Regret is a constant itch that can be scratched with the help of puzzle auctions. It is a second chance to acquire that puzzle that will complete you. I always track the auctions looking for puzzling gems that would add shine to my collection. I’ve acquired several puzzles through the auctions including a couple of Bill Cutler’s Wausau series puzzles (‘82 and ‘83) made by Mr. Puzzle and several Cubicdissection puzzles that I failed to buy when they came out. (Note: Wausau ’82 and ’83 are currently available at Mr. Puzzle and Wausau ’82 – ’84 are available again on Bill Cutler’s site ). The puzzle auction sites that I track are:
- Baxterweb Puzzle Auction – This puzzle auction site, run by Nick Baxter, is held a few times during the year and lately has been concentrated in the Winter months. I believe that the puzzles being auctioned are in Nick’s possession (therefore shipped from the US) and he provides the photos and descriptions along with an estimate of what the puzzle is worth. Bidding utilizes an anti-sniping feature set to 24 hours. For those of you not familiar with the term sniping, it refers to the action of a bidder to place a bid just before an auction ends to ensure that the prior winning bidder does not have an opportunity to reconsider and increase his bid. The anti-sniping capabilities added to many auction sites were added to avoid this by extending the auction for a period of time after a new highest bidder has been established.
- Cubicdissection Marketplace – Run by Eric Fuller, this puzzle auction site runs several times during the year. Before the auction starts, any registered seller can add items to be auctioned. The sellers provided the descriptions and photos and the puzzles are shipped by the sellers from their location to the winning bidders. Bidding utilizes an anti-sniping feature with a variable time delay that decreases over time to avoid long extensions for the auction. It’s 24 hours for the first 3 days.
- eBay – Sometimes, very nice puzzles show up on eBay. I acquired my copy of Stewart Coffin’s Jupiter puzzle on eBay. Anybody can list a puzzle on eBay at any time so you either have to hear about it or establish search criteria that will periodically email results to you. All listing information is from the seller and the puzzle will be shipped from the seller’s location. Sniping is rampant on eBay, so make sure you bid appropriately. Puzzles can also be listed with a buy option.
- Haubrich Puzzle Auction – This puzzle auction site is run by Jacques Haubrich and runs several times during the year. I believe that the puzzles being auctioned are in Jacques’ possession (therefore shipped from the Netherlands) and he provides the photos and descriptions along with an estimate of what the puzzle is worth. Bidding utilizes an anti-sniping feature with a variable time delay that decreases over time to avoid long extensions for the auction. It starts at 24 hours and only existing bidders on an item can continue bidding during the extension period.
- Puzzle Paradise – This site is like eBay for Puzzlers. It is supported out of the UK by a group of puzzling individuals that generously donate their time to support the site. Puzzles can be listed at any time by registered sellers, who provide all listing information, and the puzzles ship from the seller’s location. Puzzles can also be listed with a buy option. Puzzle listings may indicate that anti-sniping is activated and how it operates.
Please be respectful when participating on these puzzle auction sites. The site administrators work hard to make these valuable facilities available to the puzzle community. They can and will bar troublemakers from participating at their discretion.
This post was motivated by the 2 major puzzle auctions going on this week at the Cubicdissection Marketplace and the Haubrich Puzzle Auction. When checking out the Cubicdissection Marketplace, be sure to look at the puzzles being offered by an anonymous seller identified as Steve (there’s a Big clue here somewhere on who that is). In a stroke of brilliant lunacy, Steve has standardized weight and size measurements for puzzles utilizing the Standardised Puzzle Hamster (SPH). All puzzle vitals are provided in SPH and each puzzle photo is taken with the SPH for reference except for the ones that the SPH was too embarrassed to be seen with. For those using antiquated systems of measurement, the conversion to 1 SPH is 160mm length, 76mm height , and 64g weight. The puzzle descriptions are a must read and not to be missed. And the best part – One of the puzzles that the SPH is squatting on is Wausau ’83!
Bid well and may all your bids be successful!