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.

Proxiblog Grows: more views, new sponsors, updated rankings

Proxiblog’s success is due in part to companies and bidders who visit our site (11,200 views in 3 months!), debate policy, compete in the auctioneering tradition and show their generosity by sponsoring scholarships to ease student debt.

We are honored to serve you! And you have served us, as well, sharing your knowledge and interacting with others on our site.

Our Honor Rolls now boast 80 auction houses, up from 11 in 10 months. Best of all, photography has improved significantly across the portal!

Our most popular page remains “Boos and Booyahs!” with our “Articles” page (a veritable book about online auctioneering) a close second. Most of our viewers are from the United States with Canada and Great Britain, second and third. We have posted 147 articles and more than 300 photographs, and nearly 100 of our viewers have sent comments.

Viewers who self-identify are mostly auctioneers and their employees along with bidders, hobbyists and Proxibid blog subscribers.

Rankings have changed dramatically since last month, with Weaver Auction and Western Auction in a dead heat for first place. Meares, Engstrom, Rolling M., and Krause have broken into the top 10 with newcomer Bennett, featuring the lowest buyer’s fees.

Finally, in the past month, we have purchased our own domain, proxiblog.org, with the org representing a non-profit. We bring you content, buy from and consign to your auctions, to help with student scholarships. And you have answered the call with sponsorships!

We especially appreciate the scholarship support from Weaver Coin and Currency Auction, GreatCollections, Key Date Coins, Western Auction and Leonard Auction.

John Leonard company’s is this week’s sponsor (with a post about that on Friday).

We thank our viewers for helping make Proxiblog a success!

On the Block: Bennett Auction Service

Bennett Auction Service has come on the Proxibid coin auction scene adopting many of the best practices by our top houses, with flat rate shipping of $7.87 plus insurance, good photography, APN clearance and one of the lowest online buyer’s fees of 9.5%

Good news today concerning an auction house appealing to the online coin buying audience. Bennett Auction Service has a philosophy based on “a balance of making a living and staying competitive,” says auctioneer-broker Adam Kielsmeier of the Prentice, WI, house.

“Shipping rates are influenced by both item fragility and size vs. value, he says. “Shippers love coins and hate chandeliers. We use APN for the same reason we use Proxibid; they are a stable and professional company that offers a well-developed service while focusing on integrity and excellence.”

Adam notes that he and his spouse “started out years ago in the live auction arena, and simply imposed our personal convictions on our newly created auction business: be honest, do quality work, be thoughtful in decisions. We also believe it is essential both to serve our seller in a proper client-agent relationship and to be fair and transparent with our buyers.”

Part of that proper client-agent relationship is not viewing maximum bids online or allowing consignors to bid on their lots. Bennett Auction Service falls in line once again with our recommended best practices.

Kielsmeier’s company focuses on “proper marketing, accurate representation, and fair terms for whatever we may be trusted to sell.” While he hasn’t specialized in coins, he is rethinking that market.

We hope he does because these values are ones we have promoted in all our top 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.