Proxiblog’s next to last rankings of 2012 shows the level of competition by some of the best houses on the portal. Our rankings are based on our personal experience. Your experience may differ from our reviews. That said, let’s look at the innovations being made on Proxibid.



So very little separates our top 10 houses. Western claims the sole #1 spot because of superior consignments that grade well with the most rigorous holdering company in the business, PCGS. Speaking of PCGS, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction sold a rare Regency holdered Morgan, which we won in a bidding war and which is being profiled in an upcoming edition of Coin World!

Whenever Leonard Auction and Capitol Coin Auction host a Proxibid session, you can be sure of some of the best consignments being offered with PCGS-accurate grading … and intense bidding. Auctioneers John Leonard and Brad Lisembee rank among the most knowledgeable and competitive coin sellers in the business. You can count on their photography, too. We’re never disappointed.

Sean Cook and Larry Fuller also are consummately professional graders. Cook manages Liberty Shops Auctions, a house that continues to rise in the rankings because of 0% buyers’ premium and fine photography with inexpensive, quick shipping. We’ve touted Larry Fuller of SilverTowne more than any other grader on the portal. Larry had to take a short break in the past few months. We didn’t realize that but saw a small decrease in grading. That’s how we found out about the hiatus of our friend, who is back and grading again, for which we are thankful.

SilverTowne also has scheduled regular timed auctions. Some real bargains can be had there.

We also appreciate Darron Meares of Meares Auction, one of the most knowledgeable and accomplished auctioneers in the country. He’s making innovations again in lower buyer’s premiums and catering to the seller in stiff competition. We bid often in his auctions, but we do so wholesale, as our intent is to slab and sell our coins and help our scholarship fund. But we have a hard time winning anything wholesale in Meares’ auctions because he’s an expert at drumming up competition. Our hat’s off to him!

Eddie Caven of Key Date Coins provides some of the best coin photography on the portal. He’s been specializing in MS63-65 Carson City dollars, which always brings a crowd, as well as an assortment of older mint sets and uncirculated Franklin halves, among other denominations.

Mark Murphy of Rolling M. Auctions draws competitive onsite and online crowds and offers a good selection of slabbed coins from top companies. We also like Kaufman Realty Auctions whose consignments are nifty. Shipping is a tad slow, though; but if you’re patient, this is a great place to acquire Morgans and uncirculated rare silver denominations.

Back in our top companies is Jackson Auction, which recently had a terrific session with Morgans and slabbed coins from superior grading companies. Auctions Unlimited has a low 10% BP and has offered of late a good selection of mint sets, including rarer prestige ones.

And then there is the slow riser, Back to the Past Collectibles, creeping up from the lower ranks to the top tier of our rankings. We’re seeing increasingly delectable consignments, acceptable photographs and low buyer’s premiums.

We’re also buying from Midwest Coins, which has relaunched with new emphasis on bidders. Owner Charles Commander is a numismatist who ships quickly and is always on the hunt for good consignments.

Consider these top companies Proxiblog favorite sellers, much like you might find on eBay. We’ll continue to bid with new houses and patronize ones in our rankings to cover as many old and new coin auctions on Proxibid. As we state regularly, you may have a different experience as auctioning coins is complex, requiring numismatic skills, labor-intensive photography, and target marketing.

We remain amazed at how our top houses continue to produce, month after month, and serve the hobby.

And as always, we thank sponsors of Proxiblog. You keep us posting, and your generosity is appreciated. Sponsors are invited to showcase their companies, and we only invite those houses whose practices we have known in the long term. We reserve that right. We don’t advertise. We don’t accept payments to us personally as all donations go through the Iowa State Foundation’s scholarship fund.

Finally, we thank Proxibid, especially Jason Nielsen for establishing ever stronger quality control measures. We are an independent site, dedicated to covering the company which, we believe, offers the best coin buys of any portal, including eBay.

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Nearly 20,000 Views, New Rankings!

