Saturday, April 24, 2010

Auction Mania

Just the other day during a bout with the acquisition blues, out of desperation, I typed “BOTTLE AUCTION” into my search engine. Wow! What a surprise. Did you know that everybody and his brother are auctioning bottles online now a days?

When it comes to online auctions, whether it’s bottles or smoked bacon, ebay be king. At any one time ebay has between 5,000 and 10,000 antique bottles up for your bidding consideration.
Yep, you read that right - 5 to 10K, that’s a lot of antique bottles amigo.

Even though ebay has a massive volume of bottles for sale and a gigantic amount of exposure the buying public still perceives it as a “rummage sale” or “bargain basement” type of auction house and expects to pay less for an object then you would at a bottle show. That type of mentality makes selling high end bottles on ebay a risky proposition. I just find it hard to believe that folks still think they are going to find a rare and desirable bottle for a bargain price on a site that over 100 million people look at daily. In my book that's the definition of optimism.

American Bottle Auctions and Glass Works Auctions seem to be the “go to” auction houses for serious collectors of early glass and offer bidders everything from high end items to regional bottles and go-withs that a lot of glass collectors specialize in.

If that’s not enough auction action for you back east there’s Norman Heckler, Glass Discoveries, Pole Top Discoveries, a perfume bottle auction starting on April 30th and an outfit called Auction Zip offering more bottles for your purchasing enjoyment..

And here out west we have an upcoming ebay style auction on the Old West Bottle site and, believe it or not, a non auction site. Oregon Trail Antique Bottles and Glass's format is interesting in that you can pay the asking price on the bottle or make an offer. I wonder how many people pay the asking price without making an offer. I wonder if anyone has ever offered more than the asking price. I wonder what happens if two people offer the same amount, does it go into an auction type situation? Maybe I wonder too much.

The only problem I have with online auctions is the lack of instant gratification. When I buy something I want to pick it up and take it with me. But then I guess I’m just old fashioned.


  1. RICK:

    A couple of more Auction houses.




    NORTH AMERICAN GLASS (Greg Spurgeon)

    There have been times of late when 3 or 4 auctions are going on at once!

  2. In regards to my website;, There have been several items purchased at asking price. As you may know, I post the selling price on every item for transparency. I have never had an item sell for more than asking price, and cannot understand why anyone would offer more than the price asked. The site is similar to a bottle show. You see the price, and either buy the piece, or offer the seller a lower price. Once the agreement is made, you walk off with your item, and it is no longer available for sale. At a show, once a bottle is sold, the new owner owns it...if someone comes along later and states they would have paid more, the seller does not reposses the bottle and re sell it. On my site, once an agreement is reached, it's over.
    There are tmes when two collectors offer the same amount. The item goes to the first offer if it is accepted by the seller. The first offer is easy to ascertain as it is via email. This is not an auction site. It's an online bottle show with the same dynamics essentially. So far, so good. I try to keep alot of transparency, as ethics is the most important aspect os selling collectibles. Trust is earned, and I strive for 100% satisfaction.
    Dale Mlasko

  3. Dale,
    We all have the utmost confidence in your site and your individual integrity. I would like all of the followers of this site to know that I have personally consigned items to your Oregon Trails Bottle site and was very pleased with the results. If my post rubbed you the wrong way I apologize.