Shipping policies vary on

Always read shipping policies carefully before bidding online.

Image provided by Michael Bugeja.

Unlike Proxibid and eBay, whose auctioneers typically ship, sellers on have a range of shipping policies—some acceptable and others, not so much. Never bid in this portal until you read shipping guidelines.

Auctions by Wallace, which migrated recently from Proxibid to HiBid, has one of the best shipping policies. It combines all items for shipping, whereas some auctioneers charge extra fees for each lot (a practice of questionable value to the auctioneer, because it limits bids). Auctioneer Sheena Wallace knows this. Her shipping policy also includes in-house packing and shipping using U.S. Post Office priority mail boxes.

Also, her packages with coins worth more than $200 go out with signature guarantees and insurance.

“We keep shipping costs as low as possible,” she states.  

Wallace typically ships within 48 hours. That also is important. You don’t want your items languishing in an auction house or on a shelf with a third-party shipper.

Without naming the HiBid auctioneers, here is a sampling of shipping policies in the portal’s Coins and Currency category:

·         [We] do not provide shipping. If you are in need of a shipper in order to receive your purchases, we have compiled a list of shippers in our area below. Feel free to contact them directly to obtain quotes for the packaging and delivery of your items, or make your own arrangements.

·         Shipping is only available on a case by case basis. You must call [XXX-xxxx] prior to bidding, to obtain shipping permission. Note: It may take up to 3 weeks for us to pack and ship an item. All items must be shipped to the billing address of your credit card or funds must be wired. Please call to inquire.

·         THE BUYER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ORGANIZING AND PAYING FOR SHIPPING OF ALL PURCHASED ITEMS. Please contact our recommended shippers for quotes and any other shipping questions, or you may contact one of your own preferred shippers.  

·         Buyer to pay all shipping charges. Shipping will be added to the total cost of the item(s) (hammer price + buyer's premium + sales tax if applicable. Our third-party shippers do not invoice but contact you directly via phone or email for payment processing. Please contact them directly with any shipping questions, claims, or quotes.  

·         All items must be removed by 2:00 p.m. CST on 4/07/17. No assistance will be provided. Buyer will be responsible for loading, packing, or scheduling shipping.  

Some final advice:

Be wary if asked to contact local-area shippers to pick up your lots at an auction house. Essentially, you are being asked to invest your time and telephone fees to close the deal. Worse, you’ll be asked to provide your credit card information over the phone or via email. That comes with additional risk.

In-house shipping is important when it comes to coins. If an auctioneer requires you to contact a third-party shipper, how do you know if your specific items (and not another bidder’s) will be picked up? And if you divulge your expensive won lots to that shipper, such as gold coins, you are placing your trust in the third-party’s employee and also divulging your home address.

Both are risky.

The best advice to HiBid auctioneers selling coins is to provide low-cost in-house shipping, combine purchases, require signature confirmation and ship within 48 hours. In the end, those online bids are worth it, especially if you are conducting a live auction with online bidding.