Are Heritage auctions real?
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Mark:

 

Thanks from me, too. Unlike the OP, I actually read Heritage's terms, so I have known for a long time that Heritage may bid on a coin. But I did not know how the buy-it-now price was determined.

 

Mark

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Keep in mind that if Heritage bids on a coin in their auction and wins it, they have to then sell for a profit or there is no point in doing so. Granted they don't pay BP on it, so they have an edge. If you look at their auction results, there are always post-auction buys. Those are coins that the consignors put too high a reserve on, even for Heritage to bid on. So it is not like they are bidding on every coin in their auctions, but only the ones they are interested in reselling and only at a profit. So HA is no different than any other dealer bidding in their auctions in this regard, should dealers not be allowed to bid as well, only open it to collectors? Would you then say it is fair?

 

Best, HT

 

Thanks HT. I didn't regard HA as a dealer but I thought just a medium for consignors to bring their offerings to market. I admittedly viewed HA as strictly an auction house that took no interest in actually buying what those consignors had to offer. My bad- wasn't aware of this practice but know now.

 

Pocket that was directed at 200K. Heritage is more than an auction house, they buy out right, do wholesale and sell on ebay. They are probably involved in all kinds of dealer trades as well, and then they have their collector clients they are looking out for. I have sold them coins at shows, and they pay pretty strong. I am sure some of the coins they buy outright they put up in auction, but not all of them.

 

Best, HT

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I have bought coins from Heritage at their booth at major shows for very attractive prices, including at amounts that offered using the Gray Sheet as a guide. If they are paying over market for auction pieces it must be a rare occurrence.

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I personally wouldn't have a problem if the consignor was aloud to bid on his, or, her coins so long as they paid buyers premium if they won, and would have to eat that cost.

 

The auction house actually bids on coins too? Is this correct? If so; what is Heritage's cutoff point- 30% to 40% of retail? Is this done with all coins? I'm just curious so as a buyer I can keep this in mind when bidding...sour taste if this is truly a policy with major auction houses.

 

1. As far as I understand (and I've never done it, maybe MarkFeld can confirm), but a consignor may bid on his own coins. If he wins, he pays the buyers premium to compensate the auction house for their troubles.....

 

While in some, though not in all cases, Heritage allows consignors to place reserves, consignors are prohibited from actually bidding on their own

coins. And the reserves are disclosed.

 

I'm not doubting you, but when was this new policy implemented? This is the listing that always sticks out in my mind:

 

‡Note: The owner placed a late bid on this unreserved lot and repurchased it, subject to applicable commission.

 

https://coins.ha.com/itm/buffalo-nickels/nickels/1927-s-5c-ms65-anacs/a/1166-5323.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515

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I personally wouldn't have a problem if the consignor was aloud to bid on his, or, her coins so long as they paid buyers premium if they won, and would have to eat that cost.

 

The auction house actually bids on coins too? Is this correct? If so; what is Heritage's cutoff point- 30% to 40% of retail? Is this done with all coins? I'm just curious so as a buyer I can keep this in mind when bidding...sour taste if this is truly a policy with major auction houses.

 

1. As far as I understand (and I've never done it, maybe MarkFeld can confirm), but a consignor may bid on his own coins. If he wins, he pays the buyers premium to compensate the auction house for their troubles.....

 

While in some, though not in all cases, Heritage allows consignors to place reserves, consignors are prohibited from actually bidding on their own

coins. And the reserves are disclosed.

 

I'm not doubting you, but when was this new policy implemented? This is the listing that always sticks out in my mind:

 

‡Note: The owner placed a late bid on this unreserved lot and repurchased it, subject to applicable commission.

 

https://coins.ha.com/itm/buffalo-nickels/nickels/1927-s-5c-ms65-anacs/a/1166-5323.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515

 

To my knowledge, there is no new policy and I don't know the details regarding the lot you linked.

 

I do know that client accounts are set up so as to prevent consignors from bidding on their own lots. As an example, when I had my own rare coin business and used to consign to Heritage, there were a few times when, after viewing auction lots, I was placing bids on-line and unknowingly tried to bid on my own consigned coins. A message popped up, indicating something to the effect that I was prohibited from bidding on my own lot.

