Internet auction company eBay (www.ebay.com) on May 30 will implement changes to its coin listing policy that restrict the use of numeric grades in listings and what coins can be sold without being graded by one of the grading services that meet eBay’s standards, and the policy will introduce new criteria for grading services recognized by the firm.
In an April 17 press release and in an email sent to eBay account holders, the firm stated that the modifications to its policy are “to provide shoppers and sellers with greater confidence in their coins transactions.”
Beginning May 30, all new listings and relistings for coins being sold on the company’s website will need to meet the following requirements:
➤ “Listings for coins will be allowed to include a numeric grade in their listing title or item description only if the coin grading company providing the grade meets certain objective standards. Coins that haven’t been graded by such companies will be considered raw or ungraded.”
➤ “For U.S. coins only, grading by companies meeting these standards will now be required for all coins listed with a Buy It Now, reserve, or start price of $2,500 and above.”
In the press release, Brooke Segaran, eBay’s senior manager of collectibles, is quoted as saying, “The coin industry is extremely dynamic and exciting, and eBay’s goal is to continue to offer new ways for collectors to connect with dealers in the most trusted experience possible.”
The auction company worked with John Albanese, founder of Certified Acceptance Corp. and Numismatic Consumer Alliance, to develop the standards for third-party grading services that must be met for listing coins as “certified” on eBay.
Under the new rules, grading services must meet the following criteria:
➤ The company must have graded at least 50,000 pre-1956 coins.
➤ The service must possess a live, online population report.
➤ The company must employ at least three graders on its staff who are considered “numismatic experts” (according to the eBay policy, “an individual who has been a full-time numismatist for at least five years”). At least one of the three graders should be a member of Professional Numismatists Guild and all three should be members of the American Numismatic Association.
➤ The firm must have a stated buyback guarantee in writing for coins later determined to be counterfeit, damaged, over- or mis-graded, or misattributed.
➤ Coins being encapsulated must be kept in “unique, state-of-the-art, tamper-resistant holders with anti-counterfeiting measures” (for example, holograms). Archival materials should be used wherever possible.
➤ The company must enable online verification of unique serial numbers on its holders.
Currently, eBay states that only Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and Professional Coin Grading Service have met the new standards. However, eBay states that other grading third-party grading services that meet these standards are encouraged to contact the company for future eligibility.
Stay tuned for expanded, detailed coverage of this story in the May 14 print and digital edition of Coin World. ■