On the Block: Key Date Coin Auctions

I’m Eddie Caven with Key Date Coin Auctions. I have a few things to say about coin auctions and hope it benefits both auctioneers and bidders.

Customer service is a top priority for auctioneers. Without customers, there would be no auctions (and hence, no service).

In response to Proxiblog, Key Date Coin Auctions lowered its buyer’s premiums to 15%. For starters, the difference between a 15% and 18% premium is not that great. As pointed out in this blog, if you attract more bidders you will see more competition. Lower buyer premiums and starting bids are ways to spark a competitive auction.

Part of that competitive atmosphere comes from auctioneers themselves. They should engage bidders onsite or online, in person or with audiovisuals, so that buyers are part of the auction experience. They should feel that sense of excitement, especially with a winning bid, knowing they came out on top. Check out Proxiblog’s “How Competitive are Your Auctions?” This is very informative.

As for consignments, I had a gentleman email me recently stating that he was considering Key Date Coin Auctions. He couldn’t find a consignment form on my website to see my charges.

I sent him the email response below.

    “Thank you for taking interest in Key Date Coin Auctions. I’m in the process of putting on a larger, higher-end coin auction in Oklahoma City. I charge between 5% and 10% for consignments. Everything depends on the items being auctioned and quality of those items. If I had more of an idea of what you wanted to auction, that would help. I don’t have to pay 20 employees like some other auction companies. I’m not out to make a killing off of other people’s items.

    Coins are the only thing I deal with as I am a coin collector myself. Every consignment is different. I do a lot of consignments on a hand shake. As an example, if you had 20 proof sets, and they sold for 5 dollars each, it would usually take 48 hours for bidders’ funds to clear my bank … at which time I would send you a check. If you had $5,000 dollars worth of items that sold in 10 lots, I would charge 5% or $250.

    I am easy to get along with. This is what I do to enjoy life. I could have my attorneys draw up contracts but that would make this too much like a job. … I like what I do, and if you would like me to list some of your coins, I think we can come to an agreement and a happy outcome for both parties.”

The consignor wrote back: “Those are much better rates than I was quoted at other sites. I have many coins and would like to send you a smaller low-dollar pack for a future auction, at least for the ‘first’ time. What I will do is compile a detailed list and you can determine if you even have interest in handling same.”

I received that list today. His items may be on the block in a few weeks.

This is a typical business transaction. If this were an elderly couple having to sell their collection to make ends meet, well, that’s another issue. Auctioneers can strike deals that they feel are right in their hearts.

I guess that is why I find Proxiblog’s “Honor Roll Houses” to be a good thing. Auction companies on this list have the bidder’s best interest at heart.

Most auctioneers know how the bidding process works. Bidders usually are looking for a few coins to add to their collection. Sometimes bidders are looking for items to resell. They all have one thing in mind, and that’s to get a good deal. But many bidders don’t know what it takes to get an item ready on Proxibid. We have to log that coin in to keep track of it, take pictures (not always as easy as it seems), describe the item, lot number, lot title, lot description, quality, and opening bid. And then transfer all the information to Proxibid. Once we get to this point, we still have several more hours to go.

Now consider that 15% buyer’s premium, which includes a 3% credit card fee and 5% Proxibid fee. That leaves the auction house making 7% per item sold. You do the math. That’s not too much to ask for all the work.

Then again, hosting an auction is somewhat like gambling. If we have a coin we bought for $40 and it sells for $35, that’s the chance we take: $35 + 7% =$37.45. We just spent $2.55 for bidders to enjoy the show. If the coin sold for $40 + 7%, that’s $42.80. So if that’s the case, we hope the bidder enjoyed the show and received a nice coin in return.

In closing, auctioneers and bidders alike should subscribe to Proxiblog and read about all aspects of bidding, buying, selling, auctioning. Thank you, Proxiblog, for sharing your knowledge and advice!

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.


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