eBay Coin Rules Offer Good Advice

As Proxiblog has reported previously, the mega-coin portal eBay has banned all replica and copy coins in an effort to crack down on counterfeits flooding the online market. In the company’s new guidelines for listing coins, we find several standards that Proxibid auctioneers should adopt, concerning photography, lot listings and more.

Here are updated eBay guidelines for coins that also would enhance the quality and bidding experience on Proxibid, with our comments in blue underneath:

  1. “Include all relevant information that you know about the item, such as origin, date of issue, and condition.”
  2. Lot descriptions are among the most important sellers online in Proxibid auctions. Don’t skimp on describing each item to the fullest. If you don’t know coins, but plan to sell them regularly on the portal, contract with a local numismatist who will write the descriptions for you. It also helps to note what the consignor says, and duly note that this is his description, not yours.

  3. “Include a clear picture of the actual item being sold—don’t use only stock pictures.”
  4. Very few Proxibid auctioneers do this, although we have caught a few in our “Boos and Booyahs” features. If you’re selling junk silver, such as 50 lots of circulated 1964 half-dollar rolls, you can take a representative photo and duly note that in the description, something along the lines of “not actual roll, but a sample roll of what you will receive.”

  5. “Include all information about any alterations that may have been made to the item.”
  6. Again, on our “Boos and Booyahs” tab, you’ll see Slivertowne, Weaver Coin and Currency Auction, Leonard Auction and other top companies noting rim dings, whizzing, artificial color and other alterations. The more you do this, the more bidders will trust your descriptions and bid with confidence.

  7. “Individually identify every item listed to avoid misunderstandings about what is for sale.”
  8. Sometimes auctioneers are selling hundreds of coins in one lot, such as Wheat Cents or Foreign Coin Hoards. It is not feasible to do this, item by item. However, we have seen too many lots of six or fewer coins described merely as “silver mix.” Better to identify each coin in those cases.

  9. “Don’t list the item if you’re unsure of its origin or authenticity.”
  10. If a consignor indicates that a coin might not be authentic, or questions its authenticity, do not list it. If you know coins and suspect a copy or replica, consider withdrawing the lot rather than sell a counterfeit.

  11. “Not allowed: Replica coins, counterfeit coins, counterfeit bank notes …”
  12. Proxibid does not allow the sale of counterfeit coins or bank notes represented as authentic. There are laws concerning coins designated as replicas or copies, and they are covered by the US Hobby Protection Act.

  13. “[L]istings for certified coins must include an image of the item, showing the coin in its graded holder. The image needs to be clear and the grading company, grade, and certification number should easily be readable.”
  14. We have advocated these standards for many months, beginning with this June 2011 post.

  15. Coins minted before 1980 must show the full front and back of the holder. Coins minted in 1980 or after must show the full front of the holder.
  16. Proxiblog has always advocated for pictures of both obverse and reverse as is customary in any numismatic sale, whether via onsite catalogs or online auctions. Also don’t think that showcasing a PCGS or NGC coin doesn’t require a photo of the reverse. It does, especially with PCGS Old Green Holders that might qualify for an upgrade.

  17. “The listing includes a photo of the coin being sold. Images that are dark, out of focus, edited, or might be misleading aren’t allowed. Also, stock photos aren’t allowed.”
  18. Proxiblog has advocated for similar standards since our inception. See our latest post about the importance of photography.

  19. “Coins that are sealed in original United States Mint packaging include a photo showing the actual packaging.”
  20. Proxibid auctions have featured the packaging on occasion without the coins, or the coins without the packaging. It’s a good idea to photograph and display both, as the packaging sometimes has value (as in GSA boxes and certificates).

The more you adopt these standards, providing APN clearance with 15% or less buyers fee, sharp pictures and reasonable shipping–without seeing maximum bids or allowing auctioneer/consignor bidding–the more returning customers you will see at your auctions, including Proxiblog.


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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