Discussion of published auctions before sale.

Discussion in 'Horological Misc' started by Tom McIntyre, May 21, 2019.

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  1. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    I applaud Tom's initiative in putting forward this new idea for our organization, and I am loathe to pour cold water on it, but I just don't see that the benefits of discussing expensive auction items prior to sale, rather than afterwards, would outweigh the numerous concerns associated with that. Certainly, we would get a lot of new Internet traffic, but a lot of new, potentially onerous responsibility as well. I fear it wouldn't take long before people, or even groups of people with ulterior motives were trying to game the system, or poison the well to build themselves a bargain. All it takes is a mere suggestion that a watch may not have a correct dial or case, etc., to turn off one or more well-heeled, but not necessarily highly knowledgeable bidders and change the outcome of a sale. It wouldn't take long after that before an unhappy buyer or consignor began publicly questioning the ethics of our members and even our moderators. We really don't need that.
     
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  2. Kevin W.

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    I dont see how it really will benefit anyone except those with deep pockets. That want knowledge on expensive lots, and how will it draw members. And i seriously doubt auction houses will go for it.I think our efforts to make the NAWCC a better place, is to think on how to improve, but not in this way.
     
  3. new2clocks

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    Tom,

    Very interesting concept.

    (1) The objectives and possible benefits for the NAWCC have been clearly stated.

    (2) The target audience that the NAWCC is attempting to serve and assist has been identified.

    (3) The implementation, from the NAWCC perspective, although alien in concept at this point, seems achievable.

    The skeptic in me, unfortunately, lies with the objective of the auction houses in this endeavor. As for-profit businesses, I can only see two objectives that they would be targeting - concurrence with their opinion of an object, or the identification of a mistake on their part that is so egregious that they need to fix to protect their reputation. Anything in between those two outcomes appears to negatively effect their business objectives. My suspicion is that most of the NAWCC contributions will fall in this in between area.

    Regards.
     
  4. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I do not really anticipate saddling our current moderators with this responsibility. The task will involve very intense moderation of each of the auction presentations and discussion for about 30 days from the time the catalog is published until the auction is held. After the action transpires there will be some carry on recap effort at a much lower level for a month or two and then low level interaction until the next time (and actually forever in principle).

    I seem to be having a hard time communicating the idea of a moderated discussion. The moderators will vet all the postings before they are posted. The moderators in turn will be reviewed for bias and breadth of understanding. My view is that this will work like any trusted publication and will earn the trust of its readers. I believe the NAWCC has or can acquire the resources to do this properly.

    It is possible that some of our moderators may feel up to the task and they will have the opportunity to interview for the job. It may take a bit of effort to fully populate the volunteer staff. We will not know if we can do this unless we try. As I said earlier, to the best of my knowledge, this has never been done before. It is an attempt to capture the sense of those private discussions that several others have mentioned in a context where it can be presented to a general audience of those interested in horology.
     
  5. OldSchool1959

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    It will NEVER work! To many variables here and then there are moral issues also. Nope give me the old fashioned way. Let me do my own research, and you do yours.
     
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  6. Kevin W.

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    I dont see the point in this, and i think there will like be very few participants. It will likely die a slow death. Sorry i dont see much this will do positive for the NAWCC membership.
     
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  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Not sure more moderator vetted discussions are really needed or desired.

    I can see many other issues surrounding this proposal as I understand it.

    I go back to my lunatic idea of people communicating about upcoming auctions in other ways.

    Here's an even a more "out there" idea. In addition to discussion and exchange between fellow collectors and those interested in horology, how about people learn how to research and gain a level of expertise? Now with the internet, on-line Bulletin searches, searching the MB (which, by the way, is best done through Google), etc, it's never been easier. See something in an upcoming auction you're not sure about, ask, do some research on "comps" for both comparison examples and prices, etc. I just did that for an auction. Works great and I learned something!

    Furthermore, not that long ago, a serious collector sought to develop and expand their knowledge base, build a reference library and so on. Yes, the MB is great for that and why I enjoy participating and always freely share what I know. However, we don't need to go from questions like "what did I buy?" to "what should I buy?". Fraught with many issues.

    RM
     
  8. Tom McIntyre

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    It is not surprising that most "successful" collectors here are in favor of others learning the same way they recall learning.

    Once again, I am not proposing any change to our processes here. This would be a new activity of the NAWCC. It would use essentially the same technology as this site.

    If you find it offensive, you can avoid it.

