Using online auctions

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by John Skelton, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. John Skelton

    John Skelton Morgan man!

    I'm considering taking a dip into online auctions and would like some advice. I'm looking first at HA, but would listen to other suggestions.

    What fees can I expect to pay on top of the coin cost? And is there any way I can pay without having to use PayPal? Do I have to establish an account with money in it before I can bid?

    If there is somewhere I can go get answers without bothering you guys, please let me know. Thanks!
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  3. FarmerBill

    FarmerBill Member

    Well there is that giant swamp called eBay. I think you need a Paypal account to buy there though. I hope im not breaking any rules here but look at the "Great Collections" auctions. I've heard good things about it but have never bought anything there. Im pretty sure you can register and pay your invoices by check.
  4. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure if HA accepts credit cards for purchases over
    $1000 dollars. Not sure about paypal. With them it might be
    personal check. Most other auction houses prefer PayPal or
    CC. If you use NumisBids or Sixbid you can find out the terms
    of sale there. 18-25% is the going rate for most purchases.
    Sales tax might also be an issue. Figure on P+H as well and
    hope that there is adequate insurance. A $100 coin might cost
    $150 to put the coin in your collection.
  5. Coinsandmedals

    Coinsandmedals Well-Known Member

    HA is a solid company and even though I am a tiny fish in a big sea they have always treated me with the utmost respect. When you purchase from them or any of the larger auction houses expect to pay the 20% BP (pretty typical), state tax, and shipping. HA typically ships within a week and I haven’t had a package take more than 2 days to arrive once in USPS possession. Stacks Bowers is another great option. They have a similar turnaround time as HA. Depending on what you are looking for Great collections (GC) has been top-notch (customer service wise) thus far. My last order was in the mail the very next day. I mostly collect world coins so I do not have as much experience with GC as I do with HA and Stacks. All three of these auction houses allow payments via credit card up to a certain amount although there is usually a nominal (~3%) fee added for credit card purchases. If paying via debit card there is no fee through HA.
    lordmarcovan and imrich like this.
  6. Chuck_A

    Chuck_A Well-Known Member

    Buyers fees are 12.5% if you use PayPal or a credit card and 10% if you pay by check linked to your account at Great Collections . I believe HA charges are as high as 20% on top of the hammer price + shipping /taxes. It's free to look at the past sales if you have an account and a great resource to find any given coin. I use PayPal as a log in for HA, it's the easiest way to log in to my account and a payment method is required to open the account, I have a few other accounts that have similar requirements. Not all auctions are the same, it helps to shop around. Good luck.
  7. Derrick Combs

    Derrick Combs Member

    Do these auction houses that charge sales tax only charge tax if you live in a tax state? I know with Ebay I don't pay any state tax because I live in New Hampshire. Wondering about some of the others if anyone knows
  8. Coinsandmedals

    Coinsandmedals Well-Known Member

    Of the three I listed HA is the only one to include a tax on the invoice. I live in Mississippi and to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had to pay tax on an eBay purchase.
  9. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Just FYI, about 1-2 months ago Heritage stopped accepting PayPal. They will accept CC up to a certain dollar amount but they charge a fee.
  10. UncleScroge

    UncleScroge Active Member

    You DO NOT need a PayPal account to purchase on eBay but your credit card is processed through PayPal for payment.
  11. John Skelton

    John Skelton Morgan man!

    I'm a poor collector, and am looking at coins ranging from $20-$30 a pop. Some of the coins I saw were going for less than ten dollars. It might be worth it to get a debit card from my credit union just to avoid an extra charge.

    I'll look into the other auction houses. I don't want to go to ebay given the problems I've read about here.
  12. bradgator2

    bradgator2 Supporter! Supporter

    Your best bet is going to be ebay. You have to sift through a TON of crap. But there are plenty of coins there in your price range with a little patience.
    tibor likes this.
  13. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    Ebay can be a mine field but it's about the only place I can find the coins that I collect (1700-1800's Italian) . However, it takes time to learn how to spot the crooked sellers and scams
    tibor likes this.
  14. Coinsandmedals

    Coinsandmedals Well-Known Member

    I should also mention that auction houses like HA have a minimum buyers premium (I think it’s $19). So if you win an item for $10 you’ll still have to pay the $19 BP, shipping, and tax. In the end, your $10 item is going to cost you ~$40+ easily. Your best bet would be to check out eBay that way you can minimize the extra expenses (BP, higher shipping charges, and taxes) that are often associated with large auction houses. When making larger purchases these charges dissipate pretty easily, but paying almost $30 extra for a coin that sold for $10 would be hard for me to justify. There have been times where stuff was selling for dirt cheap on HA but avoided placing a bid for this very reason.
    tibor likes this.
  15. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    Thanks for pointing out all the fees you have to pay when you buy a coin from these auction houses like HA. Some people complain about the sales tax that Ebay charges, but it's still way cheaper than HA
    Coinsandmedals and tibor like this.
  16. Chuck_A

    Chuck_A Well-Known Member

    Keeping in mind that you are more likely to buy a counterfeit coin in a fake holder is more likely on ebay than the other auction houses unless you are buying from a well known seller that has the feedback to prove it. I still use PayPal to log in to my HA account and different methods for other accounts. It helps to look around and see what your budget allows. I live in Washington State and seldom ever pay taxes on a coin purchase. Great Collections doesn't charge a sales tax unless you live in California. is another site that offers less expensive coins and the sellers are supposedly screened, however I've never made a purchase there and I'm not aware of their fees and shipping costs. The state you live in will be the deciding factor of whether or not a sales tax is required, South Dakota vs Wayfair set the precedent for States to collect taxes on out of state sales and it varies from state to state.
    Read the rules and information about buying and selling on any auction house. GC charges a minimum of $5 in buyers fees and $5 shipping for the 1st coin and 50 cents for each additional coin purchased for each week's auction. IMO, HA from my experience has the highest buyer's fees for their auctions and I will not buy a coin on eBay.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
    serafino likes this.
  17. John Skelton

    John Skelton Morgan man!

    I may end up forgetting about online auction bidding given the fees they charged. Just as well, I guess. I always have a local monthly coin show and coin club meetings with an auction and raffle, not to mention a larger coin auction about every three months in a nearby city. And no buyer's minimum!
  18. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Look at it like this, if you try e-bay and don't like it, stop using it.
  19. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    You didn't state what area of coins interests you. Try Vcoins and MAshops . They have a wide selection of dealers but PayPal is preferred. Good luck.
  20. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Sales tax is dictated by the states, the sites have no say in it. They just follow what they're told to do by the different states. Whatever your rate is is what gets charged or not if you have a tax exempt purchase

    If true that will change going forward when they break the threshold for other states
    Chuck_A and serafino like this.
  21. John Skelton

    John Skelton Morgan man!

    True. But it does seem to be something of a swamp.

    Like everyone else, I like Morgans, but currently looking for Walking Liberty halves and Washington quarters. I'd also be checking Peace dollars because my son likes them.

    I haven't checked, does Missouri collect the tax?
    Kentucky likes this.
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