Approaching 50,000 Views, Two Houses Soar!

Proxiblog’s Coin and Currency category remains relatively stable with the top 15 or so houses featuring excellent consignments, quality photos and excellent customer service. Back to the Past Collectibles soared into the top 10 by upgrading its photography. We wish one or two other favorite houses at the bottom of our rankings also felt the same way.


Capitol Coin Auction remains in the top slot. If you bid in its March 1, 2014 auction, you know why. Top lots. Accurate numismatic descriptions. Sharp photography. Low buyers’ premium. Great customer service. It’s difficult to beat Brad Lisembee who has perfected the online coin trade.

SilverTowne Auction continues to amaze us with auction after auction with high standards across the board. Leonard Auction is known for top-quality consistency. Meares Auction consistently improves from consignments to photography.

Also holding steady or trading top places with the best coin auctions on the portal are Certified Rare Coin Auctions, Meares Auction, Star Coin and Currency, Southwest Bullion, Western Auction, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, Gary Ryther Auctioneers, Jewelry Exchange, Fox Valley Coins and Krueger and Krueger.

Two houses catapulted into our top 10. Spencer Auction holds infrequent sessions, but when it does, it features top coins, low buyer’s fee, excellent customer service and great consignments. Same can be said about Back to the Past Collectibles with a 10% buyer’s premium. It broke into the top 10 because C. Scott Lovejoy worked diligently, consulting with us, to perfect his photography. Below is an example (click to expand):

124

You can even see the metal flow on a 2000-year-old coin. Photography is essential in the online bidding world. Watch for a post about Lovejoy’s enhancements later this week!

We hate to call out houses for lack of improvement, even if they are among our favorites. One house in particular has attempted to improve photos but not enough to tell varieties and flaws. If it did, it would be in our top 10. The house does a great marketing job and scores exceptionally high sales because of it. So it may feel no need to improve. We find ourselves bidding on slabbed coins only because we cannot see which coins are dipped. Because we suspect many of the lots are from coin dealers, we are doubly cautious.

As for Proxiblog, we have exceeded 600 posts and are approaching 50,000 page views. We’re increasingly global with top views from the USA, Britain, Canada, India, Russia, Germany, Australia and the Philippines.

Top view again goes to our post popular post: California Gold, real, replica and fake, closing in on 100 views per week.

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. You can also buy our Basic Coin Design book on Kindle. We are extremely grateful. Won’t you consider making a tax-deductible donation so that we can continue publishing? Thank you for your consideration!

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.


Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s important to be in sync with the Proxibid technology to showcase your photos, hone your lot descriptions, and highlight your consignments for top bids on the leading portal! In the latest installment, Proxiblog laments bad auctioneer lot descriptions and praises the best in recent auctions. (Be sure to click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)


weaverbox

Booyah Weaver Auction! for noting certificate of authenticity and box container on US Mint Products. You can deduct 25% or more without both from the current value. If you bid on the coin, plan to submit it to PCGS or NGC to regain your investment … and then some. That’s what we do.



1940S_noproof

Boo! to this auction house not only for hyping the grade of the coin but also calling it a proof, when it has a mint mark “S” and when all proofs then were made in Philadelphia.


1942_noproof

Boo again! to the same house for calling a mint state cent a proof and for hyping the grade this time to MS70. (If you’re calling something a proof, you might as well go for it with the right designation, PF70.)


hyped

Another Boo! to this house for allowing a bottom-tier slab to label a 1954 Quarter Dollar MS70. CoinFacts shows no coins in the ms68 category, let alone MS70.


howitsdone

Booyah SilverTowne Auctions! for correctly identifying both damage, rarity and BG number for authentic California gold. See CoinFacts insert on survival rate: 200.


exjewelry

Booyah Rolling M Auctions! for describing ex-jewelry on this gold lot.


mistakes

Boo! to this house for mis-identifying the year and the grade. It’s an 1886 (O or P). Why? Because the house only provides an obverse photo. Three strikes and you’re out: Boo! Boo! Boo!


munda_mintage

Booyah Munda Auction! for providing the mintage on a scarce coin. Wish more houses would do that!


pinscratch

Booyah Jewelry Exchange! for noting a pin scratch on this lot, which too often is difficult to see in online photography.


rim
Booyah! to SilverTowne again for noting another easily overlooked flaw–a rim dent. Noting flaws brings trust and return customers.


ryther_repros

Booyah Gary Ryther Auction! for making sure in the lot description and photo that everyone knows these are reproductions.

