Monday, February 11, 2008

February 11th

Yet more ebaytivity from Mr Daniels. I hope he keeps this up.

There were three exciting sales today and the three items were all very different. I'll start with the poster because regular readers will know the form by now.

Paul has cut (Ctrl C) and paste (Ctrl V) his usual intro about how the Public Records Office have treated his posters to ensure they remain in good condition and justify his high starting price... which is fair enough because if this was just a regular poster I can't imagine anyone being prepared to pay quite so much for it.

Then he describes the poster saying, "This is a GREAT French poster with very powerful graphics showing a MONSTER with a child held high and in another scene an Angel about to finish off the monster with a sword. Other colourful characters stand around."

It's fascinating to watch a master ebayer at work here, highlighting the key words, GREAT and MONSTER because Paul knows what sells.

"The signature of what I assume to be the printer or designer is printed in the centre," continues Paul, skilfully selling without committing himself to facts he can't back up, "and full details of the printers and the show are printed also."

"This poster is mounted on a cloth/canvas backing sheet and measures 37" x 50"
If you are a collector and seeking a 'different' look for your collection or display then this is perfect."
(I think I might have gone with caps for PERFECT here but I'm quibbling.)

Paul hasn't bothered to translate the French (Le Monstre et le Magicien = The Monster and The Magician) because he knows that's not important. What's important is the colourful monster and the style of the scene.

Paul was charging £15 for postage and packing and had a starting price of £100. He got it as well from a bidder called sms1899 who was making his third ebay purchase having already bought a GPS system for his car and tickets for Sunday In The Park With George at Studio 54 in New York. I'll bet this is his first purchase from a celebrity!

Next we have this "Highly Decorative and Coloured Native Mask.

Paul says, "It is a very attractive talking point and the only fault I can find with it is that the topmost 'spike' is missing a small part from the very top. A dab of gold paint and no one will know."

I like this tactic a lot. Many ebayers would use a dab of gold paint to cover up the imperfection on the grounds that the buyers simply wouldn't know. But not Paul. He tells us about the fault and advises us on how to deal with it. That kind of honesty inspires trust and ebay is built on trust.

And because we trust Paul we then don't mind him adding something like, "This looks much better in real life than it does in the photograph." to the listing. In the hands of a less sincere ebayer that would read as some kind of flim-flam but not from Paul. It simply means that in his honest opinion it does look better in real life.

Paul wanted £17 for the mask (which is 11"(inches) wide) and was charging £5 for postage and packaging. As with the French poster this was a one bid auction and Paul got his £17... this time from rodmedina06. Well done to them both.

But I've saved the best til last.

This leather and wood captain's chair attracted a lot of attention and a lot of bids.

Remember what I said about Paul's honesty and how instead of covering faults he pointed them out and explained how to deal with them? Well he's done it again here.

He starts off by explaining, "I had this hand made at great expense over 20 years ago and although it has been used on and off ever since, it shows remarkably little sign of wear." So we know it's in generally good condition.

But then he adds, "The only 'faults' that I can see are the cloth (canvas?) underside of the chair has come away at the front left (very easily fixed) and the top corners of the wooden arms have tiny pieces missing. Me? I would most likely use a wood plane to trim all the corners to match and that would fix that."

You see. It's perfect ebay behaviour. He really is a credit to the ebay community.

Paul adds that "the height is adjustable and it is a very comfortable chair." and as with the native mask we are now fully prepared to accept his opinion ("very comfortable") as fact. Perfect.

The chair was offered as for collection only Paul started off looking for a very reasonable £30.

Bidder 1 took it to £33 and Bidder 2 must have been consumed by other higher bids because Bidder 3 then stretched it to an improbable £44.44 before (ironically) Bidder 4 came along and made it first £73.76 and then £82.78. This is when Bidder 2 got their name on the board with a bid of £98 but a new bidder, a very determined Bidder 5 came along and dealt a deadly blow to Bidder 2's ambitions making it £100, £110 and then £120. Another new bidder joined in with Bidder 6 making it £125.99 but Bidder 5 wasn't giving up that easily and soon it was £130. Then £135 and then £140 with Bidder 5 still winning the day. Bidder 2 popped back in and made it £149 - a bid soon parried by Bidder 5's £150. Bidder 2 seriously raised the ante making it £192 but still it wasn't enough and jfpowell3 sealed the deal with a winning bid of £197... over 6 times what Paul had set as his starting offer! Crikey, that was exciting ebaying.

