A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Friday, 3 March 2017

Mixed Fortune on eBay

How about this then? Just happened to see it on eBay, so decided to indulge myself (all right, indulge myself yet again). This is an old cigar box, not awfully glamorous, but the embossed copper lid makes it just the thing to keep my ECW wargame dice and cards in, so I am really rather pleased.

eBay hasn't been working for me recently - I've had a load of books listed for sale, and had hardly any success - eventually the starting prices were so low that I'd rather give them away, so I've put most of them back in the storage boxes until the market picks up again.

One book I did manage to sell was a near-mint copy of the Esposito & Elting Napoleonic Atlas. At the third attempt, I eventually sold it for about £40, which is a snip by any standards, but I regret that it was bought by a London bookshop, who had it on sale in their online shop for over £120 the same day they received it. Oh well.

Anyway - never mind that. Just look at my tacky cigar box - good, eh?


  1. I LOVE your cigar box! Great find!

  2. Couldn't have done better if you'd commissioned such a box!

  3. That's the perfect mature gentleman's gaming accessory. Totes jelly, as the kids say.

  4. The cigar box looks rather wonderful.

  5. Great box, well bought. Not to mention, you'll know at a glance what's in it.

    Regarding eBay selling, I can relate ! The bidding is all over the place, sometimes items get no love but occasionally a crazy bidding war will break out. Unless the goal is just to divest yourself of accumulated stuff, often it's not worth the hassle.

    For military books, I recommend selling on the Marketplace at TMP. You'll need a membership but one or two sales will pay for it. The advantage is being able to target a specific audience at a fair fixed price without risking starting too low just to attract bidders.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion about TMP - not sure how well that works outside the US - interesting. I am a member of TMP, though I don't seem to get along very well with the mainstream users (now there's a surprise)!

  6. I can feel with you. At the moment I try to sell a lot of my books too and hope to get at least half the money I paid for them in the past. Some sent me offers for books worth over 100 Euros in which they offered 15 Euros...


  7. Thank you, gentlemen - I am glad you approve! Prof De Vries suggested that it might not be a cigar box, since it would not be airtight - I wouldn't know, but as far as I'm concerned it's a cigar box - it even says so on the eBay invoice, so - short of actual cigars - I regard that as sufficient evidence. The Professor suggested it might be a box for sweets - yes, that makes sense - get your original Naseby Fudge here! I can see a big market for ECW-themed souvenirs in the gift shops...

    eBay - something wrong here - the world and his brother are suddenly selling off their books - prices are very low. Before the Cotswold Tycoon writes to explain market forces to me, I have to wonder what's going on. Maybe I'm selling to a customer base of old fogeys who are dying out, or running out of cash. Maybe books are not trending any more, unless they are books about teen dating in a post-apocalyptic future. All very odd.

    Whatever, the bottom line is thus - I recently sold an excellent-condition hardback biography of Marshal Ney for £3.00. I charge postage at cost, so by the time I have wrapped the thing up and taken it to the post office I heartily wish I had just given it to the charity shop or a friend. The spirit of eBay, as I recall, is that I should be jubilant that some enthusiast can read my lovely book for only £3 plus shipping, but I fear that is wearing thin.

    And another thing...

    Postage - I always wrap eBay parcels as well as I can, and I charge the buyer exactly what Royal Mail charge me for postage - effectively, I lose a bit of my sale price each time by subsidising the packaging, yet recently I am rated at 4 out of a possible 5 stars for shipping costs. I am not about to get offended over this, but what do people want? Are they simply expressing dissatisfaction over Royal Mail's postage prices?

    Nah - I'm getting fed up with this game. I may offer up some book prizes in a Blog Quiz shortly - I'll see how it goes. I'm getting to the point where it is worth taking the hit just to get some storage space back in the Library Wing here at Chateau Foy.

    You know how it is.

  8. Ebay definately isn't the fun it used to be, Tony. Books, as you say, just don't seem to be worth selling. My theory is that the amateur sellers of years gone by have been replaced by too many full-time Ebayers and the accompanying regulations...

    1. Absolutely. There seem to be a surprising number of different people selling new books at slightly different prices. A couple of years ago I bought a book on eBay and it arrived direct from Amazon - discuss? - I think the seller was just loading a couple of quid on the Amazon price and then getting Amazon to mail it direct. I guess I was mugged - I watch out for that now.