Welcome to Block's Marble Auctions.
This site is devoted solely to handmade, machine made, and contemporary marbles, and related items.
Who runs Block's Marble Auctions?
The Block's Marble Auctions is run by Robert Block. I am the author of a number of books on marble identification and marble collecting, published by Schiffer Publishing, including Marbles: Identification and Price Guide. I have been collecting and dealing in marbles since 1973, and have been running marble auctions since 1989.
We have been auctioning marbles since 1989, making us the oldest and longest run marble auctioneers in the world. Block's Marble Auctions has been a pioneer in the use of the internet to hold auctions. We were the first auctioneer to ever hold live online auctions (the CyberAuction series, first in AOL Chat Rooms, and later on the IRC).
While our initials auctions in 1989 were mail and phone absentee auctions, we soon moved to the online arena. Block's Marble Auctions has been continuously selling marbles online since 1993. No one has been selling marbles online longer than us.
We sell marbles through an online chat room auction called the Marble CyberAuction and on Ebay. Occasionally we hold a live auction.
There are several ways to buy marbles on this site:
- Live Chat Room Auctions with Pre-Bidding (Chat Room Auctions)
- Ebay-style with anti-sniping additional bidding time (Timed Bid)
- Auctions and Store on Ebay
What sets Block's Marble Auctions apart?
- All marbles offered by Block's Marble Auctions are catalogued and imaged by me, Bob Block. I have written numerous books on marble identification and marble collecting, and I have over 25 years experience cataloguing marbles.
- The Live Chat Room Auctions allow you to bid in real-time against other marble collectors in a chat room. If you can't make the auction, you have the option of leaving absentee bids on this site.
- The Timed Bid Auctions have anti-sniping features. You can't be outbid in the last few minutes, without having the opportunity to re-bid.
- All purchases are unconditionally guaranteed to be as described. If you are not happy, for any reason at all, simply return your purchase for a full refund (plus return shipping).
The other topics in this Help area explain about the different types of auctions I run, and show you how to buy and sell on this site, and how to use the other features of this site.
Marbles are sold in three different ways on this website. You can access each area by clicking the appropriate link at the top of each page on the site.
Live Chat Room Auction (press the "Auction #### mm/dd/yyyy" link)
This type of auction is similar to a live auction held in an auction room, except that the auction room is completely online in a Chat Room.
The auction catalogue is posted to this site about 2 weeks before the Chat Room session is scheduled to start. Bidders who cannot attend the Chat Room session, or who don't wish to bid during the Chat Room session, can place absentee bids on the items using this site. This is the Pre-Bidding Period.
At the date and time that the Chat Room Session is scheduled to begin, the Pre-Bidding is frozen. Each lot is then sold, in sequential order, in an online auction room that is displayed on your screen (Click "Go To Chat Room" link). Each lot is introduced by me and then bidding begins at the current high absentee bid shown on this site. Bidding continues live in the Chat Room and then the lot is sold and the next one is brought up. All activity appears Chat Room window on your screen. You can see the usernames of all the other bidders who are logged on, and their bids and comments all appear in the Message window. When the last lot is sold, the auction ends.
These auctions are a continuation of the Marble CyberAuctions that I used to run.
See the Live Chat Room Auction Procedure article below.
Timed Bid Auction (Ebay Style) (press the "Timed Bid" link)
This is similar to the type of auction you find on Ebay.
An item (either an individual marble or a group of marbles) is posted for auction with a starting bid. The item is set to close on a certain date and time. You and other bidders enter bids via the Bid area in the listing. The website competitively bids each bidder's bids against each other, and the high bid is one increment above the maximum bid of the second highest bidder.
The end of auction is different in a Timed Bid Auction than it is on Ebay. On Ebay, the auction ends at a certain time. Someone can slip a bid in with several seconds before the closing time, outbid you, and you would not get a chance to increase your maximum bid and would lose the item.
This site has an anti-sniping feature in place. The item ends when no bid has been received within five minutes of the last bid at closing time. For example, if an item is scheduled to end at 9:00.00PM and a bid is received at 8:57.30, then the item would not end until 5 minutes later, at 9:02.30. If a bid was then placed at 9:01:00, then the 5 minute countdown timer resets and the item would not end until 9:06.00. Every time a bid is entered, the countdown timer resets, until 5 minutes has elapsed without a bid. You cannot be Sniped!
Those of you who used to bid in the Block's Box Absentee Marble Auctions and the Running Rabbit Marble Auctions will remember that this is the way those auctions were run.
Ebay (press the "Marbles on Ebay" link)
Click this link to view the items I currently have on Ebay.
To create your account choose the “Register” link on the header navigational bar or use any of the links available on the home page.
