The Mystery Package
Each Month I will be offering a Mystery Package of Original Movie Posters. The package will comprise of posters that usually sell for significantly more than the asking price.
I will not be divulging what the package consists of but I can say that those who have purchased the package in the past have been absolutely thrilled with what they have received.
Condition of the posters will vary from fair - good - mint, some will have pinholes or fairly minor defects such as small edge tears or light stains, others will be pristine.
The package can comprise of anthing from older titles to 90s posters. All I can say is that whoever purchases the package should be extremely happy with what they receive.
The packages that I am offering will be on a First Come First Served monthly basis. The first two packages sold almost as quickly as I listed them but I will be listing another one soon. This is an opportunity to pick up something a real bargain. Dont miss out!
I have always tended to think that the correct way to pronounce Louis Armstong's Christian name is "Loo-is" but I know that many others swear that it should be "Lou-ee". In one of my recent Saturday afternoon Jazz programmes on 94.1fm I asked listeners to phone in with their thoughts on how Satchmo's Christian name should be pronounced.
On the day, the overwhelming consensus of calls insisted on "Lou-is" but I did have a long conversation the following day with another listener who swore that it should be "Lou-ee". The funny thing is that some listeners get quite annoyed when Louis Armstrong's Christian name is not pronounced the way they prefer.
I always thought that the film Hello Dolly was a pretty good indication of how his name should be pronounced. He opens with the line "Hello Dolly, this is Lou-is Dolly" etc etc.
Another indicator comes from the man who is apparently Louis Armstrongs grandson. In a recent article Herb Armstong says "I remember everyone liked my grandfather. That's Louis (pronounced Lew-is) not Lou-ey. He liked to be called Louis (Lew-is)."
However if you have a look at Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that cannot always be relied on, they suggest that the correct pronunciation should be "Lou-ee".
What do you think? If anyone has any thoughts on this please let me know. Feel free to add a post to this blog.
It seems to me that the media in Australia has a vendetta against our national airline Qantas. In recent months they have been reporting every minor delay or mechanical defect and the latest report of an "incident" takes the cake.
The lead story in a news bulletin a couple of days ago referred to a Qantas flight that had to return to Perth because of an unusual smell coming from the galley. The obvious implication and concern would have been the possibility of fire and the crew apparently took the cautious approach and decided to return to Perth to investigate the situation.
Later reports indicated that there had been no problem with the aircraft and that the smell had related to something that had been cooked in one of the ovens.
It appears that some people with vested interests have been reporting every "incident", no matter how minor, to the press. The problem is that the press seem to be happy to run with the stories. Every delay seems to be covered but the fact is that airlines are generally very cautious as far as safety is concerned. Most responsible airlines will not take chances with safety and that approach should be congratulated instead of carrying on a Witch Hunt on Qantas.
If you check the log at Sydney airport you will find many far more serious incidents occuring weekly involving other airlines - delays, go rounds, mechanical defects, etc and these nearly always go unreported. However, if a Qantas flight is delayed it seems to get front page news and often gets a run on one of the current affairs programmes as well.
It is time that the press in Australia started reporting real news
Who was the first Darren Stevens in "Bewitched" - Dick Sargent or Dick York - and how did they manage to find two perfect clones to fill the roles? Who was the best Darren? Was Bewitched better in black and white or colour?
Universal Horror Movie posters and Lobby cards from the 30s and 40s seem to be the most highly valued for collectors of original movie posters. The major auction houses have turned up some wonderful posters over the years and every major auction seems to include significant posters from the Universal era. In recent times we have seen US posters and lobby cards on:
Bride of Frankenstein
Despite the fact that they are obviously very rare and the prices are high, you can at least find some
I have been a dealer for many years now and have had some highly significant collections of Australian movie posters pass through my hands. I consigned one collection to Christies in 1998 and it included Australian posters for titles like Ghost of Frankenstein and House of Dracula. It turns out that these two are just about the only Universal Horror daybills of any significance that I have come across.
I understand that one dealer sold a daybill for Frankenstein about 15 years ago, supposedly for $25,000.00 but I have never heard of anything on Dracula ever appearing.
Have you seen or heard of any Univeral Horror Australian posters?
I would be interested to hear if anything significant exists, apart from the Frankenstein daybill.
I have to say that Judge Judy Scheindlin must surely be one of the most unpleasant people that I have ever seen on television. I really think that she is a disgrace to the concept of the judicial system and to women in general.
