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.

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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One Big Booyah to Kaufman Coin Auction for identifying a base metal replica being passed off as a genuine 8 Reale Silver Crown.


competitors are

One Big Boo to his house for proclaiming “We Are Not In the Shipping Business!” News flash: Your competitors are. Consignors do consider these notices to bidders, and the wise auction house realizes that. In the Internet age, service comes first, and that includes shipping.


decatur description
Booyah Decatur Coins! for some of the best numismatic lot descriptions on the portal. Click photo to expand and see how much attention Decatur puts into each lot description, using it as an educational tool. That keeps bidders reading … and bidding!


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Booyah Leonard Auction! Top house Leonard Auction not only ranks among the best numismatic graders on the portal but always includes the word “Details” if there is a flaw in the coin, helping buyers bid with confidence.


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Boo! to this unnamed auction house valuing a silver melt Morgan worth $22 as being worth $1000. Where is this house pulling down numbers from?


norev

Boo! to this house for noting that the reverse of the coin is toned (but we won’t show it).


polished

Booyah SilverTowne Auction! for always noting when a coin has been polished or damaged.


quality

Booyah McKee Coins! for jam-packing information into a short description, including values and condition and state of devices.



RitMar Exchange_Varieties

Booyah RitMar Exchange! for accurate numismatic descriptions, including varieties. Way to go!


succinct

Booyah Weaver Auction! for more succinct, accurate numismatic descriptions–not to mention good photos and great customer service!


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.

Large estate, mammoth auction?

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One of our top auction houses has secured a large consignment nearly triple his regular auction, with another large consignment coming in at the same time. He asks, “What are the bidders’ perspective on this? I could definitely do two marathon auctions but I don’t want to have to worry about people dropping off if that’s the case.

Marathon auctions come with risks to both the onsite and online crowd. It’s difficult to keep the onsite crowd in a room for 8-10 hours. But it’s more difficult to keep the Internet crowd on Proxibid that long, too. And there are other more technical issues with those long sessions, with Proxibid’s technology signing out bidders if they wait too long for a desired lot.

We have seen Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction parse out large auctions into two-day affairs. Other auctions, such as Silver Trades, regularly schedules several sessions associated with a numismatic event featuring lots from that coin show, for instance.

We invite others reading this to answer our auctioneer’s question about marathon sessions.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Divide the lots into denominations. You can schedule copper lots on one day, for instance, and silver lots on another. Many bidders collect Lincoln cents and Morgans, for instance. Target your audience by scheduling two sessions.
  • Divide lots into rare and popular/common auctions. Assemble all your slabbed or ultra rare coins in one highly publicized auction with other, lesser lots into another.
  • Consider a mix of live and timed auctions. Some auctioneers, such as Jewelry Exchange and SilverTowne, schedule live auctions for the rarer lots and timed for the lesser ones with several highly desired coins to attract a crowd there, too.

There is another technical issue associated with long-session Proxibid auctions, live or timed. The technology signs you out if you are waiting too long for a desired lot. In the past, there was no notice that this was occurring, and many bidders, including Proxiblog, thought the onsite auctioneer was ignoring bids on lots scheduled later in the auction. We didn’t know that the technology signed us out.

Now, we believe, that glitch has been fixed and a notice appears that you have to sign in again. At least we saw that in the latest McKee Auctions, which routinely schedule marathon auctions. We like and admire Owen McKee, but we often grow weary waiting for desired lots to come on the block. Add to that the technology glitches, and we just cannot recommend marathon sessions.

Do you as an auctioneer or as a bidder have some advice? Do you agree with us? Do you have better suggestions–which we welcome, of course! Please comment!

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 Auction Takes Top Spot

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Capitol Coin Auction, winner of the overall Best Coin Auction on Proxiblog Award, continues to hold the top spot in our rankings, with Leonard Auction a close second, followed by some of the best coin auctions on the Proxibid portal, all essentially tied: Western, Weaver, SilverTowne, and Key Date Coins.

Capitol Coin Auction is known for accurate descriptions, great photography, fine coins and rarities, a 15% buyer’s premium and inexpensive, fast shipping.

Same can be said about Leonard Auction, which has a higher buyers’ premium but also excels in consignments, descriptions, value-aided considerations and so much more. Suffice to say we are excited to view the catalogs of Capitol and Leonard every time they are posted.

We especially anticipate eagerly the catalogs of Western Auction, whose coins often cross over to PCGS and whose photography excels.

Key Date Coins, SilverTowne and Weaver Coin and Currency are our stand-bys, with regular coin auctions that often entice with both rarities and affordable coins.

Rolling M has moved up in the rankings, based on increasingly fine consignments and marketing expertise.

Star Coin and Currency, Five Star Auction and Braxton Auctioneering all moved up in our rankings, too, with the latter new to the ratings. We hope to see more coin auctions from Braxton, a Loganville, Georgia house. Same holds true for Fox Valley Coins, one of our favorite houses, which promises more online sales in the coming year.

Engstrom Auctions makes a reappearance as a top coin seller. And McKee Coins enters our rankings for the first time, based on increasingly accurate, detailed descriptions and improved photographs.

Keep in mind that these are our favorite sellers, evaluated according to criteria on consignments, photos, descriptions, buyers’ premium and more. Your experience may differ from ours.

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 Auction Wins … “Best Descriptions”

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Capitol Coin Auction, operated by Brad Lisembee of Evansville, Indiana–a top-ranked house through much of 2012 on Proxiblog–has won the category of “Best Descriptions,” based on numismatic knowledge–especially the ability to identify flaws and rarities in consignments.

Once again, this was a close competition, as you will see in the Honorable Mentions category, with eight houses named whose auctioneers also are experienced numismatists. Last year’s winner was SilverTowne Auction (Honorable Mention this year) which still enjoys veteran numismatist Larry Fuller calling coins as he sees them.

Other Honorable Mentions are Key Date Coins, Leonard Auction, Liberty Shops, McKee Coin Auction, Star Coin and Currency, and Weaver Auction. (Key Date, Leonard and Weaver were Honorable Mentions last year, along with Capitol Coin.)

Click and expand the picture below to see how Brad Lisembee describes and adds to uncommon Civil War tokens slabbed by a top company.

Capitol

To give you an idea of how much information Capitol packs in its descriptions, click and expand the photo below.

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As noted previously, several Honorable Mention houses gave Lisembee a run for his “money,” literally. SilverTowne’s Larry Fuller was present most of the year with his snappy descriptions; Sean Cook of Liberty Shops Auctions remains one of the most meticulous graders on Proxibid; John Leonard of Leonard Auction is a conservative and respected numismatist; Owen McKee is sharing more of his numismatic knowledge; and Eddie Caven of Key Date Coins continues to describe flaws and VAMs with honesty and precision along with Dave Weaver of Weaver Auction and Jim Haver of Star Coin and Currency.

Moreover, all of the auctioneer-numismatists named above put a high premium on customer service and return customers. That’s why we’re delighted to honor Brad Lisembee with our Best Description Award and the above houses as Honorable Mentions in that 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.