When registering you will be asked to complete a short form which includes standard information such as your contact details, preferred login credentials etc.
Mandatory fields include:-
· Zip/Post Code
· Phone Number
· Username & Password
· E-Mail address
· Confirmation of terms an conditions acceptance
Once registered you will receive E-Mail confirmation.
Should you encounter any registration difficulties please contact us.
We conducted our first Chat Room Auction in 1993. In fact, we are the first auctioneer to ever conduct live auctions in a chat room. Our Chat Room Auctions were originally conducted in AOL chat rooms. They then moved to IRC. We now conduct Chat Room Auctions at http://www.chatzy.com/cyberauction on Chatzy.
The catalogue for the current auction can be downloaded as a PDF file from https://www.marblecyberauction.com/currentcatalogue.pdf
The Chat Room Auctions consist of two phases: The Absentee Bidding phase and the Live Auction phase.
Absentee Bidding Phase
- The Lots in the auction are posted to this site about 2 weeks before the auction date.
- You must be registered on this site to submit Absentee Bids. You do not need to be registered if you just want to view the Lots.
- Register by clicking the Register link or the Login link on the home page
- This site is set up similar to Ebay, each lot is a separate listing and shows description and images.
- You can display the Lots in the auction from any page by clicking one of the two links shown in this image
- Lots will display in Lot number order. You can change the order by clicking on the arrows in the heading titles.
- The page works just like Ebay. You can click on the item you are interested in (if you right-click on the Lot and then choose "Open Link in New Tab" then you won't have to bring up the Lot Listing page again). The Lot page includes a number of images of the lot, as well as the description including defects, size, condition.
- You can bid on the lot the same as on Ebay, meaning that you are entering a proxy bid (explained below). Enter your bid in the area directly below the lot images, or at the bottom of the page:
- When you enter your bid, the system will competitively bid you against any prior absentee bids. For example, if the lot is currently at $8 and you enter a bid of $14, and the previous bidder had entered a maximum bid of $10, then you would be the high bidder at $12 with a maximum bid of $14. If a bidder then enters a maximum bid of $14, you would be moved to $14. If they entered a bid of $16, then they would be the high bidder at $16. The system will only bid you high enough to beat any other prior bidder. The system will not subsequently bid any higher than your maximum bid.
- Bid Increments are as follows. $1-$50: $2, $50-$100: $5, $100-$500: $10, $500-$1000: $25, $1000-$2500: $50, Over $2500 $100.
- You can increase your maximum bid at any time. If you were already the high bidder on the lot, then this won't change your current bid, it will just change your maximum.
- All Lots close for Absentee Bidding at the Start Time of the Live Chat Room phase (shown as the End Time on the auction listing). If the date or time of the Live Chat Room phase has to be changed after the Absentee Bidding phase has begun, then the closing times on the lot listings will be modified and an email will be sent out. The Absentee Bidding phase will never be shortened, it can only be extended.
- At the end of the Absentee Bidding phase, the lot will close to further absentee bids. At that time, the current high bidder will become the Absentee Bidder for that lot in the Live Chat Room phase.
- Note that the current high bidder at the close of the Absentee Bidding phase is not the winner of the Lot. They are the Absentee Bidder in the Live Chat Room phase. The winner of the lot is determined during the Live Chat Room phase. The Absentee Bidding phase is the method we use to collect absentee bids and keep absentee bidders informed as to the status of their bid (this replaces the old method of collecting and reporting absentee bid status via email).
- At the close of the Absentee Bidding phase the current high bidder for a Lot is the Absentee Bidder in the Live Chat Room phase, their Current High Bid is the starting bid for the Lot in the Live Chat Room phase and their Maximum Bid is the amount that the Auctioneer will bid up to for them during the Live Chat Room phase. The Maximum Bid is never displayed on this site to other bidders. It is made available to the Auctioneer via the Administration account on this site after the Absentee Bidding phase ends.
- After the Lot is sold in the Live Chat Room phase, the high bid and bidder will be updated on the lot listing. You can access the Sold lots on this site at any time after the Live Chat Room phase ends.
- If you encounter any problems with this site during the Absentee Bidding phase, please contact me via the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page, or via email at email@example.com or via text message at 203-209-7076.
LIVE CHAT ROOM PHASE
- The Live Chat Room phase begins at the time previously announced for the auction. This is generally Sunday night at 8PM NYC time.
