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  #31  
Old 05-08-2018, 05:54 AM
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Steve McVoy Steve McVoy is offline
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Matt, I don't appreciate your comments about incompetence at the auction. We allow absentee bidding as a favor to those who can't attend. We are not a professional auction house, we are a group of volunteers who spend many hours organizing and running the convention. If you want to make sure that you get something in the auction, ask a friend to bid for you next time.
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  #32  
Old 05-08-2018, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Kamakiri View Post
...Pure mathematics drove the price down, not the procedure...
I know more than a few mathematicians that would disagree with you. The procedure can and does materially alter realized prices.

There is an anomaly in auction result prices, that has been observed time and time again, in that when substantially similar items are auctioned in sequence, the first will realize the highest price, and the last will realize the lowest. This was in play on Saturday morning. I bought the first RCA 630TS for more than the second.

Also look at the Elli Buk auction, the first Clifton realized the highest price, the final was a relative bargain.

It has also been observed, at least in auction houses like Bonhams and Christies, that prices tend to decline as the day wears on. There is a small but vocal minority that seems to discount this effect, but a substantial amount of research does seem to support this idea. If this is the case, which it appears to be, then auctioning the items of most value first would help maximize realized prices, and thus maximize the amount of profit enjoyed by the museum.

I personally don't care one way or another, and in fact I suspect I was able to do so well on that Remington because the auction was nearing the end. The last private sale I know for a Remington-Rembrandt set was closer to the $1K mark.

In any case, my comment wasn't intended to offend. It just struck me as extremely odd, as someone who attends plenty of classic car auctions, antique auctions, and just about every major Northern Soul and Motown auction, that the highest valued items were auctioned right in the middle. The almost universal practice is to open with the big ticket stuff, in descending order of estimated value.

If a simple tweak has the ability to realize even slightly higher prices, why wouldn't it be implemented? I think the auction went very well, and I liked the elimination of the silent auction. I also think I speak for everyone when I say I appreciate the efforts of you Tim, Darryl, David, Dave A. and Steve K. But like anything else in life, it isn't perfect and there are very small changes that could be made to tangibly improve it.
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  #33  
Old 05-08-2018, 07:37 AM
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The Rembrant was is relatively poor condition. I think the $300 sale price was just about right. Many of the other sets did go for below market prices. I'm not sure that changing the order of how they were auctioned would have made any difference.
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  #34  
Old 05-08-2018, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve McVoy View Post
The Rembrant was is relatively poor condition. I think the $300 sale price was just about right. Many of the other sets did go for below market prices. I'm not sure that changing the order of how they were auctioned would have made any difference.
I wouldn't be so quick to simply dismiss the effect of the order as it is impossible to know one way or another after the fact what effect it may have had.

I'm not just making this up as I go. See these papers that examine empirical evidence to draw the exact same conclusions I've drawn based solely on intuition:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...saBhlIqw_eNiMR

http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstrea...iNZhvdRyCSlttX

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc...vae5ciFbuUQkCn

In particular, the third link is most applicable to the situation at the ETF. The public value of the set is unknown, and more than likely indeterminate, and the private value predominates.

Take it or leave it; it doesn't bother me, not my show to run. I still think that it is a simple change that could benefit the museum, however.
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  #35  
Old 05-08-2018, 08:22 AM
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I somehow get the feeling that some are probably a lot more worried that auction prices are going to de-value their *own* collections and set the mark of the value of sets that they already own and may want to sell.....

I don't recall any buyers complaining....and for a lot of sellers it's just about clearing out the back room, so to speak.

Ben, if you've got a better idea you might want to volunteer for next year's event. I'm not meaning that as a dig, far from it.....there are a group of us that do set restoration en masse that are discussing a major repair effort for sets at the Museum at some time this year.
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  #36  
Old 05-08-2018, 08:29 AM
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I second that. We could use your help, Ben.

