Saturday, December 08, 2007
Oh dear, when will Paul learn. We've been here before with the books he tried to shift in September. When things don't sell the first time it's rarely worth putting them back on. Especially if you're Paul Daniels... I mean, let's assume that the items you're selling do have an audience.
So people have seen them... and rejected them. I know it's hard to take, but listing them on ebay again costs money and it just seems unlikely that they'll sell a second time... unless you change something.
Paul didn't change a thing with these three posters. (There were actually two identical Tommy Cooper posters and one two-sided Kio poster) He was looking for the same expensive starting prices that the ebay community had shunned first time round and guess what... they shunned him again. The posters remain unsold.
Let's hope that our favourite magical ebayer learns his lesson this time.
Oh well, I'm sure Paul will enjoy continuing to own two posters advertising a Tommy Cooper video and one two sided poster advertising the Russian illusionist Kio. Not a lot!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
There were 8 auctions in total - count them - 8! As every listing was set out in the same way I think it's best that I first lay out the template as it were.
The title for each listing is "Paul Daniels Posters" and then the name of the magician/illusionist featured. This is very crafty of Paul. He knows that he is as big a draw in the world of magic as anyone and so when someone is searching ebay for him, they are the kind of person who is likely to be interested in David Nixon, Doug Henning et al.
The listing then states:
"From the Paul Daniels Collection.
This poster, X"(inches) by Y"(inches) is in good condition. It has had the acid removed from the paper by the team at the Public Records Office who preserve the valuable historical paper documents of the British Isles and they mounted it on archival paper using a paste/glue that can be easily removed should a better method of preservation be discovered in the future."
Wow! That sounds like science fiction to me! Do the Public Records Office offer this service to anyone? If not, how did Paul get them to treat his magic posters with the same treatment as they would use for our nations history!! I mean, wow!
The listing then continued with a description of the posters, details of the act featured etc. and each listing ended with the words: "The poster will be sent to the successful buyer in a postal tube." On each occasion Paul was charging £4 or £5 for postage and packaging.
Right... let's get down to the nitty gritty. I'll start with the posters that didn't sell so that we can end on a high.
There were two Tommy Cooper posters (pictured once) and one Kio poster (pictured twice.) Why two pictures of one poster? Because, "This rare and unusual poster is odd in that it is double sided." Very odd indeed! It would probably work though if it was blutac-ed to a window somewhere that people are likely to congregate on either side. Say a bar or launderette.
I expect most people in Britain will be familiar with the work of Tommy Cooper who was more of a comedian than a magician. Perhaps that's why the two posters advertising one of his videos didn't sell. They were 23"(inches) x 16.5"(inches) and Paul was asking £20 for each of them with £5 for the postage and postal tube.
I doubt many people are familiar with Kio. I'm certainly not! Paul's listing states: "This is a poster advertising the great Russian illusionist Kio (senior). It would make a great talking point in any collection or on display in your magic den." This posters is 22.5"(inches) x 32.75"(inches) and Paul was looking for a £25 starting bid and charging £5 for p&p.
Now... that's the unsold items out of the way... let's get to the good stuff.
"This poster, 20" x 30", is in as new condition," says Paul, before adding "The corner of the backing paper has been torn but the poster is undamaged." He then goes on to describe the poster saying "This is a colourful poster advertising the most popular magician of the 1960s to 70s, David Nixon, who made his 'fame' on television. Like most summer season posters it also lists the supporting acts: Alan Randall; Lee Wilson; Tony Venner; The Anderson Sisters, and they were all appearing at the Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth (One of Britain's top resorts)"
I'm not sure why Paul puts the word fame in inverted commas like that. David Nixon's fame was very real. (Although he was not averse to using the odd camera trick which I imagine would be frowned upon today!) Note that he was the most popular magician of the 60s and 70s. I wonder who came along to steal his crown? It was Paul of course. And then, undoubtedly, David Blaine. Paul was looking for a starting bid of £30 and charging £4 for p&p and he received one bid. The lucky bidder was magicnewshop who lives in Australia. I don't know if the £4 charged for postage covered such a journey or whether the two of them had to come to some other arrangement.
Paul commented in this listing that "There have been some comments online that my starting prices are just a little high but that reflects the preservation of these posters in a professional manner." God, some people can be so snooty! Relax a little. When you get the Public Records Office to preserve your posters in such a professional manner maybe you'll start to appreciate why Paul is charging so much. This isn't any old rubbish he's selling.
This poster is 20"(inches) by 14"(inches). It is a poster advertising one of America's most popular magicians, Doug Henning and his wife Debby. (Are all great magicians married to beautiful Debbies?)
The show was called 'A New Evening of Magic and Wonder.'
This poster had rarity value because, sadly, Doug Henning passed away in 2000. There'll never be another goofy illusionist quite like him that's for sure. Anyway, Paul was asking for a starting bid of £30. frejasse started the bidding and probably thought he'd pitched it right at £50 but he wasn't accounting secretsbl's cheeky £51 bid that won the day. Well done secretsbl.
And now we're approaching the headline act in Paul's poster extravaganza. This next pair would be a worthy closing act, but good as they are, there's more to come. He was selling two copies of this Silvan poster. They were both 39.2"(inches) x 27.25"(inches) and Paul was charging £5 p&p for each.
With one of them he was looking for a starting bid of just £50 and with the other he had a starting price of £100! Why the difference I hear you cry... what makes one of them so unique? Well, "What makes this poster so unique is that Silvan, the great Italian manipulator and illusionist, has written a signed message on it to Robert Harbin, the wonderful British inventor of such illusions as the Zig Zag girl." (The Zig Zag Girl illusion is the one where a girl gets into a cabinet with three sections and is apparently divided into three parts. It is one of the greatest illusions ever invented.)
Well the unsigned poster was snapped up with just one £50 bid coming from marco_p68. It's well worth it. (Especially if you consider the way the posters have been preserved you internet whiners.)
So how did the signed one do? Well two bidders got locked in a ding dong battle. Anything you can do, I can do better? No, anything you can bid I can bid higher is more like it. It went from £100 to £111 then £120 then a cheeky £123 before leaping to £166 and then finally £171. There was a mysterious unnamed bidder involved but the winner was the appropriately named magic_collector_2007. What an auction, Paul must have been delighted.
