Category Archives: Ebay

Another Day of Mixed Fortunes

The good news is that I had a slightly better day domestically. I’ve nearly been forgiven for the laundry debacle (despite my protestations that, being poorer by two pens, I’m actually the victim here) and after a liberal helping of  bleach we’ve nearly restored the white blouses.

Breakfast demonstrated the folly of buying cheap cereal. It was my own fault for shopping whilst in the grip of an economy drive. However, as I’m keener on saving money than I am on eating expensive hamster food the cheerless breakfast may be a fixture for some time to come. Or I may eat more eggs. Eggs, as I often remarked during my time in the poultry industry are both economical and nutritious.

If I save money on food I can spend more on visiting piers. And replacing Julia’s linen tops.

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View from the end of Southwold Pier

My main project for the day on eBay was to split the English coin section of the on-line shop between decimal and pre-decimal sections. There’s no real instruction book for eBay and it took a couple of tries to find the right method, not helped by a set of instructions that left several things out.

I won’t bore you with the details, but it took four hours in the back of a stuffy shop to get it nearly done. Actually that isn’t quite true – the first two hours were stuffy, but the final two hours, after we opened the back doors, were like working in a wind tunnel. A very boring wind tunnel.

Apart from that I packed parcels, put three Edwardian Love Tokens up for auction and put eight railway medallions up for sale.

The sixpence (above) is actually 20mm in diameter and the threepences are 16mm. I managed to lose the scale when I took the photos. I missed out the obverses from the bottom two as they are the same head as the top one. Once you’ve seen one bald king you’ve seen them all.

It doesn’t sound much of a day but I think it’s seen off a fair number of brain cells as I decline.

 

 

Timeslip…

Though I’ve written about Bempton Cliffs today the reality of my day was slightly less open air. With a couple of short bursts of visiting the front room of the shop I sat in a windowless room typing all day.

The eBay auctions for the silver stamp ingots ended today with an average price of just over £6, which was disappointing. We should perhaps have put them out a few at a time. In terms of taking the rough with the smooth we’ve been taking quite a lot of rough recently.

I was given the job of sorting out how to make a listing with a drop-down menu. It seems simple enough, and it sort of is. Unfortunately I didn’t save my work often enough and ended up wiping out several hours of painstaking labour.

This, as I loudly remarked, was quite irksome.

To make things worse I actually did it twice, though I wiped off different work each time. The second time was while I was shutting down after paying for some items I had bought in auction. This was very embarrassing as I should not, of course, have been doing private things in work time.

When I eventually finish listing the first series (85 Cards) guess what my next job is. This has the potential for making the shillings look like top grade intellectual exertion.

It’s 21 hours later…

I didn’t finish the post, though I did go to work and sort of cracked the problems of posting eBay listings with drop-down menus.

Not only that but I did it via a couple of near disasters, one of which saw me with several thousand entries instead of 85, mostly unpriced and with all the stock counts re-set to one.

It was accompanied by much wailing, rending of clothes and a good helping of dust and ashes. Say what you like about the Old Testament, but they knew how to do lamentation with style.

Anyway, thanks to my newly developed enthusiasm for saving my work, disaster was averted. As a reward I…

…was allowed to carry on with Numbers 86-170.

At least they are all proper footballers, with names like Billy and Mick and Ron. Quite a few had evidence of facial trauma, of the sort associated with “old-fashioned centre-forwards”.  In some ways it’s quite refreshing to see footballers from the more muscular days of the game, and to see cards rather than stickers.

In other ways, it isn’t. Every time I close my eyes all I can see is football cards.

More from Bempton Cliffs to follow…

eBay Tales

This morning the first job of the day was to cancel the bids on 20 of the silver stamp ingots. The bidder claims that his child got into the account and put the bids on. It’s more likely that he he bid himself and then decided he didn’t want them but you can’t prove it so we cancelled all the bids. He really should have paid us for the time taken in cancelling them.

Then we had a note from someone wanting to send a Lego set back. He’d paid around £150 for a complete 1960’s LEGO set, winning it against stiff competition and now claims the box is a reproduction. This isn’t as unlikely as it sounds as there are some repro toy boxes about, though mainly for Dinky toys, which are quite small and plain.

However, this set belonged to a man as old as I am. He had it from new, looked after it and recently decided to sell it. We’ve dealt with him and his father with coins for probably 30 years. It’s genuine and there’s absolutely no question about it.

This, as sometimes happens, is a case of buyer’s remorse. Again, it’s a well known phenomenon in eBay circles. You get locked in a bidding war, you pay too much, and, protected by eBay rules, you decide to send it back even though there is nothing wrong with the item.

I understand it. Even after 30 years and hundreds of auctions I still sometimes worry I paid too much, and don’t always enjoy my purchases. What I don’t do is send it back. My decision, my problem. The vendor or auctioneer is not to blame for my poor decision. Unfortunately, in modern times, it’s the fashion to cry over spilt milk and to try to evade your responsibilities.

After that, things could only get better, and for once, they did.

