Piano and nickelodeon roll collectors are not the only ones in the
hobby who lose all sense of true value when it comes to something
they've _got_ to have. Over in the phonograph arena, check out the
prices that 5000 series Edison Blue Amberol cylinder records have
been going for. While it's wonderful for us all that eBay can bring
together buyers and sellers from all 'round the globe that we'd
otherwise never meet, it has the down side of pitting two collectors
against each other in a bidding war.
However, it can be fun for those of us with less "disposable income"
to sit back and watch the bidding wars with a bemused smile, especially
if sitting on the table next to our computer is another copy of the
very piano roll -- or phono record or whatever that is being fought
over -- that we picked up in a dusty box at some flea market for $5!
All that being said, there's still bargains a'plenty on eBay, but it's
all a matter of timing, and of being willing to dig down into the virtual
"dusty boxes" of the hundreds of categories. My personal "find of the
century" (okay, maybe "find of the year") was paying 99 cents (the
opening bid) for a "children's xylophone like you used in kindergarten"
that was in reality a beautiful 4-bar Deagan dinner chime. The shipping
was $7, but since the seller lived nearby, I even was able to dispense
with that, since I went over and picked it up personally. Similar
models of the chimes have been selling on eBay for $120-200 (for whatever
that's worth), but for 99 cents I was a happy guy no matter what it's
Jim Canavan (eBay feedback 233... Oops, did I really buy that much?!)