At least one bidder on eBay was willing to pay $2,274 for the signature scrawled across the cover of the premier issue of Macworld magazine. But the top offer among 70 bidders failed to meet the seller's minimum price, so no sale was consummated by the auction's close Sunday.
Macintosh fans and collectors, however, may get another run at the item, the seller told CNET News.com in an e-mail interview.
"I think it's worth a lot to any Apple fan--or to anyone who collects things. I've seen the "Think Different" posters sell for at least $500--for just one. And it was not signed by anyone," said the seller, who asked that his name not be used. "I am certain it will sell for a lot of money, if not on eBay, then some other place perhaps."
Although the seller declined to disclose his minimum bid requirement, he noted that a few years ago he was offered $2,500 for the autographed magazine.
Autograph collection experts werethat Job's signature could generate bids of even a couple hundred dollars and rival prices paid for an autograph by John D. Rockefeller or George Washington. But the seller said he was not surprised.
"It's not just an autograph on a piece of paper...It's much more than that. It's a piece of history," he said.
The seller, who worked at Apple from 1992 to 1999, had asked Jobs' secretary in 1997 to have the CEO sign his premier issue of Macworld, which featured a youthful Jobs on the cover.
"I asked Steve's secretary if he'd sign this magazine for me. She said, 'No, he doesn't sign things,'" the seller said. But then "she called me and said, get up here before the magazine disappears. She was very surprised he signed it."
The seller said he is starting his own business and wants to sell the magazine as a way to raise capital for his new venture.
"It would be nice to know that something like this helped contribute to the success of my very own business," the seller said. "It has great sentimental value to me because I respect what Jobs has done for Apple. Jobs is a good example of someone with the attitude that if you really focus and put your mind into something, there's no telling how much success you can achieve."
He added if he cannot eventually sell the magazine for his desired minimum amount, he would be just as content to hold on to the autographed publication. "As I said, it means a lot to me to have something like this."