The radio. Back many hundreds of years ago, families sat around the radio staring at it intently, listening to radio dramas in plummy accents, and lots of olde tyme songs, whilst drinking a lovely cup of tea.
Now my sole interaction with radio is the one in my car. It involves me swearing it at it, and constantly hitting the change station buttons as I try to avoid atrocious ads, unfunny commentary, and hip-hop music. I am forced to listen to the radio, as the CD player died in my car over 2 years and I don't have the moulah to fix it.
This week I got to see the radio from a different angle. You see radios have bits inside that make them run, and the lovely old ones are very collectable for those who are rabid about the subject. Tube radios? I only knew about YouTube.
I know men love a hobby. If it involves some hands-on work for those that are that way inclined, then all the better. They can make the casing look good again, and play with the circuits inside, and all those knobs!!! Men love having "a bit of a fiddle" with knobs.
So when my friend Sue bought me a pile of books on radios, I thought it sounded interesting. Some of them were more modern books for the collector, and some of them were skanky old Radio Service Manuals from the 1930s, 1940s & 1950s. I was excited about the former, and not so sure about the older books. We have a system where she buys the items, I cover the selling costs, and we go halves on the sale price.
I found out how VERY desirable these items are. I had these books sitting on the kitchen bench for a few days, and then decided to put them up. There wasn't a great deal of other books to compare these items to, so I started with the two newer books.
The first two sold within 20 minutes of me putting them up - to the same buyer.
This one I knew would sell as it lists a catalogue of all radios made in Australia since the 1920s - just not that quickly. Of course, I should have asked for more. I got $23.00 for this one.
There were 2 other books similar to the blue one above - both full of riveting circuit diagrams - one from 1939 and one from 1940. These were in terrible condition - sticky-taped, stained and well-used. I didn't know what to price them at, so I threw them to the great Auction Monster to see what it thought. Pricing them $9.99 and $10.00, one with a BIN of $29.99 and the other without a BIN price.
Within an hour both had been bidded on by the same person - so were at $9.99 and $10.00. (Don't ask me why there is a 1 cent difference, I must have been drunk :-))
Then that evening I got an email from the one and only bidder so far on the two books. He was requesting an invoice. He wanted to buy them both for $30 each (+ postage). He was a pensioner, member of radio club, yaddah yaddah. Can I send him an invoice and he will pay promptly? Ummm, what?
Then another man jumps into the circus. He wants to know how much I want for both books. He's a member of his radio club, and has other diagrams books on CD and wants to add these to his collection. He will send me copy of his circuit books on CD! Can I send him an invoice???
Well the crazies were out in force and they wanted those books! Much as I was tempted by the offer of a hundred circuit books on CD (ooh, think of the great plot-line and dialogue in those!!!), I was reduced to telling the silly buggars that these were auctions and they were more than welcome to bid, but I couldn't pull the auction for them.
There are 5 people watching these 2 books, and fact that my traps snared these two loonies so early on could mean that they will go for a lot more. It could also mean that nobody else will bid, but I'm taking the chance. So far both are still sitting at the first bid. I have thrown my bait in, and I'm waiting for more bites.
Links are here for the 1940 book listing and the 1937 Book Listing, if anybody is interested.
Do you think I'm crazy not taking the offers? We shall see when the auctions finish in just under 7 days.
So if you see any of these old circuit diagram books lying around when you are thrifting - be sure to grab them. You too, can be circled by radio-mad loonies!