Viewers can point us to other candidates for our “Boos & Booyahs!” series. Just leave a comment but follow our rules–all in good fun as a way to inspire accurate lot descriptions on Proxibid. Tomorrow we will showcase the best lot descriptions. 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.

More Than 16,000 Views in 2013!

Competition among coin-selling houses on Proxibid continues to be intense with very little difference in services among our top dozen or so houses. All in our rankings offer quality coins, ship reasonably and post expandable photos of obverse and reverse. We welcome back K&K Auction Service, which is running coin auctions again. Krueger and Krueger Auction, one of our favorites, no longer sees maximum bids and so appears in our rankings. And Certified Rare Coin Auctions makes its first appearance with stunning coins. That said, Capitol Coin Auction still leads the pack with detailed lot descriptions, accurate grading, low buyer’s fee, quick shipping and fine numismatic photography and consignments–excellent on all levels.

SilverTowne Auctions, Leonard Auction, Weaver Auction, Gary Ryther Auctions, Meares Auction, Star Coin and Currency, and Fox Valley Coins rank among the top 10 in our assessment. But so many more listed on the right sidebar are offering fine consignments, good customer service and other features. Among the most difficult categories to master, however, are sharp numismatic photography that captures luster and color in addition to accurate lot descriptions about grade and condition.

As we always note in our rankings, these are based on our experience and should be considered Proxiblog’s favorite houses. Your experience may differ from ours.

As for Proxiblog, we are pleased that our viewership keeps improving, with more than 16,500 views worldwide in 2013. We provide this blog for free to raise scholarship money via our online account with the Iowa State Foundation and via our numismatic work, Basic Coin Design, on Amazon Kindle.

See the countries that visit our site in the screenshot below (click to expand):

16000views

As for individual posts, the most accessed article remains “California Gold: Real, Replica and Fake,” which enjoyed 2058 views in 2013.

See this screenshot for other top posts (click to expand):

topposts

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.

Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s important to be in sync with the Proxibid technology to showcase your photos, hone your lot descriptions, and highlight your consignments for top bids on the leading portal! In the latest installment, Proxiblog laments bad auctioneer lot descriptions and praises the best in recent auctions. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)


braden_ding

Booyah Braden Auction Service! for noting that this silver half dollar has obverse damage. Any detail that distracts from value should be noted, even if seemingly obvious in the photo.


sewn_repair

Booyah Weaver Auction! for noting that two halves of a torn currency were sewn together in a repair. Dave Weaver’s lot descriptions are among the best on Proxibid!


silvertowne_mark

Another Booyah to top-house SilverTowne Auction for noting damage on coins. This one is particularly helpful because it is difficult to see in the photo.


ryther_scratched

Booyah Gary Ryther Auctioneers! for noting another hard-to-see scratch on an Indian-head semi-key coin.


badphotos

Boo! to this house for awful photography. If you want to sell online, you had better master numismatic picture-taking, combining that with accurate descriptions.


not1882O

Boo! to this house for getting the description wrong. It’s not the scarce 1882-O Morgan but the common 1883-O one. When bidders see this common mistake, use the “report this item” Proxibid link so that the auctioneer can fix the mis-identification.


rim

Booyah Antiques and Estate Auctioneers! not only for acknowledging a rim problem but providing a good photo to document it.


detailed_inventory

Booyah Leonard Auction! for providing detailed description on an item that has various components, noting face value, various silver weights, denominations and more.


nokeydate

Boo! to this house for claiming the 1909 vdb is a “key date.” Key dates in the Lincoln Wheat Cent category are 1909-S vdb, 1909-S, 1914-D, 1922 plain, and 1931-S.


gold_not

Boo! to another auction house for calling the 1880-S, a very common Morgan dollar, a “key date.” Key dates for the Morgan series are 1881-CC, 1885-CC, 1889-CC, 1893-CC, 1893-S, 1895 Proof, and 1895-S.


polished
Booyah Munda Auction! for noting that this lot is polished. Often polished coins appear to be mint state when they are, in fact, rendered silver melt by polishing and alternation.


Viewers can point us to other candidates for our “Boos & Booyahs!” series. Just leave a comment but follow our rules–all in good fun as a way to inspire accurate lot descriptions on Proxibid. Tomorrow we will showcase the best lot descriptions. 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 Coin Wins “Best Auction” a Second Time

7Best Coin Auction

Capitol Coin Auction has won our award for “Best Coin Auction” on the Proxibid portal, garnering “Best Shipping,” “Best Photography,” and “Value Added” honors with honorable mentions in “Best Descriptions” and “Best Consignments.” This is the second year in a row that Capitol Coin Auction has won the top honor.