I guess it is possible that there is some deep seated insecurity that compels her to be rude and abusive to the majority of people that come before her on the rather sad and pathetic television programme that purports to portray the problems of "Real People - Real Cases". Perhaps she thinks that she is being clever but if that is the case she is very much mistaken.
A "Judge" should act with some semblance of dignity no matter how trivial the matter but Judge Judy Scheindlin consistently and predicatably looks to score cheap points by ridiculing the participants and shouting abuse in a vulgar way that is nauseating to watch and which, ultimately brings her to a level that is well and truly below the down and out participants in the cases that she hears.
Perhaps this is an indication of a troubled personality where she feels that the only way to communicate is through ridicule and abuse to those who she feels are weaker or more vulnerable than herself whilst fawning to those who may be useful to her "career".
"Judge" Judy Scheindlin makes money by behaving badly in a way that is not dissimilar to Gordon Ramsey. Her "judgements" on the penny ante contrived cases that come before her are nearly all subjective. She has achieved notoriety through being nasty and bitchy, playing one off against the other and degrading the postion of Judge. It's a cheap way of making a living and it is indeed a sad indictment that people like Judge Judy Scheindlin and Gordon Ramsey are regarded as "celebrities" these days.
The rather comical facelift that she has had appears to have had no affect on her personality.
I really do feel sorry for this woman.
The ACCC (The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has handed down a draft notice on eBay's plans to introduce a primarily "Paypal Only" payments policy.
ebay issued a media release in response announcing that they would delay the introduction of the policy to July 15th and stating ..........
"eBay challenges yesterday’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) draft notice and is disappointed that the ACCC’s current view delays the opportunity to provide consumers a more secure way to shop on eBay.com.au with confidence."
The recent agressive changes have had a huge impact on eBay sellers with many expressing a lack of confidence in operating on the site.
The chances of getting a primarily "Paypal Only" policy through seemed remote to many observers. When you consider the potential damage to the reputation and loss of consumer confidence in eBay that will result if the final ruling of the ACCC quashes the new policy you really have to wonder - was it all worth it?
JOHN REID VINTAGE MOVIE MEMORABILIA Newsletter February 2008
eBay and the "seller experience"
eBay recently announced some major changes to its policies and fee structure which has lead many sellers to consider whether it is viable or not to continue to sell on the site. As a long standing seller with over 12,000 feedbacks and nearly 10 years on eBay I have some thoughts on the repercussions of the "innovations" that eBay is about to implement.
Despite the fact that eBay have been making huge profits and their site has seemingly gone from strength to strength they have had to increasingly deal with some underlying problems which have become a real threat to their business and which they have been unable to control effectively.
Fraudulent sellers, incompetent sellers, abusive sellers and an abundance of fake, misdescribed or non existent goods listed for sale have plagued eBay and damaged their overall reputation for some years.
Additionally sellers who "gouge" on shipping fees have been a major issue for eBay with many listings offering goods at a very low price but with an inflated shipping fee to attempt to make up the difference.
It has not been unusual in recent times to see various lawsuits against eBay from manufacturers who tire of seeing fake products listed in their name on eBay. Of course, eBay generally take the line that they are the "third party" in these transactions and only provide sellers with a place to list their goods.
It was inevitable that, sooner or later, eBay would have to deal with these issues that were having a real impact on their business. The problem with identifying and policing fraudulent or incompetent sellers is that it can be a very costly exercise. eBay would no doubt argue that they cannot possibly monitor each and every auction and they rely on their members to report listing violations. This system saves them some manpower but they still need to have a Trust and Safety Dept to act on these complaints.
I'm certain that eBay have always wanted a system that does the work for them as much as possible. In some respects, the feedback system has worked well for them in identifying problems but the system has had its share of complaints over the years with members complaining that the threat of retaliatory negative feedback prevents buyers from being honest.
With that in mind, they introduced DSR's or Detailed Seller Ratings which allow buyer to rate sellers on specific areas of the sale. The ratings are close enough to anonymous so they effectively mean that a buyer could leave a positive feedback comment but extremely low ratings in the DSR's. The plan was that the DSR's would give a better picture of the real profile of a seller and perhaps eventually replace the old system of positive, negative and neutral.
