I've cleaned out the old posts and we're off to a fresh start! If you haven't already heard, I'm hoping some of you will jump in as guest bloggers so there will be something of interest here even on the days I can't get to it. There's certainly plenty to talk about, but some days the words don't flow....
So much new going on at Pattern Rescue, and please keep in mind that we ALWAYS value your input. Today's topic is about pattern sales -- which needs more explanation and discussion than appropriate for the newsletter.
Buried in the fine print of the site is an assurance that we'll be in touch if your box of donated patterns includes a hidden treasure (generally, a pattern worth $35 or more). And, of course, non-members can ask us to reimburse them for the postage -- and about a third of them do.
This issue has come to the top now for 2 reasons. First, we've got a couple of hidden treasures that came in recently and we need to deal with them. Second, we've seen a steady increase in the number of pattern donations coming from non-members, and the pin money fund can't even begin to cover the postage.
Hidden treasures are not that common. Many of you are clearly experienced collectors and/or pattern sellers and we expect you have a good idea what you're sending -- as when Nicole offered to send us the 1940s and 1950s patterns she didn't want from a recent estate purchase. We weren't expecting to find an uncut McCall 1399 Mexican jacket pattern (approximate retail value $50) tucked in among the shirt-dresses and suits!
Nicole had no idea what it was worth and doesn't know how to go about selling it. Sure -- we could just send it back to her (doesn't seem neighborly, but...) or put a note in the newsletter for anyone interested to get in touch with her. We're inclined to consider selling it for her because we have issue number two: postage requests.
Large estate donations are getting to be very common (outnumbering member donations so far this year) and usually have 100 or more patterns. One that came in a couple of months ago cost the sender nearly $100 to ship -- and included a stack of 1940s apron patterns among other joys. But she's still waiting because there isn't enough extra in the pin money fund.
So... we're leaning towards a small pattern auction once every month or two. Hidden treasures would be listed with a minimum price of 1/2 the appraised value. For non-member donations, we'd pull out a few patterns and post the amount we need to raise altogether to cover the postage. Bidding would be a silent auction style with a specific end date, and bids would be restricted to Pattern Rescue members.
I don't have a problem with doing this, and I think it would be fun for everyone involved. The only thing that really concerns me is keeping the message from getting muddy. With very few patterns ever being for sale, and with the sale proceeds going to the original pattern owners, I think we can keep the auctions clearly identified as exceptions.
On the other hand, I may be missing something obvious. So here's where you guys jump in. Reactions? Suggestions? Weigh in and let me know!