“Top of Proxiblog” (TOP Awards) for 2012 will be announced beginning Dec. 31, with judging now complete and 20-some auction houses vying for best or honorable mentions in the categories below.
- Most Improved
- Best Descriptions
- Best Photography
- Best Consignments
- Best Shipping
- Best Timed Auction
- Best Value-Added Auction
- Best New Coin Auction
- Best Coin Auction
Judging was difficult and followed these rules:
- Any auction house posting maximum-bid or ghost-bidding notices were ineligible for an award. We discourage both practices and, increasingly, will not bid in auctions that post “maximum-bid viewing” because we have seen covert ghost-bidding in these, too, and encourage Proxibid to address that via internal investigation.
- Houses should schedule at least three coin auctions per year. This criterion did not apply in the new coin auction category.
- Houses with no reserves or low opening bids received preference. We are seeing some coin auctions with opening bids at or above retail. That transforms a coin auction into an online coin shop.
- Houses with 15% or lower buyer’s premiums received preference in tie situations. We trust some auctions with 18%-20% BP because of their reputation in numismatics, typically exhibiting itself in photography and descriptions.
- Badges given by Proxibid played no role in the judging. We do appreciate Proxibid awarding badges for strategic partnerships or low complaint rates, etc., and we have found some correlation with our own rankings; nevertheless, those badges are not awarded based on numismatic expertise. More pointedly, we have seen some badges given to houses that we refuse to patronize because of poor photography and/or their hype of self-slabbed coins or misleading numismatic descriptions.
As such, we hope that these awards count for bidders looking to spend their online coin dollar wisely and auction houses looking to improve their sessions.
Finally, our disclaimer: Viewers should accept our rankings and awards in such light as Proxiblog favorite sellers, very much like eBay; in other words, your experience may differ from ours. That said, we do hope the rankings and awards illustrate what we consider best practices, based on our national reputation in numismatics.