There will be two kinds of auction houses in the near future–those that adapt to the Internet and accept changing times and those that close shop because they are too stubborn to adapt their businesses.
Proxiblog takes some credit in helping coin auctioneers sharpen their photos and lot descriptions. We regularly tout best online practices, too. Over time, we have seen dramatic improvement in all aspects of online numismatics on Proxibid.
True, there are a few top houses houses that still can sharpen their photography because they cannot capture luster of coins. But where we see the last dregs of stubbornness is in shipping.
Here’s one example:
- Items must be picked up on Thursday … No Exceptions!!!! Items not picked up will be shipped by The UPS Store. PLEASE READ- NEW SHIPPING POLICIES: Items will be shipped by The UPS Store. The UPS Store will charge for Pick-Up, Packing and Shipping Items.If you want your items shipped, please contact The UPS Store within 24 hours after the auction ends with payment information. Per Proxibid regulations-We no longer have access to your payment information to transfer to The UPS Store. You can provide this information to them by phone, fax or email. … If you don’t contact them within 24 hours, you will incur a $1 [fee]
As soon as we read this in the service terms, we went to another auction. Look, don’t insult your bidders with words like “No Exceptions!!!” And don’t fine them for bidding, especially when you refuse to change and provide in-house shipping.
And why are you criticizing Proxibid? We don’t want you to have access to our credit card numbers to give to a third-party shipper. That’s why we trust Proxibid, and trust is key in developing online clientele.
Here’s another auction house that lists coins and that we never patronize. Its service terms reads: “Shipping is available to be paid by the purchaser. Please call for details on shipping availability and cost.”
Sorry. We won’t do your work for you. You arrange for shipping without our having to contact you for information you fail to provide in your service terms.
Bidders are free to patronize whatever company they like, of course. As for us, our rule is simple: If you can’t ship, you’re on a sinking ship. We won’t bid.
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.