Auctioneer Sean Cook of Liberty Shops Auctions and Proxiblog drew up a list of guidelines we wished that Proxibid put into practice, creating an even playing field for the online bidder. Many of these rules already are in effect in other auction portals, such as eBay. We invite you to read the list and comment on the feasibility, harm, or good of the guidelines below … including ones that you would recommend and that we missed.
- Coins that are not graded by PCGS, NGC, ANACS, or ICG should be considered raw, and no mention of a numerical grade or value should be placed in the title or description.
- There should be no mention of value nor a numerical grade placed on raw coins, only terms: Good (G), Very Good (VG), Fine (F), Very Fine (VF), Extra Fine (XF), Almost Uncirculated (AU), Uncirculated (UNC), Gem (GEM).
- No sale of counterfeit or replica coins are allowed unless they are noted as “Counterfeit” or stamped “Replica” and clearly identified in the auction title or description. Sale of lots not marked “Copy” may be a violation of the US Hobby Protection Act. Seller will reimburse buyer for any coin proved to be counterfeit or inauthentic, per Unified User Agreement.
- Any lots labeled “California Gold” or “California Fractional Gold” must carry the official Breen-Gillio (BG) numbers available via subscription to CoinFacts or be slabbed by PCGS, NGC, ANACS, or ICG. The word “California gold token” is insufficient and misleading. Use of the word “souvenir replica,” “plated replica,” or “brass replica” is allowed, but never the term “gold” unless specifically tested for that metal. For more information on California Fractional Gold, see this post.
- Photographs must be clear and expandable with images of obverse and reverse, even on coins slabbed by PCGS, NGC, ANACS, or ICG. Buyers have a right to inspect what they are purchasing, even though PCGS and NGC coins (but not ANACS and ICG) can trade sight unseen on condition alone.
- Use of terms “prooflike,” “deep mirror prooflike,” “cameo” and “ultra cameo” must be documented by photos that capture luster and reflection on both sides of the coin. Further, no value whatsoever should be placed on those coins citing Red Book, Coin Values or other price list prices unless those coins are holdered by PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG. Never cite PCGS values for coins holdered by other companies, including NGC, which has different standards.
- Altered photos, blurry photos, small photos, or misleading photos are not allowed.
- Photographs of boxes rather than the coins within are forbidden because the buyer must be able see the lots on which he is bidding. Excluded from this rule are unopened mint/proof sets, unopened Carson City White Package Boxes, or unopened US Mint products.
- Sellers will refund buyers for coins misrepresented in the description–such as a scarce 1882-O/S Morgan dollar that really only is a common 1882-O–per the Unified User Agreement.
- Sellers are forbidden from using financial terms like “investment” because they may expose auction houses to class action or other legal challenges.
Which of the above guidelines would you eliminate or revise? Which would you add? Why? Comment and continue the discussion, remembering that we are an educational site (no personal attacks or criticisms of auctioneers, bidders or anyone else!).
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.