Notes from the Past

Informed Bidders Know Market Values

Editor's Introduction:  The following continues yesterday's  report concerning results of a survey  of stamp collectors throughout the United States in response to 25,000 questionnaires sent out in 1939 regarding stamp auctions.

In connection with this survey, the opportunity was afforded us by several large auction firms, to inspect the original bid sheets which were submitted on actual sales.  A tabulation of the bids indicates that the average intelligent buyer at auction is so well informed on market values and conditions that the great majority of bids are nearly identical.   As a consequence, on many items there was very little opportunity to save the bidder any money on his bid, and a surprisingly large number go at the full limit of the bid in a perfectly legitimate manner.  There are of course scores of bids in most sales from collectors who send trivial bids, either in the mistaken notion that stamps are practically given away at an auction, or merely as "flyers" in case some lots are overlooked.  On the other hand, specialists who feel they must have a certain item will bid unusually high in order to be certain of obtaining it.  It only requires one other specialist seeking the same item to establish a new high price, and this happens quite frequently.  In such cases, many auctioneers make a practice of giving the name and bid of the underbidder when a lot is knocked down at an unusually high price.

- from "Philatelic Auction Survey"
The Stamp Specialist Volume 1 Part I
November, 1939
H. L. Lindquist, Editor and Publisher

Posted August 9, 1999

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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