Of all the terms of service Proxiblog monitors, including those lacking APN clearance or padding shipping costs, the one that concerns us most involves a Proxibid practice of sharing maximum bids when a lot comes on the block. As a matter of quality control, it’s high time Proxibid stopped the practice, and we explain why.
Proxiblog is in the process of bidding on fewer and fewer Proxibid auctions, and advising other bidders in our numismatic circles to do the same, because of issues we regularly bring to light (i.e. lack of APN clearance, poor photography, retail or higher opening bids, excessive buyer’s fees and pricey shipping). Now we’re seeing an ominous term of service that reads something like this: “The auctioneer will open bidding at any level and may set bidding increments as he/she deems necessary.”
Now before auctioneers reading that text react defensively, step back a second and imagine yourself at a live onsite auction in the year 2025. A futuristic technology company has sold you a device that can read bidders’ brain waves, decoding just how much each person in the room is willing to spend on a lot. Numbers flash on the digital handheld screen with a person’s face appearing on the monitor. You see the bidder in the crowd and know just how much he is willing to spend on a 1894 Morgan dollar: $1300.
You open the bid at $1300. Reluctantly, that targeted bidder raises his hand.
The futuristic device has only one drawback: It flashes data of the unlucky bidder only when the lot appears on the block.
If you’re an auctioneer on Proxibid, the future is now because Proxibid posts the maximum bid when a lot comes on the block, meaning the auctioneer with a specific term of service can immediately jump to the maximum rather than proceeding by bid increments as in a typical auction.
We bring this to the attention of auctioneers because, indeed, there is a difference between an online and onsite auction. Technology surveils as much as it sells. And if Proxibid truly wants an even playing field, it needs to stop this practice. Here’s why:
Proxibid has done much by way of bidder security even to the extent of no longer showing who won what coin as soon as a lot sells. The portal also doesn’t share credit card data with auctioneers to protect the bidder. We applaud that but question why it still allows this unseemly practice that gives the auctioneer every advantage in addition to excessive terms of service that everyone needs to read before bidding a dime.
It is time for the online portal to end the practice of sharing maximum bids. In the meantime, Proxiblog will monitor our maximum and winning bids and cease doing business with those houses that sell (purportedly coincidentally) only at our maximum bids. We advise other bidders to do the same.
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.