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The Best Way to Sell Coins on EBay

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 3

When you want to sell coins on eBay, you should do some homework and do all that you can to present them well. This does not mean clean your coins. In fact, cleaning them is the worst you can do. No, you should prepare very good photographs of your coins. This can be difficult to do so some practice is in order.

1) Photograph all of your coins
It is usually best to photograph coins you wish to sell individually. Even if you are selling a collection, nice photos of each coin are better for most of your buyers. Set up a lamp fairly near the coin. Don't use the camera's flash feature. The flash of light on most cameras is far too bright for the coin. You will end up with a shiny spot with no detail. Hold your camera as steady as possible and take some photos. It is a good idea to take a number of shots for each coin. Vary the angle a little when you take some of the shots. Make sure you keep the camera steady in order to capture fine detail on the coin. If you have a camera with image stabilization, be sure to have that feature enabled. You can sell your coins in a bulk lot if you wish. This will lessen the amount of listings that you have to submit, making the process a little easier for you. If you decide to sell them as a group, take good pictures that clearly show all of the coins in the group. Flip the coins over and get a good picture of the other side as well. This may be a little risky for you but if you give the collectors enough detail for them to identify any possible rarities you have, then they will bid higher. You want to ensure that they have as much visual information as possible so they feel comfortable bidding higher values for your coins.

2) Edit your photographs
When you have taken the photographs of your coins, review them on the computer before listing coins on eBay. For each coin you are going to sell, find the best photographs. You'll ordinarily want a good photo of each side. Keep the photos that are crisp, the ones that show the coin well. It's a good idea to edit the coin photographs as well. Crop the excess background out of the photograph and save to a new file. If you do get a nice clear photo but it doesn't capture the correct color of the coin, you can still use it. You may have to include a shot that does show accurate color and provide a comment that one of your photos is not of the correct color.

3) Pick a good auction category
When it comes to listing the coins you want to sell on eBay, pay attention to the category. It's best to be as specific as possible. Ebay even insists on this to a large degree. You have to list your U.S. silver dollar in the "Coins", "US Coins", "Silver Dollars" category. There are additional categories to consider as well such as date ranges. It's a good idea to put your listing in a category that is as specific to the coin as possible. When looking at eBay listings, you will find some errors that other sellers have made. Sometimes a silver dollar will be shown in the "Dime" category. This reduces the chance of people finding the coin listing. Likely the eventual selling price will be lower than normal for a coin listed in the wrong category. Ebay does allow you to list your coins in two or more categories at once. This is usually not very useful so you should likely turn down the opportunity at listing time.

4) Describe the listing
Even if you don't know much about coins, you should describe your listing as accurately as you can. Be honest. State that you don't know anything about grading. Don't guess at a grade unless you are a knowledgeable collector. It is far better to state that it is a beautiful coin with only slight wear than to estimate a grade that is wildly inaccurate. Collectors will forgive a novice that uses terms like "beautiful", "shiny", "attractive", "slight wear" or similar. They are inclined to ignore the listings that say "Uncirculated" when they think that the coin is not. If in doubt, use general descriptive terms. You may include a descriptive story about the coin if you wish. Where you got it, why you are selling, that kind of thing. It may not add anything to the value you receive but it will identify you as a legitimate seller. Unfortunately these days, there are a lot of people dumping poor quality coins on ebay. If you are mistaken for someone just trying to make a fast buck, you may see very low bids on your items.

5) Pick a good auction listing time
When you are ready to list your coins, pick a time that corresponds to the most active times for eBay. That is usually prime time on a weeknight. You can use 7pm to 9pm Eastern time. Try not to have your listing end any later than 11pm Eastern. EBay auctions normally end exactly 3 to 14 days after the listing time. This means that it is not a good idea to list coins at 2am. If you wish, however, you can list whenever you want and have the listing start time deferred. There is an additional charge for this service. Ebay does offer the option to extend your listing to a maximum number of days for an additional cost. This is not a very useful service, however. When your items are listed, they tend to get a fair amount of attention during the first listing day. During the middle days, not much activity will happen. The biggest action occurs on the last day and even in the last few minutes of your listing. Extending the end time is not going to affect the traffic much at all.

If you plan ahead, take good photographs of your coins and get a reasonable listing time for your auction, you should be successful. The easier you make it for buyers to view your coins and see the fine details, the more they will be inclined to bid highly on your listings. EBay is a buyer's market so you need to do what you can to ensure that they buy from you and that they send you as much money as possible.



Jul 23, 2010 10:17pm
some good information here. Great article!
Aug 16, 2010 11:33am
Very informative article. I agree, getting good coin photos is difficult - thanks.
Oct 19, 2012 4:16am
This is very important, good tips for ebay. But you have to have in mind, that ebay gets round abolut 9% of your sales price if you sell something through ebay. Maybe it makes sense to choose another platform. For coins there is www.ma-auction.com an alternative. But even there you have to have good pictures and the right ending time...
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