New List, Old Standbys on Top!

New rankings feature old stand-bys, all offering excellent consignments with sharp photos and numismatic lot descriptions. This month Western regains the top slot based on quality consignments of raw coins and Carson City offerings typical of a western USA house.

Essentially tied with Western was Leonard Auction, Capitol Coin Auction, SilverTowne Auction, Fox Valley Coins and Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction. All feature quality consignments with expandable photography. Their owners are both auctioneers and numismatists (or have employees on staff who are), meaning that each time their catalogs go up on Proxibid, they trigger excitement. One never really knows what one will find, but you can bet it will be good.

Rising in the rankings are Liberty Shops Auctions, Engstrom Auction, Star Coin and Currency, Jewelry Exchange and Meares Auction. Black and Gold Auction makes an appearance with 10% buyer’s fee, good consignments, acceptable photography and numismatic descriptions.

Returning to the rankings is James Peterson Auction, which features some of the best consignments in regular Proxibid auctions. Best, in that you can find the rarest, most desirable coins anywhere. However, the company also touts self-slabbed and bottom-tier coins–all MS67–that may be cleaned, sliders or low mint state. But descriptions will tout them as if slabbed by PCGS. If you know that going in, you can score big in his sessions without gambling on those bottom-tier slabs that top houses won’t even offer.

Proxiblog has scored big with viewers. We are approaching 30,000 views. The most popular post in the past week has been:

The all-time most popular post, averaging 25 views per week, is:

Finally, we thank auction houses invited to sponsor Proxiblog for their donations to our scholarship fund at Iowa State University. We also will donate for each copy of Basic Coin Design purchased on Amazon Kindle.

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.

Tech Glitch Excites, Then Deflates

A technical glitch last week eliminated transparency notices–maximum-bid and ghost-bidding warnings–on certain coin auctions. At first, we were elated and ready to bid with confidence on several different auctions. Then we checked with Proxibid, and soon the glitch was fixed and transparency notices were restored.

Suffice to say we bid cautiously or not at all on any coin auction that sees maximum bids or allows ghost-bidding.

This is just our opinion. Feel free to do what you want on the portal.

Factor this, though: In normal auctions (yes, “normal” is the correct word), we bid above retail on certain coins because of condition rarities or other desired lots. Because bidding is so intense in a Western, Weaver, Capitol, Leonard, Key Date, SilverTowne, Bullock or other top-ranked auctions (see rankings to the right), we only win one tenth of our maximums on a good day and often, nothing at all on a bad day, even though our maximums are so high. That indicates other bidders are bidding with confidence–or overconfidence!

Certain companies such as Southwest Bullion and Liberty Shops Auctions are on to something adopting ZERO or minimum buyers’ premiums to spark competition and bidding wars (and we’ve been in a few of late on Weaver and Western, in particular).

There is NO WAY for auctioneers to secure these retail sell-throughs by viewing maximums and ghost-bidding (often combined with overgrading and hype). By insisting on playing it conservatively at the expensive of bidders, in our opinion, they may be harming their brands.

Conversely, we know that consignors are rough on auctioneers, forcing them to adopt these bad auctioneering habits. Remember, though, sellers need you. You set the rules. And sellers who insist on hidden reserves that force maximum-bid viewing should be charged buybacks for your efforts on their behalf.