The ones that get away

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by musicguy, Oct 19, 2019.

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  1. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Over the last month or two I missed(I didn't bid enough) on 3-4 watches that I was really
    interested in. I always pick a dollar amount that I'm willing to spend and
    then I bid only that amount at the very end of an auction.
    Unfortunately in some of the instances I was just short a small amount.
    These bother me for about 15 minutes or so and then I try to forget that I missed that watch.
    I do not stress at all if the watch goes of for a much higher price than I was willing to pay.
    On one of them my computer glitched and the bid didn't get in and it went
    for 20% less than I was willing to pay. That was frustrating.
    Also, sometimes I intend to bid on a watch but I forget to;).

    Last night(and I do not use a sniping program) there was a watch going
    off in the middle of the night which would be hours after I went to sleep.
    I said to myself(after missing a few as I said above) I will not miss this one.
    I set an alarm and I bid on the watch. I won it at 30% less than my high bid.


    I hope some of our forum members(you guys) got some of those watches
    that I missed.



    Rob
     
  2. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    What were some of the ones you missed?
     
  3. Tim Fitzgerald

    Tim Fitzgerald Registered User
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    Rob
    You have to leave some for the rest of us.:)
    I got one last night I thought my bid wouldn't take it. Woke up this morning with a new Columbus 18s.
    Tim
     
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  4. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Rob,

    That happens to me and I do use a sniping program. I am second bidder more than I am first which is OK with me. You have to remember, you have no idea what was the max bid of the winner.
     
  5. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    #5 musicguy, Oct 19, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    I'm not going to post any of them(in case someone here did buy one of them) but I just went and looked at a few of them again
    and I noticed a funny thing. Yes the prices were very reasonable for them(and I missed them)
    but they didn't have the "sizzle" anymore that I felt moments before that auction had ended.
    Sometimes I'm happy that I didn't win because something that I was willing to overlook then
    I'm not now(I will look for a better example).


    this is one of them
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/wlwAAOSwGutdn9bM/s-l1600.jpg




    Rob
     
  6. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Who is Maxwell Smart and why is talking into his shoe:???:?
     
  7. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Rob
     
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  8. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Forums Administrator
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    I was second bidder twice last night, so it was not a good night for me. In both cases I thought I had sniped way more than enough to be safe. You just never know...
     
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  9. Rick Hufnagel

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    It's never fun missing something... If miss bidding or fall asleep I get upset about it. If I'm outbid, then someone else wanted it more... That's all...

    I especially get a kick out of it when I see someone here, or on pwdb post the watch after I've lost. One particular one comes to mind.. a certain private label Hampden I've been after. I couldn't bid what I wanted to on it that day... And I lost by a buck... Uploaded to pwdb the next day... That guy has beat me on quite a few early Hampdens now!
     
  10. PatH

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    Something to think about when we miss the bid by a small amount...the other bidder might have had a max bid in that would have beat us well beyond our max limit. The winner only has to outbid by the minimum bid amount, so although it might seem like a close race, it may not have been. At least this is what I try to tell myself when I'm trying to get over losing by a small amount.
     
  11. Rick Hufnagel

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    Very true Pat!
     
  12. LarryW

    LarryW Registered User

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    Ah yes, The snipe game. I got a good snipe the other day. It Was a Howard parts lot. The photos were very scary looking. Didn't know how much of any of the 4 Howards were complete. They only showed the tops of the movements but not the bottoms. Top bid at 175 bucks for them because I wanted all the spare parts. Got it for $75 dollars. I wound up getting a complete, but dis assembled 17 Jewel Howard Series 2, 1 star movement. Cleaned up nicely and runs great. The other parts were just a bonus to the lot. I like Free.
     
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  13. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

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    I don't have this issue.

    I know what I'm willing to pay. Usually that's at or just below a fair price. Not cheap nor retail, but fair. I also don't snipe but use the auto-bid feature if the auction house/site has it.

    If someone thinks it's worth more than my assessment of fair value, and IMO wants to overpay for the item, let them.
     
  14. Rhett Lucke

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    A friend and mentor told me years ago, "don't worry about the ones you don't get - there are more watches out there than most of us have the money to buy".

    I try to remind myself of these words whenever I come up short on a bid.
     
  15. terry hall

    terry hall Registered User
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    True True True !!!
     