    I thought that discussing it here would generate some input that would be useful in analyzing the opportunity, planning a proposal and evaluating the proposal.

    If those of you who believe no auction houses would be interested are correct, it will not happen. It cannot happen without their cooperation and support.
     
  9. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I apologize if I misinterpret, but the way I do interpret this posting makes me just shake my head.

    Sounds almost like a fate accompli and in fact there may have not been any true interest in considering what the user/potential users had to say??

    Again, it may be my misunderstanding and for that I apologize.

    I also believe that there may be other MB and website improvements/maintenance that might be a better use of time than chasing after auction houses.

    But, if that's the intention, good luck. Who knows, this may turn out wonderfully.

    RM
     
  10. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    It is impossible to change minds unless it fails! Find a reputable auction house that believes it is a viable offering.
     
  11. Tom McIntyre

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    One of the nice things about being a volunteer is that I can pursue what interests me. I am interested in doing something that might have a significant positive impact on the success of the NAWCC.

    I am happy to consider proposals anyone might make about how the NAWCC can do better. However, whatever it is, it needs a business model and enough substance to be evaluated. For me to be involved, it needs to be something that matches my skills and interests.

    If the only proposals that you are interested in are ways for others to support your hobby, that probably will not get much traction unless you are talking about something you are wiling to pay those others for doing.
     
  12. John Matthews

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    Tom - I said would not contribute to this thread again, bur I have continued to follow it, When I read your last post, I am afraid I was taken aback to the extent that I feel I must comment. The two sentences, I have quoted leave me very very disappointed. I know you contribute tremendously to this forum and work very very hard to improve the forum and the work of the NAWCC. Many of us should thank you more frequently for the work that you do. Although I do not agree with your proposal, I respect what you are trying to do.

    My disappointment is that you should feel that some/all of those of us who do not agree with what you propose, are motivated by self-interest and only wish to take from the forum. I cannot speak for others, but I certainly do not. I have always tried to share the information I have discovered about all the items in my collection and in doing so I hope that I have in at least a small measure, repaid the contributions made by the wealth of knowledge that has been shared so freely by others. Yes and definitely supported my hobby. As do you, I know of a number of the members who do not share your view, but who contribute daily to this forum displaying a wealth of knowledge that I will never have. They do so almost entirely for the benefit of others.

    John
     
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  13. MartyR

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    I know 12 auction house owners, and my discussions with them over the past 10 years suggest to me that at least 8 of them would certainly be interested in looking at the proposal. Maybe it's your owner who is crazy, right? ;)

    Seriously, I am worried by the inference I gain from a number of replies here that it is better if we keep the knowledge amongst ourselves. Of course a cosy clique where you only discuss things with your "friends" is very nice, and it's potentially commercially profitable. That is exactly what I described in an earlier post where dealers (and their "friends") get together to carve up auction lots into parcels for one another so that they can keep prices down. Apart from being illegal in most countries, and obviously immoral, such a system of "friends" requires a lengthy probation period - it just doesn't work for newbies. I firmly believe in transparency, and this Message Board's operation depends on transparency.
    .
     
  14. John Matthews

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    Martin - that would only be true if this was the only place where we had conversations and exchanged views - your inference is not one that can be made. It certainly is not true in my case, I don't believe it is true in your case and I certainly know that others who freely give their knowledge on this forum, share that knowledge in other places and learned societies.

    John
     
  15. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Huh??

    What you are describing is the practice of pooling where dealers basically conspire to buy certain lots for the pool then sell off the merchandise amongst themselves. This practice, which is certainly wrong and often illegal, is a means by which a few people can basically control the prices and distribution of merchandise, especially the more desirable items. It hurts everyone.

    For you to take the flying leap of encouraging and seeking conversation, exchange and thoughtful discussion not involving the MB to pooling and illegal activity, is at best, a bit, as we would say in MA, "bizzah".

    I suppose what is proposed is immune to abuse? So, in kind, I suggest this. I see lurking in the shadows a few shadowy self-appointed experts on the MB bad mouthing or down playing the lots they want for themselves. How's that? Sorry to be so petty.

    And from a moderator! I rest my case.

    I don't recall learning, I am still learning and using a model that has and does serve me well.

    It's not the proposal I find offensive. Well then, I suppose a moderator would rarely ever have the need to remove a post. You find it offensive, just avoid it?

    Sorry you didn't find any input useful. I suggest that you didn't get the answers and unanimous affirmation you were seeking.

    Well, get busy. Start contacting those auction houses. History is full of people who have said the equivalent that earth is round, not flat.

