TCHTrove's Blog

29 Aug 2022

eBay ….. A warning to new collectors

Collecting Tips | TCHTrove

I've noticed that a number of members have made reference to buying coins on eBay. This can be a good thing, and you CAN get some good deals there. I personally have bought & sold there for over 10 years. Hopefully, they know what they're doing, BUT for those who are new and/or inexperienced, and trying to buy raw coins, WATCH OUT!!

1st item - photos

Photos can be VERY deceiving! Lighting can make a huge difference. Certain lighting or angles can hide a multitude of problems, like cleaning and damage.

2nd - Grading

DO NOT just take the sellers word if they state that a raw coin meets a certain grade. There are some that actually know what they're talking about, but there are even many of the experienced dealers that will overstate the grade INTENTIONALLY! If you're not experienced in grading, do some research. One good way is to search for coins that have been professionally graded by PCGS or NGC. Use the filters to find those by these companies at the particular grade stated, and compare them to what you're looking at.

3rd - Seller feedback

ALWAYS check the sellers feedback from previous sales. Sellers with a high feedback score can have a high positive percentage, and still have way too many negatives. On the other side, some with a lower score, can have a low percentage only because of a few bad reviews. Always read the negatives and neutrals. Some people will leave bad reviews for some of the dumbest reasons, and ruin the percentage for someone who may actually be an honest seller.

4th - Check out the seller

If they have an eBay store there may be some background info, or an “about us” page. Look at what types of items they sell. You can use the filters to see items that have been sold. How long have they been selling? Do they offer returns? Who pays return shipping? Do they charge a “restocking fee? Etc….

As I said, you can get some good deals, and good stuff, but you can very easily get stuck with a lot of junk!

Hope this is helpful to someone!



Level 5

I personally don’t purchase anything from eBay for the reasons that you have listed. I did purchase a silver proof set from Amazon once though. All of my collection has come from coin stores. I just don’t feel comfortable buying from eBay.

It's Mokie

Level 6

I buy the majority of my coins and I follow your guidelines to a T. Lots of bad people out ther but easy to avoid if you're careful.


Level 4

Appreciate the blog, and a good message to newer collectors. I’ve been buying from eBay since I got heavily into collecting, and I’ve been fortunate. But I definitely research sellers, pay attention to reviews, and take my time.

AC coin$

Level 6

Highly important, the contents of your blog. Thanks for the descriptive writing and helping us become more aware of sellos and perhaps dealers.


Level 4

That’s what we’re here for, to help each other, right?

Long Beard

Level 5

Some very valuable insight. I would agree largely on number three being the more important recommendation, in that you are spot on about negative feedback. Some buyers you simply can not please no matter what. About all I could added to the discussion would be to invest in a coin specific book when buying raw. The information absolutely improves one's chances of not being taken, on EBAY or anywhere else.


Level 6

I've been selling and buying on eBay for many years. You do have to be very careful. And like you said in your blog...photos can be very deceiving. ; )


Level 4

Sometimes they do it intentionally, sometimes not. 😺

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Great words of advice here! Thanks!


Level 6

Great hints to buy. I have always done these things and never had a problem. I would add use pay pal if you can. That way if there is a problem you can get a refund. Thanks.


Level 4

eBay made a change awhile back and they do it directly from my bank, and still haven’t had a problem. Even got a refund a couple weeks ago, without asking. All I did was leave neutral feedback because of a shipping issue. 😼


Level 7

I have been buying from eBay for years. Never a problem. As you said I first check the feedback. Then I send a message. I also check his store. I want to see if he's just flipping the new coins. Great info. I have some friends on ebay! Everyone should be carefull. My sellers have A 100% selling grade and have been around for years! That's important also. Thanks for the tips.


Level 4

Thanks Mike. Like I said, I’ve bought & sold for over 10 years. Best seller I’ve found, is the ONLY one I’ve found with an ANA number.

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