New House Vastly Overestimates Coin Values

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We continue to see new houses on Proxibid believe they can guess at or exaggerate coin values in lot descriptions. This one, however, must believe in the hyped values, because he opens with a bid between 50-100% more than retail value of the coins.


Retail value of a 1923 Peace Dollar is $52, not $300-$400 with an opening bid pegged at $100 (inflated more with a 19% buyer’s premium). If a person won this lot on opening bid, the overpayment would tally $67 (without shipping).

Here’s a screenshot of the PCGS retail value for this exact coin:

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The auction house also exaggerates worth of an NGC-holdered coins, as in this screenshot:

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Here’s another screenshot of this exact coin with the retail value set by NGC, the company that graded this particular coin:

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As we continue to state, auctioneers who sell coins need to know how to cite value. PCGS values are high because its standards are among the most rigorous in the industry. NGC, also considered a top-tier company with high standards, commands premiums for its coins. However, its standards differ from those of PCGS, so it is also inappropriate to cite PCGS values for NGC coins.

ANACS and ICG are second-tier, mostly reliable grading companies. You should cite Red Book prices for them.

Here are the URLS:

As we have written in past posts, if you spot gross inaccuracies like the one above, report them to Proxibid and ask the company to alter the Unified User Agreement “4.4 Marketing and Accuracy of Materials” (OUR RECOMMENDATION IN ALL CAPS):

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

Until Proxibid cracks down on these practices, as eBay has done, bidders will suffer, and so eventually will the reputation of auction houses that persist in these questionable practices.

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.

Hyped Coins Taint Reputation

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Look closely at the Peace dollar above. You’ll see it is harshly cleaned. How much would you pay over silver melt? $10? $30? How about $60,000? That’s what this Proxibid auction house suggests in its lot description.

Auctioneers who sell coins need to know how to cite value. PCGS values are high because its standards are among the most rigorous in the industry. NGC, also considered a top-tier company with high standards, commands premiums for its coins. However, its standards differ from those of PCGS, so it is also inappropriate to cite PCGS values for NGC coins.

ANACS and ICG are second-tier, mostly reliable grading companies. You should cite Red Book prices for them.

Here are the URLS:

Treat all other slabs, even PCI and Numistrust and so-called third-tier companies, with caution before stating any values.

In this case, we’re dealing with three levels of hype. Let’s start with how this coin appeared on Proxibid:

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The first hype is the slab itself, boasting that a harshly cleaned 1928-S is MS66. The second hype is the description that cites PCGS values at $60,000. The third hype is Proxibid’s lack of standards when it comes to values cited in lot descriptions.

As we have written in past posts, if you spot gross inaccuracies like the one above, report them to Proxibid and ask the company to alter the Unified User Agreement “4.4 Marketing and Accuracy of Materials” (OUR RECOMMENDATION IN ALL CAPS):

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

Until Proxibid cracks down on these practices, as eBay has done, bidders will suffer, and so eventually will the reputation of auction houses that persist in these questionable practices.

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.

New Proxibid House, Same Old Hyped Values

Click to expand screenshot to see incredibly exaggerated values for common Morgan dollars coupled by outlandish opening bids. We wrote about this phenomenon last week, urging Proxibid in this post to change the Unified User Agreement, because hyped values undermine the company’s brand of “trust.”

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As we reported last week, new auction houses should be monitored for potentially unethical practices of stating values without regard to accuracy, eroding bidder confidence. Take a closer look at how inflated these values are:

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If you spot gross inaccuracies like the ones above, report them to Proxibid and ask the company to alter the Unified User Agreement “4.4 Marketing and Accuracy of Materials” (OUR RECOMMENDATION IN ALL CAPS):

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

Again as we reported last week, whenever you see slabbed coins from major houses–PCGS, NGC, ANACS, ICG–you can always check the real retail value. Just copy down the certification number for PCGS and NGC lots and then visit their retail value database for the exact coin being offered on Proxibid. For PCGS, click here. For NGC, click here.

For ANACS and ICG, you don’t need to copy the cert and look in databanks. We recommend subscribing to CoinFacts to learn latest auction prices.

However, as in the cases above, this method will not work for raw coins (ones not in holders). In that case, you need to know how to grade coins (view posts in Proxiblog and other numismatic websites). If you don’t know how to grade, or don’t want to learn, then only purchase coins by the top grading companies above … after having checked their retail values.

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.

It’s Time Proxibid Cracked Down on Inflated Values

Click to expand screenshot to see hyped values against PCGS retail prices–for exact coins!
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This Proxibid auction house specializing in coins continues to inflate values without regard to accuracy, a sure way to erode trust in the online world. The samples above grossly inflate values for common Morgan dollars. We will continue to call attention to these inaccuracies in the hope that our viewers will report them and Proxibid will alter the Unified User Agreement.



Whenever you see slabbed coins from major houses–PCGS, NGC, ANACS, ICG–you can always check the real retail value. Just copy down the certification number for PCGS and NGC lots and then visit their retail value database for the exact coin being offered on Proxibid. For PCGS, click here. For NGC, click here.

For ANACS and ICG, you don’t need to copy the cert and look in databanks. We recommend subscribing to CoinFacts to learn latest auction prices.

You’re always free to do as you like, but we will never EVER bid in auctions like the one above. We just assume if companies are going to be inaccurate about easily checked values, they might not be as mindful about other buyer concerns, such as shipping or customer service.

