Major Updates and Upgrades
December 20, 2012
Email Contact Notifications Delayed - Payment Statuses Changed
Members have contacted us about delays in email notifications, never receiving emails and contact questions not reaching USA Coin Book. We were able to track down some potential problems on the server which were causing some messages to be blocked. We believe it should be fixed, but please let us know if messages are not making it through.
In addition, the payment status within the invoicing system have been changed a little. From now on, all default payment statuses will be initially "Marked as Unpaid" instead of "Marked as Paid". PayPal's API lets us know if a payment was completed, so any invoices successfully paid with PayPal will change to "Marked as Paid" automatically. For Google Checkout, Checks, Money Orders and Payment Upon Pickup methods, the seller must first verify that the buyer has actually sent a payment and then manually mark the invoice as "Marked as Paid". This should clear up some confusion with this system... Supposedly the world is going to end tomorrow (December 21st, 2012), but we figured we better get this cleared up anyways.
September 14, 2012
Coupon/Promo Code Management - Security and Non-Paying Buyer Upgrades
Members who have items for sale at USA Coin Book can now create and manage their own coupon or promotional codes. These codes can be given to buyers or promoted in your store or anywhere on or off the internet. When buyers add your items to the shopping cart, they have the opportunity to enter in your specified coupon code in order to receive a discount on their order before checkout. Sellers can create discounts such as free shipping, percentage discount off the order (10% off for example), or a fixed price discount ($5 off order). An unlimited number of different codes can be created as well. These codes can be configured to apply to everyone or to select members, such as your most loyal and regular buyers. In addition, these codes can be configured to be used an unlimited number of times or one-time use. Coupon/Promo codes are applied to all items for sale within in both your store and Coin Book. To view the coupon code management page, click "My Coin Book" >> "Edit Profile" >> browse down to the "Coupon Code Management" field and click the edit link.
In addition, we've added more steps to prevent fraudulent transactions. We now require all buyers who pay with PayPal to input a shipping address on the PayPal checkout page in order to ensure stronger Seller Protection. In addition, we've placed a warning on the first step of the checkout process if a seller only accepts checks and money orders. These kinds of sellers present the highest risk for fraud since there is no seller protection for checks and money orders.
Lastly, we've added one more feature to the invoicing system related to non-paying buyers. There are some cases when a seller is dealt with a non-paying buyer and they would like to cancel the order, re-list their items for sale and have their USA Coin Book fees refunded. To view a list of invoices for items you've sold, click "My Coin Book" >> "My Invoices" in your Control Panel. Each item has a dropdown box to select options that apply to each item. Now we've added a "Cancel Invoice" option. Clicking this will bring you to your invoice page along with a warning explaining what happens when you cancel your order, followed by a confirmation link.
When you cancel the order, the invoice will be removed, ALL items within the invoice will automatically be re-listed (except auctions). The invoice will still be stored on our side in case there are problems. All fees will be automatically refunded (except those already paid to us through PayPal, in which you can contact us for a manual refund). Canceled auctions will appear in your "Unsold Auctions" list. In this list, you can either click the Delete link to remove the auction permanently, or click the Edit and Relist link to make any changes and re-list your auction.
September 2, 2012
Only about a month after our second anniversary of the launch of USA Coin Book, we have completed another major overhaul. We've added a number of features over the last few weeks, which range from reducing fee costs, more payment methods, a faster website, additional tracking information, better security and other features. Many of these features were beta tested first on UniSquare to get the bugs out before being integrated into USA Coin Book. Although if you notice a bug or some kind of glitch, please contact us, we will be happy to help.
Reduced Fee Costs - New Fee Tracking
We've overhauled the member's administration section so you can now see the USA Coin Book 2% fees taken for each item sold. In the past, buyers who bought items from the seller using PayPal would complete the payment and the USA Coin Book fees would be taken out automatically upon each sale. We learned that in doing this, the seller was being charged double PayPal fees for receiving money from the buyer, plus the automatic fees being sent to USA Coin Book, which is an extra 2.958% of the fee amount plus $0.30.