    RM
     
  16. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I can only laugh. I'm trying to change my last 2 replies from a quote to just a reply from myself. There is something wrong and the MB won't permit the change no matter how I try.

    A few things need fixing first?

    RM
     
  17. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Tom, am I correct, then, in my understanding that this "new activity" would take place on a platform separate and apart from this message board? Or will it somehow be integrated into the message board?
     
  18. Tom McIntyre

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    Steven, I think we all know the NAWCC Internet presence is being reviewed and a new design is being developed. I believe the Message Board will be largely unchanged. There will almost certainly be a collection of more commercial areas which I hope will include the auction review facility. Whether there are direct links from the forums to such facilities, I do not know. It may be linked just like the Encyclopedia and Media Gallery are currently linked.

    RM,I am surprised you cannot envision a system of checks and balances that would ameliorate or prevent abuse by moderators. At a minimum the participating auction houses would have the ability to appoint one of their employees to assist with the site. If they did not want to do that, they would still have someone active on the site to coordinate with them.

    I do not know where you got the impression that I did not think the inputs I have received here are valuable. I know I certainly never said that, nor would I ever.

    You have the ability to edit any of your posts for a period of one hour after posting. That limit is chosen because we do not have the ability to leave it open until the thread has received another reply. You can always use the "report" function to ask a moderator to make whatever edits you want made. The Message Board is working as configured.
     
  19. OldSchool1959

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    I find this amazing...... Simply amazing..... Board Rules bar anyone from speaking about an auction that is "IN PROGRESS" and now suddenly some are discussing ways to interact with auctions houses while the auctions are live? If thats wrong please correct me!

    If I have read correctly then it only goes to show. A rule is a rule, until someone powerful enough decides to change it. Then that rule becomes another rule. Gotta love those rules and regulations.......SMH...... Rules are truly made to be broken!
     
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  20. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I don't believe this proposal has anything to do with the message board other than this is where it is being discussed.
     
  21. OldSchool1959

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    The proposal on its face to me mind you, seems to go against the board rules as they stand at this time. And its labor intensive, and no one can cover all the myriad of website/auctions that have viable pocket watches where a third party deems it necessary to stick its nose in to their business. No count me as one who just doesnt get it.
    Who's to say this wont be corrupted by those seeking the information first and to make arrangements with the auction houses themselves? This opens way too many cans of worms in my opinion.

    And if we as an organization are going to do something "radical" for a change. Lets make a part of this site available for people to SELL THEIR WATCHES! Give eBay a run for their money. For me thats something I could get behind quick, fast, and in a hurry!
     
  22. OldSchool1959

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    Then is there a place on nawcc.org where one can post items for sale? If so sign me up! Who gets to vet the people who are going to have this interaction with these auction houses? Will everyone have the ability to see every email that gets sent back and forth between the people directly involved? I highly doubt it. To make this completely transparent would take to many resources, and even then I see ways to "game" the system. Call me cynical at best
     
  23. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Yes, the person proposing it is that person(part of that team).



    Rob
     
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  24. OldSchool1959

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    Thats the way it normally works.........Absolute Power, Corrupts Absolutely, not saying this is the case here. However it does give some the idea that they, the "one," can do as they wish, regardless of how the "many" believe. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Lifes lessons I have learned over the years. One can either fight it, or get run over by it.
     
  25. novicetimekeeper

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    Even though I don't think this idea will work, I think that is rather unfair.
     
  26. Scott Tzorfas

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    Tom,
    How can we help you get this up and running. What is the next step?
    Scott
     
  27. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    I think novistimekeeper makes a good point. Lets be careful
    to communicate in a way that is respectful. If you read this
    entire thread I believe that both sides have laid out how they
    feel. There is no need to get personal.

    Tom was clear above when he said, "There will almost certainly be a collection of
    more commercial areas which I hope will include the auction review facility"


    Rob
     
  28. OldSchool1959

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    Actually I think it goes to the heart of the matter. I also believe it should be voted on before any attempt to go further is undertaken. Aren't the higher ups here voted in, or is this an Oligarchy?
    To further confirm things if it gets that far. Let's see the complete business plan, then put it to a Vote.
     
  29. new2clocks

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    Rob / Tom / or anyone with knowledge,

    How about sharing some information on this collection of more commercial areas?

    Regards.
     
  30. Tom McIntyre

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    I would suggest you read the Executive Director's Weekly News posting. It may take you a while. I have been transcribing them here to the message board. If you do not already receive it by email, you can subscribe to it in the encyclopedia area or you can click on the links at the upper right of the home page to see it.

