My first consignment with Great Collections is a success despite the recent fall in the gold market that depressed my bottom line.
About a year ago, I decided to discontinue collecting First Spouse gold coins and liquidate my collection. Three weeks ago on consignment through Great Collections, I sold four First Spouse coins. With those four coins were six other coins; they were an 1881-CC PCGS rattler Morgan Dollar, three Eisenhower dollars, and a common date Roosevelt Dime and Washington Quarter. Unfortunately, my timing was off, and I mailed the coins just before the price of gold fell, thus squelching any hope I had of waving the sellers fee on coins with a final hammer of over $1000 (a nice benefit of consigning with Great Collections).
That said; let me chronicle for you my entire Great Collections experience that started with downloading and filling out a consignment form. The consignment form is a simple two-page form in which you index the coins with your instructions on the first page, and read the form instructions with terms and conditions on the second page. I decided not to include any special instructions, but rather allowed Great Collections to determine the opening bids. I then packed my coins for shipping to Irvine, Ca. via registered mail.
Upon receipt of my coins at Great Collections, I received an e-mail stating that my coins arrived safely. Then my coins were uploaded onto my Great Collections account, where I could monitor the auction that was set to close in two weeks. One of the things I found odd, was the opening bid for the 1881-CC was set at one dollar, otherwise the first spouse coins opened for $500 each. The IKEs opened for about 50% of their value, and the dime and quarter each opened for a dollar.
What then ensued was two agonizing weeks of watching the bids on my coins. Interestingly, the 1881-CC did not remain at a dollar for long, but quickly rose to near its market value. The gold coins also came up to their market values shortly after opening. The dime and the quarter saw little interest, and the auction ended with the quarter receiving one bid and closing at one dollar and the dime receiving two bids closing at two dollars. This essentially resulted in giving Great Collections the dime and the quarter and paying to sell them! Learning from this experience, I will no longer be sending common date coins on consignment, instead I will probably list them on E-Bay.
I receive numerous e-mails from Great Collections announcing their upcoming auctions. On one particular e-mail, I noticed my rattler as one of the highlighted coins. You can imagine my sense of pride, having one of my coins featured in their e-mail. Furthermore, that e-mail assured the highest visibility possible for at least this one coin. (For those interested, Great Collections also offers various listing enhancers at a cost that I declined.) At the final hammer, this coin received thirteen bids and closed at close to fair market value with buyers premium (I always take into account the buyers premium when I bid on a lot at any auction, and Great Collections has an industry low 10% buyers premium for their lots).
The IKEs closed near their opening bids with one exception. That exception was a 1971-D MS-66 example, opening at $40 and closing at $91 with five bids. It seems that high-grade coins attract increased interest with more bids and higher closings. After buying this coin on E-Bay for a good price last year and subsequently upgrading it this year, I netted a tidy $20 profit.
For the gold coins, I would like to do a little comparison, comparing one coin sold by me through E-Bay with another sold through Great Collections. Last year, I sold a first spouse coin on E-Bay with a final hammer price of $810. For that listing, I paid a total of $89 towards E-Bay fees, Pay-Pal fees, and postage. With a final hammer price of $826 through Great Collections, I paid $49 towards sellers fees and postage. To be fair E-Bay does not have a buyers fee to consider when bidding on a lot, however, had any of my Great Collections lots sold for over $1000, I would have realized huge savings over a similar E-Bay listing. When it comes to postage costs consider this, I have to mail each E-bay sale to a different address. With consignments, I mail all the coins together to one address, representing a huge savings on postage alone. When considering the hassle factor, I mail all the coins to Great Collections and then forget about them. E-bay however, requires much more involvement on my part to close the deal.
The day the auction ended, I received an e-mail notification of my sales with access to a full report detailing every fee and my net proceeds. With a sale date of May 13, the final closing of my consignment was scheduled for June 13. This seemed a long time to get my money, but when I considered that Great Collections was waiting on the buyers to pay for their lots, I thought one month was reasonable. Then to my surprise, I received a check, new consignment forms, and a printed report via priority mail earlier this week. Overall, I am very impressed with how Great Collections handled my consignment. In the future, I will definitely give Great Collections first consideration, when I have suitable coins to sell.
With the proceeds of my consignment, I bought two key coins for my Morgan Dollar collection, which are pictured with this post. Today as I look over my entire collection, I am thoroughly pleased with where my collection stands. In closing, happy collecting and be sure to remember and thank our courageous veterans this Memorial Day. Furthermore, stay tuned for next months Coin of the Month, which will prove to be out of this world!
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