New page for February 2009

Ebay has become a phenomena. As a way of getting specific bicycle parts it has opened up a door. Like the door of Halfords, "new" Raleigh or F.W.Blisterpack stores it should have a "No Timewasters" sign on it. Of course we all know, don't we, that cycle jumbles are the best to get those parts, some expert advice and .... oh well, waste some time!
The idea of this page is to highlight the (rare) bargains, excessive prices and oddities of auction sites. It is not an endorsement. In any cases the items will have been sold by the time you read this. My thanks to great mate Dave Buxton who is keen on wasting time scouring ebay and will provide some input (he doesn't know it yet!)
I would appreciate any info from Bike jumble readers. It probably needs to be about an item while it is still "live".

[P.S. May 2010]
I have just added four more items. No more will appear. You get the idea I am sure. I do not want to give the impression that I support the notion of getting stuff cheap (possibly at a bike jumble) and making a killing on Ebay. My aim was to expose the stupidity of some buyers as well as some sellers who don't deserve to sell. My view is that if some "plonker" can't learn to use a camera nor a spell checker, or know that it is an I and not an i, why should you bother to bid?
It has to be said that often something rare doesn't go at all. It does take two bonkers bidders; just one and it goes for 99p or the reserve. A high reserve and you may put off the vital first bidder. You lose your reputation if you try to withdraw.
Putting stuff on Ebay should mean you are committed to sell. One last thing. Beware of sellers who say that the item is on sale elsewhere and "may be withdrawn". This is unprincipled at best and highly dodgy at worst. Easy rule for would-be sellers - don't go there.

Bike jumbles are where it is at - support them and enjoy them!!!

Human interaction, low prices, gentle haggling, a day out, friends gained and revisited.
Hear endeth the sermon, and this pages future expansion. Thanks to the spotters who have sent links, and in particular Dave Buxton.

TOP TEN Ebay Scams & Tips for Buyers

With the on-line territory there are a lot of pratfalls rather than pitfalls (anyone can fall down a pit). Here are some to look out for.

  • So called Nigerian scams / Phishing.
    Not gone out of fashion and not all really from Nigeria. They tend to mimic the appearance of a site which looks like Ebay, but produced by someone who can't spell. In any way they can, they are after your Ebay ID, Ebay password or even paypal details. If you type these details into boxes on a dodgy webpage, hey ho, you're done. Once registered with Ebay they don't require re-typing of personal data. This is but one method of Phishing.

  • Item not existing.
    Done by someone who is working for a while under false ID. This might have been obtained by phishing (as above). You win. You Pay. You finish with nothing. You feel a pit, you fell down it. If they ask for Postal orders or transfer via Western Union or Wells Fargo etc. smell for rodents.

  • Under-bidding / second chance.
    This is where you didn't win. (The winning bid might have been made by the sellers' cousin twice removed - see later). You get email saying they have another whatever it was. "Do you want it?". Then you are dealing outside Ebay. Ebay don't like it, but worse, you will finish like OF&H's Rodney Trotter. Empty handed. And out of pocket.

  • Double -selling.
    The seller says something like "Please note. This item is been offered elsewhere, my shop in Mortlake, Stratford etc. and might have to be removed without notice". Ebay do not approve. You could complain to them but there slow response won't help. Best action, don't bid. Suspect a Del Trotter!

  • Fakes.
    More "Del-boy" territory. Maybe doesn't effect cycle stuff quite so much but, for example, the provenance of a Rolex or a Harrison watch, is a problematic when dealing on-line. Remember the Russian Video cameras in "Only Fools and Horses"? The goods were probably as described. A little reading between the lines is required at times. Some sellers put in keywords like Colnargo, Campagnola, Bianchy etc. to fraudulantly get more hits (if only they could spell the names correctly). You could email them and say "are you sure it is Colnago? I can't see from the photos". They should feel obliged to reply and thus waste their time.

  • SHILL bidding.
    The word shill is thought to originate from the Yiddish Shillabar. An example in circuses and carnivals is a "member of the public" volunteers to do something like box the "champion" or lift some weights. The idea being to encourage the public to pay and meet the challenge. He is, of course, not a member of the public but a shillabar. On Ebay the idea is to frisk up the price by a SHILL bid made under the guise of the sellers' second account, his brother, his step-nephew or the bloke down the pub. Worse case the seller just loses the Ebay fee. Again, Ebay don't "allow" this and have quite a few personel and computers snooping for this abuse. In many countries this is illegal and of course Ebay is global.

