Hello, Dr. H.
I'll grant you that accuracy is important. For example, because of the diligent tracking of stock values, market analysts were able to state with pinpoint accuracy that the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 381.17 on September 3, 1929. Doubtless, that information was a boon to first timers looking to get their feet wet in the exciting world of stock market trading by investing their life savings in stocks bought on margin.
Anyway, I promise to buy the first copy of your Collector's Guide to Fine Lightweight Bicycle Values if you promise to autograph my copy. In the meantime, I'll ask questions of the list members you mention and receive interesting, insightful and humorous answers, spiced with anecdotes and colored by personal experience. And I may even take the advice I get.
Cheers and best regards,
Jerry G. Prigmore, R.G. Clovis, California, USA
>To: Jerry Prigmore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>CC: Classic Rendezvous <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: RE: [CR]RH on eBay : Seller's reply.
>Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 02:58:27 +0000 (GMT)
>Price guides can and do record reasonable market value for many items
>including cars, and many collectables, etc. sold on secondary markets. Such
>a guide is needed for vintage bikes as well.
>The more such sales are made and recorded, the more accurate the price
>guide becomes. Anyone who has attempted to sell his car to a dealer will
>discover this fact very quickly.
>Many members of this forum have such knowledge (value of collectable
>vintage bicycles) learned by years of experience and observation.
> The value of a unique bike is much more difficult to ascertain since
>comparables are not relevant.That having been said, my father was fond of
>stating that a collector is someone who knows how to spend too much-this
>phenomenon probably accounts for aberrations such as the recent sale of a
>nondescript de Rosa Pista for $5000. But these sales are the exception, not
>George Hollenberg MD
>Westport, CT, USA
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Jerry Prigmore
>Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 7:52 pm
>Subject: RE: [CR]RH on eBay : Seller's reply.
> > I've never understood why people should be criticized for the
> > price they ask
> > for a bicycle or any other object of desire. If one feels an
> > asking price
> > or starting bid is "unreasonable," he or she should definitely
> > not buy or
> > bid. Assuming an honest sale and no gun to the head of the
> > buyer, I don't
> > understand the problem.
> > We're not talking about charging a starving man with empty
> > pockets $40 for a
> > can of tuna and $5 for a can opener. Face it, bicycles of the
> > type
> > discussed on the CR list are objects of desire. Their only
> > measurable
> > intrinsic value is in what the steel and aluminum they're made
> > of can be
> > recycled for, and what they can gain the owner in utility (such
> > as gas
> > savings or delivering pizzas) or maybe prize money if you win a
> > race on one.
> > All else about them is subjective, no? There is no such thing
> > as an
> > unreasonable price for a bicycle or a Gaugin or a bottle of
> > Bordeaux or an
> > origami boulder because there is no reasonable price for any of
> > them. They
> > are worth what they're worth to their owners. If they are for
> > sale, then in
> > addition, the propsective buyer has his own idea of their worth.
> > If the
> > buyer and seller can come to a compromise, then a sale is made.
> > If not, no
> > sale, end of story. What anyone who is not a party to the
> > transaction
> > thinks is irrelevant.
> > No price guide written by man can assign a value to a bicycle
> > any more than
> > the Kelley Blue Book can tell me the value of the '64 Chevy II
> > I've owned
> > since I was 16 and went on all my dates in with the redhead girl
> > who is now
> > my wife of 17 years. The most it can do is compile popular
> > opinion as
> > expressed by what people have been paying for similar examples.
> > That's it.
> > Not a criticism of anyone, jes my little ol' opinion.
> > Jerry G. Prigmore
> > Clovis, California USA
> > Archive-URL:
> > Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 11:35:22 +0200 (CEST)
> > From: alex m
> > Subject: [CR]RH
> > on eBay : Seller's reply.
> > As the seller of the Rene Herse racer that has taken a
> > fair amount of in my opinion unfair criticism, I think
> > I have the right to defend the bike I am selling :
> > 1) No RH parts : Rene Herse racers, unlike the
> > cyclotouring models, were often not fitted with RH
> > cranks or stem. So this is perfectly normal. If you
> > want all the RH parts, look for a cyclotouring model.
> > 2) Incorrect parts : The bike would probably have been
> > fitted with Campy/Stronglight. Not terribly difficult
> > or expensive to find. I could of course have fitted
> > these parts onto the bike myself prior to selling, but
> > I would then have been selling a bike as all original
> > when in fact the parts would have been only correct,
> > not original. I don't like doing this. It's more
> > honest to show the buyer what he is actually buying.
> > 3) Price : within a few hours of listing the bike I
> > had an offer of 3000 USD + from a CR member, so I
> > think I am not being unreasonable. I sold item
> > 220091453576
> > for 3000 USD a few months back, the bike
> > didn't have perfect paint either, and didn't have all
> > the chrome that makes the one on ebay at the moment a
> > rather special and spectacular example of RH's work.
> > The buyer was delighted with the bike and said it was
> > the bargain of his life.
> > A Jean Desbois RH racer with no correct parts at all
> > sold on eBay for 2900 USD. Missing parts aren't as
> > important on an RH racer as on a cyclotouring model.
> > 4) Paintwork : this is the only criticism that I will
> > accept. Top tube is not perfect, on the other hand an
> > expert hand would make this just about unnoticeable,
> > and the important parts that can't be touched in
> > easily, ie chrome and Rene Herse logos are perfect.
> > There again I could have had the touching in done here
> > in France but chose not to.
> > 5) Poor photos? It says clearly in the description
> > click HERE which leads you to a full page of high
> > resolution photos. I spend a lot of time downloading
> > photos to my internet site so that buyers get a
> > precise idea of what I am selling. I always detail
> > photo any imperfection, and as my feedback shows,
> > buyers generally find the bikes they buy even better
> > than they looked in the photos. Detail photos always
> > make imperfections look worse than they really are
> > because the human eye always takes in a general view,
> > not a detail view.
> > To change the subject, I would just like to give my
> > personal opinion on Rene Herse bikes buily by Jean
> > Desbois. Much as I admire these bikes, I believe the
> > bikes built before 1976 are in a league of their own.
> > Rene Herse was the ultimate perfectionist, and on his
> > best bikes every detail is perfection and harmony,
> > both absolutely beautiful and absolutely functional.
> > They are at their best the best bikes ever built.
> > To achieve such perfection, time spent had to be of no
> > object. Although Rene didn't do all the work himself,
> > be was an engineering and design genius, and a hard
> > driver of his very skilled workers. On the Desbois
> > machines there were a very few shortcuts that make
> > them just a shade less perfect than things were when
> > Rene was alive : the most obvious the replacement of
> > hand written logos by transfers. I am not in any way
> > denigrating Desbois bikes, they are wonderful, among
> > the best of their time, but not quite as wonderful to
> > my eyes as the "Rene" Rene Herses.
> > I am awaiting with great interest the first results of
> > the Mike Kone RH resurrection. If they want the end
> > result to be of the same standard as the originals,
> > which I believe they do, they will have to spend
> > unlimited time getting every detail perfect. Time =
> > money, so I think these bikes are going to have to be
> > VERY expensive to be economically viable. I think that
> > retrospectively in comparison 3600 USD for an original
> > beautiful model RH blue and chrome racer will seem
> > cheap
> > Alexander March
> > Bordeaux
> > France