“We decided to charge 10% buyer’s premium a year or so ago because we have streamlined our processes. In addition, we use BP to offset additional costs to our clients (sellers) and not as a profit center as some other companies do.

“Even at 10%, a buyer will divide the amount by 1.1 to come up with the maximum price they will pay for an item. 10% is EASY compared to the 15-18% and up that some companies charge. Now granted, everyone has their rationale for how and what they charge, so I am not chastising anyone with these comments. We choose to go our own way.”

Darron Meares, MBA, CAI, MPPA, BAS
COO – Meares Auction Group
Meares Auction Group
315 Eastview Road
Pelzer, SC 29669

http://www.TheAuctionMethod.com

Main: 864-947-2000
Alternate: 800-689-5654
Fax: 864-947-1717


These Houses Can Grade!

This is the second installment about the need for coin auctioneers to understand grading. The first listed the Do’s and Don’ts of grading. This cites houses that described raw coins so accurately that PCGS, the most rigorous holdering company in the business, agreed with their grades when Proxiblog sent the coins in for authentication.

Silvertowne: 1880-CC. Lot desccribed coin as MS62-63; coin returned by PCGS, MS62.


Matthew Bullock Auctioneers: 1883-O MS64DMPL; coin returned by PCGS, MS64DMPL.


Leonard Auction: 1903 PCGS Old Green Holder, MS64, possible upgrade; coin returned by PCGS, MS65.


Capitol Coin Auction: 1885-O, rainbow color, MS63; coin returned by PCGS MS63.


Fox Valley Coins: 1991-CC, MS64; coin returned by PCGS, MS64.


We have had similar luck with certain auctions sending to NGC, among them, Manor Auctions, Kreuger and Kreuger, Key Date Coins and Engstrom Auction. We have come close on occasion at NGC or PCGS (within a point) with Western, Weaver, Arneson, Meares, Scott and Kaufman auctions.


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 Goes International: New Rankings and Sponsors

In as much as Proxibid registers bidders from around the world, small wonder that Proxiblog–which covers the portal’s coin auctions–also should go global. Click picture to expand, and you will see where our 1500-plus views came from in the first 21 days of March.

Our site has logged 13,000 views in the past six months. What does this mean for those who follow our blog?

First of all, those who have sponsored a week’s posts on Proxiblog–GreatCollections, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, Western Auction, James Peterson, Krause Auctioneering, Leonard Auction and Scott Auctions, to name a few–are getting their “donation’s worth.” Companies that sponsor our site for a week simply visit this link and typically make a tax-deductible donation from $10-$1000.

This week we will feature our first numismatic publication, Coin Update, as official sponsor.

Our most popular posts include “Boos and Booyahs,” “Articles” page (a virtual text in online auctioneering), and the series on “Consignor Viewing and Maximum Bid” policies.

All the while we have been keeping track of coin auctions, sparking new rankings in the right sidebar. Several of these auction companies are thriving because of ever better consignments, sharper expandable photos, inexpensive shipping and monthly specials.

All meet our Honor Roll standards of 15% or lower buyer’s fee. These houses also typically invest in APN clearance and schedule regular coin auctions, in some cases, a half dozen or more per month.

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction remains doggedly in first place, primarily because Dave and Cheryl Weaver surprise us each month, be it with snappy online advertisements, shipping specials, expert photography, accurate lot descriptions, and low online buyer’s fees (10%, with occasional discounts on gold).

Western Auction continues to hold on to second place with superior consignments, photography and quick, inexpensive shipping.

We’ve seen continuous improvement in Meares and Rolling M. Auctions, with Engstrom Auctions gearing up for more enhancements in the coming weeks, soliciting bidder feedback–nice touch, that!

Other top-ranked houses typically do not see prebids or allow consignor bidding. We still include those in our rankings because of our own transparency about that, especially our top-viewed series on the topic, as referenced above.

If you are an auctioneer, we hope you will continue to visit Proxiblog for best practices. If you are a bidder, we hope that you will find our posts informative on how and where to spend your numismatic money. And if you are a sponsor, or would like to become one, we thank you on behalf of college students, easing their debt with scholarships and ensuring the next generation of bidders.

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.

Scott Auctions wins “Best Shipping” honor

Scott Auctions, a Stephens City, Va., firm, has won Proxiblog’s “Best Shipping” Award, combining great consignments–see his archived Jan. 2, 2012 auction–with $10 flat-rate shipping for all winning bids.

Other auctions have adopted the same shipping policy, but owner Scott Strosnider was among the first to use it for coins, knowing how most winning lots can be sent inexpensively insured with adequate postage through the U.S. Post Office.

Another reason we favored Scott’s house in this close competition is his generosity as one of our most experienced auctioneers. You may not know that he regularly gives advice to other Proxibid houses, sharing his expertise willingly without fear of competition.

Scott’s father, auctioneer Leon W. Strosnider, called auctions for more than four decades. Scott learned the trade from his dad as a child “running clerk sheets and then as leading Ringman. He learned it inside out and from the ground up.”

