Homepage / Bullion Basics: Bullion Auctions

Updated on 05/06/2024

Numismatic & Bullion

When people hear of online auction sites, eBay.com is often the first website that comes to mind; however, there are many other auction sites available on the web where you can find precious metals bullion, and numismatic coins.

online auction

Three types of Online Auctions Sites

There are three types of online actions:

  • Non-consignment auctions
  • Consignment auctions
  • Government or Private Entity exclusive auctions

At the bottom of this page, you'll find a list of links to bullion auctions under these three categories.

Non-consignment Auctions

The best example of a non-consignment auction site is eBay.com, where sellers possess the items they sell, and it is up to them as to how the items are described and photographed, and they ship the items to the winning bidder.

Consignment Auctions

Consignment auctions are popular for numismatic and bullion coins because, in order to sell an item on them, the seller must first ship the item(s) to the auction platform's owner for authentication before being authorized to sell on the platform.

Not all consignment auctions operate in this manner, but they all require the item(s) for sale to be genuine before placing it up for auction on their website.

Government / Private Entity
Exclusive Auctions

These online auction platforms do not allow outside sellers to participate by selling their products on the online platform.

How to Find Sellers
You Can Trust

Seller Differences between Auction types

Consignment auctions - Your trust in the seller completely depends on your trust in the company that owns the auction platform because they are the ones who have to authenticate the items up for sale, have them in their inventory, and they will be the ones that ship the items to you.

Government or Private Entity/Business auctions - The same is true for these auction platforms. Your trust in the seller is dependent on how much you trust the company providing the auction. 

Non-Consignment auctions - The following paragraphs were written for this type of auction because, just like the previous two types of auction platforms, you need to trust the seller, and this section will give you some hints on what to look for in a good seller.

Characteristics of Trusted Sellers:

  • Good Sellers Have Good Feedback/Reviews: Always read a seller's feedback; it is one of the best ways to decide how good they are at selling and taking care of their customers. 
  • Good sellers will be entirely honest in their listings; they should include a full description of the item on the page. If there are any faults with the item, they should be stated on the page.
  • Photographs should be clear to illustrate what the seller has described in the item's description. No blurry photos.
  • If you have a question for them, they should respond to you quickly; it shouldn't take longer than 24 hours to receive a response.
  • Good Sellers don't overcharge for shipping. 
  • All the shipping information should be clearly defined with the item.
  • Avoid sellers who try to set a higher shipping price to try to make more off the sale. (These sellers are only hurting themselves)
  • Beware of the seller's location. International Sellers often offer products at lower prices than domestic sellers; however, their products aren't always of the same quality, and shipping costs will be higher unless they offer free shipping. In addition, shipping times will take longer when items come from international sellers.

A good rule of thumb for any investment is that "if you don't trust the seller, don't buy from them."

Don't get drawn into the
"Gotta Have it" Mentality

Auctions will regularly test your skills in discipline and patience. 

Going, Going...

To avoid the "Gotta Have It" mindset, it's crucial to determine your budget before bidding on an item; determine the maximum amount you are willing to bid before you do so; if the bids eventually exceed your budget, let it go; there will always be another item available.

Not everyone is perfect, but try to remember that if you allow yourself to go above your investing budget, you will most certainly come to regret it.

The next section will assist in determining the average selling price of numismatics and bullion using the same tool professionals use to appraise coins and bullion.

How to Find the Average Selling Price of Any Item on eBay

2016 silver eagle

EBay is the largest auction site in the world, and because of this, it is likely the best source available to find out what the market will pay on virtually anything.

EBay offers a tool that helps users determine the average selling price of any item they search for, providing insight into the market's current price for the item they wish to buy or sell.

The first thing to do is to go to www.eBay.com and enter in the search bar the name of the item you want; in this case, we'll pick the 2016 American Eagle Silver bullion coin.

After you've entered the coin's year, size, and name, click the search button; this will bring up all the coins that are now available for Auction and Buy it Now.

On the left side of the page, there is a list of options to help you refine your search, they include: Category, Certification, Grade, Strike Type, Year, Coin, Precious Metals Content per unit, Brand/Mint, Fineness, Condition, Price, Format, Item Location, Delivery Options, and Show Only.

The option you want is under the "Show Only" option.

Choose the "Completed Listings" option under the "Show Only" category, and the next screen will show you the item you searched for, whether it sold or not; sold items will have green prices, and unsold items will have black prices. 

The results will give you an idea of what others are willing to pay for the item you looked up; coin appraisers in the numismatic industry are known for using this helpful tool.

If you are looking to buy the item you searched for on eBay and have an eBay account, the following may help you.

Once you have an idea of the average selling price for the item you want, the next thing to do is to look for current items up for auction that have not been bid over the price you are willing to pay, and take note of when the auction will end and put it in your eBay watch-list.

When the auction comes close to an end and if the price has not gone over the price you are willing to pay for it, you may want to bid on the item if the seller has good feedback.

There are many other ways one can use the "Completed Listings" option on eBay that can enhance your buying opportunities, it is up to you as to how you want to use them... Good Luck!

Note: The selection under "Completed Listings," which is "Sold Only," is another helpful tool that refines the completed listings to show only those items that have sold.

But, it won't show you what others have tried to get for the item and were unsuccessful like the Completed Listings option does. Both tools are extremely helpful if you choose to use them.

