Dumb Question about the Hosta Auction

hostanistaJanuary 31, 2013

I'm an auction virgin. I plan to stay that way, at least for now. Why bother with the auction if the hostas are readily available (and even less expensive) than those on the auction list? I just assumed that the auction-list hostas would be rare babies and impossible to find elsewhere. I just bought myself a Rainforest Sunrise for $9.25 through a mail order catalogue. It's on the auction list for $10.99. I don't get it.

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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b


The Hosta Library Auction is a for-profit auction. The Library doesn't get any money from this, but the vendors are trying to make a profit. Sometimes the prices there are good, sometimes they are the same as other places or more. Often it depends on the time of year. Sometimes you will get rare plants offered by hybridizers, but more often the sellers are the same Hosta retailers you see on the web.

I will buy on the auction if it's from a seller I know or if it's a plant I can't get elsewhere. Often late in the season, Naylor Creek will begin to sell off inventory and I often will buy plants at that point.

It's a good place to keep tabs on what is being sold and for what price.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:19AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well you better ... being in canada and all.. i dont think anyone can LEGALLY send plants across the border ... its a real PIA for a homeowner to do such .. phyto certs ... inspections on both sides of the border.. can eaily make a $10 plant.. a 100$ plant.. with inspections alone ...

as to the premium.. we just covered that in another post... thrill of the auction.. paying a premium as a donation to the club.. and in your case.. never forget the currency exchange.. [i dont know its current status ... but i doubt its equivalent] ...

mostly.. i write it off to getting to wound up in bidding.. losing a bit of sanity ... lol ... been there.. done that ...


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:34AM
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Ken has it about right ... it is pretty hard to legally import plants into Canada (or the US for that matter). Excepting for something truly rare that a homeowner hobbyist is willing to pay the moon for, it is best to leave the importation activity to the professional nurserymen.

As an aside, the currency is more or less equivalent with the C$ having a verrry slight edge most of the time the last while. Nonetheless the banks and currency traders will exact their pound of flesh (usually 2-3%) to exchange currencies for consumers - it sounds like pennies till you exchange several thousand dollars. It is another thing best left to the business community who pay a much lower rate.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:35AM
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Thanks guys, I knew you'd 'splain it to me.

I had no intention of jumping onto that roller coaster anyway, I was just curious.

I recently became a member of the Ontario Hosta Society (mainly because members get pretty good discounts at local hosta nurseries) and they hold hosta auctions too. If I ever need to feel the thrill of participation in the future, I'll go that route. At this point though, not gonna happen.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:12AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

oh my ... such denial.. lol .. of which i didnt know da nile ran thru canada ...

if you go to an auction .. and you really should ..... IT WILL HAPPEN .. lol ... take a little spare cash.. but leave the checkbook at home.. or you will drain it completely.. getting swept up in the fun ... again.. been there.. done that ... lol ..

and do please report aback after your first auction ...


ps: its like hosta crack.. be careful ... lol .. the hosta horse [heroin] .. lol ..

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:41AM
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jan_on zone 5b

Did anyone catch on the hosta auction - about 10:30 Sat night - the hosta on which the $1000 bid was earlier commented on here (can't remember the cultivar) - ANYWAY someone upped that bid and hit some wrong numbers and bid $110000.00!!! For a while I thought that the AHS had really hit the big time; then some kind soul corrected the bid and moved the decimal - a mere (!) $1100! Guess the guy with the fast fingers had a few anxious moments. So - be careful of auctions!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

The Hosta Library hosts several DIFFERENT auctions. The regular one is always on and is for anyone who wants to sell a plant. The AHS Auction is sponsored by the society to raise funds. Many of those hostas are one of a kind, or very rare.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:39PM
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