Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Last Post ... About Posters!

I have become a bit addicted to movie poster auctions when I have one up for bids. Especially on the last day I check ten or more times, maybe even ten times in the last five minutes, because I have been rewarded with big leaps. Each higher price means more in my pocket. It's a game, and I am the winner.

Last week I auctioned this lobby card for Dial M For Murder with Grace Kelly (or her stand-in) back to the camera. I didn't realize what an iconic image it was when I consigned it to the auction. Tuesday at 1:30pm it had a bid of $170. Eight bids later it closed at $387!

I recommend They answer queries about posters you are thinking of sending to them. They take care of all problems. There rarely are any! They pay promptly. Emovie has an archive of 363,658 posters they have sold in the past. Go to their Image Archive to research the value of your poster collection. Simply type in a title to see what various size posters have sold for in the past. Emovie pays the most for posters auctioned with a sliding scale that keeps 20% for items that sell for over $1,000 and 28% for those selling between $100 and $300. At 26% for the Dial M lobby card, I should get a check for $287. I am very happy about the arrangement since Emovie does all the work and I could never reach every serious poster collector in the world by auctioning it myself on ebay.

Here are the benefits of consigning to in their own words:
  • The only work you do is getting your items to us. We do everything else!
  • No hidden agenda. We stand by what we say and will never mislead you.
  • We NEVER buy items from you because that would put us in direct conflict with our consignment based business, and we would be on "the opposite side" from you, needing to buy your items for a low price. When you consign to us, we are "on the same side" so if your items sell for more, then you get more and we also get more. This means we are highly motivated to get the most for your items.
  • You get an audience of 8,236 movie paper collectors who know us (many have been buying from us for 20 years) and who know that we always describe everything honestly and usually send purchases out within two business days of receiving payment, very securely wrapped in specially made extra-strong boxes and tubes. This makes bidders more likely to bid on an item we're offering than one offered by someone unknown to them (like you!).
  • Since we auction on a regular schedule every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday offering 1,000 to 2,000 items a week, bidders are more inclined to look over our auctions because we will probably have something to interest them. There are thousands of people who check our auctions every single time, and who would probably miss your item if it is auctioned any other way, because they simply don't have the time to check out other auction sites on a regular basis!

I recently auctioned the above poster for Ministry of Fear and it sold for $415. I don't even remember how I acquired the poster. I once owned a 16mm print of the film and the poster might have been included free, or I might have picked up the poster cheaply because I owned the print. I also sold a lobby card from the film last week for $112, and I am keeping another lobby card because I don't think it would sell for much.

My Dirty Harry poster sold for $333. It's a striking image and a landmark film in the career of one of the greats, but the poster was not in the best condition. No one-sheets from this film are in great shape because they were printed on a kind of glossy paper that picked up wear along the folds as soon as they were folded, and all one-sheets were folded. In the weeks after mine sold, two others sold for $205 and $249.

Apparently poor condition does not hamper the sale price of the rarest of rare posters. I could not believe how poor this lobby card for Frankenstein was or how much it sold for. It was found in a barn! Anyway, the final selling price this week was $4,608! Some restorer has a lot of work ahead of them.

How do I feel about selling posters I have owned for many years? Just fine! The reason is because I kept them in boxes and never displayed them on walls so that they had a chance to become part of my life. Yes, I sure wish I had bought more posters over the years ... so I could sell them now! I do feel good about spotting quality posters that I could not walk away from. I mentioned in my earlier post about auctioning posters, that a lobby card for Lady from Shanghai sold for $900.

Why is this my last post about posters? Because I have sold all the good ones in my collection. I am keeping a few, but no more big auction deals will be coming up for me, at least not from the ones I bought years ago. I guess I need to look through old barns for more!

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