With our new system, the fees are added up on-site within the USA Coin Book site and not paid to us automatically. Instead, a balance builds up upon each sale and the fees do not have to be paid until they accumulate to $2.00 or more. Then the fees must be paid within 30 days. Members can view the accumulated balance, which fees are due and which ones have already been paid. It's a much simpler and convenient system, and it saves more money for the seller with less fees!
New Payment Method - Google Checkout - Payment Upon Pickup
Due to suggestions from members, we've now added Google Checkout as a new payment method for sales. The fee structure for Google Checkout is pretty much the same as PayPal. In addition, sellers can also choose to accept payment upon pickup when a buyer is required to meet with the seller in person and pick up an item locally.
Custom Stores - Customized Categories
When you are in your account preferences page, there is now a tab called "My Store". This is a feature which will allow sellers to design their own stores, including custom categories up to 6 levels deep, customized colors, your own search engine within your store, upload your store logo and description and more. This is different than your normal Coin Book page, which will show up regardless. The store is just a supplemental feature for the serious seller who would like a little more customizable features or something else to link to than their Coin Book page. Note that only auctions and fixed priced items can be added here, no wishlist or personal collections. The style is much more like an eBay store, but the store feature is free. Note: only coin, paper money and numismatic related categories please!
Sales now integrated into Bing Shopping, Google Shopping and TheFind.com
We found another opportunity to bring in more potential buyers to your products if you are selling anything. All fixed priced items are automatically generated into a feed and sent to Bing Shopping, Google Shopping and TheFind.com, which are basically shopping search engines. Note that these are different than the regular organic search engines (Google Shopping works differently than Google.com). Anyone searching on Google Shopping for example is purely looking to buy things. This is a very new feature added over the last few days and we've been accepted into all of them except Bing Shopping, which is still pending and hope to work out pretty soon. Note, you don't have to do anything on your end, this is something we do automatically!
Google Analytics and Visitor Counters
Members can now integrate Google Analytics into their Coin Book, Store Pages, Member Categories and items. To do this, view your account preferences when you edit your profile and browse down to the Google Analytics Tracking field and click the "edit" link to input your tracking code. You must have an account at Google Analytics to get a tracking code. Once you have inputted the code, tracking begins immediately. Also in the account preferences below Google Analytics is the Visitor Counter field, which you can enable to show your counters or disable. Note that counting is done in the background whether the feature is disabled or enabled. This feature just displays the count. Also, counting is current as of 9/2/2012 - we did not start counting visitors until today.
Another small feature we set up allows you to block certain problem members from bidding or purchasing your items. You can edit this in your account preferences by editing your profile - edit the Block Members field. You can block as many people as you want, just separate each name with a comma. You can also remove a member from the list at anytime by simply deleting their username from the list.
New Invoicing and Feedback System
Our new invoicing system makes it easier to see all the items you have bought or sold at a glance. You can view every item on a list, which will display which invoice it is in, what the price was, when it was sold, who the seller was and so on. Again, this is a much simpler and convenient design. We did a similar change with the feedback system, which now shows feedback at a glance in 6 tabs for you as a buyer or as a seller, positive, neutral, negative and feedback left for others. In addition, your feedback page (and member page) will now show your eBay name and positive feedback if you have inputted these in your account preferences page.
Faster and More Secure Site
Lastly, we overhauled our database, programming and design a bit, which drastically reduced loading time and resources. Most of the changes are in the background, but we also made the coin price tables look a little nicer and sleeker than before. We've made the shopping cart and invoice pages a little nicer looking too. As for security features, we've added a few scripts to block members based on IP address recording/matching as well as a few other factors. When a buyer or seller makes a purchase, your invoice should now display a warning whether the other member has multiple accounts or not, which has been a problem a few times lately. At least this can serve as a bit of an early warning of fraudulent buyers or sellers.
That's about it for our major updates. As always, please report any bugs, glitches or problems with these new features. On a side note, we are receiving more traffic (potential buyers) than ever. Currently we are receiving between 1,500 visitors PER DAY (1,800 if you want count return visitors). The site is breaking traffic records each week and we are still going stronger than ever. Again, we will continue working on additional updates to add even more features to USA Coin Book!
