I have collected encased coins for many years. These tokens are rarely available at a dealer's shop or table at a show. There are sometimes a few, but never enough to satisfy my desires or needs. To solve that problem I turned to eBay. On eBay, there are thousands of listings for encased coins. As a result of looking closely at listings daily, I learned a bit about buying on eBay.
I have found out the hard way and at some expense that "buying the book", or at least knowing about your collecting area before you invest is important. With encased there is no book that will let you know what is rare or common. With US coins you have the "Red Book" to use as a reference source. With encased I had only my interest in collecting them. If you know your collecting desires you are all set. Before you begin buying, search eBay for the coin(s) you are interested in obtaining. The eBay site is organized by category. Coins and currency are listed under "Collectibles & Art/Coins and Paper Money". The search box at the top center of the page has a dropdown list to get you started. Once you have found the category you are interested in watch the listings for a couple of weeks. Watch the prices and get a feel for how coins are offered and what the terms are for shipping. Some listings will offer you everything from one coin to bags and boxes of them. You may find complete collections, and you may find that one specific coin you have been looking for.
Before you begin bidding you should read the eBay help section of how the service works. It fully explains how to bid, retracting a bid, automatic bidding, buy it now options, reserves, and second chance offers. I can't cover everything you should know in the article, so I recommend you read these "help" articles.
Here are some rules I follow when buying:
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