It doesn’t make sense for Proxibid auctioneers to maintain high buyers’ premiums for pricey items like gold eagles and double eagles or gold bullion, for that matter, when everyday buyers can order the same from companies like Apmex for a small price over the going precious metals rate. Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction shows how it is done.
Dave and Cheryl Weaver have been using a tiered system of buyers’ premiums for some time now. We have covered their innovation before, as in this May 2012 post. With gold prices dropping, more buyers are coming online to secure eagles, double eagles and bullion. If you maintain high buyers’ premiums, you’ll lose bidders during prime buying times like this.
Not only do the Weavers’ set a 5% buyers’ premium on double eagles, as the photo above shows, they do not set minimum bids.
Compare that to this Proxibid auction house, selling a quarter eagle with an opening bid not yet reached of $350 with 15% buyer’s fee. Even if the coin sold for $360, the next bid, the buyer would be paying $414 without shipping. Add another $15-20 for that. That’s $434 for a quarter ounce of gold, assuming no one bids higher and that the reserve is $360.
You can buy the same coin from Apmex for $359.73.
The issue is critical when purchasing double eagles from auction houses like this one below, charging an 18.5% buyers’ fee with a grossly exaggerated estimate for this 2013 bullion of $2,500-$3,000. Assuming one pays the minimum estimate of $2,500, with no other bidders, with buyers’ fee and shipping the total for this Proxibid purchase comes to $2,992.50.
You can get the same coin from Apmex for $1,372, or less than half of the Proxibid fee at a 54% discount.
We have often advised auctioneers to embrace the competition of their profession rather than become an online coin shop with retail or above retail prices. Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction took that advice years ago. Unfortunately, too many Proxibid eBay-like sellers are shortchanging clients who, once they learn about precious metals, will probably not be a return customer.
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.