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|Shot of the Week - SPECIAL EDITION!||Item number: 330219448950|
Each edition of SOTW will begin with some stats on sales in the past 28 days to give us all a sense of where the hobby is going. In the past four weeks, 169 pre-pro glass auctions closed, 31 closed with no bidder, average price of the glasses that sold was $27.04. 7 glasses sold for >$100, none sold for >$1,000.
|This is a special edition of SOTW
with a couple of updates and some pre-pro navel-gazing, hopeful
to find something meaningful in the small bolus of lint that's collected
there over the years.
Update #1: deppen76 snagged the McHenry glass at shown at right for only $9.99 a month or so ago, but the listing description mentioned that it had "several small nibs and one slash chip". "Slash Chip" sounded a lot like "crack", which sent the punters running for cover, but deppen reports that the crack is in fact a chip and so he retains the Steal of the Week award from last week/month. Nice, nice, nice!
edition of SOTW also featured the following glass, which is what
prompted the current special edition. The Poo-Bah wrote:
"Sneak of the Week award for this week/month goes to long-time pre-pro-supporter and our good friend xxxtruk for persuading chuckawalla, the owner of the Brunswick glass at left, to convert the listing from a regular 7-day auction to a $45 bin. The Poo-Bah was somewhat flummoxed by this one since it's just a text glass, but different strokes for different folks I suppose. Maybe it's just the challenge of weaseling glass ....."
Since the glass had originally listed without the bin, the Poo-Bah had assumed that xxxtruk had snuck off with it by convincing the owner to end the auction early. However, within a couple of days of SOTW appearing, he received the following message:
"I AM THE SELLER OF THE SHOT MENTIONED..(CHUCKAWALLA)...XXX EMAILED ME, AND ASKED THAT I CONTACT YOU, AS HE FEELS THAT HE WAS SLANDERED. I LISTED THE SHOT AND ADDED THE BIN, SIMPLY BECAUSE I DID'NT HAVE THE PATIENCE TO LET THE AUCTION RUN IT'S COURSE. I HAD NO PREVIOUSE COMMUNICATION WITH THE BUYER. I FIND YOUR "SNEAK OF THE WEEK" VERY AMUSING, BUT QUITE UNFAIR TO XXX, WHO TO ME, SEEMS QUITE UPSET WITH YOUR REMARKS. I THINK AN APOLOGY IS IN ORDER, IF YOU HAVE ANY LEVEL OF RESPECT TO YOUR PATRONS......"
The Poo-Bah was floored by this, mainly because he had intended the featured glass as a compliment to Kurt's ability to work a behind-the-scenes deal, although he had qualified his comments with puzzlement over why anyone would bother over this particular glass. Convincing sellers to end auctions early takes considerable effort and powers of persuasion. I would guess that virtually all of our readers have tried it at one time or another, with variable degrees of success. The Poo-Bah most certainly has, although ultimately he ended up paying more to get the auction closed than he would had he actually bid on it - clearly weaseling is not his calling. And I'm sure we all recall the seller who published correspondence attempting to get an auction closed - I don't remember which particular glass was the object of desire in this particular instance, but I'm sure you'll all remember the plea from a collector (who shall remain nameless): "COME ON, LET'S WORK A DEAL, IT'S THE HOLIDAYS"!!
Assuming that xxxtruk was offended by the weaseling comment rather than the suggestion of being a "long-time pre-pro-supporter and our good friend," the Poo-Bah apologizes without reserve for having upset him. Again. The Poo-Bah is even more sorry that chuckawalla got dragged into this, but anyone who sells on eBay knows that it's a public forum and bizarre interactions and consequences are more often the norm than not.
But this brings me back to the subject of navels - why so much angst over buying glass?
Let's admit it folks, collecting glass at this level is a sickness, a pathological corruption of a primal hunting-and-gathering instinct that serves no useful purpose. Maybe the acquisitions staff at the Smithsonian can defend their purchases with the promise of preserving history and educating the public, but the rest of us just stash the latest win on a shelf and immediately start looking for the next trophy to pick off eMart. The only social benefit to collecting is that it offers a distraction to those of us who would otherwise be beating their spouses, kicking their dogs, or lurking in dark alleyways in a dirty raincoat, waiting for unsuspecting young women to pass by. Have I managed to offend everyone yet?? Probably, but tell me I'm wrong.
