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It’s a guilty pleasure. Like Black Flag or Primus. Or Rock ‘n Rye flavor Faygo. Not something to admit in polite company.
I would watch Creature Feature old monster movies on UHF TV when I was little so the vibe resonates with me. The lyrics make me laugh out loud. Boogie Woogie Wu says it all….02/09/2018 at 3:00 pm in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Phono cartridge, Sony CD player, VHS re-winder, Hot Wheel set, Amateur painting #32607
Great gas station memories. I worked at an Esso then Exxon in the early 70’s myself. It feels funny now to drive through New Jersey and have your gas pumped for your like the old days (state law, apparently), but they don’t wash windows or ask to check fluids and tires like we used to. I worked there during the ’73 gas crisis. That was pretty wild.02/09/2018 at 2:32 pm in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Phono cartridge, Sony CD player, VHS re-winder, Hot Wheel set, Amateur painting #32605
Thanks for your video, Steven! I created a new thread on Random Thoughts to post a couple photos of my Alfa you asked about. Some recent interesting sales of mine:
This new, open box OEM MOPAR Rooftop Kayak Carrier was $6 at an indy thrift but missing its special tool (hex end with a hole in the middle) to mount the brackets. So I added a safety bit that fit and a cheap handle I had laying around (stating in the listing that it was not the original tool), printed out the instructions I found online to include, and put it up for $90 plus shipping. It took a month to sell and is going to Brazil by Priority Mail because the package weighs in at 5 lbs. (I don’t use GSP.) Shipsaver for a long time did not insure packages going to Brazil but recently changed their policy. When that happened I added Brazil back to the countries I ship to. I guess I’ll find out if their new-found confidence in Brazil’s postal system is well deserved, though in past years going back a while I have shipped to Brazil and never had a problem.
This handmade Henry Bergeson Moontide Kaleidoscope was a family item that had not been unpacked in the last couple moves but eventually made its way into a box destined for Goodwill. Fortunately I took a closer look at it and pulled it out. The artist only signs with hard-to-read initials (“HTB”) and the year made so it took some creative research to figure it out. Fortunately Bergeson still has a website and is well known, if you’re a kaleidoscope collector. Which do exist, apparently. I’ve no idea how we ended up with it though I hope it was a yard sale find because I hate to think someone paid retail price for it. It sold for $220 plus shipping in about two months.
This sale of an NOS film camera filter for $20 (going to the Czech Republic via First Class) isn’t very exciting but I wanted to point out that vintage photographic stuff is a very active category and easy to source. I find that even the most random little pieces, parts, and accessories always sell. Of course the values vary, and many things might only be worth a couple bucks so not worthwhile to list individually. But I’ll list even a 9.99 plus shipping type item individually when it’s easy to list and packs in three minutes, going 1st Class, when it sells, and I have next to nothing in it. If you see an old fashioned camera shoulder bag while sourcing, check to see what’s in it because it might be full of stuff and even if there’s a camera in it, the seller may not have a fresh battery or know how to check function or couldn’t be bothered so the price might be right. And if the camera appears to be worth it, get a battery, download an instruction book (easy to find online), test it and sell it as functional if you can. Sell all the accessories and stuff separate.
https://goo.gl/Un1RN501/20/2018 at 11:49 am in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Arrow quiver, North Face backpack, Brass candlestick, Record stand, McCoy bowl, Leather bomber jacket, Italian briefcase #30865
Thanks for your informative video Steve! Some recent interesting sales of mine:
This vintage unmarked (other than hex head size) OEM Alfa Romeo tool-kit wrench was something that ended up in my tool box after it did not make it back into the tool-kit of an old Guilia Spider that I rebuilt and sold many years ago. Foreign car (and domestic, too, for that matter) tool-kit items can be good sellers for good money but it seems they are more often than not unmarked as to manufacturer so they are hard to research unless you have a clue to start with. This one sold within a couple days of listing for $60 plus shipping.
I have a hard time valuing college memorabilia because sold prices will be all over the map, from very low to very high. So for this vintage Marist College stein I priced it into what I thought was ridiculous territory at $73 plus shipping but it sold within about a week of listing so maybe it wasn’t so ridiculous. It was $1.50 at an indy thrift and had to be cleaned of a very thick smoke and grease residue. Possibly spent its life as a random piece of diner décor.