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There seems to be a belief that HA is in the business of inflating auction prices. They are not.

 

They are in the business of selling coins at auction and through their own direct sales.

 

They don't pay the buyers premium in cash (although it may be part of the charges between the two sales channel for their internal P&L purposes).

 

if a coin at auction is seriously undervalued and HA believes they can sell it shortly for more money, then yes, they might buy it at auction and list it for sale through their online and eBay platforms.

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These guys are not your friends. If they were mine I wouldn't associate with them any longer.

 

This is a good article someone posted back in page 1.

 

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2004/1227/156.html

 

"He was dead center of his next misadventure after launching a coin grading agency, Numismatic Certification Institute, in 1984. It, too, went out of business, after the FTC found that Halperin was giving inflated grades to coins and marketing them through a Heritage-backed outfit called Certified Rare Coin Galleries. Using television ads to draw in victims, they sold high-grade silver and gold U.S. coins for more than twice what they would have fetched in more-reputable retail channels. Heritage agreed in 1989 to pay $1.2 million in restitution. The FTC also insisted that the company include a document with every NCI-assessed coin stating that it had been graded according to loose standards. Halperin shuttered NCI, but insists most of the grades he gave then would hold up on regrading today."

 

"Still, Halperin has found a way to exploit the system. In lieu of running his own grading agency, he has invested in them and, by his own admission, has made millions in capital gains over the years (the agencies process perhaps 60,000 coins a month). He and Ivy each own close to 12.5% of NGC, and Heritage recently bought a music memorabilia auction business from Collector’s Universe, the publicly traded company that owns PCGS and similar grading services for baseball cards and postage stamps."

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I have the most amazing, most incredible solution to all of this HA nonsense....

 

GREATCOLLECTIONS. COM

 

I know I know, HA has.....um... er..... well.... what? What is it that they have that make it a better alternative to GC?

GC has incredible customer service, HA has none. GC has extremely quick payout time, HA has... well.... months of waiting to get paid. GC has fees that are reasonable, HA has fees that are so high it is borderline insulting, GC has friendly staff who are happy to make consigning an easy/ simple process. HA has a system where unless one of their agents thinks you have 6 figures worth of coins to sell they don't want to give you the time of day and even when u do have a 6-figure plus consignment it still isn't easy to get anywhere with their "consignment experts" or whatever they ate called. GC seems to treat all their customers the same, whether a 3, 5, 6, or 7-figure consignor. While HA justifies their much higher fees by boasting about their superior buyers pool, meaning they will tell you that even though sellers fees are higher, sellers will net more because there are so many more buyers, GC doesn't say anything and just sells your coins for more money and with less fees as their prices have been and continue to be as strong or stronger than HA for quite sometime now, regardless of the size of their buyers pool....

 

At this point, i honestly do not know why anybody would work with HA when GreatCollections is available as an option...

All that's just my opinion of course, which isn't very popular around here these days...

 

Maybe someone could help me out, and give me any reasons how HA can even find consignors of coins when GC is so much better/cheaper/faster at paying out/ friendlier/easier to work with/ etc.... ?

 

I can't seem to figure it out.

 

 

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What a can of worms. Why are you only bringing up Heritage? What about the other major auction houses?

 

Btw, I have made up to 5 fold profits from Heritage coins before without even regrading. So yeah.

Edited by BustDime1811

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I have the most amazing, most incredible solution to all of this HA nonsense....

 

GREATCOLLECTIONS. COM

 

I know I know, HA has.....um... er..... well.... what? What is it that they have that make it a better alternative to GC?

