Tech Glitch Excites, Then Deflates

A technical glitch last week eliminated transparency notices–maximum-bid and ghost-bidding warnings–on certain coin auctions. At first, we were elated and ready to bid with confidence on several different auctions. Then we checked with Proxibid, and soon the glitch was fixed and transparency notices were restored.

Suffice to say we bid cautiously or not at all on any coin auction that sees maximum bids or allows ghost-bidding.

This is just our opinion. Feel free to do what you want on the portal.

Factor this, though: In normal auctions (yes, “normal” is the correct word), we bid above retail on certain coins because of condition rarities or other desired lots. Because bidding is so intense in a Western, Weaver, Capitol, Leonard, Key Date, SilverTowne, Bullock or other top-ranked auctions (see rankings to the right), we only win one tenth of our maximums on a good day and often, nothing at all on a bad day, even though our maximums are so high. That indicates other bidders are bidding with confidence–or overconfidence!

Certain companies such as Southwest Bullion and Liberty Shops Auctions are on to something adopting ZERO or minimum buyers’ premiums to spark competition and bidding wars (and we’ve been in a few of late on Weaver and Western, in particular).

There is NO WAY for auctioneers to secure these retail sell-throughs by viewing maximums and ghost-bidding (often combined with overgrading and hype). By insisting on playing it conservatively at the expensive of bidders, in our opinion, they may be harming their brands.

Conversely, we know that consignors are rough on auctioneers, forcing them to adopt these bad auctioneering habits. Remember, though, sellers need you. You set the rules. And sellers who insist on hidden reserves that force maximum-bid viewing should be charged buybacks for your efforts on their behalf.