I am not very knowledgeable on folding pocket knives. I do know enough to never put one up for sale without some careful research even though they are so plentiful in general that many are worth little to nothing. This discontinued Spyderco Catcherman model fisherman’s folder came in a box lot of mostly junk I paid a couple bucks for at an auction. It had some overall wear and a bent tip. My initial impression that it was a $5 knife at most was proven incorrect when I saw that this model could sell for up to like $150 if NIB. I felt $75 plus shipping was about right for its condition and it only took a day to sell for that.
This unmarked circa 1959 West German rifle bayonet and scabbard was an eBay snipe at $25 from a low feedback seller who had it in a poorly titled listing. The seller had no idea how old it was, where it came from, or what rifle it fit, and the pictures were awful. All in all, it was perfect snipe bait. There are a number of common variations of this bayonet but this first model is comparatively rare. It took three days to sell for $160 plus shipping. In listing bayonets, care has to be taken to avoid violating eBay’s assault weapon parts and accessory prohibition.01/18/2018 at 4:54 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 343: Our Business = Little Things Every Day #30734
Some interesting discussions in this episode. A friend of mine is working for a company that is developing nanotechnology-based miniature atomic clock chips to create tiny locator chips to track things worldwide. So someday you might actually be able to track your packages in real time with a chip embedded in the shipping label.
I have successfully received and mailed larger glass covered framed pictures. They were steamship photos that had little plaques with the ship’s name affixed to the frame so it was desirable to keep them intact. I bought like about 10 of them from an online auction and they arrived 2 to a box. Copying how I got them, to ship them I used heavy duty mirror cartons to construct the box and just padded the corners inside really well with heavy packing paper to seat the frames. They went UPS, IIRC.
… your family unwraps their Christmas gifts, you tell them to give you whatever they don’t like so you can sell it.
I use many boxes for smalls, too often for me to rely on scavenged ones. I have been happy with EcoSwift boxes on eBay, finding the 6x6x4 to be the most useful. They are corrugated but thin, sturdy enough, and significantly cheaper than Uline. I don’t know if I’d trust the lightweight construction in the larger sizes, though.12/21/2017 at 4:07 pm in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Guitar, Toque, Knight radio, Sorel Boots, VCR/DVD combo, Curly tie, 8 Track Recorder, Boombox #29211
Thanks! We use white vinegar for cleaning often but I didn’t think of that at all. Better than soap.12/21/2017 at 8:41 am in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Guitar, Toque, Knight radio, Sorel Boots, VCR/DVD combo, Curly tie, 8 Track Recorder, Boombox #29176
Box the cat! I had a cat once that like to sit inside the printer paper boxes and then bite little pieces of the cardboard off around the edge and spit them out. She’d work her way down a couple inches all the way around before she’d need a fresh box to work on. She’d also play catch with Mardi Gras beads. If you tossed them a couple feet over her head she’d leap up and grab them. She was a good cat.
Steve you mentioned cleaning up the old transistor radio and boom box – do you use any liquid for cleaning older plastics besides soap and water? I’m wondering if denatured alcohol or something like that can be used that would do a better job but not damage the finish.
Recent sales of mine include this cute little Wearever brand aluminum two-cup stove-top coffee percolator, complete and in nice condition. It was $4 at a Goodwill, sold for $35.
I bought this Cohiba ashtray for $5 at an antique shop and it sold for $37. Tobacciana is a slow category for me. This was up for over six months.
Militaria, on the other hand, is a quick selling, high interest category, but it is also high maintenance. The pricing has to be right, collectors are persnickety about descriptions, condition, and identification, and there is lot of camping, civilian, and reproduction gear that looks military but is not and is mostly of little interest and value to collectors. This genuine 1956 model ammunition pouch with a 1966 contract date was part of a large lot I purchased so I have next to nothing in it. This was the kind of item sold out of big bins at army surplus stores for like .99 each in the ‘60s and even into the ‘70’s so it’s not rare but it still sold for $24 BIN. There is a short version of this type of pouch that is worth up to twice that. One thing about militaria is that if you take good, clear, detailed pictures, including any stamps or labels or engraving found on the item, it can be safe to put up at a low-start auction. You may not get top dollar but you also don’t have to worry about giving it away.
For a military patch, if you’re selling it as old (or have no idea) you can also add a close up of the edge to show more clearly to the less savvy buyer if it has a cut edge. There are some exceptions but generally a merrowed patch is late ‘60’s or later.
Hmm image didn’t work that time. Let me try again.12/14/2017 at 2:10 pm in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Ham radios, Tiki S&P, Betty Cookbook, JBL speakers, Vintage games, 16mm news reel, Pipe stand, 1946 calendar #28791
Good stuff. I noticed the cat was enjoying itself until it suddenly seems to realize there’s an Alabama-themed mix tape playing in the background and freezes up.
