First of all, some of us seem to be a bit nervous about this escalating into a 'Knock Derann' threat. I haven't seen any evidence of that here (unlike in a similar threat on a different forum; where I severely disliked the way some people voiced their opinions). As long as people give their opinions in a civilised way, I don't think there is a problem.
ER, I started buying/selling film prints in 1989 - a bit before the 'internet age'.
I wasn't aware of that. I always thought you were a collector who started to buy films in ever larger quantities and became a seller that way. You are a collector as well, aren't you? Is dealing in films your job?
I don't suppose you started selling by sending paper lists around in the mail? Just out of curiosity (assuming you didn't just offload the odd print, but started selling as an enterprise back then), how did you get started. I suppose trade publications, like the Big Reel were the main stage back then. I didn't start film collecting until the mid nineties, but do remember that I found it very hard to find sources for film.
With that said - If they don't adjust with the times, they'll go the way of the dinosaur.
No argument here, but there are different ways and different speeds of adjusting. There isn't one way that suits every business/person best.
Personally, I'd rather bid on a film and have a chance at it, than to have it sold already before I even see the list... If I lose it on ebay, it's because someone was willing to pay more than I was, not because they could get to a phone at 4:00 in the morning and I couldn't. There's a big difference.
One thing is just a suspicion and that is 'it sold already before I even see the list...'. I think you need to leave that out until you have proof of that. That is just speculation and I think it is the cause for most ill feeling. Of course you can get to the phone at 4AM. It's not convenient for you, but hey, if Derann would change their policy the way you suggest, other customers would say 'I have to buy myself a computer, and spend the Friday afternoon watching that bloody screen to have a chance to secure that print; that's very inconvenient for me.' I don't see why that would make things better.
I think the word 'Personally' sums it all up and just means we are all in agreement. We all have our preferred way of buying something. I wouldn't do it Derann's way, but then again, I can feel just as little enthusiasm for Ebay. I'm buying very little on Ebay these days. If I want something, I rather agree a decent price and hear straight away if I can have it or not.
Which brings this threat back on topic... My preferred way of buying a print is in person. Either at a convention or by visiting the person. Drink a pint. Talk about the prints, inspect the prints and preferably watch part of it. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often. My second preference is buying a print (directly, no auction) from someone I know from the forum. I think most of my prints were acquired that way.