10 March 2015

Chess Collectors' Corner - What's Hot?

Five years ago I started a temporary series called Top eBay Chess Items by Price. Although its objective was purely practical...

For the next month or so, my time for blogging is going to be extremely limited, but I'm reluctant to stop completely. Instead, I'll concentrate on topics that don't take much effort, like photos and videos. Another area that requires minimum effort is eBay.

...I learned so much about chess collecting -- NB: Standard disclaimer: I'm *not* a collector myself -- that the series continued every two weeks with a new eBay item culled from the previous fortnight. In a post a few days ago, Photos of February, I was reminded that there is tremendous interest in certain 'Top eBay Items', and wondered, 'Which ones?'

To answer that question I opened my Blogspot.com statistics on Posts with label eBay, scraped all of the data for the 165 posts from the screen, loaded the numbers into a database, and ran some queries on page views. After the 'Top Items' post itself, the blog's most popular eBay post predates the start of the series.

It wouldn't be fair to compare a post from 2011 with a post from 2014. A post which has been on the blog for years will normally have received more views than a recent post. In the interest of keeping an 'apples to apples' comparison, I grouped the posts by year and looked at the top posts for each year. Here are the top posts from 2010 in order of popularity.

That last ANRI post has received nearly two-and-a-half times the number of views as the next post from 2010, which was about chess clocks. It's clear from this first batch of stats that chess sets are the overwhelming favorite among chess collectors, with chess computers running a distant second.

In fact, collecting chess books is certainly more popular than collecting chess computers, but there are obvious reasons why a search for a specific book occurs less frequently. My stats, after all, are directly related to the number of times that people initiate a search on a specific chess item, where my post was one of the results that attracted a click.

Total page views for all posts from 2011 are about 25% less than posts from 2010. These two posts are considerably more popular than other posts from 2011. I know from watching my weekly stats that the popularity of the 'Engine Block' post is a result of searches on 'engine block furniture'. Who could have guessed?

Once again, these two posts have received about 50% more views than the next posts on the list. For reasons of confidentiality and privacy, I don't usually mention the name of the seller when I'm describing an auction. I made an exception for the post on 'Restoring Sets', which was about eBay member Chessspy, an expert on the subject.

Only a single post from 2013? Yes, because it has received three times more views than the next item on the list.

Last year's posts haven't had enough time to establish a trend, but these two are the current frontrunners.

Ditto for this year's posts. I'll be continuing the series for the forseeable future, so perhaps we'll see nother summary some day. Fascinating hobby, chess collecting, isn't it?

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