How to Bid on Proxibid

We bid in auctions in our right sidebar for particular reasons, mostly because they know what the word “auction” means, especially when it comes to coins. Some houses on Proxibid are no better than eBay “Buy It Now” sellers, ensuring that they get the going-rate for a coin. Here’s how you can tell the difference to select your own favorite sellers on the portal.


Here’s the opening bid on an 1881-S Morgan dollar MS64 graded by NGC. This is one of the most common Morgans available today.

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You can check the certification number with NGC to identify the exact retail value of this particular coin. NGC says the coin is worth $91.20.

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You can check the latest auction price for this year, date and mint mark slabbed by NGC using CoinFacts. We come up with this screenshot from CoinFacts leading us to a Teletrade auction in which the coin sold for $71.

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This particular seller charges an 18% buyer’s fee and adds $1.75 per lot handling fee, in addition to shipping. If you eliminate shipping, you will be paying $90.25 cents, ironically what you would pay in a local coin shop, saving shipping fees.

It’s perfectly all right to pay over retail in a Proxibid auction if you are competing against another bidder for a desired coin and the seller is conducting a real auction with an even playing field for onsite and online bidders. You are paying for the excitement, which Proxibid technology brings to you in a masterful way. However, in eBay “Buy It Now” like auctions, you may not have that experience because the seller has ensured that you not only won’t “steal” a coin in a real auction; you’ll be paying retail if only one bidder hits the bid button.

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.

Don’t Be Fooled By Copies

We continue to see in Proxibid auctions replicas of coins that are not designated as such in the lot description. Copies, marked or unmarked, plague numismatics, which is why eBay forbids any sale of such on its portal. If you are selling copies for a consignor, you should be aware of US Mint rules and regulations regarding the offering of copied coins to the public. You could be in violation of the US Hobby Protection Act.


Here is a recent example of a Proxibid auction offering a copy of a US Mint coin without describing it as “copy.” (Click to expand photo.)

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The word COPY should appear on the obverse, not the reverse. Nonetheless, this coin clearly states COPY on the reverse (again not mentioned in the Proxibid description).

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Here is a summary of US Mint rules regarding copies. For a detailed description provided by the Mint, click here.

  • Do consult with your attorney before embarking on any activity involving the reproduction of genuine United States coins.
  • Do be aware of existing counterfeiting laws.
  • The Hobby Protection Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 2101–2106), requires manufacturers of imitation numismatic items to mark plainly and permanently such items with the word “copy.” Failure to do so may constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Act.
  • Do not advertise your replica product as a “coin.” The term “coin” is commonly understood to be a piece of metal issued by governmental authority as money or legal tender. Alternative terms such as “replica,” “medal” or “medallion” should be used in order to avoid confusion.
  • Do make it clear in your advertisement and marketing materials that the product offered is a replica.
  • Do include a disclaimer in all advertisements, order forms, web pages and other marketing materials featuring replicas of genuine United States coins. Disclaimers should be placed immediately adjacent to or below the actual photograph of the replica used in the advertisement or marketing material, and should not be buried in “fine print” at the bottom of the advertisement or marketing material.
  • The United States Mint owns copyright in several commemorative and circulating coin designs.

We will continue to bring to Proxibid’s attention violations of US federal law in the selling of replicas and counterfeits, especially California Fractional Gold, which pollutes Proxibid because sellers on eBay have been banned and have found a home in auctioneer consignments. We do not name those auctions in our posts on Proxiblog because ours is an educational site. However, we do report them to Proxibid using the “Report this Item” link. Often, those counterfeits and replicas continue to be sold because the auctioneer refuses to take down the lot. Why does this happen? eBay bans sellers; Proxibid does not, for this infraction.

There are consequences, however, as the US Mint warns.

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.

Look for Transparency Notices that, Ahem, aren’t Transparent

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Click the above photo to see how transparency notices were displayed for this auction. We dislike companies that state in their service terms that they view maximum bids and allow shill bidding, illegal in some states. Proxibid gets around that by publishing “transparency notices.” Some of those notices are not transparent but buried in the service terms, as the above example documents.


We wish there was a “Report This Auction” hotlink to Proxibid to make complaints about issues like these or terms that violate the Unified User Agreement. The only recourse we have at times is through Proxiblog or by contacting Proxibid’s dedicated quality control and customer service personnel. They ALWAYS listen to concerns like these. And we appreciate them greatly as they have aided our bidders for years now when concerns like these are expressed.

This is how transparency notices should be displayed.

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But we thought you’d like to know about this problem because it is apt to happen regularly with computer glitches being blamed.

eBay doesn’t allow shill bidding (see photo below). Sellers also cannot see maximum bids. PayPal also guarantees sale, especially if violations can be documented; eBay also provides eBay Bucks for discounts.

Click photo below to expand.

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We think Proxibid would be enhanced by adopting some of these policies and worrying less about what the sales team thinks, putting stock (literally and figuratively) in its excellent quality control, customer service and promotional divisions. We also think it should award 1 Proxipoint for every dollar spent on the portal with discounts provided to top buyers. Instead, bidders contend with sellers worried about APN and credit card charges.

