Lot of duplicate bridge card game supplies, $5.

Duplicate bridge gets its name from the fact that the arrangement of cards , or 'hand,' is duplicated at other tables, to allow a better comparison of playing skill, as well as a reduced 'luck of the cards' factor. This way, every hand - whether it's good or bad - is played in competition with other players holding identical cards, ensuring that the element of skill is heightened, while the element of chance is reduced.

I remember buying a bunch of duplicate bridge stuff at a local auction about a year ago, simply out of curiosity. It was cheap and just looked like someone, somewhere would want it. Although I had no idea what it was at the time I bought it, I vividly remember that it sold really well on eBay. I forgot all about it until I saw this batch at a local church community sale, when the memory of that last batch, and how much it sold for, flooded back to my mind. Since it had been a while since I sold that last lot, I was a bit concerned that duplicate bridge stuff wasn't selling as strongly as it had been on eBay. But at only $5 for this whole lot, there was very little risk here.

I'm not going to waste anyone's time explaining what duplicate bridge is, for several reasons. First of all, I'm not really all that sure myself. Second, you can find out more than you'd ever want to know about the game on countless web pages, so there's no need to bore you with the details here. And finally, you don't have to know anything about duplicate bridge to know that you should buy this stuff when you see it. Believe me, if there was something I felt that you had to know that would influence your pocketbook, I'd certainly fill you in.

Okay, there is one thing you should know....

If you do an eBay search for duplicate bridge, you'll see that the card holders were actually manufactured from several different materials. You'll see the wood and the aluminum varieties that we have in our set here, but you'll also notice a steel variety that was painted with a sort of silver 'hammered' paint finish (which looks a great deal like aluminum, so be careful.) It's very important that you're aware of these distinctions because the plain aluminum ones sell for much more than either the wood or painted steel varieties.

Another thing worth mentioning here is the fact that these holders are numbered from 1 through 32, which makes up a complete set. But you're also likely to find them in sets of four or eight, or even in combinations of mixed numbers, and although a complete set of 32 will normally bring you the most money, eBay buyers will buy them up regardless of the numbers marked on them.

This particular find is a great example of how you can easily make money in this business buying stuff that you know very little about, as long as you know what to look for. But always remember, your goal is not not to know everything you can possibly learn about every item you see, a feat that nobody could accomplish. Your goal, which is one that anyone can accomplish, is learn to spot the right stuff.

Never forget that every single item you find, no matter how unusual it may seem to you, has potential eBay bidders who actually do know everything there is to know about it, and who are waiting to pay you for finding it for them!

This duplicate bridge set sold on eBay for $202.

Photo of duplicate bridge set