Tag Archives: Ebay

“Rare” Coins and Dark Thoughts

It sometimes feels like we’re under siege in the shop.

Every day we get phone calls or personal callers with “rare coins” to sell. I don’t mind it if the coins are old (by which I mean pre-decimal) because there is at least some hope of something interesting cropping up. The “rare coins” that provoke me to thoughts of homicide are the ones that are reported as being rare in the press, on the internet,or, even worse, on ebay.

Recently we’ve had several reports of rare 2007 £2 coins. It’s a commemorative issue which marks the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. The rarity is not in the coin itself (with a mintage of over 8,000,000 it’s actually reasonably common) but in the placement of the edge inscription.

The motto AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER is impressed around the edge. According to the intellectual giants who stoke the hellish fires of rare coin “knowledge” the lettering should be right way up when the Queen’s head is uppermost. If it is upside down, the coin is the “rare” variety.

2007 £2 coin

2007 £2 coin – reverse

Now, this is where things start to come unstuck. The edge inscriptions are put on by a roller before the final striking and people who know about the process are happy that the inscription is going to land in accordance with the laws of chance – 50% will be right way up and 50% will be rare varieties worth £300 on ebay.

Or, to look at it another way, there is no rare variety. There’s also no evidence of one selling for £300 on ebay in the last month or so.

Turning to the actual prices realised on ebay, which are often very different from the fanciful figures put on the coins that don’t actually sell, I found one that sold  for £500, one for £102, one for £23, three for £20 and only two others in double figures.

Some people clearly shouldn’t be allowed on ebay without supervision.

Thirty three coins, after allowing for ebay fees, sold for £2 or less, with several selling for 99 pence.

That’s from a total of 155 sales in the last 6 weeks.

I will let the figures speak for themselves.

 

 

 

Another New Week

Well, it’s another new week and it’s a blank canvas full of possibilities and the potential for cliches.

I rose early, did a word puzzle and then sat and decided what to do. I decided to do more sitting, and did another word puzzle. These aren’t intellectual exercises by any means but at 6.30 my brain isn’t necessarily prepared for heavy lifting.

Breakfast consisted of a pear, a small citrus fruit (I lose track of all the names they use these days) and two turmeric capsules. As a dietary regime it could probably do with some fine-tuning.

My first TV selection was what I refer to as “classic comedy”. That could equally be “very old repeat” as it was a 1982 episode of Minder – the Birdman of Wormwood Scrubs. That’s the episode where they refer to a male Bullfinch, but show a female Chaffinch. After that I lost interest in the assorted rubbish on offer and concentrated on the computer.

Looking through the Q&A section of ebay to increase my knowledge of the system I was struck by the fact that though many of the world’s resources are decreasing the supply of idiots shows little sign of slacking off.  If we could harness stupidity and get it into a fuel tank we wouldn’t need electric cars. I won’t dwell on the subject, as we don’t have the technology for this, and the waste upsets me.

Now, as the clock creeps round to mid-day I realise that a touch of TV, two word puzzles, some light blogging, a quick breakfast, and a bit of ebay, has absorbed five hours of my life.

No wonder I don’t get the washing up done.

 

How to Pack a Parcel

I had a crash course in shop work today. Ebay shoppers had a sudden urge to bid last night and we ended up with fourteen parcels to pack, including several with multiple items and two going overseas. This job can be quite exciting at times.

I’ve not quite got the hang of it  yet, because the ebay site has changed a bit since I last used it, and not necessarily for the better. However, I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

The stages of packing a parcel are –

Check ebay notification

Find item (stock control will, I hope, improve when we move shops)

Select correct envelope

Insert item into envelope (which may require wrestling and ingenuity)

Add compliments slip

See if it goes through the slots in the card we have – Large Letter or Small Letter

Weigh

Select appropriate postage rate for size, weight and country

Write postage on envelope

Put appropriate sticker on – Signed for, Special delivery etc

Stick stamps on

Seal

Write address

Write return address

Air Mail sticker (if necessary)

Customs Declaration (if necessary)

Simple enough, you would think, but I managed to cock it up several times. There are a number of ways to get it wrong if you are new to the job, talking at the same time and thinking of that delicious salad your wife is making you have for lunch. And that’s before you drop the pen, stick a stamp on upside down, lose the stickers…

All in all, an interesting day, for me. I’m not sure it makes riveting reading though, as I seem to have failed to capture the drama and romance of putting coins and banknotes into padded envelopes.

Tomorrow it might be a medallion. Who knows? Life can get pretty crazy at the cutting edge of retail.

The coin in the picture is from the reign of Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603). It was actually one of the detector finds from the farm, but I thought a coin picture would look good seeing as I work in a coin shop. 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Guinea Pigs of Newstead Abbey

While I was in the shop yesterday Eddie showed me a picture of wild guinea pigs in Newstead Abbey country park. They seem to have moved on, or become a succulent part of the food chai,n as he hasn’t seen them since.

