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How to deserve the trust of Americans? :)

16 posts in this topic

Hi American fellows!

We very working on American coin market for a year (particularly on ebay) and I hope, deserved some good reputation trying to do the best service. Even although our theme is not too popular in America (East European medieval coins). It was quite nice to deal with buyers from US, and we never had any major problems yet.

But the interest is quite low yet. I noticed, that some sellers on ebay offer less garanties, but get higher bids. Much higher. How to deserve the trust of Americans? Not just by life membership in ANA? foreheadslap.gif (I'm not quite sure that it does pay for us)

Thank you for any comments! takeit.gif

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Do you allow people to pay with a credit card? I'm usually willing to brave a scary seller if I have the ability to instigate a chargeback if the coin is never received.


Other things that are helpful:

A large number of positive feedbacks for selling similar items over a long period of time

A thorough description written in proper English - if you sound like you know something about coins I'm more willing to believe you actually have the items you're selling.

Answer any questions quickly, completely and politely.


Hope this is helpful,


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I've purchased several raw coins from foreign sellers over the past few years. I've had mixed results. Some are extremely honest and others lie horribly.


Things that will get me to bid or not to bid with a foreign seller:


1) Let me pay using PayPal. The added security of paying with a credit card is great.


2) Charge a reasonable amount for shipping. I understand that shipping outside the country is more expensive, but I can send a coin to practically anywhere in the world for under $4. Please don't try to charge me $25.


3) Provide the option of insurance with shipping at a reasonable cost. If you don't offer insurance, I will NOT bid with a foreign seller. I will usually not bid with a US seller either.


4) State your return policy in your auction. Make it clear English. I cannot tell you how many times I have avoided a seller because when I email them for their return policy I get such broken English that I can't understand what they are saying. By the way, no return privilege, no bids from me. And if you charge a restocking fee, I usually won't bid and if I do I will reduce my max bid significantly.


5) Do not make your list of bidders private. That screams scam.


6) Do not make your feedback private. One foreign seller has 100% positive feedback, yet they made it private. It's prevented me from bidding.


7) ANA membership is meaningless to me. However, it doesn't hurt. I can't say I would pay for it if I were you, but if I already was a member, I'd mention it.


8) Give me an honest description of the coin - preferably in good English. Mention any problems. If I see a problem on a coin and you don't mention it, I will assume ALL your coins are problem coins and I won't bid on your auctions and I will avoid you as a seller.

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Thanks Jammin and Greg, your suggestions are very reasonable. Obviously, I did imagine myself to be an other party, so I guess I did everything mentioned by you. You may check just if you search for the member "litvania" on ebay. And my English... judge from my posts - hope not too bad wink.gif

Look forward to hear from you.

Happy New Year!


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I looked over several of your auctions. What troubles me:


1) You are listed as registered in Canada, but the item description shows Russia. This is always a red flag for me.


2) Some of your auctions are listed in Euros. I know that you say you accept payment in US dollars, but I'd personally make it more clear. Let it be known that if I win the auction at 10 Euros, I can send you $12.50 instead of having to convert the money. Perhaps ask people wishing to pay in US dollars to contact you for the current conversion rate or give a link to the current rate.


As a US buyer, I do not want to pay in Euros. No matter what the exchange rate is, I always feel like I am getting screwed when I have to pay using converted money. I always seem to get charged the highest exchange rate during the week - no matter when I pay. I think PayPal and the credit card companies are out to screw us. Also, if I pay by credit card, my credit card companies charge me a conversion fee of around $6 minimum.


3) Some of your auctions are in French. I would guess that more Europeans speak English than French, but that is just a guess. It might be wise to list the descriptions in both languages. Also, as you might be aware, many people in the US aren't exactly happy with the French right now. Some potential buyers might pull that auction up and automatically think it is a French seller and skip the auction because of this.


4) Run your auctions thru a spell checker. Too few sellers do this. It's not awful to have a misspelling or typo, but it only takes a few seconds to spell check the auction and it looks more professional.


5) Your English is understandable. A few things could be written more clearly or grammatically correct, but it's not bad at all. If you want, I'll be happy to send you a PM with a few suggestions.


Overall, I think I would bid on your stuff, but not an expensive item as issue #1 does bug me a little.

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Hi Litvan,


I have run across many of your auctions while looking for Polish coins. You always seem to have some. However as mentioned in Greg's post, the Russia thing really throws me off. I am sorry, as I know this is unfair, but I think many may feel the same.


I think you are making progress by joining the message boards. This will allow others to interact with you and see that you are an upstanding, professional, honest businessman. Humans, I think by nature, are very skeptical. However over time we can build trust through our actions.


Good luck and keep posting here. You may just gain a few customers. wink.gif

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Well, we got to know that it is actually a lack of trust, and I have to work more in this direction.

Canada and Russia... well, we have representatives in both countries. And you know the field "Registered in" shows only the billing address of the seller. It's much easier for us to accept payments in Canada, and what is more, the only chance to accept Paypal and checks, as it doesn't works in Russia.

The coins we offer are being digged in Eastern Europe and currently it doesn't pay for us to mail them all to the US or Canada first, only to show the item location as "Ottawa, ON" or "LA, CA". We simply tell truth, and is it an actual problem? Even after you check our feedback and look through insurance policy?

We proud to say, none of our clients lost anything.

We have a possibility to make items location "Poland" or "Belarus", but I don't think it differs much from "Russia" to Americans, isn't it?

