RateBeerian G. T. Wharton has just posted an interesting article entitled "Market Behavior for Rare Beer: eBay Auction Prices in Review." The article is available here: HopPress.
The 13-month analysis of beers bought on auction provides insights into buyer behavior and the gray market price some of these rare beers can claim. Before reading this article, I was not aware of people spending $200, $300, even upwards of $500 per 12 oz of beer--erm, for a collectible bottle with incidental contents possibly containing alcohol
For my part, I would rather trade collectible bottles with people I trust. Trading something of comparable value with a friend is a good way to dispose of excess inventory and obtain something difficult to acquire, while avoiding the risks associated with online auctions.
Of course, there is always the risk that your shipper will not buy the claim that the box contains only collectible bottles....