Author Topic: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction  (Read 2754 times)

Offline Dennis Markham

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Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« on: June 17, 2010, 09:19:10 PM »
Here's a classic.  One bidder bids on June 14th.  Possibly bidding enough to cover all bids but hoping it stays low.  Bidder #2 comes along today and bids 18 times until NEARLY reaching the top, then quits.  Bidder #1 get the item....for $148!

http://tinyurl.com/27g6489


At the Mason, MI phone show in April a collector was selling #4 dials for $40 each.  I've never seen one go this high.  The box implies it is an original box, or new in the box maybe?  The seller never says it's new or that it's the original box.  The seller just says it's an "Original Western Electric dial".....which it is.


Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2010, 12:05:06 AM »
Shill bidder.
D/P

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Offline Come in Nighthawk

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2010, 03:43:32 PM »

 ??? Wow.  And you say these dials go at shows (if you can get to a show) for a 'mere' 40 bux???

Reminds me of the thread lamenting the BSP collection that went the other day for two C notes and two grand!!!   ::)

I really don't understand the value folks put on stuff in this hobby.  I guess I'll learn though!!  :D


Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 02:46:42 PM »
By the painted Governor, I would say definitely a refurb.
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 04:04:27 PM »
It would not be a good idea to paint the governor housing with or without the governor installed.  I do not think Ma Bell or a real refurb shop would have painted the governor part of the dial back.  Probably some hack in his garage with a rattle can of black paint.
-Bill G

Offline Bill Cahill

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2010, 10:04:59 PM »
That's insane! Guess I'm in the wrong hobby.....  :(
Bill Cahill

"My friends used to keep saying I had batts in my belfry. No. I'm just hearing bells....."

Offline Come in Nighthawk

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 09:38:41 AM »

 ???

You know, I've been curious about this auction since it was brought up.   ::)  Especially as "I" need a couple #4 dials, and this episode scared the be-geezuz out of me as I am not made of money!  It also scares me as phone shows with amiable vendors flogging #4 dials for 40 bux don't seem to happen in my AO...  'Course I'm a newbie, so maybe I've simply missed the biannual show a mere 150 miles away which will be back in Jan. 2012!!  ;D

ANY-way, I'm not an expert on eBay, but, as "I" read the bid history, it looks to me like Bidder #1 made his/her first bid on June Twelfth (12th), and as noted, may have bid "enough to cover all bids but hoping it stays low."  Bidder #2 (NOT #1) came along two days later on June 14th and, as my Brit friends would say, "gazzumped" Bidder #1.  Maybe #1 didn't notice for two days after that (didn't see an outbid email msg from eBay?), or was away on business, or was/is a college kid taking exams (I don't know, ARE their youngsters in this hobby?)?  Regardless, #1 upon rebidding doesn't bust the ceiling.  It looks like they first came back on the 16th, and came back again on the 17th.  Maybe they had to wait 'til after mid-month payday?  Or after getting a loan?  ???

Yeah, it does appear they "shinnied up the tree," rather than making one BOLD bid, but then perhaps rather than being a shill for the seller, that's only an indication that they didn't have a lot of cash and so were hoping (quite a few times, obviously!!) that just a few more pesos would see them clear?  Anyway, yes, it does appear they either gave up in exasperation, or disgust, or, simply ran out of money.  Yup, Bidder # TWO (not #1 as I read the tea leaves) got the item....  for a LOT of Bongo-bux.  EBay tells bidders to be sure not to bid higher than they feel an item is worth, and more than they can afford.  OBVIOUSLY, Bidder #2 felt this dial was worth 148 bux  :o (or MORE -- we'll never know, since Bidder #1 gave up).  Clearly, the original Bidder, #1, didn't think it was worth that much, or as I say, maybe he/she ran out of money. 