- The CyberAuction Chat Room is hosted on the Chatzy network and can be accessed at http://www.chatzy.com/cyberauction or by clicking the GO TO CHATROOM link at the top of any page:
- When you arrive at the Cyberauction page on Chatzy, you will have to enter a username to enter the room. This name has to be unique to any registered name or name currently in use on Chatzy, so I recommend that you register with Chatzy so that you have a permanent username. The other advantage of this is that I will be able to access your email address when you win a Lot and I won't have to slow the auction down to ask you for it. You can register and/or login to Chatzy in the upper right corner of the page:
- To enter the Chat Room itself, you must enter a username and then hit Enter Room
- You then must hit Join Room at the bottom of the page to actually Join the chat, otherwise you are just observing:
- Now that you are in the Chat Room, you can bid on the lots in the Live Chat Room phase.
- We start with Lot 1, auction it and then move on to Lot 2 and continue sequentially until all lots are sold. The speed of the auction is about 1 lot per minute or so.
- Here is a sample of the sale of a lot (I'll explain in detail below the image):
- First, I'll open the Lot for bidding by announcing the lot number and type
- I'll then open the bidding with the current high absentee bid from the Absentee Bidding phase. If there is no absentee bid on the lot, then I'll open it at $1.
- Bidding is in the same increments as the Absentee Bidding phase: $1-$50: $2, $50-$100: $5, $100-$500: $10, $500-$1000: $25, $1000-$2500: $50, Over $2500 $100.
- Any live bidder can enter a bid in the chat room, as long as it is at least the increment shown above.
- When the absentee bidder has reached their maximum, I'll announce "abs out"
- When it looks like bidding has reached an end, I'll announce "anyone else"
- After about 5 seconds the I'll close the lot and announce the high bid and high bidder
- If someone bids between me saying "anyone else" and closing the lot then it remains open
- If you are registered with Chatzy, then I can grab your email address from the system. Otherwise, email me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Invoices are sent out the morning after the auction. Paypal is preferred, but I accept all major credit cards, checks and money orders.
- Shipping occurs one day after payment
- All lots are guaranteed to be as described. If you are unhappy with an item for ANY reason, please return it for a full refund.
- If you have any questions please contact me via the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page, via email at email@example.com or via text at 203-209-7076. During the Live Chat Room phase, contact me via text if you have any issues.
A number of bidders have had a question as to whether they should bid Absentee or Live in the Chat Room Auctions.
This is merely a matter of preference on your, the bidder's, part.
If you will be unable to be in the Chat Room for the Live session, then you can leave absentee bids for the lots on this site, for your convenience. Remember, if you leave an absentee bid for a Lot here, and you are the high bidder at the end of the Absentee phase (when the Live phase begins, then that does not necessarily mean that you have won the Lot. What it means is that you are the Absentee Bidder for that Lot during the Live phase. I will open the Lot in the Chat Room at your current high bid, as shown on the Lot on this site, and then bid competitively for you if I have to, up to the maximum bid that you left on this site. The winning bidder of any Lot is determined in the Chat Room during the Live phase. In order to leave absentee bids on this site, you do have to register.
If you can attend the Live phase when it is held in the Chat Room, then you can bid competitively for yourself against the Absentee Bidder and against other Live bidders. You do not have to register with the Chat Room (although you do need to choose a username when you enter the Chat Room). However, registering over there will facilitate me getting an invoice to you.
See the FAQ "Chat Room Auctions" on this page for more information. If you have any questions, please contact me using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page.
Placing a bid on an item you are interested in couldn’t be easier, when viewing the item details page you will have two areas from where you can place your bid, one next to the item details and a second at the bottom of the page.
To place your bid simply enter the amount you wish to bid e.g. 50.00. Please note no currency symbols are required. The bid will be placed in the auction currency.
Once done you will be asked to review your bid and you will also be able to view vital item details such as the shipping conditions before confirming your bid. To submit your bid simply press the “Place Bid” button.
If your bid is high enough to take the lead in the auction a confirmation message will be displayed to you, however if your bid has not taken the lead be it due to a higher proxy bid or not meeting the reserve price you will be invited to make a further bid.
Should you decide to retract your bid this can be done via the “Current Bids” section of the member’s area.
You can also place a proxy bid, proxy bidding allows you to place your “High Bid”. At all times you will only pay the lowest required bid should you win the auction. For example, if the current bid on an auction is 500.00 you can place a proxy bid of 2,000. Should you remain the only bidder you will only pay 500.00. However should the item receive other bids the site will automatically re-bid for you (upto 2,000 in this scenario) to ensure you remain in the lead.
We accept the following methods of payment:
- Paypal to account firstname.lastname@example.org
- Credit card (Visa/Mastercard/Discover), call me at 203-209-7076 with the credit card number, expiration date, CVV, name and billing address. Alternatively, you can send them in two separate emails to email@example.com
- Personal check made out to Robert Block and sent to Robert Block, 10 Twarog Place, Shelton CT 06484.
