Inflated Descriptions Can Be Checked–Tread Carefully!

We tire of seeing new houses on Proxibid inflating coin prices and believing that bidders will pay them. That’s not the way to win return customers online because sooner or later the buyer will be informed about the overpayment and then hold the lack of honesty against you. Our top houses to the right understand that. Time the newbies to Proxibid did, too!

Click photos to expand and see comments

The lot below gives ridiculous price ranges of $1500-$3000 for $150-$200 worth of common silver proof half dollars. Advice: Anyone who believes this should compare prices at the local coin shop.

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This common Morgan dollar retails for $68, not $269. Easy to check as the coin has a certification number.
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You can do the same with PCGS slabs. This common time is said to have a retail of $150–expected hammer price (quite arrogant, we think, for any online auctioneer to state; if there’s a reserve, post it!). Coin’s worth $41.

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This is how it’s done. See this lot by SilverTowne Auctions, putting a price hundreds below what an almost uncirculated 1875-S twenbty-cent piece would cost.
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Lesson: Be honest. It’s the best practice.

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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Update Your Email and Network Socially for Bidder Interaction

Some auction houses on Proxibid do not include their email addresses, thus eliminating bidder interaction that typically means more and higher bids. Other auction houses are savvy enough to add an “info” account to their email services, engaging bidders and ensuring return sales. The auction business is changing as more bidders migrate online. Would you ignore onsite sellers who stop at your house to see lots? Don’t ignore Internet bidders. Instead, correspond with them on your site and on social networks.

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Recently Garrison Auctioneers sent us an excellent example of how to open an information channel with your bidders and ensure that your messages are being received rather than trashed by browser settings. The photo above features text that reaches out to the Internet audience. You should be doing the same.

Engstrom Auction, Weaver Auction, SilverTowne Auctions, Leonard Auction and nearly all of our top-ranked houses have been doing this for years. It’s time for you to do the same, if you want online sales to increase.

Decatur Coin and Jewelry not only interacts with online bidders but also uses social networks, again as many of our top houses do. See example below.

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When Decatur Coin and Jewelry sends an email, it reminds bidders to “like them” on Facebook. (We did!)

The auctioneering business is changing rapidly. We have been at the forefront of advising you on best practices. Pay heed, and buyers will pay you back with compliments and bids.

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.

Seller Asks About Descriptions: Installment #2


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A new coin seller on Proxibid asked us pertinent questions about best practices, and we promised to share our opinion and to solicit yours in the comment section. Auctioneers look to this site for recommendations on how to sell, ship and improve their services. The more you and we share, the more bidders will be drawn to our sites. We will treat each question as a post running throughout the week. Scroll down to view previous questions and answers. Here is installment two.

QUESTION:What do you look for in descriptions?

PROXIBLOG: Rule #1: Lot descriptions must match photos and titles. Too often, especially with new sellers, they do not.

Rule #2: The title should carry the date and denomination of the coin along with a condition descriptor. Do not use the Sheldon Scale (0-70) if you are not an experienced numismatist. Use “Good (G),” “Very Good, (VG)” “Fine (F),” “Extra Fine (XF),” “Almost Uncirculated (AU),” “Uncirculated (Unc.),” “Brilliant Uncirculated (BU).”

Rule #3: The lot description should cite PCGS values for PCGS Coins, NGC Values for NGC Coins, and Redbook or Coin World Values for ANACS and ICG. Be careful about assigning any dollar value to raw coins or lots slabbed by bottom-tier companies. Never cite PCGS Values for raw coins or coins holdered by any other company.

Rule #4: Note any flaws: rim bumps and dents, holes, scratches, cleaning, dipping, etc. If you don’t know how to identify these flaws, bone up on the skill with our “Find the Flaw” series on Proxiblog. (Type “Find the Flaw” in our search box for results.)

Rule #5: Check out our top houses to view examples of some of the best lot descriptions on the portal. For a primer, we recommend SilverTowne, Decatur Coin, Weaver Auction, Southwest Bullion, Capitol Coin Auction, and Leonard Auction.

Next installment: Any insight on shipping and packing?

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.


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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.


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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?


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


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


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



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


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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.

Coin Dealer Newbies

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Savvy coin dealers know that the expense of online sessions–from credit cards to shipping–require cherry consignments of the type that Fox Valley, SiverTowne and Capitol Auction regularly bring to bidders. Newbie dealers see Internet as a convenient way to sell off junk silver and clad mint sets taking space in their shop safes. Nothing is more boring than to peruse such a catalog on Proxibid.

Coin dealers may know how to grade or describe numismatic lots, but auctioneers know how to assemble a winning catalog to make a profit, and that means, searching out estates for collections and/or relying on experienced buyers to send in rarities and varieties of all denominations, from ancient coins to slabbed ones by top holdering companies.

