Bidorbuy has become known for one-of-a-kind and difficult-to-find items – the destination for enthusiasts looking for rare coins and stamps, antique clocks and vintage toys, erstwhile kitchen utensils and autographed paraphernalia.
In short, the buyers and sellers of rare and unique objects.
“Today, the sellers on our site cater for a wide variety of needs and offer the full range of products of mass consumption, from high-tech TV sets to makeup brushes,” said bidorbuy marketing manager Joni Calitz.
“Still, scarce items have retained a special place. Many buyers come to bidorbuy specifically in search of the things that are out of the ordinary and cannot be found in an average store,” she said.
Collectable coins and notes continue to hold the lead among rare goods in terms of both the volumes traded and the prices achieved.
Traditionally, the coins go for the top rand; thus, an 1892 Paul Kruger Double shaft gold pond recently went for R120,000. Stamps have proven to be worthy contenders, with half a dozen of them selling for above R10,000 each in the first months of 2018.
A set of four stamps from 1949, the Natal Settlers, found a buyer for as much as R38,000.
Other pricey unique items sold recently are to be found among bidorbuy’s vast antiques category, which houses everything from hefty Victorian cupboards to delicate Art Deco vases.
While it is not surprising that a 1800s iron baby cot, a Purdonium solid oak coal box or a hand-carved Oregon prayer chair achieved four-digit prices, a few eyebrows might be raised at the amount of R1,500 paid for a Sesame combination padlock, or R3,500 paid for a Victorian Doric-style lamp post.
This cast iron lamp post, more than two metres tall, is one of the more unusual antiques recently sold on the site.
“It might not be for everyone, but I am sure that for a knowledgeable collector it makes perfect sense to pay more than R4,000 for a model Ferrari or R4,500 for a pair of autographed boxing trunks,” said Calitz. The trunks in question bear the signature of actor Dolph Lungren, who portrayed the character of boxer Ivan Drago in the famous film Rocky.
“That is not to say that a collector or a fan of vintage objects cannot find affordable treasures on the site,” said Calitz.
Among the recent under-R1,000 purchases are an antique Kenrick metal coffee grinder with a gilt trim, an Alexandererk metal ice cream churn, a vintage Adana printing press and a Luigi Rosario Napoli wooden mandolin from 1890. Some interesting finds can even be acquired for under R100.
For example, a vintage boxed Tala icing syringe set was recently sold for R41, a 1954 camera for R51, while a 1944 empty Castle bottle went for R21.
Some rare and unique items are traded on bidorbuy at a fixed price. However, by their very nature, these items are perfectly suited for auction. “Of course, it takes a brave seller, or rather a seller experienced enough to know what will attract interest, to offer a valuable object on a R1 auction,” said Calitz
That is just what recently happened with a 1970s Swiss-made gold and silver gilt clock by Jaeger le Coultre: it made the journey from R1 to its final selling price of R15,199.99 after a bidding contest which lasted three weeks and involved ten bidders.