Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

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Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Guest » November 5th, 2005, 4:05 pm

Here's a perfect example that everything "Houdini" is not gold!

This eBay seller/on line auctioneer, today had numerous pieces of H's memorabilia that barely made the reserves and in in the majority of cases they were all "absentee bids" (?).

It goes to show that not everything we think it is extremely valuable is not. In Auctioning or selling material both privately and publicly, both the seller and the buyer have to know what they are doing.

Click below.

http://search.liveauctions.ebay.com/sea ... emorabilia

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Kevin Connolly
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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Kevin Connolly » November 5th, 2005, 4:50 pm

I would say that the "absentee bids" look suspect too. More like the minimums they set and were never bid on. Most others would call them "passed".

Maybe they should stick to coins? :p
Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

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magicam
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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby magicam » November 5th, 2005, 7:39 pm

Mario:

I have to agree with you (surprise!). Knowing how to sell (market) is important, and this auction may be evidence of that. Looking at the descriptions, I don't see anything particularly "defective" about them, but I'm not an expert seller either. I did notice a general absence of "rare" and "very rare" and "extremely rare" claims - perhaps that was a factor?

I don't think that value always equates to the sales price. Something can be extremely valuable and sell for a song, no? Take the guy who bought a very early American edition of Dean at a flea market for $25 and then sold it for $13,000 on Ebay a year or so ago. That Dean was no less valuable just because this guy lucked out and bought it for $25.

I tend to think that most Houdini stuff is grossly overpriced, but that's only because Houdini does not excite me and because there is literally a ton of Houdini material and signatures out there. Based on recent prices, I would have guessed that some of this stuff would have sold for more than it did, but it didn't.

So where were the Houdini collectors for this stuff? Are they tapped out for the moment? Did they know about this sale? Is this stuf really only "worth" what it sold for, or is there more to it, including Mario's point about marketing? I don't have the answers, that's why I'm asking.

Clay

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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Richard Hatch » November 5th, 2005, 7:53 pm

Here's an easier link to find the Houdini stuff being discussed:
Houdini Auction Items

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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Guest » November 6th, 2005, 8:44 am

clay, stick to books!

Bill Palmer
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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Bill Palmer » November 6th, 2005, 1:55 pm

Mario. The guy gave an assessment and asked you an honest question. You don't have to behave like a putz.

Don't tell me you haven't ever made a mistake in an auction.
Bill Palmer, MIMC

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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Guest » November 6th, 2005, 8:54 pm

Well said Bill.

Roberto

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magicam
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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby magicam » November 6th, 2005, 9:05 pm

Mario:

I thought you made an interesting point, and (as others have noted) asked some sincere questions in the hope that you might expand on your very basic observation. If you dont have the expertise to answer, thats okay. But why appear to take a cheap shot? Maybe you were kidding around.

Perhaps some real Houdini experts have an opinion on the strange auction results. I thought there was some good stuff that was being offered.

Clay

Ken Trombly
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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Ken Trombly » November 14th, 2005, 8:45 am

Having decided not to go to the LA conference, and in need of a collecting fix,I was apparently one of the few collectors who actually bid and purchased items in this auction. It appears that the auctioneer naively thought, much to my benefit, that simply running the sale as an "ebay live" auction would eliminate the need to otherwise promote the sale.
The seller's catalog listings of some of the items also reflect a basic lack of sophistication in this area.....why not depict what was apparently a second postcard that illustrated HH in lot 423? and, similarly, the verso of the Alhambra program (the last of the HH lots), which bore another illustration, was not shown. As our friend Mario has repeatedly demonstrated, there obviously is more to selling high-end magic collectibles than putting them on ebay.

Ken Trombly, magicposters.com

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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Bob Walder » November 14th, 2005, 9:24 am

Originally posted by Bill Palmer:
You don't have to behave like a putz.
Apparently he does - typical of my dealings with Carrandi, anyway

Guest

Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Guest » November 14th, 2005, 6:57 pm

Thanks Bill for your unsolicited comment, you have the endorsement of Walder, well deserved!

Sadly, for you making this type of remark, comes to me as a surprise.

I had the impression that you were a thorough and perceptive individual. Guess I was mistaken.

Well, having just returned from the LA Conference and sitting placidly home with my new laptop (they are great) have decided to elaborate a bit on this string:

Since his teenage years Clay has had with me this on going "friendly feud" over book descriptions, condition, rarity, prices etc.

You see, I don't claim to be an expert bibliophile or ABA bookseller :sleep: (although thus far I have sold thousands and thousands of Magic books, from rarities such as 2 first editions of Scots to several editions of Deans, to out of print titles worthwhile collecting, regardless of their age.

In any case, Clay means well but sometimes his ego takes over his logic. Although he has criticized my appraisal of condition, rarity and prices, he is one of my oldest and at times a most substantial buyer. Further, he has always had this "negative" opinion about the expertise in all areas of booksellers orbook dealers. Ironically, he is now one on Ebay, deriving as he well knows good sums for fairly common titles (not known by the uneducated bidder) that he would ordinarily classify as "overpriced".

