Coin Dealer Newbies


Savvy coin dealers know that the expense of online sessions–from credit cards to shipping–require cherry consignments of the type that Fox Valley, SiverTowne and Capitol Auction regularly bring to bidders. Newbie dealers see Internet as a convenient way to sell off junk silver and clad mint sets taking space in their shop safes. Nothing is more boring than to peruse such a catalog on Proxibid.

Coin dealers may know how to grade or describe numismatic lots, but auctioneers know how to assemble a winning catalog to make a profit, and that means, searching out estates for collections and/or relying on experienced buyers to send in rarities and varieties of all denominations, from ancient coins to slabbed ones by top holdering companies.

Look to the rankings in the right sidebar. Those earning 24.5 points almost always feature such consignments, and the result is, they get more–from all over the country–because these auctioneers know how to generate excitement by taking risks, which often include low buyer’s premiums or no-reserve lots.

The worst combination online is a mint set sale with opening bids above retail, and that is what we are weary of seeing when a new coin dealer signs on with Proxibid.

Take a look at the lots and opening bids of the catalog below. (Click to expand photo.)


The dealer is opening bids at $12 and $13 for clad 1970s “mint sets” which are really proof sets, but why bother to waste time getting the lot description right? The silver three-coin set opens at $35.

Now take a look at retail prices for these sets, $10 and $12 with $26 for the three-coin set. (Click to expand photo.)


Worse, this new Proxibid house charges a buyer’s premium for use of credit card and promises to ship within 10-14 business days after funds have cleared.

Is this service, which online communities demand?

Once again, as we have done regularly in the past, we recommend that the Proxibid sales team assemble a best-practice document so that new clients don’t make these newby mistakes. Once a house is known for selling like this, it earns a reputation and is overlooked by bidders.

We hang out with coin dealers. We hear them say Internet is killing their businesses.

Maybe dealers are doing the bulk of the damage by trying to sell off their bulk and backlogged holdings.

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.


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