December 2010

EBay starting prices…

I keep bidding on stuff and losing out. I am making an art form of being the second highest bidder on every auction I take an interest in. Very annoying!! As anyone resident in the UK will know only too well it has been exceptionally cold with snow up to 2 feet deep in some areas and I wish I had a 4 x 4, but instead I drive a car which hates snow and finds ice a serious challenge (good job I am a tremendous driver). My plans have been disrupted all week just like everybody else’s and I am in a monumentally grumpy mood, so this month it is rant time!

I should point out for clarity that the views expressed in this article and indeed in any future article are wholly and entirely my own and not those of any member of the Carlton Ware World Committee or webmaster.
So here we go!

This month I am having a go at ebay dealers. Steady down everybody, not all ebay dealers, just the ones who insist on listing and sometimes relisting again and again CW at high opening prices. It is just a waste of everybody’s time guys, get with it. There were plenty of examples of high starting prices this month, of which these are but a few…..

One vendor has tried several times without any success to sell a Summer Flowers 3926 coffee pot,  which can be seen to be quite heavily crazed for £174.95.


Quite often one is surprised by dealers who could easily find other very similar items on sale and take their cue from the prices. Apparently they don’t! During November, three different dealers tried to sell 6″ vases with Crested Bird & Waterlily.

1. had a starting price of £350. No go.

2. had a starting price of £499. Now I ask you, if an item doesn’t sell at £350, is it sensible to list a very similar one at £499?

3. The seller of this vase, suffused no doubt with true ebay dealer optimism and no doubt determined to prove others misguided, listed this at £520 and when it unsurprisingly didn’t sell, reduced it to £480 next time out. Just think everybody; in just a dozen more tries the seller might be down to a price where he or she will at last enjoy success.


Another seller listed a Carp 2437 trumpet shaped vase 10″ tall with wear to the gilding on the top rim (I believe the most important place on a piece of this shape) at £499.99. Good try, no cigar I’m afraid.

You may known this pattern by another name – for information click here.


The same seller also listed a PERSIAN 2884 covered vase 8″ tall at £399. A high price for this pattern, but way out of the question with an obvious chip on the outer rim of the lid. Another cigarless listing.


One vendor offered a Mandarin Tree 3719 6 inch tall ovoid vase with rubbing to the gilding on the rim for $500. Nope, nothing doing again!


Last, but very definitely not least, is the seller who listed a collection of around 80 CW money boxes manufactured between the 1960’s and the 1980’s with an opening bid price of £1800!

Come on dealers, see some sense. Apart from anything else, there happens to be a mega-deep worldwide depression going on, hadn’t you noticed? It is time for some of you to be much more realistic with your starting prices.

Aaaah, I feel so much better for getting that off my chest. I will keep my beady masterspy eye on this situation and will review this again in the future.

Don’t forget, you can leave a response to any of my posts at any time (I do check back on the previous ones as well as the current one).

See you next month.

Ebay Masterspy.

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8 Responses to December 2010

  1. John Blight says:

    Nice one Masterspy!

  2. mike kiernan says:

    Great comments Ebay Masterspy, shame you did not to mention those horrible Gollies that appear on ebay like a rash !

  3. Terry Wise says:

    A very timely feature Ebay Masterspy on those high opening bid items. The current financial crises has its roots in historical, overpriced, unsaleable housing. Similarly it is the current, not the historical, market which will set the now lower Carlton Ware prices. This price will be maximised by at least kick starting the bidding with a low start price and a reserve, true at any time, especially now.

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