Basically that is the whole theme behind this discussion, lol. Do you think ebay hurt the antiques market, and if yes, why and how much?
My own opinion is that it did hurt, reasons include the "wow, there is one of them in our attic" mania. Some items that were thought of as being rare (or really were rare in certain areas) became close to being "common" after ebay.
have other reasons, but just like to start discussion, lol.
wish I could believe that about turning peoples interest on, I mean. so many people got ripped off by unscrupulous sellers they stopped collected as much. hated those appraisals when I had to tell them that what they thought they had purchased, was in fact repaired , faked, or misrepresented.
all the antique shows I used to attend, as dealer and buyer, are either gone or significantly diminished. even brimfield is basically a glorified flea now, compared to pre-ebay days.
fakes never bothered me as a buyer, if was any chance of that, just did not bid. damaged and misrepresented goods got the better of me, though. we had a string (absolute facts here) of SEVEN purchases in a row, and 8 of ten received either damaged and hidden, or badly misrepresented, as in nippon sugar shaker stands about 6 inches tall was actually a bit over 2 inches, making it half a s & p set and about 2% as valuable.
as I ran an ebay consignment sales outlet, I did very well at supplementing my income selling good, quality antiques. but as prices started falling, had to stop even that. I really enjoyed that, too, darn it! lol
I personally think eBay hurts everything it touches, bu that's my personal opinion of the venue as a whole.
I believe what happened was that the world got smaller, overnight. I use the example of Hummels. We all know there were 1,000's of them made. The soldiers brought them home and they sent them home. 15 years ago, there were rarities. Certain Hummels were hard to find and local auction houses would have the people standing in the aisles to bid on Hummels. Antique shops treasured their collections and regarded them as sound investments.
Then the internet came along. And, eBay just happened to be the first big operation to break the whole collectibles market onto the world wide scene in a scope none of us could have ever dreamed. Instead of those Hummels being rare, now, we were realizing that in fact there were 1,000's of them. Not so rare anymore and no where near as valuable as we all thought.
I think that the internet and the dreaded eBay have opened the whole collectibles market to a new breed of collector. Young people that want not only old stuff, but they want cool stuff...stuff that you don't find everyday at the dollar store...
So..did eBay hurt the market...sure...but it CHANGED the market and that is what us old timers have to realize is necessary for success...CHANGE...you either change or you just rust away in that moldy old antique shop that no one comes to anymore...I hated the changes...I wanted it to stay the same, but it didn't and I've learned to adapt and I'm learning more every day...