Proxibid awards badges for best practices, which we applaud; but its sales team ought to go over what constitutes an auction from an online shopping site, in this case, opening bids just under or exceeding retail prices.
We’re always on the lookout for Carson City Morgan dollars, as are many bidders using Proxibid’s search engine to identify auctions with the coins. We were surprised to see this seller (badges pending) with high opening bids. Here’s the lot that caused us to stop looking. (Click photos to expand.)
When an auction company makes its debut like this, both the auctioneer and Proxibid eventually may wish the appearance made a better first impression. Increasingly, knowing buyers are flocking to Proxibid coin auctions, in part because of Proxibid customer service and quality control, with help from our coverage and citation in numismatic publications and other venues such as coin shows. Those big-time buyers will spot warning signs like these immediately. And because this auction has coins targeted at big spenders, rather than hobbyists, we feel bad for the auction company. Those high-bid opening prices might not be met.
We remind the sales team that signing up companies is one thing. Ensuring their success, quite another.
Prepare a best practices sheet for each new client, not only touting badges, but also explaining what an auction is, how to draw a crowd online, and what the best bidders and regulars look for. Maybe the sales team is doing this, and newbie online auctioneers are not listening.
In any case, this particular auction house had magnificent coins. But opening bids to ensure against a loss is not the best way to win bidders’ hearts and minds.
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.