Any Other Recommendations? Installment #4


best_practice

A new coin seller on Proxibid asked us pertinent questions about best practices, and we promised to share our opinion and to solicit yours in the comment section. Auctioneers look to this site for recommendations on how to sell, ship and improve their services. The more you and we share, the more bidders will be drawn to our sites. We will treat each question as a post running throughout the week. Scroll down to view previous questions and answers. This is our last installment.

QUESTION:Anything else you can recommend to improve online service?

PROXIBLOG: The most important component is photography. We highly recommend that every Proxibid coin seller read this article about improvements made by Gary Ryther, a favorite seller, whose photography we profiled in Coin Update News. Click here to read the article.

Click here to view our other posts on photography.

We continue to urge auctioneers not to take photos on a slant because that hides flaws of coins and inappropriately enhances luster. Here is an example of a lot that sold for $2050. We stopped bidding at $600 because we could not ascertain condition of a Morgan dollar worth thousands in low mint state condition, the 1884-S Morgan. See photo below.

1884S

Yes, the auction house took in a magnificent bid … but still thousands below what the coin is worth if truly in mint state ($20,000 at MS62, $115,000 at MS64). The chances of this coin being graded as mint state are slim because almost all uncirculated examples have been accounted for and submitted, due to condition rarity. However, it is possible that this coin is the real deal. But unless the photo is shot straight on, we cannot tell whether it has been altered and whether the luster is real or a camera effect?

How do you think the buyer is going to feel if the $2050 bid bought an altered coin? Do you think the consignor would be happier with the $2050 bid … or one that was $20,050? That’s the power of photography.

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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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 and compliments best and bad auctioneer lot descriptions during the past week. We will name the best, but you will have to search Proxibid for the bad. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)

Booyah Scott Auction! for noting the rim ding and its position. These flaws are enough to keep an otherwise good-looking coin from being graded by top houses PCGS, ICG, ANACS and NGC. The flaws aren’t always apparent in photos, so auctioneer’s reputation is enhanced by noting them in the lot description.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house that takes a photo so dark as to make extremely difficult any type of online evaluation. If you’re going to sell on Proxibid, get your photography in order … or get off the portal because you’ll be losing money for your consignors (and yourself).


Baloney! Deep Mirror? One unnamed auction house labeled more than a dozen uncirculated coins “deep mirror,” probably because that designation sells coins or because the auctioneer doesn’t know numismatics. For a coin to be deep mirror, it has to reflect 6 or more inches a 12-14-point piece of type so that the words are readable. Few, if any, of these coins qualified in the auction.


Booyah Brian’s Auction Service! for noting a probable grade (I think it’s too generous) on coins in this holder, all too prevalent on Proxibid. What’s worse, we’ve seen auctioneers cite PCGS values for coins that should sell with a slight premium over silver melt.


Booyah Brian’s Auction Service! once again for noting cleaning of this particular coin, although the photo shows little evidence of cleaning, again enhancing the auctioneer’s numismatic honesty.


Booyah Weaver Auction! for noting the correct designation of California gold, which often is just a dipped brass replica with a bear on the reverse, hyped by unknowing auctioneers to be genuine gold of a very desirable series … but one also fraught with fakes. This is a credit to Dave Weaver for taking the additional time to identify the item, another indication why Weaver’s is maintaining its top Proxiblog ranking.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house that seems to miss the fact that “genuine” on PCGS labels means ungradeable but authentic (not fake). This is a clear example of chemical treatment. To learn about artificial toning–altering of coins–click here.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for noting that a coin is slabbed but withholding information about the particular slabbing company. If you say a coin is slabbed, show the picture AND the certification number. As we have seen on Proxibid all too often, self-slabbed overhyped coins are usually worth only a small premium over melt.


Booyah Gary Ryther Auctioneers! for identifying an illegally altered key date coin and explaining how it was done so hobbyists and bidders can learn how to spot them. Some bidders collect doctored coins so that they can identify the various methods of fraudulent alteration.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for believing this is an expensive coin rather than a Morgan retaining a little cartwheel effect after being lightly circulated and dinged. On the other hand, you can sense that this auctioneer is smitten with Morgan dollars. Wait until he sees a real “deep mirror” coin!


Boo! to this unnamed auction house hyping as “deep mirror” an ordinary coin and then getting the designation wrong. You can’t have an extra-fine coin that reflects 6-8 inches a strip of 12-14-point type. Let’s please stop identifying coins as deep mirror. They are truly rare. That’s why they command high prices … and why few auction houses ever see them.


Booyah Key Date Coins! for noting that a coin has been dipped, difficult to detect in digital photos because the surface of the coin contains small grains and dull finish and usually has to be identified via a loop with good lighting.


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.