GC has incredible customer service, HA has none. GC has extremely quick payout time, HA has... well.... months of waiting to get paid. GC has fees that are reasonable, HA has fees that are so high it is borderline insulting, GC has friendly staff who are happy to make consigning an easy/ simple process. HA has a system where unless one of their agents thinks you have 6 figures worth of coins to sell they don't want to give you the time of day and even when u do have a 6-figure plus consignment it still isn't easy to get anywhere with their "consignment experts" or whatever they ate called. GC seems to treat all their customers the same, whether a 3, 5, 6, or 7-figure consignor. While HA justifies their much higher fees by boasting about their superior buyers pool, meaning they will tell you that even though sellers fees are higher, sellers will net more because there are so many more buyers, GC doesn't say anything and just sells your coins for more money and with less fees as their prices have been and continue to be as strong or stronger than HA for quite sometime now, regardless of the size of their buyers pool....

 

At this point, i honestly do not know why anybody would work with HA when GreatCollections is available as an option...

All that's just my opinion of course, which isn't very popular around here these days...

 

Maybe someone could help me out, and give me any reasons how HA can even find consignors of coins when GC is so much better/cheaper/faster at paying out/ friendlier/easier to work with/ etc.... ?

 

I can't seem to figure it out.

 

 

You forgot to add that GC ships the day after the auction has closed, making them super fast to get wins to buyers.

 

Best, HT

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What a can of worms. Why are you only bringing up Heritage? What about the other major auction houses?

 

Btw, I have made up to 5 fold profits from Heritage coins before without even regrading. So yeah.

 

What do you mean by 5 fold profits, that seems abit vague can you be more specific?

 

Thanks, HT

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Seems difficult to equate GC with Heritage Auctions.

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HT:

 

I have experience at GC and Heritage only as a buyer. I have bought a few coins at GC and many more at Heritage simply because Heritage has more of the type of coins that interest me. For example, the last coin I purchased from Heritage was a pattern. Currently Heritage has 30 patterns that are or will be for sale. It's not quite as easy to find patterns on GC's website but when I checked last week I think they had 6 or 7.

 

I also collect classic silver commemoratives. Heritage currently has 501 that are or will be for sale. GC has 109. And a LOT of GC's are "retreads;" coins that have been appearing in their auctions for 6 months or more and do not sell because their reserve is too high.

 

I think it's easy to see why I like Heritage. But there are times when GC has commemoratives that I really like and I've been fortunate enough to win a few. I think GC does a MUCH better job of (occasionally) having commemoratives that interest me in their weekly auctions than Heritage can manage in their weekly Tuesday/Sunday auctions. Indeed, I am not a big fan of Heritage's weekly auctions because I think the coins are generally lower grade.

 

So, as a buyer, I prefer Heritage but GC is definitely worth looking at every week.

 

Mark

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The astute collector will examine a wide selection of sellers/collectors before making a purchase. In that sense, a single coin at some "country" farm sale might be more important that an offering of hundreds of similar pieces from an international seller or specialist.

 

As for auctions, we all are responsible for reading and understanding the terms of sale and the the terms of consignment. American firms seem to be more forthright and generous in these than do European auctioneers, but that might be due to my US-oriented perceptions.

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Seems difficult to equate GC with Heritage Auctions.

 

How so?

 

And yes HardTimes, I did forget to add the incredible speed at which you recieve win items... today was Wednesday, so i recieved my box of coins from GC that I won last Sunday... yes the coins I won Sunday night, arrive no later than 3 days later... it has never taken longer to get my coins, as long as I've paid Sunday night or early enough Monday morning.

 

RWB, I'm guessing you are talking about the material HA has versus GC... if so, I'm extremely confident we are seeing that start to change. There will come a day, sooner than later when GC is preferred over HA. Both by buyers and sellers. There really is no comparison between the two. Gc is easy and great to work with, HA is very hard to work with (when they aren't being impossible to work with)..so far for me, they have made it impossible for me to work with them.

 

If not there slready, GC is well on their way to surpassing anything HA has to offer for buyers and sellers.

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I rarely participate in auctions of any kind, but I look at all the pretty pictures. Maybe I'm thinking of the quality of material and presentation? It seems that everyone's weekly auctions have mostly routine material....it's not "bad" material....just ordinary. I would look at the major auction companies for new and high quality coins and medals.