Euro auctions are just for ebay.fr. French tend to pay more at the moment... Do you think it's better not to mix these auctions?

Which spell checker would you recommend? I don't know much about it. I'm not sure what's PM... However, you're welcome at info@litvancoins.com. I'd be very grateful.

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It's not that Americans don't like Russians- - we do. The problem is that there are lots of scams originating in Russia in recent years. There is also the problem with the Russian mail system. As these problems clear up there should be a lot more trade and trust for Americans when dealing with Russian addresses.

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Canada and Russia... well, we have representatives in both countries.


I would mention in your About Me page that you have offices in both Canada & Russia. If I were hesitant to bid on one of your auctions because you registered in Canada, but say you are in Russia, I would accept this answer that you have offices in both countries and I'd be a lot more likely to bid.




We have a possibility to make items location "Poland" or "Belarus", but I don't think it differs much from "Russia" to Americans, isn't it?


Nope, no difference. The only difference it'd make to me is if you registered in Canada and said the item was in the US. I see this a lot.



Euro auctions are just for ebay.fr. French tend to pay more at the moment... Do you think it's better not to mix these auctions?


If I see a coin I like while searching, I will look thru all your listing. That's when these came up. I wouldn't have minded a description in English as well as French. Also, making note that a buyer can pay in US dollars would encourage me to bid.



Which spell checker would you recommend?


I create my auctions using Microsoft FrontPage and it has a spell checker. A quick copy/paste to a Microsoft Word document would allow you to spell check the auction. Also, I believe eBay offers a spell check when listing the auctions directly on their site. I've never used it, so I don't know much about it, but I'm pretty sure there is one.



I'm not sure what's PM... However, you're welcome at info@litvancoins.com. I'd be very grateful.


PM = Private Message. When you click on the username of a member you see their profile. Click on "Send a private message" and it is a personal message to that user. You will have an envelope flashing on the top bar of your screen if you have one. Or you can click on My Home and you will see on the top left side the Message Box.


I'll email some suggestions later.

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The feedback rating would have a lot to do with the difference in bid amounts, but the one going for $100 is getting a lot of bids that I would not expect. Is the date a hard to find one???

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Looking at the bidders lists for those two auctions, there is *no* bidder who bid on both pieces. To me, than means that no bidder *saw* both pieces. The one that sold for $100 was listed in


Coins > Coins: World > Europe > Other


Coins > Coins: World > Europe > Poland


Yours sold for $13 but was only listed in


Coins > Coins: Ancient > Medieval


Maybe there are more people monitoring the per-country categories than the generic "Medieval" category?


FWIW, I like your pictures a lot better. I'm not interested in Polish or Medieval coins at all, but for $13, even I might have bid (except I don't generally look at any of those categories).



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Staplescoin has a good following. I pull up the sellers items several times a week. I've purchased a few coins from them and have been satisfied. Given their feedback rating, a ton of other people have also.


While I browse the world coin categories on eBay daily, I rarely look in the Ancient > Medieval category.


I have no idea how big this coin is from your picture, but Staplescoin tells me how big it is.


"Coin was digged in Belarus." That is a big turnoff to me. You dug this coin out of the ground and now you want me to buy some buried coin. That is information that is not needed and might make me think the coin is either damaged from being buried or harshly cleaned to get the dirt off it.


"Perfect grade, sharp and covered with nice old patina." Exactly what grade is it? To me the perfect grade is MS66 as it is a wonderful gem, but not so superb that it costs me a fortune. I'm guessing this isn't MS66. smile.gif Tell me your honest opinion of the grade. Covered with old patina means it is dirty since it was just dug out of the ground. That's a turn off.


Some of your text is hidden under the top picture. Why?


Had I seen your auction, I would have bid more than it sold for. It looks AU/Unc using US standards.

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No, the date is common. Scarce or rare dates are 1545, 1546, 1551 (a bit), 1552-1555, 1563 (a bit), 1566.


Categories... Possibly. To my mind 3 categories are possible with this coin:

Europe > Poland (as a piece of history of ancient Poland)

Ancient > Medieval (as a piece of history of ancient world)

Europe > Other (as a piece of history of ancient Belarus, that is not mentioned separately)

I used to think people are more interested in ancient world than exactly in ancient Poland, that's why I chose this category. And I always try to list some coins in "Medieval" and some in "Poland" to allow to see the auctions for people browsing through both of them.

And "Other" was not selected because it's other. Even ebay gives authomatic messages that listings in "Other" categories are the least popular. Surprisingly it looks being a wrong opinion wink.gif


Size. There's a link "Want to learn more? Welcome to Moneta Litvaniae" in the item description that leads directly to the webpage containing this info. But maybe it's a good idea to put the size in the listing - people asked this several times.


Digged. Right. This information is not needed, however it's natural because if the coin is older than 18 ct., most likely it was once digged. I'm sure up to 100% of Roman coins are buried, and is it a reason not to collect?


Hidden text..it's just technical. I put too wide picture to show how nice it is.


Patina used to be an advantage for Europeans. It means, coin was not hardly cleaned so looks naturally.


And the main thing - GRADING. 99% if not 100 of the sellers avoid to grade their coins, just writing "Judge from the picture". It's very personal thing and the best what you could expect is "F, VF, XF, AU" unless a seller represents grading service himself. I'd be happy to put my opinion on grade of the coin, but I'm afraid that it will not be the same as the buyer's. Less words, less troubles. Although I understand that it is not the best solution.

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