Bidder Advisory

For the hundreds of bidders visiting our pages, we provide an update here on Proxibid coin auctions that either use a third-party shipper–requiring the sharing of credit card data–or that have ceased providing photos of obverse and reverse.

For the moment, we are not naming houses that are taking these shortcuts at the expense of the online-buying audience.

As we recently discussed in this article, using third-party shippers devalues the Proxibid APN badge. We purchased a common silver dollar on Jan. 4, gave credit card information to a third-party shipper because the auction house changed its shipping rules, and we still have not received the coin 13 days later.

Even though we gave the third-party shipper our data, it did not send us any tracking number. It answers to the auction house, not the bidder. We’ve sent emails to the auction house and shipper. We’ll follow up as occasion arises.

Providing photos of obverse and reverse is basic to numismatics, and what we find especially troubling, is that houses known for their coin sessions have begun taking these shortcuts. We expect newbies unfamiliar with coins to make this rookie error; but not established houses selling almost exclusively coins.

We advise you not to bid on lots without both sides of the coin. Ask yourself: Would you buy a car if the seller only showed half of it? Would you buy a television? a cell phone? a lunch special? That assumes you are viewing those products in person. Now factor in that you are at a distinct disadvantage purchasing coins online, which is why houses carry this disclaimer: “Bidders who bid from off-site and are not present at the live auction or preview understand and acknowledge that they may not be able to inspect an item as well as if they examined it in person.

Bidders who want top quality coins should look for auctions by our top-ranked houses listed in the right sidebar. Read the terms of service on every Proxibid auction, including ones with APN clearance, to see if they are using a third-party shipper. Never purchase a raw coin online with half the information. (Note: You can be relatively safe purchasing a coin by the top-two grading companies, NGC or PCGS; you can take chances with ANACS and ICG; however, treat all other coins holdered by lesser grading companies as raw. In other words, you need the photos.)

Proxibid has done much to alleviate these issues. We admire the company’s resolve to provide an even playing field for online bidders. There are dozens of coin-selling houses on the site that understand their obligation to ship or be responsible for shipping and that provide sharp, expandable photos of coins. Patronize them.

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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