I'm sure the winning bidders will be delighted with their poster, mask and chair and I'm sure Paul will enjoy spending the £314 he made out of selling them. Not a lot!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

February 7th

What a busy ebay day this has been for Paul - and therefore for me. While I'm delighted that Paul has recently renewed his interest in the online auction site, I'm struggling to keep up!

Today he sold four items and purchased a fifth. I'll start with the sale that I think exemplifies Paul's appeal. You see, we know he's one of the finest entertainers in the land and we know that he's a rich man because of it but Paul hasn't let that go to his head. He's just like you and me and just like you and me, he's prepared to sell a piece of tat online for just £3.60. Well done Paul. This really shows you haven't lost your common touch.

Paul listed the item as follows, "Be Thankful It's NEW! The PERFECT gift with that Quality Look for the man who has everything.. and wants to scratch it!"

Bearing in mind Paul's acknowledged gift for comedy he also adds, "This looks like an expensive gift, and yet is a really good joke." Now we know that when Paul says something is "really a good joke" it must be a corker and of course he's right because this small item of silverware is a great joke. It looks like it is going to be some kind of quality desk top executive fancy-dan toy but is actually a coarse joke item with a delicate female hand on the end of a nine inch handle. The idea being that men can use it to scratch their testicles! You see, Paul is right. It is a cracking good laugh!

Given Paul's listing I'm surprised to see someone called Ronald asking him a question on ebay about the item. "Hi paul, i realy like this ball scratcher.... but not a lot..!!" writes Ronald, cruelly mocking Paul's catchphrase that he used throughout the heyday of his career as Britain's biggest TV magician. He then continues, "Has it been used, and if so, would this affect the price..? kind regards Ronald" Hasn't he read the listing. Paul has already cracked this gag by saying, "Be thankful it's new!" Ronald is clearly crazy and just trying to weedle his way into Paul's good books. But he gets nowhere. Paul cuts him down to size with a matter-of-fact retort, simply saying, "It is new." Well done Paul.

These items can be bought on ebay for £5.99 elsewhere but Paul undercut them all and started at £3, a price that was met by mbw1962. This was then stretched to £3.40 before thequalityfinish won the day with a bid of £3.60. Paul charged them £2 for postage and packaging.

The next item Paul sold was also made of metal but has a genuine sense of quality about it that the joke ball-scratcher will never have.

It's a brass dish and Paul makes it very clear that he doesn't know very much about it saying, "This is a shallow long dish of very ornate design and the only thing that I can guess is that it was used on a desk to hold pens/pencils. I may be wrong. Approximately 8.75" x 2.5". The underside carries the following marks: RR80324; An eight pointed star over WT&S over 3681. The topside shows four animals/birds amongst ornate shapes."

So we know that it's brass and we know it's dimensions and we know what Paul thinks it may have been used for but we also know that he might be wrong. Is that all the information Paul provides? Not on your nelly. He's been on the internet trying to find more and gives us the results saying, "A search on the internet found the following:

Tonks, William & Sons, (WT&S), Cheapside, then 291 Moseley Street, Birmingham making cast and wrought products. Manufacturer of general, naval, fancy, ecclesiastical metalwork and an early fabricator of decorative patterned tubes. The Tonks surname is in the lists of Birmingham brassfounders before the 1800s. By 1869 Tonks had developed the eight-pointed 'sun' trade mark showing two eyes and a mouth. Later the WTS initials were inserted instead for marks on some items. The name was changed to Tonks (Birmingham) Ltd., then by merger to Newman Tonks, then NT Metals. They are now in the Ingersoll-Rand Group.
And you may care to read more about this old company by going to"

If that isn't quality ebaymanship I don't know what is. Paul doesn't know much about the item but he's honest and industrious enough to go out of his way to find out on behalf of us his potential bidders.