A close second, once again, was Leonard Auction. It won “Best Consignments” with honorable mentions in “Value-Added,” “Best Photography” and “Best Descriptions.”

Star Coin and Currency made a great showing this year, winning “Best Timed Auction” with honorable mentions in “Most Improved,” “Best Descriptions” and “Best Shipping.”

Southwest Bullion and Coin also had a particularly successful year in our rankings, winning the competitive “Best Descriptions” category and honorable mentions in “Most Improved” and “Best Photography.”

SilverTowne Auctions won “Best Shipping” and had honorable mentions in “Best Descriptions,” “Value-Added” and “Best Consignments.”

Meares Auction won “Most Improved” and had honorable mentions in “Best Shipping” and “Best Consignments.”

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction had honorable mentions in the important categories of “Best Photography,” “Best Descriptions,” “Best Consignments” and “Value-Added.”

The houses above are runners-up in our “Best Coin Auction” category.

We also praise and recommend our other houses that placed in our various competitions, including:

  • Back to the Past Collectibles
  • Black and Gold Auctions
  • Braden Auction Services
  • Decatur Coin and Jewelry
  • Engstrom Auctions
  • Five Star Auction
  • Fox Valley Coins
  • Gary Ryther Auctioneers
  • Heuckman Auction
  • Jewelry Exchange
  • Kaufman Realty and Auction
  • McKee Coins
  • Midwest Coins
  • Rolling M Auction
  • Schultz Auctioneers
  • Western Auction

We encourage all of the houses named above to continue improving in the spirit of service, competition and community that all auctioneers and numismatists share, serving our clients and memberships. Continue to embrace the ethics of both the National Auctioneers Association and the American Numismatic Association.

We also thank Proxibid for its Internet options, quality control and customer service and all houses specializing in coins. We encourage them to visit these award-winning houses above. We know there are some houses that we missed in our rankings; as always, our experience may differ from yours and you should consider these award-winners our favorites. In sum, we did the best job we could with the available data and hope that you will continue visiting our site and interacting with our clientele, now exceeding 26000 views since inception.

Finally, consider making a donation to our Scholarship Account. (See details on top of the “Rankings” sidebar to the right.) We will continue publishing Proxiblog free of charge and covering Proxibid and the online coin auction industry. Won’t you consider making a voluntary donation to offset tuition expenses for our college students?

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 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).

Meares_photo

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.

Get Catalogs Up at Least a Week Prior to Sale!

nocatalog
We are flummoxed by auction houses that wait until the last minute (typically day or two) before posting their catalogs. Likewise, we are impressed by houses like Capitol Coin Auction and SilverTowne that post their catalogs months or weeks in advance. The latter take advantage of free advertising in the Coins and Currency category of Proxibid.

The photo above is for one of our favorite auction houses with a Proxibid session four days from the writing of this post. It still doesn’t have a catalog. Also, this house is known by frequent bidders to be very slow in shipping coins. Probably only one person is assigned to do the entire auction from photos to shipping. Too bad. The company is losing out to early bird posters like Weaver Signature Coin and Currency.


True, there are risks posting catalogs too early, especially if your house is selling bullion with reserves or consignor-set opening bids. Silver and gold prices change daily and so those opening bids might not apply weeks in advance. However, late posting does not apply to auction houses that do not see maximum bids or allow shill bidding and that feature choice consignments. You’re simply missing out on an opportunity to showcase those consignments so that bidders like us can decide where to spend our hard-earned auction dollars.

On occasion, with our favorite houses such as Western Auction, for instance, we will email the auction house and ask when the next catalog is expected to be posted, so that we can budget accordingly.

We’re not alone. There are major buyers, bidders and resellers who target favorite houses and who bypass others with tardy catalogs.

If you’re going to pay Proxibid and APN fees, and print catalogs and advertise your sessions, you should be prompt in posting catalogs to keep pace with growing and intense competition on the portal as new companies like Tangible Investments and Decatur Coin and Jewelry–and veteran ones like Meares Auction Group, Leonard Auction and Gary Ryther, among others–set new standards in the Coin and Currency category.

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, New Houses, Almost 40,000 Views!

Competition among top coin-selling houses on Proxibid is becoming increasingly keen meaning houses that do not strive for continuous improvement will find their numismatic buyers bidding elsewhere. We continue to see erstwhile top houses fall in the rankings because of slow shipping or photography incapable of capturing luster. We can no longer bid here on raw coins but continue to bid on slabbed ones because these houses manage to secure good consignments by PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG. We no longer will bid on bottom-tier slabs, even considering them raw, because we usually encounter problems when submitting to a top holdering company. It will be difficult for anyone to match Decatur Coin Auction’s premiere session on Proxibid. Capitol Coin Auction, Leonard Auction, Western, Weaver and SilverTowne remain solid stand-bys. As for Proxiblog, we are approaching 500 posts and 40,000 views since our inception in May 2011.

