It may seem strange, but the 7/3/11 internet auction is my first with Heritage Auctions.
Most people are creatures of habit, as they lean towards the familiar and shy away from the unfamiliar. However, in order to move ahead in life, one has to take risks and venture outside their comfort zone.
This force of habit manifested itself in me by my exclusive use of E-Bay to add coins to my collection. For many years, I thought E-Bay was the greatest thing since Mom?s apple pie. I loved being able to dial up most any coin and have it there for me to bid on whenever I wanted. My infatuation with E-Bay though made me vulnerable to its many drawbacks. Chief among those drawbacks are sellers who know little or nothing about coin collecting. After being burned by fakes, I have learned to be more discriminate about my E-Bay purchases. Since joining NGC?s ?Collectors Society? and reading of your experiences with other venues, I am slowly but surely spreading the wealth by venturing out into other coin purchasing venues.
Two years ago, I joined Teletrade and since then I have won twenty-six lots. I like that Teletrade is a professional auction house that deals exclusively in certified coins and currency. I also like the ?track and bid? and ?prices realized? features. Additionally, the ?Mr. Wantlist? feature informs me of coins I want for my collection in upcoming auctions. One big drawback with Teletrade though is how they handle hidden reserves, and I agree with recent posts on this subject.
For one reason or another, it is only recently though that I signed up as a bidder with Heritage Auctions and then only because I wanted to research a previous lot. About a month ago, I bought a PCGS MS-63 1881-CC Morgan dollar on E-Bay. For curiosity's sake, I checked PCGS?s certification on this coin. A nice feature that PCGS has that NGC does not (hint, hint) is a link to previous auctions my coin appeared. Interestingly, my coin was previously auctioned by Heritage at the March 2011 Sacramento Signature Auction. I clicked the hotlink and found I needed a login to view the final realized price. Naturally, I signed up and found out to my embarrassment how much the dealer profited on a coin I could have bid on myself had I been signed up with Heritage. Oh well, I was happy with my purchase at the time, and I will leave it at that.
That little immersion into Heritage was all I needed to whet my appetite, and I was on my way. I began by linking coins from Heritage?s e-mail alerts and perusing the other lots. Having read an article in Coins Magazine article about semi-key Morgan Dollars, I put an attractive PCGS AU-50 1888-S Morgan Dollar on my watch list. I then placed a bid consistent with previous auctions and won my first Heritage internet lot on July 3. Whenever I start anything new, I like to start small, but now with the first auction under my belt, I am ready to bite on bigger lots with Heritage.
With all these venues available to me because of the internet, I still like the face-to-face exchange with a dealer at a coin shop or a coin show. Some things never change, except that the internet is making these exchanges few and far in between, and that?s kind of sad. Overall though the availability of coins through any of a number of venues is good for the hobby and works to keep things on the up and up. May all your auction experiences be pleasant, and until next time, happy collecting.