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National Banknote Hoard - Early Days of Ebay

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In the early days of Ebay (circa 1997 -99 time period I believe), a Chicago Coin Shop was blowing out a huge NBN Hoard of both small size and large size. Do you remember? They must have got these for a song. I bet they just threw out some number of 2.5 x face not even knowing what they were scoring. It must have been something (estate?) that walked into the shop. Anyhow, I guess they decided to flip it all on ebay - why not. I guess it was raining money that day.


I bought a lot of these which I later retailed for good money building my paper money in the process.. Most notable was an 1882 $10 AU Brownback. There were no Paper Money TPG's at that time.


Sometimes one would get unusual emails from buyers. I had one who chided me about my asking price on a Gem CU $5 Providence RI NBN like it would be impossible to sell at that - well it did.. Sure wish I could buy one today at that. I guess the guy thought he would low ball me. I both bought and sold on ebay and at shows. I believe the early ebay bidders had no idea how to price Nationals and followed the crowd. I used this to my advantages outbidding them with nuclear bids on stuff I knew was running much lower than it deserved as I had the Kelly Book on Nationals . I had another ebay buyer try to haggle with me on a NJ national with only 6 known and how he could buy it for x Dollars. Email after know it all Email. I told him "well go find one." He must have got the message. Finally he bought it at my price which was a lucrative retail sale for me. Another guy who lost auctions to me for notes from a Texas town I was interested in ended buying them all at my retail over a period of time.


I have very fond memories of these early days of ebay. I wish I had bought more. I remember buying a Gem CU 1918 $2 Battleship at a Dallas Auction plus a $5 1882 Gem CU Brownback off the floor at the same show. Both sold well in the couple of months after on ebay.


With a swelling bank account from paper money sales, while set up at a Houston area show in Aug 2001, MS64 Saints were at $450 (gold was so cheap people were shunning it to buy paper). Something told me that was a deal I would never see again (plus you can only go to the same well so many times, which would have been paper money) and I bought several of the PCGS 64 $20 Saintsl. It paid off in 2011 big time when gold pushed 2000 an ounce.

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Early Ebay days were fun. I picked up a raw 1900 Bison note graded "AU" from a seller in Russia for around $1,000 or so. I had it graded and it now resides in an early PMG AU-55 holder. Same seller had a raw 1918 $1,000 note in VF/XF for sale at a bargain price ($4,000 if my recollection is correct) -- I could not pull the trigger. That same $1,000 note now is now in a PMG or PCGS holder and worth many thousands more than the original Ebay price.


Those were the days.



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Is there a comprehensive history of ebay numismatics sales somewhere in the good old days of the Wild West selling? I avoided it until around 2012.


The Wild West days of the Bay would make a nice book.


I had such super retail sales then it was unbelievable. I think a lot of the people bidding had never seen this stuff and went crazy buying at retail. Those good ole days of the Bay were fantastic for me. This was before third party grading on currency so you were on your own.


I remember getting a money order on a sale of a Gem CU $5 Brownback (raw) for $1600 (a good profit on it as I had bought it at a currency show) and this before pictures so totally sight unseen. The guy even wrote "Merry Christmas" on the correspondence! To replace it now would cost me multiples of that.


I also miss some of the fantastic buys I got on paper money too.


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