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Clubs, Groups and Societies For discussions about various clubs, groups and societies relating to our hobbies, such as the BVWS (incl NVCF), BATC, RSGB, APTS, CLPGS, THG, TCC etc. This is NOT an official forum for any of these organisations.

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Old 25th Apr 2012, 11:22 am   #21
GrimJosef
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

In a strict economic sense that is exactly right. But I detect, I think, a wish to 'buck the market' here. Dealers have access to customers who will pay much more than we are prepared to, in return for not having to drive miles and then stand in the rain. If we operate a fair and open market then the price premium they will pay will inevitably force prices up for us.

I'm sure this has already been thought of and in some cases is already being done, but separating out the 'desirable' valves (ECC83s, EL84s, EL34s, KT66s, PX*s, GZ34s, 53KUs etc etc) will at least save the rest from poaching in much the same way that carefully de-horning a rhino saves the rest of the beast.

Cheers,

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Old 25th Apr 2012, 12:52 pm   #22
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

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Originally Posted by Radio_Dave View Post
A dealer has to buy cheaply, so they can make a profit. If a private buyer cannot outbid a dealer then, IMHO, they simply aren't bidding high enough
How about the 5Y3GT example I gave, which was close to something I saw happen? I'm not sure there were a hundred but there were a lot and they went for much more than anyone with a reasonable requirement for them would be willing to pay, not each, but as a lot.

It wasn't a BVWS auction and there were a huge number of lots. I'm sure the organisers did a good job in difficult circumstances, but that stuck out.

Pete.
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 2:11 pm   #23
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

Buying at BVWS auctions purely as a trader is surely against the spirit of BVWS rules, and I think I have actually seen this stated but how can it be policed?

The example that started this thread is common to all general auctions. I am sure that some auction houses that have the staff and time, sort very large lots with a few desirable items into smaller lots and spreading the goodies amongst them. It is just unrealistic and unreasonable to expect the BVWS volunteers to sort through boxes of a hundred or so valves in case there is a very desirable one amongst them.

It might ease things, if the vendors did this before submitting the lots but I suspect there are situations where the vendor does not have the knowledge.

Putting it crudely an ordinary member bids on a box for only one valve and this determines the price he wants to pay. All the rest is rubbish of no value. A trader may only be interested in the one valve but the others are not valueless because he has an outlet for them.

With single items, traders will in general stop bidding below the salable price so a private collector can outbid them. In a general auction, many items must be grouped into a single lot, This can cause disappointment but it can also be a pleasant surprise.

On the whole as Alan says I think the BVWS auctions are pretty good.
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 2:40 pm   #24
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

David, and taking on board what Alan says, and it was an excellent auction that day, this is not strictly true.

I have some experience at buying, for example, at local auctions - the tip people have one in Lutterworth. Dealers have outlets, and so can bid against ordinary herberts who would never make a profit with the usual channels. Eg, on Leicester market (Wednesdays) there is a mini antique stall selling at prices I would never contemplate buying. Similarly at said auction prices are high enough to make reselling a lousy option.
Someone who is set up will have a regular stall or shop which commands more and of course has more overheads.
The problem is there are forever more folk after less stuff, and this is the nature of the vintage business. The organisers of such auctions are happy, but there aren't many bargains.

To have an event that's members only, with the explicit condition of no reselling, other than of sharing lots, for example, seems a great idea, and I thought that was the situation. That does appear impossible to police - and it wouldn't be pleasant to finger dealers and block their bidding.

Alan, yes, many of the stalls sold at very good prices, and can't be makiing much over petrol - I did appreciate that.

Perhaps if I ever have a bit more cash to spend I will feel differently. Is this sour grapes? Power to the elbows of those on this site who offer goods at very fair prices, especially for the benefit of BVWS.
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 2:46 pm   #25
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

I'm going to put my foot in it here, as I have been a BVWS Committee Member in the past and have helped at BVWS and Radiophile auctions in the past.

These are all good ideas, but let me add another one:

The person who has all the ideas should also have the heart to help.

Cheers,

Steve P.
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 2:46 pm   #26
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

Remember that the valves in these auction lots are untested and may not all be good enough to use. If you are buying a box for for just one valve and it turns out to be a dud you would obviously be disappointed.