Whilst the DSR's worked reasonably well some eBay execs argued that they did not go far enough and that the "buyer's experience" was more important than anything. They thought that buyers did not like receiving negatives, irrespective of whether they were justified or not, and that they turned away from eBay whenever their buying experience was less than perfect. Forget about whether the buyers might have been people who sellers would be best to steer well clear of, buyers who don't pay or try to get discounts after the event or file false claims to get their money back when they have actually received the item. eBay seems only interested in making the buyers experience pleasurable.
They point out that other sites only allow feedback on the seller and never for the buyer. The suggestion is that feedback on the buyer is irrelevant but the other sites that operate in this way generally deal with immediate payment and are not plagued with non paying bidders.
So, the bottom line is that the CEO announced a new plan. To me, the plan is based on draconian management practices where you penalise all to weed out a percentage of bad sellers. The plan was to introduce a system which would eliminate the undesirable sellers and improve the "buyer experience".
One of the major changes is that sellers will no longer be able to leave negative feedback on buyers.
The thing that eBay appears to be missing is that they also need to make it worthwhile and productive for sellers to continue to operate on eBay. They also must effectively address the issue of the hundreds and thousands of "buyers" who never follow through with purchases and never make payments. When this happens, a seller needs to go through a painfully time consuming process of claiming their fees back. We hear that, despite the fact that these buyers have not paid and have no intention of paying, the non paying bidder claims also affect their "buying experience".
eBay has made some very minor changes to their non paying bidder policies but these will do little to assist sellers.
A non payer is now free to leave a negative feedback on a seller and I have no doubts that this will happen in the months ahead as a form of retaliation against sellers who report buyers who don't pay. The alternative for sellers is to absorb the fees and just accept the non payment. However, this is a real bonus for eBay because they will still collect the fees and commission despite the fact that no sale ever eventuated.
Additionally the DSR's will be used to determine whether sellers get a discount on fees. If this is not enough, they have also stated that they will WITHHOLD payments from buyers where the sellers do not perform to an acceptable level. I saw a recent article where the writer gave 10 ways to receive an item on eBay but never pay for it. Although the article was tongue in cheek it was, sadly, all too true.
I have an account manager with eBay and I have been told that I don't need to worry about the changes because my DSR's and feedback rating are very high. The fact is that I get 5% non payers and that will leave me very vulnerable to undeserved negative feedbacks. It doesn't seem logical that non payers will be able to leave negative feedback without fear of retaliation but this is one of the ways the new system will operate. This is despite the fact that eBay attempts to rationalise the situation by saying that they may remove negative feedback left by non payers under certain circumstances.
An eBay account manager told me that sellers will need to accept that they will receive more negatives under the new system and that many sellers actually deserved many more negatives than they are getting. This may or may not be true but it gets back again to the "seller experience" that eBay seems to ignore. Sellers are unlikely to accept more negatives happily.
I have had a look at the DSR's of some of the more high profile sellers and under the new system many will be affected. Some may:
1. Lose their PowerSeller Status
2. Pay higher fees than others.
3. Have a warning in red letters stating that their rating on shipping is less than acceptable. (I believe this is already being trialled).
4. Have a hold placed on payments until the buyer is satisfied with the goods.
Etc, etc etc
One thing to consider is the shipping rating. I sell most of my items to other countries. I try and keep shipping as low as possible and in many cases I lose money on shipping. A number of sellers charge more than I do for postage but this is often because they don't get volume discounts like I do.
We have actually reached the stage where sellers are charging less for postage than it actually costs them because they are so worried about receiving a low DSR.
You often see sellers who pack extremely well end up with bad DSR's for shipping costs when all they are doing is trying to provide good service to the customer. In other words, they are charging the actual cost of shipping the item on to the buyer. When things get to this point there is something seriously wrong with the system.
Bruce Hershenson, who has one of the best records on eBay including a huge "successful auction" rate, has announced that he will quit eBay soon as a result of the changes.
So, this is what I mean by saying that the changes are draconian. They don't really target the problem - they target everyone.
Who knows, the new feedback system may get rid of a lot of recalcitrant and fraudulent sellers but they will also lose some of the great sellers. I wonder if eBay feel that the loss of Bruce Hershenson will be acceptable.
There have also been fee changes and rather than go into great detail let me just say that, in my humble opinion, the end result will be auctions starting at higher prices. There will be far less bargains because, although the listing fees will be lower, the end commission will be higher. This will mean more listings in auction at higher prices - just like a free or cheap listing day. This cannot be good for eBay because they have been complaining for years that they are losing core (auction) listings as Sellers set up more stores. The fact is that sellers cannot continue to offer goods at below their market price whilst absorbing high fees and often not achieving even close to a realistic price.
