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  So, What's a Really Rare Plant Worth?
From: ted.held at us.henkel.com (ted.held at us.henkel.com) on 2007.10.22 at 13:42:39(16577)
There are two issues about e-Bay. The first is fraudulent offerings. We
have heard a few varieties of this. The other is very high prices for real

As most people who raise rare plants (or animals) know, sometimes there
are really rare plants that are just not generally available. In a
practical sense, this means almost any plant that is not in commercial
mass cultivation and distributed through the usual mass outlets.

I was at an auction two weekends ago that contained three very rare
Cryptocoryne (aroids). The bidding audience was not made up of plant
people by and large. These plants were difficult to sell at $1 apiece. How
much would it take to find them for a non-specialist? Probably at least
$100 each.

What if you put one on e-Bay, labeled correctly and in good condition and
health? How much should they go for, $1?, $100?, $1000? It all depends on
the unfathomable complexity of the marketplace. What if you had one and
wanted to unload it. How much would you let it go for? $1, $100? What if
you had five dozen and wanted to let them go? How much would you accept?
$1 each? $100 each? What if you had only one and loved it dearly? How much
would it take to get you to change your mind? $100? $1000?, more?

How would those numbers change were you a billionaire?

My view is that an honest market should permit transactions among willing
players at whatever price is agreeable to both parties. If a rare
Sansevieria goes for $3000 when you paid $100, so be it. If your eyebrows
are raised, sell a couple and pocket the money. If $3000 is way too high,
the next transactions will prove that out. There are no absolutes in these

Of course, fraud is another thing. Just keep the difference straight in
your mind.


From: agavestar at covad.net (Michael Mahan) on 2007.10.22 at 19:56:10(16584)
Very well said better than I could .. The market forces that drive Ebay
auctions are very complex but a force that can be militated by greed ,
popular thought ,frenzy and plain old snake oil selling talk it up ! .
I've seen very , very rare plants sell for the starting bid or not sell at
all .WHY ? nobody knew what the hell they were & the market persons who
would of bid them high just weren't on Ebay . But weeks later a newspaper
article Zoomed the relisted auction plants thru the roof .
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