As well as ebay.co.uk there is, of course, ebay.com and also, an Irish variation, ebay.ie
As far as I am aware they are all connected and there is no reason for anyone to have specific accounts on more than one version... although I may be wrong about this. Anyway, while researching my blog I discovered a recent item sold on ebay.ie that was bought by a user with the name pauldaniels.bt. Normally I wouldn't give this much thought... after all it must be quite a common name and on the internet where you can call yourself anything you want to, there is no way of knowing whether or not someone is using their real name. Maybe it was a Paul Daniels fan who was responsible, who knows.
However, something about the transaction aroused my suspicion. The item was sold on June 22. It was listed as a "SUPERB 1930's CIRCULAR BRASS FRONT DOOR BELL PUSH", it had been professionally polished and was in very good condition and the seller was the rather inappropriately named bell-pull. So far, so ordinary. The item was based in Reading - close to Paul's Wargrave mansion. Okay, so that's probably a coincidence. There were 5 bids, starting with bigbadbex666 who offered £14 before thurgo made it £16. rowlandoffice2000 upped the ante to £21, bigbadbex666 re-entered the fray and came in with £23.43 and then the mysterious is-it-or-isn't-it-him pauldaniels.bt stole the item with a £24.43 bid at the last. (Approximately EUR36.15)
Now any keen observer of Paul Daniels' ebaytivity - and I count myself amongst them - would instantly recognise that graphic from Paul's listing for a lamp post that I described in the post dated August 21. I know a lot of you won't have seen the original ebay page so I have taken the liberty of grabbing a version and here it is:
It is instantly recognisable as the same graphic. So on June 22, someone with the user name pauldaniels.bt buys a 1930s door-bell-push that is advertised using a particular background graphic and almost exactly one month later the Paul Daniels sells a victorian lamp post and advertises it using exactly the same background graphic!! It could be a coincidence I'm sure, but it's certainly possible that a shrewd seller such as Paul saw and liked the graphic and realised it had been useful in attracting his attention and so decided to use the same for his own 'victoriana.' As I said at the top of this post;'hmmm.'
Is it possible that Paul Daniels has more than one active ebay account? If it's true then it opens up a whole world of possibilities for this blog and a whole host of other transactions that should be included... such as a shock-mount for a microphone (the kind of thing someone planning to record some podcasts might want?) an insect screen for a window (the kind of thing someone who lives by a river might want?) and a mains charger for an ipod... (does Paul own an iPod... if he's planning podcasts (which he is) he probably does...)
I wonder if it was the real Paul Daniels. If so, I'm sure he will enjoy his 1930s door-bell-push. Not a lot!