Valuable Coins not Pennies
CoinSniper isn’t your average penny auction site. True, it operates using basic bidding principles. The big difference, however, is that the site auctions old, valuable coins instead of items like TVs, laptops, or smartphones. It’s a TRUE “penny” auctions website, and yes, the pun was intended.
How The Site Works
First, you have to buy bids. Bids on this site called Coin Snipes costs 60¢ each. When you bid on one of the precious coins on show, it will increase the coin’s buying price by a penny and it resets the counter to 10 seconds. This gives other bidders the opportunity to outbid you.
Theoretically, the timer could reset over and over again…prolonging the auction indefinitely. Should the countdown timer run out however, the auction winner gets to buy the coin at the winning price.
The bids increase only by a penny with every bid, and this makes it possible to win bargain deals and get your hands on precious coins for about 10% of the price in some cases. For the avid coin collector, this is an opportunity that must not be missed.
The Site Layout & Content
As far as visuals or aesthetics go, CoinSniper isn’t fancy. It looks quite old school and somewhat plain, but that doesn’t mean their site’s content and layout sucks. Matter of fact, I love the semi-minimalist design as it allows you – the bidder – to focus on stuff that matter, which is to find good bidding opportunities and join in the fun when you find one.
The layout is very user-friendly. Everything – from registration to their contact page – can be easily found at the top navigation bar. Oh by the way, new users also get free bids, which is always welcome. This allows up-and-coming coin collectors and bidders to get a feel for the site and test out the features without boring a hole in their pocket.
And last but not the least, the site has the “Numismatic Learning Center,” which is built from the ground up to help newcomers to get up to speed. It has everything you need to know to get started with coin collecting – from studying, valuing, and grading coins; the opportunity to ask their in-house expert Rusty; to the ins and outs of investing in coins; and everything in between.
And for the penny auctioning side of things, they do have a guide for that, too. Their “How CoinSniper Works” section covers the basics of Coin Sniping and penny auction extremely well. And by extremely well, I meant the “they left no stone unturned” kind of well. If you need a quick virtual tour around the site; a list of terms you have to be familiar with; or check their terms and conditions, this section has it all.
Features & Niceties That Standout
While the way the site works and looks seems very standard, CoinSniper offers a lot of features and niceties that you should know about. Here are some:
No Cheapos On Auction: Gift cards, discount cards, and other stuff that are not really worth much are the bane of the penny auction bidder. Some websites have hundreds of these cheap-yet-no-so-useful things on auction, and they only toss high-priced items just to entice users. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with CoinSniper. The site specializes in coins, and that means you won’t see any of these cheapos around.
Reserves: The site uses reserves, and this means the bid has to reach a certain cost before someone can win it. If this target amount isn’t met, everyone’s bids are returned, and the bidders start from square one. If the reserve was reached however, the winning bidder gets to buy the coin at a heavily discounted price (50% off is the norm at the site). Keep in mind, however, that you also have to pay for the shipping and handling fee.
Buy Now: At CoinSniper, you don’t have to win auctions (sort of hard if you’re a newbie) to add a precious coin to your collection. The site offers the option to buy them if you so desire. What’s even nicer is that all of the coins on sale at CoinSniper are backed by explanations as to why a specific coin is valuable.
Transparency: Another great thing about coin sniper is their transparency. They state how many registered users they have (currently at 844); the number of shipments they’ve sent (950 as of this writing); and the unique customers who’ve won (251 currently). This gives you a good idea of how stiff the competition is.
Something For Everyone: It sucks when you just got into coin collecting and penny auctions…and you’re pitted against seasoned vets with deep pockets. At CoinSniper however, users who have not yet won an auction can participate in “Beginner Auctions” which has no reserves and free shipping. The “Expert Auctions”, on the other hand, are divided by different colored badges (Gold, Blue, Green, & Black), and this is where veteran collectors and bidders spend most of their time.
Free Bids: CoinSniper gives their newly registered users a reason to rejoice – 10 FREE bids! These bids should give you a good idea of how the site works and will help you get a grip on the mechanics of bidding…without even spending a dime.
Summing Things Up
I love CoinSniper – its layout, features and perks, and everything else in between. If I’m an avid coin collector, this is a site I’d spend a lot of time on. Newcomers have valuable resources they can access like study guides to help them in their research…making sure that they know what they’re getting into.
As for their track record, I haven’t found anything on BBB (they’re not registered I believe), but the reviews I’ve found online also report the same positive experience that I’ve had.
If other penny auction sites could follow the example set by CoinSniper, that’d be great! Unfortunately, the site’s niche is old and valuable coins and you won’t find anything else. If you’re a coin collector or you think about becoming one, this site is for you. If not, you may have to look somewhere else to bid.