Michael Bugeja

Online Coin Auctions

Michael Bugeja

Michael Bugeja, a coin collector since childhood, is a professor at Iowa State University and also a former member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. He is a nationally known author, journalist and educator.

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Proxibid to Upgrade Search Functions, Options

​As many viewers following this CW blog know, we often cover the auction portal Proxibid's "Coin and Currency" category, primarily because great buys and steep risks can be had there. If you plan to bid on coins in Proxibid, you had better know numismatics, including grading, condition problems, varieties, rarities, service terms and so much more.

But the journey is worthwhile. If it's any indication, I buy on Proxibid and consign on eBay and GreatCollections.

That says plenty.

Newcomers to the site may not immediately get the hang on bidding on an auction portal. For that, they need some type of guidance, at least until they find auctioneers they can trust.

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A few years ago I and other Proxibidders advocated successfully for a rating system, to which the company agreed. The system was meant to support  its "badge" award program. Both, in my opinion, have not been as helpful as they should have been.

For instance, it awarded its "Gold Ribbon" badge to sellers who routinely hyped damaged self-slabbed coins as being worth tens of thousands of dollars, using PCGS values; that, finally, has stopped in the wake of eBay-like listing policies adopted last year. And some sellers with ridiculous service terms, including high shipping rates and late delivery (or no delivery) shipping, or who allow auctioneer or maximum-bid viewing, routinely get 4 of 5 stars from buyers.

Reason? Those bidding on Proxibid may not fully realize the tenets and tips of smart numismatic buying online.

That said, there is one more thing the portal can do (which eBay already does) and that is list the number off buyers who follow a seller or list the seller as a favorite.

And this may be in the offing. Proxibid has a semi-reliable search function. It's in the process of improving that. So when that occurs, the company says, it may be able to add a "favorite" tab for buyers.

"Soon, Proxibid will launch an upgraded search engine, and once that is in place we will be able to implement features like saved search and the ability to tag favorite sellers," says Jason Nielsen, SVP of Operations for Proxibid. "We recognize the importance of offering a feature-rich product for buyers, and this is an area where we plan to invest."

I have bid on Proxibid for a number of years as one of its earliest advocates. In fact, I lobbied for a "Coins and Currency" category and other improvements. True, the portal isn't perfect; but it listens to buyers, and that says something about its continued success.



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