As with the last item I described Paul was asked a public question by someone, this time it was someone called Luke who asked, "Hello, are you the much respected magician Paul Daniels?" This must be annoying for Paul because he has already answered this question in his ebay About Me page where he says, "Yes, it is me!" He wisely adds, "This probably sounds conceited, but it isn't. It is just that every time I sell an item somebody sends email asking 'are your the real Paul Daniels?' I am putting this here to hopefully save me some work in replying!" Which makes it very clear. I did think it sounded conceited when I first read it but having observed Paul's ebaytivity for some time now I am inclined to agree with him. It isn't. And Luke's question only proves it.

Paul's answer is perfect and manages to get all the information across without a hint of that conceitedness.
"Well, I am a magician and I am Paul Daniels," he says, before adding, "... respect?"

Paul has correctly observed that it is not for him to say whether or not he is respected. It is for others. At the same time he has told Luke that yes, he is THE Paul Daniels. Let me tell you Paul - you are respected. Greatly. Not just as a magician, but as an ebayer too.

If I were Paul I'd have directed Luke to this page of Paul's website where Luke could learn just how 'respected' Paul really is. There he'd see that:

"Paul Daniels is without doubt one of the most accomplished magicians in the World, and certainly one of the most exciting. Add to that a unique comedy style and you have a complete entertainer and one of the funniest men in show business.

His fame and achievements are not confined to the UK where he is a household name. The USA, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, and Japan have all recognised him as a world class entertainer. Amongst his numerous achievements, he has starred in his own hugely successful West End Theatre Show, headlined in Las Vegas and Broadway, as well as performing more unique magic on TV than any other magician in history..

With a reputation as one of the most popular society and show-business entertainers, Paul has entertained The Royal Family including princes William and Harry, The Sultan of Brunei, The Sultan of Oman, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Barry White, John Major (Prime Minister), James Callaghan (Prime Minister), Princess Michael of Kent, The Duke and Duchess of Wessex, and countless others.

In the world of TV no-one has enjoyed more success than Paul Daniels. From the moment he burst onto the ITV network, and later switched to the BBC, his magic shows topped the ratings. A recent book on TV facts calls him the most successful TV magician of the 20th century. His creative genius enabled him to produce consistently stunning shows, never rivalled in spectacle, covering the full range of the world of entertainment magic, from small, ‘close-up’ effects, to enormous outside broadcast illusions.

In 1983 Paul was presented with the prestigious ‘Magician of the Year’ Award by the Hollywood Academy of Magical Arts before a star-studded audience in Los Angeles. It was a tremendous achievement for Paul, and he was the first magician from outside the USA to receive the award."

I think that shows that Paul is more than respected! But Paul understands humility and while that information is presented on his website he doesn't go ramming it down people's throats. Good on you Paul.

Anyway, the dish had a starting price of £10 and one bidder, avis50, snapped it up for that bargain price, paying £5 for postage and packaging on top.

Next up is a poster that Paul failed to sell recently but immediately relisted to good effect. I'm not normally a fan of Paul's relistings but this time he has got the desired result.

He didn't change the wording of his listing so you can see my previous entry about this poster to see what was said.

While there were no bidders last time round this time there was some action with the first bid coming from none other than bassey1937. One is tempted to wonder if it is Shirley herself! Paul started the poster at £28 and bassey1937 bid £30 but was outbid by yearsleyaj who bid first £32 and then £34 before lewy6544 came along and made it £37. yearsleyaj responded with a round £40 but then sacha10000 came in and won the poster with a £41 bid. They paid £8 for postage and packaging.

Now, the final sale. Apparently this morally dubious device is called a 'snooper' and it helps to alert motorists to the presence of speed cameras so they can slow down and avoid getting points on their licence. Probably a valuable commodiy for a travelling performer like Paul but not one that he's decided to take advantage of. This is still boxed and covered in shrinkwrap!

The same item is listed elsewhere on ebay for £74.99 but Paul listed it at a bargain starting price of £25. paegglao started the ball rolling with a bid of £26.89 which was then pushed to £31.98 before sbtrading1uk came in with £32. Was paegglao going to be outdone for just 2p? No sir. They came back with £33 and won the snooper. At that price it will pay for itself. Even with the £4 postage and packaging.

