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!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

January 12

My first thought when I saw this auction was that Paul was making the same mistake all over again.

It's another great looking poster. It's colourful and magic related and would look great if displayed well but there was the same lack of historical detail as we witnessed with the unsold OMO poster and it was, I thought, similarly over priced.

It is 5'(feet) x 4'(feet) in size and as with all of Paul's recently offered posters it has had the acid removed from the paper by the team at the Public Records Office!

It is for a magician called Harold but Paul doesn't offer any information about him, only saying, "the language on the poster is French."

I don't speak French but I could make a passable attempt at translating it so why doesn't Paul? Harold presents the most terrifying of experiences: The Chopper of Heads. Real reincarnation of the Torturer of Paris. It's not hard to do. Come on Paul, make an ebay-effort!

Paul was asking £100 for the poster and a whopping £15 for postage and packaging... although he does say it "will have to go by courier as the Post Office here will not accept a postal tube of this size."

Anyway... to my surprise there were two bidders. The first has remained anonymous but he came in at £101. The second has the very magical ebay screen name of roberthoudin. (Any magic fan will know of the French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin who many regard as the father of modern conjuring. Houdini - who surely even non-magic aficionados have heard of named himself in honour of Robert-Houdin.)

The ebay-user roberthoudin is clearly a big magic fan and has bought many other magic related items. Which explains why he was prepared to pay £103 for Paul's poster.

I'm sure Paul will enjoy spending his £103. Not a lot!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

January 9th

I thought Paul was on to a surefire winner when I saw this item. It's colourful, it had a great description and it relates to magic so Paul Daniels' fans were sure to snap it up.

Sadly I was wrong. I'm afraid it looks like Paul has priced himself out of a buyer here.

The poster is 5' x 4' (feet) and has been preserved by having the natural acids removed and then mounted on cloth!

It is for a magician called OMO, who Paul describes as French although he is obviously not sure about that because he then adds (Belgian?)

Paul describes it as having "drawings of various effects from his stage show" and adds that it is "a good example of the period" but he neglects to say what that period is! A schoolboy error from the master ebayer.

Paul's starting price was £100 +£5 for postage and packing. There were, sadly, no bidders.

Oh well. I'm sure Paul will enjoy his continuing ownership of his OMO poster. Not a lot!