- United States Postal Service money order (not Western Union) made out to Robert Block and sent to same address as above
We ship within one day of payment by Paypal, credit card or money order. We will generally immediately ship orders paid by personal check, but if we have not dealt with you before and/or the order is large, we may wait until the check clears.
Everything bought through our auctions is unconditionally guaranteed. If, for any reason at all, you are unhappy with your purchase, please notify me within three days of receipt (as determined by date of delivery in USPS or UPS tracking) via the Contact Us link on the bottom of any page on this site.
If the return is due to a sizing, grading or identification error on my part, then I will refund your original payment plus the cost of shipping the item back, upon receipt of the returned item.
If the return is for a reason other than our error, then I will refund your original payment, upon receipt of the returned item.
The returned item must be shipped with tracking (either USPS delivery confirmation, or UPS tracking number). You can ship returned items to Robert Block, 10 Twarog Place, Shelton CT 06484
We accept consignments of marbles for auction.
The commission rate is 15% of the bid-in price. Lower commission rates are available for larger consignments. We guarantee the lowest commission rate of any marble auctioneer. You are also charged for Paypal fees (about 3%). There are no auction site fees for marbles sold through Chat Room or Timed Bid Auctions. If your marbles are sold on Ebay, then you are also responsible for the Ebay and Paypal fees incurred in auctioning your marbles.
We have auctioned tens of thousands of marbles over the past 25 years. Check the other auctioneers out, you'll find no one's been auctioning marbles longer than us, or is more reasonably priced.
Lots containing more than 5 marbles may be charged commission at twice the posted rate, at our discretion, if there is an excessive amount of time required to catalogue and image these lots. We will always discuss this with you before we catalogue the items.
We print consignor checks once a month, around the 5thday of the month. This covers the items sold in the prior calendar month. You can be paid via check or PayPal. Your choice, just let us know.
If an item has not been paid for by a bidder, then we usually pay you on it anyway, and take it into our inventory. The only exception to this is for a really expensive item. In that case, we may hold the payment on that item until the bidder has paid for it, or until we determine that the payment is uncollectible. In any event, we don't send the marbles out until we have payment. If an item is returned to us by a consignor, we will usually just pay them and take the item into our inventory, rather than charging you for the return. What this whole paragraph means is that when we sell something for you, it's sold, regardless of what happens between us and the bidder after the auction.
Please ship consignments, well packed, to Robert Block, 10 Twarog Place, Shelton CT 06484.
I will send e-mail upon receipt of the consignment (if you include an e-mail address in your package) telling you when I will auction them and approximately how many lots we will make from your consignment. You can also include a phone number and ask that I call you when your package arrives to me. Or you can always get me at 203-209-7076.
I’ll send you a link to the catalogue on this site or the Ebay items, when the lots are posted.
We try to maintain a high level of quality in the auctions. If you ship us common or damaged marbles that we cannot include in the auctions, you are responsible for the cost of shipping them back to you. If in doubt, send an image by e-mail first. If in any doubt as to the identification of anything you are going to send us, send an image first. We are not responsible for you misidentifying marbles or misgrading condition. We are more than happy to tell you what you have and what it's worth, just send me some images.
Misrepresented repaired and reworked marbles are not accepted for auction. If you send us a marble that is repaired or reworked, and the bidder returns it, then you are still charged the commission, as well as the cost of shipping the marble to and from the bidder, and back to you.
Items are not shipped to winning bidders until payment is received and has cleared.
We exercise reasonable care in catalogue descriptions. Occasionally, we make an error. If a winning bidder returns an item to us due to our cataloguing error, we will credit the item back to your account and re-auction the item. You are not charged the commission on the original sale, only on the subsequent sale. We cover the cost of getting the item back from the winning bidder, you are not charged for that.
All images used in these auctions are the sole property of Block’s Marble Auctions. You grant Block’s Marble Auctions an irrevocable perpetual release to utilize said images in any manner we see fit.
Shipment of consignments to us indicates your acceptance of these terms.
The Auction Watch feature notifies you of newly listed items which contain keywords you have chosen. For example, if you are looking for a Golden Rebel, you could enter in thoat keyword in your Members Area. Each time a new item is listed containing any of your keywords, you are notified via email.
The Item Watch feature on each Lot page lets you bookmark any auction without having to place a bid on it. This feature allows you to view a list of all Lots in which you are interested, or that you want to track, by clicking one link.
You can add any Lot to your Watch List by clicking on the “Watch This Item” link on any Lot page:
Then, any time you are logged in to the site, you can view a list of all items you are watching by clicking on Watched Items in the Bidding submenu on the left of the screen:
You are then presented with a list of your Watched Items. Click any item to view it. You can delete items from your Watch List on the right side of the page.