A New Auctioneering World

One of Proxiblog’s subscribers asks why no portal auctioneer offers sliding scale rates for major purchases. We think that’s a great idea. We offer a few more in the post below as well as recommendations to do better business online and attract return customers.

Selling coins on Proxibid differs from doing the same in a onsite auction. The company’s cutting-edge technology is programmed to give viewers an auction experience from afar. But it’s still an Internet world.

It’s time you became a citizen.

Traditional auction companies often operate in a geographical area with only a few or perhaps no real competition. Many have grown accustomed to serving the consignor rather than the bidder, embracing the first ethical article of the National Auctioneers Association code of ethics but forgetting the second:

    ARTICLE 1.

    Members pledge to lawfully and ethically protect and promote the interests of the seller (from now on referred to as the Client).

    ARTICLE 2.

    Members owe the buyer (from now on referred to as the Customer) the duties of honesty, integrity and fair dealing at all times.

Several auction companies selling coins regularly on Proxibid may believe that they honor Article 2 but end up dealing unfairly not because they are dishonest or lack integrity. They just don’t know numismatics well enough to be fair at all times.

That is why we offer constructive and instructive criticism, harsh as sometimes wake-up calls can be.

Imagine how traditional onsite auctioneers in the old days might have responded to competition if five other companies scheduled auctions in the same town on the same night? Wouldn’t they come up with innovative strategies not only to attract bidders to their session but to keep them returning for future ones?

It’s a new auctioneering world. While Proxibid may schedule several auctions on the same day or week, it also uses technology to deliver hundreds more to those sessions who are interested in bidding on lots both as collector and reseller. Traditional auction houses that complain to us regularly about Proxibid fees also need a wake-up call to trust that the portal understands Internet better than any other competitor. You’re in good hands on that score.

But you are apt to lose business if you cannot come up with innovative ideas in favor of the bidder to live up to Article 2 of the NAA code. Here are ways to do that:

  1. Learn numismatics. You have to be able to know what you’re selling to showcase any lot with fairness, honesty and integrity.
  2. Promote sliding scales for bidders who make major purchases: a 15% buyer’s fee for $100 or less, a 10% buyer’s fee for $1000 or less, and a 5% buyer’s fee for $2000 or more.
  3. Offer free shipping for bidders who purchase more than $1000 worth of lots.
  4. Lower the buyer’s fee on gold and expensive coins from 15% to 5% so as spark a bidding war between those online and onsite.
  5. Take returns on altered, doctored, counterfeit and mislabeled lots.

Taking returns is one of those topics that will likely rile the traditional onsite auctioneer who thinks every complaint is buyer’s remorse. Not in the coin world, it isn’t. You’re expected to know what you’re selling. Coin dealers know you don’t get return customers with no-return policies.

The Internet world operates best without a lot of rules, as the founders of Proxibid once knew. As the portal becomes more popular with coin buyers and resellers, and perhaps more traditional, it has an obligation not only to heed auctioneer complaints that circumvent competition but also to demand that auction houses specializing in coins know what they are selling, provide photos that document what they are selling, and policies that ship what they are selling quickly and inexpensively.

Keep monitoring our top rankings to the right. Check out their auctions. Read about their innovations to spark return business. Another positive aspect of Internet is transparency. If you know how your competition is attracting return customers, you can easily learn about and adopt their methods.

It’s a new auctioneering world. Those who survive also compete.

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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