS only has one coin at that grade and NGC, none.

We bid $70 (without BP) and won the coin. We will update you about its condition when we receive it. As of now, based only on photos, we can discern flaws in the coin, depicted within circles here:

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Another example: A new auctioneer to Proxibid cares so little about photography–a typical tendency with newcomers to the portal–that he doesn’t even take pains to rotate the lots:

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Take care photographing coins. Make sure you get straight-on shots that truly depict your lots. And if you don’t know numismatics, don’t guess at grades; find someone to inform you before you write that lot description.

As for this 1991 Morgan, anyone purchasing it can put Proxibid’s Unified User Agreement to the test and state “SIGNIFICANTLY NOT AS DESCRIBED.” Because it is a far cry form MS67 and $40,000!

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Auctioneers lose customers, bidders lose $$$ with subpar photos of altered coins

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Well, we finally hit our limit with this Proxibid house that features too many doctored lots with descriptions taken from flips. The photo above cannot be expanded to the extent needed to see chemical dipping and bag marks.



The scarce 1879-S reverse of 78 Morgan dollar was described as brilliant uncirculated. The photo seems to suggest that it might be, and we took the auctioneer at his word.

We can’t be sure, but this is a prime example of a coin dealer reject–a dipped, bag-marked coin worth only a few dollars over silver melt as a “hole filler” in a Dansco album. (Dipping uses chemicals to strip a layer off a coin, giving it an uncirculated appearance that gradually fades to a dull sheen, rendering the coin ungradeworthy.)

Take a look at the photo below. It is the same coin as the one above. We shot the coin with a smart phone, and you can see the difference.

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We also labeled this correctly. We wish the auctioneer had done so as we lost about $65 on this lot. And if we’re losing money in Proxibid auctions like this, you can bet other people are, too.

We won’t name the auction as this site is educational. Suffice to say that if you are a bidder and cannot discern a coin’s true worth, you may think you’re scoring a bargain on Proxibid when you are not. Your only recourse is to do what we have done–stop bidding on coins in that auction.

Save your funds for auctions you can trust.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Proxiblog is sponsored by

Weaver Coin Auction

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction has remained one of Proxiblog’s top houses for four years running, primarily because owners Cheryl and Dave Weaver combine talents in communication and numismatics with a rich history in the auctioneering business.

Weaver Auction is family owned in its 20th year of specializing in selling coins, currency and other numismatic items. The company ranks among the top numismatic sellers on Proxibid (six badges!) for good reason. Their consignments excel. They promote their auctions expertly in concise email advertising. They have low or tiered online buyer’s fees. They specialize in customer service. They ship quickly and inexpensively. Their photography is sharp, expandable and exceptional.

They also treat their consignors with extraordinary service, sending checks within one week and sending consignment lists for good record-keeping. Proxiblog buys and sells with the Weavers.

Another reason for the Weavers’ success is their ability to convey via Internet the excitement of an onsite auction. Their staff is on hand not only to call auctions and serve those in attendance but also to fix technology glitches and insure a safe, secure and trustworthy online experience. The Weavers pride themselves on many long-term customers who have been attending their auctions for years. More important, they also appreciate equally as well their hundreds of online customers.

Dave Weaver, a graduate of the Missouri Auction School, is a licensed auctioneer. Cheryl is the “detail” half of this combo with emphasis on accuracy, scheduling and communication. The Weavers are members of The American Numismatic Association, National Auctioneer Association and the Missouri Professional Auctioneer Association.

We thank Weaver Coin and Currency Auction for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders!

Identify the variety in your lot descriptions

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If a consignor sends you a 1972 double die obverse coin, even in a slab, it is worth noting that only Die 1 of the varieties is avidly collected because of the easily identified spread of the date. The one pictured here is the common Die 3. The difference in values is huge, with a gem Die 1 selling for $500 and up and a Die 3, about $50.

 

As explained in PCGS CoinFacts, to which every auctioneer should subscribe, the 1972-P Doubled Die Lincoln Cent Die 1 is readily visible to the eye. “There are over 10 different doubled dies for the 1972 Lincoln cent but only the Type 1 is considered major. … This variety is very popular and it is also strong enough to see very easily with the naked eye.”

Here’s a comparison so that you can see the much more significant spread in Die 1 vs. Die 3.

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The Lincoln Cent Resource provides photos of all varieties of 1972 double dies.

Of course, some cent variety collectors will pay big money trying to complete a set of 1972 double dies. Die #4, very difficult to identify, looks like a regular 1972 cent with a slight variation in the double die. This is rare, not because of the spread, but because there are relatively few of this type and more collectors that want to complete the set.

The more you know about coins and their values, the more bidders will trust your judgment and return to your events as regular buyers.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Don’t wait for consignments: Seek them in the classifieds of your local newspaper!

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Like Star Coin and Currency, EBW Coin not only showcases its coins but also its Internet friendly service terms that include ZERO percent buyer’s fees. How does EBW do it? We’ll explain how you can, too.



There’s no question that Proxibidders like low buyer’s fees. EBW Coins sells at zero! It’s not surprising, however. The company has a Wilmington, Mass., office that schedules appointments for anyone with coins to sell. They buy those coins so they don’t have to pay buyer’s fees.

Click here to visit EBW’s home page, which states:

    “We are buying!!! Private office in Wilmington by appointment only. We buy Coins, Currency, Tokens, Gold and Silver Bullion. Please use the links below and contact us to set up an appointment. We also do appraisals for estates and divorces. We can also advise you on investing in rare coins or bullion. … Paying 98-99% of melt on most gold bullion, 100% of melt on Gold American Eagles, and over 100% for pre-1933 gold coins.”

If you’re a typical auctioneer, you may be waiting for consignors to come to you. Or perhaps are not advertising sufficiently to buy estates. However, by placing an advertisement at least once per month in your local newspaper, inviting families with coins to sell to come to your office, you can score a major consignment, lower your buyer’s premiums and compete online with veterans like EBW Coin.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Insert Your Auction’s Best Service Terms in Proxibid Lot Descriptions

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We are showcasing Star Coin and Currency because auctioneer Jim Haver uses every character of space in the Proxibid template to tout his superior service terms. You should do the same, assuming your terms are as appealing, that is.



When you click on a desired lot in a Star Coin auction, you not only get a succinct accurate numismatic title, in the above case–“BLAZING $1 1898-O Morgan PCGS GEM MS66″–you also get that title repeated in the lot description with Haver’s appealing service terms: “LOW COST FAST DAILY SHIPPING. BID WITH CONFIDENCE. WE HAVE ONE OF THE HIGHEST FEEDBACK RATINGS ON PROXIBID. 100% return policy. If an item does not meet your expectations simply return it within 7 days of delivery for full refund. Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs. …”

Of course, if your auction house lacks such terms, you may not want to showcase them as Haver does. Let’s doctor the Star Coin screen shot with the same coin and then include the service terms of lesser competitors on Proxibid, explaining why companies with terms like these will never appear in our rankings (click photo below to expand):

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The frightful service terms in the illustration above–no APN, no adherence to Unified User Agreement, no shipping, high buyer’s premium, additional fees, etc.–are actually found in Proxibid auctions.

Now let’s return to Jim Haver’s lot description and the fictitious one above. Same coin. Which one do you think will attract more bids and give your onsite crowd a run for its money, literally?

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.