Friday, May 1, 2009
A Hummel Lesson Learned The Hard Way
Whenever we visit Dan's parents, we never leave without his mom handing us a box of something she just wants to get rid of. Most of the time they are things we love. However, sometimes they are items that we personally don't have an attraction toward. Such was the case for a box containing 17 Hummels(above photo of all pieces). A series of small table top ceramic figurines that were the original creation of German artist/nun Maria Innocentia Hummel, who sold her first collection in 1935 and have been a hit ever since. 4 of the 17 pieces had a small chip on them which made me consider tossing the box in the trash. After all, Dan's mother said she no longer wanted them and to just get rid of them. Although the pieces are charming, for me, they just aren't "shiny" enough. Yes, I am a big lover of shiny objects. So, Dan and I decided to put all 17 pieces as a group on Ebay. It would be my first time as a seller on Ebay as oppose to buyer. Not really knowing much about the demand for the figurines AND wanting to make sure we could get someone to buy them off our hands, I offered up all of the pieces for $10.00. The bidding was set to end in 5 days. Day 1 & 2, no takers. Day 3, still no bidders, however, if you're not familiar with Ebay, it provides a feature to buyers where they can tag an item they are interested in as "watch this item". This allows them to keep track of the item being sold. For the Ebay seller, he/she can see if potential buyers are watching an item of theirs. Day 3 ended with 2 bidders watching. Day 4, there appeared to be a slight bidding war. 3 bids were offered moving the price from $10.00 to $21.50. I was so relieved someone had offered to buy the pieces AND that I was going to bank $21.50 from them. I did my little happy dance that night. The afternoon of the final day, I decided to see if there was a change or maybe someone had a question about the pieces. The bidding had gone up to $60.00!! Of course I was excited but then I began to wonder if I had been a fool this entire time. This was a thought that crossed my mind when trying to decide on a minimum to start the bid off. Maybe, it would have been prudent to do some research on the pieces that were in good condition. Well, it seems I should have made the extra effort. The bidding ended at $276.00. I was estatic. This was my first item for sale and it was success. However, I later learned from the winning bidder who happened to be a Hummel expert, once he received the items, that several of the pieces that were in perfect condition alone were worth at least $100.00. I didn't need to hear that. Nevertheless, I'm still happy that I was able to make money getting rid of the pieces to someone that I knew would appreciate them. I now have the seller's bug and have since been gathering many unwanted items in the garage and basement for auction.