~The Wild Guinea Pigs Of Newstead~

 

I pasted the link but it added the picture – not sure how that happens. Clicking the photo seems to link back to the site, but I’m a bit suspiciousvof all this modern technology.

If you search for Wild Guinea Pigs of Newstead Abbey you will find his site, with many insect photos.

He’s wasted taking picures of coins for ebay.

Low Cunning and Bidding on ebay

Last week I bid £120 on a medallion. I’ve already had a discussion on thrift, common sense and my sanity with Julia, so we’ll gloss over that. My defence is that collecting is a mental condition rather than a hobby.

It’s like the one in the header picture but the reverse has the coat of arms of Skegness. The one in the picture is the commoner one with the coat of arms of Lincoln on the reverse.

There is a picture of the Skegness medal and much other material here.

I didn’t get it, and was annoyed to be the underbidder to a winning bid of £122. I was a bit shocked to be honest, as I really thought it should only be £80 – £90. The extra was the safety net to ensure I got it.

Ah well, some you win and some you lose.

Then it immediately reappeared for sale, using the same photographs, but this time with a reserve. Curiouser and curiouser as they say. Well, Alice said it in Wonderland, and there’s a lot in ebay that reminds me of life through the Looking Glass.

I watched it. I considered writing to ask what was happening. I thought of reporting it to ebay, because it looked like someone had bid it up and bought it back themselves by accident. Such things have been known, though I can’t say for sure. I can only say that I was suspicious, and that there were certain indications that this was the case.

Anyway, I didn’t bid. I watched, I compared the bidders with the bidders on the previous “sale” and I waited. Eventually I decided what to do and put a bid on it. Someone outbid me. It was the same bidder that had outbid me last time.

This was where my low cunning came in.

I bid again, just another £2.

They bid again and outbid me again.

But, I think they got the message – that there would be no big bid this time – and they didn’t bid again when I added an extra couple of quid. After all, how many times do you want to buy your own stuff back? It gets expensive when you have commission to pay.

Nobody else bid either and I closed the sale at £87. It’s enough, but it’s £33 cheaper than I bid on the previous one. Assuming my earlier suspicions were justified I’d like to think of it as both a result (better price) and a lesson (greed doesn’t pay).

 

A Rare Wolves Football Badge

Yesterday a dealer asked me if I’d take a look through a couple of bags of odds and ends . It’s a tempting offer when your natural habitat is the margins of the antiques trade.

There were some interesting bits in the bags, including a couple of bits I wanted for myself. I suppose I could have declared a liking for the badge in the picture and bought it for a fiver, but I’m both honest and an idiot. Honest is good because, apart from the obvious, you get given bags of interesting stuff to look through. An idiot, because I’m poor as a result.

It looked to me like a pre-war football badge. I’ve had a few, mainly picked up cheap, from dealers. I’d never cheat anyone by telling them they were worthless, but if a dealer wants to put one out for £5 I’ll happily hand over the money.

We checked it up on the internet and it’s a badge done for Wolverhampton Wanderers fans for the 1939 FA Cup Final. Portsmouth won 4-1 and held the cup until 1946 due to a pressing away fixture against Germany that took a few years to clear up.

Wolves went on to win it in 1949 and 1960, making their record four wins in eight finals.

The badge is currently making £21 on ebay. My professional opinion is that it will make at least £40 and, if you have two keen collectors after it, possibly twice as much. If it does, I will be right and people will think I’m an expert. And if I’m wrong it will be the fault of the auction for failing to attract the right quality of bidder.

See, it’s easy to be an antiques dealer – you just have to say things in the right way and you will never be wrong.

Yesterday, I forgot the Title

Number One Son cooked tonight, so there are no photos of the food. By the time I got back from picking Julia up from work (tonight being her late night) he had it ready and it seemed rude not to eat it right away.

It was, for those of you who like detail, a steak and shallot pie from Keelham Farm Shop, Skipton. The pastry was good and crispy and there were good chunks of meat in it. For my taste it was a bit over-salted (which seemed to come from the pastry) and shallots are always a bit too sweet. It was still good though.

We’re having the samphire tomorrow.

We had the orange and chilli marmalade this morning. Julia likes it. I’m dubious. I’m not sure there’s a gap in the market for a marmalade that slips down nicely but leaves a burning sensation in your throat.

Did I mention the rhubarb flavored chocolate yesterday? It was quite nice, and very Yorkshire, but it didn’t make it through the night. In fact, when I check, I notice it didn’t even make it into the blog.

The day started with a trip to work, with traffic jams and many thoughts (mainly homicidal). It progressed (if that is the word) to more traffic jams, a trip to the sorting office to pick up a parcel, and a blood test. It only took two attempts this week. I’m hoping I pass as they have currently reduced the interval to a week and weekly blood tests are a bit limiting.

It all turned out to be a bit of an anti-climactic day in the end. Even the threatening clouds didn’t turn into the threatened storm.

At least, when I got home, I had parcels from ebay to open.

I really must start getting things organised.