Sunday, May 28, 2023

Eight and a Half Hours

A little bird has told me that a recent purchase I made is the source of a great deal of speculation.

Yes, I was the “lucky” soul who managed to score the 1993 BreyerFest Benefit Auction Red Roan Appaloosa Performance Horse on Thursday.

It took me a few seconds to see what I was seeing: that’s no ordinary Appaloosa Performance Horse. Buy It Now? Hella yeah. 

After a couple of tense seconds that felt like hours, the sale went through.

I started hyperventilating. Then I drank a massive amount of Mountain Dew (alcohol was off the table: I had to go to work in a couple of hours) and immediately texted a friend IN ALL CAPS, punctuated by swear words. As one does when someone scores a major grail. 

I’ve achieved a number of Grails in recent years, and the next “big one” I had been aiming for was an early BreyerFest Auction piece. That’s because most of those earlier models were probably actual Test Colors, and on the Vintage molds I prefer. They were what they were, and were not designed specifically to maximize bidding. 

I have also occasionally seen early Auction Tests turn up on eBay (and elsewhere), often misidentified. There was a not implausible hope that I could get lucky someday.

I was at the 1993 Auction; it was one of the few I actually attended, and probably the last where I could have afforded anything. I was in Art School and money was a little scarce, so I did not bid. (Though my BreyerFest roommate that year did.)

Do I remember this specific model from that year? Nope. I don’t remember many Auction Tests, recent and not so: these models slip from my mind, because I know they are not achievable in any way. 

And ultimately, so was this model. 

My ownership ended eight and a half hours later: the sale was canceled around 9 p.m., because “the item was out of stock.” I contacted the seller for more information, and the only explanation I was given was that it was “listed in error”. 

We’ve all had the experience of scoring something fabulous for a song on eBay, only to have the sale canceled a short time later, often when someone tattles after the fact. We’re not the only hobby where that happens, but we’re a small enough community to usually know who the suspects are.

Their story may be true. It may not. All I know is that when this model inevitably reappears, all I’ll be able to do is look away, and think: I owned you, once, for eight and a half hours. 


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. It's happened to me, too, more times than I like to think about. SOMEONE is snitching, and once the hobby figures out who they are, I hope we run them off the rails. :(

I have had honest sellers, too - picked up a pristine woodgrain Mustang for $35 - and the seller honored the sale, and shipped. He is stunning. She even TOLD me someone else contacted her, and she shipped him to me anyway. I made SURE to give good feedback, stating she was honest. I held my breath the whole time until he arrived safely.

Of course, hearing stories of the rarer versions being plucked out of peoples' hands at BF, kids being ripped off of their show prize rarities, nothing really surprises me anymore in this hobby.

ANDREA said...

I wonder if anything happened with the two box lots of boxes that had several near-pristine vintage picture boxes in them that also appeared on eBay later that same day? (I was at work and away from my phone, so I didn't see them until well after work.)

That one hurt, too - it's the last "rare" packaging experiment I don't have in my collection - but I also knew better than to contact the seller after the fact. Someone got a killer deal and I missed it: I've had my turn in the past, and that was that person's, I hope.

And then there was volunteer e-mail that wasn't.

I love roller coasters, but the emotional variety kinda suck.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why people do that......don't they ever want to find a good deal themselves? I'm sorry you didn't get him. If a seller is offering a BIN, then they are obviously okay with the price. Why ruin that for someone? In the antique business that happens a lot. You buy something reasonable. You sell it reasonable. You find out later you could have gotten a lot more for it. That's part of the game....the seller needs to do their homework too. I never held that against the person that bought the item for a good deal if I should have researched it better.

Anonymous said...

Whoever did that to you is an asshole. I hope karma bites them in the ass one day. They 110% deserve it. Shame on them! I hope you got your money back; otherwise, I would be complaining to eBay and/or contacting the powers that be, depending on how much money was lost.

Whoever did that to you was totally in the wrong. I hope you do have a chance to own that model again (for real this time) without the assholes interfering.

Anonymous said...

Yup it was posted as an omg someone got a great deal on a FB group. STOP DOING THAT PEOPLE.

Lydia Lepic said...

WHAT. Oh my gosh, if you need posse members to raise pitchforks and find that snitch, I'm game. I don't think eBay should allow backsies on sales like that. >:(

ANDREA said...

I did get my money back.

It's nice to know everyone has my back, too.

