Proxibid sent the email above (hover to zoom in) allowing me to bid in an auction while I was abroad on vacation. I had to verify some details for the company before being allowed to participate. Here’s what happened: During a lull in vacation activities, I had gone to the business office of my hotel and tried to bid in an online auction hosted by the portal. As soon as I did so, I was informed that my account was being investigated and approval to bid in the auction was pending.
This is one of the reasons I patronize Proxibid more than any other online venue. Proxibid takes pains to protect accounts when it comes to security.
I like that, and I don’t find the same precautions on other portals, from eBay and Hibid to the major auction houses. In their online world, a bid is a bid no matter where it comes from by whomever has gained access to your account.
So many things can go wrong when you’re on vacation. You must take precautions or risk having your winnings returned or, worse, stolen, while you are away.
I know hobbyists who have bid in auctions a month prior to going on vacation, forgetting to inform sellers. The hobbyists win coins and the sellers contact them by phone, seeking credit-card information or shipping instructions. They leave voice mails. They call repeatedly. In worst-case scenarios, depending on the length of your vacation and where you are taking it—not all countries have trustworthy Internet connections—those bidders can be charged for late payments or storage, or even have their accounts labeled delinquent.
Other things can go wrong if you don’t inform sellers. Many have your credit-card information stored in their computers and will send your winnings directly to your house, requiring signatures.
Some shippers will leave your coins at your doorstep. Thieves love that! Others, including the U.S. Post Office, will leave a notice to pick up the parcels at your local facility. If you don’t do that within a certain time period, usually four business days, your parcels will be returned to sender. That not only complicates your transactions, it also adds expense.
First and foremost, of course, if no one is staying at your home and taking in your mail, suspend post-office delivery. In some locations, you can even make arrangements while online. Click here for the USPS link.
You also may be holdering coins during vacation, again forgetting that you sent submissions weeks or even months prior to your departure date. Those slabbed coins come with signature authority or via registered mail, and you don’t want those pricey items languishing in post offices or in mailboxes. For instance, this MS-65 Redfield Morgan dollar was holdered by NGC while I was abroad:
And this was slabbed by PCGS while I was on vacation:
Of course, you run the risk of stolen coins if you leave them in your overflowing mailbox unattended. But you also should also take precautions if you ask a neighbor to pick up your mail and leave your parcels and letters on your kitchen table or in his or her house until you return. Hobbyists must take care to keep their transactions as private as possible. Yes, most neighbors are trustworthy, especially those tasked with taking in your mail; but the question then becomes whether to tell your friendly helper that you anticipate the arrival of coins, and to make sure those parcels are not left unattended.
Fortunately for me, my older son was house-sitting while I was abroad. He has access to my bank-box keys. My general rule is no coin of any value should be kept at home unless you have a safe there. Mine go to the bank.
Before I left, I made a list for my son about auctions occurring while I was on vacation. I also made a printout of my bid history and left instructions on what to do if any auction house or online portal called my home. (Yes, I had bid in several auctions a month or two before my holiday and forgot that I would be on vacation while I was placing those bids.) In any case, I won only two coins while I was away, so my son didn’t have much business to do in my absence.
In the future, I will synchronize my bidding with my vacation dates.
If you are going on vacation and have bid on coins, or are expecting some from holdering companies to arrive, make sure that you coordinate your efforts with the post office and any family member charged with taking care of your bids and winnings.
You must take responsibility for your choices, of course, even if following some of my methods here. This is only what I do. You might have other strategies. Also, mistakes happen at the post office, in the neighborhood, with family, and with airlines, whose flights can be canceled or delayed, throwing your best-laid plans into chaos.
If you have any additional vacation advice or anecdotes, please share in the comments below! ❑