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PBA Auction Results (1 Viewer)

Hi guys - I'm new. Collector in Melbourne, Australia. 'Chronic' introduced me to this site after I viewed his excellent new site (www.collectingbukowski.com).

I was on a phone hook up to PBA and wanted to bid on a few items but was blown out of the water!

Bidders were paying more than what the items are listed for on sites like ABE. And that doesn't take into account the 20% buyer premium!

Interesting, as previous PBA results have offered some relative bargains for Bukowski books.

Items like the Black Sparrow first editions seem to be drying up as they are placed in permanent collections. But I thought the prices paid at auction were a little on the high side.

Good luck to everyone.

Hello PBBUK. I'm in Melbourne too so if you want to get together and have a Buk book/pissing contest, I'd be happy to indulge. :)

Yeah... something about auctions just makes people crazy.

Stick with ABE I say.

Best and welcome.

yeah, I was blown out on a few items too. It is not the rarity, but the auction fever that strikes and people hate to lose.

You saw a few Buk items go very low on the last few auctions, but that probably had more to do with there being too many Buk items at one time and only so much money. While I'd pay $200 for a signed hardback in a second, I cannot buy 50 of them and that is what would have happened had I gone balls to the wall at the PBS Groff auction, where he literally sold most of the items for about 25% of their value. It would have been a great time to have just hit the lottery....

Yeah... something about auctions just makes people crazy.

Stick with ABE I say.

Even ABE is over-priced relative to ebay. I know that condition is king, but who really wants a book that once you open it, goes from mint to near-mint in a heartbeat?

As for the latest PBA auction, some of the things I might have been able to even consider buying:

"Living on Luck," signed and # with seriagraph, went for $540??? Holy Mother of dog!!! One could find that for $250 on ABE and consider that over-paying.

Signed "You Get So Alone..." for $420...a relative bargain!

Jesus, Moses, Christ (as Mingus once said). Glad I was working and not agonizing over these. If I ever decide to sell some of my better Buk shit, screw ebay, it's PBA all the way. I'm sure they take a significant premium, but I'd still make more than on ebay.
Thanks for the welcomes!

No problems getting into a book/pissing competition. Always nice to find out where you stand!

I thought the 20% buyers premium was all that was paid. Is there really a sellers premium too? If so, then Groff really took it on the chin. To get only 30% of the value of a lifetime of collecting and then to pay 20% of that for the privelidge....

That's what I gathered from reading a recent Vanity Fair article about some kids who tried to pass off some stolen rare books through Sotheby's - but I may have my signals crossed. I seem to remember the seller and the buyer both get dinged by the house (but I would think the seller pays less than the buyer - otherwise the whole operation should be illegal), but I don't have the mag here anymore to cite anything specific.

I'm sure someone here has sold something through an auction house and can clear it up.
according to the PBA site (which is probably in line with other auction houses), the seller pays 15%. The buyer pays 20%. So, the house gets 35% of the deal. Not bad for the seller if they attract the kind of people willing to spend. If you look at a recent one that went very poorly, I bought a copy of Burning in Water Trade Library hardback. 1 of 221 and even more rare because these were not advertised to booksellers and only sold directly to libraries. I heard that Montford tried for 20 years to locate a copy. So this is VERY rare. I paid $175. I believe that this is worth twice that. The seller would have been paid $148.75 on this book. I paid $35 in buyers fees and the seller would have paid about $26 in seller fees. The house would have taken $61 of the sale.

I know that there are a lot of costs with advertising, and know that the house has to make money or they will go out of business, but as a seller, it seems that it would be in my best interest to sell these over a longer time and keep from eating on the auction block.

Yeah, the house has to stay in business, so charge the seller a fee/percentage/whatever to auction their items. That is completely fair. Without the house you don't have the same audience.

But for that audience to then buy something from the auction house and have them tell you, "Oh, yeah, don't forget to add 20% to that - for us," is criminally insane.
Oh, I agree. Imagine if Ebay did that. People would freak if they saw ebay adding 20% to their buy price to pay the house.

