New House Vastly Overestimates Coin Values

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We continue to see new houses on Proxibid believe they can guess at or exaggerate coin values in lot descriptions. This one, however, must believe in the hyped values, because he opens with a bid between 50-100% more than retail value of the coins.


Retail value of a 1923 Peace Dollar is $52, not $300-$400 with an opening bid pegged at $100 (inflated more with a 19% buyer’s premium). If a person won this lot on opening bid, the overpayment would tally $67 (without shipping).

Here’s a screenshot of the PCGS retail value for this exact coin:

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The auction house also exaggerates worth of an NGC-holdered coins, as in this screenshot:

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Here’s another screenshot of this exact coin with the retail value set by NGC, the company that graded this particular coin:

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As we continue to state, auctioneers who sell coins need to know how to cite value. PCGS values are high because its standards are among the most rigorous in the industry. NGC, also considered a top-tier company with high standards, commands premiums for its coins. However, its standards differ from those of PCGS, so it is also inappropriate to cite PCGS values for NGC coins.

ANACS and ICG are second-tier, mostly reliable grading companies. You should cite Red Book prices for them.

Here are the URLS:

As we have written in past posts, if you spot gross inaccuracies like the one above, report them to Proxibid and ask the company to alter the Unified User Agreement “4.4 Marketing and Accuracy of Materials” (OUR RECOMMENDATION IN ALL CAPS):

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

Until Proxibid cracks down on these practices, as eBay has done, bidders will suffer, and so eventually will the reputation of auction houses that persist in these questionable practices.

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 Nostalgia Connection

Nostalgia

We will run occasional grading checks on Proxibid auctions so you can see how we bid based on condition. These coins are from Nostalgia Connection’s Oct. 21 session. 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:

    1945-S

    “Very Fine” if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the VF30-35 level. We agree with this grade, but always look at the reverse photo to check if the 1945-S has the scarcer “mico S” mint mark. You can learn more about that by clicking here.


    1905_rimdingAU_agreed

    “Almost Uncirculated” if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the AU50-58 level. We agree with this grade, AU50, and appreciate that the seller has noted the rim-ding flaw in the description.


    1909_fine

    Fine” if it would grade between F12-15 at a major holdering company. Once more, we agree with this grade, though the coin is a bit scruffy and might merit a Very Good 10.


    1915_VG_agreed_reverse

    VERY GOOD if it would grade VG7-10 range on the Sheldon scale. We always check the reverse for buffalo nickels, and the seller includes that for our analysis. We agree.


    1942_UNC_noreversephoto

    Uncirculated” if it grades Unc. 60-63. (Unc. 64 is choice uncirculated, Unc. 65-66 gem, Unc.67 super gem). The auctioneer calls this MS64, but we can’t judge beyond uncirculated, especially since in this one case the reverse photo is missing.


    1902_agree

    Extra Fine” if it grades EF40-48 range. The coin is damaged, and the auctioneer notes that as polished. We see polishing and environmental or chemical damage.


    Generally, in our subjective but nonetheless expert opinion, we feel Nostalgia Connection is accurate to PCGS standards in almost all of its lots. This stands in contrast to several auction houses on Proxibid, many of which do not mention flaws. Nostalgia Connection has a reasonable 15% buyer’s premium, ships within two days and uses Auction Payment Network. We’re impressed!

    We hope to see better consignments in the future. Photos can be clearer to show luster, and again should not be taken on a slant, however sight.

    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 Nostalgia Connection’s grading based on our criteria: A.

    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.

Hyped Coins Taint Reputation

1928S_harsh

Look closely at the Peace dollar above. You’ll see it is harshly cleaned. How much would you pay over silver melt? $10? $30? How about $60,000? That’s what this Proxibid auction house suggests in its lot description.

Auctioneers who sell coins need to know how to cite value. PCGS values are high because its standards are among the most rigorous in the industry. NGC, also considered a top-tier company with high standards, commands premiums for its coins. However, its standards differ from those of PCGS, so it is also inappropriate to cite PCGS values for NGC coins.

ANACS and ICG are second-tier, mostly reliable grading companies. You should cite Red Book prices for them.

Here are the URLS:

Treat all other slabs, even PCI and Numistrust and so-called third-tier companies, with caution before stating any values.

In this case, we’re dealing with three levels of hype. Let’s start with how this coin appeared on Proxibid:

1928S_harsh1

The first hype is the slab itself, boasting that a harshly cleaned 1928-S is MS66. The second hype is the description that cites PCGS values at $60,000. The third hype is Proxibid’s lack of standards when it comes to values cited in lot descriptions.

As we have written in past posts, if you spot gross inaccuracies like the one above, report them to Proxibid and ask the company to alter the Unified User Agreement “4.4 Marketing and Accuracy of Materials” (OUR RECOMMENDATION IN ALL CAPS):

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

Until Proxibid cracks down on these practices, as eBay has done, bidders will suffer, and so eventually will the reputation of auction houses that persist in these questionable practices.

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.

