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.