There was an interesting auction over the weekend by a house conducting its first Proxibid session in tandem with an onsite estate auction. The auctioneer took high-quality pictures but posted coins in holders sideways, neglected to include reverse pictures and just listed the date without the mint mark on rare older coins. And he still achieved retail prices on most of his lots while only charging Proxibidders a 5% online buyer’s fee.
There’s a lesson here that houses scheduling regular coin auctions should take to heart.
This auctioneer advertised for his onsite session in several venues, ensuring that he had a large crowd in his locale. He also knew that Proxibidders would only spur competition, adding another 100 or so bidders to the fray. He didn’t have to charge 15-20% Internet buyer’s fees because he wasn’t relying on coin dealers, had a nifty selection of gold and silver coins from an estate, and didn’t complain about Proxibid fees.
Had he included mint marks and reverse photos, he would have added significantly to his commission.
What’s to learn about this?
Proxibid is an auction portal meant to capture the excitement of an onsite session and convey that to the Internet crowd. It is decidedly not an eBay portal where auctioneers call sessions in their den with a computer. Proxbid technology is good, but it cannot create excitement where there is none in the room.
This rookie online auctioneer also realized that he has to draw people to his sessions with great consignments and otherwise treat the online bidders with the same courtesies as the onsite ones. Finally, he knows the cardinal rule of auctioneering: The more bidders in the house (and/or online), the greater the competition and the higher the bids.
Quality counts more than ever in online auctions, particularly since eBay has instituted new rules ensuring more transparency and information on coins being sold there. However, eBay cannot do what the newcomer did during the weekend, and that is, create excitement on the floor and online.
That’s the allure of Proxibid.
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.