Hopefully this Guide will help not only buyers, but also Sellers of Vintage Radios.
I have been collecting valve radios for some 25 years, and for most of these through shops, auction rooms and private sales. But as these items have become scarce over the last few years and with the ease of the Internet I have recently started to purchase a few via this way. In most cases the Sellers are Genuine and would like to build a repour with their customers, some just don't care. If you follow the following steps before placing a bid on something you see, hopefully this will make the transition a little smoother, because it doesn't make any difference how much knowledge you have of a product, as this is irrelevant in this Guide, it has all to do with the Packaging and Sending of the Item.
AS A BUYER:
Be satisfied with the description and photos of the ad, if Not you should always ask your questions and where necessary for more pictures.
Unless mentioned in the ad, always ask the Seller for the Postage Costs and if they charge for packaging.
It never hurts to ask how they are going to Package it up. (Remember, YOU may be the new owner of the item, how would you like it treated?)
If the Seller doesn't respond, 'Beware' and use your better judgement.
Usually, (but not necessarly always), buy from someone who has sold vintage radios (or similar) before, they generally know what they are doing when it comes to packing and posting.
Don't rush into anything, it doesn't matter how rare or how much 'You've just got to have it,' if the Seller can't provide decent packaging you may end up with something to fill your rubbish bin.
And always Check the Sellers Feedback.
AS A SELLER:
- Place as much description and photos as you can. (Not everyone knows all the different radios out there, and you may get a much better price).
- Remember, the item you are selling is usually 50 years or more of age, so they are fragile.
- Before packing the radio, make sure that the chassis is secure to the case and that everything inside and out is secure. No matter how well you wrap and box the radio, if parts are loose breakage is bound to occur.
- It doesn't hurt to invest in bubble wrap, and for best results 'double box' the item your sending, if you have some Styrofoam handy, use it in the outer box to absorb some of the shock.
- Remember, the item YOU have just sold belongs to someone else now. Put yourself in their shoes and ask how would you like the product sent? And if your not completely satisfied repack it.
- Also remember, I would rather pay a little extra in postage due to size and weight and for the packaging to receive the item as seen in the ad than rather get a box full of broken bits of Bakelite.
- The people at the Postal Service handle 1000's of packages each day, and you can't blame them if you fail to pack your item properly.
- Offer Insurance, it's then up to the buyer.
This way the Buyer is happy, and the Seller makes their reputation. Hope that this has been some help.