The first week of Star Trek auctions on eBay from It’s a Wrap Hollywood ended today with 67 of the 100 lots selling. That 33 lots did not hit reserve was both significant and surprising, and it seems there are unrealistic expectations on many of the items that It’s a Wrap put the reserve on. (A reserve is a price which the seller sets which an auction lot must reach before it sells).
The most expensive lot was Katherine Janeway’s Command Uniform which went for $ 4,150, which was less than half of what the same costume went for in the Christie’s auction two and a half month’s earlier. Of course the Christie’s version had a communicator as well, while this one, like all the costumes offered, did not. Meanwhile Voyager uniforms sold well and at very reasonable prices, averaging $ 960 for a background players uniform with grey undershirt.
The big surprise was the price people were willing to pay for the white/blue/black dress uniforms from Star Trek Insurrection and Nemesis. The two in the auction, neither of which belonged to a main actor, went for $ 3,505 each. Probably three times what a reasonable pre-auction estimate would be based on Christie’s results. Close behind, the First Contact style, black and grey uniforms went for $ 2,400 – 3,000, again much more than expected. It seems these movie costumes were really in demand.
Of course the aspect everyone in Trek collecting fandom who followed these auctions is discussing is the high reserves on so many items. Typically a reserve is set to protect the downside of an item at auction, to make sure that the item does not sell below the actual cost of an item, so the seller does not lose his investment. The Christie’s auction had no reserves, yet It’s a Wrap Hollywood had reserves set at the high bid realized at the Christie’s auction PLUS 20% buyer’s premium Christie’s charged buyers. Considering only one person at Christie’s was willing to pay that price, and that person won already, thinking you can charge the same at another auction ,and find another person to pay that price, is probably unrealistic.
Here are some prices realized and some sales that didn’t close because of high reserves:
10 HIGHEST PRICED ITEMS THAT SOLD
Voyage Janeway Uniform $ 4,150
ST II: Wrath of Khan, Captain Terrell Uniform $ 3,707
ST: Insurrection style Dress uniform (white) command red $ 3,505
ST: Insurrection style Dress uniform (white) operations gold $ 3,505
ST: First Contact style Male uniform command red $ 3,040
ST: First Contact style Male uniform operations gold $ 2,750
Vulcan uniform $ 2,500
ST: First Contact style Male uniform science blue $ 2,425
Star Trek: TMP style Starfleet uniform $ 2,400
ST:The Motion Picture Orange Radiation Suit $ 2,125
TOP 10 ITEMS NOT HITTING RESERVE
Next Gen Season 3 style Command uniform $ 2,247
Enterprise MACO Assault kit $ 2,200
Klingon Full Head mask $ 2,000 (never hit opening bid)
DS9 Romulan Tal Shiar Soldier Costume $ 1,925
Next Gen Season 3 style Operations Uniform $ 1,726
Enterprise Xindi Costume $ 1,481
White Radiation Suit $ 1,475
Star Trek: Enterprise Half a Missile $ 920
Next Gen Season 3 style Sciences uniform $ 810
Enterprise style Klingon Disruptor $ 785
Despite being the slowest week on eBay of the entire year, It’s a Wrap Hollywood has put up another 100 items. It is not a great selection, though there are some gems, including a Tom Paris uniform. More next Friday.
So what did I win? The Orange Radiation Suit from Star Trek:The Motion Picture and Star Trek IV. In TMP it is only visible briefly in an overhead shot of Scotty at his main console and the engineer next to him is wearing one. In ST IV the four Starfleet personnel who are trying to vainly reinforce the window are wearing Orange Radiation Suits.
And here is a great resource for info on Star Trek Uniforms.
And make sure you check out www.trekmovie.com, where I am writing a weekly article on the It’s a Wrap auctions.