Category Archives: Ebay

Hard Day at the Shop

Obviously “hard” is a comparative term. Six hours sitting in a heated shop packing parcels and chatting to customers is not hard compared to some of my previous jobs, and they weren’t hard compared to working on a trawler or building skyscrapers.

However, from starting to finishing, there was scarcely a moment when we didn’t have a customer in, often two or three at a time.  We sold quite a lot in the morning, spent over £1,000 buying during the afternoon and ended up selling some more. We did all this with just two people as the boss was off at the York Coin Fair. We often have busy days when he’s away.

Souvenir Medal Castle Rising Norfolk

Souvenir Medal Castle Rising Norfolk

This is one of the medallions we put on eBay. At this sort of magnification you can clearly see  the reflection of my camera and a large quantity of dust. It’s not a stunning level of professionalism is it?

Southwell Minster Souvenir Medallion

Southwell Minster Souvenir Medallion

I see we’ve already sold seven items on eBay, so we will have to get a move on, as the Post Office closes at noon.

Another last minute post!

We had 12 parcels to pack this morning, including seven of bulk coins. It wasn’t one of my favourite days because bulk coins are fiddly to pack.  You have to pack them tight so they don’t rattle like coins, but you also have to pack them so they are flat enough to go through the post as a large letter. It would be a lot easier to pack them as rolls, but more expensive, and customers want to buy coins, not stamps.

During that time we discussed what we’d done on Sunday, which wasn’t exciting, and what we had planned for the afternoon. This wasn’t exciting either.

I went to McDonald’s in Arnold for lunch, but there was a long queue so my healthy eating resolution survived a little longer. Then I thought about fish and chips, but there was nowhere I could think of that allowed me to park close enough (let’s be honest, I make a sloth look industrious). Finally, I bought a chicken sandwich from Wilko.

That, to be honest, wasn’t a great decision, as it was on white bread, but it was next to the stationery, which is what I’d gone in for. They are fixing the surface of the rooftop car park at Wilko. I include this detail not because it is interesting, but because someone reading this blog in 100 years may find it to be a valuable historical nugget.

You never know. A child doing a school project in the next century might want to know about Arnold, or car parking or 21st century diets. Whether they will benefit from an insight into my life is another question.

Back home I made a fish pie and a vegetable curry – one for tea tonight and one for tea on Wednesday. The Tuesday evening meal will be the warmed up stew from Sunday, one bowl for me and one for Number Two Son. Julia is going out with her coven of friends for a meal and will escape the leftovers.

It’s taken a long time to write this, and I’m left with just nine minutes to post before midnight – please forgive any ragged edges but I have a deadline to meet and a challenge to face.

 

 

 

Thoughts and Stories

It was lighter when I left work tonight, which made me feel better.  I was also feeling happy because two of yesterday’s medallions (Sir  Francis Drake and Grace Kelly) sold overnight. They are now on their way to the customer.

I then started entering more items on eBay. We set ourselves the target of having 1,000 items of stock when I started in the shop, which looked like a big jump from the 600 we then had listed. When you consider the number we’ve sold, we must have entered around 2,000 items to get to this figure.

Here are some of the bits that went on today.

Masonic Past Master's Jewel - Heaton Lodge, Bolton, Lancashire

Masonic Past Master’s Jewel – Heaton Lodge, Bolton, Lancashire

RAOB Jewels Lord Balcarres Lodge, Chorley, Lancashire

RAOB Jewels Lord Balcarres Lodge, Chorley, Lancashire

People collect Freemasons regalia keenly, and though there are collectors for Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (otherwise known as RAOB or Buffs) it isn’t collected quite as keenly. They are both mysteries to me, though they are popular with many people. There are other friendly societies such as the Oddfellows, Druids and Foresters, but their regalia is not so common. Many of them were set up to provide health and insurance benefits for members in the days before the welfare state.

The last bit is a locket with pictures of two Great War soldiers in it – probably brothers, or maybe father and son. It’s had quite a lot of wear and I suspect there is quite a story behind it.  We bought it with a Green Howards cap badge but the vendor didn’t know anything about the history. It’s frightening how quickly families forget.

As a man who is interested in the past, it can be an interesting job.

We’re closed until the 2nd January now, but as that is my day off I have four days of leisure stretching ahead of me. I wonder what I should do to fill the time…

A Few Medallions

I put a few medallions on eBay today. That’s the trouble with selling things – you need to keep putting things on to replace them.

They aren’t the greatest medallions, but they aren’t the worst I’ve ever pictured, as reular readers will be able to confirm.

 

Of course, not all subjects are equally interesting. Unless you are really into decorative lighting, or Olympia, or 1989…

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A medallion of niche interest

A Short Note on Difficult Customers -Part II – and a Case of Really Bad Packing

We settled the complaint. The boss offered him 100 extra coins and that seems to have done the trick. This was pretty much what we had expected.

During the discussion it became clear that the customer didn’t have a great deal of coin knowledge and had ordered the wrong thing.

You have to take this sort of thing philosophically…

Meanwhile, having secured a new item for my collection, at a cost of £27 plus £2 P&P I have a new low to report in packaging. The item is a watch fob and is just over an inch high. It was delivered in a box around six inches square and 3/4 inch deep. It’s an excessively big box for a small item.

Worse than that, the fob was just thrown into the box loose without the benefit of any protection or padding.

Regardless of the fact that it arrived undamaged it doesn’t inspire buyer confidence to see things treated this way.

Ah well, moaning over for now.

A Short Note on Difficult Customers

Sometimes on eBay you run up against an immovable object. With over a thousand items listed for sale at any time we are obviously going to make mistakes. In nine months we’ve sent the wrong item twice and had one complaint about quality. That’s less than quarter of a per cent.

We now have another complaint. With hindsight we should have expected it as the buyer asked for a discount before buying. We politely declined but he ordered anyway. We then had a letter of complaint telling us this was the worst lot he’d ever bought and various other things.

We offered him his money back.

He’s just replied that we’ve missed the point. He doesn’t want to send them back for a refund, he wants to struggle selling them and moan that the charity he sells for will lose money. He’s very keen to tell you he sells for charity.

There’s not much you can do to help some people.

Cynicism prompts me to suggest that his next note will contain a threat about negative feedback and another suggestion about discount. After all, he does sell for charity you know…

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.

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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!