Master Catalog Descriptions

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Proxibid catalogs are accessed when a bidder clicks on the “Coin Category.” This is your chance to lure buyers to your sessions. Don’t blow it.

This catalog copy scares away bidders, laying down rules. Click photo to expand:

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Descriptions reads:

    NOTE: TO ALL BUYERS ITEMS MUST PAID OR PICKED-UP WITHIN 3 DAYS OF INVOICE. ALL ITEMS SOLD AS IS. ALL SALES FINAL!


This catalog header simply states:Don’t miss this auction!
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For those of us who know Mascari, that may be enough. For new bidders, probably not.


Engstrom Auction features a key gold coin in its billboard with a full description of the catalog … and also touts its excellent shipping.

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Huge collection of coins from the estate of an avid and long time coin collector! High number of quality, rare, and unique coins with a wide variety for everyone! Guaranteed to ship next day!


We know it takes a lot of time and energy to post a terrific catalog. But don’t short yourself by skimping on the title page of your auction!

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 bad auctioneer lot descriptions and praises the best in recent auctions. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)


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Booyah Capitol Auction! for great descriptions, as in this State Quarter collection. Note that Auctioneer Brad Lisembee adds mint sets so that buyers complete the missing quarters. That adds extra $$$ to the sale. This is an example of why Capitol is a top house on Proxiblog!


cleaned

Booyah Weaver Auction! for consistently identifying cleaned coins, which are upgradeable by major holding companies and which are difficult for buyers to detect online. It’s a small courtesy that brings return customers to this top house!


damage

Another Booyah to top-house SIlverTowne Auction for noting damage on coins. Would that more houses did this!


McKee

Booyah McKee Auction! for precise, concise descriptions with good photography.


not66

Boo! to this house for consistently calling lots key dates and overgrading the coins. Photos aren’t great; but we tested by buying once or twice, and what we suspected was what we got.


notgold

Boo! to this house for calling a plated replica California gold. This is the biggest coin problem on the portal, and one of the biggest problems in numismatics. To tell the difference between replica and real, see our post “California Gold: real replica and fake,” which averages hundreds of views per month.


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Booyah Mascari Auction! for showing how to list replica plated bear-on-reverse lots!


silverweight

Booyah BidALot Auction! for providing silver weight on foreign coins, a small but helpful descriptor.


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Boo! to this house for hyping value of lower-tier slabs, using PCGS values–something PCGS does not appreciate, as their slabbed coins are among the most accurate on the market. This coin would probably not even grade at PCGS, as it looks cleaned to us.


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Booyah Jewelry Exchange! for showing how to list coins in bottom-tier slabs.


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.

Mascari Lowers BP for Sell-Through

We have to hand it to Mascari Auction Company, a house that schedules regular Proxibid auctions that usually have a 19% BP. Last week, during a sale of some of the best coins we have seen recently on the portal, the company sent an email blast lowering the BP to 9%.


We advocate low buyer’s premiums. Some houses, like Liberty Shops Auctions, have decreased it to zero to effect sell-throughs time after time. Silver Trades also lowered its BP this week to 13%.

Mascari took the hint with a consignment of pricey Morgans, DMPLs and other rarities and lowered the premium with outstanding results.

Auctioneer Mark Upton noted superb results. “We only had the sale up for 3 days! The sale brought $32,000 For just a short auction of 45 lots. the promotion went great!”

We applaud Mascari which, by the way, posts transparency notices (as does Silver Trades), which we discourage. But we’re so pleased to see the sell-through and competitive bidding and happy for all the bidders who won choice coins in Mascari’s Nov. 8 auction.

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.

Grading Mascari Auction Company

We will run occasional grading checks on Proxibid auctions so you can see how we bid based on condition. These coins are from Mascari Auction Company’s October timed sessions. We grade on PCGS standards as found on Photograde, admittedly more conservative than grading of most auctioneers but still the standard in numismatics. Click pictures below to expand.

We call a coin:

    “Gem Uncirculated” if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the MS65 or higher level. We agree with this grade; however, because Mascari photos do not capture luster–a common problem on Proxibid (which we don’t understand–see this article on sharp photos taken with an inexpensive cell phone)–we will not bid on this coin.


    “Choice Uncirculated” if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the MS63-64 level. Mascari calls this 60+. We agree with the grade but not with the designation as this coin appears to have a staple scratch descending from the chin to the left of the date. Also, the top feathers appear to have cabinet rub or cleaning. We will not bid.


    “MINT STATE or UNCIRCULATED” if it would grade MS60-63. This looks like a slider to us. If the photo showed the level of luster, we would bid, because an AU58 1916 nickel is somewhat scarce.


    Almost Uncirculated” if it would grade AU50-58. We agree with this grade, but will not bid because the coin has a dull sheen–rare for gold–indicating it may be cleaned. Again, Mascari’s photos cannot help us here as they do not show luster.


    “Proof-like” if it shows a mirror sheen that can reflect 3 or more inches on both sides of a coin. We agree with the grade; we cannot see any mirror effect due to the quality of photo. We will not bid.


    VERY FINE” if it would grade VF20-35. We agree with this grade.


    FINE” if it would grade F12-18. We agree with this grade.


    Very Good” if it will grade VG6-8. We agree with this grade.


    California Fractional Gold” if it has a 1, 1/2, 1/4 dollar designation or some other qualifying device, but never a bear. This is a brass replica banned on eBay but not Proxibid. Some auctioneers believe if they use the word “token” they are on solid grounds. We have seen this inaccurate designation used across the Proxibid portal. For more on this topic, click here.


    Generally, in our subjective but nonetheless expert opinion, we feel Mascari Auction Company grades fairly accurately on the Sheldon numerical scale. However, it does not generally designate borderline problems such as faint scratches, hairlines or dipping, and its photography is substandard, able to show condition but not luster. We do bid on Mascari coins, almost all of them slabbed by PCGS, NGC or ANACS, because the company does offer a good selection. However, it also has way too many factors in its favor: photos that do not show luster, a 19% buyer’s premium, and disclosures that allow it to see maximum bids and ghost-bid. Thus, it is very difficult here to find bargains unless you know numismatics and/or are willing to take a chance on inability to view luster. We encourage Mascari to upgrade its photography; if we can show luster with a cell phone picture, the company can do it, too.

    As noted, grading is in part subjective, and is difficult to do via online photographs. Our designations are based on how we bid and why. Thus, the overall grade on Mascari Auction grading based on our criteria: B-.

    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.