And now the closer.
Isn't it a beaut!
"This poster advertises the Professor's appearance at the New National Standard Theatre in Shoreditch and is rare," says Paul, before adding, "It describes the show in the wonderfully ornate language of the time." which indeed it does, as anyone with an eagle eye can confirm by staring closely at the poster!
The poster is 20"(inches) by 30"(inches) and in "as new condition, despite being antique."!! For those who don't know, Paul explains that, "Professor Anderson was known as the Great Wizard of the North and lived from 1814 to 1874 and is a major part of magic history in the UK." Well if you ask me, Paul is the modern day wizard of the north and he's certainly a major part of magic history not just in the UK, but in the world having gone down a storm in Vegas and has been presented with an award by the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood!
Anyway... the bidding for the Professor Anderson poster really was something. Ebay has a policy of not revealing the bidders identities when things go for large amounts and when I tell you that bidders 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 were all anonymous, you'll understand that this one played a blinder!
Paul's starting price was £50 (with £5 for p&p) and magiphile came straight in with the opening bid. (magi = magic, phile = lover, get it?!!) a second bidder came in but Bidder3 was soon leading the way with £105.27 but not for long because Bidder2 came straight back in with £204! Bidders 4 and 5 entered the fray. Bidder5 might have thought that £311.88 would win the day Bidder4 knew different wth a cool £550. They must have been furious when Bidder6 came in with a whopping £1226 but even so, magiphile came back at the last to seal the deal with a magical bid of £1246. What an amazing auction. I think it must be the largest single sale Paul has had since I've been monitoring his ebaytivity, taking the crown from the Bolex Film Camera he sold on March 13th 2006 for £1015!!
I'm sure Paul won't mind the fact that he's still got two Tommy Cooper posters and a double sided Kio (senior) in his collection. What's more, I'm sure he'll enjoy the £1548 he's made from selling the others. Not a lot!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I hope to see you there! I'm sure you'll like it. Not a lot!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
This is especially surprising given some of what I have learned about Paul and his ebay expertise lately - but more on that later.
First up was The Complete Guide To Airbrushing Techniques And Materials by Judy Martin.
Paul described the book well saying, "Although this book is used it is in excellent as new condition. Approx 11"(inches) x 8"(inches) in size and containing many photographic examples of this art. Over 250 illustrations and 20 step by step examples."
This is the second book on the subject that Paul has recently tried to shift. He failed to sell The Advanced Airbrush Book on two separate occasions (Sept2,Sept9) which left me doubtful on this book but amazingly ebay user martin2843 stumped up the £5 (£3 p+p) he was asking.
Next up was No Room For Secrets the autobiography of sexy lady actress Joanna Lumley. Paul probably had good reason to expect a sale here as his copy of Joanna's Absolutely Fabulous co-star, June Whitfield's biography sold recently (Sept2)
Paul was asking only £5 for June's book (which had been read twice) but went up to £6 (+£3 p+p) for Joanna's. While he went to great lengths to "sell" June's with an extensive write-up of her talents in his listing with Joanna's he simply says, "9.5"(inches) x 6.5"(inches) in as new condition."
I think Paul might have priced himself out of the market here. Some simple research has revealed that, according to amazon.co.uk, there are 62 copies of the hardback edition available used and new through their "marketplace" for as little as 1p! Perhaps if Paul had set no lowest bid in place he might have attracted some bidding and in the heat of an auction who knows where things will go... but when the book is £5.99 more than can be found elsewhere, what chance have you got? (None)
Paul obviously felt that Jim didn't have the same appeal as Joanna Lumley and priced the book at £5 (+£3 p+p) but this book (for which he used exactly the same description; "9.5"(inches) x 6.5"(inches) in as new condition.") has also gone unsold.
(On amazon, there were 41 used and new copies going for a penny. Crikey!)
His book is called Oh, What A Circus and is described by Paul as, guess what, yes; "9.5"(inches) x 6.5"(inches) in as new condition." There is some insight into how highly Paul regards some other celebrities here as this book was priced up at the same level as Joanna Lumley's book (£6 (+£3p+p))
Obviously Paul rates Joanna Lumley and Time Rice rather more than he does Jim Davidson! But the public didn't agree and it went unsold. (35 used and new copies available on amazon from £1.96)
"This book, 9.5"(inches) x 8"(inches) is in very good condition and covers types of boats, financial aspects, choosing equipment, handling, basic navigation, weather and sea conditions and much more" wrote Paul, who lives besides the Thames and has owned several boats in his time. (Including a 1930 mahogany and elm canoe! It is 7.5 metres long and seats 7 adults and can run for 8 hours on its electric batteries. The boat is called The Lovely Debbie McGee! (like his wife.)) Paul recently (Sept9) tried to sell The Encyclopedia of Yachting and found nobody was interested and it seems this maritime tome has now met the same fate. No bidders came in at Paul's asking price of £4 (+ £3p+p)
I would have expected the next book to do well as it is related to a hugely successful television series.
Planet Earth - The Making Of An Epic Series by David Nicholson-Lord is exactly what it says. "This 10"(inches) x 7.5"(inches) book is what I call a stiff paper back and was produced at the time the BBC launched the amazing series of the same name." says Paul, before going on to say, "The book is in 'As New' condition and contains many photographs of the crew and animals."
Paul was asking £4 (+£3p+p) for this one. Nobody bit. (82 used and new copies available on amazon for 55p!)
The Art of Heraldry - Origins, Symbols and Designs by Peter Gwynn-Jones came next.
