tale of a BIN

I will preface this blog entry, by explaining that I had nothing to do with this (although, I wish I had).

On November 2nd, an odd lot of corkscrew was listed on eBay with a opening price of 9.99. I had actually seen the lot, and noticed a really odd corkscrew. I went about my day, wondering what the hell it was. Could it be a marriage of parts? It definitely was odd looking.

Thirty minutes later the item was revised with a Buy It Now for 50.00.

However, the Buy it Now button didn’t get clicked for three minutes!

I was already on to other activities, when this all happened, and had I seen the Buy it Now, I would have taken a chance. However, I didn’t. And, to the victor go the spoils…

With a few weeks having passed, I had forgotten about the odd lot of corkscrews, until on November 30th, when the odd corkscrew resurfaced on eBay. This time with a starting price of $ 5000.00. And, ultimately ending a week later at almost $ 8,000.00. That is quite a nice little profit.

In talking with RL about the odd corkscrew, he asked if I had seen the pre-revised listing. I explained that I had, however, I hadn’t ever seen that particular corkscrew before. So, I started going through the various books. And, on page 146 of de Sanctis and Fantoni’s “Cavatappi” pictured is a very similar corkscrew.

Knowing who the Binner (and ultimately the re-seller) was, I dropped him a line to see if he knew what he was buying, or if he was merely taking a chance. He responded with:

“I saw it when it was listed and e-mailed the seller for a buy it now price. I did not give the seller a price though. About an hour later I got an e-mail from the seller saying 2 others had asked to put a buy it now price on the item so she added a 50.00 buy it now price. I guess I was the first one e-mailed about the buy it now price so I went to the item and pushed the button before anyone else did and it was mine. The seller insinuated that the other buyers were quite disappointed about not getting the item.
When i saw the listing I remembered seeing the piece in fantoni and de sanctis’s book but had never seen it anywhere else. Not being an expert on german corkscrews I really did not know its value but for
50.00 you could not go wrong. I researched the piece with no results. Seeing the high prices on rare corkscrews lately on ebay and at the ICCauction I just guessed at a 5000.00 starting price. Thanks to a
german collector and of course fotodeal it got a great price…”

(The unnamed Binner, did say I would publish this).

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