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eBay Grandfather ClockPosted August 22, 2011
Suppose a grandfather clocks buyer or seller is looking to purchase or sell a new, vintage or antique grandfather clock or grandmother clock. Would eBay be a good venue or marketing channel to use for one or more of buying or selling grandfather, mantel or wall clocks, whether the clocks are new or antique. What about buying or selling on Amazon. Still yet, what about the seemingly omnipresent Craigslist which especially also local buyers and sellers to hook up and see what happens (meant to sound somewhat ominous).
The short answer is a definite maybe. The old adage “Let the Buyer Beware” comes to mind.
To really provide a helpful analysis, it would be desirable to think about what category your desired grandfather clock falls into, as this may dictate what the best shopping possibilities might be out there for you. For grandfather clock buyers, one should first think about whether they want a:
New high-end grandfather clock
Used or pre-owned grandfather clock of high quality
Any new or old grandfather clock
A basic good antique grandfather clock
A very special – and likely to be very expensive – antique grandfather clock.
Grandfather clocks discount shoppers then need to factor in both what element of risk they are willing to take, and what the potential worst-case downside might be. Shipping and trucking costs for grandmother or grandfather clocks must be taken into consideration, as must the potential “money pit” that one may soon end up walking into if the clock was not as described, or, when it arrives, it is not working as well as it did when you first saw it in action. There is also a risk in shipping grandfather clocks, even for short distances, so please keep this in mind, even including how to move a grandfather clock only a foot or two in any direction.
New grandfather clocks by high-end makers like Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock collection, and the about to be introduced and super-high-quality Americana Grandfather Clocks Company, and finally, Kieninger Floor and Grandfather Clocks. While these can be purchased used, one would want to be an extremely knowledgeable buyer to ensure they know what they are getting, know how to fix or get fixed any current or emerging problems, and making sure that the grandfather clocks are still on warranty, and were originally sold by Howard Miller Authorized Dealers like 1-800-4CLOCKS.com.
Keep in mind that if you have to ship the clock from one place to another (e.g. your home), not only is there the very real risk of damage in transit, if not packet and placed correctly, but the cost will likely be much more than what you bargained for, as individuals will not get the same shipping rates that are received by 1-800-4CLOCKS because we ship many thousands of clocks every year with these freight carriers. One needs to factor this cost in as well if contemplating purchasing a clock on eBay. Generally speaking, one in this situation is likely to be best served by buying locally. Craigslist has the same added advantage, but one is entering, usually, the home of a complete stranger, which as the writer of this blog post can make a testimony to, can be highly nerve-racking to the least.
But why buy used when you can buy a new grandfather clock from an Authorized Dealer, such as Hermle Clocks or Howard Miller clocks, with warranties against manufacturing defects that last up to 3 years from the date of purchase. Our own prices include generally factory fresh models shipped directly (and therefore only once, minimizing the chances of any breaking) from the manufacturer’s warehouse, and include Free Shipping including placing it in the very spot in your home where you want it, and we will unpack it too! We then also offer free in-home set-up of grandfather clocks by a technician that is certified by at least one of the clock companies with whom we are Authorized Dealers, and we can make that happen all across the USA and Canada. Oh, and we also have a Low Price Guarantee. Check out our website for the details. Beware of clock shops that "throw around" the term “white glove set-up”, as that term is so often abused to suggest to the customer that they are giving everything to the Customer that they are, and when it simply ain’t the plain truth!
Now if you are buying one of those newer cheesy (mostly Chinese) important that look nice in the photos, only to arrive with significant assembly required, and frequently even without any instruction manual or contact information. Our understanding is that even quite decent Stores like JC Penney and Target are carrying these clocks. And the grandfather clock model names are frequently eerily similar to clocks made by established brands such as Howard Miller. Our general advice on these models is to steer completely clear of them. If and when they are able to make a quality product that meets our standards and those of our customer clocks, we will add them to our grandfather clocks product line in a nanosecond.
Now antique clocks, especially smaller ones, are the only group we believe you should be considering purchasing and arranging for shipment. For a spectacular grandfather clock that I could afford, if I was comfortable enough that the grandfather clock was/is all genuine and original, and one can’t find anything similar closer by, it may well be worthwhile to have the grandfather or grandmother clock packed very very carefully and shipped to you home. We would emphasize you want-need excellent packing expertise and materials, not to mention a reliable shipping company. At the same time, one has to be extraordinarily careful when buying an antique, and understand the risks and pros and cons. In addition to antique stores, and even a treasure find at a tag sale, one must know what one is buying, that it is not a ‘marriage’ (meaning case and movement were put together, or married, somewhere in the grandfather clock life’s past). Craigslist has the potential to be an excellent source for finding antique clocks for sale. Be aware both that there are many dealers out there, sometimes posing as individuals and that many have unrealistically high expectations as to what their clocks are really worth. And the money pit question comes back to mind as well, and is especially relevant for antique clocks, as the required replacement parts may no longer be available and would need to be made by hand, which can get quite expensive and there are fewer and fewer people in the world who even know how to do it.
Most people don’t know that on eBay there are many clocks, some of which are reasonably well made, but are disguising themselves as antique clocks, or perhaps saying something like; while “we don’t know the exact age of this clock…” and placing the clock in the pre 1930 Antiques and Collectibles clocks subcategory, thereby suggesting but never saying from where the clock truly originated, or how old it really is.
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