Dec 3, 2013
Yes, you read that correctly: two thousand and twenty-five dollars. For a sundress pattern on eBay. Yesterday.
And that doesn't even include shipping!
Here's the original listing.
Friends, I have always tried to live by the adage, "Judge not, lest ye be judged," but honestly, don't you think $2,025 is a bit steep for a vintage sundress pattern? (It's not even a Paris Original!)
How did I learn about this? Well, I just happened to be perusing the pattern auctions on eBay, my favorite way to fritter away the hours. The sundress auction, already sky-high, was just about to end and when it did, Michael insisted I check out what it finally went for. So I did.
Now I too bought a sundress pattern on eBay yesterday. Only mine was $5.99 (five dollars and ninety-nine cents). And I think mine is prettier!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that mail order patterns are generally less valuable than patterns by the big commercial pattern companies. Never heard of mail order? These were patterns that, presumably, one ordered through the mail. The name on the pattern was often Marian Martin or Anne Adams, as well as other, more obscure names. The artwork was usually black and white and the general presentation a bit cut-rate.
There are a zillion vintage mail order patterns for sale currently on Etsy, including sundresses galore, and let me assure you that not a single one is selling for more than $1,000. Make that $100. And usually much, much, much less.
So why did one particular pattern go for $2,025? That, my friends, is my question for you.
Here's a second look:
Naturally, to drive an auction into the stratosphere, all you need are two people who are willing to bid it up. I get that.
Why do you think this pattern went for so much? Again, check out the the original listing (you'll have to scroll down the page on eBay a bit). Is the pattern envelope filled with gold shavings? Is the pattern signed by Betsy Ross? Does it come with dinner for two at La Bernardin?
Would you ever spend $2,025 on something that didn't come with power steering?
What's the most you've ever bid for a vintage pattern (again, we don't judge here at MPB)?