Friday, March 31, 2006

rob's top tips for buying (and selling) on ebay

(or confessions of an ebay addict)
as you can imagine, quite a few of my records were won in auctions on ebay. (by the way i have no affiliation whatsoever with ebay or any other business i mention here!) i've sold many fewer records (in fact i have only sold one record for a friend): as i say, you can never regret buying a record, but you can regret NOT buying one or, worse still, SELLING a record.

tips for buyers
1. ok, this one is a bit contraversial but i'll try to convince even those who have been "sniped" of the merits of sniping. we all want to get those records as cheap as possible, right? but who hasn't got in a bidding war? things are worth what someone else is willing to pay for them. so, if someone else outbids you, its is worth paying more for by definition! but then the same situation arises for the other bidder... my advice is to stick to a strict maximum which is what you would call a bargain. then, you use something like esnipe to automatically put your bid on at the last minute. that way, noone knows what you are bidding on and if the auction has no other bids, your bid will not atract others (like flies to...). the best thing is that you put it on and then forget about it. of course, you lose the auction but you keep trying until you eventually get it (maybe adjusting your maximum a little if you can't wait long enough).
2. so how do you know what records are worth? you can search past auctions to see what prices things ACTUALLY went for. (why do people get upset when a record goes for more than its "worth"?) but ebay only carries one month of data. this is where popsike come in. these guys keep a history of past record auctions going back years!!!
3. do as to others what they would do unto you. find out about records by searching through past and current auctions of people who compete for the same records as you.
4. search through seller's other auctions. maybe you can save postage.
5. here's a good one (but i'm sure i'm not the only one to have thought of it). suppose you are looking for that rare original by "mulatu". if you find it, then for sure you'll be up against some stiff competition and it will go for a small fortune. but what if the seller misspelt it? then hardly anyone else would find it. UNLESS they were warped enough to actually SEARCH for misspellings (e.g. "mulato" - although this may bring up more than you reckonned for!). desperate times call for desperate measures.

tips for sellers
1. as i say, i've only sold one record but i've been paying attention! of course you want to sell the record for as much as possible and you certainly don't want anyone to get it off you for less than you paid... but you'll never make money on ebay by just selling one item. you have to hedge you bets - some you win some you lose.
2. ok, so you 've got lots of items up for sale. each item is like a little advert for all the rest, so you start to bring in more and more potential bidders.
3. you should have some "loss leaders". think of this as advertising. don't think about the individual record but the whole lot. you put some on real cheap with the risk that they may go for too little (but they may end up surprising you!).
4. put the word out!

psp podcast

forget all this business about cracks and homebrew software for the psp. the firmware upgrades are worth it for the internet browser and the wireless internet radio alone! if you have the 2.60 firmware (or later) go to the browser and type in the following url: then follow the instructions, exit the browser and go to "rss channel" in the network menu and select radio madrid... from now on you can go straight to the rss channel to stream all the shows. you'll soon forget that the psp also plays games quite well.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

google wracking

looking through the stats of my heavyusker website i came across some interesting searches that lead people to my page. the vast majority of searches are relevant (just as well, really) but i had to wonder at the people who were looking for

1. bar graph about the cons of drinking too much beer
2. why do you heavy breath when upset
3. french porno (this person must have trawled through a LOT of porn to get to my page, and then must have been very disappointed!)
4. www.indian (several times!)
5. best hairdressers clapham
6. scrap yards clapham (what is this with clapham?)
7. yugoslavia bons women manager current email contact (at least they were being specific...)
8. please let me listen to baris manco music (ok, google doesn't quite work like that)
9. cryogenics frozen spark plugs does it work
10. jazz beard

i've thought of a new challenge which will hopefully make me as rich and famous as the author of googlewhack. the idea is to find my webpage using the most absurd search string possible. you'll either need to be very cunning (and googlewrack your brains - ouch!) or very patient. a prize to the most ludicrous offering!! (subject to verification in the stats page!)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

podcast with miriam checa

i'm really on a roll now... finally, after literally years of promising miriam that i'd invite her as a guest on my radio show, we've done a show together. ok, it wasn't quite as glamorous a setting as the 5th floor of the círculo de bellas artes but the music was just as good, if not better... here's the tracklist so you can judge for yourselves.

scott bradford - essential horror (probe)
mustafa ökzentwe orkestrasi - dolana dolana
mahmoud ahmed - atawurulega léla
cannonball adderly - j's tune (mercury)
etta jones - almost like being in love
etta james - stormy weather
marco di marco - fontainebleu (ariston)
timo lassy - african rumble (ricky tick)
nathan davis - tragic magic (luv n haight)
marvin gaye - rockin after midnight
crown eights affair - use your body and soul
sugarhill gang - rapper's reprise
context - if i had a band (sonny b records)
the groove merchants - there's got to be someone for me (suemi)
mark ronson featuring alex greenwald - just (bbe)
mephis black soul club - hang em high (sonorama)
louise mccord - better get a move on
the isley brothers - that lady
jackie moore - if (strictly break records)
flowers - for real (resolution records)
lemuria - hunk of heaven (heaven records)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

not so heavy üsker

i'd forgotten all about this photo... this is my eldest son luca (he's now 3 and a half) sporting a t-shirt that was a present from josé ángel (dj jadd).

Monday, March 13, 2006

my studio

i just bought myself some boxes of tricks with loads of knobs to twiddle and lots of flashing lights. i'm not quite sure what they are all for yet but i'm getting there... seriously though, now the music "ducks" out of the way when i talk without me having to do anything and i also avoid "clipping" when i record to an unforgiving digital recorder (not like the good old days of cassettes). then finally i've got a "vinyl touch classic" which can timestretch in realtime to compensate for speeding up / slowing down the turntables. mmmm, interesting!! actually, this last piece of kit i picked up a number of years ago. it seems like the company (mix machines) has gone bust. i never understood why this gadget wasn't more popular: it wasn't too expensive and it works like a treat. just like a dj cd without the inconvenience of having to play cds.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

dial soul

i've just got around to doing another podcast - i'm on a roll... i've even been interviewed in a local paper about the podcast. its in english so you can check it out here! the tracklist this time around is

ofra haza - im nin'ain
gene harris - losalamitos (latinfunklovesong) (bluenote)
howard roberts - dirty old bossa nova (capitol)
sound factory inc - house of the rising sun (drive in)
james reese and the progressions - let's go (it's summertime)
nancy sinatra - the boots are made for walking (rhino)
nanette natal - it's over
grupo jazz marac - sguardo (ariston)
maxence cyrin - jaguar (d/l)
luis arruda paes - upa neguinhio (odeon)
? - aquarius (supreme records)
los hermanos latinos - puerto rico (white)
burnout - homenage (freestyle)
lupo el fantástico - los angelitos negros (cotique)
captain planet - samba radiante (?)
bugs in the attic - sounds like (white)
swell session - speak (hospital records)
paddy roberts - the big deejay (decca 1959)

don't forget the competition!