Last edited by Steve McVoy; 05-08-2018 at 12:07 PM.
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  #37  
Old 05-08-2018, 10:09 AM
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I think everyone needs to realize what goes into putting this show on. Everyone working the show volunteers to do this and spends days helping out before the show. While a "simple" change may or may not have an impact on the outcome, there are few changes that would be simple.

In the weeks leading up to the auction, Larry spends days starting to get the ETF's sets out and stacked into rows. This year when we arrived a few days before the auction, we spent an entire day taking pallets out of the semi-trailer and putting ETF stuff that was in the auction area back into the trailer. The next day was spent shuffling things around a bit but mostly getting the bid sheets in order and handling new stuff as it arrived. That lasted until 10PM Friday night. This is only partially what goes on to get ready.

The two main comments I've seen here are people not getting recognized by Dave and set ordering.

To the first one, each one of us on auction day has a job to do, and we try to help Dave out by spotting bidders. There was a comment about how other auction houses handle this, and I also have been to many top tier auctions. In them they have bidders assistants spread out through the crowd to latch on to bidders and make sure the auctioneer gets their bids, usually by literally screaming. We don't have this and never will. It is the bidders job to make Dave aware of their bid. Moving your hand slowly to shoulder height in a sea of people isn't going to do it. Loudly calling out your bid and making sure you get acknowledged is your job as a bidder. If you didn't get recognized, you didn't do your job.

On set ordering, perhaps some of the people who thought the order was inappropriate could volunteer to come down on Thursday next year and give us a hand moving literally thousands of pounds of tv's. We can use the help!

There are certainly things we can change after our first year with this new format and welcome positive discussion. We have already discussed having a projector at the front and carrying a camera around as the auction progresses so no one has to leave their seat. (in theory) Keeping everyone seated would go a long way to making sure bidders are recognized, that is if EVERYONE follows this and doesn't stand up. In the end, we need more willing bodies to do lots of grunt work if we are to make any major changes.
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Last edited by tubesrule; 05-08-2018 at 10:13 AM.
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  #38  
Old 05-08-2018, 10:09 AM
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Dave Abramson did an excellent job as the auctioneer IMO. He, Darryl, Steve K, and David Roper were dealing the best they could with the new auction format, and folks crowding around them while they were down on the left and right sides, while trying to keep things on schedule. I think they did a fine job. If Dave missed seeing you bid, as well as Darryl, and David who were also looking, I would blame the layout and the people squeezed in too close.
If you are not heard, blame yourself! I once was not heard ... so I stood up,
and started screaming. The ETF made a bundle on the resulting bidding battle.

This year, standing up would have made less difference, but a stentorion voice always will. "I bid 4 thousand six hundred dollars"

I suggest a rule that people keep at least 8 feet from the auctioneer, and don't block his view,
well enforced.

I was prepared for a bidding war on a really good 15GP22 ... but did not want another cabinet to take up space I don't have.

Last edited by dtvmcdonald; 05-08-2018 at 10:24 AM.
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  #39  
Old 05-08-2018, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by tubesrule View Post
On set ordering, perhaps some of the people who thought the order was inappropriate could volunteer to come down on Thursday next year and give us a hand moving literally thousands of pounds of tv's. We can use the help!
I sent an email regarding my willingness to volunteer well in advance of the convention. I don't recall seeing a response to it, though I will admit it is possible that one was sent and I missed it. I have to weed through ~100 to 150 emails a day; things get overlooked.

If my comment offended anyone I sincerely apologize. It wasn't my intent to be glib, and I certainly could have worded it better. Calling the order "moronic" was harsh. I have a tendency to say stupid shit without thinking. I seem to succeed in life in spite of it, certainly not because of it.

As it is, I did help unload Bob Dobush's truck when he brought in all of Jim Cozart's stuff, so I can appreciate the effort involved in moving everything. Especially the projection sets and DuMonts. I would jump at the chance to come down early next year and move stuff.

