A few times a year, I am asked about how to sell your coins, currency, tokens, and other numismatic items on eBay. If you have not sold anything on eBay, there are a few good resources for you to learn the basics. But to be successful selling coins, you should include these extra steps:
- Know what you are selling. In over 200 years, the U.S. Mint has produced many coins. It may not be enough to know the denomination and date to figure out the type of coin you are selling. On a few occasions, the Mint produced two types of coins in the same denomination in the same year. One example was in 1921 when the U.S. Mint produced both the Morgan and Peace Dollars. It is important to know the difference.
- Understand the basics of grading. If you are selling coins that have been graded and encapsulated by a one of the grading services, then you do not have to worry about knowing the grade. But if you are selling ungraded coins, also known as “raw coins,” you should have an idea of the grade. You can estimate the grade by using the visual guide at PCGS Photograde™ Online. PCGS has created an app for iOS devices with the same pictures.
- Set realistic pricing. Not every coin is worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. In order to set realistic pricing, you may want to look at recently closed auctions to see the prices realized. This is a good tool find an average price. If you are still unsure about the value of your coin, try looking up your coin in the Numismedia Fair Market Value Price Guide. There is a page for each coin type and the pricing is different for each grade.
- Take clear pictures of the front and back of the coin. Even if the coin is encapsulated by a grading service, many collectors want to see what they are buying. Taking the time to take clear pictures will enhance your listing and entice interested bidders into bidding on your coin. Remember, if you are selling graded coins, you must have pictures of the grading service’s label on both sides of the slab.
- Write a descriptive title. You may be selling a coin with great eye appeal, but collectors will not look at your auction if you do not tell them what your auction is for. Include the year, mintmark, and coin type in your title. If the coin is encapsulated, include the name of the grading company and the assigned grade. If the coin is not graded, use just the letters abbreviating your estimation of the grade (G, VG, F, EF, AU, and UNC for uncirculated). If the coin is a proof coin, make sure that is noted in the title.
When you list graded coins for sale on eBay, there is a rule that says you title may only include the names of four grading services: ANACS, ICG, NGC, and PCGS. If the coin was encapsulated by another service, you must remember to take a picture of the label and note the name of the service in the description. If you mention another service in the title, mention that the coin is graded, or include the grade assigned by another service, eBay may pull your auction for violating their listing policy.