03-31-2012, 11:51 AM #1
We are missing a great opportunity
I've have looked at literally hundreds of thousands of pocket watch and watch parts auctions on eBay for the last seven plus years. I have bought hundreds of items there. In all that time what do you suppose eBay has taken in from their commissions on the very popular genre?
I realize there are some rather thorny issues involved with selling parts. But it would seem to me that a small committee formed by the Board to look into opening up the 4SaleNAWCC site to auctions would be a way to raise substantial revenue for the organization. And it could be done in such a way that the originality of timepieces could be encouraged and even maintained.
One thing to consider is that if it was limited to members only for buying and selling, but open to the public for viewing it would also serve as a way to attract new membership, but also as a way to show the public how the NAWCC values integrity and Horology itself by the way in which the membership conducts itself on the site.
I know parting out watches is a problem in the real world. The NAWCC is not going to stop this, and should not condone it under most circumstances. But if realistic and fair rules are created, applied, and followed, parts could be made available under the right circumstances, and anyone who is obviously dismantling working watches in order to sell the parts could be required to cease and desist.
It is obvious the NAWCC Board avoids confrontation. But in the few cases where I've seen intervention applied by the Board it has been for the good of the Organization and sends a good message. Hosting a site dedicated to the auctioning of watches and watch parts for the purpose of collecting and restoration would give the NAWCC an opportunity to do many things, such as:
- Teach the public how to properly buy, sell, and trade items of horological interest with integrity, honesty, and the love of Horology at the forefront of every transaction.
- Provide a means of attracting new membership. Even if people paid a yearly due to the Organization so that they could buy or sell, and later dropped it is still revenue. Think of Costco.
- Create a source of new and potentially substantial revenue to the Organization by charging a small commissions fee on each sale.
- Create a venue where the items sold are brought out into the light where those interested in research can see and catalogue them. I spend ten times the hours on eBay looking, for the purpose learning, than I do to buy. And I've never sold a single item there. It is a great place to see items that have spent years locked up in someone's safe.
We can either allow eBay to kill the need to belong to the NAWCC, or we can follow its example, to a certain degree, and benefit from the things it does best that we do not.
03-31-2012, 03:03 PM #2
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You are preaching to the choir Tref...................Ray Fanchamps
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