Due Diligence: Another Weaver Auction Trait

due diligence

Folks wonder why Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction typically tops our rankings and why the company is often featured on Proxiblog. Here’s a perfect example.


The majority of auctioneers on Proxibid would not have mentioned the scratch, even if it is on the flip (which indicates a quality consignor, by the way). They would take a photo of obverse and perhaps reverse without the trademark sharpness that is essential in telling a coin’s true condition. Moreover, several Proxibid auctioneers would hype the coin as being worth hundreds of dollars at MS 65 … or MS 67 … or even MS68, like this unnamed auctioneer:

due diligence2

No, Dave Weaver never hypes coins. In fact, in this case, he takes another close-up shot of the scratch so that bidders can see what, exactly, they are bidding on:
due diligence1

As long as Weaver Auction takes these extra steps, they will earn more than commissions. They will earn trust and return customers.

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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Weaver Coin Auction

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction has remained one of Proxiblog’s top houses for four years running, primarily because owners Cheryl and Dave Weaver combine talents in communication and numismatics with a rich history in the auctioneering business.

Weaver Auction is family owned in its 20th year of specializing in selling coins, currency and other numismatic items. The company ranks among the top numismatic sellers on Proxibid (six badges!) for good reason. Their consignments excel. They promote their auctions expertly in concise email advertising. They have low or tiered online buyer’s fees. They specialize in customer service. They ship quickly and inexpensively. Their photography is sharp, expandable and exceptional.

They also treat their consignors with extraordinary service, sending checks within one week and sending consignment lists for good record-keeping. Proxiblog buys and sells with the Weavers.

Another reason for the Weavers’ success is their ability to convey via Internet the excitement of an onsite auction. Their staff is on hand not only to call auctions and serve those in attendance but also to fix technology glitches and insure a safe, secure and trustworthy online experience. The Weavers pride themselves on many long-term customers who have been attending their auctions for years. More important, they also appreciate equally as well their hundreds of online customers.

Dave Weaver, a graduate of the Missouri Auction School, is a licensed auctioneer. Cheryl is the “detail” half of this combo with emphasis on accuracy, scheduling and communication. The Weavers are members of The American Numismatic Association, National Auctioneer Association and the Missouri Professional Auctioneer Association.

We thank Weaver Coin and Currency Auction for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders!

Rankings stabilize; some houses dropped; views keep rising!

For the first time in our four-year history, no new auction house has been added to our rankings. But there has been movement. We have seen continual improvement in the past year in four houses in particular–Back to the Past Collectibles, Star Coin and Currency, A New Day Auctions, and Auctions by Wallace–breaking into the top 10. Other houses, not named here, have been dropped. We’ll share the reasons. Finally, our audience now exceeds 55,000 views worldwide!


We’ll begin with our consistent leaders–Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction and Capitol Coin Auction–which hold the top spots because of quality control across the spectrum, including photos, shipping, buyer’s premium, quality consignments and numismatic accuracy. In other words, when Dave Weaver or Brad Lisembee say a coin is gem, you can be relatively sure it is or is close to being so by PCGS standards, the toughest grading company in the business.

You may not know it, but Dave and Cheryl Weaver and Brad Lisembee worked with us early in Proxiblog’s existence to follow best practices. And then both not only adopted them but added to them and came up with innovations of their own.

Star Coin and Currency did the same thing about 1 1/2 years ago and now is an exceptional house. C. Scott Lovejoy of Back to the Past Collectibles not only embraced our best practices but worked with us on photography and now is a hair behind our top houses. With a few more choice consignments, this may be a front-runner soon. And Kendra Stevens and Sheena Wallace are following our best practices now, and you can clearly see it in photos, lot descriptions and much more.

You can find those best practices in our Amazon Kindle book, Online Coin Auctioneering for dealer, estate and eBay sellers.

Our other trusty stand-bys in the top tiers of our rankings continue to excite us every time they schedule an auction. A few still can improve, however. Jewelry Exchange, SilverTowne Auction (which has the best consignments on the portal), Rolling M. Auctions (the best marketing), and Kaufman Auction need to sharpen their photography one more notch to capture luster and clarity (so varieties can be discerned).

Charles Commander, owner of Midwest Coins, did something very praiseworthy during the summer in his auctions: He asked bidders how he could improve. As we’re also an occasional bidder in his auctions, and consider Charles a friend and fellow Iowan numismatist, we strongly encourage him to work a little more on photography.

We’ll give one example that can serve for our entire critique.

Deep mirror proof-like raw coins used to be difficult to photograph. Not really any more. Here’s an example from Rolling M.:

RollingM_Dmpl

Here’s a photo we took without a tripod or light box with our Samsung Galazy 4 smartphone:

dmpl_samsung

Which photo do you think would start a bidding war? Rolling M. in our view probably can claim the best realized prices on the portal. Mark Murphy is that good. But even in the best there is room for improvement.

Also, we are having a problem with some of our favorite houses. You know who you are. Here’s the issue at hand: We know coin dealers–not ones scheduling events on Proxibid–but ones sending consignments to houses on the portal. A few of our favorite houses are in danger of being dropped because they receive dipped, doctored and otherwise dealer rejects hyped in lot descriptions.

