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Tuesday Friday, March 9, 2018

We have finally gotten the changes to bidstracker which we promised were coming.
Here's a summary of those changes.

A. On the Summary Page:

    1,  We have removed the % sold column from the page.  As our process for maintaining bidstracker has evolved, we have by and large eliminated listing sales that had no bids. We feel that the amount of time spent entering data for lamps that had no bids was more time consuming than warranted.The percent sold column was intended to be an indicator of how desirable a given lamp might have been (i.e., if a given lamp only sold a small percentage of the time, it was probably not a very sought after lamp).However, this was complicated because there are several reasons why a lamp doesn't sell only one of which was its overall desirability. We think that more often the case was that the starting bid price was higher than the perceived value of the lamp. We also found that many lamps that didn't sell were relisted multiple times (sometimes many multiple times) and these repeats made it hard to draw any meaningful conclusions about the lamp's desirability. You will see data about some lamps that didn't sell because we did not remove any of the old data and we still try to include lamps that didn't sell because their reserve was not met (under the theory that the highest bid they received even if the reserve wasn't met is an indicator of the market's view of that lamp's value.
2. All dollar values for the averages greater than $25 on the summary page have been rounded to the nearest $5. Providing the exact dollar and cents averages implied more precision than was warranted and did nothing to increase the utility of the data. All average values below $25 have not been rounded. The mode had always been reported as being in the midpoint of a $10 dollar range (thus a mode of $45 would be the midpoint of the range from $40-$49.99. The median values have not been rounded.
3. Next to the average high bid column we have added a standard deviation column. The larger the standard deviation, the more variability there is in the average high bid amounts (and conversely the smaller the standard deviation, the less variablity there is. The calculation of the standard deviation assumes that the underlying data (high bid amounts) is normally distributed (that is, follows the typical bell shaped curve). This is not necessarily the case, but the standard deviation value is useful anyway. Typically with a normal curve, plus or minus 1 standard deviation of the average should cover 68% of all cases. Plus or minus 2 standard deviations should cover 95% of all cases and plus or minus 3 standard deviations should cover 99.7% of all cases. We also still show the high and low amounts which of course covers all of the cases we've observed. For example a clear glass Nutmeg lamp (S1-029) has an average of $35 and a standard deviation of $19. Thus we can conclude that 68% of the time that lamp would sell for between $16 and $54.

B. On the detail pages:

The only change made to these pages is the addition of the two charts at the bottom of each detail page. These charts were available previously, but once the switch to Windows 10 was made, these charts were somehow lost. We have now fixed that. The old versions of the first chart (the scatter plot) did have a best fit line drawn over the indivisual dots. We are trying to get that implemented again but have run into some technical hurdles which we hope to overcome. In the meantime, visual inspection of the scatter plot can give you some indication of any trend (up, down or stable) which may be occuring in the data.
Finally, we have been quite lax over the past year or two in maintaining the data. We are attempting to improve our efforts and to again be more inclusive and regular in updating the database. Nonetheless, we feel that the massive amount of data in bidstracker makes it still of value in estimating the worth of a lamp you are interested in buying or in selling.

We thank you for your understanding as we have implemented these changes and we hope you will like the changes we have made.