New Bidding Guidelines and Thoughts for Improvement

First off, I’d like to thank the thousand or so bidders that have patronized our eBay auctions over the last year. Your enthusiasm and kind encouragement have truly been an inspiration and it has been a great joy to interact and build friendships with many of you. Thank you for “discovering” our Helmar art and I believe that your support will be rewarded in the future.

It has been a great satisfaction to learn that many others share my passion for sports art done in the old, authentic vintage styles. When I first began making our distinctive Helmar cards I truly believed that just a handful of others would “get it” and support our projects. For once I am glad to admit that I was wrong; from the very start we have experienced an outpouring of warmth and even devotion. In an age where beautiful old cards often go without bids, every one of the several thousand Helmar art cards offered over the last three years through eBay has successfully found a new home. I find that remarkable and humbling.

This is not to say that we haven’t had our critics. I have been thankful for them because they often have been the catalysts for some improvement or another. Over time many, if not most, have come to at least give us some respect for our efforts. To my surprise, several of the most strident voices eventually became very active clients. They deserve credit and my thanks for having open minds and a willingness to engage and explore the world of Helmar.

Now to bidding improvements. I have been contacted by several bidders concerned about the practice of placing a very great number of bids, sometimes thirty or even more on a single listing, but only in exceedingly tiny increments. Even I find this perplexing and annoying. One frustrated email described it as similar to “schoolyard bullying”. In a sense, he is correct. The practice may be entertaining to some but it does detract from the enjoyment of most. It also frustrates and scares off new collectors. I have contacted the relevant parties and suggested alternate bidding strategies. Hopefully that is the last of it.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have other ideas on how we can improve our product or service. I can assure you that if you take the time to give your input, we will value your thoughts and give them the consideration that they deserve. Thanks again, Charles

Gavvy Cravath, who retired after the 1920 season with 119 home runs.

6 thoughts

  1. An occasional Buy It Now feature might be nice. I used to purchase every Helmar product that was available to me. Unfortunately eBay has turned me off, and I’ve only actually won one auction; I’ve bid on quite a few. I find that it is often just a handful of eBayers hoarding the auctions. Is there a way to buy the cards outside of eBay like there used to be?


    1. Thanks, Kenneth. I like the idea of the occasional Buy It Now. Let me think about that. It would have to be for new product. Maybe I’ll try a few different things. One idea that I have been kicking around is to make a Helmar color “magazine” of 20 or so pages. A vehicle that would allow me to go in-depth on some cards, players and topics. There are places where this could be printed on a very short run basis. It is kind of expensive, however. I was thinking of matching the magazine with a special, hand made card and using the Buy It Now feature. The price would probably be around $20. It wouldn’t be a money maker because of the print costs but might be a nice promotional and informational vehicle. From the standpoint of the buyer, just about any Helmar card is worth at least $20, so they would essentially be getting the magazine for free–if they looked at it the same way that I am.

      As for the number of different people winning lots each week… I’ve noticed that in weeks where the winning prices are above average there are fewer different winning bidders. 50 lots might be split between 10 people. When prices are softer 50 lots can be split between up to 30 people, sometimes more. Naturally I like the higher prices but the upside to the occasional slow week is that more new people get their first Helmar in their hands.


  2. I’ve bought twenty or so cards, paying up to approximately $200, so I believe I can comment on the issue. Since I’m not entirely clear on the problem, I may be way off. The numerous and small incremental bids may simply reflect the desire many have to be a part of this collection but who are priced out of the opportunity even on the most obscure players. Just a thought.


    1. Hi Michael. I do love those obscure players and it is nice to see that they sell, too.

      Lots of people regularly open up lots at the minimum or bid early at the lower levels though they don’t expect to win. I do think that this is a way of saying, “Here’s my votes for this week…I like this card, and that card…keep up the good work”. Personally, I always watch this and enjoy it even though I know that they probably won’t actually win the lot. This is different, though, from placing 30 small bids on each item.


      1. I understand now what the problem is. Yes, I agree. I really like your thought about the magazine/card option. I love your work. It taxes my budget, but they are keepsakes for generations.


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