Competition among top coin-selling houses on Proxibid has been so keen that we have gone to a 0.5 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, reasonable buyer’s premium and other value-added considerations. Not only is competition growing, our audience is too, surpassing 25,000 views.
Capitol Coin Auction features some of the best numismatic estate auctions on the portal. Unlike other houses, it does not run auctions every week or other week and so creates an event with key date coinage, holdered rarities and exquisite gold. Moreover, as we noted in this recent post, Brad Lisembee ranks among the best graders in the business with John Leonard of Leonard Auction, Larry Fuller of SilverTowne Auction and Sean Cook of Liberty Shops Auctions.
Ranked ever so close behind at 24.5 each were Western, Leonard, SilverTowne, Key Date Coins and Weaver Signature Coin and Currency auctions. Returning to top-house status is Fox Valley Coins, which had dropped from our rankings because of infrequent Proxibid auctions. Its November auction was one of the highlights on the portal.
Essentially, you should have an exciting time in the spirit of traditional auctioneering bidding in any auction by these top-houses.
New on the list this month are Jackson’s Auction, Auction Orange, and Star Coin and Currency, all offering regular good consignments with expandable photography and other amenities. Star Coin, for instance, ships inexpensively and quickly.
Some houses fell in the ranking because of slow shipping; others, problem coins, poor grading and/or inadequate descriptions.
What surprises us about these monthly rankings is how little an auction house actually has to do to improve its online brand and competition. In some cases, it means taking a little more time with descriptions; in others, investing in a better camera; in several, focusing more on shipping.
We have been receiving emails and comments about slow shipping. One auction routinely takes 2-3 weeks; some, we have to cajole through Proxibid customer service to pack their wares and ship. One auctioneer, asked about a tardy delivery, simply replied: “Already shipped out.” That’s nice, but when did it ship out and what is the tracking number?
In our opinion, slow or outsourced shipping, poor photography and inadequate descriptions are signs that a house has not yet adapted–or is unwilling to adapt–to the Internet.
Online buyers expect:
- Rapid shipping with professional packing.
- Sharp, expandable photos of both sides of a coin.
- Accurate lot descriptions.
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 cell 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.
Bulletin: You are a coin dealer–so read up, go to coin shows, join your local coin club!
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 to an all-time high of 25,267. Half of that total came in the past six months, with the majority of those from the United States, Canada and India, as this graphic shows.
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 a dozen views per week from all over the world, indicating once again that auctioneers need to take care before they label those tiny yellow tokens “gold.”
Moreover, we also surpassed 100 auction houses on our Honor Roll whose buyer premiums and customer service are appreciated.
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.