Now it wasn't just ebay selling that Paul did today... he made a purchase too. He bought these "deluxe prism glasses" from the seller mobilityextras who specialise in mobility aids, scooters, wheelchairs and the like.

The idea behind the item is that they allow people to watch TV or read a book while lying flat in bed without having to contort their neck! The listing says, "ideal for people who have to wear a halo or who have limited neck movement." I wonder what Paul has planned for them? It is possible he has bought them for his Mam who lives nearby and who he sees regularly. But when he mentions her in his blog there is no hint that she would need such things.

It is also possible that he has bought them to use in some illusion he is devising. A lot of magic tricks use mirrors and we can only guess at the advantage a magician could make out of being able to see at right angles without moving his head! Paul snapped them up for the Buy-it-now price of £40.80 plus £5.35 postage and packaging.

So he's earned £87.60, got rid of a poster, a ball scratcher, a brass dish and a snooper while spending £46.15 and getting some deluxe prism glasses leaving Paul £41.45 in profit.

I'm sure Paul will enjoy being able to see round corners while he spends his £41.45. Not a lot!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

February 6th

On February 6th, Paul sold this old four drawer wooden filing cabinet. As I mentioned recently, Paul has started to exploit his celebrity status to make more money out of ebay and I say well done him for that. This item was listed as "Vintage Wooden Filing Cabinet property of Paul Daniels." He clearly understands that his ownership of the cabinet makes it more valuable to some... and why not. Just think of the things that will have been kept in this cabinet? Just imagine the stories this cabinet could tell?

"This old filing cabinet was refurbished by my father a long time ago and now has marks and scratches but not so much as to detract from the look," writes Paul with admirable honesty. You might see the other photo and wonder about the mismatched colour. But Paul is aware of this and like the quality ebayer he is he is quick to reassure potential buyers, writing, "Don't be confused by the different colour in the close up photograph of the drawer furniture. It shows lighter in the photo because of the flash. The full image in the photograph is very close to the colour of the cabinet." Thanks Paul. That's why I love your ebaying.

"This is a suspended file system in the drawers and the drawers do open and close smoothly, as they should," he explains, before warning people that "One of the brass handles has been broken at some time and repaired but I think it should be taken off and mended properly by brazing or whatever they do."

Even more excitingly, the item is available for collection only so whoever buys it will not just pick up a cabinet with an exciting showbiz history but will also get to visit the great man's home as well! What a bonus!

As if to really make the most of the showbiz connection, Paul must have carefully selected the third photo. Is it a coincidence that he's chosen to photograph the card which makes mention of his and Debbie's fan club? I doubt it. He's too shrewd for that. And who is Mervyn? Perhaps we'll never know.

Paul's last comment made me quite sad. I don't mind admitting it brought a lump to my throat. He said simply, "I'll miss it."

Then why sell it? That's the sensible question anyone would ask. It obviously has huge sentimental value to the little magic man so how can he bear to part with it. I'll tell you how... because of the cash! The bidding on this item was fast and furious, I can tell you.

When things get pricey on ebay they hide the identity of the bidders so I'm afraid only the winner is a known quantity. Paul set a starting price of just £10 for this item and Bidder 1 soon doubled his earnings with a £20 bid. But that was only the beginning. Bidder 2 stepped in with £27 before Bidders 3 and 4 took it all the way to £45 with some tit-for-tat bidding. Bidder 2 returned fire with £47 but Bidder 3 wasn't giving up easy and put in a cryptic £53.98. A new bidder, (Bidder 5) entered the fray and made it £75. Welcome back our old friend, Bidder 2 and £77. Bidder 5 wasn't a one-time bid Charlie and soon topped it with £85 before another new bidder joined the auction with a bid of £90.09 which was then stretched to £101. but Bidder 2 wasn't shaken off and came back in with £109. Bidder 5 showed just as much tenacity and made new bids of £120, £130, £134 and then £138 before Bidder 6 all but took them out of the game with a £155 bid. Another new bidder turned up offering £179 but they were beaten by Bidder 8 and £183. Bidder 9 must have existed but their bid is unrecorded - no doubt equalled or bettered too soon as Bidder 10 came in at £211. But then, at the last allie1971 popped up with a £216 bid winning the day. And the cabinet!

