Advice to Sellers on Ebay
Jazz Collector Newsletter, July 2005
Welcome to Jazz Collector. We’ve been very good about updating the web site every day, so if you haven’t been visiting, please take a look: There’s been some interesting discussion and we’ve been watching some nice items on eBay. Speaking of eBay, as we often do, we start this newsletter with advice to sellers, which we hope will generate some reader response. We also have our usual assortment of upcoming items, some new LPs in our Price Guides and an all-time favorite music clip.
I was recently talking to a subscriber who is interested in selling his collection on eBay as a retirement business. Here’s the main advice I gave him:
1. Buy a professional record cleaner and clean every record before you grade it and sell it.
2. Grade your records accurately/conservatively. You want to develop a good reputation and leave your customers satisfied so they’ll feel confident buying more from you.
3. Have a no-questions-asked return policy. If someone is not happy, pay to have the record shipped back and refund his money. If a buyer is consistently unhappy, politely stop doing business with him.
4. When you ship records, package them professionally and carefully and don’t scrimp on using high-end boxes and packing material.
5. Be accurate in your descriptions and include as much information as possible. Learn about the details that are important to buyers, such as the address on labels, colors of labels, distinguishing characteristics such as the deep groove and anything else that will make your listings clear and informative. Include the label and number. Try not to be too wordy: English may not be the first language of many buyers, so keep your listings concise and uncomplicated.
6. Get a good camera and take clear pictures, showing as much detail as possible.
What do you think? Do you have any other advice for sellers of jazz records on eBay?
Riffs, Part 2
After the last issue we received a note from Ivan Helfand, who is director of development for the Jazz Foundation of America in New York. JFA is a non-profit organization that provides funds for musicians in need and promotes awareness of jazz. They are conducting their first auction in November and are looking for donations, which are tax deductible. We’ll provide more information as the event gets closer. . . . We also received a note from Anthony Pearson, who says he just completed his last auction of the summer, which closed a few weeks ago and included about 1,400 items. We’ll let you know when Anthony is back on eBay . . . Have you ever seen the LP Eric Dolphy, Conversations, FM 308? It recently sold for more than $300 on eBay. we’d never seen it, so we did some research on it. You can see the results on yesterday’s post. If anyone has details about the FM label, please send us a note . . . Finally, we’re developing plans to launch a directory and sell sponsorships on our Web site and newsletter. We have more than 800 subscribers and average about 30,000 hits per month on the Web site. People are asking us all the time for information about dealers and where to find records in various cities. We’ll send out more information as our plans firm up
Have you been following the discussion about eBay at Jazz Collector? We received a lot of email from subscribers responding to Larry Cohn’s original note about eBay creating a false market and we spent a couple of weeks posting new letters each day. Larry reviewed all the comments and sent us a follow-up the other day, which we’ll be posting on the site in the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, we’ve been watching prices go up, up, up for the higher-end collectibles. Here are some of the items we’ve been watching:
Did anyone ever see this record sell for a price this high: Horace Parlan, Us Three, Blue Note 4037? Price: $1,725
How about this one? Johnny Griffin, The Congregation, Blue Note 1580, in M- condition. Price: $1,225.01
Here’s another one in the $1,000-plus category: Dexter Gordon, Dexter Blows Hot and Cool, Dootone 207. This one has the original red vinyl but was in less than mint condition and still sold for $1,162.
Freddie Hubbard, Open Sesame, Blue Note 4040. This was an original pressing in very nice condition. We’ve seen it sell for a much higher price, so you never know. Price: $792
Jutta Hipp Quintet, Blue Note 5056, original 10-inch LP in M- condition. Price: $662
Paul Chambers Quintet, Blue Note 1564. Price: $660
Here’s one that surprised me because it sold for a pretty high price and was a New Jersey pressing and not an original New York pressing. Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. Price: $320.88
Here’s a nice one in nice condition: Curtis Fuller, New Trombone, Prestige 7107. Price: $411.46
I’m actually surprised this didn’t go for a higher price, given the cover and condition, plus it’s one of the last Lexington Avenue Blue Notes: Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1543. Price: $449
Answer to last Month’s question: Who wrote the Charlie Parker biography “Bird Lives” and what was his relationship to Bird? Answer: Ross Russell, founder of Dial Records. Congratulations to Kim Hoffmann, Dave Farrow and Tom Rolin for being the first to respond with the correct answer.
That’s all for now. We’re going to take a couple of days off for the July 4th holiday and we’ll be back on www.jazzcollector.com with a new update next Tuesday. We’ll also send out an email alert when we post Larry Cohn’s next entry and when we have more details on directories and sponsorships. In the meantime, happy hunting. – Al