Haubrich Puzzle Auctions History

The beginning

The Haubrich auctions started in 2010 to sell the collection from Ole Poul Pedersen (Copenhagen, Denmark). Auction #1 (then still named Phase #1) was all his books without any photo. There were 360 puzzle and Maths books, in which 290 in English, 46 in Danish and others in Swedish, Russian, German, Chinese, Czech and Dutch. Auctions #2 to #7 were his puzzles. These first auctions were published as HTML files and bidding was still the obsolete way: bidders sent Jacques an email with their bids and he had a hard job to process all these bids and update the HTML files within 24 hours. That sometimes came with mistakes since it was all but automated. Back then, Jacques still believed that selling the Pedersen collection would be it, so no real urgency to spend a lot of time and money on a fully automated auction site.

Some "secret" collection and others

Starting with auction #8, most puzzles came from another very large collection. Because of the size of that collection, Jacques had to create a new fully automated website at "puzzels.haubrichnet.nl", else it would be far too much work. The initial version was designed by a professional PHP programmer. Over time, Jacques changed, updated, and fine-tuned almost 90% of the PHP code himself. The biggest difference compared to other auction websites was in the individual timing of lot extension time, depending on several variables, basically each time fewer and fewer extensions with a minimum of 8 hours. And it worked, where most auctions hardly ever took more than 2 extra days. Also, bidding in extended time was only open to those with at least one serious bid before the original closing time.

Then came the Moores collection which Jacques decided to run a parallel series of auctions M-01 to M-10 (re-arranged as auctions #37 to #46 on the search page). Over time, other collectors asked to sell some of their puzzles too. Jacques declined all such requests from countries outside Europe and only accepted very few of them. One selection criterion was that the seller should be a long time well-known serious puzzle collector. In addition, having the puzzles delivered to Jacques in the Netherlands should be simple enough to prevent potential damages in transit.

At last, when Covid started, suddenly the postage was increased significantly, whereas parcels, especially to the UK and US, were delivered much slowly than before and/or sometimes returned to Jacques. By the time auction #36 started, parcels to the US with a declared value over €500 were no longer accepted at all. According to PostNL, because USPS no longer accepted such parcels. As a result, those could only be sent via express couriers such as FedEx, UPS or DHL at a much higher postage fee. Besides Jacques' age and especially health, this is one of the reasons the Haubrich puzzle auction was permanently ended, 11 years since it first started.

Some statistics

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