View Full Version : Very sincere ebay seller

Richard D
05-20-2004, 11:14 AM
Model No. TPS-5011. This is such a cute little portable tv, that I wish I could verify whether it works okay. Since I do not have the adapter cable, I am unable to determine whether it works. Therefore, it is being sold as is, strictly as a displayable collectible. Unit measures 3 1/2" x 7" high x 7" deep. Case, handle, telescoping antenna & fold-up antenna intact. All knobs intact. Jacks on back for headphones & VHF. Also has slot for use with auto vehicle lighter. Compartment that holds 9 "C" batteries

She WISHES she could tell the bidders whether it works or not but won't invest in some el-cheapo C cells, but it sure is cute

05-23-2004, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Richard D
She WISHES she could tell the bidders whether it works or not...

This seems to happen a lot on eBay, and it can be annoying. With vintage radios, either the line cord has "mysteriously" been cut, or they don't have the "proper batteries" to test it with.

Given the circumstances, though, it's understandable, and especially in the case of AC-powered receivers, probably a good thing that they are not indiscrimminately powered up for testing. It seems that the vast majority of items being sold on eBay are "brokered", that is, the seller is simply distributing the item from wherever they purchased it (estate sale, garage sale, second-hand store), to a willing buyer. Chances are, they have no idea about the item's history.

The three conditionals that apply in a case like this are (listed in ascending order of impact on the value of the item):

The item definitely does not work
It is unknown whether the item works or not
The item definitely works

What I think happens in a lot of the cases is that the seller actually does, at least preliminarily, attempt to ascertain whether the item works (to find out if it falls into the highest value category), and in the cases where it doesn't, will cut the cord, claim to not have the right batteries, or otherwise plead ignorance as to the working condition. This allows them to describe the item as at least potentially working, making it more valuable than one that is known to be non-functional.

Having said all of that, in the case of an AC-powered vintage radio or TV, it's probably for the best that an uninformed seller not plug the thing in to see if it works. I'm sure that a number of vintage gear has been seriously damaged in just this fashion.


Richard D
05-23-2004, 05:01 PM
about an old roundie or color set that has been sitting in a basement for 20 years or so, starting up one of these vintage sets could make a lot of firecracker and snapping sounds as the old caps get hit with full voltage all of a sudden and "explode" or vent. It's just the battery operated one's that really tick me off, I did not have a 9 volt battery in the house so this radio that might be worth $xxx.xx working I am not going to bother to go to the corner and by a battery and sell it for $xx.xx Please excuse my rant, I feel better now, Richard.