Vintage patterns on Ebay… but not for the faint-hearted.

Mostly I am not very good at bidding on Ebay. Which is a good thing because I could very easily spend a fortune on vintage patterns and fabric. Don’t get me wrong. I do win bids, but at a price. The original quest for a vintage pattern at a bargain becomes a fight with an undisclosed bidder whom I  won’t let get the better of me. And thus the whole bargain thing goes right out the window.

Well it depends how you look at it I guess. I am currently ‘watching’ Vintage 1940s, 1950s job lot of sewing patterns & ephemera 30+ patterns.

My original bid was for £30. That’s what I was willing to pay and if I lost then that should have been the end of it. But no. Somebody had the cheek to outbid me. So I upped it to £42.02. That should trick ’em, I thought! Then, when they up their bid to £40 they will think I’ve bid a lot higher, and give up, and let me have all those lovely patterns. But no. They’ve gone to £52.69 and there is 13 minutes remaining. I am actually biting my nails. What do I do? Hang on in there? Bid at the last minute? But at what price? That’s £22.69 more than I wanted to spend. But they’ve got to be worth at least £5 each, surely. That makes £150. I’m so not paying that. Going to go for £70 top whack.12 minutes, 30 seconds to go. My heart thinks I’ve just run around the block at least 5 times. £75.27 in the maximum bid box. That should do the trick…..just in case they’ve got plans on £70. 10 minutes 36, shall I ‘place bid’ now? No. Hold tight. They might be thinking the same. Its been a while since I’ve bid. They will think I’ve lost interest. 7 minutes 8 seconds. Do I really want these. Haven’t I got enough already? Maybe. But I wont be beat. Especially by someone who refuses to reveal their identity! 6 m 9s. Not yet. Hold back. Don’t give them time to respond…

I left it ’til 20 seconds to go. And I confirmed my max bid at £75.27… knowing I shouldn’t really. £53.69 accepted. Phew! glad it wasn’t the full max bid…and I pipped that bidder to the post… oh yeah… oh yeah!

Here is a section of my prize haul which I won, just now, fair and square (… oh yeah!):

1940s and 1950s patterns won on EbayWhen they arrive for real I will give them the proper photoshoot they deserve. Not sure I can cope with that amount of stress again in a hurry. And really, I do now have enough patterns… I do now have enough patterns… I do now have enough patterns… don’t I?


35 Replies to “Vintage patterns on Ebay… but not for the faint-hearted.”

  1. There no such thing as ‘enough’ but perhaps you have ‘elegant sufficiency’ for just now. I gave in and bought 6 patterns from Etsy last night. I’ve banned myself from Etsy and EBay for at least a month… unless I sell something!

  2. *FACEPALM* so you’re the genius that ruins auctions for everyone else XS.
    Alright listen up: there are three rules for winning ebay:
    1. Decide on your maximum limit.
    2. Make your maximum bid as late as possible.
    3. Go back to 1. and re-read till you’ve committed this to memory. Then re-read again while bidding
    Escalating bids is retarded because it sets an artificially high market value for items which means everyone ends up paying more. It’s like buying a car for $4000 that you know you can only ever get $400 out of selling (and it’s only saving you $4 in bills a month so it doesn’t even cover it’s value through usability). I.e. your patterns are only ‘worth’ 1.78 each if you actually sell every one of them for more than that. If not, that’s £53.69 less sitting in the bank earning you 5-8% a year.
    If you do this in the middle of an auction you’re setting yourself up for massive losses because you’re spurring other bad judges of pricing to make the same (economically) flawed decisions.The only person to ‘win’ in a scenario like this is the seller.
    That being said, when I’m not actually interested in the item being bid on, I find this sort of behaviour massively entertaining and know people who (competitively) shill bid just for the thrill of potentially paying $200 for something they know isn’t worth $20 XD
    Watching some sucker voluntarily cut their pocket 10 seconds before the bid ends? Priceless. XD

    1. Ah… call me old fashioned…but watching vintage pattern envelopes over a few quid in the bank account makes me a happier bunny! ‘Can’t take it with yer’… as my dad used to say… and he was so right!! 😉

  3. Oh this story sounds so familiar. When I was first getting into sewing I bacame a bit of an ebay stalker and found myself in similar situations far too many times. I eventually managed to talk myself away from ebay pattern job lots because a. I now have faaar too many patterns, b. I should spend the money on fabric instead and c. I can’t handle the stress!!!!! (My heart would be beating like crazy too – my boyfriend found it very entertaining watching me during the last 10 mins of the autions!).
    But love the first look at what you won – some really gorgeous patterns in there. Can’t wait to see them in more detail.

    1. Thanks Suzie. I’m glad I’m not alone. Its really no good for ones health! One of these in a blue moon only. But I still cant wait for them to arrive! 🙂

  4. Owning patterns is a form of a “collection.” So, even if I never sew up something I own a pattern for, I still enjoy having that little tid bit as part of my collection. Crazy huh? Sewing is expensive, but there are other hobbies that are more expensive with less reward. Enjoy!!

    1. Not crazy at all Shirley. Its so wonderful to be so passionate about anything. Sewing can be as expensive as you make it but all the same its such a rewarding hobby, not least of all from all the wonderful people you meet along the way. x

    1. That is very true. Although Once they are in my hands, I will find it very difficult to part with them I’m sure! Hope you have a lovely weekend too x

  5. I totally agree with you! I can’t give up keep buying and to up bid on the last few minutes! But you won this great auction at a very lovely price indeed! Think, my latest bid the other day was on a Sixties book of pattern complete with cardboard dressmaking rulers. My maximum bid was £49,90, I started with £12,00 and it was the price till 5 min. before the bid ending. 1 minute before it was £20.00… when the bid ends the maximum bid was £45.00 🙁 I guess it’s quite a big price for the book, I hope it will worth the price I paid for it.

    1. I’m sure that book will give you more satisfaction than say spending £45 down the pub! If nothing else it’s a piece of history that just happens to be about something you are very passionate about. Well worth £45! Can’t wait to hear all about it. 🙂

  6. haha!! the stubborn should never use eBay…. I know this from personal experience LOL – nice haul, though!! Sometimes it’s worth it to pay for something you KNOW deserves to be yours ^__^

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