Proxiblog has been contacted at home, at work and on the road by auctioneers seeking credit card numbers because they refuse to get APN clearance for convenient and safe payment for winning lots. Proxibid has been working on the situation diligently. And with new forthcoming changes for the site, announced this weekend by President Ryan Downs, we’re hoping this situation is resolved finally.
We want to emphasize that almost all top houses selling coins on Proxibid have APN clearance. We also appreciate the lengths that Proxibid has gone in trying to persuade auctioneers to secure such clearance. The announcement by Downs promises exciting forthcoming changes at Proxibid ensuring a safe, interactive, convenient bidding experience. (Watch for a post on that later in the week.)
The goal of this post is to help persuade all companies doing business on Proxibid to become PCI complaint.
APN stands for Auction Payment Network, which helps protect the industry from fraudulent theft and use of credit card information. Soon the payment card industry (PCI) will require compliance, so the longer that Proxibid auctioneers put off the inevitable, the more customers they will lose–including Proxiblog.
Auction houses refusing to pay the small fee for APN clearance end up pestering customers like dreaded telemarketers–not exactly the best way to win friends and returning customers.
Worse, some companies contract with outside shippers who also hassle bidders for credit card numbers. So even if a buyer sends a check to the auction house, delaying delivery of goods by days or even weeks, the problems continue.
When Proxiblog complained about this to one auction company, here is how its representative responded over one winning lot under $50 in an online auction three weeks ago:
“I understand that a small item doesn’t require a packing company. However, [our company] does not pack or ship. Every single item won by an online buyer, regardless of size, goes to them. As far as APN is concerned, the auctioneer can decide if he chooses to use that service. It’s in the best interest of our company not to go that route. If you have concerns about how we run things, I would suggest reading the terms of sale before the auction.”
This was not about terms of sale. It was about sending credit card information to an unknown packing company.
After several emails, the house added shipping costs to the invoice so that a check could be sent for the merchandise. Twenty-one days have passed since the winning bid was placed, and the item still has not been received. We’re certain that we will get it, of course; but this is an example of how NOT to run a business.
Another company seeking credit card information failed to contact us a day after the auction and then reported Proxiblog for non-payment of winning lots. (Proxibid quickly and professionally handled that situation, but it gives one insight into how some companies operate concerning immediate payment for winning lots.)
Indeed, if those companies want quick payment, Proxibid provides a fix for that: APN clearance. People buy online for convenience and speed of delivery. Why do business on Internet without it?
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.