These taxing times

As I write, the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the US now stands at 20,109. 

I haven’t been buying as many glasses via eBay as I once did, so it was quite a shock to see that the final tally for a recent win came with a hefty $27.77 sales-tax bill. Yikes. eBay has been crying wolf re impending sales tax legislation for years now and I’d become desensitized to the frequent warning emails, so I was completely oblivious to the fact that they had begun collecting sales tax for my home state as of April 1. Yikes again. Sales tax is going to seriously impact the glass budgets of many collectors and may force some to rethink how badly they want that extra glass for the display case.

This past couple of weeks on eBay has been a story of extremes. I keep two different eBay watchlists under two different id’s and both are nearly maxed out (the watchlist limit per account is 300) because there is a ton of pre-pro glass offered for sale at the moment.

In the last post, I showed a Father Time glass with a viral conspiracy theory theme, and voila, princeweesl (better known to old-timers as bluroc) lists a more deadly strain that sold on April 1 for a $224.49.

princeweesl has been responsible for several high-end glass sales in the past couple of weeks, including a couple of hand-painted enamels that sold for $432.99 apiece. Phew. Nice if you can get them.

In case you’re interested, the past 4 weeks saw 262 glass auctions close, 94 of these failed to attract a bidder, the average price of glasses sold was $45.23.

While we’re on the subject of the weesl, here’s a dated souvenir glass that he offered for $24.99, but the auction closed with no bids. The glass had a gold label and came with interesting background info: “This glass was very mysterious to me until my very helpful wife (research librarian) found out that: Thomas Rowe was the president of the American Flint glass workers union. He retired in 1914 and the members evidently begged him to stay in his post, so this was made either to celebrate/toast his retirement, or to get him to return. Its quite an interesting piece with many cross collectable categories!

The glass didn’t ring any bells with me, but when I was entering the auction into the sales database, I was surprised to find that bluroc had one won (there is only one other example in the database, so it’s a rare one) for $9.99 back in September 2011. Except that this one had no gold fill. Hmmmm… maybe the “very helpful wife (research librarian)” is also very helpful when it comes to application of paint brushes…..

Then there were the head-scratcher auctions; glasses that would not have sold for an opening bid of $5 or a month or so ago but that are now hotties. The Hill and Hill (Rock Spring Distilling Co., Owensboro, KY) was first listed by artswhirld back in February for $100. It’s a highball, a size that has typically been treated with distain by most pre-pro collectors. Presumably it’s too close to beer-glass size to appeal to the specialist shot collectors, although highballs make for a great collecting niche given their rarity and low sales prices. Not surprisingly, the glass went unsold, despite a nice provenance lifted from the pro-pro database. The glass relisted in March and sold a day later in a buy-it-now for $125. Go. Figure.

The Old Keebros is a semi-regular on eBay, typically selling in the $15-$30 range. The one above listed at $75 and sold for $125.69. Huh??

The A. E. Shields “The Whiskey Man” glass is a) from MN and b) a dose glass, two characteristics that usually spell the kiss of death so far as glass values are concerned. Yet the one above, which was listed by sparrowantiques, was binned for $99.99. Huh?? Maybe I’m missing something….

At the other end of the spectrum we have the Caron’s XXXX below – a stellar example of quintessential display-case-worthy pre-pro glass that was listed by napa-capecod for only $35 and then took a lower-price offer on it!! Whoever bought that got a steal – it’s a great glass.

napa is apparently closing out an old collection that he’s had packed away since 1994 – it’s worth bookmarking him, especially if you’re interested in New England glasses. He’s already listed and sold several previously-unknown glasses. The only downside is that shipping is $8 per glass and he does not combine shipping. And, oh yes, don’t forget to factor in f*&#^$’ sales tax.

That’s all folks – stay home, stay well. See y’all on eBay.