Nice inks that you won, congradulations.The auction price along with any fees the buyer pays is the current “market” price for the bottle sold. I purchased the two bottles attached from the recent GW auction. The one on the left is perfect and I paid a reasonable price all in based on price ranges for that mold in Joe L. Mathews price guide for TeaKettle Inks. The one on the right has a very small making chip on the neck that was disclosed in description. I didn’t have the mold so was fine to buy a less than perfect example, especially as I got it for the low entry bid.
Auctions are the only real “international/national” marketplace for bottles. Forget about the fees unless you’re the seller. As a buyer, the fess are just part of the total market price. How many bottles weren’t sold at that auction? A few but most of them sold after the auction at reduced prices. I know as I am solicited on those remaining pieces if available after those auctions.
I much prefer the fee based auctions to the Ebay format. The information is much better, more precise as to condition, and you always have a recourse to return if not satisfied. Most important is the bidding format. All these reputable auction houses have rules that prohibit sniping at the last few seconds of a bid and give added time or callbacks if you are outbid near end of auction. I just wish there was better attribution and provenance offered. The bottle on the left had no attribution information but has three different auction house stickers on the bottom with codes. A great auction house would have researched those sales and gave an accounting of past owners and pricing history. This is important as provenance can effect price. At a past Heckler auction, I paid more for an ink than I might have normally except it was from the William Covill collection.
Long winded but I would not have the opportunities to build a collection of my particular interests without them. Just saying.
I have to agree with everything you stated in your post about the auction houses. You bring up some very good points. Would like to see more information on they're bottles as well. Jeff Wichmanns auctions (out in CA) does usually give you more information and a fairly good rating system about they're bottles. However, I don't collect West Coast sodas or mineral waters (those are my main areas of interest).
Ebay can be a nightmare. I have won some very good bottles from them. However, inless you know the seller, your taking a large chance when you've won anything from them. They're support system isn't very supportive and can become a nightmare very easily.
You can win auction house bottles at very good prices, I have. In general. I like the auction houses very much.
Thanks for your post and it wasn't long winded.
For me, I love the bottle club shows and sales. I like that the prices go down when your buying and you actually see the what your buying.
However, this a completely different format.