Tuesday, May 25, 2010


For years many knew that my company disposed of chess estates. Sometimes we bought and sometimes we sold on consignment. This was done for those who were alive and those who had passed away.

I don't do as much of that today, partly because of eBay (Amazon, B&N, etc.) and partly due to a decline in demand for used (or as I call them, "previously owned") items, books, magazines, souvenirs, equipment and DVDs--often because the items are WAY overpriced.

Used chess stuff is not THE chess niche because those places I just mentioned exhibit many prices which are totally unrealistic. For example, some time back someone paid $70+ for a set of 8 issues of SQUARES magazine(a TPi publication). Insane. I have about 100 sets at $30 each. Did the buyer contact me? No and he knew I existed! Strange but how can one make money when dealing with folks who don't know what they are doing and they have finely honed that skill? Someone informed me that Amazon was trying to sell Purdy's Chess Bits and… Obits for $160 as I had just told Amazon the day before it was out of print. What that told me was that there was a "leak" in Amazon AND that many of those "companies" who purport to sell things "no one else" has are owned or licensed/partnered by Amazon. When I reprinted the book (with no difference in the 1st or 2nd printing) Amazon has since ordered ONE copy of that book! So much for scarcity. The downside is that it makes other greedy people think such a book is worth that amount of money and they try to sell theirs for $5 less!

If one wants to make a LOT of $$$ all they have to do is find a great niche product and people who want to buy it. Isn't that the rub? What IS such a product and where does one find the people who want buy it? I KNOW one good chess niche but it is very expensive to carry it out. How does one find partners? Well, I wouldn't want those who are already doing such chess things to partner with me as I don't see their methods of handling it as being worthwhile or any good. They won't operate well for the long haul, it's all about their money NOW.

I still do sales by consignment but what I need is a complete descriptive list (title, author, publisher, year, condition in an email or on a CD--no more handwritten stuff--making a catalog takes long enough). And I have run into those who have bought highly discounted books and who want to re-offer them to me! Somehow if they think I am that stupid, then I might be stupid enough to not know HOW to PAY them! Everyone, it seems, has chess stuff to sell.

If you are doing estate planning you may choose to do business with me so it isn't a mess for your heirs. You can contact me at:


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