We encourage ANY Proxibid house to take care when accepting consignments from coin dealers. Why would they look to you to sell their coins when they own coin shops? Answer: They don’t want these damaged, cleaned, scratched, carbon-spotted coins in their display windows.

We dropped one house because of that this month.

We are also dropping houses that insist on calling counterfeit California plated brass replicas “gold,” “fractional gold,” “tokens,” etc. By the way, there are collectible gold tokens but ones with bears on the reverse are fake and genuine tokens difficult to identify without numismatic knowledge.

If you want to bone up on those small coins, read our most popular post tallying 100 views per week: California Gold: Real, Replica and Fake.

Standards during the summer on Proxibid fell rather than rose in our opinion. We’ll share the evidence in the next month or two. We are holding the portal responsible for not requiring auctioneers to change lots that are clearly misidentified. Here’s an example:

1889-S

This auction had at least three misidentified lots. The one above is not an 1889-S but an 1889, less rare. We used the “Report the Item” multiple times, and nothing was changed. We know mistakes happen. But Proxibid has an obligation to bidders to ensure that misidentified lots are corrected–not for the onsite crowd–but for the Internet ones.

We also saw counterfeits being sold. In one lot in particular a house warned bidders that a purported rare coin might be counterfeit. It was clearly a fake. We provided proof. We used the report the item button. The lot remained online and sold.

Don’t get us wrong: We promote Proxibid whenever we can. And the company has taken out full-page ads, very slick, in Coin World and other venues. But we also need to point out where the company can do better, and this is one area. When someone uses the “Report the Item,” it is your obligation not only to inform the auctioneer but to consider what is being said and to correct obvious errors or misrepresentations. By including the “Report the Item” as a Proxibid feature of trust, the company’s brand, you are now responsible to see these things through.

Finally, a few notes about rankings:

  • Consignments typically are key to our rankings. Any house scoring 24.5 points practices and/or exceeds our Honor Roll standards.
  • Regularly scheduled events on Proxibid play into rankings. Some of our best houses are dropping in the ratings because they have not scheduled a recent coin auction.
  • Our favorite houses are just that–ours. Your experience may differ from ours.

As for Proxiblog, we keep growing. We drew more than 13,500 viewers in the past year–with one strange demographic: Brazil has overtaken Britain as our third most popular country after the USA and Canada. Maybe it was the World Cup and all those fans gathering this summer in that country.

newviews

Our all-time views now total 55,177!

We continue to provide best practices and numismatic knowledge to our viewers for free. Please consider making a donation. We are on hiatus at the moment but post every weekday during September-June. We do this for educational purposes, informing viewers about numismatics as well as funding scholarships for Iowa State University students.

Fortunately, we have several of our top houses donating funds to our scholarship account. You can also buy our new work, Online Coin Auctioneering or Basic Coin Design on Kindle. We are extremely grateful. Won’t you consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Iowa State Foundation so that we can continue publishing? Thank you for your consideration!

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 Rankings; 18-Month Views Exceed 40,000 Worldwide!

Proxiblog’s Coin and Currency category added one new auction in the past month, EBW Coins, which features good photography, numismatic lot descriptions and zero percent buyer’s premium (with Greysheet opening bids, however). The big news is that Proxiblog’s audience continues to grow with more than 40,000 views in the past 18 months, raising total views to 55,000 since its inception three years ago.


Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction continues to hold the top spot again this month. The duo of Dave and Cheryl Weaver are doing everything right. Lot descriptions are accurate. Photos expandable. Shipping and customer service just fine.

Our other trusty stand-bys continue to excite us every time they schedule an auction: Capitol Coin Auction, SilverTowne, Leonard Auction, Meares Auction, and Fox Valley Coins.

The big news in our ratings concerns Back to the Past Collectibles and Star Coin and Currency. C. Scott Lovejoy and Jim Haver, respectively, continue to improve consignments, elevating their rankings. Back to the Past, in particular, with its 10% buyer’s fee will challenge any top house in our rankings with more and rarer consignments.

Leonard, Capitol, Meares and Fox Valley all boast great photos, consignments, service and descriptions.

Other houses to watch are A New Day Auction and Auctions by Wallace. Like Lovejoy and Haver, Kendra Stevens of A New Day and Sheena Wallace are continuously improving their events. Now they need top consignments.

Our advice to them is to place a classified ad in local newspapers seeking consignments or offering to buy collections. You’ll be surprised at how far that last recommendation goes, especially when estates are transferred.

Consignments typically are key to our rankings. Any house scoring 24.5 points practices and/or exceeds our Honor Roll standards.

Also keep in mind that our favorite houses are just that–ours. Your experience may differ from ours.

As for Proxiblog, we keep growing. We are in the process of upgrading our site (we hope you like the cleaner look). As the map below shows, we are reaching more viewers in Canada, England and India. Once again, the most accessed post was California Gold, real, replica and fake. That post averages between 400+ views per month.

sixmonths

We continue to provide best practices and numismatic knowledge to our viewers for free. Please consider making a donation. We are on hiatus at the moment but post every weekday during September-June. We do this for educational purposes, informing viewers about numismatics as well as funding scholarships for Iowa State University students.