 

As for prompt delivery, it is reasonable that small companies have an advantage over larger ones. The descriptions of GC's shipping are very positive, and that might also be part of their approach.

 

All of the thread's discussion suggests that someone might want to undertake a comprehensive examination of auction buying/selling options available to collectors. Maybe one of the hobby publications....?

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What a can of worms. Why are you only bringing up Heritage? What about the other major auction houses?

 

Btw, I have made up to 5 fold profits from Heritage coins before without even regrading. So yeah.

 

What do you mean by 5 fold profits, that seems abit vague can you be more specific?

 

Thanks, HT

 

Not that hard on a few exceptional items that are under-graded like AU58 coins that could go significantly higher.

 

As for HA in general, they are one of the largest auction companies but from what I have seen on varied experiences of consignors, many of their experiences are not good and if you did a thorough search of legal problems HA has had over the years it is hard to see how they could operate in more consumer friendly states like CA or NY; TX seems to protect large businesses at the cost of some aggrieved consumers. And on a coin fraud case I brought up with first HA then PNG due to their non-responsiveness, if the large money interest like HA wants to play by their own rules good luck getting any justice. (Finally heard back from HA after going through PNG)

Edited by Nutmeg Coin

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How did the complaint with PNG work out?

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What a can of worms. Why are you only bringing up Heritage? What about the other major auction houses?

 

Btw, I have made up to 5 fold profits from Heritage coins before without even regrading. So yeah.

 

What do you mean by 5 fold profits, that seems abit vague can you be more specific?

 

Thanks, HT

 

Not that hard on a few exceptional items that are under-graded like AU58 coins that could go significantly higher.

 

As for HA in general, they are one of the largest auction companies but from what I have seen on varied experiences of consignors, many of their experiences are not good and if you did a thorough search of legal problems HA has had over the years it is hard to see how they could operate in more consumer friendly states like CA or NY; TX seems to protect large businesses at the cost of some aggrieved consumers. And on a coin fraud case I brought up with first HA then PNG due to their non-responsiveness, if the large money interest like HA wants to play by their own rules good luck getting any justice.

 

Although I have many disagreements with the way the PNG handles complaints, if you are referring to the Double Eagle coin that you referenced in previous threads, then the PNG and Heritage were correct to handle the matter in the way that they did.

 

Your money was stolen by a scammer; the coin was not actually stolen from you. That is a critical distinction. Moreover, based on the sketchy scans that he sent you of the item, I doubt the fraudster ever owned the coin. He likely ripped the image from somewhere else, in which case, Heritage would have no basis to interfere with the sale of its consignor's private property. The PNG would have been correct in dismissing the complaint/not acting.

 

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What a can of worms. Why are you only bringing up Heritage? What about the other major auction houses?

 

Btw, I have made up to 5 fold profits from Heritage coins before without even regrading. So yeah.

 

What do you mean by 5 fold profits, that seems abit vague can you be more specific?

 

Thanks, HT

 

Not that hard on a few exceptional items that are under-graded like AU58 coins that could go significantly higher.

 

As for HA in general, they are one of the largest auction companies but from what I have seen on varied experiences of consignors, many of their experiences are not good and if you did a thorough search of legal problems HA has had over the years it is hard to see how they could operate in more consumer friendly states like CA or NY; TX seems to protect large businesses at the cost of some aggrieved consumers. And on a coin fraud case I brought up with first HA then PNG due to their non-responsiveness, if the large money interest like HA wants to play by their own rules good luck getting any justice.

 

Although I have many disagreements with the way the PNG handles complaints, if you are referring to the Double Eagle coin that you referenced in previous threads, then the PNG and Heritage were correct to handle the matter in the way that they did.

 

Your money was stolen by a scammer; the coin was not actually stolen from you. That is a critical distinction. Moreover, based on the sketchy scans that he sent you of the item, I doubt the fraudster ever owned the coin. He likely ripped the image from somewhere else, in which case, Heritage would have no basis to interfere with the sale of its consignor's private property. The PNG would have been correct in dismissing the complaint/not acting.