I'll hasten to add, I am assuming (and you know what that means but I won't digress as there are children present  ;D)... I am assuming there were only two bidders, the original #1, and #2 who won his/her prize.  Since eBay protects bidder IDs, its hard to be sure "s***k" and "b***z" are really just two people, but two is all I see.    ::)

Anyway, just my duo dinarii.  Oh, and I guess we'll know if Bidder #2 was a shill for the seller if this dial reappears for auction, eh???  :D  Hmm, I wonder if Bidder #1 ever got a #4 dial, or will be tempted to bid on this puppy if it comes back up??  Maybe they have read this thread and are scanning the world-wide-wait as I type, looking for a show to go to to buy one for 40 bux instead of trying to outbid Bidder #2 or his/her ilk?  I know this episode has ME scanning for shows, as "I" don't have that kind of cash for one dial!!   If they're reading this, I wish Bidder #1 well in whatever project they needed that dial for!  :)

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2010, 10:23:39 AM »
After reading your posting CIN, I looked at the bidding history again.  I was mistaken in that the eventual winner WAS the initial bidder on June 12.  Then #2 placed his large bid and #1 went back and shinnied up the tree as you said.  Never mind..... :)

Offline Come in Nighthawk

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2010, 10:49:17 AM »
After reading your posting CIN, I looked at the bidding history again.  I was mistaken in that the eventual winner WAS the initial bidder on June 12.  Then #2 placed his large bid and #1 went back and shinnied up the tree as you said.  Never mind..... :)

Not at all Dennis.  I'm never sure I really understand how to read bid history.  But as there were only two bidders (as I saw it) this one was easier to read.  And this one was really scary!!  :o I'm glad you pointed it out!! 

As a newbie, I frankly thought this was a quiet little niche in collecting.  I've always loved old phones (and weird ones too -- to Americans that is, having been stationed in GE and the UK in my mediocre military career).  I'd entertained hopes of a few quick acquisitions on eBay.  :D  I was soon disabused of that silly notion, becoming fully aware after my first phone arrived and I explored it, that it was going to take a BIT longer to acquire some parts and "build" my dream phone (or three).  My goal is a B-1 and a D-1 phone, each with parts all dated in the 1930s (I've already given up hope of ever affording an A-1, and of getting parts for the B-1 all dated to 1928-29!!)

Anyway, now, in addition to seeing it'll take me a while to get the 1930s parts (either individually, or by swapping bits between phones and selling off the surplus), I now see there is JUST a BIT of the "cutthroat" here too -- at least on "evil Bay!"  ::)

Well, prĉmonitus prĉmunitus est!  Eh?  ???  Cheers!  Duane

Offline McHeath

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2010, 01:20:31 PM »
E-Bay is a finnicky lover CIN.  One day you score a massively good phone deal for a great price, the next you are shocked that a third rate phone went for enough to buy a decent VW bug. 

While old phones are certainly attracting a lot of interest these days, and fighting over a rare one can be brutal on E-Bay, there are sweet deals to be had.  Even online stuff slips by and you can land a good phone for little to nothing.  The best hunting grounds for in person shopping seems to be the mid-west and Oregon, from what I've noted here.  Folks in those regions are often finding the cherry picks for great prices when they go thrift storing or yard salein'. 

I've only been to one phone show and it was amazing, the deals were shockingly good.  One guy had a table full of Princess phones, pick one for 3 bucks or two for 5.  F series handsets for 5 bucks each.  A subset box with ringer for 5 dollars.  Whole early model 554's for 1 dollar each, dirty and needed cleanup.  I should have bought more but was being cautious for some reason. 

Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2010, 01:26:18 PM »
  The best hunting grounds for in person shopping seems to be the mid-west and Oregon, from what I've noted here.  Folks in those regions are often finding the cherry picks for great prices when they go thrift storing or yard salein'. 

I've only been to one phone show and it was amazing, the deals were shockingly good.  One guy had a table full of Princess phones, pick one for 3 bucks or two for 5.  F series handsets for 5 bucks each.  A subset box with ringer for 5 dollars.  Whole early model 554's for 1 dollar each, dirty and needed cleanup.  I should have bought more but was being cautious for some reason. 

McHeath,
The show prices you are qouting seem to be typical prices at the shows.
These prices have been holding steady for years. There are also a lot of good 500, princess phones, and assorted black rotaries in the $30-50 price range.

Jim
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Offline Come in Nighthawk

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Re: Western Electric #4 Dial - Another High eBay Auction
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2010, 02:08:22 PM »

Thanks!  My own interests are to phones predating the end of WW2 (1945), and especially to phones of the 1930s (the Depression-era).  I'll keep looking!! 
:D