I’ve now made the first steps to converting my cache of interesting coins into conventional wealth.
I decided to use the most recent “free listing” weekend on eBay to offer a large number of coins to potential buyers.
The absence of listing fees was important because the profit from any lot was so small that it would quickly be outweighed by a large number of small listing fees, especially if only a small proportion of the lots actually sell. eBay seller fees already take a significant proportion of and profit (and receiving
payment through PayPal takes more) so I was keen to avoid these listing fees.
It turned out that this was a particularly wise decision because most of the coins listed did not sell and of those that did, most simply went for their opening price without any competitive bids to increase prices.
So a gentleman from Staffordshire was able to pick up a Gibraltar pound coin carrying an image of a seige cannon, a Jersey pound coin bearing an engraving of HMS Resolute, two Isle of Man pound coins showing St John’s Church and the other, a mobile phone, for £1.50 each.
The same buyer was also able to secure an example of the most common type of UK two pound coin but this one carried a suspected minting error as the stalk of the “T” in the middle of the rim text “STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS” was shortened to made the letter look almost like a hyphen.
Again, there were no rival bids so this was secured for an opening bid of £3.50, again short of this challenge’s double face value target.
However this same bidder was less lucky with two other examples of suspected minting errors on the rim text of £2 coins.
Firstly an example where the “+” symbol which denotes the start / end of the rim’s quotation was missing.
Then there was an example of the 2005 issue to commemorate the attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up the House of Parliament where two missing tails on “R”s left the rim text “PEMEMBER PEMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER”.
In both cases the Staffordshire gentleman was outbid by a lady from Suffolk, who was able to secure the missing “+” coin for £3.70 and the “Pemember” coin for £3.10.
This second price seems to have been a bargain as, in general, Mint error coins can command particularly high prices and in November I sold a previous example of the “Pemember” error on eBay for £5.15 and I have seen others make close to £10.
A third buyer from this first offering also secured one of the pound coins for its opening bid price of £1.50. This example of a pound coin from the Isle of Man carried an image of cricket equipment and sold for £1.50.
So in total eight coins with a face value of £11 from this first online offering sold for £17.80 – on the surface, a healthy profit but one that was soon whittled down once eBay and PayPal fees were deducted and even before these deductions, still far short of this challenge’s “twice face value” target.
So the first coins have been sent out – see pic above and a later post for details of how they are delivered safely.
But, undeterred, the remaining coins have been listed again on eBay to take advantage of the next “free listing” weekend and I am happy to see that some have already attracted opening bids.
Come back soon to see how close I get to the mission of raising twice the face value of the coins.