These three pictures are from a set we posted on eBay – a 1953 crown, a 2003 crown and a silver stamp ingot of a stamp from coronation year. The ’53 was a well designed coin with a face value of 5 shillings, or 25 pence in the modern system. The 2003 crown has a face value of £5, showing how the value of money has declined. So, have design standards. I could have designed that – it doesn’t take much skill to chuck some letters together.  Horses, on the other hand, are quite difficult to do.

 

 

Silver Stamps and eBay

I passed my blood test, and as a reward they have given me a whole four weeks until the next test. This will save a lot of time, car parking and pain. Not that there is much pain really, but I like to go for as much sympathy as possible.

This morning I continued putting stamp ingots on eBay. For those of you who don’t know, these are models of stamps made in silver. I knew such things existed because I’d seen them, but until Tuesday I didn’t know what they were called. I do now.

 

Silver Marks

Silver Marks

Ironically for something called “The Empire Collection” the third mark, the one that looks like a cross and circle is an import mark, which means the ingots were made abroad.  The others are the maker, .925 to denote Sterling silver and, at the end, an “E” for 1979. You’ll have to take my word for that, it’s a peculiar font for that series of date letters.

My current homework is learning about American coins, as I put some on earlier this week and realised I didn’t even have a basic working knowledge of the subject. It’s by no means my only area of ignorance, but it is one that has a good book to remedy the deficiency.

Not sure what I’m listing tomorrow, but I’m sure there will be something to do.

I would write more, but my card reader is playing up and I can’t access more photos.

Meanwhile, Julia was down at the Mencap garden watching butterflies and watering in the polytunnel. She had Orange Tips, Peacocks, Small Whites and a Common Blue.

In the shop we had to content ourselves with one single, droning fly.

Julia cooked tonight so we ate in a more sophisticated manner than normal – seafood linguine and rhubarb crumble (with rhubarb fresh from the garden). It’s nice to have someone else doing the cooking.

An Ordinary Life

Yesterday started, as usual, with shillings. We’ve probably spoken about shillings enough. I’ve certainly sorted enough.

I then moved on to sorting out four boxes of  secondhand office supplies we’ve recently inherited from the estate of a local dealer. Although I like stationery, I don’t necessarily like it when it’s mixed up in a box. What with scissors, loose staples and a loose craft knife it was not a happy episode.

Finally I was able to get to the computer in the back office and start putting medallions on eBay. We have a large supply of medallions. I refer to them as “modern”, though to many people the 1970s and 80s are “before I was born”.

I’ve put 41 on in two days and sold 14 already.

Fortunately I am not an ambitious man.

Historical Note: When someone reads my blog 50 years from now to see what ordinary people were thinking about Syria in the run up to Armageddon they are going to have to conclude “not much”.

I’m not sure why we are involved. I’m not sure why the Russians are involved. And I’m not going to waste time worrying about it because there’s nothing I can do to change things.

I’m now going to make corned beef hash for tea.

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Pack, Pack, Pack!

We turned up at the shop today and found we had a record number of packages to send off. A normal Monday sees us with anywhere between two and ten parcels to send. Today there were fourteen. Not only that but one of the orders was for twenty eight medallions to go to Australia.

That required a stout box, brown paper and some old-fashioned wrapping skills.

We sent out pennies and sixpences, several coin sets, a seventeenth century token, two lots of banknotes and a variety of other things I can’t quite remember.

We also bought some coins (including a stunning Gothic Florin) and turned two lots of stuff away as it had originally been bought from the Sunday supplements and were thus (a) expensive and (b) poor quality. This is always sad as we know we are disappointing people, who often buy it with an eye to either investment or leaving it to grandchildren.

I’m tempted to use the word tawdry, but it seems a bit cruel, even though it does allow me to use an interesting link.

At the moment it’s a bit of a sore point as we overpaid when buying a few things that turned out to be very cheap on eBay. We will have to transfer some of the cost to the other things we bought. Some you win, some you lose…

The moral of this is don’t buy from people who spend a fortune on advertising, as you are paying for the advertising rather than the item.

And if you want to leave something to the grandchildren put some money into a savings account.

The ebay Diaries (Day 6 – Part 4)

I bought some tie pins/sweetheart brooches last Saturday using the Buy It Now button. They seemed very reasonable. This should have been the first warning.

They arrived yesterday, I looked at them and I left feedback. It was only when I looked at them in strong sunlight today (yes, we had some!) that I noticed all the faults. Two of the tiepins are twisted and one seems to be lacking any sort of silver mark. I really must remember my own rules about being careful when buying.

 

Later in the week I bought an enamel badge. It’s clearly a cheap modern copy. It cost me just over £3 so it’s not even worth the time to complain. The tiepins are slightly different, but it’s just as easy to straighten them as it is to send them back.

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Royal Artillery tiepin

That, I know, plays into the hands of dishonest dealers but I can’t be bothered with the bickering that ensues. In truth they probably don’t know what they are doing. That’s the levelling influence of ebay – all you need to do is press buttons on a computer and repeat what is written on a badge. The bidders do the actual work. It’s a subject I may return to.

I may also return to the question of ethics.

Note to self –

Reasonably  priced ebay lots on Buy It Now are rarely as good as you think

Reasonably  priced ebay lots on Buy It Now are rarely as good as you think

Reasonably  priced ebay lots on Buy It Now are rarely as good as you think…