Buy Unsearched Cent Rolls Ebay (Schemes & Scams)

Any coin collector who searches for coins at ebay have noticed the copious amount of “unsearched” roll auctions. It appears, some version or other, Cent rolls make up the bulk of these auctions, and that stands to reason, because of the high mintages of Lincoln Cents and the ease of obtaining cent rolls for little premium.

However, some Lincoln Cents have low mintages and demand a decent premium, so do many mint errors and varieties of this most popular cent. A couple more facts that make unsearched rolls more appealing, is that Indian Cents and sometimes Flying Eagle Cents are found in bank rolls of Wheaties bought in collections. It’s these facts that are miss-represented to lure potential buyers into paying more for rolls of cents.

It’s no wonder, how popular unsearched cent rolls can be with only a face value of 50 cents. It’s also no wonder so many sellers on ebay sell unsearched rolls, but that’s where the problem begins.

Unsearched roll sellers know how to use the cent’s reverse, or key date cents, or Indian, or Flying Eagle Cents to their advantage and to entice would be buyers to bid.  I know some of you might have seen a roll of unsearched pennies with the reverse showing the V.D.B. designer’s initials.

Only two Lincoln Cents have the V.D.B. on the reverse, the 1909 V.D.B. and the rarest Wheat date, the 1909-S V.D.B. Both of these dates and mints demand a premium, and if the reverse of a 1909 V.D.B. cent is showing on the end of the roll, it begs the question “Is is a 1909-S V.D.B. rare key date?”. But the odds are against that being the case and this fact is purposely overlooked by some sellers who host unsearched roll auctions.

The seller knows this fact, and they sell this roll with the question, “Is it the 1909-S V.D.B.?”.  I know this Wheat date sales for several hundred dollars, and I doubt the seller would allow such a find to slip away. But I’m not going to get into the why and why not of this being the case, I want to look at some other facts to consider. You, the coin collector, must use your own good judgment and common sense when buying unsearched rolls.

As I stated before, anyone can buy thousands of wheat cents for a small premium, and old paper cent rollers can also be purchased, along with a few semi-key dates or even a complete collection of Lincoln Cents, for a small investment. If such a person where to make these purchases and roll these rolls, placing the best dates on the ends, then it can be realized just how easy it would be to create shotgun rolls that seem to have rare dates with the possibility others inside.

This act also can be accomplished using a few low grade Indian and Flying Eagle Cents if one can’t find or isn’t willing to purchase a complete cent collection. I know that complete cent collections demand high premiums, but scratched, cleaned and very low grade examples can be found for less.

The seller just buys a 1909-S or 1909 V.D.B.’s, make sure either the “S” or V.D.B. side is on the roll end,  to create the impression that one might be found in the rolls. The add a low-grade Flying Eagle or Indian Cent, and the final value of these rolls increases above what they’re worth.

Furthermore, a tightly “self” wrapped roll of cents can also be given the steel wool treatment, where steel wool or another abrasive is used to make the roll seem older and more “rugged”; and just because a roll is tightly wrapped, doesn’t imply it was bank wrapped as many sellers want the bidders to believe. It’s amazing the lengths some sellers will go to just to sale common grade and date coins, and I’m sure I have missed something, or another will come up with another roll-type scheme in the near future.

I have watched ebay for several years, and I have seen some of the worst and most sad tricks to convince buyers to part from their hard-earned money. You know, it’s not just the sellers fault, but the buyer must take some blame for being foolish, instead of educating themselves on coin collecting and a little common sense. The internet is full of helpful guides and articles, as is are website, so there’s just no excuse for coin collectors or cherry pickers to fall for these scams and schemes.

If you would like to read more about unsearched rolls visit my article How To Buy Unsearched Coin Lots, or if you have a question about an ebay auction or buying coins, let our members help you here CoinHELP! Message Board