  • Withdrawn bid.
    You could be the "winner" approaching the end of the selling phase. Then it is withdrawn. You might get a grovelling email with something like "I dropped the Vase you bid for" or "I noticed that I had wrongly described the item and want to be fair to you". Suspect male bovine excretia. You were probably far too close to getting a bargain. Ebay say that they don't allow withdrawals during the last 12 hours. So, they will pull out 13 hours before or decide that the seller is acting like a "Boycie".

  • No Post and Packaging quoted.
    Easy one this. Don't deal. You might enquire and get an email offer for the P & P but I am told that this doesn't have the legal currency of a published quote. Another consideration is who pays the P & P for returns?

  • Whacking Post & Packaging quote.
    Might be done for tax purposes or just to make the item more attractive by dint of very low price. My advice is to assess total cost. (See table below)

  • Paypal advice.
    Things do go wrong and when they do they get publicised. However it does offer a great level of security. Check carefully on the account set up eg whether income is passed straight to your bank account. Make sure Ebay password and Paypal password are dissimilar. Ensure your Paypal and Bank accounts are Linked. This needs attending to after you have changed or renewed your credit / debit card. Some sellers won't deal with you if you are not linked.

  • Get to know your seller.
    Look into their history. Use tips from friends and pass on tips. Look at the way they deal. It isn't everything but a bad Ebay page layout may indicate a bad saleman. Do they know what they are selling? They might not; but they could ask someone. If they can't handle a camera properly they may be remiss in other aspects. If you might need to return the goods (if and as invited) who pays for P & P? Do they strike you as someone who would flog their grandmother's false teeth. Finally avoid a user name of TRIGGER!! I apologise to the French and / or those few not familiar with Only Fools and Horses for these similes. Amen
Following is a list of guideline weights and postage costs to decide if the P & P quote is reasonable.

Reasonable P & P - PO rates

Following is a list of guideline weights and postage costs for you to decide if
the P & P quote is reasonable.
Perhaps 1 maximum for packaging element is reasonable?
The weight includes lightweight packing materials eg Jiffy bags, bubble wrap etc.
Mid-weight components were chosen and averaged out.
Name of part Weight 1st Class Second class
Pedals 380g 2.14 1.85
Pedals (LOOK) 470g 2.14 1.85
Chainset 670g 2 1.50
Hubs 525g 2.65 2.24
Block 120g 2 1.50
Cassette 120g 2 1.50
brake levers (pair) 220g 1.62 1.41
Brake mechs (pair) 350g 2 1.50
bars 250g Carrier N/A
Chain ring 120g 2 1.50
Band-on levers 195g 1.28 1.08
Ergo levers pair 570g 2.65 2.24
Front gear mech 180g 1.62 1.41
Rear gear mech 260g 2 1.50
Chain 250g 2.14 1.85
pump 200g 2 1.50
saddle (Rolls) 400g 2.14 1.85
seatpin 300g 2.4 1.85
headset 120g 2 1.50
stearing stem 330g 2.14 1.85
Aheadset stem 120g 2 1.50
led light set 240g 1.62 1.41
Frame 2500g Carrier N/A
Pumps, frames and bars fall foul of the PO's size limits. They are all longer than 353mm

SIMPLEX JUY 53 FRONT DERAILLEUR & exploded diagram. After 1 day of a ten day sale the bid was at 85. After 4 days it was up to 298.55. I have read that the changer was well engineered but of the "wrong" design (not using a parallelogram). Let's hope that it doesn't explode so that the diagram might be needed.
Despite the 53 it is a 60's issue.

GENUINE MOULTON BELL BY ADIE.RARE VINTAGE ITEM ALLOY This item is more Ding than Bling. There is a bit of rust. It is used, but maybe hasn't caused many horses to bolt. There were 9 bidders, all had their identities protected. I assume they were all male!? It could be that their wives might hold the view that a full supermarket shopping trolley might represent a better investment. Perhaps the buyers wanted to avoid an inquisition by jealous friends down at the pub, quizzing them about their new status symbol. Research reveals that Adie might also make trouser clips. Perhaps they also make the bells around the bottom of Morris Dancer's trouser bottoms. They have proved to be effective in clearing an area.

