NostoNews, February 1, 2012
by Tommy Jasmin

eBay Museums

Whenever I spend a little time browsing eBay, I always end up shaking my head at the eBay Stores where you see the same items, sitting collecting dust. They are priced so incredibly high that any sale would be justification for keeping the belief alive that there is still a fool or two out there yet to be parted with their money.

I wonder what goes through these seller's minds. Isn't the idea of a store to sell things? Apparently not on eBay.

I don't want to pick on anybody, but I really should show an example. Let's take this CGC VF 8.0 Famous Monsters of Filmland 38. Yes, it is scarce in high grade, but why on Earth would anybody pay $999.99? Because that's less than a thousand dollars? Especially when you have tools like Nostomania available. If you are a Nosto Premium Subscriber, before buying anything, you can access actual sales data for that item. In this case, you would see the image below. A VF 8.0 copy sold recently via Heritage Auctions, for $47.00, less than 5% of this seller's asking price.

What Nosto Premium Subscribers see when they look up Famous Monsters 38

I think for a lot of these sellers, the eBay store really is more of a museum: a place to sort of show off what they have. I also believe most sellers simply have unrealistic expectations as to what they can expect something to sell for.

That's why I love eBay sellers who just let stuff rip. I mean no reserves, and no minimum opening bid (essentially, another way to set a reserve). Reserves stink. That's just dangling carrots. What a drag to "win" something, only to find out "What? I didn't win?" Whatever the market bears on this day, that's what something is truly worth! This is the data that drives the Nostomania pricing database, for better or worse - the truth.

A great example of doing it right is eBay seller cclonborisnbela. In full disclosure, yes, this guy is involved with Nostomania, but the fact is, look at what he does - everything sells, never a reserve and some great stuff, with great variety. He is currently moving the Big Little Books from the original owner Mr. "D" collection. And look what just sold last week - a nice thick run of the very scarce Atlas title World of Fantasy. How often do you see those for sale period? I know for a fact there is some great stuff coming down the pipe, and it all starts at a level playing field, where anybody can jump in at a penny to open. That's how it should always work, in my opinion.

Thanks, we'll see you all next month.

Visit our NostoNews Archive.