Proxibid Upgrades “My Items”


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We really like the photo upgrade to the “My Items” tab on Proxibid, letting bidders know what the status of their preferred lots are and how, if at all, maximums have changed. This is yet another feature that calls for good photography from sellers on the portal.

The “My Items” tab aligns nicely with the email notification that bidders receive. See a sample of that below. (Click to expand.)

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Once again, the portal is becoming more visual and competitive.

Jason Nielsen, senior VP for operations, says, ““Our goal is to offer an ecommerce experience similar to that which can be found at other leading online retailers. This new feature provides online buyers with a quick and easy way to check on their current bids, boosting consumer confidence in our online platform.”

We agree.

To master numismatic photography, see this post on Coin Update News.

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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Badges Regain Color


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Earlier this year, we asked Proxibid to revert to color badges. We’re happy to see that it has!

In a March 20, 2013 post, we made the observation that Proxibid drained the color and lost expansion of its badges.

“Badges symbolize honor, and color is important in that respect,” we wrote. “For instance, a blue ribbon in the United States means first place. A blue Proxibid ribbon means the house has a high degree of ethics and has formed a strategic partnership with company.”

Here’s what the badges looked like when we made that comment:

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Colors are important, we noted, because they symbolize different things in different countries. If Proxibid competitor iCollector, a Canadian firm, gave ribbons, the top color would be red for first place, blue for second place and white for third.

If you’re going to give merit badges, for Pete’s sake, we said, don’t use a boring grey scale. Someone at Proxibid must have heeded that advice! We’re happy to report that the badges have regained their hues.

Proxibid has yet to expand the badge when a client runs the mouse over the icon. Here’s how the expansion used to look on the computer or mobile screen:

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We have regained color. Alas, though, we still lack the expansion of the icon.

Some final thoughts on this topic: Maybe Proxibid expanded the badge initially to introduce it to the clientele and now the expansion is no longer needed. Or maybe Proxibid should expand the badge in addition to adding color for us near-sighted hobbyists who have ruined their eyesight grading coinage.

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.

Leonard Auction Shows Grading Prowess

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Leonard Auction remains one of the best graders on Proxibid. We’ve showcased that talent previously, as in this post, earning an A+ via PCGS-like standards. We can claim that because we have sent in raw coins that have graded the same or higher than John Leonard’s conservative grades. In this post, we we are touting how the Addison, Illinois, house deals with slabs by lower-tier holdering companies, taking several examples from Leonard’s upcoming July 20th Proxibid auction.


Bottom-tier and self-slabbed coins have plagued the Proxibid portal for years now. We’ve seen bidders waste thousands of dollars on such coins, occasionally hyped by auctioneers, some who know better and some who don’t. Check out this post in Coin Update News to learn more about the problem.

We’ve praised Leonard Auction before for taking the extra step and identifying bottom-tier holdered coins. Recently he has been assigning grades to them, impressing us enough to highlight his upcoming auction.

Here are some examples, with this first from National Numismatic Certification, a company that regularly inflates grades when judged against top standards as found on PCGS Photograde Online:

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The difference between an AU version of a 1921 Missouri commemorative and an MS65 version is significant, $400 for the lower grade and $2,800 for the higher one. Now imagine a Proxibidder paying $2,000, believing he got a good deal at the auction. When he sells his coin, or tries to, he gets the bad news … and likely stops collecting coins, a sad scenario we have seen too much of in our own numismatic dealings.

Leonard grades this Numistrust 1912 quarter dollar three points below the MS65 on the label. A 1912 at MS62 is worth about $300 retail. One graded MS65? $1,200.
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Leonard also grades coins in more respected holders, including PCI and ACG. Price difference is dramatic when condition rarity is considered, even when grades are close. He grades this 1925-D cent in a PCI holder as MS64RB (Red Brown) worth $400 retail rather than MS65R (Red) worth more than $4,500.
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The ACG 1919-S Red cent at MS65 is worth more than $2,600 retail by a top-grading firm like PCGS. However, an MS64RB cent is worth about $400. Once again, condition rarity is the reason, and that’s why Leonard’s grades are so important … and why we are showcasing his numismatic skills once again.

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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.

