Dos and Don’ts of Preparing Coins for Sale Online: Common Mistakes People Make

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money. My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges. I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights. Collecting, for me, is about preserving history and building a community around this shared interest.

This guide will help you prepare your coins for sale online, whether you’re selling them on eBay, Heritage Auction, or any other website. This is the guide you need to read. Selling online has never been easier. However, mistakes happen, and you surely want to avoid them so you don’t lose your coin or money.

The Dos of Preparing Your Coins For Sale Online:

Do Research 

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This is probably the most important thing you need to do before selling your coins online. You need to have an idea of what your coins are worth. These are for two reasons:

  • You don’t want to sell your coins too low.
  • You don’t want to get ripped off by buyers.

There are a few ways to check the value of your coins:

  • PCGS has a sound library of coins around the world and their worth.
  • The Coinflation website is also a good resource for US, UK, and Canadian coins.
  • You can check on eBay for other countries to see how much similar coins sell.

Take Good Quality Photos 

This is the next important thing you need to do. You want to take good-quality photos of your coins so buyers can see what they’re buying. There are a few things you want to make sure of when taking photos of your coins:

  • If possible, use a macro lens or a phone with a macro lens attachment. This will allow you to get close-up photos of your coins without damaging them.
  • Use a plain background. A white sheet of paper or a light-colored towel works well.
  • Take multiple photos of your coins from different angles. At least three pictures per coin are ideal.
  • Use natural lighting if possible, but if not, use a lamp with a soft, white lightbulb.
  • Edit your photos to make sure they’re clear and bright. You can use free photo-editing software like GIMP or Canva.

Find A Good Reputable Website To Sell Your Coins

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Now that you’ve researched and taken good photos of your coins, it’s time to find a reputable website to sell them on. There are a few things you want to look for on a website:

  • A good reputation: You want to ensure the website has been around for a while and has good reviews.
  • Check out the website reviews from Google Reviews, Yelp, and Better Business Bureau.
  • Fees: You also want to ensure the website has no hidden fees. The last thing you want is to get charged a percentage of your sale or a listing fee.
  • Customer service: You want to ensure the website has good customer service if you have any problems.
  • Some websites even offer to grade your coins for free, like Heritage Auctions

The Don’ts of Preparing Your Coins For Sale Online:

Don’t Use A Flash

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When taking photos of your coins, don’t use a flash. The flash can cause a glare on your coins, making it hard for buyers to see what they’re buying. If you have to use a flash, use a diffuser.

A diffuser is a plastic or fabric you put over the flash to soften the light. You can even make your diffuser with a white sheet of paper or a plastic bag. Just cut a hole in the center of the paper or bag and place it over the flash. This will help to reduce the glare on your coins.

Don’t Use A High ISO

You also don’t want to use a high ISO when taking photos of your coins. A high ISO will make your photos look grainy. You want to use the lowest ISO possible while still getting a clear photo. For most cameras, this is around 100 or 200. You want to ensure the ISO is set to auto-using a phone camera. This will help to keep your photos clear and free of grain.

Don’t Just Send Your Coins

If you’re selling your coin on a website, it is wise to ask them about their insurance policy. If you intend to sell it yourself, asking the postal services about their insurance coverage will be wise. Things to ask:

  • How much does the insurance cover?
  • What is the deductible?
  • Is there a limit to the number of coins you can insure?
  • Is there a safe way to pack your coins to avoid being stolen?

Usually, companies online have standard delivery procedures and are more than happy to help you.

Don’t Forget To Declare Your Coins

When shipping your coins, you need to declare them on the customs form. You don’t want to trouble the law by not declaring your coins. On the customs form, you need to list the value of your coins and what country they’re coming from.

Don’t Forget To Secure Your Coin

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You also need to put the coins in a secure package so they don’t get lost or stolen in the mail.

  • Put your coin in a plastic flip or coin tube.
  • Wrap it with a bubble wrapper to protect it from scratches.
  • If you’re sending multiple coins, you can put them in a foam tray with dividers to keep them from moving around. 
  • You can also put the coins in a zip-lock bag and wrap them in bubble wrap. 
  • Then, put the coins in a small box and fill it with packing peanuts or crumpled paper to keep them from moving around.
  • Sealing the package well, so the coins don’t fall out.

Before you go…

Now that you know the dos and don’ts of preparing your coins for sale online, you’re better prepared and can avoid getting your coins lost or stolen. By following these tips, you can make sure your coins are ready for sale and that you can get the most money for them. What about you? Do you have any dos or don’ts in selling your coins online? Share it with us in the comment section below.

Check out my next article: “9 Critical Factors to Sell Coins Online Rather Than In-Person.”

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