BUYING RADIOS FROM AUCTION SITES
I receive emails and phone calls every day from people who are about to buy radios from one of the auction web sites. How much is the radio worth? Can you fix it if it doesn’t work? Is it safe to use? Will I be able to sell it for a profit? These are all very good questions. There are some great bargains to be had on auction web sites but, do be careful. I once bought a Bush DAC90, complete and in beautiful condition, for £36. The bakelite cabinet was highly polished and the dial glass was immaculate. OK, now for the downside. Dial pointer missing, incorrect valves fitted, loudspeaker cone torn to shreds, most of the internal wiring cut or missing, mains dropper broken… The list goes on. Having said that, the radio was sold as complete but not working – which was fair enough.
You may well get yourself a bargain and, when it arrives you unpack it and then you… Plug it in? Wrong! The electrolytic capacitors may need reforming and if you plug the radio in they might explode. Without getting too technical, a radio that hasn’t been switched on for a couple of decades will need to be checked over. The chances are that things will be fine and the radio will work. But, are you willing to take that risk? What if the chassis is live and you touch exposed metal parts and kill yourself? No matter how good the bargain, it’s not worth dying for. If you’re thinking of bidding for a radio, contact me first. I will do my best to advise you, from my fifty years experience in repairing vintage radios, and it will only cost you a phone call.
IF YOU’VE JUST BOUGHT A RADIO IN AN AUCTION
If you’ve just bought a radio from an auction web site, get the radio to me and I’ll give it a check over. I’ll plug it in, starting with a low mains voltage, and make sure that it’s safe to use. The chances are that, if you bought it as a working radio, there will be no problems. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.
HOW MUCH WILL I CHARGE FOR CHECKING YOUR RADIO?
Nothing at all! Yes, that’s right – I won’t charge you anything for checking your radio and making sure that it’s safe. I will also give you my recommendations, listing what the radio needs to make it safe or get it working properly, and it won’t cost you a penny. Why am I doing this for free? Am I a saint? Well, not exactly! If the radio you have just bought at auction needs repairing or making safe, you might just ask me to do the work – and I might just make a few pounds. There’s one thing you can be sure of… Having checked your radio, I won’t rip you off by making out that it needs this and that doing to it if it’s working fine and there are no problems. I value my customers and I want them to recommend me to their friends and family. Email or phone me and we’ll talk about your recent purchase. Or, if you live locally, drop the radio round to me and I’ll check it over – for free. I’m in the workshop all day every day but ring me before you call just in case I’ve popped out to the corner shop for some milk. I look forward to hearing from you – and helping you.
POSTING YOUR RADIO TO ME
You can post your radio to me, but do be sure to pack it properly. Check out my posting details. Remember that, if you post the radio to me, you will have to pay for the return post and packing.
A GREAT IDEA TO SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY
An increasing number of people are asking sellers on auction web sites to send the radio they’ve won direct to me. This works well, saving you time and money and giving you peace of mind. You win the radio, the seller sends it directly to me, I check it over, carry out repairs if you wish, and I then send it to you. However, you will have to pay me the cost of posting the radio to you once I’ve checked it over. but it’s worth it to know that your radio is safe. PLEASE ask the seller to put your name and address in the parcel so I can contact you. Please also contact me first, just to make sure that it’s a radio I deal with. For example, I don’t deal with Philips radios.
A WORD OF WARNING
I’ve just had a Dansette record player in from a customer who bought it from an auction web site. It was sold as ‘fully restored’ and it has obviously been cleaned up and it looks really nice. But, there’s a major problem. The record deck is in dire need of a service and the amplifier hasn’t been touched in years. Fully restored? I don’t think so! By the way, I no longer repair record players or decks.