However if you are buying because a number of them are useful to you then the odd dud is less of an issue.

It may in some cases be better to buy a tested and guaranteed valve from a valve dealer. Although it may well be more expensive you know what you are getting and can send it back if it turns out to be no good.
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 4:22 pm   #27
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

As has already been mentioned, but I feel worth repeating, is that if you are interested in a specific item in a multiple lot there is no harm in approaching the winning bidder - who may be willing to sell the item at a mutually acceptable price.

I have used this technique successfully both at my local auction and at RWB. Occasionally, the item I was interested in was considered to be of no value by the other person and has been passed on to me at little or no cost - making me glad that I was outbid!
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 4:37 pm   #28
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

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Originally Posted by Dave Moll View Post
if you are interested in a specific item in a multiple lot there is no harm in approaching the winning bidder - who may be willing to sell the item at a mutually acceptable price.
But that's called trading/dealing

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Old 25th Apr 2012, 5:37 pm   #29
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

Surely the purpose of an auction is to get the maximum price for the vendor (and as a result maximum commission for the organisers of the auction). No sane autioneer is going to ban bids from a "dealer" unless the latter infringes the rules. If certain parties think they can make a living by buying PX4s for say £200 each and selling them on, then that has to be the price on the day.

I was at a Radiophile auction a year or so ago, and happened to stand behind a well known dealer in the queue to pay at the end. He spent over £3,000 that day, and I believe has been known to spend similar amounts at BVWS auctions. From the auction organiser's point of view, he is a good customer. He is entitled to spend his money as he sees fit, just as we are. All we can do is to bid against him and his like - and perhaps drop out at the crucial point where he is left with minimal profit. But this requires luck, nerve, and plenty of dosh in case he backs off first!

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Old 25th Apr 2012, 7:21 pm   #30
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

A lot of it boils down to attitude - I think I know who Ian is talking about, and indeed said person is an excellent buyer - at the same time this same person will pass on "undesirable" valves if asked and at a decent price.

Facts are simple - valves of NOS and good used nature are not being made any more - thanks to the internet, it is easy to set up shop as a "dealer" - you also get a worldwide customer base - being in the position to spend a large sum of money in the hope that you make a few quid isnt going to be everyone's remit, good luck to those that can.

If you attend an auction (especially specialist ones as we are discussing) you will need to be bidding at the correct level - times gone by PX4s could be purchased for less than £40 each for a good used one - same valve is going to be around 150-180 now.

What does happen, I have witnessed it at several auctions are three questionable practices that will tend to upset buyers....

1, picking bids "off the wall" (no need to point fingers but not a BVWS problem)

2, running others up (well known to happen between known "dealers")

3, Shill bidding (to be fair this is rare and the worst protagonist has been dealt with)

It's all good fun though!
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 8:21 pm   #31
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

I suppose we could all club together (throw £20 or so into a kitty). The total amount would give the dealers a run for their money. Mind you, I wouldn't like to experience the fall out when allocating the one and only PX4 in the box and the multitude of EF80s. Perhaps we could then go on to draw lots.

Seriously though, it really is tough competing against the dealers and quite disheartening when you wanted something for that precious restoration job that youve been slaving over for many months.

Regards,

Andy
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 8:47 pm   #32
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

Oh dear, are we still harping on over "not being able to compete with dealers"

Simple business plan - buy at an affordable price and sell at a profit.

If the domestic market will not support the sort of prices that dealers pay at auctions, then thats our hard luck for not attaching the same value as our overseas friends do to their collections.

If the set was really worth expending the sort of time that often happens when restoring an early set (lets face it the main gripe is relating to the sort of set that attracts audiophiles) attach the sort of hourly rate it would cost to do the work, I am betting that a cabinet refurb costs much more than the hammer price of a 50% PX4.

Lets all be a bit honest here, we are all too happy to be on the recieving end of a bargain, and are not willing to pay the going rate for hard to get parts.

At the end of the day a private individual will always be capable of beating a dealer - they have no need to make a profit - a dealer will not pay above the market price.

