Pre-Auction Estimates at the Phillies Memorabilia Live Auction

Tonight the Phillies Memorabilia Live Event by Hunt Auctions took place at Citizens Bank Park.  Billed as "over 200 lots of historical memorabilia", the auction certainly offerd a nice variety from all eras of Phillies baseball.  Among the goodies were game-used equipment, autographs, rare pennants, and an impressive selection of stadium memorabilia.  In general, there was something for everyone.

One detraction from this auction was the widely exaggerated pre-auction estimates that were assigned by Hunt Auctions.  It can be assumed that auction houses use such ranges to not only provide bidders with a baseline value, but to also assign a "suggested price".  And, through the course of an auction, some items will fail to meet expectations, while other driven by a determined bidder get pushed higher than's not an exact science, but you would expect the "experts" to be in the ballpark.

These estimates were largely unfounded.  In fact, they were so bad that of the first 35 lots listed for bid, only six received final bids in the listed range; two received bids higher than the range; and four embarrassingly remained unsold for failing to reach their reserve price (Lot #9Lot #17, Lot #21, Lot #43).

Here are a few of the worst misfires:

Lot #8 - Items related to Placido Polanco's 2000th Hit

Placido Polanco 2000th Hit Lot

Pre-Auction Estimate: $750-1250 
Final Bid: $175
Comments: Really, a cool lot - especially for a Polanco fan.  Unfortunately, Polanco wasn't that popular while he was here...and, well, he's no longer here.  It would be hard to image someone shelling out $1000 for it.

Lot#75 - Spring Training Press Conference Curtain

2011 Phillies Spring Training
Press Conference Curtain

Pre-Auction Estimate: $300-500
Final Bid: $25
Comments: Talk about a donkey.  I didn't like this lot even a little bit (guess no one else did either).  Who decided this could/should attract bids up to $500?

Lot #84 - Connie Mack Stadium Folding Chair

Connie Mack Stadium
Folding Chair
Pre-Auction Estimate: $200-400
Final Bid: $35
Comments: I was embarrassed for this chair.  Pulled from the wreckage of Connie Mack deserved better.  While I think $35 is a low price, I think someone would be insane to pay anywhere close to $200 for it.

Lot #187 - 1993 Autograph Lot

1993 Phillies autograph lot
Pre-Auction Estimate: $200-400
Final Bid: $70
Comments: The '93 Phils are my team, but, lets be honest, there was nothing special here.  Kudos to the Phillies faithful for not buying into the pre-auction hype machine, believing that this might somehow be worthy of $400.