Problems abound in the online coin trade, from excessive buyer’s fees and opening bids and reserves to misrepresentation and shoddy shipping. However, bidders can circumvent those travails by reading terms of service and gaining numismatic knowledge. When it comes to photography, however, bidders eager to score bargains often overlook the most fundamental component of any deal–the ability to see the product as it really is, or as close to reality as possible.
eBay has specific rules, many emanating out of lawsuits, in coin auctions. To be sure, purchasing coins from eBay comes with its own set of issues, from dealing with dozens if not hundreds of sellers, some as ornery as they come, to navigating PayPal policies and surviving disputes in the Resolution Center. However, when it comes to eBay, at least adversaries know precisely and numismatically what they are trying to resolve.
Often that cannot be said about the leading auction portal, Proxibid. (For top auction houses, see rankings in Proxiblog, as these mostly provide everything that top sellers in eBay do plus better bargains.)
For a half year, Proxiblog has campaigned for quality control, especially in online coin photography. Only a handful of auctioneers then were providing photos of obverse and reverse, and many of those could not be expanded to detect varieties and condition. Now most coin auctioneers provide visual basics. For the most part, photography continues to improve, not only because of advocacy by Proxiblog but also because Proxibid’s quality control officer understands what is at stake and works behind the scenes to rectify issues.
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