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Bill Langs Passed Away

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Author Replies: 238 / Views: 12,720Next Topic
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Posted 10/20/2020   9:30 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Of course with that many items there will be mistakes, but most of his were deliberate "mistakes"
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Posted 10/20/2020   9:55 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I strongly disagreed with some of Bill Langs listings and business decisions. I was also copied on (and still have) many, many Bill Langs vs. Bill Weiss 'debates' over BL's listings including some which got pretty heated. I have not counted and done the actual math but in a quick review this is how I think the email chains break down.
- About 50% of the time BL would not push back on BW and BL would change/modify his listings.
- I would say another 30% of the time they would argue back and forth and eventually come to a resolution between them.
- The last 20% of the time they would not agree and could not find any common ground; these were the ones which typically got heated.

I think that BL was quite knowledge and had an incredible work ethic. I also think he was a great father and generally a decent person. It may be that he did have a 'buyer beware' attitude after years in the hobby but there are a lot of folks in this community with the same perspective. I have never recommended sellers I feel are 'trolling for suckers' so I never recommended BL. I may have once or twice purchased something from him but it was a long, long time ago. On balance I do not think that BL was doing great damage to the hobby and he certainly would negotiate on many of his 'trolling for suckers' listings.
Don
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Posted 10/21/2020   02:32 am  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
We will have to agree to disagree on the damage he did. As you say, he was knowledgeable - he knew exactly what he was doing when he misrepresented things. He might have been willing to negotiate on many of his 'trolling for suckers' listings, but only if the person he was dealing with knew enough and was skilled enough to detect the hidden problem.
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Posted 10/22/2020   07:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
after seeing 51's and eyeonwals comments I think both are accurate as the way they see things. his was a business model that a few in the hobby still pursue. time would be better spent weeding out and exposing them rather than rehashing the past.
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Posted 10/22/2020   09:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I believe that Lang did what he had to do to be successful in his niche which was internet retailing of material that was not top tier. Let us face it, Lang was not catering for the most part to the crowd seeking the absolute best and are willing to pay for it. While he carried many items of equal scarcity and rarity they usually had something going on that held them back from being worth the full monte and he also knew what his "brand" was. He was old school in that he carried a massive inventory and for some items he was the only game in town for those seeking more instant gratification. All of that said Bill did possess some Grade A material but it does seem as if he did not really want it to leave his care.

From what I have learned about Bill from other collectors comments I think that Bill loved the "game", making the "deal" and most of all truly loved stamps. He was an old school Nassau Street character in a modern age and his kind are disappearing. Rest in Peace Bill.
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Posted 10/28/2020   9:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BobInRye to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So to re-stimulate this thread, a few stats from the first day of the Kelleher / Langs Auction Part I.

664 lots processed resulting in a total take (before buyer's premiums) of $1,033,409.
Total Scott "Value" was $2,412,857
Total Low end Estimate was $740,450
Total High end Estimate was $1,033,409.
Total Hammer was $633,385.

33 lots were passed - about 5%
631 lots were sold
358 lots (57%) at a total price of $325,555 closed under the low estimate
87 lots (14%) at a total price of $70,250 closed over the high estimate
186 lots (29%) at a total price of $237,580 closed within the estimate range.

I may be jumping the gun, but these stats - allowing for whatever typos may exist in my tracking from today - would seem to show that Bill Langs materials were overvalued. It may also support the thought that Scott is overvalued. Other opinions (differing / confirming) are appreciated.
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Posted 10/28/2020   10:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bill Lang's overvalued yes. Half his business model was buying mediocre stamps to hawk as better than they were. It was an availability play being you could buy them anytime.

Scott is based on ideal specimens. 90%+ of that type of material was not here. Not a good benchmark. Better for Siegel sales.

Personally I am more interested in his specialized sales and error sheets.


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Edited by rismoney - 10/28/2020 10:54 pm
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Posted 10/28/2020   11:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rhett to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Highly unlikely that total take (before buyer's premiums) equalled total high end estimate to the dollar. Maybe a typo? Shouldn't total take (before buyer's premiums) equal total hammer?
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Posted 10/28/2020   11:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BobInRye to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rhett - total take was about 630k the breakput of which I show below in 3 sets, amount from under low estimate sales, ampint from over high estimate sales, and amount from within the estimate range.
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Posted 10/28/2020   11:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To rephrase Rhett's comment ...
Shouldn't line Line 2 equal line 6?
You have line 2 equal to line 5.
The million dollar amount in line 2 seems in error.

I would also be inclined to include the unsold lots in the calculation and arrange it in ascending order as:
of the 664 lots:
33 lots (5%) were unsold, passed, withdrawn, etc.
358 lots (54%) at a total price of $325,555 closed under the low estimate
186 lots (28%) at a total price of $237,580 closed within the estimate range.
87 lots (13%) at a total price of $70,250 closed over the high estimate
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Edited by John Becker - 10/29/2020 12:09 am
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Posted 10/29/2020   07:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The number I would really like to see would be the hammer as a percentage of Bill's asking prices. The Linns article said the Kelleher pre-sale estimate was $10 million (for everything) and that Bill's asking prices totaled $10 million. This was much of Bill's better material, so Kelleher probably needs to get a higher percentage of asking price on these lots to make up for the stuff that will be sold in bulk lots in later sales.
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Posted 10/29/2020   08:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All of Langs listings are STILL active on Hipstamp as of right now and it is readily apparent that Bill asked +/- 80 percent of catalog for his material.

Note: Langs Hipstamp listings are in "Super Sale" status. LOL

Me thinks that when Langs 80,000 listings are finally removed Hipstamp's selection will begin to look rather anemic and thus the reason why they still exist. IMO
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Posted 10/29/2020   09:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rhett to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All (or most) of his eBay listings (71,000) are still active as well this morning so it may just be a matter of "we'll get to that when we can".
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Posted 10/29/2020   10:09 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Agree with JB.

Also wonder if the calculated total Scott value was straight Scott, or if it included any grading premiums.
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Posted 10/30/2020   08:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Scott catalog pricing imo should be for the typical condition of the item in question as it was years ago. the better items always sold higher, worse lower. the final price for anything is an agreement between buyer and seller. I never was able to buy from Bill because I always thought his pricing too high for the item and we were unable to compromise. he was in his own way a character (aren't we all) and aside from his business model a good person and will be missed both inside and outside the hobby.
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