… I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I want you all to have more fun doing this – using CoinSniper.com to improve your coin collections, to have a better understanding of how to be successful on the site, and how to get more, better coins for your collection.
I thought I’d put it all down here for you to think about.
In the end I’m a coin geek, so what do I know? Well, I’ve been running this site for a while, so let me give you a few friendly tips.
It’s easy to get carried away on penny auctions like CoinSniper.com. The “if I just put one more bid…” mentality is easy to get sucked into.
It’s no fun to lose all of your bids chasing something. It IS fun to win. To have better results over the longer term, let’s look at a winning philosophy that may help you.
Know What You’re Buying:
A young numismatist just challenged my grade for a coin on CoinSniper.com. I stand by my grade, but he sees it differently. It’s hard to grade coins, it’s an art learned only with years of experience. It can be difficult to define the difference between strike and wear, to know how many distracting marks detract how much, to know how much that surface problem detracts from the wear grade of the coin. You don’t have to take my word for it, make your OWN judgment! I’m confident in my grading and valuation skills, but that doesn’t mean I’m never wrong. Grade and value according to your experience, don’t take my word for it. I enjoy being challenged. In the end, he agreed with me on this one, but it makes you a better numismatist if you – at least in your own mind – challenge all of my grades and valuations.
Always use the images to define your own grade and value – if you think I’m wrong, then go with your gut. Set your limit according to the value that you see, not the value that I say.
The final price is not important – what IS important is the number of bids you use to win!
If a $100 coin is bid up to $1.32, that’s 132 bids or $80 worth, assuming they were all paid for. (They were not all paid for). So does it matter if you drop 10 bids to try to win it and bring the price up to $1.50 or so when the coin would otherwise cost you $100? NO.
What matters to you is your cost out of pocket – the number of bids you’ll place on a coin to win it.
How To Set Your Limit:
So, there’s a Morgan you really want for your collection. Or it could be a dime, or a penny, or a Half Eagle… How do you value it?
Let’s assume that you roughly agree with my grade and valuation. Let’s say I assign a retail value of $60 to the coin.
$60, that’s a lot of bids! In fact, it’s 100 bids if you buy them at $0.60. If you get a discount, or pick some up for free, you may wish to value them less – because in fact you did pay less for them! (And here’s an important point: AND SO DID OTHER COINSNIPERS.) But for the sake of making life simpler, we’ll call them $0.60 each.
So, is your limit 100 bids? Well, if it is, you could find yourself in trouble with the anti-power bidder policy.
In general, here’s my guess of how you may arrive at your limit:
GOTTA HAVE IT! 50% = $30 = 50 bids
Yeah, that would go GREAT with my collection! 30% = $20 = 33 bids
Hm, yes I’d like that. 25% = $15 = 25 bids
If I could get that, I wouldn’t mind having it. 10% = $6 = 10 bids
Let’s see if I can snipe that one cheap. 1 – 5 bids.
This is only a general idea for you to work with, you can of course do as you please!
(And of course, there are a number of CoinSnipers who will try to be tricky and say, “aha! If everyone else just bids up to 50% and I bid up to 60%, I’m GUARANTEED the win.” SO not true.)
Also, consider the shipping cost. Some people take it very seriously, others discount it completely, recognizing that there is a shipping cost no matter what you do. Most (though unfortunately not all) coins won on CoinSniper.com are still won for half price or less, even with shipping. If you only pick up one lower value item, the shipping cost is a higher percentage of your overall cost, but if you choose to consolidate your shipping into a package to go out once per week, you can lower your shipping costs dramatically (and I lose less money paying for shipping and have a better likelihood of keeping this site running!)
Alright, now you have your bidding limit for a $60 item. You can adjust and change those numbers and ratios to suit yourself and to suit the coin you’re after.
So, let’s see what’s next. How are you going to spend those bids? How willing are you to go over your limit?
Respect Your Limit:
If you get caught up in the heat of battle, you might find yourself continuing past your limit. It’s my sincere recommendation to cut and run rather than to hope to put in good bids after bad.
Yes, there have been coins lost by a single bid, but the number of times out of the hundreds of auctions is something like 1 or 2. Much more often, the CoinSniper would have been much wiser to stick to their limit and try to use their remaining few to snag something another day rather than nothing today.
Now think about this. I, the guy who needs you to spend and thus buy bids, am telling you not to spend bids in certain circumstances. Of course it’s up to you, but I want you to have fun and be more successful over the long run.
Strategy: Bid fast and hard or slowly with patience?
First of all, dragging out the bidding and putting bids in at the absolute last second is asking for trouble. The NUMBER ONE COMPLAINT that I get is “I put a bid in, it said bid sent, and then the other person got the coin!” Keep that in mind.
Now. Bidding fast and hard can show the other bidders you’re serious. It’s up to the other bidders to believe you or call your bluff. You have to know the other bidder to decide for yourself if they’re bluffing or not this time…
(And that bluff becomes much easier to call if you’re bidding fast and suddenly slow down when you begin to run out of bids!)
Bidding slowly, dragging out the clock, does a couple of things:
1) It calls out all the players.
When bidders wait until the last second after a consistent volley among just two or three bidders, oftentimes you’ll see three or four bidders jump in to get a snipe in. You can then more effectively judge how many CoinSnipers are in on the auction, if you find that sort of thing helpful.
2) It invites problems.
When four or five or ten or twenty bidders all log a bid at the same time, there is a high likelihood that none of those bids will register, including yours.
3) It makes the auction last a lot longer.
There’s a much higher chance of having a distraction or technical issue crop up – this is both a positive and a negative because it can happen to you just as easily as it can happen to any other bidder. Then again, if you’ve read and abide by the CoinSniper Technical Recommendations, you have a lower chance of problems than the people that paid no attention to that.
It’s up to you, but PLEASE Bid Responsibly!
Only you know what your situation is, and what strategy works best for you against your competition.
On a few occasions now, I’ve had to send the e-mail to a bidder or two: “Are you okay?” I hate it. Nothing makes my stomach sink and churn like watching people blow bids needlessly. This site is about having fun collecting coins, not winning at all cost.
I’ve put policy in place now to keep that from happening too much, I hope.
Of course, in the end there is one truth: the CoinSniper with the most bids has the best chance of winning. Be prepared.
Bid smart… and win!
Good luck and happy coin hunting,