There are reasons why eBay is the top portal in the world. These are only a few reasons. That said, we do not support eBay but do patronize to the max (pun intended) our favorite sellers listed in the right sidebar, knowing that our experience may differ from yours.

If you appreciated this post, we have a request. We provide Proxiblog for free. We post year round. If you think our service is important or has helped you in the past, as bidder or auctioneer, won’t you consider making a small donation to our scholarship fund? CLICK HERE to access it. We have published hundreds of posts and thousands of photos to keep you informed. Keep us posting with a small donation to offset student debt and help underwrite the next generation of bidders!

Seller Rating System Improves Proxibid


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Our viewers know that we prefer to buy coins on Proxibid than on eBay. Now that the portal has established a seller rating system, we endorse the company even more.

The seller rating system is easy to access. Buyers who have completed a transaction with a seller can rate and provide feedback on their experience. In a news release, Proxibid states, “Seven days after the transaction, buyers will be notified via email of items awaiting feedback in MyProxibid.” Buyers in MyProxibid can rate their experience with the following five questions:

  • Did you receive your item in a timely manner?
  • How reasonable were the Seller’s shipping charges?
  • Did the Seller’s online listing accurately describe the item?
  • How reasonable were the Seller’s fees? (fees other than shipping)
  • Please rate the Seller’s customer service.

See photo below for a sample, clicking to expand:

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Buyers are given a one-time opportunity to rate their experience and submit feedback on each purchase. Feedback must be submitted within 60 days of purchase.

The news release continues:

    Proxibid will collect information from buyers and share with Sellers as it is collected. Once enough information is collected, the ratings will display to buyers on the website. Written feedback will not be displayed publicly on the website. MyProxibid homepage displays an additional count of “Items I’ve Purchased” and link to all items awaiting feedback.

We tested the system today. It works flawlessly. We have a few suggestions, though. The “Return to my Items” link returns the browser to the top of the purchased list, meaning you have to continuously scroll down to continue to leave feedback. If you use the “Back” button of your browser, it returns you to the item where you left off. That’s an easy but essential fix technologically.

Buyers in the Coins and Currency category often purchase multiple lots, especially in bullion. It took us 15 minutes to leave feedback for our recently purchased items. We suggest a small blank, check-mark-able box beside each item so that the buyer can leave one feedback for the entire shipment. That should be optional, though, as some lots are better described than others. That’s why we recommend the check-able box, another easy fix technologically.

Finally, we think the new seller rating system will make our own site more essential. We bristle at what we have been seeing with some newcomers to the portal, charging way above retail and hyping lots. Proxiblog will continue to evaluate the rating system. As for now, we applaud Proxibid and look forward to promoting the portal and our top auction houses to our growing audience!

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.

What Passes for Awesome on eBay–Hundreds of Lots!

Our regular viewers know we buy on eBay from time to time, usually regretting the experience. What we regret even more is the use of “awesome” on hundreds of lots.

Click the photos below to see the coin and our common.

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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.

eBay Boos

We’d have a field day if we did a weekly “Boos and Booyahs” post on coins selling on eBay. Very few sellers acknowledge any problems on coins and yet appeal for 100% favorable ratings. It’s a culture of its own. Below are examples of hyped raw coins. Do you have the same experience as us on the world’s largest coin portal?

Click to expand the photos and read our commentary.

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We’re curious. Do you bid eBay? Do you find it better, worse, on par with the Coins and Currency category on Proxibid? Let us know by filing a comment and speaking your mind!

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.

Ridiculous Lot Decriptions on eBay

Every now and then we visit eBay to see out-of-this-world lot descriptions. Here are two that recently caught our eye. Click to expand screenshots below and read the description and our response.


The largest coin portal in the world allows sellers to hype value in the title and lot description as long as the coin is graded by PCGS or NGC. So we cannot report these items to eBay because they are within its questionable rules. One coin below is melt value at best because of artificial toning. The other silver eagle grades a “cameo” rather than “ultra cameo” and the seller opens the bid at $7,747″ and offers “buy it now” for “$39,607.”

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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.

Boo to eBay-like “Buy It Now” Sellers on Proxibid!

Increasingly we are viewing a non-competitive attitude with newby “auctioneers” who really are only “buy it now” eBay-like sellers who do not understand Proxibid technology and how it relates the excitement of a bonafide estate sale. See the typical example below. (Click to expand photo.)


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In the case discussed here, a seller opens with an $85 bid, which is already $16 above retail for the exact coin being offered on the portal. Because the lot is slabbed by NGC, we were able to secure the certification number and find the retail price on the site: about $70.

But this seller isn’t satisfied with making an 8% profit. He charges 18% buyer’s fee and 7% sales tax on top of $15 shipping.

To justify the 60% mark-up, the seller cites “low and high estimates” for the coin. Did he simply fabricate those numbers? Did he look at recent auction prices?