  16. Christopher Burris

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    I know I'm bidding against people from this website, people I have nothing but respect for and if I see them post the watch, I'm pleased it went to them and feel bad I ran the price up on them. I always minimum bid when I find a watch I'm interested in, just to add it to my bidding list...If I really want it I set my phone alarm to remind me when the action is ending. Then I snipe it with my best offer, win or lose. No regrets.
     
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  17. johnnypocket

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    #17 johnnypocket, Oct 22, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
    I too am a collector in the post computer auction world, I imagine it was a lot harder in the pre-internet days to expand and narrow searches quickly, but i'm sure in many ways more fun to actually hunt and pounce at marts and regionals and deal with sellers face to face. Trust me I too am part of the push a button and wait for the dogs to bark, but think I would have enjoyed the old school world of collecting. I do attend the marts, search auctions and flea markets to experience the fun of the run. I am trying to experience the best of both worlds. On the OP I too have been sniped so many times its hard to count, but like Rob said, I also set the price and need to step away when it tops it. The ability to join in so quickly and on so many makes you take a step back and regroup. I had to refocus my collecting avenues and my pursuits of interest a few times or we'd be in the poor house (but we would know what time it is...lol). Its so easy to want them all.
     
  18. GeneJockey

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    When I first started collecting Elgins, I passed on a listing for a wristwatch with a Grade 605 movement, because it was earlier than the watches I was then collecting (post-1956 711 and 730 series).

    Most folks don't know this - and I didn't then - but before Elgin released the Grade 607 "Bumper" Automatic, there was the Grade 605. It was also a Bumper Automatic. We don't have any evidence they ever sold it. It appears in the serial number lists, and occasionally 605 plates with serial numbers come up, but in almost 10 years of collecting Elgins, I have only seen that one 605 as a complete watch. And I didn't buy it, or capture any pictures, so I sometimes think I imagined it....
     
  19. Clint Geller

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    #19 Clint Geller, Oct 28, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
    Rob, You have to remember that just because a watch sells for one click more than you were willing to go doesn't mean you could have bought it for just one, or even two clicks more. Unless you know the winning bidder and can talk with him afterwards, you don't know how much higher he/she would have gone if pushed. So if you had bid higher, you might not have gotten the watch anyway, and you might just have made a market for that same kind of watch at a higher price. Also, consider that if you win every auction you bid in, it probably means you are bidding too high. Of the last four auctions I bid in, I won only two, even though I made what I considered to be strong bids in all four. It's always disappointing when I don't get a watch I want, but it would make me nervous to think that I was the only one chasing that kind of watch. As it happens, the two watches I missed went to other NAWCC members who kindly identified themselves to me and made their watches available for the Civil War timepiece exhibit in Columbia. The two auction lots I managed to win recently have both been shown here: a 19 jewel American Watch Company Grade Model 1888 marked nonmagnetic with a rare double sunk glass enamel dial with blue radial numerals (that one was on eBay), and an A P Walsh pocket chronometer with original mahogany box and chain (at J&H).
     
  20. Clint Geller

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    Rob, upon reading your OP more carefully, I see now that your frustration is with not bidding when you meant to bid, or not bidding as much as you wanted to bid, which is, of course, a different frustration than the one I was addressing. I was multitasking while I was posting. Always risky.
     
  21. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    I don't have a problem with you expounding on it in any way. It is related to the topic because I do believe some people
    think they have missed a watch for $X dollars when the other bidder could have a high bid thats $200
    dollars higher than yours and still win by one dollar. I was just having fun with this topic, I'm not really very upset.:)


    Rob
     
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  22. Jim Haney

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    The only REASON that we miss a watch is that we didn't bid enough, so the only one to blame is ourselves.

    :eek:I spend a lot of time blaming myself:rolleyes:
     
  23. Greg Frauenhoff

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    In the "old days" (before ebay and other online auctions became the most popular way to buy watches) I can remember waiting for mailing lists from various dealers to arrive at my mailbox and eagerly calling them up to put a hold on watch. More often than not it was already sold. With ebay and other online venues the problem is too many watches (could there be such a thing as too many watches?). If they "get away" it's because someone was willing to pay more not because someone got their mailing list sooner.
     
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  24. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    The Marts near me work like your old mailing list. There is a mad dash around
    the room(even before the mart opens) while tables are being set up.
    Some people hold off setting up so they can run around and find the best deals.



