Category Archives: Ebay

Some more stamps…

We bought some stamp sets last week and I put this one to one side for a photo. The five stamps come to £1.89, which is, coincidentally, (and 20 years after issue) the value of second class Signed For postage.

They are a bit shiny so the individual shots didn’t come out too well.


Sorry about that. They are a good set, featuring some great stories, and deserve better pictures than this.


Just a short post today. I may try another one later. It was a hectic day with 24 parcels to do – one with 46 items in it and another with 24 medallions. They take some packing!

Sounds silly after some of the jobs I’ve had to say I’m exhausted after packing a few parcels, but there you are – old age.

I also failed my blood test this morning, so I’m back again next week. Pah!

Hitler, Nazi, Boobs…

Yes, that got you attention didn’t it?

We’ve been talking about how to title eBay sales.

It all started when the Boss noticed someone was selling Churchill Crowns for what seems like a lot of money.  They add “WW2, Hitler, Nazi, Silver” in the title line and sell the crowns for around £12, We normally think we’ve done well if we get £1 and we don’t even bother to put them on eBay as serious coin dealers don’t consider them worth selling. Even the Westminster Collection, who are not known for their modest prices, only ask £3.50 for them.

It seems to me that words like WW2, Hitler and Nazi are attractive to people who want to spend too much on coins.

And “boobs”? Well, from what I’ve seen on sites selling seaside postcards the word “boobs” is used to stimulate sales. I have descended as far as “bosom” in my pursuit of sales (we actually sold three cards from the newly listed lot overnight). I’m not sure how much pride I’m prepared to swallow in the pursuit of wages.


Bamforth comic card

It makes me proud the be an eBayer. Well, actually it makes me question the entire basis of my life, but I thought I’d try some irony.

It also gave me a catchy title for this post. The alternative was “Salad Emergency!” based on my experience of making a salad from random fridge contents after Julia used all the bread.

Quinoa, tomatoes, olives, red peppers, pumpkin seeds with Balsamic vinegar. My fridge is far too healthy.

Quinoa, tomatoes, olives, red peppers, pumpkin seeds with Balsamic vinegar. My fridge is far too healthy.

Or “Shirt Tragedy” because my fifteen-year-old shirt finally gave way under the stress of covering my amply proportioned frontage. The loss is less keenly felt than the loss of the cats, but cuts deeper than such things as cricket defeats and the passing of Little Chef and their All Day Breakfasts. I liked that shirt.

In a couple of months it will rise again, as part of our Christmas Wreath project.

It’s that or throwing it away. It’s too worn to make good rags and Julia says no self-respecting tramp would be seen dead in it.


So much to write

Julia saw a Peregrine Falcon last night. They make quite a distinctive noise, which was what made her look up. We’ve had Kestrels and Sparrowhawks before, but this is a new bird for the street. In previous years we’ve seen them over the rugby pitches by the river and a nearby retail park, but never at this end of town.

We are familiar with the sound they make as they nest in the middle of Nottingham and Julia used to work in an adjoining building. They didn’t do well this year.

In terms of experiences this is quite a high quality experience. The same goes for seeing a Muntjac deer in Lincolnshire on Wednesday.  It’s the second time we’ve seen one in the same area this year. It’s always good to see deer, though I do worry about them being on the roads.

Today’s eBay loading wasn’t quite such a high-quality experience. One of the lots was 24 Bamforth comic postcards. I use the term “comic” loosely because my sense of humour has changed a lot since I used to find them hilarious. However, three of them sold within an hour so they are still popular. The quality threshold might be low but they pay the wages.

Bamforths, it seems, were also the founders of the Yorkshire film industry, but that’s a story for another day.

First of all I had to sell decimal coins, now it’s saucy postcards…

Tomorrow it’s Captain Scarlet. I like Captain Scarlet.

Angel Interceptor

Angel Interceptor

Eight down, forty sevenish to go

I’m behind on my pier reports – I still have a report on Great Yarmouth the write. After yesterday I also have two others to report on – Cleethorpes and Skegness.

My orderly side says I should do Yarmouth first and the other two in turn. Another side says I should write up the most recent visits while they are still fresh in my mind.

And yet another part of me says I should review another piers book, or even write about something completely different so that I don’t become a pier bore.

The picture at the top is a flattened penny from the machine on the pier. This is what the other side looks like.

Squashed penny - reverse

Squashed penny – reverse

The trick with squashing pennies is to use a dirty one so that traces of the design show up and make things a bit more interesting.

For now I’ll leave you with that, as I need to get to work on the other posts. I put up a 1966 medallion for auction today.

1966 medallion - Jules Rimet still gleaming...

1966 medallion – Jules Rimet still gleaming…

World Cup Willie - sounds like some sort of repetitive strain injury you get from too much celebrating

World Cup Willie – sounds like some sort of repetitive strain injury you get from too much celebrating

The medallion is only 30mm across in real life.

Then, in a new low for quality standards, I put a lot of 100 National Transport tokens up for sale. I have no pride.


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.


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.




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.