05/07/2018 at 5:09 pm #39307Eve EverettParticipant
I realize everybody has a “formula” but quite frankly there are limited circumstances for choosing an Auction over a Fixed Price listing on eBay.
Time and time again, I feel genuine sadness for sellers who simply don’t have the background or knowledge, they list an item, then the train wreck ensues.
Case in point:
Many niche items perform poorly as auctions on eBay, (with some exceptions-more on that in a second).
Case in point:
On 3/18/18 I sold this Beir 1930s vintage fabric sample book on a Best Offer for $599.00 which is actually a bit heartbreaking. It sold within several days, but I was prepared to go long tail on it. I bought this a long time ago, and as things are getting too precious, it was time. (Plus I have other Beir books in my archive). Also notable is that the Beir family designed for Disney. When the market was very heated for prints, it wasn’t unusual to see a book like this go for twice as much at a specialty auction. I have sold similar prints directly to the designers at UO for $175 to $200 a sample / colorway. I have also sold entire sample books both on eBay and offline to other archives or designers.
So, I present to you, Exhibit One:
(Picture of my Beir cover is closer to the end of my pictures). And by the way, this isn’t my only account, but this is one I use to offload certain personal things.
Prepare to feel sad.
To be sure, having one’s auctions end on 3/4/18 Sunday afternoon is not optimal*. However $599 vs $25?! You do the math. And Yes, her pictures were not that great as Beir’s Sample sizes were consistently the same dimensions—she simply chose to not picture the larger samples. My books have the triangle size ones too.
*When my partner and I clearanced, we did either 7 or 10 day auctions ending at about 11pm or 11:30 pm EST.
I could go on in many different sectors: books, handbags, shoes, heck I still buy on eBay and sell on Amazon.
The bottom line is that unless a substantial potential loss is acceptable in exchange for just getting it up there and crossing ones fingers, it’s rarely justified. Yes, I know one can get paralyzed and overwhelmed, wondering how can EVERYTHING possibly be checked!?! However, by developing your eye, letting other sellers tell you, for you, and sheer perseverance, it’s possible to mitigate that risk while not becoming too much of a hoarder.
One of the only exceptions, IMO, includes antique Chinese porcelain and certain Chinese antique textiles.
Ok, so there you have it. Most of the time, auctions are convenient but bad for your overall fiscal health.
05/07/2018 at 5:52 pm #39322MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
And when others who don’t know the real value go looking for “SOLDS” so they can compare and use those numbers, they price low. That is why the Ebay 90 Solds list can be misleading also. Imagine if an unknowing saw several of these listed in the 90 day Solds, they might list at a BIN Fixed price of $25 dollars and think they are pricing real high.
This type of thing actually drags the market down I think just the way the competitive race to the bottom does. If more than one source is used other than Ebay 90 day Solds and a few current ones you may find that many had sold for hundreds and even thousands. That is where a subscription to WorthPoint or Kovels.com may come in handy. I look at these research databases as “tools”. And I used to say, “Professional tools, for professional people, being used in a professional manner”, to my employees numerous times. But to some, guessing is OK by them, fast, no time spent on research and no monthly fees for database subscriptions.
Next time you see them, snipe them up and then resell, if you can.
05/07/2018 at 6:06 pm #39324Eve EverettParticipant
I know, right? Had I only checked I would have been super thrilled. One of the other benefits of Fixed Price listings is that one is kind of inoculated against the low auction prices, as long as one is willing to wait.
I use Worthpoint and Liveauctioneers which has a sold lookup. It’s a nice secondary source.
05/16/2018 at 9:53 pm #40136KatieScottParticipant
Eve – that is so interesting – thanks for posting.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.