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Friday, April 15, 2005

Smoking Auctions

I'm sitting back, sipping on pinot noir, munching chilli tim-tams, and instead of mellowing out I'm quietly dreading tomorrow. Today, you see, is my last day as a smoker. Before I go to bed tonight I will destroy my remaining cigarettes. Tomorrow I need all my strength.
Perhaps I should certify the butt from my last cigarette and sell it on trademe. LOL.
I was reading before about how internet auctions are driving conventional auction houses out of business. Apparently Dunbar Slone has had to cut staff. As usual with our media they addressed it from the most superficial angle. Basically they took Dunbar Slone's statement and got a couple of tame "experts" on the internet to say that internet auctions are fun.
It used to be that auctioneers took 10% of the sale price, and they took it from the seller; then they started to get greedy. They both increased their cut and demanded a "buyer's premium", so whatever you bid, you had to pay more. Last time I bought something through an auctioneer I had to pay 10% of the total price (including GST) and then pay GST on the 10%. This was on top of the seller's premium, which was probably the same. So the auctioneer with no capital tied up in stock was getting something over 20% of the sale price.
I've also sat in auctions where the auctioneer decided the auction was moving to slowly & suddenly combined several lots together & knocked them down to the first bid.
The final reason I have for not attending real auctions is that if I'm interested in lot 300, I have little idea what time I should arrive, and I don't want to sit through 2 or 3 hours of watching things I have little or no interest in being sold.
I don't go to auction houses any more. They misused their near monopoly position, and lost my trust. They are overpriced and inefficient.
On the other hand, with internet auctions, the auctioneer doesn't get bored and combine lots, I don't have to wait for other lots to be sold and the fees aren't so greedy.
In the news in recent days has been the story of the auction of the last cigarette legally smoked at one Auckland bar. Very much following on from what I said the other day, here's an example of the same story being reprinted nearly verbatim around the world.
Used cigarette sells for $6948
NEWS.com.au, Australia - 9 hours ago
A CIGARETTE butt said to have been salvaged as a souvenir before a smoking ban has been sold in an Internet auction in New Zealand for $NZ7475 ($6948). ...
Sale of $7475 [cigarette] end leaves bidders gasping
New Zealand Herald, New Zealand - 15 hours ago
by David Eames. A cigarette butt auctioned on the internet has smashed visitor-number records at the TradeMe auction house on its ...
NZ cigarette butt sold for $5,300
BBC News, UK - 21 hours ago
The remains of a cigarette smoked in the final seconds before New Zealand's smoking ban came into force has been sold for more than NZ$7,400 ($5,300). ...
Last remnants of smoking New Zealand for sale
Independent Online, South Africa - 23 hours ago
Wellington - A cigarette smoked in the dying seconds before New Zealand's smoke-free laws came into effect in 2004 is set to fetch more than NZ$7 500 (about ...
Cigarette butt on auction for $5,400
AZ Central.com, AZ - Apr 13, 2005
WELLINGTON - A cigarette smoked in the dying seconds before New Zealand smokefree laws came into effect last year is set to fetch more than $5,400 in an ...
Cigarette Butt on Auction for $5,400
Reuters - Apr 13, 2005
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A cigarette smoked in the dying seconds before New Zealand smoke-free laws came into effect last year is set to fetch more than NZ$7,500 ...
Cigarette butt on auction for more than 2,000 pounds
Reuters.uk, UK - Apr 12, 2005
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A cigarette smoked in the dying seconds before New Zealand smokefree laws came into effect last year is set to fetch more than NZ$7,500 ...
Cigarette butt sells for R33 300
Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa - 19 hours ago
A cigarette butt said to have been salvaged as a souvenir before a smoking ban has been sold in an internet auction in New Zealand for NZ$7 475 (about R33 300 ...
Cigarette Butt on Auction for $5,400
ObviousNews.com, Canada - Apr 13, 2005
The butt, witnessed as smoked at 11:59 pm on Dec. 9 by the owners of an Auckland bar, has exceeded its NZ$1 reserve price by NZ$7,574 ...
Cigarette butt on auction for more than 2,000 pounds
ObviousNews.com, Canada - Apr 12, 2005
The successful bidder when the auction closes on Thursday will also get a certificate of authenticity and a mounted display case. ...
NZ cigarette butt on auction for $5,400
Reuters India, India - Apr 12, 2005
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A cigarette smoked in the dying seconds before New Zealand smokefree laws came into effect last year is set to fetch more than NZ$7,500 ...








See how many coincidences you can find.






4 comments:

Falsafah said...

Hello Bruce. You're quitting smoking? That's very good!

I didn't know people auction cigarette butts...that's really weird...

J.L. said...

Hey Bruce, how's the giving-up going?
It's a good move to make. I watched my grandmother die of lung cancer. It doesn't say "Smoking Kills' on the pack for nothing, and the tobacco companies have known for years. There are no poor tobacco CEOs.

Keep it up - don't give them your life.

Best Regards,

J.L.

Falsafah said...

Hello, just wondering how you're doing. Missed ya online.

frankie said...

Is quitting smoking AND blogging a coincidence? ...pity, nice blog.