It's not rocket science.....
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 9:33 pm   #33
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

I dont worry about market price when I attend auctions.

For a start, I take with me JUST the amount of cash I can afford to spend. That sets an immeidate limit on what I can buy.

Then, having spent some around the tables (or perhaps not), I then examine the lots to see what I would like, and decide what each lot is worth TO ME. (Whilst ensuring the total is within my overall limit.)

I will then bid up to what I feel the lot is worth, and not a penny more.
Sometimes I am lucky and get things for far less than I would have been prepared to pay.
Very often, someone rates them far higher than I do and I dont get it.

Even more frequently, I see items for sale that I know will go for far more than I can afford, and just sit back and watch.

Over the years I have got some bargains, but missed out on many things I would have liked.
Just like life!

But, most importantly, I've had a good day, met interesting people and had fun. And, to me, that is an important part of the auction days.
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 10:46 pm   #34
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

Quote:
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Oh dear, are we still harping on over "not being able to compete with dealers"

Simple business plan - buy at an affordable price and sell at a profit.

If the domestic market will not support the sort of prices that dealers pay at auctions, then thats our hard luck for not attaching the same value as our overseas friends do to their collections.
I think the point has been well worth airing.

Things tend to pass between enthusiasts for prices far less than they would fetch on say, ebay. People on here don't like breaking up equipment which is is probably worth more as select spares than as an item.

I've given a couple of good tested ECC88s to a forum member fixing an old scope and finding I was horrified that he was considering paying a tenner a pop for them. It was because he seemed genuinely interested in something I thought was worthwhile and not some ludicrous hi-fi nonsense.

You can't make this activity all about money and it would be a precarious way to make a living, if you were getting in at this stage. However, money comes into it.

The other thing is that you have to get off your backside and look for some of this stuff, which takes time and effort. A part of going to an auction is going prepared and developing a skill in bidding, not being drawn into bidding contests and so on.

The thing which comes to mind here is the Bodyline Series, which I suggest marked the end of the amateur in first class cricket. It was something of a shock.

Pete.
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 10:57 pm   #35
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

At every BVWS auction most boxes of valves DO go to the same person (or people). It's a fact.

But I also realise that I can't afford to take the bulk-buy risk that a dealer does. I don't need huge valve stocks and I am not a trader so have to I let the lot price soar and sit back.

It's irksome, and I do wish that the dealers concerned would show a little restraint, rather then hoover up every lot of valves.

But we cannot legislate, unless the BVWS is prepared to take action against individuals, which may be regarded as invidious. This path is, in addition, frought with difficulties of enforcement.

I do appreciate the massive effort Mike and the team take to ensure that the most people get access to the best variety of auction lots they can. It's a huge effort on their part. Let's not make it harder my adding complexity.

For now, just a quick plea to the dealers - you know who you are - to leave a few pickings for the small guys.

- Jeremy
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 11:04 pm   #36
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

What about forming an alliance with one or more fellow trusted interested parties and bidding as a unit on agreed lots?

I can see many objections but it seems like a reasonable strategy to me. For a start, it might be illegal and could create a predatory in crowd.

If the blokes who thought I'd bought all those 5Y3GTs and asked me to spare them a couple had come to me beforehand, or I'd gone to them, the dealer who bought them might have come away with the idea that these auctions were a seriously bad idea, but we'd have all been happy.

Pete.
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 11:08 pm   #37
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

The original posting was specifically about valves. Perhaps I've just been lucky over the years, but I've acquired cheaply and been given hundreds of valves, among them some very old, rare and potentially valuable ones. As a consequence it's unusual for me not to have a particular valve if I need one, and when I don't have one in stock I am forced to put a 'wanted' post on the Forum or, if all else fails, buy one from a dealer. The numbers of valves involved are small and the prices charged by dealers have, to date, largely been acceptable, although some tuning indicators are becoming painfully pricey.

I actually appreciate the service provided by valve dealers. Don't forget, they could have thousands of pounds tied up in stock, with no guarantee of selling, so that risk has to be paid for somehow.