Proxiblog’s audience keeps growing with close to 20,000 views worldwide in the past year, as bidders register to read about top coin auction houses. Speaking of which, after points were tallied for consignments, photography, lot descriptions, buyers’ fees, customer service, shipping and numismatic knowledge, we were as surprised as you might be in discovering 5 houses tied for highest scores. Listed alphabetically, they are Capitol Coin Auction, Key Date Coins, Silvertowne Auctions, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, and Western Auction.

Note: Regular postings to begin on Sunday, Aug. 5.

Beginning next week, we will do spotlight features on each of these houses, noting what makes them so special–including what practices they follow–so that bidders and auctioneers can benefit from our reviews.

Making her debut in our top rankings is Debra Johnson of Auctions Unlimited, which has one of the lowest buyer’s fees on Proxibid at 10% and which also dropped transparency notices. Midwest Coins also did likewise, and we’re happy to include this fine Iowa house in our rankings. Braden Auction Service also enters our top houses in the sidebar to the right.

While the competition in the Coins and Currency page on Proxibid continued to grow, Proxiblog’s audience also grew in the same five-month time period. Our audience is closing in on 20,000 views. The United States, by far, provided most of that audience; however, Proxiblog’s popularity is growing in Canada, Philippines, India, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The most accessed articles were “California Gold, real, replica and fake” and “Beware Dipped Coins.”

The most popular pages were “Boos and Booyahs!” and “Honor Roll.”

In the past five months we also had 18 total sponsors, with several sponsoring Proxiblog for several weeks and donating funds to our scholarship account. Sponsors include:

We thank these auction companies and numismatic publications for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders! If you would like to sponsor a week’s worth of Proxiblog, email mjbugeja@yahoo.com

Proxiblog Will Return in August

Typically at this time of year Proxiblog takes a few weeks off to recharge our numismatic batteries. You can explore our dozens of articles and more than 250 posts. Meanwhile, we would like to thank our sponsors who have been donating funds to our scholarship account to offset student debt. (If you have college-age children, or are interested in the quality of education, you should read about our concern by clicking here.)

We appreciate our sponsors!


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We thank these auction companies and numismatic publications for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders! If you would like to sponsor a week’s worth of Proxiblog, email mjbugeja@yahoo.com

More Viewers, New Rankings

As Proxiblog grew yet again to 18,000+ views since inception, and more than 4,000 in the past three months, competition in the Coin and Currency page of Proxibid has heated up significantly with top houses improving photography, lowering buyer’s fees and securing top consignments.

As far as audience goes, most views came from the United States followed by Canada, India, United Kingdom and the Philippines, with viewers from 60 other countries logging in at one time or another in the second quarter of 2012.

The five-part series on Proxibid vs. eBay by far was the most viewed item on the site followed by our Articles and Boos and Booyahs pages.

Moreover, several auction companies have donated $1000 for scholarships for the next generation of bidders, including Auctions Unlimited, ClickCoins, Coin Update, Engstrom Auction, GreatCollections, Kaufman Realty and Auctions, James Peterson Company, Key Date Coins, Krause Auctioneering, Leonard Auction, Matthew Bullock Auctioneers, Scott Auctions, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, and Western Auction.

Those and other houses are featured on our popular “On the Block” page.

Several of those houses also vied for top spots on our rankings. We judge companies by sharp and expandable photos, quick and inexpensive shipping, accurate lot descriptions, reasonable buyers’ fees, customer service and quality consignments.

Competition has never been keener. Silvertowne Auctions, which recently instituted timed auctions to accompany its several live sessions per month, held on to first-place status, but just barely, with five other auction houses only one point behind, essentially tied in second-place.

Rising toward the top was Southwest Bullion with its zero percent buyers’ fee, good photos, flat-rate quick shipping and numismatically savvy lot descriptions.

Consistently excellent sessions with choice consignments were held by innovative houses Weaver, Western and Key Date Coins. New to the top 10 is Capitol Coin Auctions, which lowered buyers’ fees and features some of the top consignments on the portal with numismatic lot descriptions, superior photography (among the best on the portal) and excellent service.

