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Petersen Sale At Siegel Listed

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Posted 05/01/2021   3:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Siegel has decades of their own data. Prices for US material that met their criteria for inclusion in a Siegel sale. No wonder their estimates are solid. The Peterson sale was atypical in several ways. One being the number of true rarities in a single owner sale. Another is the dichotomy of middling condition material mixed in with amazing pieces. This happened because one came with the other AND Siegel allowed it. You can tell a Siegel sale from a Kelleher or Harmer sale without knowing the House name because of the grade of the material. That is why Siegel invariably has the biggest "name" sales and that is why the estimates are so tight. They really have it down to a science. It is apples and apples whereas Scott values are often apples and watermelons.
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Posted 05/01/2021   9:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add widglo46 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't understand how an auction house's estimates can be a metric for anything. I have always presumed that they were meant to encourage bidding, and that they are simply a psychological ploy to make some collectors feel justified bidding a little higher than they otherwise might have. Obviously the auction house wants to maintain credibility, but I their real incentive is to encourage high bids. I suppose that prices realized vs. published estimates is some measure of the overall market, but I can only see it if the ratio is significantly higher than 1.0. To me, a low ratio only means that the auction house went a little overboard with their hype.
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Posted 05/01/2021   10:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think that good and realistic estimates are important. If a House continually estimates high they will end up looking as if they underperform. If they estimate ridiculously low they end up having to go through the motions of unnecessary bid steps throughout the sale. In either case they end up looking bad. I can think of auction houses that fit both descriptions.

I do think that if you are wooing a name sale client you want to give a pre-sale estimate that is realistic and in good faith.

Siegel tends to use Scott and SMQ values as a number to establish a ROM. They will self-perform estimates for larger lots or oddball items and those values seem to always be very conservative. Either that or the buyers are overly enthusiastic.

Kelleher will publish a Scott and SMQ value and also add a suggested bid range.

Some others such as Harmer seem to have really low openings that encourage people to start bidding on a false hope and maybe get caught up in the spirit of the moment.

Like it or not it is all circular because Siegel will use Scott and SMQ values, sell the material, and the prices realized will be used to feed back into Scott valuations.
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Posted 05/02/2021   12:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Everything is perceived value, and creating a narrative is part of establishing that.

That's all Siegel is doing, is providing narratives to support what they believe is the most profitable approach long term. Whether it's reputation, hard data, setting enticing estimates, or other rationales, they win as long as new buyers and sellers use them for the best philatelic material.

Now I don't know if an 82 is worth 450k, and setting an estimate of 900k extracts a 600k bid through psychological exuberance but I am sure it's been analyzed the effects of listing things below, at the money, and above at all different levels of philately with hard data backing up the impact at each. This is like sabermetrics.

Regarding cat values, once you go circular back toward catalog, it's a very dirty business. I see this with modern error panes all the time. A pane discovery "sells" at auction for 800. It's all about establishing transactional record to get the cat value. The same pane gets flipped 2-3 more times in a year each with higher valuations. Magically the pane is worth 3k. Dealers have been doing this forever. Now the dealer can unload a broken up pane in blocks and singles for crazy profit. I can cite many examples. But it's absurd. They can conspire to get the cat value of their liking. Plus half these guys are credited as catalog contributors. So it's hardly an independent unbiased motive toward publishing catalog data.

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Posted 05/02/2021   07:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The 82 you mentioned is an interesting example. Siegel sold the Peterson stamp before in 2015 for $575,000 before tip. At that time it had a Scott value of $1,000,000. Siegel has had four other sales of an 82. In 2008 one was sold for $900,000 against a Scott value of $240,000. That particular example was previously sold by Siegel in 1975 for $23,000 against a Scott value of $27,500. The third unique stamp was sold twice by Siegel, first in 1986 and again in 1998 for $47,500 and $155,000 respectively against Scott values of $35,000 and $100,000.

