Snagging Bargains On eBay.

A quick list if you are buying from the U.S.A.

1. Bakelites are cheaper to ship than wooden radios simply because of the mass.

2. Likewise All American Five sets are transformerless designs. Do some research and know what you are buying. Transformers are often the heaviest part of a radio.

3. Painted radios with chips and scratches look appalling and attract fewer bidders, but paint can be removed easily with paint stripper without damaging bakelite.

4. Even a fully working/restored radio with a chip or a crack will get few bids. Depending on how you feel about chips and cracks, try to find one where the chip is at the back or somewhere it will never be seen and you might be the only bidder.

These are just a few ideas, I'm working on a full article to go up soon.

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ill titleAIRLINE 64BR-1503B

An All American Five set.


This "Airline" radio is a U.S.A. Model, bought on eBay.

"Airline" was the store brand of the Montgomery Wards Dept. Store Chain, the other big chain of Sears Roebuck also had their own store brand of "Silvertone".

Fully restored when bought, I didn't need to do a thing to this one. Although the U.S. has a different AC voltage scheme to Australia so to use it I need to run it on a Voltage transformer that will step down our 240 volts AC to 110.

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This one even came with the cardboard backing, which is usually missing on a radio of this age. It probably helps that it has a built-in antenna system fixed to the inside of the cardboard, thus making it less likely to be lost or thrown away.

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The Rider's info at Nostalgia Air doesn't have this exact model listed but John at the excellent website Radiophile has deciphered the model numbering system for Airline radios. Switching the first 2 numbers around (64) gets you the year (46) while the BR in the Model No. means it was manufactured for Wards by Belmont Radio.

One thing I've noticed about eBay is that I can often win a fully restored radio from the U.S. and have it shipped Air (5-10 days delivery time) for less than you'd pay for an Aussie one of similar quality. For example... this Airline cost me a total of $115.00 AU including shipping and it is in full working order. I recently paid a little more that that for an Australian Tasma (her story is up here now too) which needed a fair bit of restoring and I'm not counting freight either.

Not all U.S. radios are that cheap but I've snaggged a few bargains in recent months. Perhaps the much larger quantity of radios available on the U.S. market means lower prices?