NGC Limiting Coin Lookups / Verifications

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Rian, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Rian

    Rian New Member

    I know this will not affect a lot of collectors, but this surely is affecting me and soon will affect a lot of my clients.

    I noticed that NGC recently implemented a new limit as to the number of coins you are allowed to look up on their system. I think the limit is set to 8 or 10 lookups, whether you are a registered user or not.

    My problem is that I am buying more than 10 coins a day from various sources and need to verify the coins before I buy them. Even worse, I get a lot of sellers asking me to sell their coins. Here too I need to verify the authenticity of the coins before I sell them on behalf of my clients.

    This is placing me in a difficult situation, I am no longer able to verify all the coins I am interested in buying and selling and this is leading me to a situation where I may need to ask clients to have all NGC graded coins sent to PCGS or else I can no longer buy and sell NGC coins. I have also seen this being discussed by other sellers and buyers.

    Does anyone know if NGC is aware of this? This comes amid a time where I am seeing an increase in fake NGC holders.
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  3. Mkman123

    Mkman123 Well-Known Member

    Just posted this for you on the NGC boards, will let you know what they say
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
    Rian likes this.
  4. Garlicus

    Garlicus Debt is dumb, cash is king.

    Try clearing your cookies and history (cache) after every 7 visits, in order to get around this. Do this within the 'internet options'.

    See if that helps.
    Paul M. likes this.
  5. Rian

    Rian New Member

    Thanks, I did and it did not work.

    The end result of this would be simple for me. I will never touch an NGC graded coin again, nor will I sell for any of my clients unless they get their coins regraded elsewhere, as I will not be able to conduct due diligence when buying or selling.

    This would also mean cancelling my NGC subscription as I would have no further use for them.

    We should not be jumping through hoops to verify authenticity of coins before bidding, buying or selling them.
    JCro57 likes this.
  6. JayF

    JayF Active Member

    Did you contact NGC to ask if they did it on purpose? They may not know it, doesn't seem like it makes sense to limit it for subscribed members.
    Aotearoa and Stork like this.
  7. Morris_the_Cat

    Morris_the_Cat New Member

    yeah, i'm really confused by this.
  8. Evan8

    Evan8 A Little Off Center

    Just sign up for a free account. If you are logged in then you can look up as many coins as you want. Thats what I do.

    Edit: oops I should read everything first. Personally, logged in I havent had this problem. Maybe I didnt look up enough coins?
  9. scotts1

    scotts1 Well-Known Member

    I went to their site to try this and got a message that the site is under maintenance. Maybe that caused this problem, or they are now trying to fix it?
  10. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    This is not new. It's been doing this for a bit over a year now. After 10 lookups within a certain time frame it will not let you do another one for 10 minutes. It's not like it locks you out for the rest of the day.

    But if that is too much of a hassle, just use the NGC mobile app. It still uses their old API since it doesn't require the entry of the grade to do the lookup, and it doesn't have the access limit that their web app does. Plus you can just scan the barcode on the label with your phone.
  11. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    But of an overreaction, wouldn't you say? I mean we all hate being inconvenienced, but 10 minutes before looking up another 10 coins? You gonna stop all business with them over that?
  12. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    For whatever reason they did make it a lot harder and more limited access to the coin look ups a while back. I believe their logic is to keep cert numbers hidden, but that’s pointless as you can get millions of them looking around online
  13. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    They were trying to protect their site from data miners. You could previously spam their site with requests going sequentially through cert numbers. If a number didn't exist it would give you an error, and if you found a valid cert number with -001 you could just increment and pull all the coins until you found the upper boundary. Rinse and repeat for the next number. Eventually you'd have their whole catalog (and you could automatically download the high resolution images as well). This was a big burden on the servers and a threat to their copyright on the images.

    As a mitigation they now require you to know the grade, so you can't just request a random coin without having knowledge of it. Now you could try to guess the grade and that would have been an even bigger strain on the servers as a data miner loops through every possible grade for the -001 coin on a given submission number, but they cap you at 10 requests within a short time span to prevent that. These two changes together are what effectively block data mining.
  14. Mkman123

    Mkman123 Well-Known Member

    Here is there reply!

    Thank you for your post. There is no limit to the number of lookups that you can do in the Verify NGC Certification tool. We do, however, throttle (slow) the number of lookups that a particular user can do when our system identifies unusual patterns. For example, if the system notices that a user has a high percentage of incorrect lookups or lookups that were done extremely rapidly, we may slow the number of lookups that user can do for a period of time.
    These measures were implemented to help ensure the security of our database and prevent “bots” from crawling our certification data. In the vast majority of cases a user can do unlimited lookups without interruptions if they have valid NGC certification numbers and grades.
    TypeCoin971793 and Stork like this.
  15. Stork

    Stork I deliver Supporter

    Sounds like NGC is doing something smart to slow down the 'bots (and presumably the ones out to make the fakes), but might need to look at tweaking their algorithm a bit.

    Perhaps the OP could try contacting NGC him/herself, describe the pattern of use and NGC can assess the issue. NGC is generally a pretty customer service friendly group and their goal seems to be inhibiting the 'bots, not the actual users.

    Out of curiosity, is the population of those who sell to you wiling pay the fees to do crossovers just to keep you as a selling source?
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
    Mkman123 likes this.
  16. coinzip

    coinzip Well-Known Member

  17. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    Monkey accounts.
  18. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    If he’s in high end coins the crossovers would very likely increase their value which would certainly make customers happy. Of course there could be some angry ones from ones that don’t
  19. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    If the goal of NGC in limiting speed of access to their verification database is to limit production of counterfeit slabs, it's probably futile. The bad guys can use scripting, proxy servers, and variable IP connections to mine the data. Requiring grade to be entered along with cert. no. will slow an automated system only a little because there are only 30 grades. Using proxy servers and variable IP connections will make it look like different folks are asking for verifications. Their programmers would be smart enough to have the bot dump its cookies and cache after each cycle.

    I'm not sure the bad guys would start the process with NGC anyway. With Heritage's database, type, mint, date, grade and grading service could input to a bot, and it could come up with matches. Use OCR on the slab images to get the cert. nos.; then go to NGC's website to verify them.

    There are much better ways to fight slab counterfeiting if the grading services would only step into the 21st century and use them. To see what I mean, look at your credit card, and I don't mean the brown stripe along one edge.

    Jaelus likes this.
  20. royster

    royster southroy Supporter

    I was wondering what was going on it say's "verification is unavailable at this time" just when i need it the most. I paid to be an NGC member even though i could have got it thru my ANA membership i wanted more than what that offered. Seem's there being stingy?:greedy: PCGS doesn't do this.
  21. royster

    royster southroy Supporter

    So because i use what i paid for to verify certs population reports and price guides i get cutoff? Well that seem's odd and maybe you should have let folks know? It just happened to me today as i was looking up a coin for the first time yet this was first reported in June? I need to start coming on here more often! Thanks to everyone for this information:happy:
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