I buy and sell Motion Lamps and Motion Clocks here on eBay.. For fun, and even a little part time profit..
I Love them!!!
In order to buy right, you MUST ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS!!!
Rule Number One: NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING!! If it is not clearly described, and pictured ask questions! If description is unclear, too short, or ambiguous , ask for details., If pictures are Blurry, too far away, or too few, not showing the entire item..ask questions!
Rule Number Two: If there is any doubt ASK!! (same as #1, I know, but can't stress it enough..)
Here are some good questions to ask the seller before you buy..
#1) Does the lamp work right? Does it spin with the heat of the bulb? That is always the most important feature!
#2) Is this lamp complete?..that is, with all original parts, including inner spinner, and spinner bearing?
(What is a spinner bearing? .. A spinner bearing is a small piece that fits in the center top of the inner spinner in the motion lamp. It is smaller than a dime. It sits on the needle-like spinner post, just over the light bulb. The inner-spinner bearing is usually present, but on many older lamps it is missing. With No Bearing, the lamp simply will not spin. Bearings can be replaced, and I have bought and sold several with replaced bearings. The replacement may or may not affect the lamps ability to spin with the heat. If seller doesn't say how well it spins with heat, you should ask. I do not garantee my lamps with replaced bearings to spin well, as sometimes they just don't want to go like the original ones...)
#3) Is there damage like scratches that can be seen when lamp is turned on? Many marks on motion lamps are almost invisible when lamp is off. They may be distracting to the beauty and quite glaring when lamp is on. A GOOD SELLER will tell you of scratches and flaws, and will show good clear pictures of the lamp when on and off! If the main scene is not shown turned on, I would be a little suspicious, and would definitely ASK about visible scratches, etc. on lamp when on.
#4) Is ther any warping that interferes with function? This occures from too hot a bulb in light.. The inner sleave can be warped and cause inner spinner to rub.. I have read people saying it can be done.. but I have NEVER been able to repair warping on any lamp!
NOTE: I Recommend 25-40 watt CLEAR bulbs in motion lamps. Higher wattage may warp plastic, and/ or damage light .
#5) Is picture clear and colors bright? Is paint/picture ink without peeling or flaking? .
#6) Is inner spinner in good repair?Any cracking splitting, etc.?
I always ASK to see pictures of ENTIRE dismantled lamp! That is best way to actually see it all!
#7) Is name of maker and year printed on lamp? L.A. Goodman, Econolite, and ignition Co. print their name and usually the year too somewhere on every lamp. Usually on inner spinner edge (econolite), outer spinner bottom edge (Goodman), and either on Ignition Co.
#8) Is power cord in good repair? Has it been replaced? Many motion lamps have original cords that may work fine, but I have bought some with frayed and unsafe cords. If this is not mentioned, I would ask. Note: It is important to replace any cord that does not look safe! Many lamps are very old, and it is never a bad idea to replace cords for safety.
If seller answers unclearly, or not at all, ASK again! Most sellers are doing their best, and may not understand your question!
remember: Sellers often no very little about the item they are selling! They want to be forthright, but need good questions to answer! If they say, "I don't know" Or "Unable to test" You should bid expecting item to be non-functioning, or don't bid at all.
Lastly, I want you to know that when I ask clear questions, I am happier with what I buy. Also, read every auction very carefully! I have been careless, and too quick to bid on items that looked too good to be true, only to realize that had I read more, I could have seen the giant Flaw, or missing peices!! Take your time, start early in the auction, which means check often for new items. Getting in at the last minute on an item you haven't really looked hard at will get you dissapointment often. (It has me!)
ONE LAST THING: I have often asked if I can pay EXTRA shipping for bigger box! the more padding the better on these fragile items! Offer to pay for insurance too, but the best bet is an extra large box with extra padding around lamp in case of crushing etc....
Feel Free to send questions to me, and I will do my best to help you if I can. I am always interested in learning more about vintage motion lamps and clocks!
Good Luck and happy eBaying! Please click YES is this helped you at all!!