Look to the rankings in the right sidebar. Those earning 24.5 points almost always feature such consignments, and the result is, they get more–from all over the country–because these auctioneers know how to generate excitement by taking risks, which often include low buyer’s premiums or no-reserve lots.

The worst combination online is a mint set sale with opening bids above retail, and that is what we are weary of seeing when a new coin dealer signs on with Proxibid.

Take a look at the lots and opening bids of the catalog below. (Click to expand photo.)

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The dealer is opening bids at $12 and $13 for clad 1970s “mint sets” which are really proof sets, but why bother to waste time getting the lot description right? The silver three-coin set opens at $35.

Now take a look at retail prices for these sets, $10 and $12 with $26 for the three-coin set. (Click to expand photo.)

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Worse, this new Proxibid house charges a buyer’s premium for use of credit card and promises to ship within 10-14 business days after funds have cleared.

Is this service, which online communities demand?

Once again, as we have done regularly in the past, we recommend that the Proxibid sales team assemble a best-practice document so that new clients don’t make these newby mistakes. Once a house is known for selling like this, it earns a reputation and is overlooked by bidders.

We hang out with coin dealers. We hear them say Internet is killing their businesses.

Maybe dealers are doing the bulk of the damage by trying to sell off their bulk and backlogged holdings.

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 and compliments best and bad auctioneer lot descriptions during the past week. We will name the best, but you will have to search Proxibid for the bad. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)

bezeled

One Big Booyah! to Leonard Auction for identifying flaws in this bezeled coin (grade and details) in addition to the karat of the bezel.


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One Big Boo! (or several) to this auction house that doesn’t know coins enough to note the mint mark on this and other lots. Bidders steal coins from consignors when this happens.


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One Big Booyah! to Dave Nauert at SilverTowne who does his bidders a service by noting this gold coin was once bezeled as jewelry, significantly lowering the value of the lot. Other auctioneers typically do not state or see the jewelry mark. SilverTowne is a top company on our blog in part because of its expert grading.


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Booyah Munda Auction! for describing pin holes in the currency which, like bezeled coins, descreases value. We bid in Munda Auctions because of its superior grading, as described in this post.


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Boo! to this auction house that claims full split bands–a device on the reverse–without depicting the reverse. Come on, folks!


nottoned

Boo! to this auction company that doesn’t understand how improperly cleaned coins can retone. Note the dull colors. Toning should be bright and reflective on most copper coins.


nottoned_altered color

Booyah Star Coin and Currency! for noting artificial color on this lot. This is how it’s done, folks!


polished

Booyah BidALot Auction! for noting this coin has been polished, often hard to cipher from online photos.


notinvestment

Boo! to this auction company for continuing to state as “investment” horrible silver melt coins like this one, worth about $8.


weaver_cleaning

Booyah Weaver Auction! for noting when coins are cleaned. We bid with confidence in auctions by Dave and Cheryl Weaver because of their ethics and 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.

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.

Western Auction Stays on Top

New rankings based on February’s auctions, our participation, service terms and consignments show Western Auction on top with quality raw coins that actually grade well at PCGS, as well as 10% buyer’s fee, quick shipping, and excellent numismatic photography. Leonard Auction was a close second, with Weaver Signature Coin Auction, SilverTowne, Liberty Shops, Star Coin and Currency, Jewelry Exchange and Rolling M Auctions all rising after exciting online and timed sessions on Proxibid. And Proxiblog has also risen in viewership, surpassing 30,500 lifetime views with an ever-expanding global audience.

The quality of our top houses–those earning 24-24.5 out of 25 points–has really become a matter of taste and consignment. You can find anything from rare coins to bargains in all of the ranked auction houses. They don’t see maximum bids, and they don’t shill bid, either, providing expandable photography and often, numismatic descriptions. Some houses dropped in the rankings because of fewer sessions, which means they will rise again with their next big consignment.

We still see way too many dipped and altered coins being sent to the same auctions not included in our rankings. And newcomers aren’t always being adequately informed about what the online audience seeks in Internet bidding. Unfortunately, we still see Proxibid auction houses charging too much for shipping or using third-party shippers, seeking credit card information rather than APN clearance, and otherwise hyping lots (including fakes and replicas).

Speaking of which, the top post remains “California Gold: real, replica and fake,” which now attracts more than 50 viewers per week, indicating the extent of the counterfeit problem often found in online portals, including eBay and Proxibid.

As the chart below shows, Proxiblog continues to increase its worldwide audience with almost 18,000 views in the past year and 30,500 lifetime views from the United States and countries across continents. (Click to expand chart below.)

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We have received several complimentary emails regarding our occasional sponsorship prize giveaways by Liberty Shops and Star Coin and Currency, and we thank all of our auction houses for supporting our scholarship fund.

Now for our disclaimer: Our rankings are based on our experience dealing with select auction houses, akin to “Favorite Sellers” on eBay. Your experience may differ from ours.