Is the Big OA Reference Auction Sucking up eBay $


I had a conversation with a seller yesterday who was disappointed with how some recent big ticket items of his did on eBay. We talked about the timing of the auction, use of reserves, and other second-guessing that might explain the results. But then during the conversation I brought up the big auction taking place through Dave Oertle on the items from the Morley-Topkis collection acquired by Lynn Horne. If you haven’t checked it out you need to surf over to see some amazing OA items up for auction. This auction is being conducted in the old fashioned format where bidders mail their bids in and wait to find out how they did. There is no call back service offered and no bids taken by phone for that matter. So you basically fill out your bid sheet, fire it off to New Jersey, and wait. Then in a few weeks you will find out either you lost everything or you have a bill for thousands of dollars (well ok depending on your bid obviously). So….my point to him is that maybe with this killer OA stuff up for sale with a process where people really don’t know if they’ve won or not is keeping money off the table that people might normally be spending on eBay. My friend had what he thought was over $10,000 worth of stuff bring a little over half that. So do the facts and figures from eBay support this theory? Here is what I can see…


Boy Scout Order of the Arrow Patches Category


Before The OAREFERENCE.COM Auctions
Week of February 16-22 1646 items sold at an average price of $18.57

Week of February 23-March 1 1,790 items sold at an average price of $17.08

Week of March 2-8 2,222 items sold at an average price of $16.54

Week of March 9-15 1,764 items sold at an average price of $18.09

Week of March 16-22 1,974 items sold at an average price of 23.67


During The Big OAREFERENCE.COM Auctions

Week of April 13-19 1,618 items sold at an average price of $19.07

Week of April 20-26 1,593 items sold at an average price of $21.16

Week of April 27-May 3 1,828 items sold at an average price of $19.81

Week of May 4-10 1,886 items sold at an average price of $17.56

Week of May 11-17 1,894 items sold at an average price of $22.10


These figures suggest to me that there is no change in bidding/selling patterns that you can directly link to the oareference auctions. However there is one anomaly to explore.


During the week of March 23-29 there was an 83% drop in completed sales. The figures plummeted from 1,974 sold the week before to just 347 sold that week. Then the next week the number jumped up 76% to 1,487 items. In looking at these eBay figures over the last 5 months you just don’t see that kind of cliff dive in statistics for any of the categories in Boy Scouts. While there are some ups and downs the spikes are from normal to extremely high (valuable patch or collection sold) but never a deep plummet from the norm. I got my email from Dave Oertle about the collection for sale on Friday, April 7th.


So I don’t know….but I’m still scratching my head.


Do any of you patchblanket members have theories?




I certainly have no probelms expressing my feelings about that auction. I posted on Patch-L and my wild theories stirred up a lot of mixed feelings.

It was distrubing to get emails about how I questioned the character of those auction folk and what they have done for scouting, even though I did not say anything of the sort. What was even more fustrating was to get emails questioning my own character and how such thoughts does go with the scout oath and law. “At this point all I could do was roll my eyes.”

All I was trying to say about the auction was the ending was in very poor taste. That is not an evil statement or a reflection on the people that ran the auction…simply my personal feelings on the ending. I never said those that ran the auction made the wrong choice. I am sure they made the best choice they thought was best for them. They were the sellers and I was a potential customer providing feedback. It was like they wanted me to be happy that one person won everything at a higher price. However, I would place bids in another auction ran from the same very people. I have nothing agaisnt them personally.

” A deal is a deal … until a better one comes along.”

By blackeagle on May 26th, 2006 at 3:37 pm

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