Heart of Glass - Blenko Glass

Blenko Glass is a West Virginia treasure that spans generations. Nothing symbolizes the state of West Virginia better or more beautifully than Blenko Glass. We will discuss current and former craftsmen and designers and how important it is that Blenko and West Virginia glass be appreciated and valued by the younger generation.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Blenko mislists on Ebay September 2012~ Response from Bruce

Hillary, Viveck, and the Hearts of Glass Blog Readers,

Several months ago a photo was posted of a grouping of pieces from my collection with the notation that these were "Mis-listed items " purchased from Ebay. The comments that followed were very pointed and negative and at the time I refrained from responding. I would like to respond now that I have had time to reflect and give what I believe is a thoughtful answer. 

First off I have to state the obvious that I do not control who or when items are listed on Ebay. I do not make the decision as to what category or heading will appear on any of the items I may find mis-listed. I have not advised the seller as to an asking price or given an appraisal of what the piece might be worth on the open market. This holds true for anyone seeking to sell a piece of glass or any item whether that be in the market place that is electronic, such as Ebay, or your typical neighborhood antique store or garage/estate sale.  What that seller prices his or her items for sell is solely dependent on the seller. The seller determines the minimum price that they will accept for any given item. How they list or describe the items for sale is their decision also. Where I have excelled is anticipating those categories that hold the best chance of netting possible Blenko pieces. I can find dozens of items that may be mis-listed and the seller has no idea that they have put a starting bid that is extremely over-priced. 

I do not contact sellers and try to have them end listings early by offering them a false and known "lowball" offer. This is in contrast to several people that do so to resale pieces that they find mis-listed. This unfortunately includes some dealers that are believed to be highly respected businessmen. I do not contact sellers and advise them on what a current or reasonable starting bid might be either.  

I do however spend an average of two plus hours a day studying resources available to everyone on the internet and searching through Ebay listings in search of such "finds". What some people refer to as "Glass Karma" is actually the reward of focused and disciplined effort. There is still a small matter of luck to finding items that may only appear for a brief moment of time and are purchased as "Buy it Now". 

I do enjoy the search and the reward of finding pieces to add to my collection. What is even more rewarding is sharing that "Karma" with other dedicated collectors so that they can enjoy the search and reward of successfully hunting for their own "finds".  I have noted that over the years that I am increasingly being bid against on Ebay  for mis-listed items and that is evidence that more buyers are educating themselves. This is extremely important as the number of dealers on Ebay increases that have taken to mislabeling items as Blenko when they are not. All Blenko collectors should arm themselves with the most accurate information that they can find. Believe me when I say I have learned the hard way that knowledge is power, or in this case a sure preventative for getting ripped off.

I will continue to share what I find in quality photos that may help the next collector. 

I have included a photo of just one months "mis-lists as an example of what is possible with a focused and disciplined search.

Do I get it right every time? No, but I do get a lot of enjoyment from the challenge.

Good hunting to all my fellow Blenko Collectors,

Bruce Specht


Anonymous said...

If the people who leave negative comments were to find an underpriced piece of Blenko at an antique store or flea market, do you think they would insist that the owner should take a higher price for that item? Of course, they would not. They would purchase the item and be happy with the deal. They are just not willing to put in the time to educate themselves or put in the time to find the mis-lists. Unfortunately, they share their sour grapes with the rest of us. I appreciate the time and effort you put into photographs and descriptions for the enjoyment and education of the rest of us. Thank you Bruce and thank you to your family.

penny said...

Bruce I don't comment often. Your glass and your knowledge add so much to this blog and also to my life as a collector.
Hillary and Viveke do a great job with daily posting articles, but your collection and your folksy stories make my week.
I like many others have notebooks filled with glass photos from this blog.
After reading about the negative comments I can understand why Blenko Collectors groups fell apart.
Jealous small minded people.
I belong to two other West Virginia Glass Collector groups both have professional dealers but lack the back bitting and also the " special treatment" many collectors receive.
Very little reward was given to many devoted collectors, while other receive lower prices, and freebees each visit.
We miss Bill Blenko and the civility of Blenko of yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that someone so hurt by wrongheaded, ill informed and spiteful comments would include thinly veiled and similarly ill informed comments in their response. I guess even the righteous need a punching bag to make them feel better.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous if you are so righteous please find a user name.
You are Sad!
Great Job as always Bruce & Family
Bill Dotson

Anonymous said...

What does wrongheaded mean?

Anonymous said...

OOOH and what highly respected business men would he be referencing?

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Bruce: Thank you for all of your efforts to educate us and for your generosity in sharing photos. Nobody does it better! Hats off to you for knowing what you are purchasing. I don't shop online and am not an expert; however, in antique malls and estate sales, I see many items labeled Blenko that are not.