License plate collecting with the Wizard

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June 15th, 2013 at 10:42:57 AM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 130
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As some of you know, one of my biggest interests outside of casino games is license plate collecting. Perhaps I'll tell the whole story later, if there is sufficient interest. For now, I will share with you what is going on with my collection now. The big national convention is coming up at the end of June in Reno, so that should give me a lot to talk about for a while.

For now, let me share with you the latest plate I'm eyeing on Ebay. I've been collecting seriously for 28 years. One plate I've always wanted is one with a blatant dirty word. These are very hard to come by because the states have strict decency standards. The only chance is to hope something somehow passes their censors or is smuggled out of jail.

That said, take a look at this plate on Ebay right now.

I've never seen such a plate, let alone for sale, in my life. I know the previous owner, Michael Wiener, mentioned in the auction. I wrote to him and he said he smuggled it out of a New Mexico prison and put the sticker on himself. So this is the real deal. It has a story behind it too, which I always like.

So, I've got a pretty high sniper bid on it. My rule of thumb is prices tend to double in the last ten seconds of an auction. All I will say is I'll win if that is the case. However, sometimes there is somebody else who simply wants a plate more than me. I've seen plates rise in price by a factor of 10 or more in the last seconds, and I still lost. Who knows how high the winner was willing to go.

The auction closes at 10:00 tomorrow morning, Pacific time. Wish me luck.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
June 15th, 2013 at 11:52:54 AM permalink
theodores
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 85
I have a question. How do you do a sniper bid? I've hated getting sniped on auctions before.

Good luck.
June 15th, 2013 at 12:11:34 PM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 130
Posts: 2881
Quote: theodores
I have a question. How do you do a sniper bid? I've hated getting sniped on auctions before.


I use ezsniper.com. You pay a modest fee per successful snipe and they do it for you. Just put in the auction number and max bid any time before the auction, except less than about 30 seconds before closing.

I used to hate being sniped too. That is why my Ebay handle is secondagain, because I was usually coming in second. However, I eventually got tired of being beat by the snipers and joined them. Putting in bids early just fuels demand and you'll either lose or pay a lot more. It used to happen to me all the time when I would put in an early bid and somebody would keep increasing his bid by $1 until he passed me. It is these types you beat with snipping.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
June 15th, 2013 at 12:19:22 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
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I wouldn’t mind hearing the story. Collections I kind of “get”, I can understand why someone would. I of course collected baseball/football cards, although that ceased long ago (still have the collection, but no longer add to it). And, back when I worked in retail and had tons of access, I used to collect old money. It’s surprising the things people would use as plain currency.

But license plates are curious to me. I know many use them as decoration for garages, or even to “complete a vibe” such as for a show car, but I never knew of anyone to collect them “just because”. If you’re willing to type it, I would read it.

This reminds me of a funny story… at least it was funny then…

Back when I was a hard assed youth, I worked in a garage. I had a beater ’94 Beretta that I wanted to work on, but the owner wouldn’t let me used the dealer plates because my car was a mess. I didn’t even have a proper exhaust; it was just straight pipe with a 3” cherry bomb on it. No muffler, no catalytic converter, just a ripper. I was cursing my bosses name for being unreasonable (lol) when I decided to be a smartass. You know how dealership put the little decorative plate where the license plate goes that usually advertises their shop? Well, they’re one sided; the backs are blank. So I took a black sharpie, drew some lines, drew a crude Statue of Liberty, wrote “New York” on the top, and gave it the license “SUCK IT”. I showed it around to the mechanics (a rough bunch of guys who could appreciate it ;)) and the more I looked at it… the more it looked legit. If I just adjusted the Statue a little more, filled out the letters to the proper font…

One lunch break later and it was perfect. Sure, the writing was black instead of blue, and “SUCK IT” was probably a dead giveaway as to its counterfeit-ness, but from 10’ away (the minimum distance any trailing police would be) you couldn’t tell it from real. I rode on that plate for a month with no issues, even creeped through an inspection checkpoint and never got tagged =D Thank god they didn’t have plate readers back then….
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
June 15th, 2013 at 2:20:04 PM permalink
miplet
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 4
Posts: 354
Good luck. I wonder what the reserve price is. Still looking for a Pope plate I assume.
"...remind me of clue: Colonel Mustard in the billiard room with the candlestick."- Derek Morgan
June 15th, 2013 at 4:12:45 PM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 130
Posts: 2881
Quote: Face
I wouldn’t mind hearing the story. Collections I kind of “get”,.


Thanks for asking. Not right now, but I'll write up something when I get the chance. Until then, you can enjoy my ten commandments for beginning a license plate collection.

Quote: miplet
Good luck. I wonder what the reserve price is. Still looking for a Pope plate I assume.


