Proxiblog is enjoying a terrific launch because we are providing a needed service–identifying top auction houses selling coins and doing business on the auction portal Proxibid.
This week we were contacted by “Great Collections,” a new online coin venue created by President Ian Russell, a life member the American Numismatic Association and Florida United Numismatists, as well as the National Auctioneers Association. Take a moment to read its promise, which contains these features:
- Physical Possession:
We have possession of every coin we are offering for direct sale or by auction.
- Consistent Professional Photography: Our in-house professional photographers image each item consistently and without image enhancement.
- Bidding Transparency: We have no hidden reserves, ever. You can view in real time when bidders are bidding against you (although usernames are masked to protect identities). In addition, our software restricts consignors from bidding on their own lots.
While bargains are to be had at this innovative site, they can be found more frequently–but with much higher risk–on Proxibid.
In other words, “Great Collections” doesn’t need a Proxiblog (though we highly recommend it as a Proxibid alternative). We created Proxiblog to help coin buyers navigate the uncharted terrain of the Proxibid portal, which now ranks as world’s largest real auction marketplace. A recent news release states that “Proxibid hosted a record-breaking 2,230 auctions in the first quarter of 2011,” an increase of 20% over the same quarter in 2010.
The company’s growth also has a downside. Many Proxibid clients are unfamiliar with selling coins, do not provide adequate visuals or accurate descriptions, and on occasion charge buyer’s fees in excess of 20%, potentially negating any bargain. Worse, many auctioneers who sell cleaned, scratched and/or altered coins described as “brilliant uncirculated” will claim that they are not coin dealers and refuse to accept any returns. Several auctioneers take consignments of self-slabbed coins–read this article–and unwittingly even offer counterfeit ones.
Proxibid does have excellent customer service and works to resolve disputes, but it does so behind-the-scenes. Our own experience is mixed, depending on the auctioneer.
That makes this blog essential so that viewers become acquainted with auctioneers’ best practices.