Thursday, 16 August 2007
I don’t buy or sell on e-Bay. I prefer trading and I like to find things. I try not to search for anything, I just pick up whatever crosses my path. I discovered that this, at least for me, works better than searching.
Many of my record collecting friends spend a lot of time and money on e-Bay. (And strange as it sounds, many of them also complain that things used to be better or more exiting before e-Bay.)
I like stories. People who live on the edge of things, as some collectors do, often encounter weird situations. I love to hear their stories! (Recently I read this great story, for example. You have to scroll to 10-08-2007.) Harrie Berkhout is one of the people in my life who can tell these stories. A favourite story is one about e-Bay, which happened in the first half of this year. I am not good at details, but I will try to tell it as I heard it.
Harrie sells records on e-Bay and keeps track of what records sell and for what prices. One day he noticed that somebody in America paid a large sum of money for a record that was totally not collectable. Later the same guy bought a similar record for a similar ridiculous price. Both records were recordings of Dutch boy sopranos and the prices paid were above 100 dollars. Harrie put up some other boy soprano records on e-Bay and to his amazement he sold some of them for prices that seemed too good to be true, up to 200 dollars. All to the same guy, or girl, because he didn’t know who did this. It was also unclear why he bought these records. He didn’t buy all of them. It was clear that he was after boy sopranos, but why ?
On some sleeves, but not all, the open mouths of the little boys attract attention. So it seemed not unlikely that their was a sexual motive behind this absurd sells. But Harrie could not figure out what was going on. In the mean time others also noticed this sudden interest in these records, and offered their stuff on e-Bay too. There was only one person interested in these records, so it was very strange that he offered so much more money than he should have. The problem was that these records were hard to find. Not because they were rare, but because nobody had ever wanted them. Harrie and many other people literally scored all second hand stores in Holland to find them.
After a while the guy stopped buying, just as sudden as he began. Harrie alone made over 25.000 dollar on this one guy with these records, and he calculated that this mysterious record collector spent over 250.000 dollar within a few months, on reords with a total value of less than 100 dollar. I love the fact that nobody knows who, why or what was going on here. It is completely ridiculous!
If you happen to know more of this story, please let me know!
Because I am not going to let you hear one of my boy soprano records, I closed my eyes and picked a random 45 from my instrumental shelve. Here is Perez Pillar with Bostella express.