How competitive are your auctions?

Reasonable buyer’s fees often trigger competitive bidding, especially at Proxiblog honor roll houses. Unreasonable buyer’s fees have the opposite effect, attracting sharks who know that onsite buyers will run out of cash and online buyers will bid conservatively.

Here’s an easy way to attract top consignors or to gauge your own auction’s selling power: After each session, tally realized, wholesale and retail prices for each PCGS or NGC coin. Chances are, if you’re a top auction house–such as those in Proxiblog’s rankings (see list to the right)–you’ll have sparked enough competition to approach or surpass retail values.

To figure the realized price, add the hammer price plus the buyer’s fee. To figure the retail price for NGC, type the certification number at this link. For PCGS, do the same at this link. To figure the wholesale price, or what a coin dealer would typically pay for the item, multiply the retail price by 0.66. (Note: This is a rule of thumb; for exact retail bid, subscribe to and check the Grey Sheet.)

Proxiblog selected three lots at random at the May 30 Scott Auction run by Scott Strosnider, one of our top auctioneers.

Scott Auctions A.K.A United Country – Auction & Real Estate Group
Mon, May 30, 2011 10:00 AM Eastern

  • Lot #51 1921 ALABAMA COMMEMORATIVE HALF NGC MS63: Realized Price $368. Wholesale Price $257. Retail Price $390. 94% of retail value.
  • Lot # 16 Hot Lot! 1925 FORT VANCOUVER CENTENNIAL COMMEMORATIVE PCGS MS63: Realized Price $437. Wholesale Price $297. Retail Price $450. 97% of retail value.
  • Lot #33 1888-S PCGS MS62 MORGAN SILVER DOLLAR: Realized Price $368: Wholesale Price $250. Retail Price: $380. 96% of retail value.

Now let’s do the same with an unnamed Proxibid house charging 22% buyer’s fees.

  • Lot # 595 1943-D JEFFERSON NICKEL PCGS MS-66: Realized Price $12. Wholesale Price $27. Retail Price $42. 29% of retail value.
  • Lot # 358 Hot Lot! 1874 INDIAN HEAD ONE CENT NGC MS-65. Realized Price $518. Wholesale Price $514. Retail Price $780. 66% of retail value.
  • Lot # 1477 1946-S WALKING LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR NGC MS-65. Realized Price $79. Wholesale Price $111. Retail Price $169. 47% of retail value.

As you can see, Scott Auctions are competitive. That’s the goal. With a 15% buyer’s fee or less, plus clear and expandable pictures of obverse and reverse, you’ll attract consignments and invigorate your sessions.

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.


2 thoughts on “How competitive are your auctions?

  1. Isn’t the real question what the consignor nets for these coins with the high buyer’s fees? Many auction houses charge 15-20% to the buyer, as well as 10-15% to the seller – the spread between the buyer and seller is simply too much in my opinion.

    – Ian

  2. I agree. Proxibid is a wild but upcoming auction portal, Ian, where buy-sell fees are still associated with local practice rather than online reality. I have a piece upcoming in Coin World on how sharks raid auctions with high onsite/online buyer fees. The realized vs. retail prices are a gauge of competitiveness; but you’re right. To truly get an accurate measure, we’ll also have to know the consignment fee.

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