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Old 11-29-2012, 08:52 PM
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I was just reviewing the antique S&W's in the upcoming 11/30 RIA auction. I am having difficulty with quite a number of the "estimated" prices they will bring. In particular one # 1 1/2 .32 CF with red mottled stocks (#1385) est $2000 - $3000. I have one that is is as good or better condition, and I wouldn't value it near that. Have the values of these gone up so much I am way behind the times?

For comparison this is mine.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:10 AM
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Hi H Richard,
I am a rookie, and certainly no expert, but I do like my antique Smiths. I share your opinion on the estimates listed there.

While someone certainly will pay that amount, for whatever reason, I could not make myself dish out anything near that, unless it was pretty special (NIB, lettered, w/history, possibly factory engraved and then shipped to Norway, and maybe even not then...... )I just had a shot at buying one exactly like the one nice gun pictured, but with less (about 70%) finish, for $1K, but decided against it.

It will be interesting to see what happens here, but I don't think it will indicate a market trend (hopefully!!)

PS: Beautiful revolver you have. Congrats! I am looking for one just like it, hence being up to date on RIA...the collection taking an (expensive) turn from nickel to blue.....

K
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:35 AM
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H Richard - that is the one you should reference when trying to justify your asking price when you sell. "It must be worth $3000 - I saw one for sale on the Internet for that price!!!" You know people can ask whatever they want, or in the case of this auction "estimate whatever they want", but the proof will be in the sale price.

I think Rock Island can have some affect on the sale prices for their guns by pumping up the value estimates. If you look at some of the other items in their auction, you see some pretty high estimates on other guns that I am sure I could find for less elsewhere.

There is good news for this auction and I hope it continues at RI. Maybe they got the message about selling multiple guns in lots, since this Forum had a few discussions complaining about the practice.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:13 AM
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I was part of that discussion on the multiple guns per lot. I did see a few, but very few compared to previous auctions. Lets hope they continue t keep up to individual items. How often are they scheduling auctions now? They just had last month. Are they going monthly, or just when they have enough. I did see some that if I recall correctly were in a previous auction. Either they didn't meet reserve or the purchaser is trying to turn around for a quick profit.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:42 PM
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Rock Island Auctions publishes all the actual selling prices from their auctions online. It might be interesting to see what that particular gun actually sells for this weekend.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:17 PM
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In case you missed it, the 32 SA sold as below:
Attractive Smith & Wesson Model 1 1/2 32 Centerfire Single
Action Revolver with Rare Red Mottled Grips and original box
Estimate: $2000 - 3000
Sold for: $1,700.00

Also, a nice 38 Perfected sold on the high side.
Outstanding Smith & Wesson Perfected Model 38 Double
Action Top Break Revolver
Estimate: $1000 - 1800
Sold for: $2,250.00

Interesting that most S&Ws are going for less than the low estimate.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:29 PM
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Well guys, you know what a bidding war can look like. Actual value has absolutely nothing to do with the selling price. Then when a similar item shows up, they use the history of the item for estimates. Remember, although to most of us, it is like GA, GB, or GI, but there is a live auction for these items as well as our proxibids, and I have been to auctions where a collector comes for a specific item that he/she needs to complete a collection, and they come financially prepared to go home with the item. I have had a RIA membership for years, and those predicted prices are to get the starting bids at a high level. That is how they make money, by percentages of the selling price. The first gun that I bidded on was a cased 3.5 27-2, I can't remember what their estimate was, but the price went way above it. Later, I have failed to bid according to projected prices, and would have bid higher than the item sold for. DLB
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:20 PM
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I think the lesson here is to put your good guns in an auction when you want to get top prices. I had similar guns for sale on my table at the last S&WCA annual meeting for 1/2 the prices RIA got, and I didn't offers high enough to accept. Now that everyone knows these guns are worth twice what I thought, I'll double my prices and sell out in 2013 at Kansas City, right? Ed.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:40 PM
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Saw this on TV. " Hello, I'm looking for a shirt for my husband for his birthday", "OK Ma'am, what size does he wear?", "he wears a large", "how do you like this one?", "perfect, I love it, how much does it cost?", "$25 ma'am", "well, I was looking for something a little more expensive", "OK, it cost $100", "great, I'll take it. Does that include gift wrapping?" Sometimes gun sales are like that. When I was in my late teens, I worked for a guy putting up ceramic tile. He charged about twice what a lot of his competitors charged, however he was always busy with jobs. I asked one day how he stayed so busy, when people knew that he charged more. His answer was, " to some people, bragging about what they paid for something is more important than the value of the item or service. I try to cater to those needs". I see a lot of folks on this forum with questions about what some gun or other item is worth. Honestly, you may as well ask the meaning of life. Something is worth what someone will pay for it. That was true yesterday, it is true today, and will be true tomorrow. It is really that simple. My 2 cents worth. DLB

