Whether inexpensive copper replicas or pricey gold dollars, opening bids with high reserves so that few actually sell–and the ones that do bring profit–is not in Proxibid’s or bidders’ interest. Add to that buyer’s fees between 16-18%, plus shipping and handling fees, and you have a retail coin shop.
We wrote about this problem before in this post, happy to hear that Proxibid is aware of the problem.
Some auction houses passing on multiple lots also schedule at regular intervals “no reserve” junk auctions, as if doing a favor to bidders by clearing out generally unwanted inventory. (To read about junk auctions, click here.)
Passed items that do not sell on Proxibid take advantage of the system and other auctioneers. We understand that reserves are typical at auctions. Companies can assess buyback fees to consignors or buy back items themselves. (One of our Honor Roll auction houses buys back items that fail to bring greysheet [or “ask”] prices; but lists them as “sold” so as not to short-change the operation.)
Auctioneers who sell coins regularly on the portal need to be aware of numismatic tradition, especially if they are members of the American Numismatic Association or Professional Numismatists Guild.
The ANA’s code of ethics states that members should base all dealings on “the highest plane of justice, fairness and morality.” PNG’s code of ethics states that members refrain from “selling at unreasonable prices.”
Companies are not basing dealings on the highest plane of fairness when they pass item after item because of high reserves. Neither are they refraining from selling at unreasonable prices when they factor a 20% profit into a retail reserve at what is supposed to be an auction.
If you don’t like the risk of auctions and are an ANA or PNG member, then consider paying eBay by the item, picture, length of exposure and other frills requiring fees that Proxibid allows for free … under the assumption that you are going to sell your lots in the grand tradition of auctioneering, where nothing is certain.
That last quality of auctioneering–nothing is certain–is what attracts bidders to the portal. More often than not we know from past experience that competing for coins on Proxibid is a risky enough business, with as many or more losses per lot as gains.
It’s the hunt for the bargain that keeps buyers raising bids, and if you’re an auctioneer, your talent is in knowing how to do this. If you’re a salesperson and not an auctioneer, eBay just might work better for you, if you’re willing to pay the tab.
Otherwise, you’re operating at the expense of other online auctioneers who sell at a loss or a gain, based on how many bidders they can attract to their sessions and how much excitement they can generate using Proxibid’s digital tools to replicate the auction experience.
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.