1.) Don’t Bid Against Other Bidders

Bid on the coin and not just to beat out other bidders. It’s not about who wins the coin but what kind of bargain you can gain. If you insist then you will be the proud owner of a coin you paid too much for.

2.) Salted, Unsearched Rolls

Don’t bid on unsearched roll auctions, not even rolls with a decent coin on the end. Most coin rolls are searched or salted so only buy rolls from dealers or friends you know and trust. You might get one coin out of a few thousand, but it’s going to break the bank before you get that far.

3.) Unsearched Coins

Don’t bid on unsearched coins period. Refer to don’t number two. You will pay more for coins because some people have a gambling spirit and just can’t resist bidding it up.

4.) Always Know What Your Bidding Or Buying

As a matter of fact, don’t bid on any coin auction where you can’t see ALL and the EXACT coins you’re bidding on. I have watched these auctions and sellers come and go for over ten years, and most are scams.

5.) Say NO! To ABC Grading Services

Never bid, or even think you’re getting a good deal on a coin, in a fancy, plastic holder with a label and an ABC grading service name. Unless the acronym is PCGS, NGC, ANACS or ICG. Some collectors will disagree and list a few other companies but this is for newbies, let them learn this first before trying to cherry coins in other grading service holders.

6.) Don’t Picture Grade

Don’t bid too high on a raw coin YOU think is a gem. You will never get back what you paid, and chances are the coin isn’t the grade you think it is. Save this type of coin buying for in-hand inspections at coins shows and coin shops. It takes a lot of time and experience to grade coins in-hand let alone using images.

7.) Bad Images

Don’t bid on a coin auction with poor images, blinding lighting angles, etc. Technology is too advanced for a seller not to learn good photography techniques. So they’re probably hiding some imperfections of the coin they’re selling.

8.) Media Hype

Don’t buy the latest error or a recently released proof, mint set or coin at ebay. Wait. Usually the value will skyrocket because of media coverage and as everyone tries to buy one. Allow the value to settle to a normal level, otherwise you will be paying more than the coin is worth.

9.) Over-priced Special Coin Packaging

Don’t buy or bid on specially packaged coins from a private mint or dealer. Just because a coin or coins are housed in a fancy holder, or framed or commemorating a special event doesn’t make the coin or set more valuable. It’s just a marketing gimmick to gain more profit from the coin or set.

10.) Feedback The Other F Word

Do not leave a seller negative feedback out of anger, revenge or for any other reason unless that seller scammed, defrauded or refused to make-good on the transaction. You must contact the auction service and use their bidder protection measures first to handle a deal gone bad.

Most sellers will offer a make good or a refund and actually care about their customers, so don’t let the minority dictate your actions.

If you’re new to coin collecting or don’t have a vast amount of knowledge, please head this list of do-nots. It will save you time, headaches and most importantly YOU’RE money!

Author's Bio: 

Daniel Malone is the owner and operator of the coin collectors website CoinHELP! Has sold coins at online auctions since 2002 and has been in and around the coin business all his life.