Tips on Finding Deals on
Numismatic & Bullion Auctions

  • One tactic that you can use to help you find a good deal on an auction site is to bid on bullion auctions that end on Friday or Saturday nights; this is when web traffic is at its lowest levels.
  • Another tactic is to find bullion auctions that end during off hours or during hours that are not their busiest, for instance, auctions that end in the middle of the working day or bullion auctions that end after midnight or before 5 am.
  • Try other non-consignment auction sites that have less traffic than eBay; in some cases, you may be a little more likely to come across a counterfeit coin or bullion bar, so make sure to look at the seller's feedback, check the site's policy on returns and do your homework on knowing what your buying and you likely won't get burned. 

"Buy It Now"


"Buy It Now," on eBay.com, if you decide to use this tactic, it can be very hard to find a deal, but it can be very rewarding if you try it.

On eBay, the "Buy It Now" option is a tab near the top of the page, under the search bar.

This will isolate all the "Auction" items from the "Buy It Now" items.  Once you have isolated the "Buy it Now" items, then use the "Sort by" option (to the right of the "Buy it Now" tab) and select the "recently listed items."

Some sellers will offer their items lower than the average price because these sellers do not know the true value of the coins they're selling.

Also, sometimes people will accidentally put up an item for less than they originally intended, it's rare but it does happen.

These deals are few and far between when using this tactic, it often works better on collectible coins than on bullion coins.

However, on occasion, you will find some pretty decent deals on bullion using this tactic.

Counterfeit Coins

Unfortunately, many counterfeiters sell their fake numismatic and bullion coins on auction sites. Below are some helpful links to help you protect yourself from making the wrong investment.

Counterfeit Numismatic Coins and Bullion sources

Numismatic Guaranty Company -

Top 50 Most Commonly Counterfeited U.S. Coins


Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation

SilverCoins.com - Fake Silver Coins : 12 ways to Spot Counterfeits.

BullionCoinCheck.com is a tool to check American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins for authenticity.

Fisch Instruments has created two devises to check one ounce gold bullion coins

GoldCoinBalance.com is a tool to test the Authenticity of numerous 1 oz. Gold Bullion coins.

Fake Stamp

Lastly, below is a link to some useful videos about counterfeit coins that have been passed as real on the market:

YouTube - How to Detect Fake Silver or Gold Coins and Bars

Numismatic & Bullion
Online Auctions

Consignment / Non-Consignment Auctions

The sites are auction search engines that provide links to both consignment and non-consignment auctions.

The leading search engine for art, antiques and collectibles from more than 3,000 auction houses around the world.

The leading search engine for art, antiques and collectibles from more than 3,000 auction houses around the world.

NumisBids mission is to help collectors find items that interest them in auctions offered by the world's top numismatic dealers.

Consignment Auctions

Bradford Auction Gallery
Specializing in fine art, estate jewelry, gold & silver coins, antiques, collectibles and more.

DLRC - David Lawrence
DLRC is an industry leader in the trading and auctioning of U.S. rare coins certified by PCGS, NGC, and CAC.

Great Collections
Coin auctions and rare coin sales, all PCGS, NGC and ANACS certified coins.

Heritage Auctions
World's Largest Collectables Auctioneer.

HiBid is the premier auction platform for selling a huge variety of items.

Online Collectables Auctions

Leski Auctions
Australian Company, Leski brings new collections to the global market without compromising on the quality of service provided to our buyers and sellers.

Giving participants the opportunity to auctions of sized and foreclosure auctions of all types.

Pristine Auction
We're a passionate community of collectors, bringing you the thrill of authentic autographed memorabilia, cards, coins, art, and collectibles

Daniel Frank Sedwick Auctioneers
Specializing in Spanish Colonial and Latin American Coinage, Shipwreck Coins & Artifacts of all Nations

Silver City Auctions
We are a Northwest Ohio auction house specializing in U.S. coins and currency, silver, gold, as well as, vintage sports cards and collectibles.

Stack's Bowers
Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels.

Stephen Album Rare Coin Auctions
Our firm is widely considered to have some of the top experts in the world for Indian, Islamic, Chinese and other Asian coinage

Government / Private Entity
Exclusive Auctions

Bid4Assets hosts a variety of property sales around the U.S. including tax foreclosures, sheriff's sales and federal forfeiture auctions.

GovDeals is a complete and sustainable solution specifically created for, and dedicated to, government agencies and their surplus disposition.

is the premier auction company for liquidating property seized by police and federal agencies.

The Property Room
Online Police auctions & more

Online Marketplace for Goodwill thrift stores

Non-Consignment Auctions

Large database of live auctions.
(sellers are professional auctioneers only)

COINS Auctioned
Coin Auctions Online is a premier marketplace for numismatists, offering a diverse range of coins and bullion from around the world
(sellers are industry professionals only)

Buy and sell on Europe's most-visited online curated marketplace. Weekly auctions of 75000 special and hard-to-find objects selected by experts.
(sellers are individuals and professionals)

European coin auction site for collectables from around the world. Everything is priced in Euros.
(sellers are individuals and professionals)

World's Largest Online Auction Site
(sellers are individuals and professionals)

Wholesale and Surplus Bulk auctions
(sellers are large retailers and wholesalers only)

Webstore is a free online auction marketplace offering local, national, and international trade with no fees for bidding, buying, or selling.
(sellers are individuals and professionals)

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