Lots of Hubhub

Tom Burchill (Bygones Bykes of Yorkshire) has spotted the book "The Sturmey Archer Story" By Tony Hadland. Its' regular price is 14, however a used version recently fetched 41 on Ebay. However if you are really desperate you could have got if from HIGHAMFLYER (Amazon Market place) at 215.
Just under the price are the ironic words LOW ITEM PRICE. Just a note and a thought. On Amazon you can set up a one-click buying. It saves typing in all the usual guff but it can be very easy to click it by accident (especially when you have returned from the pub).

I can only think that HIGHAMFLYER is a retired or sacked banker needing to supplement his 6 figure pension. One mistaken click might be all he needs.

"I do not know if this is the sort of unusual Ebay item you are wanting to include on your site but I cannot quite believe what I think I am seeing." writes Robin Humphreys.
All the other pictures are good but strangely this one is a little fuzzy. It shows, surely, the outcome of a drastic seat-tube removal by that well known bike tool, the angle grinder.
The seller says in his defence "About a year ago the saddle got stuck in the frame and i had to have the frame cut in order to remove it. I have been assured this is perfectly safe and makes no difference to the bike in anyway." I have been riding it like this for roughly a year now and havent had any problems with it" Well, yes, but ....
PS it went for 173! [thanks Robin for spotting this]

Seller MINAHLADY on her Ebay ad chattily says "Hi new to this but i do house clearance etc and need to sell the items on!!! I have a Sturmey Archer 3 Speed Vintage Ger Lever."
I never got round to asking the seller a question. It would have been "why are you selling something as saleable as a pot of toenail clippings for a price that is maybe 19.75 too much?" And why 3.75 postage?"
If you do give helpful advice like this, you get no thanks.
Outcome of sale? (only one guess allowed!)
P.S However the following April 2010 sale shows what can happen if you get enough bonkers punters / pillocks putting in bids. It can't have been the lit rate desgription wot done it. "THIS GEAR LEAVER IS SHOP SOILED BUT COULD BE NEW OR NEARLY NEW, BUT SOLD AS USED, IT AS BEEN IN MY DADS SHED FOR AT LEAST 30 YEARS, IT AS THE NUMDERS H. N. L. IN THE HOLE: WINDOW , THIS LEAVER MUST BE AN EARLYER STURMEY ARCHER TYPE,"

Would you bite this mans' hand off??? It looks like the limb of a fat cat. Thanks David Buxton for spotting

Some evidence of inflation?

This item - a right pain in the arse and also the pocket
You've been screwed!!
Not the highest priced ebay bike but a bit startling for a well-used machine

An optimistic bid - hoping that 160 million people won't notice

Seller Smallworldaviation must have been on a flight of fancy hoping to get this
price. And no tyres, tubes or "classic Hetchins" thrown in. Bah! Bah gum!

Description of this changed to what it really is, a Toni Merkens stem. He made them his "trademark" in the 1930's. The amended description says that the stem is therefor from the 30's but I have a picture of one being in use in 1951, so who knows?

Hidumaximum windfall for "Bennylux" (good name) - brakes the bank

plus 3.50 profit on postage.

Ebay bargain (last of, on this website)

This possibly represents a quick release of some person's child's piggybank
At this price delivery involves a skewerity issue!
A piece of cycling History. The Worlds first hub incorporating a quick release skewer and - Tullio Campagnolo's first product. The advert shown below appeared in Cycling in July 1935.

At least the postage was free!

On the Ebuygum page of this site there is a whole collection of amazingly tempting cycling accessories for the cyclist who has everything - including a very fat fat wallet.
However this is the last I will be putting up on this site. On the whole I believe that Ebay and bike jumbles are strange bedfellows. I champion bike jumbles. Prices are almost always less, and often drastically less, than E**Y and the social aspect of jumbles is wonderful. More and more jumble purchases finish on ****. Though accepting it happens I don't wish to endorse this process. So no more additions to the Ebuygum page
Thanks to Nick Hando for spotting - and for Nick, Tom and Dave Buxton for other spottings in the past.

The End
Fin (for the French)

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