Coin collecting is great fun for hobbyists and investors alike. There are a few ways to buy and sell coins from the tradition high street bullion dealer to auction houses and online auctions sites such as eBay. Indeed auction sites attract an increasing number of coin collectors due to the rarity of some of the coins on offer and in some cases fantastic value too.

There are three forms of auctions and these are:

Auctions through mail bidding

Typically the seller will advertise his or her coin to potential buyers via an auction catalogue. These catalogues can be viewed online and in many cases are physically mailed to the buyer. The auctions items themselves will have descriptions, pictures, and on many occasions starting prices.

This route offers a level of anonymity and level of protection to the buyer and is also a route to purchase for those buyers who cannot attend the auction in person for whatever reason.

Phone Auctions

These types of auctions are conducted over the phone normally via a proxy who is physically at the auction representing the buyer. As the bids are delivered the proxy updates the buyer and indicates to the auctioneer any increase in the bid.

Once again the buyer is offered a level of anonymity and serious collectors can participate in several phone auctions at once from the comfort of his or her own home.

Online Coin Auctions

With the advent of the internet coin collecting and investing suddenly became accessible to the masses. Many auction houses can hold auctions via the internet whilst online sites such as eBay deal in millions of dollars worth of coins on a daily basis.

As a general rule however one should approach online auctions with caution. Always check out the validity of the web site and the auction itself. If in any doubt contact the seller via email or phone for further clarification. Ask about the history of the coin you are interested in and if there is any proof of ownership or certificate of authenticity available. If you are in any doubt do not participate in the auction.

Once you are satisfied with the validity of the auction set yourself a budget. This applies to all auctions not just online ones. Set this budget and stick to it. It is all too easy to overpay for items at auctions. Remember that there will always be other auctions.

Above all keep your head, set a budget, and finally enjoy yourself. Auctions are a great way to improve you coin collection so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.

Author's Bio: 

Arnold Savage runs which has great guides on all aspects of Gold Bullion investing including Gold Buffalo Coins - A great Hedge for your Portfolio and Buffalo Coin Proofs.