I guess the selling fees could be negotiated if you had something substantial. I would imagine someone selling a Warhol or van Gogh could tell the auction house to shove the buyers fee and that they would be happy with the 20% buyers fee on a multi-million dollar buy.

The sad thing is that the 20% buyers fee actually may lower the price realized. It has to. I take that into effect when bidding. I see a book that I want, and know my limit. I bid what I want to pay, including the premium. If the premium was not there, I'd bid the same, putting more money in the hands of the seller, and infact more in the houses hand (of the sellers portion), by higher prices. So, if I see a book that I want, and know that I want to spend $200 and no more, I bid $167, knowing that with the bremium, I'm at $200. If I get it, fine, if not, it was not worth more than $200 to me. Still, the seller is screwed out of money as if they were paying the fees and my bid was my bid, I'd bid $200...

It is a weird method of business, but I can imagine that it has always been done this way.

As much as I do like PBA, I could not see myself listing things there (or at any auction house) and then hoping that I did not get screwed hard and had to pay for the priviledge.

The buyer's premium is the biggest scam in the business. It's nothing but an outrageous tax on our spending. And they charge it because they know they can get away with it and it makes them a lot of money. It wasn't always like that, though. I think one auction house introduced the idea of a buyer's premium in the late 1970s and (obviously) other auction houses soon followed thinking, "If they can get away with it so can we." Buyer's premium rates have risen dramatically in recent years. In the future, to attract more business, we'll probably see that selling fees will drop while the buyer's premium will rise even further. It's an unstoppable thing. I have never seen a real justification for this horrendous rip-off.
the justification is that sellers keep selling with auction houses. like bill said, i don't feel that ripped off by a buyer's premium, because i just factor it in to the total cost i'm willing to pay for the item. it hurts the seller more than anyone, but sellers keep lining up, so i guess auction houses are undeterred.
Where's the logic in that? That sellers keep selling with auction houses is hardly a justification to tax the buyer. It doesn't make any sense. Without the buyers they'd all be out of business. There's a lot of psychology involved in bidding. Like someone on here said, people hate to lose. The auction houses know that. Not everybody factors in the buyer's premium when they submit their bid.

Oh, I agree that it is bullshit... I'm just saying that when you are bidding online (at ebay or on the auction site directly), it shows you exactly what it will be with the premium, so it is hard for a buyer to not notice. Anyone that has a bidder on site, should be familiar enough to know thins also.

Our economy is not only capitalistic, but PREDATORY. Why does ebay keep raising their fees, when they are making billions? Because they know that they have the sellers by the balls and are taking advantage. They are not the only ones. Look at most companies. Look at the Oil business. They certainly know that Americans will not give up their cars and know that in the end, we'll bitch and moan, but we'll pay $9 a gallon. I would say that most comanies operate this way, but more covertly. They want to raise their prices in relation to diminishing returns (at what point will raising prices lower their sales and profit).

In the cabinet business, both companies that I worked for only raised their prices yearly, in direct line with the increase that we got. That was normally 3% across the board. When we got a larger increase, we could never pass that along as the builders would not pay it. When we got a 1.5% increase, we only raised them 1.5%. In the predatory economy, we would have raised them 3% anyway. This is probably a matter of staying competitive above all else, but still.

ExxonMobil has no real competition. They all follow each other's lead. If ExxonMobil dropped the proce of gas by $1, everyone else would follow. Ebay has no competition and is free to fuck their customers at will.

So, I'm not surprised that the auction houses saw a chance to double dip and took it. Disappointed, but not surprised at all.

in the consumer goods arena, the large retailers are the worst proponents of this. when the company i work for tries to raise prices, often times they simply refuse the price increases, but they account for so much business that it's worth taking a margin hit to continue working with them. then, they raise prices within the store to match the new MSRP, thus inflating their own margins, passing none of the savings onto the consumer, and screwing the manufacturer over all in one fell swoop.

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