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Coin Auction Platforms - which auction platform is best?

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Do you find yourself a bit lost in the online auction world at the moment? With all the auction houses and live bidding platforms out there it’s not easy to go through them all.

Or perhaps you are a coin dealer who is thinking about launching your own auctions? Read on as I will have some good info for you on this topic.

The numismatic auction environment in 2016 is complex with many options out there. It took me a while to go through all the options once I had tested The Saleroom’s platform for my first auction back in December and found that you can do better than that.

First of all, listing the auction on advertising and prebidding platforms  Sixbid and NumisBids is very important. And from a bidders perspective these platforms offer a great solution if you don't want the hassle of signing up for lots of different live bidding platforms. You can sign up to just Sixbid and place all your bids in lots of different auctions securely with Sixbid (in just a couple of clicks!) 

See my auction 2 catalogue, as it looks on Sixbid and on NumisBids

Leading UK antiques live bidding platform

My first auction ran on The Saleroom but I found that their platform has some issues, mainly regarding two points

-Images are automatically resized in their backend and will always be too grainy and blurry. We numismatists know how important images are to be able to judge the grade of a coin. Imagine what difference in value this could transfer to if you are selling or buying an expensive coin!

-The platform runs on Adobe Flash, which can’t be installed on most mobile devices and tablets, meaning you have to use the live bidding system on a laptop or desktop. For most people this means you have to be either at home or at the office.

I highlighted these shortcomings to The Saleroom, but as they are not specialising in numismatic auctions they have little understanding of the first issue regarding images. With this understanding I started looking into other options, of which there are many!

Some (good) options…

Redpoint Auction Systems and their  Coretech platform is one of the first live bidding systems and is tried and tested by many auction houses and bidders. As much as it does the job well I find that the design is not up to scratch for 2016 and must be improved to be a contender.

AUEX is a popular, fairly new platform which uses a modern and fresh design. It uses a lot of filters, which is useful if the auction has many categories and subcategories. I find that the many filters and options make the bidding environment look cluttered--too many options for my brain. However, it's probably a good option for those who only wish to browse within a narrow selection. I like to browse freely and see what catches my eyes!

HA.com (Heritage Auctions in US) has the most advanced auction bidding system out there. I mention it here only for reference as it is their own system and so not available for other auction houses to use. I find that the sounds, live streaming and options embedded in the console is similar to that of a gambling or trading platform, with the purpose of making the user forgetting its surroundings and getting carried away!

Catawiki is a relatively new player in the collectibles auction marketplace. They received $82 million in their series C funding round and are spending a lot of resources on SEO. Their database articles on coins are pulling in internet users into their auctions. To me it is a bit like eBay, with a lot of different small-time coin auctions. I can see what they are trying to do, enabling small players to increase their exposure to a global user network. From a dealer or auctioneer's perspective though, they are way too expensive. I find that the quality of coins on there is poor, making it uninteresting to me.

Invaluable.com is the American version of The Saleroom. Although specialising in antiques they are apparently keen on expanding into Numismatics. Their platform is quite strong; well designed, efficient and not based on Flash like The Saleroom's. However, they are still not offering enough interesting material for a British or European collector of numismatic material.

Why did I choose Biddr?

Biddr is the platform of company Skayo AG and is based in Lucerne, Switerland. The guys behind Biddr are also involved in Sixbid—Simon Wieland built much of Sixbid and so has experience of how a successful auction bidding platform should be setup, which is a huge plus.

I chose Biddr because I find it the platform which best combines a clean and fresh design with ease of use. It works like clock-work, which is not surprising considering it’s coming from Switzerland! Many of the other platforms look busy and complicated or have a longer signup process. Signing up with Biddr is super easy, one signup form, leave a few references and your contact details, then check your email and click the confirmation link. If you let your browser auto-complete forms this could take a couple of clicks only (but you have to type in your password--twice!)

The fact that it runs on a tablets and mobile devices means you can be anywhere and still login and participate in an auction. Once again, this is what you expect in 2016.

I hope you will enjoy participating in the auction on May 17th, at 5 PM GMT. I’ll see you there and good luck bidding!


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