Regarding the simplicity of auctioning the expensive items first, I don't see how it would have been any harder than having Dave start up front, but if there is more to it than that then again, I apologize. The big ticket stuff was already more or less grouped together up front, thus my confusion regarding the order.

Last edited by benman94; 05-08-2018 at 10:33 AM.
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  #40  
Old 05-08-2018, 10:45 AM
WISCOJIM WISCOJIM is offline
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I don't want to pick on Bob Dobush, I've considered him a friend for many years, and he is very valuable to Steve, the museum, and our hobby.

But we sure could use the space he uses for storage in the auction room so that there would be room for everyone to sit down and stay out of the way. We all know the room is too small, perhaps now we'll finally all realize that it's time to do something about it.

.
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  #41  
Old 05-08-2018, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by WISCOJIM View Post
I don't want to pick on Bob Dobush, I've considered him a friend for many years, and he is very valuable to Steve, the museum, and our hobby.

But we sure could use the space he uses for storage in the auction room so that there would be room for everyone to sit down and stay out of the way. We all know the room is too small, perhaps now we'll finally all realize that it's time to do something about it.

.
Back before there was a CRT rebuilding room indoors there was enough space (at least for the amount of stuff auctioned back then*) for the auction and Bob's stuff, but since that was built I have to agree with Jim that there is too much stuff that is not part of the auction crowding the auction...If the back room keeps filling in like this the number of items being auctioned is going to have to be limited, or the entire thing will need to move outdoors (perhaps under a big tent)... 2-3 more rows of TVs in that auction would have meant removing the chairs.

I've actually been thinking along the lines of Jim for a few years I just kept my trap shut because I'm not fond of rocking the boat.

*Heck I remember years where a part of the swapmeet occupied the current indoor auction space and there was still seemingly enough room.
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  #42  
Old 05-08-2018, 12:44 PM
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Well, I wouldn't want to piss anyone off or get flamed, but I really feel a need to defend Steve, Dave Abramson and the other volunteers.

INCOMPETENCE / MISTAKES:
I've been to every Early Television Convention since they started. It's always a whirlwind. No matter how much you prepare ahead of time the pace on Saturday is so fast, and the schedule so tight, that it often becomes impossible for well-intentioned volunteers to make sure that everything goes perfectly. Part of the problem is often that many people don't get to see what goes on "behind the curtain." I could NEVER criticize Steve, Bob Dobush, Dave A., Darryl or any of the other volunteers who put in long hours of often hard physical labor to support the Convention, without compensation or anything other than an occasional pat on the back. Dave, in particular, stepped in to serve as our auctioneer after previous volunteers weren't able to do it. I think he did a great (if perhaps not perfect) job and as with all of our other volunteers he did a heck of a lot better than "none of the above."

LEADERSHIP:
There has been a significant influx of "new leadership" over the past few years (a fully-filled formal Board of Directors, up from pretty much 'just Steve' until not too long ago.) These are people who care about the Foundation and put in time and effort (and occasionally money) to support it. New blood is always welcome, and usually in short supply. Some folks show up and the first thing out of their mouths is "how can I help?" Gotta love those people. (You know who you are!) My own philosophy is that constructive criticism is always eagerly sought and deeply appreciated. But UNconstructive criticism could mean that YOU are now in charge of whatever it is you were complaining about!

PRICES:
Regarding prices, virtually everything was a "good deal" this year if you were a buyer, or a young collector just starting out. And a "bad deal" if you were selling. In my neck of the woods, radios and TVs are selling for literally a few cents on the dollar of what longtime collectors paid for them years ago and think that they are worth. FYI a CT-100 in similar condition sold here last year for two or three hundred dollars. It's depressing, but there have been several occasions here lately where they literally have not been able to give radios and TVs away for free at auctions and estate sales. And I missed out on a couple of great buys myself because my bid was a millisecond too late. My bad.

One of my favorite quotes is "A thing is worth what you can get for it." For the record, I put a set in the auction this year for the first time ever. When the dust settled, Steve sent me a note that my net proceeds would be a dollar and sixty cents. I told him to keep it.

