So I am selling a little cast iron toy tractor on eBay – do my research and it seems like it is from the 1920′s. I list it at that and set a price tag of $250. Bam! I get an email from some guy who claims that back in the 1970′s these were made in Taiwan and he sold them at tractor shows for like $10 to $20. He starts razing me to no end that I need to change my auction, lower the price, after all it is only a piece of junk.
Call me a skeptic or cynical, but I’m not buying this line of outrage. His email was almost threatening – as in wrath of God type thing. Okay, we all know there are some nut cases perusing the eBay site, so why exactly do I get this one? Anyway, I write back to him, probably a big mistake, and explain that I had looked on eBay and found identical items like mine and that I priced mine mid-range to what those were priced at.
He writes back letting me know he is an antique dealer and he knows this stuff and that I am doing the wrong thing. Well, my first instinct was to report him to eBay for harassing me. After all, he better have sent out an email to every other seller with that exact same item and tell them what he told me, right?
His email got me to thinking about this. First off, if he is an antique dealer, what better than to bully me into dropping the price and he snaps it up and turns it around for a major profit? Second, if he in fact sold the same thing back in the day for $10 to $20 each,and it was considered a piece of junk, well, whoa Nellie, let’s do some math here. Back in the day the average salary was under $10K a year in this country. Secondly, the price of gold was about $25 – $30 an ounce. So he was selling this piece of junk for anywhere from 40 to 60% of the price of an ounce of gold? Something doesn’t make sense, and not just mathematically.
I wrote back and let him know that my conclusion is the above as well as it should be obvious to him if he is in fact an antique dealer that items from the 1970′s are now vintage and worth more money than back in the day. Secondly, skipping that entire point, if I wanted to sell this item and turn the same profit that he was turning on it back in the day, then I would set the price to be 40 – 60% of the price of an ounce of gold in today’s market – would only be fair it seems. Either way, in my guts I believe this guy just wanted to pick it up cheap either for his own collection (which he admitted he does collect these) or to turn a nice tidy profit for himself.
Seems like a gal just can’t get ahead…I want eBay to be fun but some people just want to turn it into a giant hassle. Oh well, time to add his user name to the blocked bidders list. My guts tell me he is trouble.