His auction house was one of our original Honor Roll companies with buyer’s fees of 15%, good photography and, of course, quality shipping.

Why not send Scott a congratulatory note, especially auctioneers who have benefited from his counsel? He’s a gentleman who would appreciate that.

Once again, Scott Strosnider had stiff competition from these Honorable Mention companies: Arneson Auctions, Key Date Coins, Krause Auctioneering, Meares Auction and Silvertowne Auctions.

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.

Key Date Coin is “Most Improved”

Key Date Coin, an Oklahoma house, has been named “most improved” on Proxiblog, with owner Eddie Caven not only learning the portal ropes but also working diligently to master the fine points of numismatics.

You can read his “On the Block” here.

He has spent the year trying to find the right mix of consignments, buyer’s fees (as low as 14%) and specials, going through a period of high opening bids before concluding that low ones trigger competition (now opening at $5 per lot). He has mastered online advertising, keeping his newsletters pertinent, brief and newsworthy.

His digital photography, combined with numismatic lot descriptions (including VAMs), rank among the best on Proxiblog.

He has earned the “Most Improved” status because Eddie is not afraid to experiment to find the right Proxibid ingredients to spark competition while providing fair and informed descriptions of quality well-photographed coins described numismatically. His shipping is fast, usually within a week, and he sometimes even cuts costs if a bidder wins one inexpensive item–a $15 Franklin half, for example.

We hope that bidders reading this post will visit his auction (the next is scheduled Jan. 7, 2012) to verify much of what we have praised. Other auctioneers might send him a congratulatory note in the spirit of NAA collegiality.

We applaud Eddie in winning this award. He had stiff competition from our Honorable Mention houses in this category, which include Auctions Unlimited, Arneson Auction, Culpeper Auction, Engstrom Auctions, Meares Auction and Rolling M. 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.

Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

When items warrant, Proxiblog will lament and compliment best and bad auctioneer lot descriptions in this light-hearted feature. We will name the best, but you will have to search Proxibid for the bad. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions)

Booyah! To Meares Auctions for being proud of its 10% buyer’s fee and showcasing that in its email blasts! Meares keeps on improving customer service and consignments. Kudos atop booyahs!


Boo! to this unnamed auctioneer who not only posts blurred, impossible pictures but also lists a 1966 clad Quarter Dollar as “40% silver.” Why sell online if you cannot provide the visuals, let along accurate lot descriptions?


Booyah! To Capitol Auctions for a detailed historical description of “CONSTANTINE THE GREAT” ancient coin. It takes time to write accurate lot descriptions, especially on coins, but they lure the high-rollers and Capitol knows that, explaining its top-caliber consignments.


Booyah! to Silvertowne Auctions for identifying rim damage on a coin whose picture does not readily show that. Silvertowne tops our list of best online auction houses because of its expert numismatist who writes the best lot descriptions on Proxibid!


Boo! to this unnamed auction house that thinks a $4 mint set is “an investment” and wants 15% buyer’s fee plus $19.95 shipping to send it!


Boo! to this unnamed auctioneer who used the same picture for several Carson City dollars without noting that a stock photo was being used (or the same in-house photo for each GSA Moorgan). Why do auctioneers take shortcuts with photos when contracting with an online portal like Proxibid?!


Booyah! To Big Fellows Auction in its first Proxibid auction for accurate lot descriptions, including this one noting the tube of silver eagles were pristine out of a monster box (when some eagles of dubious condition are often just stored in such a tube).

Boo! to this unnamed auction house that took a picture of a US Mint box without also photographing the coins inside, not only on this but on eight similar lots, which confuses us, as there is gold inside … unless wanting to give the onsite audience an edge because they have access to the coins on display. We don’t like to think that, even though none of the sets containing gold sold to Proxibidders. That’s just probably an outcome of an auction house taking shortcuts with digital photography. There are no visual shortcuts in online coin selling. That’s a good lesson with which to end this post!


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.

Four More Houses Meet Proxiblog Criteria

Meares Auction Group and Culpepper Auction top four more Proxibid houses that have met or exceeded Proxiblog standards, lowering Internet buying fees to 10% for upcoming auctions on May 25 and May 28. Meares and Culpepper, which advance to our top sites (see rankings to the right), are joined by Furlo Auction Service and Key Date Coin Auctions, both of which now have 15% online buyer’s fees.

Culpepper Auction, which features fine customer service, recently worked with Proxiblog to remove from a prior listing a Morgan dollar in a fake PCGS holder. This is the type of response that helps the hobby.

These four auctioneers have brought the total to 22 of “honor roll” houses selling coins on Proxibid and meeting or exceeding Proxiblog standards.

As noted in the article “The Three ‘C’s of Proxiblog,” these houses are willing to compete for bids and consignments, knowing more auctions will be selling coins during the down economy.

Congratulations to all four!