Merry Christmas

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Old 12-01-2012, 08:25 PM
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I just told my wife that if I drop dead, to be sure to take my stuff to RIA to sell.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:32 AM
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Richard, Ed, and others

There is another aspect to the prices at RIA. I know for a fact that certainly some,
and sometimes a lot, of the items don't really sell. Some, and sometimes more than
some, have undisclosed minimum prices. If they can't get that minimum, it won't
sell. On occasion, they can make it look like it sold, but it didn't . Sometimes there
will be a written bid that is below the minimum, but that is where the auction will
start. If no one else bids, it will look like it sold, but it didn't .

The real test of all of this is to keep track of what is offered when, and then pay
attention to subsequent auctions. I have noticed the same guns showing up over
and over and over. Clearly, they didn't sell at the earlier auction.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
I have noticed the same guns showing up over
and over and over. Clearly, they didn't sell at the earlier auction.
I HAVE A C&R license, and get annoyed when an eligible gun (or two) that I want is bundled with modern pieces that I have no interest in. Although I have not yet taken advantage, RIA has offered to ship the guns I want and hold the rest of the lot to be offered in a future auction. They may ask for additional guns to be added, if the feel what's left over doesn't meet their criteria for minimum lot.
This, of course, is a totally different situation than an expensive item failing to sell.

Bob

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Old 12-02-2012, 12:53 PM
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Bob

They are not really holding the unwanted guns. More than likely, they are asking you
to pay for your entire lot, and then inviting you to consign the guns you don't want
to them. What you are really saving is the shipping costs to you, and back to them,
for the guns you didn't want.

Its not a bad deal, but I think that is what is going on.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:14 PM
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I bought three Club Guns that didn't sell at two different auction houses.
They were offered at one auction house where they didn't sell.
They appeared at another auction house less than a year later, with a lower selling estimate.
I bought one and didn't bid on the other two because, quite frankly I didn't have the money and I thought the estimate was high. The two I didn't bid one were in the very next auction with the exact same description, I got them at the lower high estimate, which I thought was a fair price.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:13 AM
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Sometimes policies, procedures and house practices ...or a suspicious set of events that happen seem "questionable". e.g the $140,000 small frame New Haven volcanic pistol at Rock Island in December 2007. There were many more ... I'm sure we've all got auction stories of our own, however, situations like that reinforce my appreciation of a vendor or fellow member with an incredibly nice piece for sale and the longing to prefer to pay a higher price to a fellow member or with a vendor at one of the better shows, e.g. Tulsa, Baltimore, Las Vegas, etc. I very much appreciated the sealed bid auctions sponsored, in the past, by the S&WCA for the Estates of fellow members who have passed on. I purchased several very nice pieces from the Wayne Betz auction, years back. None were cheap but all were nice, and AS described and stated. There were items I pursued for decades in that auction, this was just at the blooming age or internet access in infant stages. Bids were written and mailed to Ray Cheely who was one of the coordinators. I hope my health keeps me here for a long time yet, however, that is likely the program I would advise my children to take should I pass on ... like sometime AFTER the year 2050 I hope.


Sal Raimondi, S&W CA #1300
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:18 AM
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Oh, and I've specifically left instructions that if any more than 2 of the certain scarce model I was to list with them ... was to be in that same auction, to withdraw mine prior and send it back. That never happened. And another instance ... same lead in to the story ... instead of getting held for the next major auction were sent to the REGIONAL auction without my permission.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:24 AM
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Mike, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my earlier post. Of course, I was expected to pay for the entire lot up front. What I saved was the shipping and dealer fees for the modern guns I didn't want. If they would sell at the next auction for what I paid (including commission), I would be happy. They have also been open with me in the past about whether the guns would go in the premiere or regional auction. When they combined my less expensive guns into one lot (provided lot description prior to printing catalog), I found that I had some, but not as much as I would have liked, bargaining power.
The bottom line is that, while I love even the guns I am selling, I do not expect to be treated the same as someone consigning $100,000 guns.

Bob
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