I wonder too. I hate cowardly sellers that set high reserves, which aren't met, especially hidden reserves. If I win, but am rebuffed by the reserve, I'll be pretty steamed tomorrow. I'll consider it just a "fishing" auction, where the owner was just curious what it would go for, putting a reserve of a million dollars or so, to ensure he wouldn't lose the item.

Yes, still looking for a Vatican plate. Any plate from the VC will do. Unless FrG becomes a cardinal and can pull some strings I don't see getting the Pope's plate in this lifetime.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
June 15th, 2013 at 6:23:32 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 97
Posts: 6013
Quote: Wizard
As some of you know, one of my biggest interests outside of casino games is license plate collecting. Perhaps I'll tell the whole story later, if there is sufficient interest. For now, I will share with you what is going on with my collection now. The big national convention is coming up at the end of June in Reno, so that should give me a lot to talk about for a while.


Do please tell about your hobby. Plates have fascinated me since I was a child, on some trip where my mother showed about spotting different ones to pass the time (back when you had to do that to pass the time on a family trip.) I still remember the most out-of-state plates I ever saw in a short time was on the NYS Thruway between Rochester and Buffalo the day after Woodstock III let out.

On your list of rules I would put a qualifier on #5. If you find something you like and want for intrinsic value the beauty of the object may be more important. Just like modifying your antique car to your taste. It may hurt the value but increase enjoyment.

As a question, do you make any special effort to get plates from your birth year?
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
June 15th, 2013 at 7:19:57 PM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 130
Posts: 2881
Quote: AZDuffman
Do please tell about your hobby.


I appreciate the interest. Here is something I wrote in 2010 about the annual Silver State license plate meet. It starts with a preface about how I got into collecting in the first place. License Plate Collectors Meet.

Quote:
Plates have fascinated me since I was a child, on some trip where my mother showed about spotting different ones to pass the time (back when you had to do that to pass the time on a family trip.) I still remember the most out-of-state plates I ever saw in a short time was on the NYS Thruway between Rochester and Buffalo the day after Woodstock III let out.


I've been a license plate fan as far back as I remember. Before I ever owned one I would get excited about seeing a plate from Hawaii or a small state back east like Delaware. To this day I still do. I've got at least 20 plates from Hawaii in my closet, but there is something special about spotting one on the road. A while ago I wrote about spotting a Puerto Rico plate in the Palazzo parking garage.

A good place for spotting out of state plates close to my former home is the Disneyland parking lot. I remember once at the Sea World parking lot in San Diego I spotted a Guam plate.

Quote:
On your list of rules I would put a qualifier on #5. If you find something you like and want for intrinsic value the beauty of the object may be more important. Just like modifying your antique car to your taste. It may hurt the value but increase enjoyment.


I agree with that. I used to host the ALPCA web site before it was official and wrote a few articles for it. That is one of the few that remain. I don't want to bother the new webmaster with a minor change.

Quote:
As a question, do you make any special effort to get plates from your birth year?


Yes! I've got a birth year run of regular passenger plates as well as samples. This means all 50 states plus DC. For the passenger plates I also have every province of Canada.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
June 16th, 2013 at 3:45:08 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 97
Posts: 6013
Quote: Wizard
Before I ever owned one I would get excited about seeing a plate from Hawaii or a small state back east like Delaware. To this day I still do. I've got at least 20 plates from Hawaii in my closet, but there is something special about spotting one on the road. A while ago I wrote about spotting a Puerto Rico plate in the Palazzo parking garage.


I think I have seen all of 3 HI plates in my life, still remember where I saw the first one. Grocery store parking lot near my home. Nobody else saw it even though I made a fuss (still a kid) about it. FWIW I would wager most of the HI, Guam, and a few others are military that recently transferred and did not yet switch to new plates. So in travels keep an eye out around know base areas like Tuscon or San Diego.

There is an ice cream store here in PA where they have one of those "cross off the plates" signs in the window every year and if you have out of state plates they cross them off. Most years they get them all plus a few "strays" like Guam or PR.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
June 16th, 2013 at 6:22:36 AM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 130
Posts: 2881
Quote: AZDuffman
FWIW I would wager most of the HI, Guam, and a few others are military that recently transferred and did not yet switch to new plates. So in travels keep an eye out around know base areas like Tuscon or San Diego.


I used to make a lot of deliveries to Vandenberg AFB. The first time I didn't have the right paperwork to get on base so I had to go into the office for extra questioning. In the parking lot there was a Guam plate. Sometimes I'll show some pictures of my U.S. military plates, including Gtmo Bay and Wake Island.

One hour left to go in the auction. Current price is $139.50.

---

Seven minutes to go. Price is $200. Reserve met.

----

Got it! Auction closed at $205. Strangely no spike in price at the last minute. Just my sniper bid.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
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