Shoutout to Jewelry Exchange

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Appalled as we are with inflated values of bottom-tier slabs, Jewelry Exchange struck back with a lot description that instructs about bidding. We love it. Click to expand photo or read the description below.


    Item Description:

  • TIMES THE MONEY: Lot of 3 genuine U.S. peace silver dollars with high mint state grades assigned by bottom tier grading companies: Hallmark Coin Grading Service, Numismatic Grading Pros, & Investment Grade Coins. MS67? Try BS67! In reality, each coin would grade from about uncirculated to low-end mint state. Educate yourself as to which grading services are respected by the numismatic community & which are not. Certainly, these 3 are not! Buy the coin, NOT the slab. Times the money: bid per piece.

Now compare that to this hyped lot description of an auction company that not only showcases slabs like this but also uses PCGS price guide to state value. Click photo to expand or read the description below.

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    Item Description:
    1887-O MORGAN DOLLAR – NAC MS66 (PCGS WEBSITE LISTS A MS66 @ $35,000?)

First, never compare PCGS prices to non-PCGS-slabbed coins. Even for PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG, before you bid, always check the latest auction values with a subscription to PCGS CoinFacts.

The coin above not only looks cleaned and damaged, ungradeworthy by PCGS or NGC; it certainly isn’t worth $35,000!

When will Proxibid change its Unified User Agreement to add this clause, preventing hype like this–our recommendation in all caps?

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

At any rate, Jewelry Exchange has been a top-rated Proxiblog house for years because of its numismatic lot descriptions and great customer service. We’re thankful for that and salute auctioneers David and Adam Bluestein. (Incidentally, both share their knowledge about coins and precious gems in a weekly radio show, In the Money.)

On Proxibid, they are “In the Know,” as evidenced by this shoutout!

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.

New Proxibid House, Same Old Hyped Values

Click to expand screenshot to see incredibly exaggerated values for common Morgan dollars coupled by outlandish opening bids. We wrote about this phenomenon last week, urging Proxibid in this post to change the Unified User Agreement, because hyped values undermine the company’s brand of “trust.”

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As we reported last week, new auction houses should be monitored for potentially unethical practices of stating values without regard to accuracy, eroding bidder confidence. Take a closer look at how inflated these values are:

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If you spot gross inaccuracies like the ones above, report them to Proxibid and ask the company to alter the Unified User Agreement “4.4 Marketing and Accuracy of Materials” (OUR RECOMMENDATION IN ALL CAPS):

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

Again as we reported last week, whenever you see slabbed coins from major houses–PCGS, NGC, ANACS, ICG–you can always check the real retail value. Just copy down the certification number for PCGS and NGC lots and then visit their retail value database for the exact coin being offered on Proxibid. For PCGS, click here. For NGC, click here.

For ANACS and ICG, you don’t need to copy the cert and look in databanks. We recommend subscribing to CoinFacts to learn latest auction prices.

However, as in the cases above, this method will not work for raw coins (ones not in holders). In that case, you need to know how to grade coins (view posts in Proxiblog and other numismatic websites). If you don’t know how to grade, or don’t want to learn, then only purchase coins by the top grading companies above … after having checked their retail values.

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.

Don’t Inflate Grades in Proxibid Auctions

We continue to see grossly inflated values and mint-state conditions on Proxibid. Here is lot after lot described as mint state 68, virtually unheard of in Morgan coin collecting, especially on the portal. In fact we cannot remember one such coin offered by a Proxibid house slabbed by PCGS or NGC in the past four years. (Click to expand photo.)


hyped

We don’t know who, if anyone, is fooled by lot descriptions like the ones above. But we did a little research for you on each individual lot, noting the extreme rarity of MS68 Morgans–let alone five in a row in an unreserved auction.

The coins in this lot appear to be dipped and/or low mint state. But it is difficult to tell because the photos aren’t razor-sharp as they must be before we recommend bidding.

The excuse for inflated descriptions, of course, is that grading is subjective. Maybe so. But not when buyers consult guidebooks that show MS68 coins worth thousands of dollars. The best practice is to be true to grading standards as set by the American Numismatic Association.

However, the next time you see an MS68 Morgan on Proxibid, compare it to this true super gem below:

trueMS68

This Morgan dollar is virtually flawless with clean fields and cheek with an unbelievably strong strike. This silver lot is worth more than its weight in gold. The ones in the Proxibid examples above are worth little more perhaps than their silver melt.

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.

Value: 1885 MS64 Morgan worth thousands?

Sometimes a coin picture is worth 1000 words, if you know the certification number and how to verify what the lot description states on Proxibid. We see so many of these problems on Proxibid that we will continue to remind our viewers how to check value before placing a bid. Otherwise, bidders can lose hundreds of dollars and auctioneers, return customers.(Click photo to expand.)



nowords

METHOD:

  1. Expand slab to view certification number.
  2. If PCGS, go here. If NGC, go here.
  3. Compare the auctioneer’s value with the retail value of the coin.
  4. If grossly overstated, use the “report this item” link on Proxibid to let the company know what you found.

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.