    Anyone can propose anything they want to propose. I have the same freedom to do that that everyone else here does.

    Why would anyone think they have a vote on business proposals? We elect a Board of Directors which we have just done and they hire an Executive Director who is in charge of business operations.

    As to how this particular proposal might move forward, it will need more of a business plan than it has now for the E.D. to review and, given the reach,he might feel he needs to get the approval of the Board of Directors to proceed. At that point some auction houses would need to be contacted and contracts negotiated.
     
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  31. Bryan Eyring

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    Am I the only one who feels like the NAWCC admins and mods are trying to cram this down the membership's throats?

    The amount of people who disagree with this concept, many of them new collectors, is obviously overwhelming.

    Please, just let this die and let's move on to more productive discussions, such as mandatory moderator and admin rotation!
     
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  32. Jim Haney

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    Bryan,
    Yes, I agree with you as stated in the quote below from post #44 a long while back and no one could counter the point.



    To add to the point, it would be impossible to Moderate a forum discussing items up for auction without junking the rules we have lived by and so vigorously enforced for the existence of this Message Board.

    The 5 years I moderated, it was a major job to keep people from hyping something they wanted to sell and they would try every trick to mention the item , so it would generate interest in it.

    It is human nature to do this.. The only way to prevent it is by constantly surveillance of the MB. The FACT is, that by discussing a item For Sale will affect the selling price, which is why we have the rule.

    It works both ways, because if the item begins to receive criticism it will affect the price negatively and Thus, we have the problem of litigation, which the NAWCC can not afford to spend money on.

    Tom wants to try to use this forum as a sub link with a almost air tight disclaimer separating the NAWCC from any responsibility for Legal reasons, which is great, however just by having the link under the NAWCC banner, we would be liable legally.:eek:
     
  33. Steven Thornberry

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    To my mind, it is not at all clear that the message board will be the platform envisioned for the auction review facility. See Tom's statement below. The idea seems still to be in very early stages,. Certainly, I don't believe any moderator or admin is trying to cram it down anyone's throat. Were that the case, we would simply go ahead and do it without the courtesy of a thread such as this. And, to my knowledge, the idea to have the facility did not originate within the MB admin team.

     
  34. Bryan Eyring

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    Well that's not a lot of people's perception here Steve. A lot of us feel this is being oversold and has all appearances of being an intentional distraction from more key items, like fixing this MB's rules.

    Members here are smarter than that - we know what is going on here!

    Regarding your last comment - Tom McIntyre presented this idea, he is an admin. Therefore this originated with the MB admin team.
     
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  35. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Going back to what Bryan said
    "Am I the only one who feels like the NAWCC admins and mods are trying to cram this down the membership's throats?"

    If you read through all the posts, you will see that this is not the case. I'm
    not in favor of pejorative or all encompassing statements. If you don't
    like Tom's proposal that's fine but lets not make this
    an "us against them" fight when it isn't.:):):)




    Rob
     
  36. Jim Haney

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    Steven,
    You quote my statement about it being impossible to Moderate this type of forum and then you say you are not clear about Tom vision for it. ??

    He says that it is to be linked to the NAWCC MB, in whatever form, so this is a sponsored forum by the NAWCC, thus making us liable.:(o_O
     
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  37. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I'm not a member, but I don't see any suggestion this is being rammed down anybody's throat, nor that it will be part of the message board.

    It has been raised in this forum for discussion, but not because this is where it would happen.
     
  38. Clint Geller

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    Who is the NAWCC's legal counsel these days, and has that party been consulted about the proposal to create an area where active auction items are discussed? The law is often not intuitive, and many arguments that may seem to "make sense" to laymen may not be relevant.
     
  39. Tom McIntyre

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    I thought I made the origin of this idea abundantly clear. The idea is my idea which I have discussed with some auctioneers, the E.D. and the Chair of the BOD.

    I did not yield my right to share ideas and make proposals when I volunteered to operate this facility for the NAWCC as the Technical Administrator.

    I believe those who are violently opposed to this idea have useful things to say and their thoughts should be used to tailor the service if it ends up being approved by the NAWCC management.

    I have offered to make a presentation on it to our Board of Directors at their Annual Meeting in Springfield this June.

    I would suggest that those who are opposed or in favor of the proposal should re-read what I have said here and perhaps do a little outside reading on what a "moderated discussion" is as that term is used on the Internet. They should also read the references to contracts for services and try to understand how contracts can be used to limit liability.
     
