Sight Unseen

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Related to sight: Sense of sight

Sight Unseen

Describing a bid to buy a good or other asset without seeing it first. For example, one may purchase a house through an agent without ever going to the house oneself. Another example would be an offer to buy a rare coin after reading a description without actually seeing it.
References in classic literature ?
'Sight' is a 'positive', 'blindness' a 'privative', but 'to possess sight' is not equivalent to 'sight', 'to be blind' is not equivalent to 'blindness'.
Sight being, as I conceive, in the eyes, and he who has eyes wanting to see; colour being also present in them, still unless there be a third nature specially adapted to the purpose, the owner of the eyes will see nothing and the colours will be invisible.
The Reader will probably understand from these two instances how -- after a very long training supplemented by constant experience -- it is possible for the well-educated classes among us to discriminate with fair accuracy between the middle and lowest orders, by the sense of sight. If my Spaceland Patrons have grasped this general conception, so far as to conceive the possibility of it and not to reject my account as altogether incredible -- I shall have attained all I can reasonably expect.
Then he gathered up Virginia Maxon, and with a sign to his Dyaks, who were thoroughly frightened at the mere sight of the white giant of whom they had heard such terrible stories, turned and hastened back in the direction from which they had come, leaving the man to what seemed must be a speedy and horrible death.
In the white man's mind was a new plan, awakened by sight of the war-canoe.
I also weighed very carefully the possibility of our digging a way out in a direction away from the pit, but the chances of our emerging within sight of some sentinel fighting-machine seemed at first too great.
The boy had paused after his first sight of the caravan, and now was following slowly in the wake of the sordid, brutal spectacle.
At sight of me, he halted for an instant, then turned and dove into the forest, and, though I called reassuringly to him in English he did not return nor did I again see him.
Will the Second Sight oblige me by seeing the shortest way to the Northwest Passage, before we leave England?"
The sight was awe-inspiring in the extreme as one contemplated this mighty floating funeral pyre, drifting unguided and unmanned through the lonely wastes of the Martian heavens; a derelict of death and destruction, typifying the life story of these strange and ferocious creatures into whose unfriendly hands fate had carried it.
As I backed along the ledge I soon was past the mouth of the cave, where I no longer could see those fearful flaming eyes, but an instant later I caught sight of the fiendish face of a Sagoth as it warily advanced beyond the cliff's turn on the far side of the cave's mouth.
CHORUS Woeful sight! more woeful none These sad eyes have looked upon.