Pros & Cons of Auctions

We believe in complete transparency with our clients, whether buying or selling with us and are happy to discuss either process in depth as required. However, a summary is given below.


If you are selling your coin(s) or collection, you typically have a number of avenues to choose from:

  • Selling through auction
  • Selling to a dealer
  • Selling on commission through a dealer
  • Finding a private buyer yourself

All of the above have their own pros and cons, and gaining a knowledge of the processes will allow you to make an informed decision to choose a selling method which is right for you.

Pros of selling at auction:

  • Auctions can produce surprising results and items can often sell for strong prices when several bidders are competing for the same lot.
  • Items are presented to a worldwide audience. At Hosker Haynes we display your consignments on our own website; produce printed catalogues which are distributed to our client base; allow bidders to view and bid via the Saleroom auction site and Numisbids;  advertise on social media and in numismatic publications and we have viewing opportunities at both coin fairs and at the auction venue prior to the sale.
  • It is easy! We aim to make the process as straight forward as possible – once you have decided to sell through Hosker Haynes you simply have to send us your coin(s) and we will do the research, photography, cataloguing and marketing.
  • Auction houses typically charge a seller’s commission and a buyer’s fee which are fixed percentages of the hammer price so you know up-front what percentage you will be charged. At Hosker Haynes the sellers commission is currently 0%, which provides you an opportunity to get back the full hammer price when it comes time for payment over other auction houses.
  • If you have a large or specialist collection, seeing all your coins photographed and catalogued together in print can be a wonderful keepsake. It may even be possible to have a specialist auction dedicated to your collection.

Cons of selling at auction:

  • Whilst the fees are fixed, the sale price isn’t – proceeds from a sale are unknown until the item actually sells.
  • If a collection is sold through auction, it is possible that some coins will go unsold and may have to either be re-entered into a subsequent sale or returned.
  • It takes time to catalogue and prepare an auction – meaning you may have to wait several months for your item(s) to sell and consequently you will have to wait until you receive any payment due.
  • Although we will do what we can to ensure the winning bidder pays for their lot(s) there is always a chance that they fail to pay. In this case you wont recieve any payment and the coin(s) will have to either be returned to yourself or re-entered into the next sale.


Buyers looking to start or expand their collection will generally purchase coins directly through a coin dealer or bid in an auction. Both ways have their advantages.

Pros of buying at an auction:

  • As a buyer you may be able to find it possible to pick up rarer items at auction or that elusive coin missing from your collection.
  • You can bid anonymously online, since other online and room bidders will only know a paddle number.
  • It is easy! At Hosker Haynes we aim to make the process as straight forward as possible. Viewing can be done online or with printed catalogues delivered to your door and you can also view “in the hand” at coin fairs and at the auction venue prior to the sale. Once viewed you can place pre bids or bid live at venue, via the telephone or online wherever you are on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device.
  • If you attend the live auction, you can pay and take your winning lots home with you there and then.
  • You can get a feel of the general interest in a coin by how many bids it receives and what the winning bid is. Knowing that someone else also wants a coin you like can give you confidence in your purchase.

Cons of buying at auction:

  • When purchasing outside an auction it is possible to decide whether the price asked is fair and reasonable before making the decision to buy. At auction, it is often the case that although you may really like to own a lot which is offered for sale, someone may be prepared to pay more than you!
  • It’s easy to get carried away at a live auction and not realise how much you’ve spent, especially if you have won several lots. At Hosker Haynes however, if you are bidding online through our website, you will be able to see your current spend inclusive of buyer’s premium and VAT.
  • To bid on an auction you must register first with the auction house which can take time
  • If you cannot view the lots in person, then you will have to place a bid from a photograph and description which may be less appealing than seeing the coin “in the hand”.

We hope this information has been useful in helping you decide if the auction route is right for you. If buying or selling through a dealer is more appealing to you, we would recommend that you contact either Martin at AMR Coins Ltd or Glen at GM Coins, both of whom offer fair prices for a direct trade or can help with selling on a commission basis.