What is Proxibid’s Policy on Questionable Lot Descriptions?

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On occasion we have seen lot descriptions so questionable that we decided to ask Proxibid just what its policy is on SNAD “significantly not as described.” What if the auction house’s terms of service state the descriptions are from the consignors and the company is not responsible for anything than what you see on the portal?

Sometimes we get questions from viewers that we just cannot answer, like the one above. That’s when we go to the source for an official response.

Proxibid has posted an auction by a company that makes these assertions:

  • Consignor provided descriptions.
  • There are real bargains as consignor priced below values.
  • Auction house does not grade coins–that’s the bidder’s responsibility.
  • Auction house did research based on consignor’s descriptions.
  • Auction house is not responsible for anything.

Here is a sampling of photos with lot descriptions (click to expand):

Mint State 62 1890-CC $1, low value $575, high value $1060

lot

We place the grade at Good 6 Details (damage above neck) worth $55. On May 19, 2013, a Good 8 1890-CC with no damage and provenance sold on Heritage for $84.

lot1


Mint State 67 SMS 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar, low value $3,200, high value $5,200

lotC

Because this is a certified coin, we can use the verification number to access retail value, in this case, as the above photo discloses, NGC places that value at $46.25.


Mint State 63 1878-S PCGS, low value $395, high value $775

lotD

Again because this is a certified coin, we can use the verification number to access retail value, in this case, from PCGS, which places that at $87.


These are some of several examples. Without identifying the auction company but adding our questions concerning SNAD, here are other lot descriptions:


Mint State 62 1890-CC Morgan, Great Toning

lotA

Mint State 62? How about Fine 12 and grime rather than tone? (Of course, only our opinion.)


1901-O Morgan, Rare in Any Condition, Low Value $1,800, High Value $2,750?

lotE

Rare in any condition? With a mintage of 13,320,000? With recent auction sales at low mint state of $50? (Of course, only our opinion.)


Uncirculated 1976 Kennedy Clad Half, Low Value $15, High Value $85

lotF

(We’d spend this coin as it has no value; but some have actually sold at auctions for $6 in low mint state.)


In cases such as these, just what is Proxibid’s policy on “Significantly Not As Described”?

“Our team works hard to ensure the integrity of the Marketplace,” said Jason Nielsen, Senior Vice President of Operations for Proxibid. “When items appear not as described, we work with the seller to provide a refund on the item. Additionally, we have added a new feature to our site that allows buyers to report items, which has significantly reduced this issue. Overall, our team is here to work with both buyers and sellers to ensure a safe, fair Marketplace for all parties.”

We applaud Nielsen who has made many proactive changes in quality control on Proxibid, including “Report this Item.”

In the cases above, we just may do that!

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.