….and why I’m a little perturbed at a small percentage of the community right now.
So for some time I have been looking for an auction house to look after me.
Because I have had some REALLY negative experiences. I have to be honest….Im sure you all have. Look im not going to name people here. If you want scandal its not in this area….usually….but today definitely not.
With my first experiences in the 1990’s selling in the UK it was like pulling teeth to get yourself into an auction. When you did invariably nobody showed up to bid. It was so very niche. Only in 1994 did Planet Hollywood send out its buyers and occasionally entire auctions would be bought up with a guy and a clipboard vacuuming up the stuff. Then they disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived. Slowly but surely collecting stumbled and rose from niche into the mainstream as nerds became the new heroes of society….but this was A LONG TIME COMING.
Even today my argument is that their maybe 38,000 customers on propstores facebook page but only 1500-2000 of them maybe anything more than a one time customer or entered for a competition….so invariably your always bidding against the same people. The recent Enders Game auction kind of proved this with 215 people at the beginning of the auction and barely breaking 300 bidding numbers by the end.
So returning to my problem I needed an auction house to sell my stuff. Why? Because eBay sucks. Over the years its gone from a very reliable source of selling to pretty much getting 10-20 hits on an item, if your lucky. The days of seeing 100-200 are long gone for me. Their search algorithms seem to have not worked as well for some time, favoring big companies and totally not getting my items in front of customers. Now is this a problem for big companies like VIP auctions and Premiere props. No. People will always find those sales. For the small guy though buried in 2500 other items. Well….good luck.
But…you could argue..well you just don’t have good stuff….but 95% of everything I have ever wanted to sell has sold eventually…may take 2 weeks….maybe 5 months….and not even on ebay but eventual it does. It boils down to finding the buyer, and then the price he wants to buy at. Seeing that amount is usually within 10% of my original asking…again that’s not the issue.
So my recent experiences have not been great either. One company took 4-6 months to pay on average….and that’s with something I hate to do…chasing them. When I offered to help them more…sadly nothing more came of that…even though I genuinely wanted to improve their standing in the community.
Then RRauction contacted me and although it was a promising start….one I tried to push and promote hard for them after the second sale the momentum withered and died. Im guessing not enough money in it for them.
Then I tried Bonhams. Disappointing because they put all their efforts into selling one item and the rest of the stuff was left to fend for itself.
I have to say I have been very happy with Screenused.com. They have paid quickly, done excellent with most items I have sent, and genuinely care about their customers. I had a couple of items not sell at auction that then went on their site afterwards. I have recommended them to many people BUT I just felt that their was a point where their auctions were diminishing with sell thru, and prices realized. I cannot and do not discount them at all.
I just felt that another voice in the smoke might not be a bad thing so when asked to contribute and help with the latest idea Brian at Theme Park connection had it was impossible to not want to help. His idea, make it cheaper, more convenient and better communication. In an internet connected world….why not?
So TPC’s idea was simple.
1: A flat 15% for sellers….10% for buyers.
2: To present stuff in best way possible. To have clear and not misleading descriptions.
3: To have the reserve as the opening bidding.
4: To price stuff fairly.
So basically based on that they have the cheapest commission, the descriptions are informative, well thought out and try not to overpromise, the reserve out of the box is clear, and there is cheap and more expensive stuff but at the end of the day priced to the market and what the owner wants. After all …its their stuff.
This and a lot of behind the scenes talking with members of the community to make sure that that only production pieces made it for sale, and it wasn’t just stuff from an antique mall.
So…all this work in a few weeks…just because some people in the community wanted something a little better than what we had. That’s why when I read comments that’ seem a little spurious…well…it makes me upset. Even using comments that I made in the first place. So yes….there are items in the auction from more recently because people had to get lists of items together to sell quickly and at first it was a small seller pool. With a new venture people weren’t going to jump in at first with both feet. Yes it is a little rushed. Yes there was all that stuff with the first “hunger games” auctions going up rushed and misleading that WAS sorted out BUT since then I think they have done a great job of getting things ship shape.
They wouldn’t have been handed some of the biggest auctions yet to be announced this year…if they hadn’t.
So that’s why I am supporting Brian and Paul. Its up to you if you want to as well….but please think before you just spout stuff. Organizing an auction is ALOT of work….and now I have seen it first hand I see just how difficult, and its a worthy cause of keeping an open mind to have a new place to buy and sell stuff that is important to all. Most of the time something goes wrong it is just an accident, rather than thinking “they are out to get us!”. That’s something I have learnt over 5 years of writing “The Propstop”. An open mind and asking a question is always better than a closed one, and only expecting your own thoughts.
Thanks for reading.