Fighting over Silver Leaves

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Revenant

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Oh what funny trees they must have in Canada?

I normally don?t share stories about bidding wars but the end result of this is just too funny.

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough (I felt) to purchase a nice 2007 Canadian Maple Leaf in MS68. By the standards of these Canadian coins, an MS68 is pretty darn high. MS69s are fairly rare and MS70s are almost unheard of. Grades in the MS64 to MS67 range are much more common. I was happy to get the coin. It let me add a representative piece for that series to my signature set.

Last weekend I noticed that a seller was offering 2 1989 MS68s, 1 1993 MS69, 1 2002 MS67 and 2 1999 MS69s. These were all NGC graded coins and he was starting the auctions at $0.99. The coins ended starting at 6:00PM today and the last coin ended around 6:35. The catch was that the seller does not combine shipping for multiple auctions and his shipping charges were $6.57 per coin. Those shipping charges were pretty repulsive, but I figured other people would think that too and at the right prices these coins could be great deals. I would have liked to win 1 of each of these dates but I had to set priorities. Most of my coin money is currently earmarked for other purchases and I don?t have enough available to have a good chance at winning 4 silver coins. I decided that at the end of the day I really wanted to have a 1989 and either the 1993 or one of the 1999s. These 2 coins would let me have representative pieces with the earlier portraits of Queen Elizabeth II for my collection. (Of course, if the coins stayed low, I wanted them all!). The coins were ending today, so tonight the fun began.

Heading into the final day, every coin was at a bid below $10. Heading into the final hour, almost every coin was below $20. I set aside my school work for a little while and sat down to eat dinner in front of the computer. (It was a favorite meal of college students, frozen microwavable food, loaded with salt to cover up the fact that it should barely be considered edible.)

I didn?t know how this would go. Would I get deals or would I be lucky to get 1 coin away from snipers? This is one of those times that you pray for luck and hope that the other interested parties are stuck in traffic or just forgot the time. I upped my bid on the first 1989 to $34.44 and waited. I was outbid on that coin and another bidder took it for $35.44+shipping. I shifted to the second 1989, bid much higher and waited for the other shoe to drop. No one else bid on this coin though and I took it for only $18.50+shipping. That felt great!

Moving on to the 1993, I bid a humorous $44.44 for this coin. The same person that took the first 1989 sniped me again, taking it for $45.44. I wasn?t really all that interested in the MS67 2002 at much more than melt so I didn?t bid on it in the closing minutes. That coin went to the same opposing bidder (who apparently is less picky than I) for $22.50+shipping (remember what these shipping charges are).

At this point, it was time for the 1999s. Having lost the 1993, I wanted to win one of these. The trend I?d been observing hadn?t been lost on me though. I knew that the other bidder would bid on the first coin. I also knew that his bid would likely be higher than mine. After the 1989, I also suspected that he would not bid on the second coin. I don?t know if he just wanted one of each and didn?t care about the other, or if he was using an absentee bidding program (Say what you want about those things, they can be rigid and lack the ability to adjust to the situation). I had the feeling that my advantage was with the second coin. I still don?t like to give up without a fight though so I bid $48.84 for the first one, knowing what the result would be. Predictably, the same person outbid me. I simply moved on to the other 1999 and bid the (I felt) ridiculously high sum of $63.44. Especially given the shipping charge I couldn?t believe anyone would outbid that for this coin. I bid that high because I really wanted to win this one. Well, it turns out that no one felt like trying to outbid me. No one else bid after I did and the coin sold to me for just $20.59+shipping.

When it was all said and done I just had to sit in front of the computer and laugh for a while. Days like this make me seriously reconsider my definition of what it means to ?win? on eBay. Yes other bidder beat me out for every coin he bid on, but he?s paying a price for it. My coins cost me only $25.115 each after shipping, but he?ll be paying more for his 1999 than I did for both of my wins. Yes, he got the 1993 and the 2002, and I didn?t. I still got everything I wanted out of the situation though and I did it well under my allowed budget for these auctions. I call that mission accomplished. Even if I did lose 2/3rds of the auctions, I got what I wanted.

I really do hope that the other person likes and enjoys those coins. It?s very clear that he was willing to pay a hefty price for them. Meanwhile, no one but the two of us bid more than $30 on any of these coins. If he was a dealer hoping to flip the coins later, I think the price of silver is going to have to rise a fair bit before they have a good chance of recovering their money.

On a side note, I also won a nice 2006 MS69 Maple the other day. That coin also cost more than the 1989 and 1999 together and was part of the reason I had to moderate today. That coin will replace the 2007 MS68 in my signature set as I continue to try and make that set as nice as I reasonably can. The 2007 will still be in my competitive set, which will soon be in relatively good standing overall.

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