By Tom Steiner SU-3690
      The Space Unit Auction is provided as a service to members as a way to market their duplicates and/or unwanted material to other members of the Space Unit. This is important for several reasons:
First, most members do not have a way in which to sell their excess material and the Space Unit Auction provides a way to get the material to other collectors; and
Second, the task of marketing the material to hundreds of collec-tors is handled by the Space Unit using the auction listing sent with each issue of The Astrophile, and
Last, the handling of the estimating value (if requested), shipping of sold material, and collecting of money is handled by the Space Unit.

      The Space Unit Auction obtains items to sell in many different ways: donations of stamps, covers, etc. are always welcomed (Thank you to Ron Ulrich, Paul Rittman, John Macco, and Les Winick for their continuous donation of covers to help support the Space Unit.), consignments from members to sell their excess material, and consignments from estates in which the Space Unit sells the collection over a period of time to help the heirs dispose of a collection they usually know nothing about.

      In return for this service the Space Unit charges a 20% commission on the sold material. This commission covers the printing of the auction list-ing, packaging materials, postage and phone charges, and all other expenses related to running the auction. In addition, the commission charges above the auction costs are placed in the Space Unit general fund to help defray the cost of printing and distributing The Astrophile. The funding by the auction has helped keep the dues low for membership in the Space Unit.

      This service is a win-win situation. The member benefits by being able to sell any excess material and the Space Unit is able to raise money to cover its operating costs and provide greater benefits to its members.

      The Space Unit Auction commission rate is lower than most com-mercial auction houses. Combined with auction lots receiving prices realised that rival the commercial auction house sales, the lower commission rate means more money in the hands of the seller. Here are some examples of prices realised in recent auctions:

Apollo 16 crew signed cover$550(EV $200)

STS-41 crew signed cover$171(EV $120)

Tereshkova signed cover$59(EV $45)

GT 6/7 NASA cachet cover$34(EV $25)

Gemini 11 launch cover with RSC$12(EV $10)

      Put your better material in the auction and it will sell and the price may just surprise you.

      To make a donation of material to the auction or to obtain a checklist on how to consign material to the auction write to me. See below for address. Please remember to enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) for a reply.

Tom Steiner
PO Box 550
Northville MI 48157-0550

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This page is maintained by Dr R J Smith ( .
Last modified on 13 October, 1997.