If he followed his philosophy he should stop the bidding when he attained the price he feels the book is worth,and give the buyer the benefit of his knowledge!


However,we get over it because deep down inside Magic :) is a hobby, assigned task or thesis work. It shouldn't be, otherwise it would not be fun.

I admire Clay's knowledge and candor when it comes to book collecting. He is a true bibliophile sokmetimes an extreme one at that.

However I have have never publicly and much less in writing criticized his extremes (By the way Clay, my Albo books have different plastic "dustjackets", created specially for me by Albo's bindery).

My comment to Clay was not meant to be a "wise ass" as the term "putz" is defined here in NYC.

Being a man of few words (however I admit that in this case as a result of my new lap top "toy" I have really gone overboard), I decided to "nip the bud". Clay does not collect or sells Houdiniana. Had he been either, I would have replied differently.

He was, in my opinion, attempting to create one of his unsolicited dialogues with me.

On the other hand, it would have been foolish, business wise,to educate anyone when it comes to values. Firstly it is not proper. Everyone should collect for the passion and fun of it, not the potential investment value. Secondly, even if I had turned into a multimillionare dealing with Houdiniana, it would have been stupid on my part to disclose my expertise and knowledge to anyone. I would have made an infomercial (joke).

So you see Bill , I must also tell you stick to collecting cups and balls! ;)

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magicam
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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby magicam » November 14th, 2005, 8:15 pm

Dear friend Mario,

After so many years, and despite the blabber back and forth, if there is any feud between us, it is indeed friendly by now. Weve witnessed and shared too many collecting events over the decades to let little disagreements get in the way of enjoying the experiences. But why, oh why, do you set yourself up like this? There are so many inaccuracies in what you have written that it is difficult to know where to begin in response. So I wont respond, for the most part. I know it will fall on deaf ears anyway.

But I do find it absolutely hilarious that you say Everyone should collect for the passion and fun of it, not the potential investment value. For anyone who is familiar with your sales tactics, touting the investment potential of a piece of magicana has been your constant modus operandi for decades. Indeed, your moniker on Ebay is (was) magicinvestments. So while I agree with the sentiment that collecting should be for fun and not for investment purposes, it is ironic that you, of all people, would espouse this point of view thats certainly not how you have marketed your goods over the years. Yet, Ive always had hope for you, and perhaps this apparent change of heart signals your maturation when it comes to collecting.

Clay

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Wolfgang
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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Wolfgang » November 14th, 2005, 8:41 pm

Mario, ditch the laptop, you almost sound like a human beeing now..... :)
I like the old style, answers without the fluff.....

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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Guest » November 14th, 2005, 10:57 pm

Wolfgang love the lap top so can not stop tonight, thanks for the advise however. But, did I BS that much?

Anyway, back to Clay (he loves the attention)

Here you are again Clay, YOUR ANGLE and biased opinion. You are still 17 years old..

First of all, MAGICNVESTMENTS is still up and running, more important matters have taken up our time to continue it as we did before. But we are organizing to continue it in full force very soon.

The name Magicinvestment was created, as initially outlined in the listings,and if you knew it you have left it out, to differentiate what I considered JUNK, like most listers on eBay do in the Collectible section, to TRUE rare and highly sought after items, based on my 40 years of selling.

Anyone with a basic intelligence would understand that.

However, maybe advanced IQ'd individuals might have gone overboard and believe that this guy (meaning me) on eBay was an eccentric millionare that wanted to list on eBay items for $100 that would sell in 48 hours for $10,000 and wanted to share his wealth and success.

On the other hand,I believe you have a near complete set of my rag sheet type catalogs from the 1970's and 80's. Didn't you notice the "appreciation" since? I had Soo and Thurston posters listed for $17.50 and $35.00, I sold Dean's for $250 and a Scot's first for $1,500. They turned out to be INVESTMENTS, considering they sell today in the thousands. BUT I never said or was my intent to sell them as such. But, when Thurston and Soo posters sold for insane amounts of $15 to $17K some years ago in a Magic publication interview that it was insanity. Why? because I knew their rarity and availability. So they are now at a more reasonable level.

Don't know what innacuracies, if they are not anal ones, you are indicating. Maybe with your expertise and never ending crusade you should issue a book on the "CARRANDI CATALOGS Inaccuracies 1967-1999" it might hit the NY times bestsellers list. I am sure many would love to know (me too). Nevertheless, I have never, ever deceived or lied purposely about any description or origin of the item. In the very but very few cases that I was wrong (I am human), the buyer was immediately refunded. If I have refused to "heed your advise" it is because I am not interested, so yes don't do it. It is fruitless. I am doing fine without it.

If you insinuate that I have used "tactics" (which I interpret as misleading or as a technic to deceive) and sell junk a, not only are you totally wrong but you are being hypocritical as you have bought from me thousands over the years. Why?.

Guess you have been a victim of my "tactics". So, I publicly apologize for selling you all of these overpriced and junkie books to you over the years. Please return them ALL and I will refund your initial purchase price minus shipping . Deal?

