kottke.org posts about eBay

How to buy on eBayDec 08 2009

If I ever wanted to buy anything on eBay, I would probably use this advice.

I am continually amazed at how many people incrementally bid up an item they want six days before an auction is over. It's like watching someone walk around with a switch unknown to him flipped permanently to stupid.

Old iPhones still valuableSep 03 2008

Before the iPhone 3G came out in July, I did a quick price survey on the 1st generation iPhones being sold on eBay.

A quick search reveals that used & unlocked 8Gb iPhones are going for ~$400 and 16Gb for upwards of $500, with never-opened phones going for even more.

After the 3G came out, the prices on the old iPhone remained about the same.

I just checked eBay again and those prices are down only slightly. Never-opened unlocked iPhones are still fetching $400-500 and somewhat less for previously used phones.

BusinessWeek recently confirmed that those old phones are still selling well, demonstrating a lot of demand for iPhones that can be easily unlocked for use on networks besides AT&T in the US and elsewhere in the world.

On e-commerce site eBay, where NextWorth peddles many of its wares, a 16-GB version of the first-generation iPhone goes for about $600, and an 8-GB model in good condition commands $500. When it was new, the 16-GB phone sold for $499; the 8-GB model went for $399. Today, AT&T's most expensive iPhone 3G model sells for $300 with a two-year service contract.

Old expensive pantsJul 28 2008

A pair of Levi's from the 1890s are up on eBay.

This old pair of LEVI'S were found in a mine in the Rand Mining District, on the Mojave Desert,. California. They are covered in candlewax from the candle's the miner was using to light the tunnel he was working in. They were found with and old paper bag with the name of a mercantile store which operated between 1895 and 1898 in the town or Randsburg. Their was also a gunny sack with the initials A.P.K. and Randsburg marked on it. A.P.K. is through to be Adam P. Kuffel who was a partner in the mercantile store.

These pants have the cloth label vice the leather label. The label (pictured) indicates that they are size W34 x L33, They are copper riveted with the rivets marked L.S. & Co. S.F. They are buckle back (pictured) with suspender buttons. Buttons are silver in color and are all marked LEVI STRAUSS & CO. S.F.CAL. Tthe pants were made with just one back pocket on the right hand side.

With 2 days to go, the current high bid stands at $7300. (via reference library)

Update: Another seller is contemplating listing another old pair of pants.

The jeans were uncovered in an old miners cabin here in montana and have been dated between 1890 and 1901 by the rivets on the jeans. There was gold in the watch pocket of the blue jeans and has been saved in a vial, do you think we should include it in the auction? there is also the miners diaries and a couple of shaker boxes too.

Old iPhone price check on eBayJul 18 2008

Before the iPhone 3G came out last month, I wrote about how valuable the old iPhone still was.

A quick search reveals that used & unlocked 8Gb iPhones are going for ~$400 and 16Gb for upwards of $500, with never-opened phones going for even more.

I just checked eBay again and those prices are down only slightly. Never-opened unlocked iPhones are still fetching $400-500 and somewhat less for previously used phones. If you've purchased an iPhone 3G in the past few days, you still have an excellent shot at getting most of your money back from your first phone (provided you can get it unlocked, which isn't difficult).

I also checked the prices for unlocked iPhone 3Gs...prices are upwards of $1400 for the 16GB model. The unlocked claim is somewhat dubious. AFAIK, there hasn't been a crack released yet although it's been reported that the 3Gs are being sold unlocked in Italy and Hong Kong.

Update: The 3G has been cracked.

The first thing ever sold on eBayFeb 01 2007

The first thing ever sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer for $14.00.

A new species of sea urchin hasAug 21 2006

A new species of sea urchin has been discovered on eBay. For once, that name seems to make sense.

Mathematical analysis confirms the conventional wisdom ofJun 23 2006

Mathematical analysis confirms the conventional wisdom of auction bidders: the best way to win an eBay auction is to bid at the last possible moment.

A fan site on MySpace for theApr 19 2006

A fan site on MySpace for the hot UK band Arctic Monkeys reportedly sold for $2000+, although it's unclear (because they took the auction page down) if eBay allowed the transaction to go through. Mena, how much for Ready Steadman Go?

eBay bidders..."would you rather pay $10 andFeb 27 2006

eBay bidders..."would you rather pay $10 and have free shipping or pay $5 and pay $6 for shipping?" Most prefer the latter.

This article on how Google and eBayFeb 09 2006

This article on how Google and eBay are poorly designed seems really wrongheaded to me, although it may just be that essays that use the word "suckass" and mistake style for design will fail to convince me of anything.

An original painting by Adolf Hitler recentlyJan 06 2006

An original painting by Adolf Hitler recently went for 11,000 euros on eBay.

The proprietor of The Million Dollar HomepageJan 04 2006

The proprietor of The Million Dollar Homepage has sold 999,000 pixels (for $1 each) and is auctioning off the final 1,000 pixels on eBay (current bid is ~$30,000). (thx, jonah)

The December issue of French Vogue withJan 03 2006

The December issue of French Vogue with Kate Moss on the cover is selling on eBay for upwards of $60/issue.

Merlin is collecting funny eBay ads fromOct 25 2005

Merlin is collecting funny eBay ads from Google. "Looking for Handjob? Find exactly what you want today. www.eBay.com". Dictionary.com used to have Amazon ads tied to search terms that would say things like "Buy crack cocaine at Amazon" or "Buy hookers at Amazon". I for one welcome our new robot marketing overlords.

What the hell? Almost 500 pounds of LegosOct 06 2005

What the hell? Almost 500 pounds of Legos up for auction on eBay. "This is my collection for the past 25 years, it's time to go." Bid stands at ~$6800. (thx, karl)

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