    Rob
     
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  25. johnnypocket

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    #25 johnnypocket, Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
    The Computer does make the world smaller and a lot easier to expand our collections faster. I do enjoy the marts as well as other venues searches. The hunt and face to face add to the fun sometimes. Only issue I see with the local chapter marts is it seems its the same 10 vendors with the same stock each time. Mostly books bands and clocks. Not many PW and most need attention. I guess even the internet is effecting who feels this way of selling is not in their best interest. I haven't attended a regional or national yet, but i have seen photos and it appears to draw many vendors, so I look forward to that. No matter how we add them, i still consider it a privilege to own them and make sure they see new generations beyond ours.
     
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  26. Bruce Alexander

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    Hey Rob,
    Is there any particular reason that you don't use Sniper Services?
    Sure, you pay a small premium for them, but being able to set your maximum bid well ahead of the close and not having to worry about local glitches are very useful advantages, in my opinion anyway.
    Congrats on your latest acquisition.
    Regards,
    Bruce
     
  27. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    No real reason other than I'm not sure which one to use.I have read about them
    on their web sites and it does look like a good service.


    Rob
     
  28. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Rob,

    I know there are several. Personally I've always been happy with EZSniper.com for eBay so I've never looked at the others. You should check them all out. EZSniper has several "subscription" or pay per bid options to better suit one's level of activity. I've probably been using them for 6-7 years now and they've never missed placing a bid for me unless I've already been outbid when the time comes. For me, another advantage is that I'm not tempted to go beyond my maximum bid. If I think I'll be tempted to up my bid based on activity, I'll sometimes set up the Snipe and stop watching the auction. If I win, GREAT. If I lose out, well, I'll find out in due time.

    Some folks just like the excitement of the hunt. Believe me, I get that. I've had my share of times being the biggest fool in the room. :chuckling: I prefer the fire-and-forget approach of the Sniper services. In addition, it's not necessarily an either, or proposition. You can still bid live and not have your Sniper bid you up. In that sense it's kind of like a belt and suspenders approach. If your live bid is the winner, your Sniper account is not charged just so long as you live bid before your automated bid is submitted. For example, I believe you can set up your Sniper account to submit your automated bid 3 seconds before the end of the auction (you have control over the timing...although they recommend that you set your bids no latter than 3 seconds before the hammer drops...their default), and then you place a live winning bid 4-5 seconds before the end of the listing. If something happens on your end and you're not able to place an intended live bid, you won't miss out.

    It's just another app/tool. I believe they still give you three free bids to see if you like the Service.

    Worth a look in my opinion.

    Have fun.

    Bruce
     
  29. Clint Geller

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    #29 Clint Geller, Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
    I remember snagging great deals in the first few minutes after a Mart opened, but I also remember snagging some great deals fairly late in the day that were sitting out on tables right near very knowledgeable people. On another thread, I recently showed a Dennison Howard & Davis in a very rare solid gold BWCo case. That one was a case in point (no pun intended). More recently, I bought an 18K Waltham AT&Co grade 16 Size KW with an end-of-war presentation on it to a semi-famous Union brigadier general from his troops for $2,500. That one had been sitting out on someone’s table all day. I’m sure I’ve shown that one here before too. Right now, both those watches are in Columbia. So I guess my point is that it may be even more important to have a little more information when you get there, than to get there first.
     
  30. Keith R...

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    #30 Keith R..., Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
    Safe bet, 1.5 x aggregate of ground game + 10 percent.

    Example, $100 X 1.5 + .10 = $165. **Assumes your aggrgate is an anticipated $100.

    (One must assume what 5 interested bidders are willing to bid in ground game,
    then account for 3 to 5 snipers).

    PS........Works for me.

    Keith R...
     
  31. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    That's a little too complicated for me(sounds like I'm buying and selling options)..
    I just pick the highest price I'm willing to pay and put that number in at the very end. If
    I don't win than so be it.


    Rob
     
  32. Keith R...

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    #32 Keith R..., Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
    Probably right Rob, but I usually bid on watches that are scarce, once per month
    and the formula excludes gold.

    "Value is determined when received at home and runs, looks as shown".

    Keith R...
     
  33. Clint Geller

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    When deciding how much to bid, I try to imagine how I would feel if I were to lose the watch for one bid increment beyond my max bid. If I feel only slightly more disappointment than relief, I'm probably in the right place.
     
