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Auction houses - how long do they take to send your wins to you?


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With Heritage, if I win a Tuesday auction I have the item in my hot paws the following Monday. With their signature auctions I have waited a couple of weeks, because they are larger auctions. Goldbergs, about a week and a half. Stacks, about 2.5 weeks because they are old fashioned only take cheques or money orders and have to send you an invoice, then you have to send payment back. Spink/Smythe, about a week. Lyn Knight, as long as three weeks. The prize goes to HR Harmer auctions, which took two months to deliver an item I purchased in 2008 - it was my absolute worst ever auction experience, they invoiced me like 7-8 times with different shipping amounts, etc before they could get it right.

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Sometimes you can get an item quicker if you contact the auction house, and if you have a good reason for it, AND it helps if you are a repeat customer (more trust ... they might even send you the coin before they receive the money in that case).


Depending on where the auction takes place, and where you live, you have to take into consideration that:


(1) Immediately after the auction, EVERYBODY wants their coins NOW! You might just have to stand in line, and that (virtual?) line might be very long, especially with everyone calling up to see if they actually won the coin in question, and how soon they can have it shipped...

(2) Sometimes an auction will happen on a certain day, but there might be subsequent auctions taking place all through the week which keep the auction house personnel very busy. They probably won't get around to invoicing anyone until all of the auctions have finished.

(3) Shipping can take a while. Each lot has to be properly packaged and all the export, customs and insurance forms properly filled out. Takes longer to ship from Germany to Australia than to Switzerland (well, sometimes, anyway...)

(4) If you live in a different country than the auction house, there is always the customs office which things have to clear. Here in Switzerland, although a package might arrive within a day or two of its expedition, I usually don't receive it until one week later (minimum). Of course, the auction house has no control over how long it takes to pass customs in another country. The best you can do is ask for a postal tracking number.


Two months seems like too much time to me, however. I would definitely contact the auction company and request a postal tracking number. Usually, each time the shipment is scanned en route, a log is written for that number as well as the date and time when it was scanned. If it seems to have gotten lost, might be a good idea to notify the sender and have them initiate a search. Usually, only the sender can do this. This has happened to me on at least two different occasions. Both were reputable eBay dealers with whom I had done prior business, and they packaged the coins very well. Once it was an 1876 Indian cent (USA) which was not too expensive, but the sender had written "Documents" on the customs form :ninja: and it just disappeared. Another much more expensive coin (about €800) was a 1908 Russian poltina, also sent by registered mail with a tracking number. It reached Switzerland but was never delivered. I think it must have just gotten stolen by thieves working for the post office. Fortunately, the seller refunded my money. But every time I see a 1908 poltina offered at auction, I check it against pictures I saved from the auction to see if it might be my stolen coin...

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  • 8 months later...

It depends on how you pay and where you are located. You didn't mention the auctionhouse you purchased the coin.


I believe Heritage will mail you the coin within 30 days of your payment clearing their US bank account. So if you pay with a credit card they should mail it quite quickly. An international money however must clear first [even though it's a money order and not a check thus is similar to cash]. They're worried about fake money orders.


However, I have had trouble with heritage in the past. If you think the money has cleared [you should be able to see in the 'My Account' part of ha.com] then email them and find out what has happened.


And don't trust the Post Office's tracking numbers. The last time I won something from Heritage that didn't even verify the tracking number when the coin was sent. Thus they reported the wrong tracking number to me and there was a huge delay. I did get the coin eventually.

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