December 27, 2011
Default Shipping and Return Policy - eBay History
We've made a few convenient upgrades lately. One of them now allows members to save shipping and return policy details after each listing. When you list an item for sale, the site will now save all of your shipping options and return policy information for your next listing. This speeds up the listing process because members no longer have to enter in shipping details and return policy for every single item. Note, the site will automatically save your most recent options.
The next upgrade we did was to allow members to post their eBay history. To enter your new information, login and view "My Coin Book" and click "Edit Profile". There will now be an option available called "eBay History". When you edit this, you must enter your eBay username as a requirement. If you would like, enter the positive feedback rating count. After you have done this, your eBay history will then show up on every listing. The purpose of this is to help long-time eBay members gain trust at USA Coin Book by showing previously earned reputation earned over the years at eBay.
November 23, 2011
USA Coin Book is pleased to announce our major overhaul of the website with a number of useful upgrades. Listing coins is now easier to do and the process is much smoother as well as the interface itself. Also, members can now add up to 10 images at a time and no longer have to add all the images at the same time. In addition, members have multiple shipping options available and a place to enter a return policy and other instructions.
Our new shopping cart now allows members to add products from multiple dealers, unlike the old shopping cart! Buyers can now compare coins and prices from multiple dealers on a single page and can checkout all items from one dealer at a time. Buyers can also choose different shipping methods for different coins. In addition, sellers can add shipping rules for discounted shipping on all items or full shipping for each item. Sellers can modify the shipping rules by editing their profile account details from the control panel.
In addition, we have upgraded the individual items page, which now looks sleeker than before and more organized. New additions to the page include a list of the shipping options available, return policy and other instructions. 10 images of a coin are now viewable here. When you roll your mouse over the smaller thumbnails, it instantly appears enlarge. Members can email a friend to show them an item straight from the page, print item in printable format and report item. Also, members can click the facebook or twitter icon to quickly share or market their coins! All of this will improve presentation and exposure, which should bring in more visitors and sales.
Finally, we have upgraded the display of all of the coins on the homepage as well as the listings on specific types of coins. The images have been enlarged to show off more coin details from our listing pages and made the design sleeker. We also added an additional browsing display type for the coins. Rather than just our normal default list, members may now browse coins in a grid layout, again with larger pictures!
There will be other ongoing smaller changes and upgrades in the near future, many of which will not be shown here. As with all upgrades, if you experience any problems, bugs or glitches, please report them so we can get them worked out.
November 06, 2011
Corrections and Improvements with Price Guides and Shopping Cart
We were notified that some of our price guides were greatly inaccurate, specifically coins being shown less valuable than they actually are. The cause of the problem was due to the prices not updating accurately when the prices of precious metals changed with silver, gold and platinum coins. Due to the highly volatile nature of precious metal prices and how long ago we set our baseline numismatic values, the values became out of sync due to the precious metal prices. The price of gold has doubled in about 1 year, hence gold coins are vastly more valuable today than last year. This problem is now sorted out and the prices should all be in sync with precious metal prices at any time in the future. We apologize for any problems or inconveniences this has caused.
In addition, we have improved the shopping cart and the system of how coins are purchased. We have run into problems in the past were once coins were added to the cart and then the buyer attempts to purchase them. When a buyer continues to the PayPal screen or to finalize the order, the coins get taken "out of stock" so that no one else can buy the coin at the same time. When the buyer has to close up the browser or return to a point before the finalization screen, the coins are out of stock and the buyer has to wait until the end of the hour for coins to "re-stock" as no one bought the coin. If you have experienced this before, you will be happy to know that this will no longer happen unless the coin is definitely sold to another buyer.
There are other smaller changes such as a smoother shopping cart and smoother login/logout process that cuts down on useless output messages. In the near future, we will also be attempting to renovation some of the major functions of the site such as adding and editing of coins, the user control panel and the display of the item pages themselves.
September 27, 2011
New Search Engine Feature and Inbox System
As you may have noticed, USA Coin Book now has a nice search engine feature for the site. Members may now have an easier and faster time finding items. To accommodate the new search box, we made some slight changes to the design of the site to make room for it. The old menu navigation bar has been replaced with the search feature and the old link menu has been relocated above the logo. The search results page also has a new design for displaying items in a list. In addition, there is a grid layout if you prefer browsing through coins this way. Eventually, this redesign may replace all the item display listings throughout the site.