Fortunately, we have several of our top houses donating funds to our scholarship account. You can also buy our new work, Online Coin Auctioneering or Basic Coin Design on Kindle. We are extremely grateful. Won’t you consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Iowa State Foundation so that we can continue publishing? Thank you for your consideration!

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.


California Fractional Gold: Weaver Shows How It’s Done

This shoutout goes to Dave Weaver of Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, our top-ranked house, not only properly identifying California Fractional Gold but also describing its condition with a sharp photo underscoring his numismatic knowledge. Would that all auctioneers did the same on Proxibid! CLICK PHOTO BELOW TO EXPAND.



weaver

Specifically, Weaver notes:

  • The correct BG number of the coin. “BG” stands for Breen and Gillio, last names of the authors of this must-have catalog of pioneer gold.
  • The correct fraction of the gold: 50 cents.
  • The condition and flaws: BU with uneven strike, hairlines (not grade-worthy but neat to own).

What good does that do? Could it mean that Weaver is undermining the value of the lot? Here’s what that does: It showcases Weaver’s numismatic knowledge. It builds trust. It brings return customers.

What harm does calling fake California gold do for auctioneers misidentifying them as “tokens” or “authentic”? It denigrates their numismatic knowledge. That harbors distrust. It makes buyers skeptical so they do not bid with confidence.

Some coin dealers and auctioneers have been hawking fake gold for more than a century. We’re glad to see fewer instances of this on the Proxibid portal, due in part to this Proxiblog post that has enjoyed more than 2000 views ion the past two years.

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.

Grade the Quality of Your Coin Photos!

photo_certified

Click to expand photo.

The above photo by Certified Rare Coin Auctions, one of our top-ranked favorite sellers, captures luster, condition and color, the three components essential in selling high quality coins. This is an example of photography sharp enough to spark a bidding war. Below we grade photos of some of Proxibid’s top sellers. Which photo is similar to the ones you are showcasing on your portal site?

F-: NO CONDITION, SOME LUSTER, COLOR (DO NOT BID: Blurry, Impossible to Detect Flaws)
photo_nothing


F: SOME CONDITION, NO LUSTER, NO COLOR (DO NOT BID: You Cannot Tell What You Are Buying)
photo_noconditionluster


D: GOOD CONDITION, SOME LUSTER, NO COLOR (BID AT OWN RISK: Cannot Tell If Cleaned, Dipped)
photo_conditionnoluster


C: SOME CONDITION, LUSTER, COLOR (BID AT OWN RISK: Slant Photo, Cannot Tell Condition)
photo_lusternocondition


B: EXCELLENT CONDITION, GOOD LUSTER, FINE COLOR (WORTH THE RISK: Bid But Do Not Declare Bidding War)
photo_colorandcondition
Lot from Weaver Auction


A: EXCELLENT CONDITION, EXCELLENT LUSTER, GOOD COLOR (LITTLE RISK: Consider Bidding War)
photo_lusterandcondition
Lot from Fox Valley Auction


A+: EXCELLENT CONDITION, EXCELLENT LUSTER, FINE COLOR (NO RISK: Declare Bidding War)
photo_capitol
Lot from Capitol Coin Auction


In the comment section, share your experience bidding on coins based on photos. We also think Proxibid should rate photography on the portal. What do you think?


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. (Be sure to click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)


bad

Boo! to this auctioneer who hides certification numbers with a sticker and describes the almost uncirculated coin as MS64.



cleaned kaufman

Booyah Kaufman Auction! for noting this silver three-cent coin is cleaned (they usually are) and in the process of cleaning, damaged because of the thin planchet.


dipped

Boo! to this auction house that insists on taking slanted photos of coins, which unnaturally highlights luster. But not in this case. The dipping is readily apparent.


gemblurry

Another Boo! to this unnamed auction house that calls a coin “gem” while providing a blurry photo so that condition cannot be discerned online.


peeved

Boo! to this auction house for hyping the value of a common coin. When is Proxibid going to crack down on exaggerated lot descriptions?


poorphoto_nophotoreverse

Boo again! to another auction house for only providing one blurry photo (no reverse) yet still calling the lot “gem.” Please master photography, folks, if you hope to sell coins online.


replica

Booyah Mike Peterson Auctioneers! for identifying a coin as a replica. Would more auctioneers do the same, especially on fake California gold.


stained

Booyah Weaver Auction! for noting the stain on this large-sized popular note. Often photos don’t capture flaws on notes, so this description is appreciated.


wrong photo

Boo! to this auction house for posting the wrong photo with the lot description. Double check before you post on Proxibid.


wronglist
Boo! to another house for describing the lot wrong. In this and the above case, use the “Report This Item” link to alert the auctioneer.


crease

Booyah! Star Coin and Currency for noting that the crease is in the holder and not the note. Way to go Auctioneer Jim Haver!


cleanedsilvertowne

Booyah SilverTowne Auction! for noting cleaning on a red Indian head cent. It’s difficult to detect when a coin has residual luster. Dave Nauert discloses the flaw.


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.