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Wespex Auction Is Online

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Posted 05/03/2022   11:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

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In any case it is admirable in a strange way that someone is honest enough to admit to not being thorough in their occupation.


Again, it's a time factor. Plus many large lots are from estates, so dead owners have no say. And also again, the houses know that the large lots will usually reach their potential anyway. But there are occasional finds to be made from them, sometimes big finds.
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Posted 05/03/2022   11:38 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
IMO there are no universal truths when it comes to thoroughness and knowledge base of auction houses in their lotting and their approaches to lot estimates. In my experience, they are all over the map with respect to both.
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Posted 05/03/2022   11:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is an interesting topic and one worthy of discussion given that all sellers should expect a certain level of fiduciary responsibility from an auction house.

I have noticed a number of Russian single lots in the past year at one House that were woefully underestimated, demonstrating a lack of knowledge or even laziness.

I think that in the case of the Westpex auction Schuyler could count on a high level of in-person viewing given the nature of the event.

It should also be noted that many large lots have been picked over by multiple previous owners before being offered yet again. "Barn finds" and intact one owner accumulations are becoming rare birds.
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Posted 05/03/2022   11:54 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

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It should also be noted that many large lots have been picked over by multiple previous owners before being offered yet again. "Barn finds" and intact one owner accumulations are becoming rare birds.


In all fairness, picked-over lots and collections have been a thing since time began, whether at auction, brick & mortar, or on the Interwebz. I recall this even back in the late 1970s with world stamps, in the 1980s with comic books, and in the 1990s with U.S. & world coins. It's an issue that spans all collectibles.
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Posted 05/03/2022   12:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

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In all fairness, picked-over lots and collections have been a thing since time began, whether at auction, brick & mortar, or on the Interwebz. I recall this even back in the late 1970s with world stamps, in the 1980s with comic books, and in the 1990s with U.S. & world coins. It's an issue that spans all collectibles.


Completely agree although IMO the interweb brought a whole new level of retailing demanding more supply with the requisite level of bulk purchasing and processing. Turn and burn baby!
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Posted 05/03/2022   12:14 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I always assumed that auction houses would not just breeze through lots of material since it could mean more dollars in their pockets (describing it brings more eyeballs and bidders). I also assumed that they would look for and ID higher value items but that they might also not spot specialty items or material that required time consuming discovery.
Don
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Posted 05/03/2022   5:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've had the displeasure of working for Schuyler Rumsey who once pointed to 3-4 shelves of albums to work up that were far from complete but had some value. Last minute; they were right on their deadline for catalog publication. I was ripped for working too slow, meaning to me he didn't want useful estimates or descriptions for these. I walked out at that point. I was earlier castigated for being too cheap on an estimate for a basic all-used Peru collection that ran to the 1960s, had no Pacific Steam Navigation, no 4-margin earlies, no provisionals. It did have one of the non-Scott-listed bisects on cover priced at a couple of hundred francs by Y&T and I thought that that was the highlight of that lot.

I've known a couple of dealers that could value just about any stamp lot/collection as accurately in the time that most other dealers with catalogs could go through several. Real pros, they knew what to look for down to $5-10 sets and singles, had great memory skills and practice. As a result, they could buy most of the lots they wanted and knew what to charge to resell at a wholesale price. That level of skill is rare and wouldn't really be people working for auction houses, they'd be on their own. But auction describers can do an excellent job when allowed some time.
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Posted 05/03/2022   6:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hy-Brasil - Great insight. Many thanks for sharing that.
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Posted 05/04/2022   12:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hy-Brasil ----Agree with your posting about "the real Pros " , I first ran into a few of these guys at Greg Manning Collection Auctions in my first visit around 1990 . Thru the 1990's got to know them and sitting with them a week before the auction date reviewing lots and going out drinking in the evenings .

I will never be as good as they were ,but the game changed for everybody once eBay started and it was a new playing field . When all this started to happen around the year 2000 .I continue my buying until G.M.A. closed and then I started seeing only a few of them at Kelleher ,Regency and Rasdale .
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Posted 05/04/2022   01:01 am  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Making estimates for large lots is an art, not a science, and the final selling price is not just about the material, it is about who does and does not show up for the auction. If it was easy to estimate lots, bidders could also easily estimate them and we wouldn't regularly have people stating they got blown out of the water. Lots are going to sell for half or double a "reasonable" estimate. Its when lots sell for large multiples, you wonder if they do not know what they are doing, if they missed one obscure key item, or if they are playing games.
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Posted 05/04/2022   07:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
eyeonwall, most definitely it is an art, but some people are really artful. A few things are always going to go for half or double estimate. But that's not the rule except for the guys that just slap an estimate on a lot and say it's done. The job of estimating lots would be easy enough if you had all the time in the world and if you had good knowledge of the material, but auctions are always against a pretty solid deadline.

