A reader wrote me asking if there are CDs out there to help in collecting and antiquing. I contacted Kovels and Collector Books, and found out that both companies publish price guides on their Web sites, and Collector Books is starting to come out with their titles on CDs.
The Kovels publish their Price Book online at http://www.kovels.com. It's free, but you must register.
Collector Books publishes Schroeder's Antiques Price Guides on its Web site at http://www.priceguidesonline.com. There is a charge of $14.95/year for access to six years of data. They point out that you can use the database to compare values from year to year and study trends in the secondary market.
Collector Books recently came out with its first book on CD-ROM: The Collector's Encyclopedia of FIESTA, Ninth Edition. You can locate specific pieces quickly using the search feature, or you can browse page-by-page through the book. The book costs $24.95, the CD costs $24.95, and you pay $34.95 for both. "The fiesta CD is our first product in a series. Customers can look for more later this year, such as other pottery titles and even Star Wars," a Collector Books spokesperson told me.
Publishing books online and on CD-ROMs is a wonderful trend. Thanks to our reader Pat for asking such a timely question!
I agree with you about online fraud. I'm one of many bilked by a deceptive auction on eBay, but I'm doing something about it. eBay probably won't or it will take so long the many others will become victims before they finally take action.
Please check out http://www.knology.net/~ekrach for more info on how one group of misled dutch auction bidders are making sure this seller hears from various consumer protection agencies. I whipped this site up over this weekend.
If you have questions, please let me know.
Thanks for your letter, Ed!