New rules for timed auctions

Proxibid sets new rules to discourage high opening bids and reserves, enhancing the bidding experience. We still have concerns about a few live auctions, but this is a step in the right direction.

New rules affect timed auctions, resulting in one of the two options outlined below.

  • Option #1 will be a flat rate of 2% of everything that sells or not. (This means 2% of the final or start bid or reserve, if the house has one.)
  • Option #2 will be $400 and 2% of what sells.

The rules are meant to encourage reasonable opening bids. With regard to coin auctions, they also will discourage the 25- to 50-item “junk auction” of inexpensive mint and proof sets, culls and slider lots.

Proxiblog has lingering concerns about live auctions with high opening bids and reserves. Of course, “live” is a relative term. Some auctioneers are seasoned pros calling sessions in large warehouses or spacious hotels; others use a microphone and computer in the den.

In one sense, that’s the beauty of an online auction. In another sense, it affords a very small number of auctioneers to abuse live sessions by listing for weeks on end lots with high reserves–so high, in fact, that two-thirds or more of lots do not sell.

This latest change in the Proxibid fee schedule, regarding timed auctions, is the most recent in a series designed to attract more bidders. It is working. We’re especially supportive of the transparency about auctioneers seeing maximum bids or allowing consignors to bid, as this post states.

The safer and fairer the auction environment, the more our top and Honor Roll houses will thrive. Integrity counts with online bidders who tend to be repeat customers of sessions with 15% or lower buyer’s fees, clear and expandable photography, and quick and reasonable shipping.

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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