My Favorite Apple

eBay, Auctions & Apple’s Director Chairs

Written By: Scott - Feb• 20•11

I tried to add another vintage Apple’s Director Chair to my collection today, but I let it get away. It was an eBay auction.

Buying off of eBay can be frustrating. I don’t mind the auction format- no, I’m an auctioneer by profession and heritage, so it isn’t that. But I don’t like eBay’s auction format, especially getting sniped with a second left and that’s what happened to me today. I like an opportunity to bid again if I get knocked out by another bidder.

Recently I added an Apple Director Chair to my collection. It was different and I thought it was cool, so I grabbed it. Well today another one was closing out. It had been up for a week and I was the second bid. I entered my proxy bid for $75.99 when the bid was $12.50. Immediately it went to $56 and then sat there. I wanted this chair so earlier today I went back in and increased my proxy bid to $225.99.

So, using that earlier purchase of mine as a comp, I entered my maximum bid today of $225.99. Needless to say, at the end the buyer obviously out bid me with microseconds to go.  He had bid and then saw I still was winning and went back and bid again.

Yours truly selling Florida condos

You see in a real auction I would have had another chance to raise my bid because the bidding doesn’t close-out at a pre-set time, with the winner being the one who beats the clock. No, in a real auction the bidding would stay open until all bids are tendered. Once the auctioneer senses the bidding is complete, the round of bidding is closed.

Interestingly, I found this same chair on eBay that sold in Dec. 2010 for $31.00. Go figure….

My point here isn’t crying over spilt milk. Instead it is the challenge of knowing the value of rare vintage Apple collectibles. I didn’t want to overpay, but would have paid what it was worth- using auction bidding as the gauge is the best way. I also know the old auctioneer maxim, “something is worth what folks are willing to pay,” but this doesn’t apply to an auction with an artificial ending, like the ones on eBay.

In case you’re wondering would I have bid more for this chair if I was bidding in a real auction, the answer is yes. I wouldn’t have let a few dollars stand in the way, but in this case, I didn’t have another chance.

Well, maybe another one will come along one day.

To date I have found little info about these chairs, although I am aware of one other style out there. This one was on RedLightRunner.

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  1. In the Apple Catalog 1992 Premiere Edition the second small bitten Apple chair you show is featured on page 23. The part number is A1082 and it listed for $49. On the Sept. 21 Tidbits site is a critique of the catalog and mailorder process.

  2. Scott says:

    Thank you Dave for this info. I’d love to get copies of those catalogs…hint, hint 🙂

    • Dennis Gorsline says:

      I have the version with the colored Apple logo. I was lucky enough to find them at a garage sale, so I bought all 4.

  3. Winson Tam says:

    I stumbled upon your site while doing a google search. By the way, I listed on 8/24/12 today, an Apple Director’s Chair on ebay, just so you know. Thanks.

  4. Frank Rezny says:

    I have 3 of the Director Chairs (your image calls them AppleCaptainChair). I may be inclined to sell one of them. I purchased them directly from Apple when I was an Apple VAR.
    I have a rather large collection of Apple logo promotion items including Think Different posters, education posters and display stands with various banners (many in the original mailing tube that have never been posted or tacked to a wall).
    I also have a lot of iMac, G3 and G4 promo items and others of the same vintage up to and including first generation iPod stuff.
    I even have some launch day iMac items such as the “Say Hello to iMac” 12’x2′ banner.


  5. Bob Harris says:

    I bought one of these lovely chairs in 1985 and have been carrying it with me no matter where I go.. I never sit in it, but it stays near my bed. i love it. Always wondered about the tops of the back supports. They looked like another piece should be on it, but there never was. It has the rainbow apple logo on it. Just saw one on Ebay for $399.. Yikes. I think this is the oldest apple gear I own, having long sold my Mac 128, Mac Plus, Mac SE, SE30, Mac II, Iicx, PowerBook 145, etc etc. Now on an iMac with fusion drive. love it.

    • Scott says:

      I understand what you are saying about the top of the wood posts near where the back supports slide on to- they do look like they are made for something else to slide down on them, like caps of some sort. And yes, I saw that single back support on eBay with no chair. Pretty cool. I’d like to have owned it, but didn’t have a chair for it to go on.
      Thanks for the comment.

  6. Hi,

    I have 2 chairs similar to the one pictured above. Although mine might be in better condition. Do you have any Idea of the value?

    Image in my dropbox:

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