First, I'd like to say this topic saddens me and I'm glad Petals is addressing it because I'm really wondering what the future of collecting EL solids will be. I went back to the General Lauder Solid Talk Forum under the topic “Solids in the Stores” where it was first brought up about the 2011 Bear showing up on ebay. I re-read Woody's post and thought it was important enough to copy and paste it here (hope that's okay, Woody?):
Posted 20 July 2011 – 10:35 AM
Hi everyone! I am still around, check in when I can. Life has taken me on some pretty interesting roads these past few years, but I am still alive and kicking:-)
I did see the English Rider, it was not a prototype, but an empty. I am surprised we don't see more of these, probably the limited numbers preclude it from happening. I also saw the 2011 bear, that was really interesting, but when I thought about it, I can see how it happened. I do know that EL discontinued their ops in at least 1 large production facility on the east coast. The whole division was shut down last year and samples/prototypes did get out. A few lucky collectors got those and there were some very special solids. As items are submitted well in advance of production, it doesn't surprise me that a 2011 piece was included. The bear I saw was absolutely legit. The few EL “wanna be's” I have seen are usually bigger and more crude and not marked. Obviously, just my opinion, but I am sure this is the case. I will be really interested to get the update on Harrods 2011 release. I had heard – rumor mill – that there was not going to be a Harrods Bear this year. I hope that is not the case.
So, it would seem employees, collectors, other people, (who knows how many) were able to obtain solids including ones not yet released. Since the solids are boxed in Canada, some may be coming from there via employees who have access to them also. I have seen auctions for the empty 2011 Harrods Bear, 2011 “Peace” Branch, 2011 “Luck” Elephant and 2011
“Prosperity” Coin all on the same ebay seller's site over the last 2 weeks. The Bear had one bid on it one day and the next day the listing was gone but when I checked the “Completed Listings” the Bear was there with no bids and no longer available. However, there was a new auction from this seller for the 2011 Peace Branch so I wrote to ebay about it and received no response. In due time it sold as I'm sure the Elephant and Coin will, too. I don't have any answers but am as frustrated as Petals is because I want it stopped, too. It makes a sham out of our collecting. And what message is sent when these items are resold for a huge profit? It doesn't seem like ebay or EL cares and it's very disheartening. Maybe Harrods will do something about it. Thank you, Jacky, for making the effort. I just hope Harrods doesn't decide not to release the Bear because of what has happened. Food for thought? I know this post was lengthy but I feel very strongly about it and I hope that others will take note and respond.