You may have also noticed a few weeks back that we redesigned the USA Coin Book inbox system. The new sleek look makes it easier to manage your messages.
As for traffic stats, we are still receiving a record number of visitors. USA Coin Book now has 653 members and has sold 323 items. In addition, there are about 450 to 500 visitors browsing through the site every day. USA Coin Book is still going stronger than ever. We will be making more design and feature upgrades in the near future!
January 18, 2011
Visitor Traffic Reports
We are pleased to announce that USA Coin Book is now receiving on average of over 350 visitors per day (or about 15 visitors and potential customers every hour of the day). Visitor traffic records are also being broke just about every week including today. This is great news for sellers as there are many more people looking at your products each and every day and this is great news for buyers since more sellers are getting involved and listing coins.
We would like to thank all the folks who wrote in and are having very positive experiences with our site. We are also happy that visitors are finding the information they are looking for and are using many of our tools on a daily basis. USA Coin Book will continue its effort to draw in more collectors and make the site even more active and productive while keeping the concept simple and easy to use!
November 10, 2010
Alternative to PayPal - Additional Payment Methods
We now allow sellers the option to accept payments through check or money order by mail as an alternative to PayPal. All sellers are still required to have a PayPal ID as PayPal is still the primary payment method but at least there are now other options. There are a few benefits to allowing your customers to pay by Check or Money Order. The biggest advantage is that sellers do not have to pay the additional 2.90% + $0.30 PayPal fee for money being sent to them nor do they have to pay this same fee again in order to transfer our 2% USA Coin Book commissions. This means the only fee you have to pay is our 2% USA Coin Book commissions and that's it.
The disadvantage is that our 2% commissions do not get paid automatically when the sale happens. Sellers will have to follow an "honor system" and they will have an additional responsibility to pay us. Commission fees will add up and when they reach $2.00 or more, a large notice will appear in your account and those fees must be paid within 30 days or else your account gets temporarily suspended (customers will no longer be able to purchase from you). When this notice appears, just follow the link and payment instructions. You do not have to worry about paying the fees until they reach a total of $2.00 or more.
Another issue that needs to be dealt with when it comes to Checks or Money Orders is that all transaction problems will need to be dealt with between the buyer and seller as there is no professional 3rd party such as PayPal to enforce problems related to fraud, fake coins, chargebacks and etc.
To accept Checks or Money Orders, login to your account and click the "Edit Profile" link. Then click the checkbox under "Additional Payment Methods that you Accept". All of your existing and future product listings will then let customers know and give them the option to pay by check or money order through the mail. As with any of our new updates, let us know if you are experiencing any bugs or if you have any questions about this.
November 8, 2010
Sellers can now add Sales Tax options
In this newest update, sellers can now choose to add sales taxes on their items. To do this, they much first log in and click the "Edit Profile" link in your Control Panel. Then select a US State from the drop down menu where you are located and enter the tax rate used in this State. This rate will then be automatically applied to all of your existing and future product listings.
November 6, 2010
Important Updated Fee Information
There were a few issues over the last few days with sellers that sold coins and were unpleasantly surprised by additional fees that came from PayPal, particularly regarding a smaller secondary fee. There was also a small secondary PayPal fee that we did not realize was happening until we were contacted. We protested with PayPal and asked for a solution about this fee but were unable to do anything about it at the moment except try to give a warning for everyone to know exactly what is going on.
We wrote up a clear fee policy that we greatly urge sellers to read and understand: http://www.usacoinbook.com/fees.php. We will always charge the low flat 2% USA Coin Book commission fee that we promised but sellers also need to take into account the PayPal fees described on that page, which actually makes up the majority of fees. Also, I created a few calculators there so you can see how much more you save (and profit) versus eBay fees and to strategically set prices to prevent losing money.
