Domestic and foreign sellers on eBay.com may no longer list,
effective Feb. 20, for sale into the U.S. marketplace replica U.S.,
world and other historic coins of any kind.
Violators of the new policy risk having their eBay selling
In an exclusive interview Jan. 18 with Coin World, eBay
officials said that its major policy change in the coins category
represents the online auction company’s commitment to improve the
buying, selling and collecting experience on eBay, including reviewing
listings that may violate eBay’s policy prohibiting the listing of
As part of the policy update, new listings and relistings will be
prohibited starting Feb. 20. Items that were listed for sale before
Feb. 20 with later closing dates will be allowed to continue until
their date of expiration.
The policy change even extends to the listing of replicas marked
COPY as required under provisions of the Hobby Protection Act.
“We are disallowing all replica coins, even the ones reportedly
stamped with ‘copy,’ ” said Johnna Hoff, media spokesperson for eBay.
“Because of the nature of our marketplace — specifically that we don’t
control the inventory — we’re not able to confirm before purchase that
a coin is truly stamped.
“Customer feedback told us that often coins shown in pictures as
stamped [with COPY] weren’t delivered that way.”
The policy change also extends to contemporary counterfeits of
U.S. coins produced to circulate alongside genuine issues, but does
not prohibit the sale of paper money replicas.
The policy change affects listings on ebay.com, but does not
extend to eBay’s other online auction sites in countries outside the
The policy change follows a number of discussions between eBay and
the Professional Numismatists Guild.
As part of its collaboration with PNG, eBay anticipates
establishing a program to better educate collectors about the PNG and
its trusted member-dealers, and to ensure the coin experience on eBay
meets industry standards.
EBay officials made a brief presentation about the proposed policy
change Jan. 4 during a PNG members-only meeting held in conjunction
with the Florida United Numismatists convention.
PNG President Jeffrey Bernberg and PNG Executive Director Robert
Brueggeman in a Jan. 19 statement said, “eBay is working closely with
law enforcement and third-party grading services — as well as using a
number of internal tools — to review listings that may violate eBay
policy prohibiting counterfeit coins.
“eBay is continuing to work with the PNG to help ensure the coin
experience on eBay meets industry standards and is an effective
destination for customers selling or shopping for coins. As part of
its work with the PNG, eBay expects to set up a program to better
educate collectors about the PNG and its member-dealers who provide
trusted experience in the coin space.”
Level of confidence
During the Jan. 18 interview with Coin World, Hoff and
Brooke Segaran, eBay’s senior manager for emerging verticals and who
is overseeing the coin category initiative, said they expect the
policy update will provide eBay customers an enhanced level of
confidence that the coin listings on eBay are authentic and that
buyers receive the most positive eBay experience possible.
EBay officials are taking pro-active steps to improve the eBay
experience, Segaran said.
EBay developed and implemented the policy change after receiving
extensive feedback from both dealers and collectors who buy and sell
on eBay.com, according to Segaran.
Feedback suggested buyer and seller confidence was being eroded
and a policy change was warranted, Segaran said. Before the change, it
was difficult for eBay to enforce the existing policy once products
were received by the buyer from the seller, she said.
Segaran said eBay will impose consequences for violators of the
updated policy on a case-by-case basis, up to and including suspension
of eBay privileges.
EBay policies will continue to be examined in an ongoing process
to improve the coins category of the online auction site, Segaran said.
“We’re committed to building an even better experience for coins,”
Segaran said. “We know there is a lot of opportunity. We’re excited to
go after it.” ■