Don't laugh, but the point is to do the best job possible for buyers and sellers and generate a useful estimate, not a slapdash job for some consignors and bidders and a great job for others.
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Posted 05/04/2022   09:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GMC89 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting thread. Perceptive and insightful comments.
Especially from those involved in the business. All posts are informative and useful.
It's difficult not to view Schyuler in a new light after hy-Brazil's comment, "I had the displeasure " . It is what it is.
Thanks mark

Thanks
Mark
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Posted 05/04/2022   10:28 am  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Don't laugh, but the point is to do the best job possible for buyers and sellers and generate a useful estimate, not a slapdash job for some consignors and bidders and a great job for others."

Perhaps in an ideal world, but given deadlines and the tendency for a high % of consignments to show up at the last minute, this throws a wrench in things. Plus, not all consignors are created equal. Some are one time consignors that you will never see again. Some are repeat consignors, but low quality, poorly sorted/presented, overly "optimistic" about what their stuff is worth or otherwise a pain, while others are more reasonable and/or supply better material. Given time constraints they will not be treated equally. Also most houses have more than 1 describer and they simply won't do things exactly the same.
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Posted 05/04/2022   12:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

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Perhaps in an ideal world, but given deadlines and the tendency for a high % of consignments to show up at the last minute, this throws a wrench in things.


Expectations and promises should be adjusted accordingly. Consignors should not insist on inclusion in a sale at the last second AND a thorough description/estimate and auction houses should not promise the moon in order to get the consignment.
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Posted 05/04/2022   9:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When it comes to more specialized areas or the sale of an award winning exhibit, the person who best knows the material should be the seller. Yet many sellers do not make the effort (read spend the time) to pre-describe the material and certainly point out the sleepers many folks would normally overlook. This can be summarized with the observation that many good collections take years to build but are sold in a few hours. Couple that with this quote:



Quote:
But did you examine those lots in person and figure the values? You'd then probably see how useless those estimates are. Based on the way they've broken down collections before (the flashy cover worth $100 retail becomes a lot, the $1000 cover that is rare and collectors would kill to have but not spectacular gets left in the balance), the estimates are to be taken with a grain of salt.


and the seller is really just "hoping for the best" rather than doing the work to get the best. Any dealer will list a $500 or $1000 item (hammer, percentage, sales tax and shipping -- not catalog price) when they do not need the describer doing hours of work to determine the true scarcity and price level. The auction firm happily defaults to running the item to increase the sale prices and their take.

I watched this happen with a friend. When I jammed him up his reply was that they (Rumsey) should know the material. Yeah, right; and I knew the comment was based upon the fact the friend does enough to just get by, here while winning golds. So he spent over two decades putting the material together, some great material, and exhibiting it but what, two or three hours packing it up for shipment to the auctioneer without instructions or suggestions. I asked if he looked to see if the firm handled much of such material. "Doesn't it?" was the reply; well "no" was the true answer based upon reality but I soften it to "not really." When you never purchase material from the auction firm for your area of interest, there maybe reasons why which should be explored. Understand that is different from never purchasing from the firm because the items in your area of interest sell for too high of a price with the firm.

I, like many, knew the good stuff, solid $3-500 or more retail items, tougher to find than the price suggests, which did not see light of day in the catalog. They were buried in the bulk remainder lots. Those sold at high wholesale prices well over estimate, and out of the reach of most knowledgeable collectors of the area--without being available to be examined due to lock down. Many of those item if lotted individually would have attracted much bidding. Yet many items which were not particularly interesting got lotted in the $1-200 range as single items. The money to be made (or saved by a collector) were those bulk lots which were not available for in person viewing. Some, a handful of items, went for prices beyond any expectation and those carried the total sale price.

Ultimately, I was able to get him to fess up about why he chose the firm over others that would have handled his material much better, more thoroughly and with a proven track record in the subject area. He said he never heard any bad rumors about the firm paying consignors or material "disappearing" unlike the others. He was pleased with the amount he got overall, but myopic about understanding that was 30-50% less in his pocket than he would have made elsewhere especially as a Kellerher name sale.


Quote:
Perhaps in an ideal world, but given deadlines and the tendency for a high % of consignments to show up at the last minute, this throws a wrench in things. Plus, not all consignors are created equal. Some are one time consignors that you will never see again. Some are repeat consignors, but low quality, poorly sorted/presented, overly "optimistic" about what their stuff is worth or otherwise a pain, while others are more reasonable and/or supply better material. Given time constraints they will not be treated equally. Also most houses have more than 1 describer and they simply won't do things exactly the same.


My friend was the highlighted type, he will not be selling with Rumsey again; nor will he likely be selling with any auction firm again. He did previously sell via auction house, a large part of a prior exhibit. There he was one of the last consignors paid before "Lowell S. Newman & Co Auctioneers" ceased operation after Sale No. 34. That was why he avoided any firm for which he heard any rumors, accurate or not.

WESTPEX is my "home" APS WSP show and has been since the late 1970s.

Edit: I am surprised no one in this thread has commented on the prices realized nor the material in the other WESTPEX Sale Rumsey Sale #102, the Gary Munson Hawaii collection, first part, which was offered up to Rumsey by the estate. Now here Rumsey does handle much Hawaii materiel and the estate made a good choice.


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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 05/04/2022 10:05 pm
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