I fear the model is "radioactive" now, and probably won't reappear any time soon. It's not like it's a Woodgrain Buffalo or Dapple Black Belgian, who are merely just "very rare": he's unique. The provenance will not be hard to trace.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY person who should be announcing a great deal is the person who got it. That’s it. No one else should be saying a thing about it, especially on social media, until after the lucky buyer has shared it with everyone. Honestly, it’s not anyone else’s business unless the person who got the deal decides to go public with it.
The only exception is the unscrupulous trying to con children or newbies into selling or trading HTF models to flip for a big profit. Anything put up on eBay or Etsy or FB without a reserve is fair game. We’ve all mistakenly sold models for far less than their value or sold a model for a fair price at the time only to watch it become hugely popular & more valuable months or years later. But most of us have found great deals as well which balances out those others. It’s all part of collecting so there’s no need to spoil another hobbyists great find.

Katie said...

I’m so sorry that happened to you! I dream of finding that awesome horse for a reasonable BIN on eBay right when it’s posted. Not having it shipped to you is the biggest let down. I hope the Breyer Gods smile on you and have one of your grails pop back up on eBay for a dream price AND you get it shipped to you. I’m sorry - many of us understand your pain and are here for you.

Suzanne said...

That is so ass. It is up to the ebay seller to do their research, describe their product, and honor the sale. It's a bit of a rabbit hole, making a complaint against the seller, but please do all you can. I think the same thing may have happened to me, but I can't recall details right now.

I'm not sure about people warning sellers that they underpriced items. It seems like a pointless, spiteful thing to do. And yet if they contacted the seller through ebay, it would be transparent (to ebay anyway) and the seller might be penalized. If it was due to a FB post reaching the seller, that is too bad, but not outright dirty. Except it was dirty of the seller to cancel the sale...

I once asked the seller if they wanted to cancel and re-list an auction I'd won because I felt like I was seriously underpaying. The seller was said no, they were fine with the prices they'd listed. And it's true, that's the way the wheel of fortune is supposed to work. You don't try to knock down the person who is having good luck, you just wait for your turn.

I am sorry. I'd prefer these horses end up in the hands of people who "share" them, via blogs!

Anonymous said...

I think this is more on the seller than one the person who “tattled” - if that is even the reason why the seller backed out of the sale. Not to defend the snitching, but maybe that person honestly thought they were helping someone out by giving them more information. Sure, the seller should have done their research, but if the person isn’t really a collector and I think there isn’t even a picture of this horse on ID Your Breyer, how much can you figure out without having some kind of help? I do think it’s bad form that the seller cancelled the sale. Buying and selling collectibles is a gamble, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Suzanne said...

I disagree with Anonymous though- there's no reason not to share the more fascinating and amusing ebay items. However it does seem a bit suspicious in this case...I mean, I've only ever checked completed auctions to get a ballpark idea about prices in general ("Is $45 too much for a Smoke Western Prancer with no saddle?") but it seems like only a few people would be combing it for obscure horses they'd missed out on.

Suzanne said...

I agree with Anonymous- the seller is a weasel.

Anonymous said...

As a kid, I used to wish that there other kids around that understood my weird model horse hobby, giving my horses names and pedigrees, taking bad photos, adding a new horse, spending hours pouring over the Breyer catalog.

As an adult, I hate the money aspect of this hobby. Everyone wants a deal, and everyone wants to sell for a profit; you can’t have both! There are people that beg for someone to sell them a web special at cost, but then when they get drawn for something they don’t want, they sell for a massive mark up.

As someone above commented, I think it’s great to reach out to a seller and say, hey, are you sure? when it seems too good to be true.

There are a ton of good people in this hobby, but sometimes it feels like the bad apples drown them out.

Corky said...

Wow, the degree to which people suck continues to surprise me, even at this late date. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

Anonymous said...

Well to be fair I did contact a friend right away when she listed a horse.

She had a low flat price, and I knew the horse was worth far more. I told her take it down put it for offers. Which she did.

But this one was seriously just listed and not already sold.

It was someone I knew could sure use the extra money having lost her husband and now being alone.

Yvonne said...

My favorite ploy on Ebay is "Listed in Error." HOW do you take a photo, list an item, give a description and a price and then go "Oops! Did I do that?" as an excuse! Sorry you missed out on this wonderful model due to the grossness (and greediness) of humanity!

TxMiniatureHorse said...

Well guess who JUST popped up in my pending posts for my "What is my OF Breyer Worth?" FB group? Yup, that guy... and it looks like the eBay seller who is posting.

I'm not sure I'm going to even pass that post through, it's so bogus to me.

Sarah said...

I just had this happen to me on ebay on a model I REALLY wanted and saw him for but it now. Less than 12 hours later, seller states, Sorry, forgot to take down the ad." so reported them to ebay. I hope the person/(s) behind these ebay "take backs" are caught and punished!