To eBay or not to eBay?

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I think eBay is.....

better than ever.
6
17%
getting worse by the day.
12
35%
looking after buyers more than sellers.
7
20%
expensive for low value items.
6
17%
'cheap as chips'.
2
5%
geared towards power sellers, not individual lower volume sellers.
1
2%
 
Total votes : 34

Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby Moonraker on Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:19 pm

Occasionally I contact eBay vendors to point out that their description of a card is incorrect. Half of them appreciate this and change the details, others ignore me. There is one Australian dealer offering postcards of Wiltshire army badges carved in the hillside, with the wrong nearby village mentioned. He has not bothered to amend his description. And his prices are about three times what one might expect at a British fair.

But the record for optimistic pricing has perhaps been attained by an America dealer mis-describing four cards of a Wiltshire army camp: "very unusual postal history item for very early air force postal history item ... Very scarce." In fact the cards - and the camp - have no air force history at all.

His Buy It Now price for each card is $149.99 :shock: "priced to sell" :roll: plus $15 postage - thought no doubt there would be a discount should someone purchase more than one card. The cards normally go for £8 or £10 each in Britain ...
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby CollectIreland on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:45 pm

I use eBay to buy/sell on, but the latter less with each passing month. I only buy on Delcampe. I find there's an enormous number of sellers trying to sell overpriced tat on eBay and to a lesser extent Delcampe. Many dealers can't even be bothered to indicate the publishers name. I collect Irish cards and, with a few honourable exceptions, most dealers based in Ireland charge outrageous prices. It's the same on Abebooks - I buy Irish books from UK dealers - miles cheaper even allowing for higher postage costs. Old does not equal valuable - especially when it comes to stained, dog-eared, foxed postcards. :D
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby eastlondonpostcard on Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:35 pm

CollectIreland wrote:I use eBay to buy/sell on, but the latter less with each passing month. I only buy on Delcampe. I find there's an enormous number of sellers trying to sell overpriced tat on eBay and to a lesser extent Delcampe. Many dealers can't even be bothered to indicate the publishers name. I collect Irish cards and, with a few honourable exceptions, most dealers based in Ireland charge outrageous prices. It's the same on Abebooks - I buy Irish books from UK dealers - miles cheaper even allowing for higher postage costs. Old does not equal valuable - especially when it comes to stained, dog-eared, foxed postcards. :D


Hmmmm - amazing to see this rant brought up time and again, nothing changes... just look at the voting stats and decide if ebay is really for you, the postcard collector.

Yes there is a LOT of tat at silly prices; which begs the question why don't sellers research their product before they list. Perhaps it is just an act of vanity on their part? - well, only you the collector can decide that. After all, a collector of a subject/place should know the difference and so will react accordingly...

And delcampe has fallen into the 'tat' trap as well, if not more so, in my opinion. Take Westminster Abbey for example: there are currently 4984 listings for this unloved icon of London ranging in price from 180 euro to 0.15 euro on delcampe - whaaaaaaaaaaa! - House of Parliament: 5185 - Tower of London: 5894 - why so so many? Will they sell? - I very much doubt it judging by the age of some of these listings.

The UK alternative is eBid and despite it's low-cost selling advantage fails to attract enough buyers for some as they do not advertise and there is not enough real 'collectables' on offer to the collector. Not quite in the 'tat' trap yet, in my opinion, but it can also happen here too.

Overall, there seems to be an over-abundance of the use of the term 'rare' in my opinion. Of course, this is very subjective and should not be used so lightly by sellers who do not appear to know about scarcity at all. Or real values come to mention...

As a collector, you must therefore use them ALL to your advantage, as they all have their good/bad points after all. The hard part is sifting the 'chaff' from the 'wheat' and some are harder to apply this than others...

Happy Collecting!
~ send it on a Postcard please ~
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby davidnugget on Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:32 pm

This thread shows that a lot of people scan this forum, in spite of the very low rate of new topics!
I am only a buyer, I use most of the sites mentioned as well as sellers' own sites. A couple were new to me (many thanks). I also use ETSY which is good if you collect twee cards.
EBAY is a pain with multiple purchases as the different sites use different methods, .fr is easiest as you don't have to pay immediately unless they have recently changed it. Delcampe actually has more cards than Ebay in some topics, it depends on what you collect, and the pool of bidders is a bit different. Their thumbnails are amazingly small though, especially if you collect portrait format cards. I have also been caught out by the different time zone.
On all sites I do wish sellers would give more detail eg publisher, card number (eg this is often on the back of the card or impossible to read), postal date.
But if you are selling a card at a starting price less than what I would pay in a coffee shop I can't ask for too much! Fairs are very good, but are
tiring if you collect more than one topic. They are also occasional events - real addicts scan the online sites daily.
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby Dave43 on Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:21 pm

I always reckon e bay is for "chancers" Delcampe for "collectors" (incidentally make sure you get into "International" loads more stuff on there, I have had few problems dealing with Europe)
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby davidnugget on Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:58 pm

Maybe true, but a worring trend is that the Delcampe pictures (in "enlarged" form) are now often too small to judge the condition of a postage stamp,
let alone a postcard. At least some Ebay sellers provide good images.
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby Moonraker on Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:07 pm

As a buyer, I find DelCampe useless. I've just tried three searches that produced mostly dross that's been hanging around on eBay for months:

"Salisbury Plain": 22 PCs on offer, including 6 of Stonehenge. All the others but two had very familiar scenes. (eBay often offers around 60 or 70 cards.)

"Lark Hill": 2 PCs (usually 10 or 12 from eBay)

"Fovant": 15 PCs (about what one can get on eBay), a couple of a little interest but four copies of the same modern card of the hillside badges.
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby Moonraker on Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:52 pm

Phew! Just ended on eBay: fierce bidding for a postcard that went for £119 - which meant that someone else was willing to go up to £117. (I dropped out well before then.) It showed a Breguet aircraft that was entered in the Military Aeroplane Competition held near Stonehenge in 1912 to determine a suitable British warplane. Dealers at fairs usually ask £25 a time for PCs of other entrants, but few would have known that though the Breguet was at the trials it didn't feature much and never actually flew. I've never seen an original of that particular card before,and not even a reproduction.

In my own, admittedly narrow, field of collecting ("military Wiltshire"), I can't recall a card going for so much, the nearest being around £100 for a fund-raising tank trundling into Salisbury Market Place.

I console myself (up to a point) with the thought that I have a card of another low-key entrant that never flew because of mechanical problems. (In the foreground is someone whom I take to be the pilot or owner, arms akimbo, looking very frustrated as a mechanic works on the aircraft.) I've never seen another copy.
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby Moonraker on Wed May 18, 2016 5:57 pm

Happy ending! The same vendor listed another PC of the same Breguet aircraft at Lark Hill; it wasn't as good as the £119 card, but I was the only bidder and won it for £50 - more than I would have paid for it from an unsuspecting dealer at a fair, but I'm content. Sometimes I sniff at eBay vendors who state starting bids way above dealers' prices but in this case the vendor was showing some awareness of the market value.

BTW the $149.99 cards that I mentioned above on March 13 are still unsold ...
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby DuncanMac on Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:16 pm

Dave43 wrote:I always reckon e bay is for "chancers" Delcampe for "collectors" (incidentally make sure you get into "International" loads more stuff on there, I have had few problems dealing with Europe)

I would say quite the opposite, Delcampe is for those unsold eBay common stocks looking for a mug buyer from a seller too cheap to pay to sell quality. My opinion only.
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby robertsfallon on Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:07 pm

if you are responsible for return shipping, you need to send tracking information to the seller to protect yourself.
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby Moonraker on Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:43 pm

Those over-priced cards I mentioned above in my post of March 13 last year are still unsolld (no surprise there), and I've taken a perverse pleasure in listing on eBay with a starting price of £3.99 a duplicate of one of those for which £121.39 is being asked. And it won't surprise me if mine doesn't sell.
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby Moonraker on Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:12 pm

I admit that nowadays I'm on the fringe of the collecting scene, but in the past six months I've become increasingly jaded by what's being offered on eBay in my area of interest: military Wiltshire. When exploring the site, I use several search terms, some of which produce multiple offerings (in some cases as many as ten or more) of the same common card: Fighheldean Smithy, modern colour cards of the Fovant badges, "Royal Anglian Military Commander Warminster 1997", "Wiltshires cheering during the Great Advance", modern views of Stonehenge ...

And for some of these cards (including some listings of Stonehenge and Figheldean) the prices asked are ridiculous.

There are some quite desirable cards that have lingered in the listings because the prices asked are too high - as well as some that remain unsold despite the prices being reasonable.

I've grumbled along these lines before, but I do think that the dross is now coming close to becoming overwhelming.
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Re: To eBay or not to eBay?

Postby Moonraker on Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:42 am

Just a couple of other observations, based on very recent experiences:

A postmark on a card doesn't necessarily relate to the scene shown. A current listing shows a group of soldiers in open country, almost certainly at summer camp, but because there's a Trowbridge postmark the vendor has assumed they're at Trowbridge Barracks - the sender apologises for not sending the card earlier because he'd forgotten to do so - and presumably remembered when he got home.

At least the listing shows the reverse of the card. I continue to purchase cards on the strength of the image, only on receiving it to be delighted to find there's an interesting message, postmark and/or address -of which there'd been no indication in the listing.

Recently I offered several quite ordinary "military Wiltshire" cards (left-overs from a couple of bulk auction lots), but included in the title the town to which they'd been sent. Last night, four sold - and two of these were to purchasers living in the towns I'd mentioned - a long way from Wiltshire.
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