Some of my interesting recent sales:
NOS Navy flight deck helmet aka cranial. Sold two in only a couple days. Paid $4 each at an indy thrift shop (usually a fairly pricey place to shop but I think they don’t like to sell military surplus and wanted them gone) sold for $50 each plus shipping. One went to France and one to an aero club in KY.
University of Michigan wall plaque. This was a $1 or so at a yard sale. The wood looked much worse when purchased but it only took a quick coat of scratch hider furniture oil to get it at least presentable. Some sellers try to get hundreds of dollars for these vintage college plaques but they rarely sell for that. That said, this one sold in a day so maybe I left some money on the table at $65 plus shipping. To MI, natch.
This set of navigation chart dividers was probably bought at full retail price by my wife when she was learning to drive ships years ago so it was nice to see I could get $100 for them plus shipping, going to Switzerland.12/14/2017 at 12:14 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 338: Rich Scavenger, Poor Scavenger #28783
Re Signature Confirmation you have to look at the insurance terms, and eBay and Paypal policies. As far as the USPS is concerned, the Signature Confirmation service is strictly for the peace of mind of the shipper or recipient and has nothing to do with insurance coverage. The shipper does not need to request Signature Confirmation service to be covered by USPS insurance. If insurance is purchased for a value of over $500 (with a $5,000 limit), the USPS will obtain a recipient signature automatically. The shipper need not request Signature Confirmation service. This is all for straight Priority. The rules may differ for other postage classes.
I have a Shipsaver account that requires Signature Confirmation in some cases. It adds insurance automatically for the item sale price and postage (and includes First Class Package Service) and I have it set for a $50 floor but in some ways it’s not as good as USPS insurance. For coverage, Shipsaver has a $2,500 limit ($999.99 for First Class Package) and requires Signature Confirmation for jewelry (includes necklaces, earrings, watches, rings, bracelets, broaches, etc) with a value of $500.00 or more. All Laptop computers (including tablets, iPads, and similar); and all mobile phones (cell phones, smart phones, etc) not only require Signature Confirmation but they must be sent by Priority Mail Express for coverage. Both USPS and Shipsaver won’t insure certain things at all, but Shipsaver’s uninsurables list is longer. Also Shipsaver has a list of destination countries it won’t insure at all.
In the Global Shipping Program, eBay says it requires signature confirmation on items selling for over $750 “to help protect you from eBay Money Back Guarantee cases”. It “recommends” delivery confirmation for lesser valued items. For domestic and non-GSP international shipments, eBay vaguely says only that “confirmation” is required that “the buyer received the item” if the item sold for over $750 and seller wants to appeal an INR case. Taken to the logical extreme, that could mean Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery or other carrier equivalent where only the recipient can sign for the package. As we all know, generally eBay only requires a delivered scan to let us off the hook for INR.
Paypal requires signature confirmation to dispute an INR claim for transactions that total $750 or more (that’s the item sale price plus shipping etc.).
Those are the rules. What happens in real life may differ.
I only offer a partial refund if the buyer messages me without opening a case and I feel it’s appropriate to even answer and offer a partial refund in that case (rarely – if they don’t open a case they often are just fishing). If someone opens a case to return the item, I approve it immediately and I don’t offer a partial refund. If we’ve been emailing back and forth about a partial refund but they then open a case, I just approve the return as soon as the case is opened. As others have said, the buyer often never follows through. You should have received a notification of the opened case (possibly even a couple notifications if you did not respond) – once you get that, you’ve got to move on it. Yes you’ll get a “transaction defect” if eBay has closed it in buyer’s favor but it’s not the end of world. You’ll not get kicked off eBay for that alone. In my case (I don’t know if it differs as to size of store etc), I can have up to 0.50% transaction defects and not lose Top Rated Seller status, and it’s not until the defect rate reaches over 2.0% that I fall into “Below Standard” seller status.11/30/2017 at 11:12 am in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Pantry boxes, leather planner cover, Krispy Kreme mugs, Dope, needle point, typewriter #27728
Steve, I always liked doing auto parts; so much so that I got pretty close to buying a salvage yard at one point. I guess it’s a side effect of playing with cars since I was a teen, before I even had a driver’s license actually. I do well with the parts – the more obscure the better, I find – but there is so much competition. And from watching Joe DiMarco I’ve learned that auto parts as a category can have significant returns, though I have never had a problem. At the moment I don’t have the space to strip a car anyway. That’s probably a good thing, for family harmony.