Johnson Receiver and National Transmitter

Will White will.white at MINDSPRING.COM
Sun Nov 14 08:38:41 EST 1999

What galls me is that artificial start price combined with an even
higher reserve. Say what you will about inflated auction prices, but it
shows the worst traits of hype and dishonest advertising to promote your
items this way. Either start the auction at zero with a reserve, or
start it at your mimumum acceptable price without reserve. This here
seems calculated to give the appearance of value and interest, once one
bid has been tendered. I do notice that there are no bids after four
days up at auction.

As an interesting footnote and comment on the eBay/internet auction
controversy (which rages among many other interests, not only
ham/antique radio), I seem to notice a gradual slowing of the frenzy and
resultant inflation surrounding old gear. As the novelty of internet
auctioneering wears off, and as claims of rarity and singular condition
become transparently false, the buyers are becoming aware.

I point to one small niche as an example. When I first learned of eBay
in January of 1997, I saw only a few scattered Drake radios up for
auction. I bought a TR-4 from an eBay auction in March of that year, in
very good shape, working well, for $210, with AC-3/MS-4 (the AC-3 has
since needed recapping).

Recently, a search of the Radio Equipment category for "Drake" has
yielded between 35 and 60 items all told. Sellers can hardly claim a
loaded 'C'-line or TR-4Cw in good condition to be that rare. It is
ludicrous that some still do this, especially since a listing for a
"rare" radio often is sandwiched in between two other such rarities on
the search list. So, all the hub-bub may be dying down a bit, halleluyah!

Another tangentially related remark: especially as listed in the
Collectables: Radio category, I often notice an inverse relationship
between an item's reasonably claimed value and scarcity and the degree
of detail in the description, coupled with the seller's claims of value
and desireability. The more info (usually quoted from a manual) and the
more the seller hypes his lot, touting that a 50's era receiver has an
RF gain control, for example, the less interesting or remarkable it
turns out to be.

These sellers are also the ones least likely to be forthcoming with
meaningful answers to relevant questions. Does an advertised hand-key
have a nice springy feel to its action? I can't count the number of
times I have emailed that question to a seller only to be thwarted with
this reply: "I don't know anything about telegraph keys, and I don't
want to risk damaging the item." Ahem! How simple it is to check this,
and how can the key be in "mint" condition if the seller won't touch it!
It makes me suspicious, unless the seller is an elephant! This is why I
bid on perhaps only one in twenty items I might otherwise find
interesting and desireable.

So the internet auction controversy battles on, though this reporter
{sic} is noticing some reversal of the trends that have concerned many
of us up to now.


Edward Swynar VE3 CUI wrote:
> How much you wanna bet he gets (at least!) his asking bid...?
> ~73~ Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ
> ----------
> > From: Dave <davidh at>
> > Subject: Johnson Receiver and  National Transmitter
> > Date: November 13, 1999 5:54 PM
> >
> > Here guys and gals, have a good laugh even though it's not April Fools!
> >
> >
> >
> > Dave

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