Here’s a photo of the near pristine reverse of the coin:
Nonetheless, when I reviewed the purchase–as Proxibid recommends–I gave this seller the lowest rating and a piece of my online hobbyist mind about excessive shipping costs.
Proxibid has many mindful, bidder-friendly sellers. That’s why I patronize the site. However, the portal doesn’t have hard-and-fast shipping rules for auctioneers who use its portal. In its FAQ, it reports: “The winning bidder is responsible for contacting the auction company within 24 hours from the close of the sale to arrange shipping. Many auction companies have shipping departments. If the auction company does not have a shipping department, it is the responsibility of the buyer to arrange shipping and insurance.”
Proxibid also has a page that informs buyers about shipping practices, with the bottom line recommending bidders read the auctioneer’s “Information and Special Terms.”
To be sure, eBay shipping can be excessive but typically not in the coins and currency auctions. It provides tips for sellers and gives incentives for free shipping and/or low-cost, tracked, on-time deliveries.
Proxibid doesn’t mandate simple rules such as explaining how much shipping is going to cost. Here’s an example from one seller on the portal: “Buyer Pays Shipping. We ship via USPS & UPS.” That’s it. No further information. Here’s another: “Shipping and handling charges are the responsibility of the winning bidder. No furniture will be shipped. … All other items will be packaged and shipped by the auction company.”
Of course, when that happens, it is my practice to contact the seller and ask specifically what charges I might anticipate for shipping, whether there is a handling and packing fee, and how long it will take before the items ship out. (Some Proxibid sellers are courteous enough to have shipping estimate information.)
Then again, other auctioneers do not realize that to sell on Internet their companies have to be bidder friendly. I’m only speaking for myself here, as you can patronize any seller you wish on Proxibid or eBay, but I no longer even look at catalogs by some sellers.
Here’s one that states in all caps: “[AUCTION HOUSE] DOES NOT pack or ship any item. NO EXCEPTIONS!” Winning bidders are supposed to contact a third party shipper, pay that vendor, send an email confirming permission to release items and do so during business hours of the auctioneer. Oh, and there’s this: “Any risk of loss during shipment will be borne by the Buyer following delivery of the purchased item to the designated common carrier.”
That’s the danger of using a third-party shipper. But if you agree to the seller’s terms, you also inherit the risks.
Another Proxibid seller states: “It is the buyer’s responsibility to file a postal claim if any item is damaged or lost during shipping!”
Thankfully, some auction houses that I patronize on Proxibid realize the issue with that policy. Affiliated Auctions and Realty states: “Please contact us within 10 days of receiving package if there are any problems. No refunds will be issued after 30 days from sale date.”
Sheena Wallace who operates Auctions By Wallace recently helped me track down a lost priority USPS box that she sent to me. We found it. She’s one of my favorite sellers.
But other sellers are on my personal “do not bid” list, especially ones that charge fees and do not combine lots. One Proxibid seller states:”IMPORTANT- YOU MAY NOT COMBINE PURCHASES TO SAVE ON SHIPPING. Small items, Cards, Coins, Jewelry and Baseballs – $12.95.”
Another auctioneer states that buyers may not combine purchases to save on shipping, which costs $9.95 per item, and adds: “HOWEVER, SOME ITEMS MAY BE SHIPPED TO YOU IN THE SAME MAILING PACKAGE.”
Practices such as these are the exception. Here are some of my favorite Proxibid shipping policies (many others omitted because they have similar practices):
- MIDWEST COINS: “Winning bidders will be billed for all shipping, handling, and insurance charges. We do all packaging and shipping in-house and ship USPS with insurance in the amount of your invoice with FLAT RATE Shipping/Insurance. We will plan to ship your purchases within 3 BUSINESS days of auction payment being received.”
- STAR COIN AND CURRENCY: “We provide fast low cost shipping to our bidders. We ship most items for $4 or less for all items won. Sometimes additional postal services or insurance may be added to the invoice if needed, based upon value, weight, size and destination.”
- PPI AUCTIONS: “Your credit card on file will be charged following the auction a $5.00 flat shipping fee to US destinations no matter how many items you purchase. There is NO handling fee. Insurance and delivery/signature confirmation fees will also be added. You will receive an emailed invoice from the auction house generally within 48 hours of the auction conclusion.”
- WEAVER SIGNATURE COIN AND CURRENCY AUCTION: “We do all packaging and shipping in-house and ship USPS with insurance in the amount of your invoice, plus shipping cost. We will plan to ship your purchases within 3 days of auction closing. Please note, the more items you buy generally makes your shipping charges more reasonable.”
And that’s the ideal logic, isn’t it, to bid and win more items rather than worrying about shipping and doing the calculations that I had to do upon winning that 1890 Morgan, figuring in buyer’s fee, shipping, and checking my bid against the latest auction prices?
In the end, the above exercise for that 1890 silver dollar wasn’t worth my hobbyist time. I won’t bid in that seller’s sessions anymore.
Do you have a shipping story to share related to an online coin purchase? Let us know in the comment section!