Decatur Coin Auction is featuring top numismatic consignments and zero buyer’s fee. Opening bids were below greysheet, sparking competition. Its “Buy It Now” Auctions feature the same lovely lots but without the excitement of a live or timed auction. We hope to see more sessions such as Decatur ran on July 9th.

Capitol Coin Auction has roared back with another fabulous quarterly auction. It and Leonard Auction remain premiere places to find rarities. Weaver and Western auctions continue to offer top lots with excellent customer service. SilverTowne is impressing us with dozens of auctions each month and occasional fabulous consignments. Its grading remains up there with that of our most favorite houses.

Gary Ryther Auctions continues to improve, moving up in the rankings. So has Meares Auction, Engstrom Auction and Midwest Coins. Back to the Past Collectibles continues to sell desirable coin lots and retains a top spot on our list, featuring a low 10% buyer’s fee.

Spencer Auction makes our list this month, hosting more coin auctions with mostly slabbed coins and 15% buyer’s fee. It doesn’t accept APN so that delays shipping. Matthew Bullock Auctioneers returns to our list after several months of no coin auctions. We’re happy to see that as this house has sharp photography and good consignments.

Our top houses all feature one or more of the following:

  1. Lower buyer fees. We prefer 15%. We like 10%. We fancy 5%. We love 0%.
  2. Numismatic lot descriptions. Note flaws and bone up on grading, reading our “Find the Flaw” articles.
  3. Sharp photography. Obverse, reverse and expandable digital shots.
  4. Quick, inexpensive shipping. Some companies take 2-4 weeks to ship. That’s unacceptable. Coins should be sent within 5 business days.
  5. No maximum-bid or shill-bidding. Do that, and you will not qualify for our rankings. Reason? We do not have faith in our maximum bids when we see those transparency notices, no matter the good intentions of auction houses.

Some houses fell in the ranking because they are not improving their photography or because of slow shipping, problem coins, etc. We are worrying about a few of our favorite houses whose photography cannot capture luster on raw coins and that seem to be taking consignments from coin dealers sending their cleaned, polished or altered coins in each session. We worry about seeing more and more coins in slabs by bottom-tier companies.

In our opinion, slow or outsourced shipping, poor photography, inadequate descriptions and high buyer premiums (along with lack of APN), are signs that a house has not yet adapted–or is unwilling to adapt–to the Internet.

Given the convenience of flat-rate shipping with packages picked up at your door, we’re flummoxed when houses take 3-4 weeks to send out coins. If you cannot do basic photography with the type of enhanced, low-cost equipment at your disposal, including smart phones, then you are short-changing yourselves and your consignors.

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.

Good news is that more auction houses are contributing to our scholarship fund. We distribute Proxiblog for free. All we ask is that those who appreciate our efforts make a small contribution to help college students defray debt. You can make the contribution directly online to the Iowa State Foundation.

Our viewership continues to grow. we had more than more than 1,500 in 30 days and are approaching 40,000 lifetime views from all over the world.

July views

The favorite and most accessed page? “How and How Not to Describe Bottom-Tier Slabs.” The all-time most favorite post? “California Gold: Real, Replica and Fake,” which gets on average 50 views per week, indicating once again that auctioneers need to take care before they label those tiny yellow tokens “gold.”

We routinely report counterfeit or misidentified coins using the “Report this Item” link. We continue to applaud Proxibid for using this function.

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.

Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s important to be in sync with the Proxibid technology to showcase your photos, hone your lot descriptions, and highlight your consignments for top bids on the leading portal! In the latest installment, Proxiblog compliments auctioneer lot descriptions. Yesterday we named the worst in recent auctions. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)

cleaned

One Big Booyah to Jewelry Exchange for consistently noting cleaning on coins, difficult to detect with online photos.


dings

Another Booyah to Rolling M Auction! for noting rim dings on a coin. See this post for more information on identifying dings and bumps.


nobox

Booyah Munda Auctions! for noting on this and several other lots of proof and mint sets that the item did not contain a box. Sets without boxes sell a tad lower than with boxes. That’s why it was important to note.


excel_decatur

Booyah Decatur Coin and Jewelry! for some of the best lot descriptions on the portal. These numismatists know what they are selling and share that information with bidders.


problemcoins

Booyah Capitol Coin Auction! for consistently noting problems on coins, including multiple-item lots like this.


rimbump

Booyah SilverTowne Auctions! for consistently identifying damage, rim dings and bumps, and other issues with lots. Doing so earns repeat business from buyers who come to trust your descriptions.


rimproblems

Booyah Western Auction! for also noting rim dings, bumps and other flaws on coins.


rough edge

Booyah Gary Ryther Auctioneering! for noting issues on currency. Even if the damage is obvious, as on this coin, note it in your lot descriptions for value-added considerations!