Leonard Auction shares many of the same attributes as Capitol. Six of the top 10 companies are run by auctioneers, and four by coin dealers.

Although several new houses are coming online in the Coins and Currency pages, including ones with 10% or lower buyers’ fees and flat-rate shipping, the rest of our top 20 have been competing now for months, with Honor Roll standards and cherry consignments. Fox Valley Coins makes its first appearance on our top rankings list.

Finally, you’ll note on top of the sidebar rankings an important observation concerning our criteria. Auction houses in our top 20 do not see maximum bids or allow ghost-bidding by auctioneers or employees. All rankings are based on Proxiblog buying experience to establish informed opinion. While other bidders’ experience may differ from ours or our mini-reviews, and while all such reviews are in part subjective, we wanted our bidders to know that we are ranking companies based on actual buying 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.

Weaver Regains Top Ranking

Weaver Auction has regained our top spot, but two other houses essentially are in a virtual tie.

New rankings are getting more difficult to assess, with a virtual tie between three top houses–Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, Western Auction and Silvertowne. Each have special qualities. Weaver is among the most innovative and competitive. Western’s consignments and photos are among the best on the portal. Silvertowne has more coin auctions than any of our top houses with expert lot descriptions.

Engstrom Auction is not far behind in all categories. We especially prize the company’s feedback loop in a commitment for continuous improvement.

United Country–Shobe Auction has broken into our top 10. Its low buyer’s fees (12.5%) among other customer-friendly terms are highlights of its auctions. We hope it features more coin auctions, as that is a consideration now in our rankings.

Gerritsen Auctions, Auctions Unlimited, Bennett Auction Service, Back to the Past Pop Culture Warehouse, and Brian’s Auction Service are among newcomers to our rankings and always worth a look.

We include some houses that see maximum bids or allow consignor/auctioneer bidding in our top 20. We exclude them from the top 10. While we purchase frequently from these houses because of their consignments, we feel they do not need to allow these questionable practices.

Also, it is important to note that some of the best coin auctions on Proxibid have higher buying fees for Internet bidders, such as Leonard Auction and Capitol Coin Auction. But they make up for that with superior service, expert grading and excellent consignments. You should check out those and other auctions on Proxibid, always reading terms of service before placing a 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.

New Rankings Reflect Competition

Recently Proxibid reported a 29.3% increase in coins auctions from 2010 to 2011, with a 36% increase in the number of coin auctions in the first quarter of this year. More competition has led to new rankings, as newcomers offer choice consignments with low buyer’s fees and specials. How will your house respond?

Gone are the days when Proxibid auction houses could dictate terms online, ghost-bidding lots, hyping descriptions, posting blurry photographs of only one side of a coin, and charging as much as 22% online fees while lacking APN clearance and using third-party shippers.

In part, Proxiblog has played a role in numismatic quality control. Proxibid also has done its share in creating more of an even playing field, posting APN buttons and transparency notices to alert bidders to houses that see maximum bids or allow consignor and auctioneer bidding.

As a result, we have seen competitive houses such as Silvertowne drop maximum-bid viewing, reclaiming its third-place slot behind Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction and Western Auction, which finally has overtaken Weaver based on slightly better photography (showing luster) and equally choice consignments.

Breaking into the top 10 are Bennett Auction Service with a 9.5% online buyer’s fee, good photography, APN clearance, cheap shipping, and no viewing maximum bids or allowing consignor bidding. However, the house doesn’t specialize in coins, and a consideration in our rankings is the number of coin auctions each house schedules in a month. Silvertowne is among leaders in that category with the best lot descriptions on Proxibid because of veteran numismatist Larry Fuller.

Kaufman Realty also has broken into the top 10 with increasingly accurate lot descriptions, regular coin auctions and improved photography.

Also in the top 10 is Back to the Past Pop Culture Warehouse. This house offers a 10% buyer’s fee, $5 flat rate shipping on coins and good photography. After it viewed Proxiblog, seeing that we advocate for photos on both sides of a coin, Creative Director Scott Lovejoy immediately posted reverses of all coins before an upcoming auction and quickly rose in our rankings.

