Paying too much? Auction bidders ignore % premium

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by chaparralian, Mar 1, 2024.

  1. chaparralian

    chaparralian Active Member

    I've been watching a few Morgan dollars and large cents at Heritage Auctions. What is surprising to me is how willing bidders are to pay more than the listed retail (via NGC pricing) on coins... sometimes hundreds of bucks over.

    Recently an 1836 AU 55 large cent went for $456. The NGC price is $405. An 1853 MS64 large cent went for $552. NGC price is $500. Not big differences, but still...

    I know the market is the market, but it seems to me that a lot of auction buyers don't seem to be considering adding the % "buyers" premium to the final price they'll be paying when bidding, or don't care. I'm finding better prices from dealers direct.

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  3. Spark1951

    Spark1951 Accomplishment, not Activity

    Usually it’s a case of the bad with the good.

    The good/great part of Heritage is their clientele: lots of exposure to whales. It’s not for everyone, though…the buyer’s premiums can get way out of hand. That and high fees for handling are some of the bad.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  4. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect since I was a baby

    Whenever I bid in a Heritage auction I usually limit my bid to 70% recent sales amount. The 30% I factor in includes their 20% buyers fee, state sales tax, and shipping/handling (they are higher than most). Unless the coin in question is exceptional, I won't break this rule. Yes, I too am amazed at how high some bidders go at times; especially for a coin which comes up for auction frequently.
    BuffaloHunter and Spark1951 like this.
  5. chaparralian

    chaparralian Active Member

    Excellent rule.
  6. Sting 60

    Sting 60 Well-Known Member

    I see it all the time on Heritage and Silvercity. I think some get caught up in the moment and don't plan ahead. I also think that some just think that the premium and shipping is just an extra expense and don't regard the extra cost as a representation of the value of the coin. I always calculate the premium and shipping before my bids and don't go past the total worth of the coin to include my bid+premium+shipping = what the coin is worth. I lose some, I win some. Regards.
    wxcoin likes this.
  7. BuffaloHunter

    BuffaloHunter Short of a full herd Supporter


    I have bid on a lot of coins at HA, and have yet to win one.
    wxcoin likes this.
  8. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    As they said in the closing moments of the Series Finale on "Seinfeld"....

    Didn't we have this conversation before ? :D
    wxcoin likes this.
  9. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    As they say in Hollyrock, yaba-daba-do. Here we go again!
    wxcoin likes this.
  10. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Are those the sale prices with the buyer's fees? If so, then 10-12% over the "Book" price doesn't seem like all that much.

    1. There are variances of values within grades (some XFs are more appealing than other XFs). Maybe these are coins closer to the top of their given range?

    2. Price guides fluctuate based on sale prices. Maybe these sales just represent the leading edge of a price shift that will eventually be reflected in the price guides.

    3. Another issue to consider in these auctions are bidding increments. With Heritage, once the price gets over $500, the increment is $25 ($30 considering buyer's fees). If a coin is bid up to $5 less than fair price, then the only option is to overpay by $25 (Or $10 if you are lucky with a cut bid).
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2024
  11. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    We can also add in the variety aspect. If it is an unattributed rare die pairing, then one should expect to pay a higher price.
    Spark1951 likes this.
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