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Sun May 7 2017 19:29:09

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
The death of noted film director Jonathan Demme last week brought special meaning and sadness to me. I have been now selling on eBay for 19 years this month and over the years I have made a few sales to notable people. Prior to Demme my most famous customer was Walter Koenig, the actor who played Chekov on the original Star Trek. 

Well, a few years ago I listed a Haitian oil painting depicting a burning village. I acquired it from a local estate auction in Holbrook MA I used to go to weekly (they went bankrupt 2 years ago). I listed it and it sold for only around what I had paid so was not a great hit by any means. I thought it would do much better due to the subject matter. 

The winner's name was Jonathan Demme and at first I thought it a coincidence, but when the address was a fancy Manhattan apartment I checked further and found Demme had started collecting Haitian artwork and it was indeed him. 

I was tempted to reach out to him but thought it better to keep it business-like as he felt using his own name and address was safe with me. So certainly my most famous customer was the person who directed Silence of the Lambs! 

Thought maybe other long time sellers might have a similar story.
Richard




Comments (36) | Permalink

Readers Comments

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon May 8 00:45:40 2017

When I saw "sheikh, sultan and "palace door # 14" in the address line I knew the Chanel handbag I sold was going somewhere...special.  

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: TheKitch This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 00:59:56 2017

I sold a pair of size 18 Ugg shoes to a Harlem Globetrotter and a necktie to the governor of Iowa and a vintage bottle of mens cologne that was going to be a gift for the grandson of the exiled king of a northern European country....
 

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: Foxfire This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 01:05:20 2017

A few years ago, I sold a children's clothing item to the girl who had been the most recent Bachelorette.  She happens to live in the same city I do.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 8 01:20:02 2017

I sold a vintage Vogue pattern to a man in another country - at that point I didn't recognize his name. Unfortunately his package never arrived although he insisted he had checked for it daily. Insurance covered the loss and I figured that was the end of it, until the package came back to me. I translated what had been written on the package that after 3 weeks with no pick up they were returning to sender. Someone somewhere got their wires or address crossed. I don't know. A few months later I was reading an article about a famous clothing designer and yep, it was him. His name has burned a hole in my brain, but I could not see the sense in trying to resend the package to the same address and going through the whole thing all over again. So my most famous pattern purchaser was a famous pattern and clothing designer. I've also had an author of a true crime book buy a copy of her book from me as she wanted to give it to someone and she didn't have access to anymore copies.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: Michael in BC This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 01:29:34 2017

I've had a couple of interesting buyers ...... one of the Saudi Arabian royal family bought a Coca-Cola fountain coupon from c.1903, and I sold a Queen Alexandra garden party invitation to Buckingham Palace.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 01:55:11 2017

I was selling some old records and one country and western album was purchased by the original producer of the album who said his house had burned down and he lost everything. He had been searching for another copy of that record for years.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 02:09:53 2017

I have two items sold on ebay that went to museums!  Both of them rare pieces of art pottery.  And I sold some items to the author and illustrator Tasha Tudor who turned out to live not far from me.  

I also have donated items to muzeums; I donated a core sampler (to check the consistency of cheese and butter) to the Almanzo Wilder Museum in Burke New York.  This was the childhood home of the husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote the "Little House Books".  His mother used to churn butter and sell it at a premium to hotels in Montreal and New York City as the chefs prized the consistency in texture and color of her lroducts.  In this day of commercial butter where every stick is like another and seasonality and pasturage is not somethng we ever think about this is a non issue.  But back in the day the butter was much affected by the seasons and the cow, the feed, the temperature of the spring house you had and the cleanliness of the makers equipment etc.  One way to check this was to use the semi-circular long tool thag you plunged into the butter (or cheese) and twisted and pulled it out to "read" the differences.  Mrs. Wilders butter was prized for its even color and consistency.  I loved the Little House Books and I was THRILLED to be able to give them one when I was taken on a private tour by a person who had grown up in the house before it was a Museum and discovered they knew about her business but did not have a core sampler.  I got a very nice Thank You note on their letterhead.  A keepsake for my grand daughter who also loves Little House.  

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: Jane Dough This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 02:50:56 2017

7 years ago I sold a CD on Amazon which was addressed to "R. Pustulant Lesions Springfield". I was able to trace the Malibu address to a certain pop singer.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 02:56:51 2017

I shipped something to a "Charles Schultz" in California. Possibly a relative.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

This user has validated their user name. by: tanzi

Mon May 8 03:12:21 2017

The only interesting place I have sent some items was to a movie set, they wanted the purse and vintage perfume bottles as "props" Also sold to theater groups for the same purpose

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: Jake613 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 8 04:00:08 2017

I specialize in Kaballah books and amulets so I was pleasantly  surprised to receive a rather large Kabbalah order from a famous female singer who recently got into the stuff (no, it wasn't Madonna, though I'd love to get her email to send her some Kabbalah for free!).
The item came a bit late, but she was rather nice about it and it was so totally different than the "bad girl"  image that she portrays in the media (or is it the media that portrays HER that way?) Anyway, it made my day!

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 07:22:11 2017

I have sold a handmade pendulum to an actor. Preparing the shipping and packing slip, I noticed something odd and did some research. Sure enough, an actor.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: etbubba This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 8 07:34:31 2017

I sold to artist Michael Whelan. It was back when buyers often mailed in their payment.  He decorated the envelope I received, that was what clued me in to it being from THE Michael Whelan.  Also sold an old comic to comics creator Gerry Conway.  I sent him an email thanking him for all the comics he made that I enjoyed.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 07:47:14 2017

I sold an Amelia Earhart travel tote to a traveling actress who was doing a one-woman shoe about Amelia.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 8 08:07:16 2017

How would you know if the customer was famous or noted?  By selling to a famous person does that stabilize your business and make everyone want to buy from you.  Like an endorsement?

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 8 08:39:49 2017

>>How would you know if the customer was famous or noted?  By selling to a famous person does that stabilize your business and make everyone want to buy from you.  Like an endorsement? <<

I only knew after the fact on mine as after having sent so many emails back and forth I really knew his name. No you don't get endorsements and it is one of the reasons many of us didn't mention our person's name - for their privacy.

It is just interesting to know that even famous folks buy on on line venues. It doesn't do anything for our busines other than add in another order. But, with all the gut-wrenching changes many venues make, it is nice to talk about something else for once.

Thanks Richard for bringing up an interesting discussion!

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 09:14:24 2017

Wind kissed, it really doesn't make a difference to the business. It's just fun to realize that even famous people go to internet sites to buy what they want. I enjoyed reading the comments and, like moonfishes, thank Richard for opening the discussion.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 09:51:43 2017

Just one that I know of - a woman's shoe designer from the 80s bought a pair of her own really rockin' boots from that era.  

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

by: toyman This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 8 10:30:01 2017

This is 18 years for me. Over that time I've sold to a couple of well known magazine editors, one actor and an Indy 500 winner. All were diecast collectors or wanted one that matched cars from their past.

It's still a cool feeling to get a Ship To address that is very recognizable.

My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought   My Most Famous eBay Customer and What He Bought

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon May 8 10:47:34 2017

Many years ago I sold some Dukes of Hazzard items to the guy who played Cooter on on the show. I also sold some Journey tour t-shirts to the wife of one of the guys in the band.  

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