Decatur Coin and Jewelry Sets New Proxibid Standards

Decatur Coin and Jewelry’s timed auction ending July 9 set new standards on the portal in terms of service, buyers’ premium, quality consignment, photographs and descriptions. The house has no buyer’s premium and ships quickly and inexpensively. This performance exceeds anything we’ve seen on Proxibid in the past four years!”


We knew we were in for a treat after viewing numismatic lot descriptions accompanied by YouTube videos. (Click screenshots below to expand.)


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Today we’ll tell Decatur’s story using photos to save thousands of words. Let’s start with the consignment. We saw rarities worth thousands of dollars alongside more common but quality selections with opening bids below wholesale greysheet. Take a look at these Morgans below:

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Now look at the depth of lot descriptions, as in this typical example:

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Look at the sharpness of photographs capturing difficult deep mirrors, with each lot having as many as eight photos showcasing different angles:

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Best of all were Decatur’s terms of service, offering zero percent buyer’s fee with APN credit-card clearance and rapid, inexpensive shipping:

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Moreover, Decatur Coin and Jewelry is a bonafide PCGS and NGC authorized dealer, meaning the company meets professional numismatic standards in ethical practices, including counterfeit detection.

If Decatur continues to offer timed auctions like this most recent one, more hobbyists will eagerly await its next coin auction and wars will break out, not concerning late delivery of goods or misidentified lots, but genuine bidding wars as buyers compete for cherry lots.

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.

Low Buyers’ Premium Sells Gold

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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.

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You can buy the same coin from Apmex for $359.73.

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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.

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You can get the same coin from Apmex for $1,372, or less than half of the Proxibid fee at a 54% discount.

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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.

Meet Darron Meares, Competitive Auctioneer!

Yesterday we ran a post about a non-competitive eBay-like “Buy It Now” seller who had a 60% mark-up on a common Morgan dollar. We promised to showcase a real auctioneer and highlight his competitive spirit. Meet Darron Meares, Meares Aucion Group, of Pelzer, S.C.


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Darron Meares subscribes to Proxiblog and has taken our advice on low buyer’s fees and more in the past four years. He also operates one of our top-ranked houses, due to his competitive spirit.

In his upcoming Aug. 5-6 auctions on Proxibid, featuring 650 lots of gold, silver, copper coins out of US Bankruptcy Court, he charges 5% buyer’s fee with sharp, expandable photos, inexpensive shipping and $1 opening bids on all lots. Click the picture below to read more about the sale and Meares’ numismatic knowledge and auctioneering prowess:

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“In the competitive spirit,” he writes, “we are starting all opening bids low to even the playing field.”

Take a look now at the sharp photography, enhanced in recent years:

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Now look at the honesty of his lot descriptions, noting that the roll of Ike dollars is not brilliant uncirculated (suggesting MS64-66) but uncirculated (suggesting MS60-62):

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This is why we so admire Meares Auction Group. The owner is experienced, open to online recommendations, numismatically savvy, and competitive to the hilt. Compare that with yesterday’s eBay-like seller, and you can see why Meares is one of our favorite houses!

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.

Boo to eBay-like “Buy It Now” Sellers on Proxibid!

Increasingly we are viewing a non-competitive attitude with newby “auctioneers” who really are only “buy it now” eBay-like sellers who do not understand Proxibid technology and how it relates the excitement of a bonafide estate sale. See the typical example below. (Click to expand photo.)


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In the case discussed here, a seller opens with an $85 bid, which is already $16 above retail for the exact coin being offered on the portal. Because the lot is slabbed by NGC, we were able to secure the certification number and find the retail price on the site: about $70.

But this seller isn’t satisfied with making an 8% profit. He charges 18% buyer’s fee and 7% sales tax on top of $15 shipping.

To justify the 60% mark-up, the seller cites “low and high estimates” for the coin. Did he simply fabricate those numbers? Did he look at recent auction prices?

Let’s do that now using CoinFacts for a range of NGC prices in the past few months for the common 1885-O Morgan dollar at Mint State 63.

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Auction prices at major houses sold this coin at this condition between $53-$65, or between $20-30 over the Proxibid seller’s opening bid.

Look at the situation from the seller’s perspective. If he gets one bid, he makes a nifty profit. If he gets no bids, he says “sold on site” and uses Proxibid technology for free, only to re-offer the coin again in a future “live” auction, until it sells.

Luckily, that’s not the case with the majority of Proxibid auctioneers. Watch for tomorrow’s post about one of the most competitive on the portal!

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.