https://siegelauctions.com/lot_grd....ubmit=Search
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Posted 05/02/2021   08:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Auction houses also have legal obligations to sell things at "fair market value", whatever that is for a specific item. So it's in their best interests to set realistic estimates that still allow for the possibility of being surpassed.
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Posted 05/02/2021   08:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BobInRye to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Re the 82, the $600k is the hammer price on top of which the buyer will also pay the 18% fee bringing the total to $708k. Still far below Scott which says to me that the previous higher prices paid were due to competition that didn't exist last Thursday. The opposite happened w the 321 pair. $720k two years ago at Cherrystone. $1.25million (for a better paur) at Siegel on Friday because two buyers both wanted it almost irrespective of price. In both cases, Scott Cat should change.
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Posted 05/02/2021   09:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I doubt the 82 will change. There are only four known; they sell so infrequently that one sale will not be sufficient to make a change, especially down. In the other, condition was a clear factor. That might go up some, but even there I would expect only a percentage increase, not a 100% increase to the sale price.
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Posted 05/02/2021   1:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I used to work for some auction houses way back when. When we came up with an estimate for a lot, we were aiming for accuracy, not optimism. We were fully aware of the problems with being consistently low or high, and they've already been mentioned in this thread. In our descriptions, we used SCV's if there was one, or other CV's as appropriate, or estimates if there was no CV. The description estimate was from a pre-set range (ie: $500-$750, $750-$1000, $1000-$1500, etc) and we never 'split' the ranges - we never estimated a lot at $800-$1200, if we thought it would bring $1000. Our 'internal' estimate was a single number - the auction catalog had the range that this number fell into. In the end, the actual price realized was subject to the whims of the bidders on the day of the auction - we may estimate a lot at $1000, but due to a few strong bidders it could hit $1500, easily. We have all seen lots sell (currently) for way more than we thought they would, and there are plently of threads on SCF to that effect. We were often surprised to see our lots sell for more or less than our internal estimates - it happened all the time. In a broader sense, and over a longer term, we felt our estimates were accurate. We DID review realizations after each sale to help our estimates for the future. I will concede that if we had an internal estimate of $1000 on a lot, that our auction catalog (the 'public' estimate - remember, that was a range) had an estimate of $1000-$1500, rather than $750-$1000. The market is not static - we were always aiming for accuracy and the description-estimate/realization/evaluation feedback loop was never-ending. FWIW, we rarely let a single aberrant realization skew our future estimates - we would chalk it up to the whims of the bidders, but we remembered it for the next time.
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Edited by mootermutt987 - 05/02/2021 1:23 pm
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Posted 05/02/2021   3:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BobInRye to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
MooterMutt987 - great insight. In your experience, how much of a role does the estimate shared by the auction house with the potential seller play in "winning" collections? I suspect Siegel's "internal" estimates (aka unpublished, but used as the basis for performance claims, kinda like venture capital) are shared with the sellers, but that's about it. I don't see a lot of long-term benefit for Siegel (or any reputable auction house) from consistently promoting over / under estimates to sellers, but find myself wondering if two auction houses wanted "my" collection, what would influence me most - the expected entire take for the collection/how they'd promote it, their track record of sales, or their seller's commission rate.
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Edited by BobInRye - 05/02/2021 3:26 pm
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Posted 05/02/2021   4:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think an auction house's estimate affects some bidders' bids. Especially the bidders who bid without viewing the lot, mostly on pre-auction bidding. I also think those bids are 'low-balls', hoping to score a lot that has been overlooked by the rest of the world. With the internet, and live bidding, and e-mail, this is mostly a non-issue, I suspect. Once the live-bidding starts, people that have viewed the lot tend to take over. Unless, of course, the lot was grossly over-estimated and the 'low-ballers' have bid above what the viewers would have bid. Then the auction house has a problem. When I was on the inside, we got pre-auction bids on about 80% of the lots, but (for the estimated lots, not the photo'ed lots with CV's) nearly all sold on the floor. This was pre-internet. Pre-auction bidders got a lot more of the photo'ed and/or lots described with CV - maybe 25%-33% of those lots. FWIW, if a collector called in and asked what we estimated a lot for (one called out with CV), we would tell them. We figured it would give them some confidence when bidding. We also got callers asking us to verbally go over a collection with them. Again, no problem. It was just part of doing business.
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