Viewers can point us to other candidates for our “Boos & Booyahs!” series. Just leave a comment but follow our rules–all in good fun as a way to inspire accurate lot descriptions on Proxibid.

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, New Houses, Almost 38,000 Views!

Competition among top coin-selling houses on Proxibid has been keen even by standards of our 0.5 rating system, meaning that a half point separates one seller from another. Only one scored tops in all categories: quality consignments, detailed descriptions, quick and inexpensive shipping, superior photography, expert grading, low buyer’s premium and other value-added considerations. New coin auctions are coming that promise to make competition keener. Not only is competition growing, our audience is too, approaching 38,000 views.

SilverTowne Auctions operating out of Leipsic, Ohio, in partnership with the famous coin house SilverTowne and Rick Howard’s Rare Coin Gallery, remains atop our list for the second time this year, primarily because of good grading, lightning-fast shipping and excellent consignments. Auctions are well publicized onsite and online and so you won’t be able to steal a coin here; but you can regularly snare top rarities under wholesale. The sheer number of Proxibid auctions and quality of consignments, along with numismatic grading, are keeping SilverTowne on top with a dozen more auctioneers close at its heels.

Ranked ever so close behind at 24.5 each were Capitol Coin Auctions, Western Auction, Leonard Auction, Southwest Bullion and Coin, Gary Ryther Auctioneers, Rolling M Auctions, and Weaver Signature Coin and Currency auctions. Rocketing to the top 10 are two new houses, Tangible Investments and Allen and Marshall Auctioneers.

Back to the Past Collectibles regains a slot on our list, offering more coin auctions with 10% buyer’s fee.

We will be watching other new houses coming online at Proxibid whose reputation in numismatics promises to make competition in this category more competitive. As such, houses that aspire to favorite-seller status (admittedly, only our opinion), should consider:

  1. Lower buyer fees. Anything over 15% still is suspect.
  2. Numismatic lot descriptions. Note flaws and bone up on grading, reading our “Find the Flaw” articles.
  3. Sharp photography. Obverse, reverse and expandable digital shots.
  4. Quick, inexpensive shipping. Some companies take 2-4 weeks to ship. That’s unacceptable. Coins should be sent within 5 business days.
  5. No maximum-bid or shill-bidding. Do that, and you will not qualify for our rankings. Reason? We do not have faith in our maximum bids when we see those transparency notices, no matter the good intentions of auction houses.

Some houses fell in the ranking because of slow shipping; others, problem coins, too few auctions, or other related matter.

What surprises us in these monthly rankings is how little a house has to do to make big gains. A few of our favorite sellers just have to ship faster. Some might lower their buyer’s fees, especially since more eBay-culture sellers are migrating to Proxibid. They’re used to putting the customer first. Proxibid made a big step with the “Report this Item” link. Coupled with Proxiblog, we believe we are upholding numismatic standards.

See this post on a small improvement that Gary Ryther made, elevating his status to one of our favorite sellers.

In our opinion, slow or outsourced shipping, poor photography, inadequate descriptions and high buyer premiums (along with lack of APN), are signs that a house has not yet adapted–or is unwilling to adapt–to the Internet.

Given the convenience of flat-rate shipping with packages picked up at your door, we’re flummoxed when houses take 3-4 weeks to send out coins. If you cannot do basic photography with the type of enhanced, low-cost equipment at your disposal, including smart phones, then you are short-changing yourselves and your consignors. And you simply cannot schedule multiple coin auctions per month and then claim you are not a coin expert.

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.

Good news is that more auction houses are contributing to our scholarship fund. We distribute Proxiblog for free. All we ask is that those who appreciate our efforts make a small contribution to help college students defray debt. You can make the contribution directly online to the Iowa State Foundation.

Our viewership continues to grow. we had more than 4,500 views in the past three months and are approaching 38,000 lifetime views from all over the world.

2ndquarter

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 50 views per week, indicating once again that auctioneers need to take care before they label those tiny yellow tokens “gold.”

We routinely report counterfeit or misidentified coins using the “Report this Item” link. We continue to applaud Proxibid for using this function.

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.