Once an auction house decides to go this route, it can take months or years to regain the online bidder’s trust. And trust is the brand of Proxibid hosting houses like this. Better to set down some house rules in the Unified User Agreement about grossly inflating values and penalize auction companies that are informed but choose to ignore readily available retail values–in the case above, for the exact coins being offered on the portal.

We think this clause should be added to the Unified Agreement in “4.4 Marketing and Accuracy of Materials” (OUR RECOMMENDATION IN ALL CAPS):

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

If you agree, whenever you see inflated values, use “the report this item” link that Proxibid provides for cases like this and inform Proxibid’s quality control.

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.

Seller Asks About Shipping: Installment #3


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A new coin seller on Proxibid asked us pertinent questions about best practices, and we promised to share our opinion and to solicit yours in the comment section. Auctioneers look to this site for recommendations on how to sell, ship and improve their services. The more you and we share, the more bidders will be drawn to our sites. We will treat each question as a post running throughout the week. Scroll down to view previous questions and answers. Here is installment three.

QUESTION:Any insight on shipping and packaging?

PROXIBLOG: Ship the way coin dealers do, with coin mailers for all lots except ones in their own packaging, such as mint and proof sets. Here is a photo of a coin mailer below.

Coin safety mailers

We strongly recommend against third-party shippers. That often requires bidders to give credit card information to merchants not affiliated with Proxibid and therefore not beholden to the Unified User Agreement. What that means is you are not protected if the third-party mailer loses your lots. You also are giving your banking information to an unknown mailing business hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Do you know their security precautions?

If you are going to pay Proxibid fees and use its technology to sell to Internet bidders, you just have to ship as part of your business. See these previous posts on the topic.

Shipping should be done within one week, preferably within a day or two of billing. One of the quickest shippers on the portal is SilverTowne Auctions. Coins ship usually within a day or two, depending if the lot is won on a weekend or week day. Recently, Midwest Coins has greatly improved its shipping. These are but a few examples. However, in our rating system, we do note sellers that are slow in sending lots.

Also, try to use the US Postal Service. We have never lost a lot via USPS as long as signature and/or tracking number is provided. We do not care for Fed Ex or UPS. Often we have to pick up parcels at local Fed Ex offices. UPS sometimes just leaves parcels at the door and rings the doorbell. What if nobody is home? Again, these observations are based only on our experience. You may have lost items via USPS. There are times and occasions when Fed Ex or UPS are more reliable than USPS. However, this blog shares our opinion, and that is all we are doing here. We like the local post office because mail carriers are familiar with your daily mail and often let you know if a package has been damaged or tampered with prior to delivery. We never had that experience with any other shipper.

Next installment: Anything else you can recommend to improve online service?

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.

Lure or Lose Bidders With Lot Descriptions

Recently we bid on two auctions on the same day. One, Tangible Investments, was a joy to see and read, with numismatic lot descriptions graced by fine, expandable photos. The other, which we won’t name, made several numismatic mistakes. In sum, one house lured us, the other lost our interest.


Look at this sample screen shot and note how photo and lot description attract bidders in a Tangible Investment auction (click to expand):

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The description uses Greysheet low estimate, cites mintage and denomination (including variety), and notes damage, a previous mounting and scratch–plus provides multiple views of the coin. It doesn’t get much better than this on Proxibid.

Now take a look at a series of lot descriptions that, frankly, irked us to the point that we stopped bidding.

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This overstates PCGS values for an ANACS coin. The value does not apply as both companies have different grading standards. Also, the Proxibid auction company inflates the PCGS value, again as the retail price index documents. Multiple numismatic errors irk us to the point where we almost stopped bidding.


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This lot description does the same as above, overstating and misapplying values. Moreover, using PCGS CoinFacts, you can see precisely how much a similar ANACS coin sold for at a recent auction.


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We stopped bidding when the auction house covered the PCGS certification number of an expensive key date 1893-S. Never buy a pricey coin without verifying the PCGS certification number with this link. Because the auction house has gotten into the habit of covering certification numbers with its promotional stickers, instead of using Proxibid lot technology, we don’t know if this is an authentic key date Morgan.

Most knowing bidders willing to spend high-dollar amounts for pricey coins usually know the ropes. Don’t hang yourself with hype.

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.

Sharpen Lot Descriptions

numismatice termsThe best way to move lots and spark bidding is to shoot a sharp photo. The next best way is to describe the lot numismatically.

Owen McKee takes pains to compose a thorough lot description on a folder full of coins, which bidders usually take under wholesale because auctioneers do not spend as much time as this Iowa coin dealer in depicting the lot with photo and terms. (Click to expand photo below.)

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McKee also describes flaws in lots so that bidders know the true condition of a coin, as in this photo of a rare 1955 double die that has a scratch and rim dings and hence probably will not slab.

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Speaking of slabs, here is a coin in one whose auctioneer shows neither the label nor describes the lot, meaning that buyers can be bidding on a flawed coin (probably improperly cleaned).

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When describing lots, use PCGS Coin Values only when stating the condition of lots holdered by that company. Anything else is unethical (cite Redbook or CoinValues prices if slabbed by ANACS or ICG; use NGC values for coins by that holdering company, with anything else considered raw). Southwest Bullion and Coin shows how it’s done:

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This auction company violates that standard, citing what we believe to be a $92 MS64 raw coin as MS67 worth thousands. (At best, this is an MS65 coin worth $150; at worst, it is a dipped coin that is not gradeworthy). Note the high bid on the coin with six days remaining:

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Auctioneers who know numismatic terms attract repeat business. Buyers who are shortchanged will learn the truth sooner or later when attempting to resell their overpriced 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.