"This 11"(inches) x 9"(inches) book is in very good conition BUT the very first sheet (before the title pages) has been torn out," said Paul with impressive honesty.Well his honesty paid off and wenianner came in with Paul's asking price (a whopping £4 (+£3p+p))
The final title - and a genuine surprise of a non-seller - is Guild of Erotic Artists, Volume 1. This was printed in 2005 so it's pretty recent erotica and yet still nobody wanted to snap it up. I would have thought it was pretty difficult to fail when it came to selling erotic art on ebay. I'm obviously wrong. "This 11"(inches) x 8.25"(inches) stiff paper back book is a catalogue of the work of both photographers and artists who work in the world of erotic art. The contact details of each artist are included," say Paul who was asking for £4 (+2.50 p+p) The guild of erotic artists is based in St. Albans, Hertfordshire and there are now over 90 members. This book is over 160 pages and was published as a limited edition of only 5,000 copies. Unlike the celebrity biographys and TV tie-ins I've mentioned above they were not churned out in huge numbers. A new copy would cost you £22.99 while the cheapest used copy on amazon comes in at £13.50 so for once Paul's asking price was a genuine bargain. Of course it doesn't matter as it went unsold.
What a terrible ebay day.
Now, earlier, I hinted that I had learned something about Paul and his ebay expertise... and I have. Thanks to an anonymous e-mail tip off from someone who signed their e-mail simply "DM" (surely not Debbie Mcgee?) I have recently discovered that Paul is a director of a company that specialise in teaching other people how to sell on ebay!
On June 7th, Paul wrote the following on his very own blog:
"Of course that day meant another very late night and getting up at 7am the next morning really hurt. ‘Come on legs, get out of this bed’ and I was on the road to the NEC in Birmingham by 7.30. This was for a Retail Exhibition. I am a director of a company that helps people to sell on the internet, either through eBay or Amazon or any other site. If you want to find the company it is called Improving Futures and we have an average increase in sales of 35% when we help people. Not bad eh? AND, out of the top 25 sellers on eBay, we have 10 of them on our books."I've always instinctively known that Paul was an ebay expert but I didn't know that it was an area of actual professional expertise. I've looked into it and can tell you that the company started off being called Empty Your Loft in early 2004. They started providing eBay training under the name Improving Futures in September 2004 and Paul became a shareholder in October 2004. They used his celebrity status to front a media campaign that led to coverage on Central News and BBC Radio. In May 2005 they presented with Paul at the National Space Centre to an audience of 500 local businesses who were all interested in finding out more about e-commerce. In December 2005 they launched CreativeBay - an eBay design business and by June 2006 they were signing up all sorts of major brands who wanted to take advantage of their e-commerce expertise. (WH Smiths, Butlins and many more.) In September 2006 they abandoned the name Improving Futures in favour of Frooition. They have a website here.
While I'm interested to learn that Paul is a director of a company that advises others on how to sell on eBay, it does make his recent run of eBay failures more than a little embarrassing! It seems to me that while they're happy to abuse Paul's fame and magic to get themselves a mention on a local TV news spot they clearly aren't giving Paul the same advice they give their customers. There's no 35% increase in Paul's sales! Sort it out Frooition and improve Paul's future!
With no thanks to Paul's business partners he has missed out on £29 of book sales. Oh well... I'm sure Paul will enjoy spending the £9 he has made from his two sellers. Not a lot!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Oh dear. What can I say? This has to be one of the least successful days of Paul's ebay life so far as he had several auctions ending today and found not one buyer.
You might be forgiven for thinking I am repeating myself but I'm afraid it is Paul who is repeating himself by relisting the items that he failed to sell on September 2nd. The books were:
The Advanced Airbrush Book by Cecil Misstear with Helen Scott-Harman, Saucy Seaside Postcards by Alan Wykes, The Encyclopedia of Yachting by Peter Johnson and Design and Sell Toys Games & Crafts by Filis Frederick.
Paul did originally have two copies of the Saucy Seaside Postcard book and he listed them both on the same day. One sold, the other didn't.
The other three books were all left on the shelf (as it were) when Paul listed them the first time so I really don't think he should be surprised that they failed to sell this time - especially when he did nothing to "jazz up" the listings or change things in any way.
Come on Paul! You're an expert ebayer and I'm sure you can do better than that.
There's simply no point in me listing any of the details as they are all identical to those given on September 2 when these items were first listed so I hope you'll forgive me for aggregating the information. All the books were listed for either £4 or £5 (the book about games and toys was the cheaper one, all of the others were a fiver) and the postage costs were either £3 or £3.50 (the yachting book was £3.50, all the others were £3) so it would have cost someone £19 + £12.50 to get hold of all the books.
Will Paul relist the books. Will he continue to chase this £19 profit or will he admit defeat and move on? I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.
In the mean time I'm sure Paul will enjoy owning his books for just a little longer. Not a lot!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
First up is Monty Python's Big Red Book (Special Harback Edition) which is, as Paul notes in his ebay listing, not red and not a hardback. Paul rightly notes that these are clues to the "madness and silliness inside" and adds, "apparently all the Python team contributed to these pages that will lead you into a world of utter loonacy."(sic) and also gives us the all-important dimensions saying, "Approximately 11"(inches) x 9.75"(inches) and about 1/4"(inch) thick, the book has faded somewhat, but not the humour."
Paul was asking only £3 (+ £3 p+p) for this classic title and I am amazed to see that it did not sell.
As Monty Python might say, "This is a dead auction! It is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone on to meet it's maker!"
He had better luck with this book from another lunatic comedy team of yesteryear; The Goodies!
The Goodies Book of Criminal Records is described by Paul as having "one of those stiffish soft covers" and he notes that it is "full of the same idiocy as the Goons and the Python teams came up with."
He seems keen not to mislead people about the literary merits of the book, although anyone familiar with the Goodies will hardly need telling that "it is a great book to dip into, have a laugh, and move on. This is not War and Peace!"
Dimensions-wise Paul tells us the book is "Approximately 11"(inches) x 9.75"(inches) and about 1/4"(inch) thick" and he adds that "the book has faded somewhat, but not the humour"
He was asking £3 (plus £3 p+p) for this one as well and this time he made his money with ebay user dave9g84 snapping up the tome as the only bidder. Goodie for him. Goodie, goodie gum drop!
Paul's final auction of the day was this item which had been relisted after failing to sell on August 27. Paul obviously didn't think there was anything wrong with the listing as he left it unchanged for this second attempt - unfortunately keeping his mistake in mis-spelling the author's name. Once again, anyone searching ebay for works by Gordon Cruickshank won't have found this book which was, according to Paul, by Gordon Cruikshank! As Homer Simpson from The Simpsons might put it, "Doh!"
Three auctions and one sale! Oh dear. Come on Paul, pull your ebay socks up!
Still, I'm sure he will enjoy spending the £3 earned out of his Goodies sale. Not a lot!
Sunday, September 02, 2007
I mentioned in my last post that he had listed some more books and indeed in total he had six auctions set to end today. Sadly, 4 of the items have gone unsold while the 2 that have been bought have gone to the sole bidders. It's not what I'd call "classic ebay action."
The first item is Saucy Seaside Postcards by Alan Wykes. Paul listed it in his usual way, wisely ignoring the rules of grammar, to giving the book's dimensions (in inches) as well as a good, fair description of the contents: "this 10" x 7.5" hardback book, 132 pages, is in Very Good Condition shows a multitude of postcard illustrations whilst at the same time discussing their history and development."
Paul went on to explain the original publisher and cover price of the book when it was published in 1977 although to be honest I can't work out who the publisher was.
"Original price, when published by Dolphin was £12.95. Originally published in 1977 by Jupiter books."
Which one was it Paul? Dolphin or Jupiter. I'm confused. Luckily ebay user pmmunitt wasn't confused and he paid £5 plus £3 postage costs for the saucy seaside postcard book.
Peculiarly, the second item Paul had up for sale was also a copy of Saucy Seaside Postcards by Alan Wykes. My initial feeling was that Paul must have made a mistake and listed the same item twice but that appears not to be the case.
Everything about the listing was identical. I'm guessing Paul did it as a "cut and paste" job - a phrase that anyone familiar with computers will recognise.
To me this is a schoolboy error in ebay terms. What if there were two ebayers keen to get hold of the Saucy Seaside Postcard book? If there were only one available Paul might have been able to get them into a bidding war, pushing up the sale price. Then he could have listed the second book. Price is related to supply and demand and in listing two identical items at the same time Paul was upping the supply - which any economist knows lowers the price.
As it happens it had no ill-effect because there was only one bidder and this second copy went unsold. We are left to wonder why it is that Paul has two copies of such an esoteric book? Maybe he was given them as presents? We will probably never know. Paul's running total: a profit of £5.
Next up - and I will save you the intrigue, it didn't sell - is Design and Sell Toys, Games and Crafts by the strangely named Filis Frederick.
Like the Saucy Seaside Postcard books this was first published in 1977.
Paul was very keen that potential buyers were not put off by the cover saying: "This book, 10"(inches) x 7"(inches), suffers from having quite a childish dustcover, whereas it is a really useful book of advice on the 'business' behind Toys and Games and Crafts. It has chapters on What makes a Good Game; a Good Toy; a Good Craft, how to get new ideas, how to make good models and write good directions and instructions, how to test the product and how to protect your ideas and so on. This is a gold mine of the business of creativity.The book is in good condition with some fading of the dustcover"
Believe me, when someone as creative as Paul Daniels says that this is a goldmine of "the business of creativity" it must be one hell of a book.
Paul's running total: £5.
Next up is The Advanced Airbrush Book by Cecil Misstear and Helen Scott-Harman.
It seems likely that Paul has been quite a serious photographer in his day as we know that on March 20, 2006 he sold two Mamiya cameras, turning a profit of £328.80 in the process. (Those were halcyon days!) Perhaps this interest in photography explains why he once treasured this book about airbrushing. In his ebay listing he describes it saying, "This superb book, although listed here as 'used' is in very good 'as new' condition and is packed with 'how to' instructions and examples of airbrushing applied to different types of media.
If you are interested in, or work at, airbrushing then this is an essential guide and assistant.
Approx 11"(inches) x 9"(inches)"
It would be fascinating to see some examples of airbrushing that Paul himself has taken on. One can only imagine how a master magician could use such techniques to help make one of his illusions work. I can't believe he's ever had to airbrush any pictures of his lovely wife Debbie McGee - she's too lovely to ever need such treatment. (I have met her.)
I suspect that the world of airbrushing has moved on since this book was published in 1984 which might explain why this title also remains unsold.
Paul's running total: £5.
Aahhh... June Whitfield. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that June is one of Britain's best loved actresses. For many years she was the funny lady in Roy Hudd's Huddlines on the radio, she starred as June in TV's Terry and June which ran for many years and more recently she has been a star all over again in TV's Absolutely Fabulous. What a career! This is her autobiography which is wittily titled, ... and June Whitfield.
Paul's listing says:
"This is the Autobiography of one of the most respected and loved actresses, whose work covers every aspect of showbusiness: Theatre, Radio, TV, drama to comedy. This is the story of a truly nice lady with incredible talents." and it is, Paul tells us 9.5"(inches) x 6"(inches)
What follows is, I think, Paul at his ebay best; factual and humorous at the same time. "the book... not June Whitfield, is listed here as 'used'" Geddit? It's not June that is used - (although I'm sure she wouldn't mind me saying that her age she is a bit) - but it's the book. However Paul goes on to make it clear that the book "is in very good condition, having only been read twice."
I can't help thinking that two such showbiz luminaries as Paul and June are bound to know each other. They'll almost certainly have worked together at some time. I wonder if Paul bought his copy of the book or was given it by June at some point. In which case one wonders what she would think to find Paul listing it on ebay for £5 (plus £3 p+p)? Maybe that's why Paul has made it clear that the book has been read twice? Because he wants June to know that both he and Debbie have read the book.
Someone else who'll be reading the book soon is ebay user magic-for-you who was the sole bidder and lucky winner of the auction. With a user name like that I bet they pay a lot of attention to Paul's auctions and they must be delighted to snap up a bargain like this. They get a showbiz biography that has been sprinkled with two doses of showbiz glitter! Well done magic-for-you.
Paul's running total: £10
The Encyclopedia of Yachting by Peter Johnson is a large book and so Paul opts to describe all three of its dimensions. It is 10"(inches) x 8.5"(inches) x 1.5"(inches)
According to the listing it "covers very many aspects of the art and history of yachting." It is, he says, "Full of great pictures and advice on this great sport" and "in reasonable condition." although I have to say from examining the photograph the cover does look a bit yellowed and perhaps stained to me.
The original cover price was £25 when it was published in 1989 but Paul was only asking £5 for it plus £3.50 p+p but still it hasn't appealed to the ebay community and has remained unsold.
Paul's running total: £10.
So there we have it. Paul has listed 6 items and only sold 2 making himself £10 in the process. Not a sterling performance.
Still, while he isn't quite hitting the ebay highs of yesteryear Paul is definitely paying ebay a lot more attention than in recent months. Not only does he have another batch of books on sale at the moment and due to finish soon but all of the four titles that went unsold today have been relisted. That's an example of the never-say-die attitude that took Paul to the top of the showbiz tree. Never give up Paul. Go get'em!
But for now, I'm sure Paul will enjoy the £10 he has made from selling 2 out of the 6 books. Not a lot!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
On the 29th August, Paul Daniels successfully bid for an erotic mermaid wood netsuke. "What's a netsuke?" I hear you cry. I asked that question myself. Luckily the seller, ebay user mokrat4, explains exactly what one is in his listing for the item.
"Netsuke's originated in Japan and came into being over 300 years ago. The Kimono (traditional Japanese dress) had no pockets so the people carried a small hanging object - AN INRO- to keep all their possessions in. The INRO had drawstrings to keep it closed and to attach it to the wearers waist. The toggle which secured the drawstrings to the waist was known as the NETSUKE and was both functional and aesthetically pleasing.The OJIME (sliding bead) was strung to the cord between the netsuke and the INRO to tighten or loosen the opening of the INRO.... NETSUKES were made from wood / bone or ivory and were probably always delicately carved. This required enormous skill and craftmanship from the carver. As time went on the carvers became famous for their originality and imagination and often they signed their work in respect to this."
Hmmm... so, without wishing to be disrespectful to any Japanese readers it seems that a netsuke is a... erm... toggle!
The seller has written a long and forceful description and really gone on the hard sell but I have to take issue with him/her over one thing. They describe the Netsuke as being a "beautifully carved and erotic wood netsuke of a half naked erotic mermaid posing with her long fin." Now, let's ignore the double use of the word "erotic" and instead focus on the description? Is she really "half naked?" I don't think so. She is a mermaid. She is half-human and half-fish but both halves are fully naked.
Anyway, the seller really went to work providing practical details, ("the piece on offer here is 5.5cm in length"/"the netsuke is signed by the artist") as well as pure salesmanship, ("the detailed work on both the mermaids body, face and tail is exceptional"/"these pieces will probably increase in value over time so there is an investment opportunity")
Hmm... well, I suppose one has to admire the seller's listing technique. Whether Paul bought it as an investment or because of the carving's erotic appeal we can only guess at. What I can tell you is that he was the only bidder and that he paid £4.99 for the item plus £2.75 for postage and packaging.
I'm sure Paul will enjoy his 5.5cm long, Japanese carving of a completely naked mermaid. Not a lot!
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm sure you can imagine how that whetted my whistle. I couldn't wait for the magic man's next bout of ebay action.
I didn't have to wait long and he soon had some of those books up for sale.
The first is called Empires, Hippodromes and Palaces. It is written by Jack Read (surely, he should be called Jack Write!) and has a foreword from radio funnyman Roy Hudd. It is 9.5"(inches) x 6.5" and Paul proudly declared that it is in excellent condition with only a slight curling of the dustcover. The book tells the story of Frank Matcham, who Paul says was the greatest theatre designer and architect of all time. As you'd expect it contains many photos of his creations but Paul was also keen to point out that there are many photos of the artists who worked in them. A great find for a theatre buff that's for sure. Paul had what I thought was a steep asking price of £5 and £3.50 p+p but I suppose he must feel like he got burned over the recent glass-bowl-with-swirling-design-sold-for-99p debacle.
It was sold to the one and only bidder; tattyratty who must be delighted to be buying a theatrical book from one of the countries leading practitioners of the theatrical arts!
Next up was a book with the racy title, The Ultimate Seduction by Charlotte Chandler. Don't worry, it isn't Paul revealing the secret methods he used to woo the magical beauty Debbie McGee, it's actually a selection of celebrity interviews.
Paul makes it clear that in this book the celebrities are people who've really earned the title and are not what he dismisses as "TV 15 minute wonders." And he's not wrong, Woody Allen, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Alfred Hitchcock, Henry Moore, Laurence Olivier, Pablo Picasso, King Vidor, Mae West and Tennessee Williams are all in there. (To be honest, I have no idea who King Vidor is or what he has done to "earn" his celebrity, but that's just splitting hairs.) Here's a top tip for any ebayer - use a bit of wit. Paul certainly does. "The dustcover paper sleeve is slightly... dusty... so it has done its job." See what I mean... by using a gag he has turned the negative (a dusty dust cover) into a positive (it's done its job.) Well done Paul.
I'm amazed this item didn't start a bidding war, but no, it sold to its one and only bidder for the princely sum of £5 (+£3.50 p+p) but this time the lucky reader was thebubba666. 666! Yikes! Still, that sets Paul up with a running total of £10.
The next book was called For Millionaires Only so maybe it wasn't bought because people assumed that unless they were millionaires it wasn't really for them. You don't get many millionaires hanging about on ebay after all! (Except Paul Daniels, of course!) But actually this book by Gordon Cruickshank is all about the world's most glamorous cars. It shows you the history and lifestyle that goes with the most expensive cars and features many beautiful photographs. It is 9"(inches) x 11.5" and Paul adds "apart from some curling and dust on the dustcover, is just about as new."
Why Paul chose not to do the dustcover gag on this listing is a mystery and might go some way towards explaining why the book didn't sell. Maybe it's because the book was published in 1993 and the world of millionaire's cars has moved on significantly since then. Maybe it's because Paul misspelled the author's name wrong in the listing. Anyone looking for a book by Gordon Cruickshank won't have found this listing, as Paul missed out the vital middle 'c.' Paul was offering the book for £4 (+£3.50 p+p) but is still the proud owner of a book about expensive cars. Oh well. Running total... still £10.
Finally for this batch (there are more coming in a few days!) we get to It Ends With Magic. One can imagine Paul - the nation's favourite conjuror snapping this up purely because it has the word "magic" in the title. If that was the case he would have been disappointed to discover that it is actually a memoir by the late great Spike Milligan.
In Paul's listing he says, "this is quite a large, heavy, book and it is the story of the Milligan family. Filled not only with wonderful reminisces of a bygone age, Spike also inserted a lot of photographs and his own drawings."
He also quotes Spike's words from the rear of the book;
"This story is in essence true. I have written in my own whymsical style, which I inherited from both sides of my family, it has been gleaned from my mother's and father's diaries, letters, notebooks and stories passed down by word of mouth. Fortunately, since the age of four, I have remembered very clearly any stories, recollecitons I've heard from the adults of my family. I've never written a book like this before; it is an atempt to collate a history of the Milligans and Kettlebands for my descendants to read." Spike Milligan.
thebubba666 was clearly delighted with both of his purchases and has now left identical feedback for both purchases saying, "Great Packaging. Totally Fab books....all good.....many thanks" and the buyer of Empires, Hippodromes and Palaces, tattyratty, agreed, saying "Excellent item. Excellent service. Many thanks." Paul has given both buyers positive feedback, quite possibly using a cut-and-paste technique as it is identical each time: "Good buyer, prompt payment, valued customer, highly recommended."
Paul has more books for sale and the auctions end in less than a week so check back soon to find out how they go.
But for now, I'm sure Paul will enjoy the £18 he has made from selling 3 out of the 4 books. Not a lot!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
On August 26th, Paul Daniels bid for, but did not win, a remote control for a Nintendo Wii.
I think the seller !etty1978 did very well here. They know they have a highly desirable item and they know how to market it. They put this up for a one day auction and at a starting price of 99p! Within 24 hours it had gone up to £18.25! That's top quality ebaying.
Their listing gave all the vital information telling us that it was a "brand new and sealed Wii remote" and a "PAL - UK version" that "has never been used or taken out of the packet." They added that it "comes with 2 new batteries so is ready to play immediately" but also alerted people to the fact that it "does not inlcude the wii Play Game as they are being sold in another auction."
I like this listing. There's no room for confusion. No one who has a non PAL console can complain that it's the wrong remote. Nobody can complain that they thought it was the game they were buying. It is what it is and it says what it is. And it paid off.
The starting price was 99p but pearson081701 came in with a bid of £2.21. Paul was having none of that and upped it to £12.25, a bid that was later pushed to £14.75 before being usurped by adturb's bid of £16. Paul retaliated with £16.25 but he was fighting a losing battle an with only minutes to go, laurawilliams21 came in with £17.25 and then, ten seconds before the auction's end, lissigibson won the day with a bid of £18.25.
Five bidders, seven bids... it really was top ebay action. !etty1978 gave lissigibson great feedback saying, "Fast payment, a pleasure to sell to! Please call again" but I'll bet that what makes lissigibson really happy is the knowledge that she beat Britain's best magician in an ebay auction.
I'm sure Paul will enjoy the knowledge that lissigibson now owns a Wii Remote Control and he doesn't. Not a lot!
Monday, August 20, 2007
If you ever see Paul perform live there's a very strong chance that you will see him do something pretty remarkable with a lemon and an orange - it is, I believe, one of his strongest illusions. But I was unaware that he had any particular interest in fruit.
Well he obviously has. Hence his latest ebay purchase: The Fruit Expert by Dr. D. G. Hessayon. The book claims that it is the world's best selling book on fruit.
It was sold by bonzopepi who I think could learn a lesson or two from Paul about how to sell on ebay. His simple listing said simply: Brand new book. All you need to know on fruit. Any questions, please contact me!! Please see my other listings!!
Is it illustrated? Are there photos? Does it concentrate on any particular fruits? What about the more exotic fruits? He doesn't say. Still this didn't deter cannersforever from opening the bidding on August 14 with a cheeky £2.01. But Paul was a wily bidder (would we expect anything else?) and he managed to sneak in as the auction ended with a winning £2.21. With £1.99 postage and packing, Paul has managed to spend a total of £4.20 to secure his copy of the world's best selling book on fruit!
The seller was clearly delighted with Paul's ebaying and gave him great feedback saying, "100% great buyer !! fully reccomend!!!" Paul has returned the compliment with "Great service, thank you."
I'm sure Paul will enjoy learning everything he needs to know about fruit. Not a lot!
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Well, there is evidence of his improvement with the placing of another item on ebay. It's a glass bowl with swirling design. Paul doesn't know too much about the item but wisely says, "The photographs say it all." - and I think he's right. I mean, just look:
Paul adds, "This is a beautiful 12 inch diameter shallow bowl (2.5 inches high) having a swirling design. I know that it is quite old as it used to belong to my wife's grandmother. I am afraid that I know nothing more."
In the posting options Paul decided to not post the item at all saying instead that it was available for local pick-up only. This seems to me to be a mistake from such an experienced ebayer as Paul. Maybe this is the night-walker ebaying and not the sharp as tacks magic man. It makes sense when it's an item like the cast iron lamp post, street light that he sold last August... it would be impossible to post. But with a 12 inch diameter glass bowl, while postage might have been prohibitively expensive to some it has surely reduced the potential buyers. While I would expect some people would consider the chance to visit Paul's Wargrave home would be an added bonus to the purchase there will be others who would like to buy the bowl but are just not prepared to drive to Berkshire to collect it. Hmmm. An odd choice to be sure.
And no doubt this is responsible for the poor performance of what is a lovely item. There has been only one bid, from a user called numpty07 who has snapped up the bowl for a measly 99p. Imagine that! For less than a pound numpty07 has bought a lovely glass bowl with swirling design that was formerly owned by Debbie McGee's grandparents and secured a visit to Paul Daniel's lovely riverside house. (Incidentally, you'll be glad to know that his house has been undamaged by the recent floods. The garden was soaked but the house was fine. Paul also came up with the novel idea of leaving his valuables in small inflatable boats which proved invaluable in the garage where water did land.)
It is too early to know if and when the bowl will be collected by numpty07 but I will do my best to keep you up to date with any information that reaches the public domain regarding this sale. I can tell you that while numpty07 has yet to leave feedback for Paul, Paul appears to be a bit unhappy with his 99p and has lashed out rather using the ebay tactic of neutral feedback saying, "An ordinary low price transaction, no comments either way." Oh Paul... I'm sure most ebayers agree, feedback shouldn't have anything to do with the price paid... it's all about how numpty07 conducted him or herself.
Oh well, I'm sure Paul will enjoy spending the 99p he has earned from selling this glass bowl with swirling design. Not a lot!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Unfortunately I cannot illustrate this entry to my blog with a picture of the DVD because Paul didn't illustrate his ebay listing with a photo saying, "There is no point in putting a photograph because we have all seen what a DVD looks like." Quite right Paul, we do.
The listing is short and sweet but holds some real interest for regular visitors to this blog. It starts, unusually, with an introduction. Most people wouldn't start an ebay listing with the words, "Hello, I'm Paul Daniels" but then most people aren't selling things that relate so directly to themselves and their renown as an international entertainer.
Paul's listing continues, "...I recently acquired all rights to Wizbit, the magical character from the planet of WOW. Amongst the assets were some original recordings on the old 1" tapes and I have had them copied onto DVD by a professional company. The DVD is in the UK format of DVD PAL. Each programme runs just under 10 minutes and there is one programme on each DVD. This is the first one I am releasing and dependant (sic) upon interest I may be releasing the others [...] Let me know if you have any questions - they play in a DVD player, of course. All the programmes incorporate magic and puzzles and some great characters. I think I am in all of them and Debbie is in some of them."
There you go. What more could you ask? Everything is there... any bidder knows they are bidding for one DVD with one ten minute episode of Paul's great kids TV show starring himself and possibly his wife Debbie.
It's interesting also to see the entrepreneurial side of Paul emerge... he has acquired the rights to his own TV show and it is he himself who has had them transferred on to the modern DVD format (albeit using a professional company.) Will future episodes be released... well, that will depend on the interest generated by this sale! How fantastic is that! Paul is a shrewd businessman indeed! Three cheers for that.
So by now you are probably dying to know how the bidding went. Well, evanselec made several bids, first £3, then £4 and then £5 but never managed to wrest control away from skip-e76 who had made an earlier £5 offer. skip-e76 probably thought the item was theirs for the taking and must have been frustrated when cpellington1 swooped in with a £5.50 offer to steal it at the last.
cpellington was clearly delighted by the purchase and left the feedback to prove it saying, "fast delivery, great condition, would recommend A*****" Yup, that's a whole 5 stars there!
It will be interesting to see if this is enough to convince Paul to release the shows as whole series or just to release further 10 minute episodes on DVD. Perhaps a commercial distributor will swoop in and buy the series from him and save Paul the hassle of duplicating the DVDs himself.
Of course, while I'm sure Paul is truthful when he says that he used a professional company to transfer the shows from tape to DVD a quick glance at my post titled March 14 tells us that he is more than equipped to duplicate copies for any other interested parties. For what it's worth, I think a whole series would probably sell for £10 or more but that £5.50 for one ten minute episode is probably a bit steep. But that is just my opinion and that is the wonderful thing about ebay. It allows sellers to find what the market will stand and in this instance, two people were prepared to buy the episode for a fiver and one buyer was prepared to go that extra 50p.
Right now I am worried about these Wizbit related transactions and fear it might not prove to be a Wiz bit of "Biz" for Paul. He does not say how he acquired the rights to the series but it is safe to assume that some money must have changed hands. Add to that the cost of the duplicator he e-bought on March 14 (£199.95 + £29.95 p&p) and you can see he is down a fair bit on the deal. He so far has one sale at £5.50 so there is a long way to go before this deal makes a profit for Paul - at least in this, the ebay arena. Fingers crossed.
Anyway, financial worries aside, I'm sure Paul will enjoy the £5.50 he received from the sale of his Wizbit DVD and I'm sure he will also enjoy the knowledge that once again a child's mind is being entertained by his magical ways. Not a lot!
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
On March 14, Paul Daniels purchased a EdgeDupe 1 to 3 Pioneer 18X DVD & CD Duplicator Copier on ebay from hossam2. There were no bids as such for this item as it was bought for the "Buy it now" price of £199.95 and £29.95 postage costs for Parcelforce48.hossam2 is a registered business seller and appears to represent a business called Computer Wize.
This technical looking bit of jiggery-pokery, is a standalone CD/DVD Duplicator which is said to be incredibly simple to use. It allows the user to duplicate huge quantities of DVD or CD at
speed without requiring a computer or any previous experience. The Edgedupe
simply creates exact mirror images of the data on the source disc.
With the EdgeDupe, users can now duplicate on demand with no minimum
quantity and retain 100% confidentiality by producing in house rather than risking
using an outsourced duplication company.
It is operated by following a simple 5 step procedure:
* 1. TURN THE DUPLICATOR ON
* 2. INSERT THE SOURCE DISC IN THE READER (TOP) DRIVE
* 3. INSERT BLANK MEDIA INTO WRITER (BOTTOM) DRIVE(S)
* 4. CLOSE THE TRAYS AND PRESS COPY
* 5. COMPLETED DUPLICATIONS WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE EJECTED
It is obvious that Paul is more than capable of following these instructions and he must be happy with his DVD duplicator purchase because he has given the seller positive feedback saying "Hope to deal with you again. Thank you." Most of Paul's transactions seem to pass without him bothering to give feedback these days so hossam2/Computer Wize can be justifiably proud of this one.
If you only follow this blog you might be wondering whether Paul is going to start duplicating his many horror DVDs (as backups only, he wouldn't dare to sell counterfeit goods obviously!) but if you also follow Paul's very own blog over at pauldaniels.co.uk you'll know that he has recently bought the rights to his children's telly series Wizbit and has been watching the DVDs and duplicating them.
On April 17th Paul wrote about a chaotic day when there were lots of housecallers, saying:
"Then the gardeners arrived. Normally there is only one but today there are two because there is a large bed to be cleared and a fence to be repaired. Speedy Iron came next, and went away just before Speedy Cleaners Team arrived.
The post man came and he just beat Tesco delivery to the door.