Our Honor Roll houses now number 88 offering low buyer’s fees, good photography and reasonable shipping. In May 2011, only 11 houses on Proxibid met these criteria.

Other newcomers have risen in our top 21 slots, including Auctions Unlimited and Brian’s Auction Service.

Not all Proxibid coin auctions have responded favorably to the new competition. We no longer purchase coins from them because they refuse to upgrade photography, clinging to harsh service terms and hyping lot descriptions.

Conversely, there are houses whose consignments and in-house practices are so trustworthy that we eagerly await their auctions. These include Leonard Auction and Capitol Coin Auction. While they charge online buyer’s fees between 17-20%, they offer the superior consignments and lot descriptions that stand up to PCGS standards.

Nonetheless, if they took a chance in an auction and reduced their online fees to 15%, we believe their bottom lines would rise significantly in a few months’ time.

Finally, coin auctioneers should realize that mega houses such as Teletrade and Great Collections are in the process of competing with each other and Proxibid. Teletrade offers no-reserve, 0% buyer’s fees on Tuesdays. Great Collections offers 10% with “Buy Now” specials and other enticements.

In an Internet world, like it or not, you are competing with the likes of megahouses (including Heritage). We advise to embrace the competition and figure out creative ways to attract return customers, offering specials and treating online buyers with the same courtesies as your onsite crowd.

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.

Consider Coin Auction Specials

As Proxibid increases its coin auctions, which we reported in yesterday’s post, more top auction houses are running specials.

Coin auctions are known for monthly specials, whether it be in no-reserve auctions, lower buyer’s fee, flat-rate or even free shipping, and other promotions to recruit bidders.

Before sharing a few samples, we want to remind you to showcase your own specials in the header section featured on Proxibid’s "Coin and Currency" page. We've seen specials buried in terms of service.

See how Cece’s Sales and Key Date Coins announce their specials, featuring no reserve and low buyer’s fee in addition to the featured coins of each session. (Click picture to expand.)

Here are specials running this week or that just concluded:

No Reserve Specials

Midwest Coins: Certified coins throughout! Copper to Silver, Proof/Mint sets, & other coin type sets. NO RESERVE! 100% ONLINE only, SUNDAY at 6 PM CST!!! Prebid now or join us LIVE!!!!

Hradil Auction: Type Coins, Morgan Dollars, Peace Dollars, Bullion, Graded Coins, Key Dates, Gold, Silver Eagles, Absolute Sale, All Items Change Ownership Day of Auction, No minimum, No Reserves, No Shills.

Compare the allure of specials above to these announcements in the header section by three auction companies:

  • “Collectibles, coins, sportscards, jewelry and more.”
  • “Sports Memorabilia, Jewelry,Coins & Collectibles”
  • “Morgan and Silver DOLLARS!!!!!!”


Low Buyer’s Premium

Auctions Unlimited: “Coin & Currency Auction Only 10% BP”

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction: “New Lots & Images added daily. Special emphasis on Silver Dollars. Many Key Date Coins. Classic Currency. LOW 10% Buyer Premium, 5% on Gold 1 oz or $20 Eagles.”

Compare to: “Internet Buyer’s Premium: 22 %; Sales Tax: 5.000% – Tax may apply to the total invoice, including Buyer’s Premium.”


Inexpensive shipping

Scott Auction: 100+ SILVER MORGAN & PEACE SILVER DOLLARS – 1921 & (2) 1928 KEY DATE PEACE $ – $300 X 90% & $100X 40% SILVER – MINT & PROOF SETS – COPPERS & CURRENCY + MUCH MORE w/ **********$1O SHIPPING*************

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Page
: March Special: Buy More, Save More! Flat $9 Insured Shipping Fee with NO extra Handling Charge-No Matter How Much You Buy.

Compare to: “There will be a $5.00 shipping fee per item.”


Specials not only attract and retain bidders, but also publicize to competitors that you are doing just fine. Don’t underestimate the message that sends to clientele. When you’re confident, sellers consign and buyers bid with confidence!

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.