book review: Building with Nature: Inspiration for the Arts & Crafts Home
International Arts & Crafts Comes to San Francisco

Roycroft Pottery on Ebay, update

E4_1 An update to our Roycroft Pottery thread the other day - it seems that Ebay seller (redacted) is now offering a 9-inch dragonfly vase, available from the artist herself for $100, for a buy-it-now price of $250. This is not illegal or even a violation of Ebay rules, but certainly seems unethical to me - not the selling of something for more than it costs or is available elsewhere, of course, but specifically withholding the fact that it could be bought directly from the artist for far less. I have tried to have some sort of dialogue with this person, and got back a reply that I thought seemed to sidestep the issue and simply noted that 'this is my vase and I will sell it for whatever I want' - certainly true, and the dealer certainly does have that right. But with every right comes a responsibility: in this case to educate would-be buyers a bit in this forum or in ebay descriptions. This particular seller was responsible, though, and updated the auction description quite substantially to give credit to the creator. However, other sellers - and even some legitimate antique dealers - misrepresent the provenance of items, and continue to withhold information about items which they should share with prospective buyers, in spite of explicit professional guidelines to be completely forthright. Buyer beware!

[note: article edited 04.03.06]

Comments