IMPROVEMENT:
We learn from our mistakes. The comments about the order of items in the auction are interesting, and my own observations are that is true. We are planning to do "iMag" (projecting the item being auctioned on a screen) next year, but that also adds another layer of complexity and more equipment and manpower demands on our already stretched-thin-to-the-breaking-point crew.

This year (as always :-) was "the best Early Television Convention ever." And next year probably will be too.
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  #43  
Old 05-08-2018, 12:47 PM
Chip Chester Chip Chester is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WISCOJIM View Post
I don't want to pick on Bob Dobush, I've considered him a friend for many years, and he is very valuable to Steve, the museum, and our hobby.

But we sure could use the space he uses for storage in the auction room so that there would be room for everyone to sit down and stay out of the way. We all know the room is too small, perhaps now we'll finally all realize that it's time to do something about it.

.
Four basic things would improve the warehouse situation. They cost money, and time, but probably beneficial overall:

1. Industrial style pallet racks. Abundant, but not free, on CL. As a 501c3, attracting corporate donations is possible. Locating around the perimeter would probably clear almost all the floorspace.

2. Clean pallets for organization of equipment by type, owner, long-term, item-for-auction, etc. Free is possible, but time is still needed. Not as space-efficient as existing dense-packing, but with four levels of storage where there currently is one, plus categorical organization, it's still a big plus.

3. Organization database that logs what is where (by clearly-marked pallet number), who owns it, etc. Basically free, minimal time once established.

4. Small forklift or pallet stacker/picker. Several options here. Donation possible but a longshot. Maintenance/charging expense. Insurance/training requirements possible. Abundant on CL, but have to be poised to move quickly when available.

I'm local, and regularly run across stuff like this on CL. Can advise of availability, coordinate/execute purchase and delivery, but not finance.
Not in the position to seek out donations of goods, however; but I can recognize them if I learn of them.

I do think changing up the storage system would greatly improve free space, but the ever-present danger is having that space collect more stuff. The discipline is deciding what should be collected.

The fenced-in area out back would also be prime for shipping container storage if zoning allows. Plus the museum could rent out capacity to space-challenged collectors, and possibly, as a value-add, accept shipments and store for absentee collectors. This would be for money, not for free. (Insurance would be on the collector, not ETF.)

Caveat: These are probably not new ideas. I have not brought them up to Steve or anyone. They are probably also pipe dreams and can't be implemented for a wide variety of reasons. But a man can dream, can't he?

On edit, just to keep it all in one place...

On rackmount gear, best is to store it in racks. I actually have a few I can donate for this. (They're presentable enough for display, too.) Plus, it's the kind of thing I often run across people trying to get rid of, free. But I usually need to answer quickly, so 'pre-approval' would be good.

Last edited by Chip Chester; 05-08-2018 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Additional pearl of alleged wisdom.
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  #44  
Old 05-08-2018, 02:15 PM
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Kamakiri Kamakiri is offline
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Can advise of availability, coordinate/execute purchase and delivery, but not finance.
That's the problem.....unless some benefactors come in and dump a load of cash, that sort of thing can't happen. It's difficult enough raising funds to pave the parking lot.
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  #45  
Old 05-08-2018, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by WISCOJIM View Post
I don't want to pick on Bob Dobush, I've considered him a friend for many years, and he is very valuable to Steve, the museum, and our hobby.

But we sure could use the space he uses for storage in the auction room so that there would be room for everyone to sit down and stay out of the way. We all know the room is too small, perhaps now we'll finally all realize that it's time to do something about it.

.
Every year I usually pick through Bob's stuff and usually end up handing him a couple hundred bucks and walking away with some really nice goodies.

This year, I couldn't find more than a couple things that weren't there last year and everything was packed so tight that I couldn't get a good look at much. I probably would have hit him up on a Philco projection set that he had there, but it would've taken a good half hour to dig it out.
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