Vol. I, No. 1, Tuesday April 6, 2004
|by dick bales|
|I don't think that anybody out
there in the pre-pro world will argue that Robin Preston has done an
incredible job in designing and continually updating this website. I
go into it daily and am constantly amazed at the things I find. His
database is a wonderful tool to use in deciding what (and how much) to bid
on an eBay listing.
But Robin and I are at two different levels. He is an advanced collector, and I am just a rookie. Grizzled if not jaded, he yawns at what I find remarkable; it takes a lot to get him excited.
But when he does, his prose blasts off the computer screen like lasers in a Star Wars movie. Look at his eBay "shot of the week" feature. When it comes to SOTW, his mantra is, "if it bleeds, it leads." Under Preston's purple pen, a high-priced bidding war becomes a battle between two Roman gladiators. And unlike the movies, when the dust settles, Russell "junkmoney" Crowe is not always the winner!
But what about the more mundane stuff? I dare say that there are a lot of newer collectors out there who are just like me, people who, believe it or not, are still amazed at the beauty of a mint gold-rimmed Hayner. (I bought one recently for $5 at the Madison, Wisconsin bottle show and keep it on my desk at work, filled with paper clips.) So for those of you who have not yet grown weary of seeing "Lock Box 290" in an eBay listing, this column is for you. We'll let Robin write about glasses like the Morgan Special; I (like radio commentator Paul Harvey) will write "the rest of the story."
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In just a few months of collecting I have already managed to meet some wonderful people via the Internet. Robin, of course, is one of them. Howard Currier is another. Through our correspondence he knew that I was interested in Chicago glass, and so he kindly e-mailed me one day, inviting me to check out what at first glance appeared to be a mundane eBay listing. The eBay heading was "vintage etched advertising shot glasses." As all of us know, words like "vintage," and "rare" are tossed about indiscriminately on the Internet auction services. (How can there be so many "rare" shot glass chess sets out there?) Trolling eBay one day, looking for glass, I had already seen this heading, but for some reason passed it up. But Howard didn't. He opened up the listing and there, amongst a long description of four junk pieces of glass, he found a nice "Stein Bros." Chicago glass.
So I learned my lesson. When searching for glass on the eBay landscape, the moral of the story is that you have to look everywhere. Leave no cyber stone unturned. With eBay, a "shot glass" is not the same as a "shotglass." It takes time, but there's some neat stuff out there, and you don't have to spend a lot of bucks to get it.
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