Meares Auction Group Wins … “Most Improved”

1A_Most Improved

Meares Auction wins our most improved category for enhancements in photography, descriptions and consignments–quite a leap, considering these are among the most desired characteristics of top online houses.

Meares Auction featured a frenetic series of high-bid bankruptcy auctions in August, with 5% buyer’s fee, among the lowest on Proxibid. We anticipate Meares Auction Group to improve even more as the company is building consignments for 2014 auctions.

Below is an example of Meares’ photography enhancements (click to expand).


Close second to Meares is another long-time Proxibid auction house. Gary Ryther Auctioneers enhanced photography, consignments and descriptions. See this article in Coin Update News.

Meares’ low BP was the reason his house surpassed Ryther’s.

Rolling M Auction won the “Most Improved” award last year, again because of enhancements in photography. That company is an honorable mention this year, with slight improvement in photography. Rolling M. would be one of our top favorite houses if it upgraded its photography one more notch, primarily to capture luster in raw coins. Its consignments are among the best on the portal, and its publicity and promotion excellent.

If you are an auctioneer and want to earn top dollar for your consignors, you need to work on photography.

We have mentioned in prior posts that competition has increased on the Proxibid coin portal. That is why we have a bevy of honorable mentions this year for houses that have either upgraded photography, descriptions or both. They are:

  • Back to the Past Collectibles
  • Braden Auction Services
  • Engstrom Auction
  • Jewelry Exchange
  • Midwest Coins
  • McKee Coins
  • Star Coin and Currency

Back to the Past Collectibles is in the process of improving photography. Engstrom Auction is dedicated to continuous improvement and routinely solicits feedback on its auctions. Jewelry Exchange, known for accurate descriptions, is working on photography to capture luster. Midwest Coins has improved photography. McKee Coins’ photography is much improved. We’re waiting for top-dollar consignments, though. Star Coin and Currency has honed descriptions and photography, too.

Next category for TOP Awards is Best Descriptions, featuring some of Proxiblog’s favorite sellers. Stay tuned!

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.


Capitol Auction heads list of top-ranked houses

Capitol Coin Auction doesn’t hold monthly auctions, but when it does–about 4-6 per year–wow, Auctioneer Brad Lisembee creates an event. His Nov. 9 Proxibid auction is one of them, replete with top holdered and raw coins in nearly all series and denominations. Brad also charges a low buyer’s fee and provides quick, inexpensive shipping, with lots showcased by excellent numismatic photography and grading. No new houses were added to our rankings this month, as so many of our favorites are improving regularly, topping newcomers to the portal. As we always state, however, our top houses are just a matter of choice. (Your experience may differ from ours.)

Leonard Auction, SilverTowne Auction, Western and Southwest Bullion continue to set the pace with excellent consignments and concise, numismatic grading. Other fine houses–Decatur, Weaver, Meares, Gary Ryther, et. al., continue to appeal with good photography, neat consignments, accurate descriptions and fine customer service. Back to the Past Collectibles is in our top 10 because of continuing improvement. RitMar Exchange is moving up, too, focusing on improved photography and mastering the basics with low buyer’s fee and great customer service.

This is the first time we have scored 24.5 points to the top 15 houses. Essentially, there is little difference between them except for the particular consignment on a given week.

This is a good sign because Proxibid has inaugurated a seller feedback feature. Watch for a post on that latter in the week.

As for Proxiblog, we continue to grow with more than 42,500 viewers since our inception in May 2011. In the past 10 months we have logged more than 17,000 views with most coming from the United States, Canada, Britain, Russia and India.


The most popular post continues to be “California Gold: Real, Replica and Fake.” Typically we identify a handful of replica and counterfeit lots, claiming to the real fractional gold; we report them via Proxibid’s “Report this Item” link. Sadly, we report, we see little action typically by seller or Proxibid.

Hats off to Meares Auction, which had two such replicas on consignment, asked us to evaluate them, and then changed the lot description. That’s why Darron Meares is a leader in this business.

We continue to provide best practices and numismatic knowledge to our viewers for free. Fortunately, we have several of our top houses donating funds to our scholarship account. GreatCollections, operated by numismatist Ian Russell, sponsored an entire month. We are extremely grateful.

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.

Our top post, accessed more than 50 times per week

Meet Darron Meares, Competitive Auctioneer!

Yesterday we ran a post about a non-competitive eBay-like “Buy It Now” seller who had a 60% mark-up on a common Morgan dollar. We promised to showcase a real auctioneer and highlight his competitive spirit. Meet Darron Meares, Meares Aucion Group, of Pelzer, S.C.

Darron Meares subscribes to Proxiblog and has taken our advice on low buyer’s fees and more in the past four years. He also operates one of our top-ranked houses, due to his competitive spirit.

In his upcoming Aug. 5-6 auctions on Proxibid, featuring 650 lots of gold, silver, copper coins out of US Bankruptcy Court, he charges 5% buyer’s fee with sharp, expandable photos, inexpensive shipping and $1 opening bids on all lots. Click the picture below to read more about the sale and Meares’ numismatic knowledge and auctioneering prowess:


“In the competitive spirit,” he writes, “we are starting all opening bids low to even the playing field.”

