I have been buying coins on ebay for years and although its a great place to buy and sell there can be pitfalls.
Ebay has thousands of different sellers, ebay don't handle coins themselves, so you are dealing with each seller individually
thus each transaction can be different. However ebay do try and monitor as many listings as they can and they do offer
buyers protection especially through PayPal, where you can raise a complaint for a refund (if you can't come to a mutual
agreement with the seller) through PayPal and ebay for a refund.
The truth is there are still bargains to be had on ebay as well as nice coins to be purchased however there are also over
graded coins and counterfeit coins being offered for sale. It is important to notify ebay if you believe a coin to be a counterfeit
and being sold as genuine as ebay will end the listing if they agree.
The following guide has been written to help buyers when buying coins on ebay:
Know what you are buying: It helps to do a bit of research into or know the type of coin you are buying before you bid on a
listing. You should ideally know the diameter and weight of the coins so you can check it when the coin arrives. A lot of
counterfeit coins are made from base metal so will not weigh what a genuine coin does.
A word of caution though, coins should be handled with care by the edges, ideally using cotton gloves. If you damage a coin
the seller probably won't accept it back. If the coin definitely is a counterfeit, selling it is in breach of the law and you should
Also some sellers only accept items back in their original holders, so read their listings well and do not remove it from the
holder if you aren't planning to keep it. If a coin is slabbed most sellers will also not accept a coin that has been broken out of
a slab for a refund. If you crack the coin out of a slab (plastic casing, when graded by an independent grading company) you
will most likely have to keep it. Slabbed coins used to be a safe purchase regarding counterfeits however lately their have
been counterfeits of these around. To find out more about slabbed coins and grading click here: CoinsGB grading coins
Buy from sellers with good feedback: All sellers have to start somewhere, so don't be put off too much by someone with a low
level of feedback, however I personally would be wary of bidding or buying a high value coin from a seller with very low
feedback and make sure they tick most of the points on this guide and if a deal is too good to be true it often is.
Check a sellers feed back rating (the closer to 100% the better). Read some of the feedbacks left, especially any negative
feedback left and any response left by the seller to negative feedback. Although as a seller it is very hard to keep every
buyer happy 100% of the time, you can often tell a lot about the seller by what response they have left to negative feedback.
Buy from sellers with a good returns policy: Some sellers do state no returns offered. This doesn't mean the coin isn't going
to be as advertised, however I always feel safer buying from sellers that do offer a returns policy. That being said if a coin is
not as described or not genuine then even if the seller doesn't offer a refund you can raise a dispute to get your money back
Buy from listings with clear pictures: I've occasionally been happily surprised with a coin when it arrives after buying it from a
seller with blurry pictures, however I have also been disappointed in a coin that has been damaged or cleaned which was not
apparent on the blurry pictures. Granted not all sellers are professional photographers but large clear pictures often take the
guess work out of the equation and ensure the coin you receive will be as close to what you hoped for.
Buy from listings with a clear description: The more descriptive the listing the easier it is to understand what you are buying.
Descriptions don't need to be huge but ideally should be clear and accurate. Pictures speak a thousand words and
sometimes you can tell almost all you need to know from a nice clear picture however a description does help. If in doubt or a
seller hasn't included a good description or you have a question, you should send them a question via ebay before placing a
bid. If they don't answer you question I would personally move on to another item.
Postage & receiving coins from abroad: I have bought many coins from abroad and thankfully so far I haven't had any
problems. If you are considering buying a high value item you should check that the seller offers insurance. If none is
mentioned I would send a message to the seller to ask if they would offer insurance and how much it costs before biding on
an item. Occasionally items do go missing in the post. Another point to consider is your country's import customs, duties and
regulations. For instance some countries prohibit the import of gold coins from embargoed countries.
You also need to remember packages from abroad can take weeks to arrive, and this shouldn't be held against the seller if
they have posted the item on time. You should also take a look at the postage costs before bidding. I believe it is somewhat
bad form to give bad feedback to a seller if you believe they have charged too much. In my mind if the postage is stated and
you go ahead with the bid or purchase, you have agreed to pay for the stated postage. Some sellers charge the actual cost
of postage, others take into account buying the packaging and the time they are taking to post the items. Some sellers even
offer free postage. That's why it is important to check postage costs, before bidding on or purchasing an item.
Toolhaus: Is a great program (free and on-line) that allows you to quickly check a sellers negative ebay. Simply copy and
paste, or type in their seller id and click on the "Received By" button to run a scan: Toolhaus.Org
It is important to remember that most sellers on ebay are not companies and are only human therefor try to have room for
compassion and flexibility. Communication can play a key role. If in doubt contact the seller and ask questions and check that
you are happy with all terms and conditions including postage and returns before biding.
P.S CoinsGBforum.com or any subsidiary or affiliate is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness or reliability of any
information contained in this guide. This guide is meant as a reference only and any responsibility for any coins or items
purchased or sold on ebay or anywhere else is the sole responsibility of the buyer and seller.
Hopefully you have found this guide useful. Happy hunting!
|A Guide To Buying Coins On
To help readers and so as to save time I have created direct links to each British milled coin denomination being currently
sold on ebay UK below:
Please consider adding this page to your bookmarks, favorites or homepage as a future reference.
Types of coins: