Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vintage photos: Acrobatics

The above are a rather nice group of mounted photos on two leaves of an album of a acrobatic or gymnastic troupe/club showing off and posing as a group. I rather liked the care with which someone has obviously spent time trimming and pasting the photos into a proper display with thought and application behind it. I have no information to offer about them, they are simply 'as found' but I like them. They are currently on sale on Ebay.

Much of last week was taken up with listing for Ebay. I have recently had the opportunity to buy some excess bookshop stock and there is simply too much for me to keep for a prolonged period - and that's what Ebay is good at, shifting stock quickly and efficiently. There have been some lasting effects from Ebay's misguided decision earlier in the year to make sellers of books on Ebay offer free postage (a measure so ridiculous that it has now been reversed). In the first instance, many sellers and buyers haven't yet caught up with the policy reversal: hence there is still a good deal of carping going on. More seriously though, the number of books being sold in old fashioned Ebay auction-style listings has evaporated in favour of the Buy-it-Now listings (this is exactly what Ebay wanted). In fact, as an experiment, Add Imageright now, typing the name of my favourite SF author, Samuel Delany, into an Ebay search within the "Books, Comics, and Magazines" categories results in 93 hits: of those, the number that are auction listings is just 6. More and more Ebay is simply a retail site, and is losing its 'point of difference' from all the other providers of similar services. Perhaps most seriously though, I'm fairly sure, anecdotal though this may be, that one of the reasons sellers are massively preferring the Buy-it-Now format (along with the fact they had to cover their postage) is that even the prospect of bargains doesn't seem to be tempting buyers to bid well on book auction listings. It has been flat for a year or so now and doesn't feel like it's about to pick up soon.

Nonetheless, if you know the market and have the right stock, it's still possible to make some reasonable money selling auction-style on Ebay. For me this is becoming an issue of space more than anything else, along with excess bookshop stock I am also going to be at auction again on Friday for some books lots I've found at a general sale: five cartons of books, seven cartons of books... and so on...

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