Let’s do that now using CoinFacts for a range of NGC prices in the past few months for the common 1885-O Morgan dollar at Mint State 63.

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Auction prices at major houses sold this coin at this condition between $53-$65, or between $20-30 over the Proxibid seller’s opening bid.

Look at the situation from the seller’s perspective. If he gets one bid, he makes a nifty profit. If he gets no bids, he says “sold on site” and uses Proxibid technology for free, only to re-offer the coin again in a future “live” auction, until it sells.

Luckily, that’s not the case with the majority of Proxibid auctioneers. Watch for tomorrow’s post about one of the most competitive 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.

Western Auction Stays on Top

New rankings based on February’s auctions, our participation, service terms and consignments show Western Auction on top with quality raw coins that actually grade well at PCGS, as well as 10% buyer’s fee, quick shipping, and excellent numismatic photography. Leonard Auction was a close second, with Weaver Signature Coin Auction, SilverTowne, Liberty Shops, Star Coin and Currency, Jewelry Exchange and Rolling M Auctions all rising after exciting online and timed sessions on Proxibid. And Proxiblog has also risen in viewership, surpassing 30,500 lifetime views with an ever-expanding global audience.

The quality of our top houses–those earning 24-24.5 out of 25 points–has really become a matter of taste and consignment. You can find anything from rare coins to bargains in all of the ranked auction houses. They don’t see maximum bids, and they don’t shill bid, either, providing expandable photography and often, numismatic descriptions. Some houses dropped in the rankings because of fewer sessions, which means they will rise again with their next big consignment.

We still see way too many dipped and altered coins being sent to the same auctions not included in our rankings. And newcomers aren’t always being adequately informed about what the online audience seeks in Internet bidding. Unfortunately, we still see Proxibid auction houses charging too much for shipping or using third-party shippers, seeking credit card information rather than APN clearance, and otherwise hyping lots (including fakes and replicas).

Speaking of which, the top post remains “California Gold: real, replica and fake,” which now attracts more than 50 viewers per week, indicating the extent of the counterfeit problem often found in online portals, including eBay and Proxibid.

As the chart below shows, Proxiblog continues to increase its worldwide audience with almost 18,000 views in the past year and 30,500 lifetime views from the United States and countries across continents. (Click to expand chart below.)

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We have received several complimentary emails regarding our occasional sponsorship prize giveaways by Liberty Shops and Star Coin and Currency, and we thank all of our auction houses for supporting our scholarship fund.

Now for our disclaimer: Our rankings are based on our experience dealing with select auction houses, akin to “Favorite Sellers” on eBay. Your experience may differ from ours.

Proxibid Can Set Standard on Fakes

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A year ago Coin World was among the first to report that eBay no longer would allow replica coins on its portal (see “Ban on replica coin sales starts Feb. 20”). Yet eBay sellers continue to offer fakes and replicas not stamped “copy” in violation of the US Hobby Protection Act. Worse, many of those sellers are consigning to Proxibid. At any time you can find a half dozen such fakes on Proxibid and dozens more on eBay.

We’re talking about plated base metal or brass replicas being labeled California fractional gold.

The most popular post on Proxiblog is this one on distinguishing real from fake fractional gold. Soon we will post another more comprehensive article. You’ll also see expanded articles in Coin World and later this year in Coin Update News.

For now, this post challenges Proxibid and all of its registered auctioneers to set the standard by adopting these guidelines:

  • Do not label lots with the words “California,” “fractional,” “gold” or “coin” unless you or your consignor can identify the Breen-Gillio number as found on CoinFacts.
  • Do not use the word “token” or “charm” unless those words appear in a slab by PCGS, NGC, ANACS or ICG. Unfortunately, many other slabbing companies cannot tell the difference between real and fake fractional gold.
  • Test the lot for “gold” before using that word on any lot or you will be found in violation of the Unified User Agreement for not describing the fake accurately.

Why are we taking such a stand? Because real fractional gold sells for hundreds and thousands of dollars, and we have seen certain bidders (ones that try buy all lots marked “gold” in any Proxibid coin auction) paying hundreds of dollars for near worthless brass and/or gold-dipped brass plate.

These scams have been plaguing the coin world for about a century, and they keep on being perpetuated because the counterfeit tokens are extraordinarily profitable—pennies for twenties—dollars that is.

Proxibid has the chance to set the standard by taking a stand on this before eBay, which banned replicas on Feb. 20 last year and which continues to flood the market with fakes.

We just checked eBay and found more than 20 fakes. We checked Proxibid and found these suspicious-looking ones below.

We won’t identify the auction companies because we believe that they do not know about fake and replica California gold. Real fractional gold has a denomination “cents” or “dollars” abbreviated in some issues. If you don’t see a denomination, it’s usually because the manufacturer didn’t want to be charged formally with counterfeiting by the US government, which has gone after these fakes since the late 19th century.

Also, a bear on the reverse is almost always a fake.

We hope this post will help bidders and auctioneers alike in the future because we care about them and Proxibid, too:

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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.