I have come to the conclusion, from a great deal of experience, that anyone who lists a Store item at under 24.99 or starts an auction at under 9.99 is probably wasting their time and will ending up working for a very low hourly rate.
I think eBay are in trouble. There have been reports of a boycott this week and this may or may not have an effect on eBay. I feel sure that Sir Humphrey Appleby would be describing the change in policy as "brave" or "courageous" which are just about the most sinister adjectives in his vocabulary.
More and more sellers are now looking at other venues and they are having some success. Ultimately, there is a limit on how much sellers will put up with.
There is no doubt that the "buyer experience" on eBay is vital to the success of the site but there is no point in having buyers without also having satisfied sellers. eBay need to consider quickly how they treat sellers before it is all too late.
Regards to all
Every Monday on Jazz Radio 94.1fm I run a Movie Quiz which generally features a piece of movie music or film score. Last week I featured Bernard Hermann's brilliant jazz theme from Taxi Driver but there has been a very diverse selection of music with close to 100 quizzes since the quiz started.
I usually try to ensure that the music features is Jazz or Swing related so the task of coming up with a new quiz each week is not always easy.
I am open to suggestions. I am looking for recognizable music with a jazz or swing theme from any movies at all that I can use for the quiz.
Let me know what you think would work in well for the quiz and what you think are some of the greatest movie themes.
A record of the highest prices paid for Australian movie posters should realistically be divided into two lists. The first would include the published prices at auctions using records from Christies, Heritage, Bruce Hershenson and a recent sale on eBay.
The second is probably impossible to compile but would probably dwarf the published prices. This list would have to include a record of private sales and would probably be a surprise to many people.
The story goes that a Frankenstein daybill was sold for $20,000 - $30,000.00 plus many years ago and there have been a few other significant prices for classic Australian daybills that can never really be confirmed. I have sold a few in the past that would make the list but the sales have been private so the prices should not be disclosed.
Here is a list of the published Top Ten highest prices paid for Australian posters. Let me know if you know of any that should be added but they must be documented.
1. MAD LOVE (MGM, 1935). Australian One Sheet (27" X 40"). Director Karl Freund Stars: Peter Lorre Sold For: $10,925.00 Jul 15, 2005 Heritage Auctions
1. CASABLANCA (Warner Brothers, 1942). Australian One Sheet (27" X 40"). Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre Sold For: $10,925.00 Mar 17, 2006 Heritage Auctions
3. Mark of the Vampire (MGM, 1935). Australian Pre-War Daybill (15" X 40") Heritage Auctions $10,157.00 Mar 18 2010
4. MALTESE FALCON, The (Warner Brothers, 1941) Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre. Australian Daybill (13" X 30"). An original release 1940's poster (Total: 1 Items) Sold For: $8,625.00 Mar 17, 2006 Heritage Auctions
5. THINGS TO COME (United Artists, 1936). Pre-War Australian Daybill (15" X 39.5").... (Total: 1 Item) Sold For: $8,365.00 Mar 11, 2008 Heritage Auctions
6. JAZZ SINGER 1927 Al Jolson Aust daybill – linen Bruce Hershenson G-VG $8,050.00 06/24/2000
7. THE WIZARD OF OZ (MGM, 1939) Judy Garland Sold For: $7,475.00 Nov 20, 2003 Heritage Auctions
8. GONE WITH THE WIND 1939 Rare Long Daybill Movie Poster Sold for: $6500.00 Linen Backed Item Number 370342126709 Feb 20th 2011
9. THE BIG TRAIL (1930) John Wayne Australian Daybill eBay Item number: 330298966218 $5000.00 Jan 15 2009-01-21
10. GONE WITH THE WIND (MGM, 1939). Clark Gable Vivien Leigh Australian Daybill (15" X 40").... (Total: 1 Item) Sold For: US$4,780.00 Nov 7, 2008 Heritage Auctions
11. ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (Warner Brothers, 1938) Errol Flynn Sold For: $4,743.75 Mar 18, 2005 Heritage Auctions
12. CASABLANCA (Warner Brothers, 1942). Australian Daybill (13.5" X 30") Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre (Total: 1 Item) Sold For: $4,481.25 Jul 21, 2007 Heritage Auctions