What a powerhouse of an auction that was! From £10 to £216 in only 22 bids. Amazing ebay action and exactly the kind of thing that I hope will keep you coming back to Paul Daniels' Ebay Transactions. Thanks Paul.

I'm sure he'll be sad to see the back of the cabinet his father refurbished many years ago and that Mervyn used to keep track of his fan-club correspondence... but I'm sure he will enjoy spending the £216 he made out of it! Not a lot!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 31

This has been another spectacular day for Paul and his ebaying. There were three auctions and while only two of the items sold, they both went for such high prices that I think it would be unfair to characterise it as a 2-1 result. It was far better than that.

All three of the posters were listed in the same fashion. Paul has got wise to the fact that his own superstar status adds value to his auctions and is exploiting it by adding links to his website and making mention of his name with each of these three listings starting in the same fashion:

"Paul Daniels Posters"

Over a period of 30 years Paul Daniels (for more information visit collected posters of anyone and anything to do with magic and magicians. In the vast majority of cases they were then preserved by having all the natural acids taken out of the paper and then they were mounted on either archival paper or cloth. Cloth was normally used on the larger posters. Even some modern posters went through this process as Paul believed that they were the ‘history’ for the future. All this work was carried out by the United Kingdom’s greatest archivists, the Public Records Office (they worked on the Doomsday Book) and therefore the starting price of even the most mundane of posters reflects the fact that you are buying ‘paper’ that will last for a very long time indeed.

It's a classy listing for sure. He mentions his name, shows you where you can find out more about him in order to underline his status and then explains quite why his posters are listed at the high prices they are. Following this 'standard' opening he then describes the specific poster.

Let's deal with the disappointing non-sale first of all. It's for a cabaret starring none other than Shirley Bassey and Tommy Cooper! As Paul says, "What a show this must have been. Shirley Bassey, one of the UK's greatest ever singing stars AND Tommy Cooper, the most famous of the UK's comedy magic clowns!" When he puts it like that you can't really argue. What a show! Paul goes on to explain, "This show ran for a VERY long season at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Tommy's act in this show was the basis for the recent play about him." which is a fascinating snippet of extra information but he also pointedly adds, "The show is described as being 'Gay'. How times change." with all the wit and aplomb you'd expect from the great man. He's pointing out how the word 'gay' has taken on a new meaning in recent times. Now it is used almost exclusively to refer to homosexuality. This cabaret wasn't 'gay' in that sense, it was 'gay' in the 'light-hearted and carefree' sense of the word. Paul's right, times do change! He doesn't say whether he thinks it has changed for better or worse - and that's Paul's genius. He doesn't need to explain!

Oddly this was one of Paul's more reasonably priced posters with Paul listing it at £30 (+£10 p&p) and yet it still hasn't sold. Perhaps Paul should have given details on the poster's dimensions. In recent times he's been very good about this but this time he seems to be content to just show the poster photographed next to a ruler. Oh well.

He did rather better with this poster for Vernon Cellsus; "The White Wizard, Magician of Excellence" As Paul puts it, "If this poster is anything to go by, he truly must have been a magician of excellence. This is one of the most powerful images I have ever owned on a poster. It is large and makes an incredible display on a large wall." Imagine that! Having only just learned of Paul's huge poster collection we now discover that this is "one of the most powerful" he has ever owned. If you ask me, this makes this poster one of the most powerful magic-related posters ever!

This time Paul explains the dimensions telling us it is "Approximately 88" x 40""(inches)

However, ever the honest ebayer Paul does explain the flaws of the item saying, "Note that since this poster was processed it was stored in a warehouse and sadly got some rainwater on it. This is hardly noticeable on the front but the mounting cloth on the back is marked. It may well be possible to remove the stain but I have not tried." But having given us fair warning Paul then instantly transforms into the perfect salesman and adds, "Look at the photo and you will see how little this matters."

Paul was asking for a starting bid of £350 plus £20 for p&p - although he was offering to send the poster by postal tube to anywhere in the world for that. I'll be honest, £350 seems like a huge amount to spend on a poster no matter how large or how well its been treated. But that didn't stop londonpaul from bidding and winning! £350! For a poster! Well done Paul.

But it gets better still with this poster for the "Incomparable Vonetta."