By the way, were you at the Conference? Didn't' see you if you were there. Had many "investment" quality books that sold immediately.

(OK Wolfgang this is it. I have "broken in" this laptop. What technology this Centrino stuff is! I am now going back to play with my baby 3 months old Schnauzer (miniature, her name is Emma)and I promise to go back to my old self.Thank you).

Guest

Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Guest » November 14th, 2005, 11:40 pm

"My comment to Clay was not meant to be a "wise ass" as the term "putz" is defined here in NYC."
M. Carrandi

Factoring out "putz" in the Moravian sense, "A Christmas scene or "creche"

I will gladly stand corrected, however, I believe that "putz" is a Yiddish term for, "dick" or "fool" with "dick" being both vulgar and, at the same time, the most widely accepted meaning of the term.

"Dick" being a widely used American colloquialism for "penis."

Perhaps the Yiddish term "schmock" or "pr**k" was a more appropriate, albeit somewhat more vulgar, expletive sought by the poster.

My sources are The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000 and The Modern English -Yiddish Dictionary.

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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Robert Allen » November 15th, 2005, 10:20 am

We've been through this discussion of Marios sales tactics and ads before. This is at best the pot calling the kettle black, and at worse... I will say that it's finally nice to see whole sentences from Mario, keep using the laptop :)

Marios description of his "magicinvestments" persona is interesting. If it truly is accurate it would imply that his other ebay persona (the name of which escapes me as I no longer keep either bookmarked) was to sell "junk".

Earle Oakes
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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Earle Oakes » November 15th, 2005, 4:13 pm

In all the years I've dealt with Mario I've never gotten any "junk". Only what he has offered and I have wanted and gotten as advertized.

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magicam
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Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby magicam » November 15th, 2005, 6:21 pm

Mario:

What got you so aggressive? A laptop? I thought my responses have been fairly tame compared to your posts. Sadly, I don't have much hope left for substantive dialogue with you, because it seems like you don't want facts to get in the way of your claims/arguments. Heck, you still haven't responded logically to the corrections of your misstatements in yet another thread: http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ ... 068#000003

Interesting that you dont want a dialogue with me, yet you certainly offer enough confrontational comments to provoke a response. So Ive taken the bait. Ill address only two of your misstatements, as that should be enough to remind readers of your poor recall.

You wrote:
However I have never publicly and much less in writing criticized his [Clays] extremes
Check out the link given above. There I think your posts made it pretty clear that you thought I was extreme in my approach to books and bibliography. So thats strike one.

You wrote:
I had Soo and Thurston posters listed for $17.50 and $35.00, I sold Dean's for $250 and a Scot's first for $1,500. They turned out to be INVESTMENTS, considering they sell today in the thousands. BUT I never said or was my intent to sell them as such... [emphasis added]
So, Mario, youre telling us here that youve never advertised items as investment quality or with similar language? Ill make you a serious bet: if I produce one of your ads from Ebay or your catalogs where you claim an item is investment quality or otherwise a good investment, you invite me to your house and let me pick any one item from your collection or sale stock. If I cant provide proof, you get to pick one item from my collection. Fair enough? If youve never made that claim, you just got yourself your choice of any item in my collection.

But heres the real challenge: if you are going to respond, please do so on point and without the usual illogical rants. In other words, disprove the foregoing with logic recognizable to the general population. If youre off point or fail to respond, then the merits of this post obviously speak for themselves.

In closing, Im not sure why you want to engage me with wild claims, but set forth below is something I wrote to you some time ago. It remains true to this day. Perhaps in the future we can try and avoid the sort of dialogue in this thread.

Kind Regards,

Clay

Mario and I have known each other for a long, long time (since I was about 11 years old, I think), and we have had our differences of opinion over the years, some of which we might never resolve, some of which relate to this very discussion. But, as I have told Mario and many others time and time again, I have a deep respect for his success in getting magicana to the market over the past 35+ years. My opinion, for what its worth, is that Mario is the hands down winner when it comes to the quantity and quality of used magic items sold during this time period. I dont think anybody else comes close. And to be sure, I have benefited from his success in so doing (probably 1-2% of what I own has come from Mario). So to you, Mario, let me publicly and sincerely say congratulations on your success and thank you for all the hard work and dedication that it has required. I dare say that the vast majority of the collectors living today have benefited mightily from your business.

Guest

Re: Houdini sale today on Ebay, flopped???

Postby Guest » February 2nd, 2007, 7:13 pm

Clay wrote:

So, Mario, youre telling us here that youve never advertised items as investment quality or with similar language? Ill make you a serious bet: if I produce one of your ads from Ebay or your catalogs where you claim an item is investment quality or otherwise a good investment, you invite me to your house and let me pick any one item from your collection or sale stock. If I cant provide proof, you get to pick one item from my collection. Fair enough? If youve never made that claim, you just got yourself your choice of any item in my collection.
Well, it's been over a year since that extremely generous bet was offered, with no response. The battery on Mario's laptop must have run down...

P.S. Mario, you can recharge the battery.


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