  34. Kevin Neathery

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    I have lost out on some watches just based on budget. I will move finances around though when it comes to some watches. When there is one I consider significant to me, and means are available, I will bid until I win....even beyond the current market value. I see the current market as complete mush in prices. There are few options at this point that either they will sink more or go up. But even with that said, I will bid for something just to have it in the collection for history or just to get a in depth study of it.

    The reasons behind a buy are more to me than a dollar amount and a watch. I buy a history, a piece to research, something to learn about....when I try to weigh that up against money, there is no price high enough. Untill the wallet says no! Lol

    But that is why when I miss one I get down for a short bit. It is the loss at the chance to dig further into a particular watch. Yes I could research without the watch but that is nowhere near as fun. The holding a piece of watch history as you unfold the learning is extremely important to me. Once I have documented as much as I can, it then has a file to go with it wherever it goes after me.

    So missing one is never a positive to me, just reinforces that I will let any more slip by....but I like to focus on ones that don't show up often so bidding is less frequent.
     
  35. Greg Frauenhoff

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    Kevin,

    Good to see you back on the board.

    I too enjoy snagging and then researching/learning about the occasional odd ball piece that comes my way. One such I bought recently is a 10 size US of Marion key wind mvt. These mvts are not something I would normally pursue but it was there and cheap enough. It turns out, after consulting Muir/Kraus and Ehrhardt et al., to be a rather rare example. Not that it's worth a whole bunch.

    Greg
     
  36. Kevin Neathery

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    Thanks Greg.

    I have gone after movements just because they were unusual. They are usually under priced in my opinion for what they are. Sometimes it is like saying the Mona Lisa is not worth as much because it is not in the original frame. Sometimes a movement is amazing and while a original case would have been nice, there is no way to go back in time and get that back. When you find a truly rare one uncased, the case means less. Let say someone finds the first Hamilton 16s serial uncased. Do they pass it up because of the lack of an original case? Deduct a large value due to a missing case? The case in some instances is overshadowed by the significance of the movement. At least that is how I see it.
     
  37. rrwatch

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    Sometimes the "one that got away" comes back again. In July 1990 a major catalog seller had a rare (and expensive) Seth Thomas Maiden Lane that I really wanted. Back then the finances just wouldn't work and I had to pass on the watch. Fast forward to July 2011 and the exact same watch resurfaces on eBay. The watch now happily resides in my collection, and to this day I've never seen another one.
     
  38. musicguy

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  39. Greg Frauenhoff

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  40. Clint Geller

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    Like you, Kevin, I too buy watches for my own satisfaction with only secondary consideration of their resale value. Like most collectors, I have gotten some bargains and I have knowingly paid beyond market prices on others. However, like almost all people, my financial resources are finite, so I do consider whether buying a particular watch today might make it impossible for me to buy another watch that I might want more tomorrow. That's how price still enters into the equation for me.
     
  41. Kevin Neathery

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    Very good idea Clint. I wish that logic worked for me. I always believe another great watch I will want is around the corner. If I waited though I would never buy a watch thinking better will be around the corner. The only way I get through it....I buy to a point and then bury my head in the sand. I stop hunting. It is like going cold turkey but it allows me to delve into what I do have and then once that is exhausted, it will be time to hunt again. The one rule is, don't look back at what you missed. You may miss some amazing watches, but there is that one around the corner still.
     
  42. Clint Geller

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    Kevin, I am blessed with friends who will call my attention to watches in upcoming auctions in which they think I might be interested. So I don’t really even have the possibility of secluding myself from the market. Besides, Civil War provenance watches, which are my main focus, seem to present themselves to me for sale at the rate of several per year, so when one comes up, I consider what I already have and decide whether I want to go after it, knowing with certainty that others will be along. And I also buy other early American watches and English pocket chronometers, so there are always more watches out there available to buy in a year than I have money with which to buy them.
     
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  43. Clint Geller

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    Ed, have you shown this watch before? What is its unique feature? Thanks.
     
  44. rrwatch

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    Watchmaker
    Pooler, GA USA
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    Its in the middle of the single run of 17 jewel Maiden Lane movements (505,5XX), but has been factory upgraded to 22 jewels ((Cap jewels on the pallet and escape arbors and a single jewel on the upper barrel arbor.) All plate and balance wheel numbers match . Jewel count is NOT marked on the 17 and 21 jeweled M.L. movements, but is on the 24 and 25 jewel movements that were made later.
    I believe that I have shown this movement before on the bulletin board.
     
    Clint Geller likes this.

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