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My 55 Year Journey of Coin Collecting part 17 of 20 posted by danny0603

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My Ten Commandments for Buying Coins on EBAY


95% of the coins I buy are off EBAY. Below are the 10 Commandments I follow:


1. Thou shalt not bid on auctions from a seller with less than a 99.8% positive feedback rating.


2. Thou shalt read the description of the coin carefully.


(Before I made this a commandment I purchased a slabbed coin and when I received it, the holder had a 1" crack in it. I was going to send it back but when I read the description, the crack was mentioned. Lesson learned.)


3. Thou shalt not assume that if you purchase several coins from the same seller that they will combine shipping costs. Ask before bidding.


(Most will but I have found a couple that will not and so I have crossed these sellers off my list.)


4. Thou shalt only buy coins that are located in the U.S or Canada.


5. Thou shalt not buy any coin on "Buy It Now".


(This is a personal preference. I prefer auctions but I have bought coins on BIN when a seller has made a mistake on listing a coin. I bought a PF70 for the same price that the seller had listed the raw version and I bought another PF70 for $39.00 instead of the $139.00 the seller had intended to list the coin as.)


6. Thou shalt research all listings for the same coin you are interested in to determine your maximum bid.


(I search all of the listings for like coins and then find the LOWEST Buy it Now price. I then subtract 20% from the lowest BIN to come up with my maximum bid. I end up winning more than half the coins I bid on using this technique.)


7. Thou shalt bid only once on a coin (preferably in the last few seconds.)


(After you have determined your maximum bid, just wait for the auction to get close to closing and then make your bid. If someone has bid higher than you, don't be tempted to get into a bidding war.)


8. Thou shalt add coins to a watch list. Every day I check my watch list to see which coins will be closing that day and to see if I should delete any from this list that have already surpassed my maximum bid. EBAY will send you a text message 15 minutes before the items on your watch list are set to end.


9. Thou shalt not whine, cry, cuss, etc. if you do not win because you were outbid. There will always be others that come along.


10. Thou shalt always leave feedback for the seller (positive, neutral or negative) depending on your experience. The feedback rating is what makes doing business on EBAY a safe experience.


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Great list! I've enjoyed reading your first 16 posts and can't wait for the last 3 in your series. I generally agree with most of your rules: here are a few comments.


1. Even a 100% seller rating is not a guarantee of success. Before Paypal became the only payment method, I won an auction from a seller with 100% positive feedback. Two weeks after mailing a money order, it became apparent he had disappeared with my (and dozens of other buyers) money order. His total take appeared to be on the order of $25,000, including my $200.

Ebay was absolutely no help.


2. Amen to that.


3. That one, too. Some sellers make most of their profits off of shipping.


4. Mostly agree with that one. I have made a very few purchases from western Europe, Australia and New Zealand but never China, Russia, or Nigeria.


5. Not with you on that one. BINs are mostly way overpriced but occasionally a seller lists a reaonable or even bargain price -maybe by accident, maybe he just wants a quick sale.


6. Agree, but it is also good to search completed listings to see what actual sale prices were achieved. Even 20% below the average BIN price may be more than the relatively few actual sales went for. One of the coins I'm looking for now has around a dozen BINs on ebay today, ranging from $325 to over $400, but there have only been three recent sales and none actually sold for over $240. And the last four sales by Heritage were $200 to $225.


7. I usually enter my maximum bid as soon as I'm sure I want to bid on an item. No bidding wars for me. If I'm outbid early in the listing, I can forget about that one and move on.


8. Watch list is a terrific tool. Adding notes makes it even more useful.


9. If I get outbid, I look at as "someone else paid too much".


10. I always leave prompt feedback when buying or selling, but make sure everything is complete and OK before leaving feedback. I bought a raw coin a couple of years ago, it was promptly delivered and looked good so I left positive feedback. A closer look at it the next day revealed it was well-made counterfeit, which was confirmed by two local dealers. I promptly returned it, but it took over a month and filing an ebay dispute to get my money back (and I still had to pay return postage!), so my feedback would certainly not been positive if I had waited until everything was resolved.




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