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Did you know... that in the 1990s we sold tens of thousands of items through sales lists?

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Added: 02/24/2014

We were asked what the "+or-" stands for in our Auction History Database. These items were sold from our oldest semi-annual sales catalogs, and the prices listed are the prices that were listed in the catalogs. Because of the way items were sold, some items may have sold for more or less than the listed prices, but every item actually sold for somewhere near that price (unsold items were deleted)

To give you more detail, I sent out the catalogs to around 2,000 people, and each one had around $200,000 of material in it, with every item having a listed price, and a black and white image of every item. Each catalog would have around 1,000 to 2,000 items, and many were 100 or more pages (each had two sections, one with the listings, and the other with the photos).

There was a set day and time when you could begin ordering by phone (like Monday September 22nd, at 10 AM). You COULD order anything you wanted the moment you got the catalog in the mail, but ONLY if you paid one and a half times the listed price!

Otherwise, you had to wait until the exact time for ordering. I would leave the phone off the hook until that time, and then I would put it back on, and hundreds of people would be trying to call at once, and I would answer whomever was the lucky first person, and take their order (they could have as many items as they wanted for the listed prices). When the first person was done I put the phone down and there would be another person on the line, and I would take their order, and I would continue doing that for around 8 solid hours (and of course many people would ask for the exact same items).

The next day we would collate the orders received (usually 100 or so that first day) and then the next day we would give 25% off on whatever was left, and then the next day we would give 50% off on whatever was left, and by that point 99% of the items were gone!

Of course this was made massively harder in those pre-computer days, and we did most of this by hand. Everyone in the hobby looked forward to these events held two to four times a year.

NOW BACK TO WHY THE "+or-"!

It would have taken FOREVER to go back and find exactly which items sold for the listed prices, which sold for one and a half times, and which sold for 25% off and 50% off.

So instead, I just transcribed all the listed prices, and put "+or-" after them.

And THAT'S the rest of the story!

Incidentally, we have a page (called the "Style Key") in our Auction History that explains other abbreviations and designations we use, and it is located HERE: http://www.emovieposter.com/learnmore/?page=auction_history_stylekey


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