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Thread: Speculative auction research

  1. #1
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    Speculative auction research

    That feeling when you've spoted a low estimate sword at auction that interests you and you spend two weeks researching the cr*p out of it before being massively outbid.

    Sucks doesn't it!

    Is there some sort of help group to get over that feeling of losing something you've never owned?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by james.elstob View Post
    That feeling when you've spoted a low estimate sword at auction that interests you and you spend two weeks researching the cr*p out of it before being massively outbid.

    Sucks doesn't it!

    Is there some sort of help group to get over that feeling of losing something you've never owned?
    You're in it!!

    Happens to me all the time! But, sometimes one is vindicated with a good win! Look on the bright side; the money is still in your pocket!
    Best,
    Simon

  3. #3
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    Worse than being massively outbid is loosing to the same bid. I recently bid on a M1832 General and Staff Officer sword with a rare steel scabbard. I was thrilled when it sold for what I had bid until I learned it went to another bidder who had placed the same bid amount just before me.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by james.elstob View Post
    That feeling when you've spoted a low estimate sword at auction that interests you and you spend two weeks researching the cr*p out of it before being massively outbid.

    Sucks doesn't it!

    Is there some sort of help group to get over that feeling of losing something you've never owned?
    James

    A few pointers (I won't say rules) I've learned over the years:

    1 - never take any notice of auctioneers' estimates. These can be wildly off the mark and are sometimes deliberately low to attract bidders. Always bid to what you feel is the right price.

    2 - contrary to perceived wisdom, I never enter an auction with a set limit in mind. Rather I simply use my intuition - you will instinctively know when to drop out of the bidding

    3 - if you spot something that is mis-described and looks like a bargain, do not get over excited - you can be 100% sure that at least 100 other people have spotted it as well

    The disappointment from losing out at auctions on something you really want can be intense. However, remember that when you are buying something of value, you are not really spending money, rather just converting it into a different asset. Therefore do not be afraid to over-bid - you may pay over the top at that point in time but if you have chosen the right thing to bid on, then in a year's time the market will have caught up and in a couple of years the price you paid could look like a bargain. (Anyway, that's how I explain it to my wife).

    Good luck and don't get disillusioned

    Richard
    Last edited by Richard Dellar; 04-28-2016 at 10:34 PM.
    Celeriter nil crede

  5. #5
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    James,

    It is part of the fun ....
    Keep trying and follow above advices.

    Best,

    Dan

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Dellar View Post
    1 - never take any notice of auctioneers' estimates. These can be wildly off the mark and are sometimes deliberately low to attract bidders. Always bid to what you feel is the right price
    I can understand the rationale for underestimates; conversely, sometimes the estimates are set high to discourage low-ball bids and in hope bidders will take the estimates as a true indicator of the lot's value. I can understand either strategy, but this week there was an auction by a major player in the business in which many of the estimates were so out of line as to defy any logic. The most egregious example was a 1970's era USMC NCO sword by N. S. Meyer with a number of serious condition issues such as a re-shaped point and missing leather on the scabbard. The estimate was, IIRC, over $3000. Neither this sword nor the others with greatly inflated estimates sold. The unsold lots constituted over a third of the swords offered in this auction. I presume these unsold lots also had high reserves. Why would an auction house set such unreasonable values? I find it hard to believe the catalogers were that out of touch with market values, and suspect they were just catering to the consignor's desires, but it seems like a lot of effort went into a foredoomed sales effort.

  7. #7
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    I think the best way is to have alternatives. Do not become interested in just one piece but two (or three). If you do not get one, get the other. Of course then the primary decission is the budget. And you can always lose at each auction/sale still.
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  8. #8
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    I've had two misses recently due to my 'winning' bid not quite meeting the secret reserve. Annoying!

  9. #9
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    Hi to all, let me join this therapy session for unfortunate bidders...

    Which I find most frustrating about auctions is remote, previous bidding in a live auction. I have abandoned such practice, because one time after another, I've been outbid by minimal amounts of money. One devotes time to evaluate several items and to decide a target price for each of them, only to provide real-time bidders with you own estimate, and subsequently lose all of them!

    A completely on-line auction, or a live one. Nothing in between!

    (I've not yet joined remotely a live action using one of the real-time systems some auction sites are experimenting, maybe they work fine, but I'm suspicious about delays, etc.).

    Best,
    JJ
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  10. #10
    does anyone have a recommendation for a trustworthy auction site to sell a sword, thanks Tom

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Forde View Post
    I've had two misses recently due to my 'winning' bid not quite meeting the secret reserve. Annoying!
    Low estimates are used to lure the bidders in but auctioneers (in the U.K.) are not allowed to set the reserve above the lower estimate so it should indicate whether the bidder has some chance of buying the item.

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