 

I disagree; but there is a larger question of whether their stolen numismatic item feature is working or has ever worked. I made worthwhile queries on this, and Mr. Brueggeman said he would look into and get back to me that the fraud would not give the consignor of the fraudulent item clear title, as well as other conditions he signed when consigning it. The Coin World advertiser definitely had it so you are wrong on that count guaranteed. I consider it extremely irresponsible for contacted parties to fail to even provide an answer, but that is the way many lawyers and certain "professionals" operate, only respond if their financial gain is advantaged. It really comes down to ethics and the golden rule, treating others as you would want to be treated. If a large numismatic company wants to play by their own rules without providing reasonable responses to their conduct the hobby will be damaged.

 

Actually I finally heard back from HA through the PNG as Mr. Brueggeman made an inquiry even as he is recovering from back issues. (Update 10-27)

Edited by Nutmeg Coin

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Interesting accusations. Can the OP provide more specific support for them? What about other major coin auction companies?

 

Don't mean to accuse Heritage. But I am feeling that they are not real auctions, where if there is no real demand, you can swoop the the item for a better price. It's a rigged system, where if those coins are not having enough bidders, the house competes with me knowing what my secret / proxy bid is. So, secret bids are not a secret!

 

I am just saying, its unfair practice, though they have it somewhere when you sign up.

 

Now, this makes free market theory invalid if we want to track values of the coins, in addition to crack-out re-grade to get a better grace from TPG's!

 

If they claim to be gold standard in selling coins, I would assume they should not have this unfair advantage.

 

I do not buy from other coin auctioneers, so, I do not know. But, if everyone does that, the whole coin auction market is rigged! (BTW, I am not the end of the world guy)

 

I've purchased many, many coins at HA. I believe they are very transparent with coin values. At the bottom of EACH listing, there is a table of recently sold material and another table listing pricing from a variety of sources. They are the only auction house to provide so much pricing information in the listing. If you believe the coin you want is priced too strongly, then don't bid on it. Due to the sure size of HA's auctions, they attract many buyers and dealers, so the competition for nice material is high. While I've paid strong premiums for coins at HA, I've also been able to win auctions at favorable prices.

 

When you sign up for an account, the default setting is that every coin you win will automatically go into the "Post auction buy it now". Those prices are always inflated over the auction price. My recommendation to you is to stay away from these. On my account, I turned this off. None of the coins I win are available for Post Auction Buy it Now. I'm buying coins for my collection, but many of the winners are buying them for resale.

 

I've also won coins at Legend, Stack's, Scotsman's, Great Collections and eBay. In all cases, it's best to do your homework before the auction. That includes deciding what your max bid will be on a particular coin. In any situation, if the coins rises above your comfort level, than don't buy it. However, IMO, you'll need to pay above average market value for eye appealing coins.

 

 

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[

 

When you sign up for an account, the default setting is that every coin you win will automatically go into the "Post auction buy it now".

 

I think you mean 'Make Offer to Owner'(?), none of my wins at HA have ever been put into a Post Auction Buy it Now.

 

Best, HT

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[

 

When you sign up for an account, the default setting is that every coin you win will automatically go into the "Post auction buy it now".

 

I think you mean 'Make Offer to Owner'(?), none of my wins at HA have ever been put into a Post Auction Buy it Now.

 

Best, HT

 

You are right. I was using the wrong terminology.

 

I admit, that when I was typing my response, I was too lazy to look up the actual phrasing. My overall point was it's a default setting that can be changed and not an indication of anything nefarious.

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I tracked 23 items in Signature auction 1240 without placing a bid. I see that 12 of these that sold are now offered for sale by owner. This is a common occurrence for the kind of material I want. So it does make me wonder if I would be bidding against the house. Even if these were real winning bids I understand that I would be bidding against people that are auction junkie dealers that maybe don't ever even see these coins they won - they just re-sell their coins and the shippers address could be Dallas Texas.

 

All coins purchased in Heritage auctions will be marked as accepting offers, unless the winning bidder has turned off this website feature in their My Heritage account.

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