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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You bought that coin … TWICE!

I collect toned silver American Eagles. Avidly. In fact, I have one of the finest collections assembled, some 50 coins, many of which I have posted on the PCGS showcase site. Photos are important because, while I keep my collections at the local bank, this way, I get to visit them regularly.

Click here for the public view.

I also consign my doubles on Proxibid and eBay. That’s when I get into trouble.

For instance, I consigned a rainbowed 1998 silver American Eagle to Great Toning, whose seller lists on eBay. It was bought and then relisted a few weeks later by another eBay seller. I saw it online, didn’t make the connection that I once owned it, and—you guessed it—got it again.

So back it went to Great Toning and to another seller.

Buying back your own coins rather defeats the purpose of consigning. And it gets expensive, too, with fees and shipping.

The experience just happened again!

The silver American Eagle depicted above is back on Proxibid with one of my favorite sellers. A few months ago, I consigned the coin. Bought back the coin. And now I am consigning again.

In the event that you consign a coin and accidentally bid on and win it, you are obligated to pay both buyer and seller fees in addition to shipping. And of course, you should never bid on your own coins intentionally, because that is prohibited by many sellers and online auctions.

In the end, winning back a coin from a different seller — months after you consigned it elsewhere — is a particular kind of experience. I call it numismatic déjà vu.

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