Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 28 May 2016
There is a rather hopeless dealer at our Saturday flea-market who I will probably visit today. Occasionally he has something I want, but he has usually paid too much for it himself, so has to sell it for more money than I am willing to pay.
He was complaining a couple of weeks ago that he keeps changing his stock to stuff which he thinks people will want, but then it sits there all day without selling. He just, as he admits, cannot predict what will sell and what will not. I feel the same way about these blog posts.
The main trouble is that he doesn't really know what he is doing - I know the feeling also. I took him an 18th century wine-glass a while ago and he bought it for £50. This was a dead certainty for him, as we both knew he could sell it for about £150, which he did a couple of days later. He pretends that he knows about antique glass, but it is obvious to anyone who knows a little more than him that he does not.
If there is one thing that I hate about charity shops, it is when one of the volunteers puts a printed-out eBay description of an identical item which the shop is selling, and quotes the asking price - not even the sale result - as its true value.
There is a pair of candlesticks which I intend to buy on eBay, and so far they have not attracted much bidding, which is fine by me. A few days ago, someone put up a series of really crappy photos of a single candlestick of the same design. The main photo was on its side - he did not even bother to flip it - and all of the rest were so blurred that you really could not see what was going on.
The pictures were not so blurred that you could not tell that the stick was battered, filthy and covered in old wax though, and the description was appallingly written, ending with the encouraging, 'Go on! Dip your bread!'
I took an immediate dislike to this seller, but was still prepared to bid up to about £40 for this single item. It sold for £80.
Selling things is an art which does not seem to have any particular formula. Some people just can naturally, others cannot. Having said that, I suspect a bit of foul play was going on with this single stick. I hope it backfired on him and he ended up buying his own goods back.