Take a look now at the sharp photography, enhanced in recent years:


Now look at the honesty of his lot descriptions, noting that the roll of Ike dollars is not brilliant uncirculated (suggesting MS64-66) but uncirculated (suggesting MS60-62):


This is why we so admire Meares Auction Group. The owner is experienced, open to online recommendations, numismatically savvy, and competitive to the hilt. Compare that with yesterday’s eBay-like seller, and you can see why Meares is one of our favorite 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.

Capitol Coin Auction tops list!

Competition among top coin-selling houses on Proxibid has become even keener, with only fractions separating one favorite company from another. Only one scored a full 25 points in all categories: quality consignments, detailed descriptions, quick and inexpensive shipping, superior photography, expert grading, reasonable buyer’s premium and other value-added considerations. Not only is competition growing, our audience is too, surpassing 1,600 views for the first 28 days in April.

Capitol Coin Auction continues to feature some of the best numismatic estate auctions on the portal. Every few months it schedules an auction with key date coinage and holdered rarities. Moreover, as we noted in this recent post, Brad Lisembee ranks among the best graders in the business along with John Leonard of Leonard Auction.

Also high on the numismatic grading list are Dave Nauert of SilverTowne Auction, Justin Quinn of Southwest Bullion and Coin, Dave Weaver of Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, and Sean Cook of Liberty Shops Auctions.

These were ranked ever so close behind Capitol at 24.5 each out of 25, along with Western Auction (one of our personal favorites) and Fox Valley Coins.

Returning to the portal is Kaufman Realty and Auctions, with strong consignments, numismatic lot descriptions and good photography. If it shipped more quickly, it would challenge other top houses in our rankings.

Darron Meares, one of our favorite auctioneers, elevated his company to the top rankings, too, with great consignments and much improved photography. Engstrom Auction continues to improve with better consignments. Its photography has been good, and its customer service is fine, too.

Essentially, you should have an exciting time in the spirit of traditional auctioneering bidding in any auction by these top-houses.

Rolling M Auctions is one of our favorite houses. Mark Murphy is going a fantasic job for Rolling M. with great consignments and fine pre-auction advertising. We think he can still do better with sharper photography that captures luster and provides an onsite view for the Internet crowd.

Key Date Coin continues to showcase the best photography and auctions always worth a look. We advocate for better consignments as Eddie Caven knows how to feature premium lots. Star Coin and Currency continues to impress with improving consignments, neat photos and numismatic lot descriptions.

New on the list this month are Atlantic Auction Company and Cannon Auction whose Honor Roll features include 15% buyer’s fee, good photography and numismatic lot descriptions.

Online buyers expect:

  • Rapid shipping with professional packing.
  • Sharp, expandable photos of both sides of a coin.
  • Accurate lot descriptions.

That said, our rankings are reviews of favorite houses based on our buying and/or selling experience and numismatic expertise. Your experience with our top houses may differ from ours. Our intent is to educate and praise whenever possible–to our own buying detriment, at times! We have seen when we showcase an auction house how bidding becomes more intense, often edging out our own bids.

Perhaps this is due to the rise in our viewership. As the screen shot below shows, more than 1600 page views were logged in the first few weeks of April alone.

The favorite and most accessed page? “Boos and Booyahs.” The all-time most favorite post? “California Gold: Real, Replica and Fake,” which gets on average 100+ views per month from all over the world, indicating once again that auctioneers need to take care before they label those tiny yellow tokens “gold.”

Also becoming more popular are our “Find the Flaw!” features, designed to improve grading skills.

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’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.

Proxiblog was sponsored by

Meares Auction Group

Meares Auction Group is conducting a Boy Scouts benefit auction at 8 p.m. Eastern, Saturday, Nov. 3. Check out the catalog by clicking here.

Meares Auction Group is one of the original Proxibid companies, operated by Darron and David Meares, second generation auctioneers from Pelzer, S.C.. Darron is the current Vice President of the South Carolina Auctioneers Association and also is the founder of Meares and Associates, LLC, an appraisal and public speaking firm located in Upstate South Carolina.

Darron Meares and his company welcome coin consignments for their regular Proxibid auctions. Recently he lowered buyer’s premiums to 5%, showing his leadership in serving both consignor and buyer in spurring competition for top-bids and online auction excitement. See this post about his latest industry innovation.

Meares Auction Groups specializes in a variety of services, including personal property auctions. While they consider all of the items in home, business or storage, they serve Proxiblog clients primarily with coins and collectibles.

Photography and lot descriptions are of high quality and accuracy. Shipping is quick and secure.

For consignors looking for a top Proxiblog house, consider these services by Meares Auction Group:

  • Computerized clerking and cashier systems to automate the auction process
  • State of the art sound systems for auction day
  • Complete turn-key operation of your auction with a highly trained member of our staff assigned to your job
  • Licensed auction professionals that care
  • The option of live, real-time online auctions to serve more customers in more places
  • The option of timed, eBay-style, auctions run from our partner company in Omaha, Nebraska

If you’re interested in consigning, or just knowing more about this nationally known auction house, click here.