November 1, 2010
Sudden 1000% increase in search engine visitors
This announcement is a heads up just to let sellers and dealers know that over the last 2 days, traffic and potential customers from search engines have suddenly increased by about 1000% for the very specific keywords and coins. For those who are not familiar with search engine marketing, the large engines such as Google and Yahoo will usually intentionally block a brand new site such as USA Coin Book from ranking well in the search results until they "trust" the site some more.
This is sometimes known as the "aging factor" or "aging filter" which Google uses to watch a site for some time to make sure it is legitimate and not a spammer or hostile spyware site before listing it at the top of the search results for all visitors to see and visit. When a new site gains some "trust factor" in Google's search algorithm, Google will flip the on-switch and allow the site to suddenly rank for various keywords. As a site ages and continues ethical practices, it will gain higher levels of trust and even more visitors.
This is a normal and un-controllable process that takes some time so we would like to let sellers know about this as it is important for marketing strategy. This is virtually our first major appearance in the search engines and we are looking at an average of at least one potential customer entering our site every 10 minutes. This may not seem like much to some folks but it is phenomenal for a new site that didn't even exist less than 3 months ago. The current progress is much faster and well ahead of our original expectations, especially since there are a lot of return visitors, which is great news for anyone selling coins here.
The type of keywords people have searched for over the last 24 hours in Google are specific such as: "1963 double die reverse 10 cent", "1873 closed 3 $5 gold", "1925s peace dollar", "1994-p silver american eagle", "$2.50 gold indian head 1925 d", "1847 5 dollar eagle", "us large cents 1823", "1882 cc $20", "1906-d us gold liberty coronet 10 $ coin". They may or may not be looking to buy these coins but there are real and potential customers landing on those pages!
October 30, 2010
More User-Friendly and Organized "Coin Book"
Due to a number of complaints, we decided to clean up the "Coin Book" section, which is the page that everyone lands on when they log in. The first major change is that we added "Control Panel" options and "Add Coin Listing" options. We added user administration buttons here in the Control Panel that will only appear for the user so they can edit profile, view invoices, re-list auctions and leave feedback.
In the "Add Coin Listings" section, there are four links for Auctions, Sell Coins, Wish List and Personal Collection. Now users can click those links to add coins. The next page will allow you to quickly select the major categories of the coins, which will redirect to the traditional table where you can select specific coins and add them.
The big "blue box" in the middle of the screen is now reduced and a lot of the "junk" is removed. It will now only display category links to coins that you are connected with instead of showing every category available regardless of if you have those coins or not. That way members can still view all of your coins of a particular category. We will not display any unnecessary category links if you do not have any of those coins listed. Also, you will not have to add coin listings this way anymore as you can now use the "Add Coin Listing" options just under the "Control Panel" options as explained above.
I hope this will make things more organized and will make adding coins easier to understand. I would appreciate any feedback or reporting of bugs for these major feature additions.
October 24, 2010
View the Melt Value of US Coins
We programmed a new and exciting feature into USA Coin Book. You can now view the intrinsic metal content value of every US coin ever made. This means you can now see how much the gold, silver, platinum, copper, zinc, nickel and manganese are worth in any coin.
Here is the main page of this new addition: US Coin Melt Values
Since we already had information about the metal composition in each coin, we decided to take it one step further and show you how much the composition of metal is worth. This information is very interesting and educational for coin collectors but also useful for anyone interested in bullion. Even if you have a totally ruined coin in numismatic terms, the metal content can still be worth quite a bit, especially if it is made out of gold or silver.
Our gold and silver coin prices are now "pegged" to the international market exchanges. When we update the current spot prices of gold and silver, the entire pricing table for these coins will update accordingly. This makes our coin pricing guides some of the most accurate and current in the world when it comes to factoring in precious metal values in a frequently volatile precious metal market.
Our new coin melt values main page shows a table of every US coin along with the current spot price of base metals and precious metals. We broke this table up into smaller parts on 4 different pages so you can bookmark these and view only gold, silver, platinum or copper coins without having to scroll through the main table. Also, we added calculators for gold, silver and platinum coins so you can choose any one of these coins, enter the quantity that you own and find the total weight and value of metal in these coins. The current spot prices for these precious metals are already inserted into the calculators, but you can customize the spot prices to see what your coins would be worth at a different price.
