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revereware.org eBay auction categorizer is even better

If you aren’t familiar with our revereware.org site, it takes all the Revere Ware listings from eBay organizes them into categories and sorts items by size. 

We recently made some improvements to better handle the larger and larger number of listings for Revere Ware on eBay carried there.  It wasn’t too long ago that the total number of Revere Ware items on eBay surpassed 10,000 listings, and now it is almost at 13,000!

If your technically curious, the problem we ran into is that eBay only allows up to 100 pages of listings to be downloaded by their programming interface, and a maximum of 100 items per page, meaning, it was cutting us off at 10,000 items.  We had to break the search into smaller parts, by price, to be able to run two overall queries and get all the items listed.

Not ones to slouch, we also fixed a bug that didn’t show the correct number of items in some categories, and remove more of those annoying listings that list our parts from Amazon.com on eBay but at a higher price.

So enjoy!

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Funny eBay drop-ship listings

I got my dose of humor this morning finding a couple of listings for our parts on eBay.  If you aren’t familiar with drop-shipping arbitrage, it is the practice where people take items for sale off Amazon.com, for example, and list it on eBay for a higher price.  When someone places on order on eBay, they simply execute an order on Amazon.com for the item, thus, getting Amazon.com to “drop-ship” the order for them.

We don’t like the practice at all and have tried reporting these sellers to eBay, as this is a violation of eBay’s policies.  It inflates the price to the buyer, the buyer has no possibility of getting support from us, and we believe the practice results in a higher number of returns that affect our standing with Amazon.com.

Other than that, they are great! 🙂

The first thing I found humorous about the two listings is that they cut off the full title of the product, which makes them rather confusing:

To top that, they chose to replace the actual description with these very interesting one liners.

Trade gasket?  Venerate?

I’m not sure what fusing two sets actually does.

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Old style pan / skillet handles available on eBay

If you are looking for the older style pan and skillet handles used on early pans made between 1939 and 1947 or so, there are a bunch of what appears to be the large or x-large size on eBay right now (auctions one, two, three, and four).

Here is a good view of the difference between the new handles (top two) and the old style handles (bottom two) for which we don’t make replacements.

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Whoops, Amazon did it again

Once again we seem to have run afoul of Amazon.com and they removed both of our listings for pot handles, vintage and more modern variety.  These were our top-selling items there, with many hundreds selling every month.

The problem this time is the high return rate; we seem to average between 7-10% of these products being returned, which apparently is too high for Amazon.com.  We’ve had our listings suspended a number of times for the same issue; this time they opted to remove one of the listings, for the single screw pot handle, permanently.

With every previous suspension, we’ve tweaked our listings to try and make it less likely people will buy them just to try them on an item we specifically say it won’t work on.  For some reason, our listing now has reverted to the initial version from quite a few years ago, loosing all of these edits.

The problem with selling on Amazon.com is that they make it extremely hard to get any good information from the customers as to what is wrong.  Here are the comments we got along with returns in February (the few that actually gave us a comment).

  • Big
  • It is not broke, it is not compatible with my pot
  • Product was not what I was expecting and I do not want them.
  • will not fit on my stock pot
  • Par de mango para macetas (which translates to “Pair of potting handles”)

Not very helpful.  And the Fulfillment by Amazon take-it-or-leave-it no questions asked return policy precludes us from having a conversation with customers before a return is authorized, to determine whether there is actually a real problem, with either the product itself, or the products somehow getting damaged through the fulfillment process.  To make things worse, they appear to be returning damaged items back to inventory, such that they get shipped to another customer and rack up yet another return.  Here is just a few returns they processed.

Disposition Customer Return Reason Status
Customer Damaged Product damaged or defective prior to shipping Unit returned to inventory
Customer Damaged Item is defective Unit returned to inventory
Customer Damaged Product is not as described on website Unit returned to inventory

In dispute of the listing removal, we sent Amazon.com a three page brief on everything that was wrong with their service from a sellers perspective.  Ultimately, it was the fact that they appear to be putting defective or damaged items back into inventory that seems to have convinced them to allows us to relist the product.

I seriously doubt there is anything wrong with our actual product; we sell about half as many on our own website as we do on Amazon.com, and rarely ever receive a complaint about these handles not working.  I suspect that when customers have to pay for shipping, and return shipping is not free, people tend to actually do  some due diligence before buying, which probably avoids 99% of the potential issues.

I love the convenience of buying from a business like Amazon.com, but with all the problems from a buyers perspective and a sellers perspective, that I see every day/week/month, I have real concerns about continuing to use Amazon.com as either a buyer or seller.

Like Google, Amazon.com seems impossible to replace.  But complacency has felled many past giants.  Along those lines, for several months now I’ve been participating in a alpha test of a new search engine.  With almost no exceptions, I haven’t needed Google search since I started.  If Google can be replaced for search, it isn’t that hard to believe that an alternative to Amazon.com, for both buyers and sellers, might come along.  Here’s hoping.

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Revere Ware brochure from the early days – 1943

I’m always looking for things like brochures to help fill out the Revere Ware information we have an we present here.  An early brochure | price list from 1943 appeared recently and I snapped it up.  You can see all the early styles they have in those first few years of Revere Ware, and how they differ from the style the dominated much of the vintage era, through 1968.

You can find the entire catalog here.  There are some really interesting pieces in there.  The thin lipped skilled for example, with pouring spout.

I happen to have one of these.  The sauce pot with strainer basket is something I hadn’t seen before either; they called it a French fryer.

The double boiler had Bakelite handles, and came in two sizes, 1 1/2 quart and 2 quart, that went with the 2 and 3 quart sauce pans.

 

There is also the deep well cooker we’ve talked about before.

Interestingly what I’ve always heard referred to as the bale handled pot, they call a preserving kettle.

In 1961 they called it a bale handle kettle.

The percolator looks distinctly different from those of later years, with what appears to be a glass knob that looks much like the Bakelite ones.

Here is one from 1953.

I’ll bet the knob proved too fragile like that so they redesigned it.  Lastly, I just love this kettle design.

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Warranty on a Revere Ware refrigerator magnet?

My mother has had a Revere Ware skillet refrigerator magnet for years and when I started this business, I wanted one too. I dutifully found on on eBay and it has adorned our house ever since.

So when I came across a Revere Ware tea kettle magnet recently on eBay, I got a little excited.

25 year warranty?  Here is the back of that product card.

Wow, seems legitimate.  That’s the first warranty I’ve ever heard of on a refrigerator magnet.  25 years no less.

I suppose putting the warranty on there was good advertising, and very few were likely to actually try to make good on that claim.

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Broken or ….

My 7 year old daughter likes to play a game called Broken or Not Broken, where she holds a stick, board, french fry, or other object and has us guess whether it is whole or not.  This eBay listing feels like a version of that game.

Well, is it or isn’t it a broken frying pan handle?  A close up of the handle seems to indicate it might not be broken.

It seems rather odd that the seller didn’t include a picture that shows the handle actually on the pan, and no mention of its removability in the listing itself.

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