I also very much appreciate the service that the BVWS and other organisations offer their members by arranging auctions. I'm not in a position to offer help, in any practical way, but I am more than happy to make spare valves in my own collection available to Forum members on a non-profit basis, and I respond to 'wanted' posts on the Forum.

I anticipate that there are more valves available in private collections than will ever be needed to maintain or repair the number of vintage sets in preservation or yet to be discovered. I have previously suggested setting up a centrally-maintained list of members' valves that are available to other members, although with just a handful of members expressing interest in the idea so far; perhaps when I retire (next year) I'll be able to offer to do this properly.
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Old 26th Apr 2012, 12:26 am   #38
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

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Originally Posted by Phil G4SPZ View Post
As a consequence it's unusual for me not to have a particular valve if I need one, and when I don't have one in stock I am forced to put a 'wanted' post on the Forum or, if all else fails, buy one from a dealer.
This is exactly what I would do.

I recently needed a 'now getting rare' rectifier valve for a late 30's set. I saw one (of unknown electrical condition) in a box of about a douzen octals at an auction. I was prepared to gamble £20, but the box went for £80 odd as I remember. At a following meeting, one of our regular traders sold me a good tested one for £22. This was a much better bet than the auction! I got exactly what I needed at the right price with no added junk.

I think we're giving our traders a hard time here. Lets not tar them all with the same brush. The regular ones are a friendly and trusted bunch and offer us a great range of valves, often sorted or tested, at reasonable cost. It's not in their interests to sell us duds or we won't go back. And I doubt anyone has ever made a really good living buying and selling valves, after fuel, vehicle expenses and time given up is taken to account.

If a trader buys a box for £100 and this in turn allows me to get just the valve I need at a few pounds then great. There's no need to form any sort of alliance, the good traders are already doing it for us!

Greg
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Old 26th Apr 2012, 9:00 am   #39
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

Hi All,

I didn't mean to start this thread and then disappear.
My brother has terminal cancer and I had to leave for overseas quickly.

Thanks for all the replies to my initial question about all the valves going to one or even a few and for me at least it has been very useful.

To summarise from my perspective:
I have listened to the pros and cons, but I don't believe that all the valves in any one auction going to three people is at all in the spirit of the BVWS. Mike said he put a lot of effort in sorting through the valves, just have them bought by the predomionanty the same person.
I don't actually think its too difficult to implement a policy which stops this practice. However, there are two important points I've taken from this:
1) Do we want to do this as a collective, I certainly do as an individual?
2) How to implement it.

Now, this is my BVWS. I'm a member and I'm proud to be part of this.
Each auction I attend, I get there early and help out unloading the van and to help on stage, organising the radios in numbered order before the auction starts.
I realise this is not too much, but at least I put a little effort in. At the end of helping move 300+ radios I am absolutely exhausted and it is more than apparent to me that this is a fraction of the effort a very few people put into each one of these events. As Paul points out, there is the original collection, storing, photographing, cataloguing, packing the van, getting up early enough to be there by 7. Then to be there for the entire day to run these events for us, the members, is truly an amazing effort.

So, the point is more than taken.
If I have a suggestion and a proposal to implement, pull my finger out and help more, to be in a position to reduce the burden on those few already doing a brilliant job at our events.

Good on Rob for offering to help out.

best regards
Craig
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Old 26th Apr 2012, 10:25 am   #40
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Default Re: Valves at BVWS auctions available for "all" members

Craig, your points and the discussion here set me thinking. Valves! There is a sort of lust involved here. Of acquiring a great big box of shiny tubes. Lovely!
I'm wondering how this hobby is best served. Is it by each of us having our own stash to hand - and for me, I don't need this, honestly. Is it by having a full range available so that when that obscure one is needed it can be found at an affordable cost? If this is achieved by somebody making a few bob I don't mind, and indeed, it helps us all.
There is still a sense of frustration, I think, that resources are seen to be scooped up and go out of the association, possibly at a profit - this at the expense of all the effort put in. Is this accurate?
There are valves sold by BVWS, and have been available here on this forum. Is this supply adequate? I would guess it is, and the prices have been very fair.
Is there a case for a 'valve bank'? perhaps distributed between members? Does this already exist? I would participate in something like that.
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