Paul hints at something very intriguing here without explaining the whole story. Writing about himself in the third person he says, "The poster featured here is very rare and purely by chance Paul found a Vonetta collection in the loft of her house in Glasgow as it was being demolished." Who was Vonetta? How did Paul know her? Why was he in her Glasgow home when it was demolished? Perhaps we will never know. Still, at least having gone through the attic of a now dead magician's house his find hasn't gone to waste and he is able to financially gain by selling it on through ebay. Well done Paul.

Again Paul explains the potential flaws explaining that when he found it the "corners of the folded poster were torn and this shows on the photograph" but also adding, "Of course, now it is mounted, those tears cannot 'crumble' away any more."

Again Paul tells us about the posters dimensions, saying, "This is a large poster and looks powerful when displayed on a wall" and then explaining that it is "Approximately 89" x 41""

Its size means that it exceeds the British Postal System's maximum size.(I didn't know they had one!) But that's okay because Paul was prepared to send it out by courier.

Paul was looking for a £500 starting bid and charging £20 for the p&p. And he found a bidder in the shape of sjpsets.

What a great day. I'm sure Paul won't mind holding on to his £30 Bassey/Cooper poster when he has just made £850 on his other two posters! I'm sure londonpaul and sjpsets will be very happy owning their well preserved but slightly damaged posters and I'm sure Paul will be happy spending his £850. Not a lot!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January 30

This has been a very successful bit of ebaytivity for Paul, very successful indeed.

This was a simple listing for a quality product that was quickly dispatched with the minimum of fuss. Perfect ebaying.

It's a Dyson Root 6, DC16, bagless, handheld vacuum cleaner that Paul originally listed for just £10 (+£10 p&P)

Apart from listing the product's features (it has 36 air watts of suction, 5 filtration levels and weighs in at only 3.3lbs) all Paul added was this:
"The only reason for selling this hardly used vacuum cleaner is that we received another one for Christmas! As you can see in the photograph, this even comes in the original box!" which raises the tantalising question as to who would buy Paul and Debbie a handheld vacuum cleaner for Christmas!

Anyway... the auction was scheduled to end on February 6th but it ended early because mehitabel stormed straight in and snapped it up for the 'Buy It Now!' price of £60.

Well done Mehitabel. I reckon these things are going to cost at least £80 new. And well done Paul.

I'm sure Paul will enjoy owning only one handheld vacuum cleaner for a while and I am sure he will enjoy spending his £60 too. Not a lot!

Monday, January 21, 2008

January 21

When an item goes unsold Paul often returns and relists. It rarely gets the desired result but it's worked this time!

His listing was identical to that which he left for his Janury 9 auction but the bidding was a relative frenzy.

The asking price was £100. The first bidder (anonymous) went to £122.85 only to be beaten by a bid of £124.85 from oldeandintheway. Well done oldeandintheway.

I'm sure Paul will enjoy spending his £122.85. Not a lot!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January 13

On January 13th Paul Daniels failed to win an auction for a refurbished HP Deskjet 1120C A3/A4 colour inkjet printer.

It was being sold by a professional company with the appropriate ebay name 'printer-trader-limited' who are an ebay power seller!

Their listing tells us that the printer has been "fully refurbished" by their "experienced HP engineers" and that it offers "fantastic colour printing" producing up to "7 pages per minute." They rightly assess that it would be suitable for "home and office use" - which sounds right up Paul's street because he no doubt wants it for his home office. (I wonder if it's something his new p.a. Kiersti has demanded?)

Their listing also says, "low low price of £59 +VAT" and lists their 0161 Manchester phone number... which makes what transpired a bit of an odd auction. It looks to me like they're offering these printers for £59.

It can't be their starting price on the auction because this auction started with a bid of £46 from funtington46, a bid that was soon overtaken by yonny_uk who took it first to £50 and then £57 before Paul stepped in and bid £61.

Which confuses me because surely that's more than they're telling people they will sell it for!

Not that it mattered because yonny_uk came back and won the day with a bid of £63 which won the day.

I'm sure yonny_uk will enjoy owning the Hewlett Packard Deskjet Printer and I'm sure Paul won't mind missing out. Not a lot!