Since Proxibid’s recent redesign, the site is more convenient, with one registration for all coins and currency auctions. But terms of service differ from house to house. Below is a selection of service terms with a comment or two from Proxiblog.
Gulf Coast Coin and Jewelry: “Due to the volatile nature of the precious metals market, coins considered ‘market sensitive’ will be repriced 24 hours prior to auction start.” We’re seeing more houses adopt similar terms, setting opening bids higher on gold and silver when the price of precious metals rises. This is typical coin dealer practice, by the way. Technically, houses also should lower opening bids when prices fall. Some do, some don’t.
Meares Auction Group: “Minimum shipping charge is $7.00 and the prices will be adjusted with the number of items that you purchase. The prices do not double or triple, but reflect the weight shipped and the distance that they are shipped.” This is a reasonable practice. Some auctions charge $10 plus $1 per lot plus added fees for handling and/or supplies.
Adcock Auction Service: “We want you to be happy with your purchases. If you have questions about the merchandise the time to ask questions is well in advance of the live auction. No returns are allowed. Thank you for your patronage.” Proxiblog has never met an online auctioneer who has refused to answer questions about a lot. Bidders have to get into the habit of contacting them. After a sale it usually is too late.
Key Date Coins: “To request a return you must provide a written request fully explaining the basis for the return no later than 3 days after your receipt of the lot. Under no circumstances will any amounts other than the winning bid amount be refunded. A restocking charge of 25% of the full invoice amount may apply in KDCA sole discretion. Any allowed returns must be received in exactly the same condition as when originally shipped to Buyer, or they will be returned to buyer at buyer’s cost.” This is an exceptionally fair practice and very common among coin dealers–not so much on Proxibid. Key Date Coins is to be commended.
Western Auction: “Our first priority is to deliver your new purchase in excellent condition.” Western Auction has done this consistently and has lived up to its ToS, in our view.
Leonard Auction: “We guarantee all raw United States coin and currency lots from 1793 to the present to be genuine. This guarantee is not extended to World coin and currency or stamps that are all sold AS-IS. Leonard Auction does not guarantee that a coin is free from cleaning, corrosion, damage, whizzing, dipping, tooling, artificial toning or other alteration. A successful bidder may request certification for any coin or currency lot within three business days from receipt of the lot. Certification will be provided by ANACS for coins and PCGS for currency. The bidder is responsible for all certification costs. If a coin or currency lot proves to be not genuine, Leonard Auction will refund the buyer the full purchase price, all shipping fees and certification fees.” Another fair, common practice by numismatic auction houses and a reason why Leonard Auction ranks among the most trusted on Proxibid.
Silver Trades: “Silver Trades guarantees all coins to be genuine. If after receiving the coin, a buyer questions the genuineness of a coin is, the buyer has 10 days from receipt of the coin to return the coin to Silver Trades. The coin must be in the original holder and holder must not have been opened. Silver Trades will determine if the returned coin is the actual coin sold. Silver Trades will ship the coin in question to PCGS or NGC, at Silver Trades discretion, for determination if the coin is genuine or not. The buyer is responsible for all costs associated with grading and shipping if the coin is deemed genuine by PCGS or NGC. If coin is deemed not genuine, Silver Trades will refund purchase price of coin and shipping and grading costs. Genuineness of a coin refers to the authenticity of the coin..” Yet another similarly fair numismatic practice to authenticate suspect coins. The auctioneer goes through a lot of paperwork submitting coins but does so to protect reputation.
Affiliated Auctions: “Accurate descriptions are provided for each individually described item in the auction on a best effort basis and are not intended to be definitive scholarly works or appraisals. Autographs, in single item lots are guaranteed authentic. If a guaranteed item is deemed ‘not’ to be authentic by a panel of 3 competent authorities, a full refund of the purchase price and buyers premium shall be the limit of liability of the auction company and or its representatives. Returns must be preauthorized and made within 10 days. Gems and Coins are tested at the gallery for authenticity and are guaranteed to be authentic. All guarantees are void if an item has been tampered with, enhanced, altered, damaged or removed from original mounting.” Still another approach to authenticating coins, and this also is a fair and reasonable way to go about doing that.
In the future Proxiblog will monitor terms of service and present interesting, odd or proactive terms in a round-up post such as this.
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.