We thank Darron Meares and Meares Auction Group 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

Meares’ 5% BP a Big Hit

Well, we tried to place winning bids in Meares Auction Group’s Oct. 24 session; but the bidding was so fierce that all of our several maximums failed, proving once again that lowering buyer’s premiums in the spirit of auctioneering always is the best way to spark enthusiastic bidding.

Auctioneer Darron Meares says the idea of moving to the 5% buyer’s premium came from watching other successful coin auctioneers on Proxibid and discussing trends with some of the members of Proxibid’s team.

“When we began selling coins on Proxibid we were one of the few auctioneers selling coins on the online platform – this, mind you, was in 2006-07 when Proxibid was in it’s infancy,” Meares says. “We were charging 18% BP–yes, I know, it was even high to us–but we were learning the ropes.

“Funny side note: we had buyer’s located within 30 miles of us that were paying 24% PLUS shipping (10% BP for company, 5% for Proxibid, 3% for credit card processing and 6% state sales tax). Of course, that is before the South Carolina House passed a law where domestic coins and currency were exempt from sales tax.

“Whew – those were the days! BUT STILL PEOPLE BOUGHT FROM US!”

“Now,” he adds, “as times have changed and the market is flooded with auctioneers–good and bad–we had to roll with the punches. I handle the coin auctions from start to finish, so we are not spending a lot on other personnel.

“In looking at the numbers, the 5% would cover Proxibid’s fee and anything sold in house could be tossed back to the company to cover my time (which does have to be accounted for).

“We have received numerous phone calls, emails and even one buyer that picked up coins today all thanking us for lowering the BP. We had one buyer from Washington state that said, ‘I found your auction BECAUSE of the 5% BP. I don’t buy from auctioneers that have BP in the 10% range unless there is something I have to have–and then I don’t pay full price. Anyone that charges over 10% gets overlooked by me and most coin buyers.'”

“Looking at our numbers and comparing them to spot metals around our current level, we gained money. Moreso, in looking at the buyer export from Proxibid we gained 69 new buyers that had never registered for our coin auctions.

“It was win-win.”

We hope other auctioneers reading this lower their buyer’s premium. Keep in mind that Meares does not see maximums, does not ghost-bid, offers APN credit card assurance, and is a veteran auctioneer who reads and appreciates how Proxiblog is safeguarding the hobby.

Watch for a post soon on our Honor Roll list, which began in May 2011 with only 11 Proxibid auctions that charged a 15% buyer’s premium or lower. Now it has more than 100.

Meares joins Southwest Bullion, Liberty Shops Auctions and other proactive companies realizing the best way to spark competition is to provide an even playing field with good online photos, best practices and low BP.

We encourage you to bid in Meares’ auctions, knowing you probably will beat our bids because of the competition as we only bid greysheet and then sell our coins to raise funds for our scholarship fund at Iowa State University.

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.

Meares lowers BP to 5%

Meares Auction Group, one of our long-standing top ranked houses, has lowered its buyer’s premium to 5% for its Oct. 24 auction featuring more than 400 lots of key date coins, commemoratives, silver, type sets and more.

We have noticed this downward trend with auctioneers trying to spur online competition by making calculations for buyers’ premiums easy to figure and 10% or lower, as well as ZERO by Southwest Bullion and Liberty Shops Auctions.

“The October 24th coin auction contains coins from two collectors – one is an estate out of Georgia where the consignor decided to sell the collection instead of keeping it at his home,” says auctioneer Darron Meares. “The estate coins consist of many lots of silver, over 20 commemoratives, multiple lots of Morgan and Peace dollars, GSA Horde CC Morgans and many more. Right now we are over 425 lots!”

Meares says the reason for lowering the buyer’s premium “is to help alleviate some of the ‘calculations’ buyers have to conduct before deciding how much to pay for coins in our auction. We are reducing down to the 5% range as this covers the amount we have to pay Proxibid to run the auction on their servers.

Meares adds, “By personally handling the coin inventory and uploading of items, I have reduced the impact on our company where we do not have to rely on the buyer’s premium to cover expenses as we once did. Many auction companies use buyer’s premium as a revenue source; we have always used it to offset costs to our sellers.”

That’s why Meares Auction Group has been in our top rankings.

“We decided to charge 10% buyer’s premium a year or so ago because we have streamlined our processes. In addition, we use BP to offset additional costs to our clients (sellers) and not as a profit center as some other companies do.

“Even at 10%, a buyer will divide the amount by 1.1 to come up with the maximum price they will pay for an item. 10% is EASY compared to the 15-18% and up that some companies charge. Now granted, everyone has their rationale for how and what they charge, so I am not chastising anyone with these comments. We choose to go our own way.”

Darron Meares, MBA, CAI, MPPA, BAS
COO – Meares Auction Group
Meares Auction Group
315 Eastview Road
Pelzer, SC 29669

Main: 864-947-2000
Alternate: 800-689-5654
Fax: 864-947-1717