  40. Kevin W.

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    The way the |Canadian dollar is now, i doubt any Canadians would use this service, buying from the States is just too costly. They have a buy and sell Facebook page, why cant we have on in this web site. It may even help bring some new blood to the member ship.
     
  41. Bryan Eyring

    Bryan Eyring Registered User
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    Ok then, MOST moderators.
     
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  42. OldSchool1959

    OldSchool1959 Seaboard Coastline RR Fanatic!
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    Exactly, Why not is a good question!
     
  43. OldSchool1959

    OldSchool1959 Seaboard Coastline RR Fanatic!
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    Well put. I most certainly feel the same. I am sure many others do also. Put it to a vote!
     
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  44. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    I think as well as members and nawcc members who use and post on this mb, it should go to vote. That way as well you could see who really has a interest in this happening.
     
  45. OldSchool1959

    OldSchool1959 Seaboard Coastline RR Fanatic!
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    Wait for the “that’s the reason we have a board of directors excuse” to follow. Then it’s a “business decision” next. Basically if one or 2 want it, it seems like that’s the way it works. Members be damned is the feeling I get.
     
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  46. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Personally, I am surprised that experienced collectors, particularly those who have serviced watches. or even dismantling them, believe that the idea is one a learned society should consider.

    I am not a member of the NAWCC and therefore you might argue that this is none of my business. However, as it has been raised on the forum, rather than to the membership alone, I assume that it has been raised here for registered members to express their views. I feel strongly about it because it has been raised at a time when I was re-considering whether to join. I have to tell you the idea has impacted my decision negatively, because I believe there is a significant risk that it will adversely impact the reputation of NAWCC. This is more about reputation and less about limiting liability.

    My principal concern is that the discussion/assessment/expert opinion - call it what you like - will carry, by association, the stamp of approval of the NAWCC and no matter what caveats the 'opinion' is accompanied by, or contracts that exist, it will be regarded as the view of NAWCC. However, unless the item under discussion has been examined 'in the hand', the opinion is unlikely, in my opinion, to deserve to be considered as definitive and I fear that is how it will be viewed. 'They must know what they are talking about'. As a consequence it will influence the decision of bidders.

    If I understand what is being proposed, an auction house would provide NAWCC with 'material' in the form of description and photographs. This materials would be available on a commercial area for moderated discussion by 'members', including possibly a representative of the auction house, who may be in a position to provide additional information. Whether the area will be available for general viewing has not been made clear, in fact, I am not at all clear how the discussion and any consensus view that may emerge, will be made available to potential bidders, but I assume it will, otherwise, the concept would be flawed.

    So let's assume that the process has been agreed and a contract with a participating auction house has been signed. The auction house has formed an opinion in the preparation of its in-house material which it shares with NAWCC. Then 'expert opinions' are generated by the process. If at the auction the successful purchaser has been influenced by the NAWCC opinions and these prove to be in error (because a feature has been overlooked by both the auction house and the NAWCC) - what is that going to do for the NAWCC's reputation with both the buyers and the auction house? I cannot see how it will enhance the reputation. The fact that the item has not been seen by any/all of the NAWCC 'experts' increases the risk that at some point this will happen


    John
     
  47. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    I'm sure this kind of activity happens more than we'd like to believe, even today.
    I have seen comments posted here by long term members end up on ebay auctions shortly after being discussed on the MB. Many times, they are simply copy-pasta'd. Sometimes they are edited to remove unflattering bits. I must think that some auction houses are doing it, as well. Whether they credit the information to the NAWCC or not. Giving certain of the other houses a place to do the same thing in a more structured, professional and income generating manner probably does have a market.
     
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  48. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I've seen comments I've made appear in ebay listings, definitely.
     
  49. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    To me(in my own mind not talking for the NAWCC in any way), anyone who joins this forum and posts
    regularly and answers questions posed by new members and old
    is ergo a member of the NAWCC on it's social media site. Experts/and collectors
    who post here represent the NAWCC to the public. Where else is this
    organisation more accessible and visible to the general public than this forum. How does a new member
    know that someone here who answers their question is a "member" or not,
    they don't(but this is an official NAWCC forum).

    So, I believe that anyone here who contributes to the
    knowledge base and has signed up to post here(and has read the rules of engagement)
    has a right to comment on an open post on our forum.


    Rob
     
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  50. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    These quotes are of opinions of individuals - they could not be interpreted as those of the NAWCC - completely different.

    John
     

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