September 15, 2010
Track your Invoices in your Coin Book
We made another major upgrade today. Members can now view invoices of all purchases "as a buyer" or "as a seller". To view your invoices, login and view your Coin Book. Next to the "Edit Profile" link, there will now be a "My Invoices" link. This should be much more convenient than logging into PayPal every time you want to look up which coins you sold to customers or which ones you bought from sellers.
September 9, 2010
Re-listing Auctions and Changing Listing Formats
Members who list items up for auction but receive 0 bids will now have the option to easily re-list auctions without having to re-type the entire description and upload all the pictures over again. When an auction ends and there are no bidders, you must first login and view that page, which will give an option to re-list the auction. You will then be taken to a form with all of the original descriptions and information to review. At this time, you can enter a different auction duration and price.
Also, members can now easily move items from the "auction" format to "for sale (BIN) format or back to "personal collection" if you would no longer like to sell the products. Members can easily move coins from one format to another without having to delete the page and re-write the description and upload the pictures.
One major limitation to these options is if you completely sell out the product or if there are more than 0 bidders, the page will be un-editable so that the buyer will have a reference invoice to view the product later.
A major advantage to re-listing auctions is the fact that you can re-use the same page, meaning you get to keep the same search engine benefits and exposure of the page that was built up over a period of time. This makes it more likely that visitors will find your product and that it will sell during the next time.
September 5, 2010
Corrected Price and Value Charts - More Accurate
We went through all of the price tables for each type of coin and changed the prices or the grading reference. The original problem was spotting in great price differences specifically in the uncirculated (MS) and proof (PR) scale. Some prices, especially with the older coins, were being corresponded with grade MS-65 when they should have been for MS-63 coins. The same issue was happening with PR-65 coins which had prices that should have been for PR-63 or PR-69 coins.
This was a major issue as the prices were inaccurate by a few dollars to as much as a hundred thousand dollars just for being off by 2 grades. For all of you collectors with old and uncirculated coins, this is a lesson that shows how wise it is to spend a few extra bucks for good protective coin holders and especially get your coins graded by a professional grading service as the difference between an MS-63 and MS-65 grade could be the difference of a quarter million dollars...
September 3, 2010
Added Presidential Dollar and First Spouse Categories
We added two new and major categories: the Presidential Dollar Coins and First Spouse $10 Half Ounce Gold Bullion Coins. You can now view the statistics on these coins, sell them or add them to your coin book.
New Coin Listing Editor
We upgraded our listing editor so that it is easier to use and removed many of the useless and confusing features. We tried to make the process more simple and convenient for adding coins and making custom formatted descriptions for your coins.
August 31, 2010
Shopping Cart for "Buy It Now" stores
Over the last few days, we made some major overhauls to USA Coin Book. The largest upgrade we did was create a "shopping cart" atmosphere for dealers. This upgrade is very special and makes us even more unique than eBay or other auction sites, which will be explained in more details below.
When a customer purchased multiple products from a dealer (30 coins for example), there was a problem in that the dealer would receive 30 separate invoices from PayPal and so would the customer. There was another problem regarding shipping in that the customer would have been grossly overcharged the full shipping rate for 30 different products.
The solution that we developed was a "shopping cart" in which the customer could browse through a dealer's inventory and add 30 coins to the cart. At the same time, the customer would be charged the full rate shipping for item that had the greatest shipping cost and then the reduced "additional shipping costs for multiple items" fee for the rest of the items. Both the dealer and customer will receive just 1 invoice.
Please read our shipping cost policy for more details.
The one major limitation to this system is that the customer may only purchase coins or add coins to the cart from one dealer at a time.
Fixed "looping" login problems
We fixed a major "bug" that was related to logging in. We learned that multiple members had problems logging in. Even when they correctly entered their username and password, they still kept getting the "you must be logged in before viewing this page" message that kept looping regardless of how many times they correctly entered the username and password combination. Everything is fixed and we greatly apologize for the inconvenience.
We greatly appreciate the suggestions, feedback and reporting of problems and bugs. This will make our site much greater for everyone.
USA Coin Book