Capitol Coin Auction Takes Top Spot

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Capitol Coin Auction, winner of the overall Best Coin Auction on Proxiblog Award, continues to hold the top spot in our rankings, with Leonard Auction a close second, followed by some of the best coin auctions on the Proxibid portal, all essentially tied: Western, Weaver, SilverTowne, and Key Date Coins.

Capitol Coin Auction is known for accurate descriptions, great photography, fine coins and rarities, a 15% buyer’s premium and inexpensive, fast shipping.

Same can be said about Leonard Auction, which has a higher buyers’ premium but also excels in consignments, descriptions, value-aided considerations and so much more. Suffice to say we are excited to view the catalogs of Capitol and Leonard every time they are posted.

We especially anticipate eagerly the catalogs of Western Auction, whose coins often cross over to PCGS and whose photography excels.

Key Date Coins, SilverTowne and Weaver Coin and Currency are our stand-bys, with regular coin auctions that often entice with both rarities and affordable coins.

Rolling M has moved up in the rankings, based on increasingly fine consignments and marketing expertise.

Star Coin and Currency, Five Star Auction and Braxton Auctioneering all moved up in our rankings, too, with the latter new to the ratings. We hope to see more coin auctions from Braxton, a Loganville, Georgia house. Same holds true for Fox Valley Coins, one of our favorite houses, which promises more online sales in the coming year.

Engstrom Auctions makes a reappearance as a top coin seller. And McKee Coins enters our rankings for the first time, based on increasingly accurate, detailed descriptions and improved photographs.

Keep in mind that these are our favorite sellers, evaluated according to criteria on consignments, photos, descriptions, buyers’ premium and more. Your experience may differ from ours.

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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Five Star Wins … “Best New Auction”

7Best Coin Auction_New Auction

Five Star Auctions, operated by Hank Pulley of Arapahoe, Nebraska–one of our first newcomers to rise immediately to top-house rankings–has won the category of “Best New Auction,” based on excellent consignments, low buyer’s premium (12.5%), and no reserves on coins.

Five Star also takes good photos of coins, with multiple shots, as in this slabbed example:

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Consignments include PCGS and NGC holdered coins in addition to rare gold and silver–again, sold to the highest bidder. Here’s a typical selection:

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Also impressive is its shipping policy: “Buyers will pay actual shipping cost with no handling fee. Shipping will be within 2 business days of receipt of payment for item (items) purchased.”

Liberty Shops Auctions was a close second with Braxton Auctioneering and Back to the Past Collectibles–all honorable mentions–also in the running. All are worth a look … and 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.

Key Date Coins Lowers BP to 8%; Other Houses, Take Heed!

Eddie Caven of Key Date Coins does everything right, from the best coin photography on the portal to superior numismatic descriptions, including varieties. He has just lowered buyers’ premium to 8%. He needs one more component to be the best coin auction on Proxibid. We don’t know if he will do that because only a few of our top-ranked houses do: and that is, 0% seller premiums.

To begin with, take a look at the digital email advertisement used as a photo for this post. If there was a Proxibid badge for Internet advertising promotions, Key Date Coins and, perhaps, Weaver Signature Coin Auction, would deserve it.

In one screen on desktop, laptop and, yes, smartphone, Eddie Caven describes the Nov. 27 auction in three lines, provides hotlinks to the auction as well as his home page, uses complementary colors, and provides email contact including access to join mailing lists, learn more about his house, and so much more. Journalism and advertising students at Iowa State University can learn much from this.

And his photographs–amazing! There are houses in our top-ranked list to the right that never rise to the top because they just cannot master digital photography, something that irritates us to no end, because we can do it with a cheap cell phone.

To see Eddie Caven’s expertise, take a look at the descriptions and 27–yes, 27 expert numismatic photos–of this Carson City Morgan. (Click to expand.)

Key Date Coins also ships within a day, and updates shipping as on eBay. Several houses will drop in the rankings next week because of slow shipping.

The only thing keeping Key Date Coins from being the best on Proxibid is the consignments. Eddie specializes in Carson City Morgans, but those are plentiful everywhere else. He needs to feature fewer common Franklins and rounds and more rare and gold coins.

He needs to use his communication and numismatic skills to attract better and more diversified consignments.

The top houses in our rankings have that variety, especially Western Auction, Leonard Auction, Capitol Coin Auction and SilverTowne. Others have good consignments, but allow too many self-slabbed or dipped coins into the mix, making buying on their sites hazardous. We have purchased much from each of our top-ranked houses, but only in a select few do raw coins actually grade reasonably well at PCGS. See this post as evidence.

We have recommended in the past that auctioneers fire–yes, fire–consignors who continue to send them dipped, damaged or problem coins. We suspect these consignors are coin dealers. We know the dealer network intimately. See this post for more information.

Every time we mention this, suspect coin dealers consigning to Proxibid houses send us emails noting that several of our top-ranked houses are owned by dealers. Yes, and for the most part, they follow ethics of the Professional Numismatists Guild.

We hesitate to mention one house with low BP, excellent shipping, and good credentials, whose house dropped dramatically in the rankings for the past several months and may not rank at all next month, because its owner believes consignors are expert numismatists who never would send problem coins. Right. Another house, which we don’t mention, features an auctioneer who in the past was an officer in an organization representing many of the houses on Proxibid. He just doesn’t want to hear that his consignors are sending problem coins. As a result, he no longer is listed in our rankings. We stopped bidding in his auctions.

Here’s a tip: It’s your business and your reputation on the line. Forget friendships. Learn numismatics if you are going to schedule regular coin auctions. That is why we are grading auction companies and posting regular features titled “Find the Flaw.”

In the 3+ years we have been buying on Proxibid, we began to notice trends. Some houses wonder why they fall or are unranked in our evaluations. The answers are simple: your consignors, poor photography, slow shipping.

If Key Date Coins had the consignments of Western, Capitol Coin Auction and Leonard Auctions, his house would emerge as the preferred coin buying place on the portal. It’s not only about the buyer’s premium. We would rather bid in an auction with high premiums and honest-to-goodness gradable coins than in one with zero percent that sells inferior products or doesn’t note flaws or problems.

We just lost another $1000 in one of our favorite houses because the auctioneer did not mention problems with dipping. The pictures seemed to indicate dipping in this case, but we decided to trust the auctioneer. This is the second time in a month this has happened to us, setting back our scholarship fund at least six months.

Recommendations for Key Date Coins and other houses looking to enhance consignments?

  • Offer 0% seller fees for choice consignments. (Competitive bidding will increase your bottom line.)
  • Do not accept “junk” consignments with a few choice lots as cherries on dung piles.
  • Advertise regionally to secure consignments from estates or travel to estate auctions and make purchases yourself.

We hope this post informs current houses and helps Key Date and others secure the consignments that attract competitive bidding.

To view two recent auctions that did just that, take a look at Fox Valley Coins and a newcomer who made a big splash this weekend, Braxton Auctioneering. Seldom do we see a newbie online house like Braxton do everything right–well, almost everything (as we have yet to evaluate shipping).

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.