BUY VINTAGE: The ebay Revolution

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As vintage vehicle enthusiasts, we’re aware of the social revolution that came about as a result of, first, the bicycle, then the Safety Cycle (which made the bicycle usable), followed by the motorcycle (a bicycle with an engine attached) and the car (which started out as a 3-wheel bicycle with a bigger engine attached).

At the time, no doubt, there were those who refused to attach any importance to these new-fangled motorized devices, and insisted on using a horse. Cars, in particular, were considered in some circles as the ‘devil’s own conveyance’ and hearses remained horse-drawn for many years (hence the ‘coachbuilt’ appearance of later motor-hearses).

Likewise, there are those now (particularly some vintage enthusiasts) who consider themselves ‘not of the digital age’ and ‘too old to learn how to use a computer.’ What absolute tosh. If you can take apart an engine and put it back together so it now runs, how difficult can it be to master the few dozen simple protocols involved in turning on a computer, connecting to the internet, and using google to find websites that interest you?

The internet has taken our vintage hobbies into the 21st Century, and ensured that they will not die out as older enthusiasts move on to that great scrapyard in the sky. Ebay is the most important cog in that wheel. I used to have to go to Beaulieu Autojumble one weekend a year to buy stuff; but ebay is an autojumble that’s open 24/7.

An enormous slice of the population now buys and sells things on ebay to supplement their income. It has empowered ordinary folks like you and me all over the world to create small businesses based around their chosen fields of interest. That’s a social revolution as powerful in its way as the Industrial Revolution. Do you know the most important difference? – This time, the power is not given away to employers, but is in our own hands. We are our own bosses.

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Ebay is so successful because it’s such an incredibly easy and efficient way to sell your own stuff without having to rely on a middleman. You only need a digital camera, computer and internet connection; and maybe a glass of wine while you write your description.

It’s even easier if you want to buy something.

Though you have to be as careful buying a vehicle as you would outside ebay, with the ebay ‘feedback’ system it is a very safe way to buy when your seller has extensive feedback given by previous satisfied purchasers. It’s the equivalent of a personal recommendation.

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If you’ve not used ebay before, it’s worthwhile getting some practice by buying cheap stuff to see how it works before using it for an important purchase.

Bidding in an ebay auction should best be looked at as an auction where you ‘put in a sealed bid.’

With all auctions you have a choice of ‘leading the bidding,’ ie bidding strong so that it scares off other potential bidders. You do that on ebay by bidding, in advance, the maximum you’d pay for an item. But, although you may have bid a higher amount, the actual bid placed is only the next increment above the current bid. Nobody else knows your maximum.
As others bid, it raises the price. If nobody bids as much as you, you win.

Alternatively, you can wait until the end and enter your bid at the last moment. This is what happens in most ebay auctions, and the extent of the final flurry of activity can be surprising.

The only problem with waiting until the end is that, particularly on a Sunday, ebay can get very busy and can slow down at the critical moment, meaning the auction might end before you’ve managed to enter your bid.

Even ‘sniper’ software – ie subscribing to a website that bids for you at the last moment – can be affected by a busy ebay website and fail to put in your bid.

So that’s your choice: bid in advance and guarantee you’ll walk away with the prize as long as nobody else outbids you; or take your chance and bid at the end if you have a good internet connection.

Good luck!

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Once you’ve won an ebay auction, you receive an automated invoice from the seller. With our auctions, we prefer to contact every purchaser personally to discuss options for payment and collection.

Then it’s simply a case of making your own arrangements to collect your new prize, or for us to arrange delivery for you.

Ebay feedback will be awarded to very purchaser.

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If you have questions about any of the vehicles in our BuyVintage Online Auctions, Colin is at the end of a phone to answer you (07866-126469).

If you have vintage vehicles to part-exchange and need to know what price to expect for them, please bear in mind that we can give you a rough guide over the phone, but an exact price can only be given on receipt of photos. Emailed photos would be ideal, but you can post them if there’s time before the relevant auction ends.

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Published on February 11, 2008 at 10:28 am  Leave a Comment  

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