01 July 2018

A Problematic Month on eBay

This is the second time that I considered the previous full month of auctions for Top eBay Chess Items by Price. Last month, in Caveat eBay Digital Documents, I wrote,

I had eBay auctions from the entire month of May to choose from. Did that mean I had double the number of interesting items on my short list? Not exactly.

This month I had a workable short list, but there was something wrong with each of the auctions. Take the following four items as an example.

The item in the upper left was titled 'Straight Up Chess Board - Red Cherry Series with Checkered Bronze Frame' and was from a seller with an impeccable reputation. It was listed in eBay's index of items by descending price at around US$ 1000 ('Buy It Now'), but this was $249 for the item and $744 shipping (to Belgium, where I live). When did eBay start including shipping in showing the price of closed auctions? And how did the shipping cost reach such an exaggerated amount?

The item in the upper right was titled 'A Mongolian Polychromed Wood Figural Chess Set 2-3/4 h x 13 w x 5-1/2 inches' and sold for US $4400 after 29 bids at live auction ('Seller's Estimate: USD 400-600'). Although the auction was dated the last day of June, the eBay detail page was marked 'The listing you’re looking for is no longer available', meaning that I had only the description of the item as information.

The item in the lower left was titled 'Antique 19th C. Gentleman Playing Chess? Oil on Board Painting'. The artwork was so dark that even after several iterations of increasing its brightness and contrast, I still couldn't tell if the 'Gentleman' was playing chess. At US $300 ('Buy It Now'), it was also the least expensive item on the short list.

The lower right shows a 'Franklin Mint 1982 Royal Houses of Britain Heraldic Chess Set NO BOARD'. It sold for around $425 ('Best offer accepted'). I can't really say why I chose this for the short list over dozens of other collector sets that were candidates for 'Top eBay Chess Items'. Maybe I didn't believe it was a chess set. The arrangement of the chess pieces is particularly uninspired.

If I have another month of auctions like these I might have to stop the eBay series. Where does one go these days for better quality auctions?

No comments: