Hit the bid button
Its time for a confession. Over the last few months, i have developed a new addiction. It comes in many shapes and forms. Its slowly getting worse. Online shopping. To be more specific, rummaging through eBay for good deals. I’ve gotten pretty good at it too. I am selective in what tickles my fancy, more then anything it appears i have developed a unquenchable taste for random vintage wonders. I do not tend to go for the norm either, no sheets and curtain rails for me, oh no i like it random, used, old and a mystery to what the purpose of it is. One thing i have learned more of late is that you should always read the fine print. Oh yes, get your glasses on and inspect those minuscule fonts at the bottom of the page, miles away from the ever alluring BID button. Lets talk pit falls. I have gotten to great gems from eBay, my favourite all time being in the chair I'm a sitting on as i write this message. It also happened to be one of the first things i ever bought on eBay. Lets just say I'm a amazon guy at heart. With every successful there are failures, and with all the press about online scam's, people thinking they are buying one thing when in fact its something else. Lets talk over my experiences.
It seems like a really basic principle to know the dimensions of what you have bid on, but in honesty do you really know? The picture is just not something you can rely on for a accurate description any more, with all this camera trickery the photo is more of optical allusion or just a interpretation of what you are actually getting.
Case 1 (Sizing it down)
I recently bid of a copper coal shuttle decorative piece that was from a closed down shop back in Ireland and had the alluring price tag of under 7 pounds. The picture of it had me imaging all sorts of finery and the plan was to position next to our non existent fireplace in my house, to lighten up the room. That would be great wouldn’t it. A vintage coal scuttle. Wow. What a fine, and made of copper too. You get the problem here? If i was a logical thinker i should of deduced that that copper, as a metal, or bronze, is actually in high quantities not as cheap as you would think, and in-fact having a coal scuttle (decorative or not) would need to be at lest 2 feet in size, which considering it all is a hell of a lot of copper to go around. Yes some one logical would of thought of this fact, not me. I was like fecking bargain, i am having some of that all up in my face. Reality check. Its the size of a small trinket your granny has on a tiny wooden shelf that you never noticed. There goes any hope of where i thought i could put it. Still nice to have, if not a little out of place in my bedroom. Any one got any tiny doll size coal they need scuttled?
|The tiny Scuttle|
Case 2 (Sizing it up)
Never to leave passed experiences get myself down, i moved on from scuttle gate and found my love for eBay re-ignited with a new home piece. A old fashioned rail lantern. Now this was a thing off beauty. Iron with a smooth shiny black reflective exterior complete with original glass bulb sides to reflect the interior light. It was used back in the day to light up the rail lines up and down the united kingdom and dates back to the 1900’s. What a fined. now this would look great on a window ledge in my bedroom. Pop a tea light inside and away we go. So did i learn and read the terms and conditions which consequently i had forgotten with the scuttle? No i did not, so have a week or so of waiting it arrives. Its fecking huge. Its fecking heavy. Its battered and not in anyway shape or form fitting on my window ledge.
|Gigantic Rail Lantern|
there are many things you need to watch out for when internet shopping, especially when it comes to the bidding wars on eBay. Here are my tips, that help me to avoid buying crap, being in the most random sizes. Just like pictures words can be confusing and often completely misleading.
1 - Vintage Effect
Not vintage, not remotely vintage. Something random they found in there sheds, that looks old and thus they feel they can flock for a few pounds under the category vintage.
2 - Home Made
Sometimes that just means, they bought a cheap photo frame painted it white and stuck a butterfly to the side of it all under the disguise of home made. Unless you grew the fucking tree and whittled it down to the shape of a photo frame and became a professional glass blower to cut the glass into shape, its not home made my friend.
3 - Art deco
No. You are not. will try and sell you that horrible brown plastic coffee table all our grand parents had in the 90’s under the fashionable and hot buzz word, art deco. You all know the one I'm talking about, it was brown and iron legs. Horrid.
4 - Vintage Feel
Same as effect, but talks about a emotion to the item rather then the product it self. That feeling your talking about, vintage FEEL, thats how you feel, not me. I feel that doilies set is just old crap.
5 - Collectors item
Now your just praying on my ignorance. How the hell would i know if someone is telling the truth whether it be a collectable item or not, or in reality that it is in-fact valuable enough to be collectable, and if so, why the hell are you selling it so cheap? More importantly who the hell collects ikea tea light candles as collector items?
6 - Limited Supply
They have absolutely feck loads, seriously its taking up there entire house they have so much of this product that its coming out of there arses. They are in desperate need of getting rid of them, so take your time, they will soon be cheap and chips in a matter of hours.
7 - Ex Display
Ex Display often draws the imagery of not been used, but just on show. As in, oh its like new really as no one has used it score. No not the case, it actually means, its been on display and thus used by hundreds of people a day. Far more then it would of been used had it been owned by one user only. One just one bum been sitting on that chair, but a few thousand.
8 - Collection only
Now this shit really annoys me, cause it stinks of laziness. Anytime i see this written underneath a add, i draw the image of a fat man, eating chips, hitting the keyboard of his gigantic windows machine with his full palm of his hand. How lazy, of you cant be bothered to arrange delivery. Do you really think i’m going to come out to your creepy house in the country to collect that table? Feck off, i don't want to be stolen and made a slave.
9 - 3-5 Days Delivery
Actually means you are going to be waiting for a minimum of 10 working days. In honesty i don’t mind waiting for something, as what i usually order on a eBay is not something i generally rely on, i don't bid on milk and food, or medication i cant live without. Why bother lying? Just bloody say 10 days, do not lead me on you massive slags.
10 - Dates back
How do we know the date they give is accurate? Often they have a date attached to a piece. Even my lovely huge lantern, had dates of 1900, how do i know its actuate, was it not made in ikea a couple of seasons ago? Im no scientist i cannot carbon date this shit, so il just choose to believe what you tell me, although i am always wary of dates further back then 1900 - 'Dates back to the early 1800's.'Really? Are you sure? I am pretty sure it doesn't as that is a electric kettle and I'm pretty sure they didn't have them back in those days when there was famine and no electricity to speak off.
All is Well that ends Well
Well thats my take on it anyway, of course there are those out there who are incredible truthful about what they are selling. Anyway, you can always upload it back onto the website yourself for twice what you paid for it, as long as you use the buzz works. A vintage home made, collectors item in limited supply collection only. That way when they come to collect you, you have not only made your money back, but you use the item ( railway lantern) to hit them on the head and you got yourself a slave my friend.