Of course I had to show them all my self parking car and all the gizmos it has on board. In between all this mayhem I was copying Wizbit DVDs and Debbie was making tea for everyone. I would have done that if only I could remember the recipe."
You see! He's been copying Wizbit DVDs... and now we know what he's been duplicating them on!!
Both hossam2 and Paul left positive feedback for each other with hossam2 politely saying, "hope to deal with you again. Thank you" and Paul being more effusive; "Great seller - really cares about his customers."
I'm sure Paul will enjoy his Pioneer DVD duplicator. Not a lot!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
You might think there is nothing odd about a magician buying some magic books but bear in mind that Paul is one of the world's most well known and skilled conjurers and these are books aimed mainly at children. There is nothing in these books that Paul doesn't already know.
And to make it even weirder, two of the books are Wizbit books... the character that Paul himself created for children's television!!
The seven books were: Mickey Mouse Magic Tricks, The Usborne Complete Book of Magic, Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, Book of Magic, The Magic Book, Wizbit Magic Games and Wizbit Instant Magic.
Why Paul was buying books that he can learn absolutely nothing from is something we can only guess at. My guess is that he is doing a shrewd bit of business. He was the second bidder and nipped in at the last to secure the books for only £3.21 and even with the heavy £9 paid for postage and packing it doesn't add up to much per book.
Now imagine if Paul was to list the items again? As a famous magician, he might attract more bidders and people might be fooled into thinking he learned his skills from the Usborne Complete Book of Magic! Suddenly the book is worth a lot more than he paid for it. Just by signing the Wizbit books they would increase in value. While he has spent only £12.21 to buy these titles, he could easily shift them for nearer £50 and you can't argue with a profit of £37.79, even if you are a TV millionaire. Now that's magic!
Of course maybe Paul was just buying them in order to get hold of copies of some Wizbit merchandise that he had perhaps lost in amongst the whirl of his showbiz heyday. That's two guesses from me now. What's your guess? Why do you think Paul Daniels bought these books? I'd love to know.
In the meantime, I'm sure Paul will enjoy his books about rudimentary magical techniques. Not a lot!
Saturday, March 03, 2007
This is quite an item that Paul has snapped up because this toy horse actually walks. It works by depressing the stirrups (see picture, right) and then releasing which makes the legs move! I bet Pauls grandkids are going to love this... or will the diminutive magician be able to use it himself? Or maybe it will form part of an illusion, who knows? Paul Daniels, that's who!
You'll be glad to know that this rare genuine 50s Vintage Tinplate Bronco Mobo Walking Horse that now belongs to Britain's fave illusionist is in good working condition.
That said, it is unrestored so there are quite a few scrathes to the paint work and some surface rust to it. The seller, heellbound (two 'L's!!) included lots of photos with his listing which is great because then Paul and the other bidders were able to assess the state of the toy in advance and therefore make an informed decision about how much they were prepared to offer.
It still has its original paintwork but it is missing the reins. It is some 30 inches high, 26.5 inches long and 20 inches in height from the ground to the saddle. The words “Made in England” are on the Saddle strap and the “MOBO” decal is on the chest & stirrups
The listing went to great pains to point out that "IT IS ON WHEELS AND THE HORSE BRONCO’S WHEN IT IS SAT ON (BY A YOUNGSTER) & THE PEDALS ARE PUSHED. It Still works beautifully."
Heellbound very wisely gave some history to the item telling us that it has been in his family for some time. It was given to his aunt, a lady who has recently celebrated her 50th birthday, many years ago when she was a small child and it was second hand even then. He'll no doubt be delighted to learn that it is in the hands of a more important family now.
The postage/courier costs for the item were really quite high - £50 - but that is an inevitable function of its size and weight. However the seller did suggest that alternative arrangements could be made if the buyer wanted to collect the item in person. Alternatively he was prepared to drive it to anywhere within 50 miles of Milton Keynes for the cost of his petrol. Unfortunately for Paul, his home in Wargrave is 70.48 miles from Milton Keynes so that wouldn't have been an option.
But then again, if I was the seller and I realised that if I delivered the item in person I'd get to visit Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, I don't think I'd be quibbling over an extra 20.48 miles or the petrol costs!
I think it is most likely that Paul will decide to drive over himself and collect it as I know from his blog of February 28 that he has recently taken a new car for a test drive and decided to order one. He doesn't say which model it was, just that "This car seems to fit all my needs - my act goes in the back of it; on the test drive it did 51mpg; it is half electric and very quiet with zero emissions when it is at traffic lights or in jams, and so on. Sadly, the governments have not subsidised the hydrogen cell system yet, and this seems the next best bet, so I think I will order one."
Obviously I'm disappointed that Paul didn't decide to purchase a car on ebay but that is his right after all. He doesn't have to help me with this blog, he can be as selfish as he likes with his purchasing choices.
Anyway... back to the item. It was made by
D. SEBEL & CO., ERITH, KENT, ENGLAND between 1947 and 1950 (which means the listing describing it as 50s vintage was cautious at best!)
David Sebel had emigrated from Russia around 1912 and set up in partnership as a Wheelwright in East London some 9 years later.
The name 'Mobo' came from a brain-storming session when 'Mobile Toys' had been rejected.
The most well known toy they made was the BRONCO, the ride-on horse.
So, I expect by now you're wondering how the bidding went! Well, Paul really has demonstrated his ebay-mastery once more. The first bid of £20 came from creme2007 (clearly a beginner!) but that was soon pipped by catmary444 who came in with £21.05. creme2007 had another go with £23 but they soon fell by the wayside when catmary444 upped the ante with a £30 bid. This was then pushed to £35, £40 and then £44 which proved to be their limit because Paul then snapped it up for just one extra pound. (£45)
Naturally Paul received positive feedback from heellbound saying, "very fast payment, pleasure to do business with, many thanks" although Paul has disappointed us all slightly by not leaving reciprocal feedback for the seller. Maybe that will come.
It's great to think that maybe one of Paul's grandkids will soon be scooching about on the back of an old tin horse instead of sitting around playing computer games like so many yobs these days! More importantly, from an ebay-observer's perspective, it's great to have Paul back and whoever gets to ride around on the walking tin horse I'm sure it will be something they truly enjoy. Not a lot!