So why DO we collect and talk about collecting and clash on eBay week after week? Sure, pre-pro glasses are pretty when they're all lined up on the shelves, twinkling like small gilded jewels under the lights of the display case. It's nice to have other collectors coo over them, although that probably doesn't happen more than once or twice a decade. Is that enough to fuel the need to go out and pick off another? Maybe that's a part of the inate drive, but more important is need to Hunt. The hunting-and-gathering instinct is hard wired, just like the urge to breathe and reproduce. There's just no challenge involved in picking up a tray of icy-cold cow sealed under Cling-Film in the meat department of the local Acme, so instead we scratch the behavioral itch (and maybe testotesterone itch: apologies to the one or two XX glass collectors out there) by stalking glass on eBay. The ability to snipe has pretty much ruined the fun of competing for glass on the net, so now the thrill of the game is finding a bin before your competitors do, or sneaking a glass in a back-door deal, or finding a hidden glass and walking off with it for pennies on the dollar.
So if we're willing to acknowledge that bidding on glass is a game, then we need to establish some rules so weaseling is acknowledged as being cunning and clever rather than serving as fodder for a slanderous accusation.
Who wins the game? Certainly not the one who dies with the most and/or finest glass, because anyone with $$$ can do that. Imagine if Warren Buffet were to decide to become a pre-pro collector - he could take every glass that appears on eBay for the next fifty years without even making a dent in his bottom line. Warren Buffet is the investor folks, not the singer, just in case you're now thinking "Margarita". Bill Gates - imagine if he were to decide to become....., ... oh never mind.
The winner should be the one who dies with the collection assembled on a minimal budget, preferably using cunning, diligence and guile. Getting off your backside and trawling antique malls and shows would earn you big points, but since the name of the game here is eBay, that's how we have to define the parameters. We now have a near-continuous records of sales from the past 7 years on eBay, so it becomes easy to assign values to glass and track who's bought what, even when using stealth ids. Here's what I propose, but this is off the top of my head (or some other part of the anatomy) and open to debate via the chat room.
(SD = standard deviation)
|Winning a glass on eBay:||1|
|Rare glass/pretty glass||3|
|LUG or enamel||4|
|Winning a glass for >1 SD of value||-1|
|Weaseling a glass||5|
|Weaseling a rare/pretty glass||7|
|Weaseling a LUG or enamel||10|
|Finding a bin on a rare/pretty glass||3|
|Finding a bin LUG or enamel||6|
Once we have a point system established, it becomes a simple task to run the database through the points system and arrive at a final value for all eBay regulars. Having watched people come and go for some time now, I have a sense that nuffbarn would be at the top of the list. hectic76 is an interesting newcomer currently worth watching - we could even start a pool!
Since this IS SOTW, we have to finish with a pick. This one's a no-brainer:
|" For auction a rare find. This is a glass used to take stomach
bitters. It advertises
The glass is clear 2 1/4" with a 2" opening and a 1 1/4" base.
The glass is shiny and the printing is crisp. There is one small flea bite on the back side, felt it before I saw it."
This was an interesting auction and held many lessons for anyone thinking of selling on eBay. For starters, it's a bitters glass, which typically is enough to guarantee a premium sales price under normal circumstances. Second, it's a colored pre-pro glass, and unless you've been sleeping in a barn for the past two years, you know what that does to value. Under normal circumstances, this glass should have sold in the $400 - $600 range.
It closed at a generic $46.00.
So why didn't it sell for more? The auction had several strikes against it -
First - the seller had not
researched the glass and hence had no idea of what it was or what its true value
Second - it was listed in obscurity: "Listed in category: Collectibles > Advertising > Health & Beauty > Medicines, First Aid". Pass the Band-Aid, someone...
Third - it ran as a private auction, meaning that any amount of mischief could have occurred and been hidden from public view
Finally - gold-plated shipping. $9.92 to ship a glass - you HAVE to be kidding. That's close to a record.
The seller had another rare WI glass running at the same time under the "Distilleries" category, but the Poo-Bah was so disgusted by items #3 & 4 above that he put in only a minimal bid and didn't bother to check out what else the seller had on offer. A lesson there also.
The private auction means that we don't know who the runners up where, but the winner on both auctions? You guessed it, nuffbarn.
Lemme see, how many points for those two.... let me take my socks off....
That's all folks. See you on eBay!
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Last updated: Sunday June 01, 2008
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