National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

eBay userID

237


Your finest source for outstanding original vintage advertising online

Welcome to our clean and simple Frequently Asked Questions page,
brought to you without the benefit of slow-loading flash website tricks (or much attention to style)

1. Do you sell ads off-eBay?


Soon! The site will be at www.237.com.

2. Do you ship world-wide?


Yes! We have customers from around the world, including, as of January 12th 2002, Antarctica. an eBay auction payment postmarked Antarcticaa neat penguin patch from the bottom of the world, sent by a far-away customer!

3. How much is shipping and handling?


It depends on where you are, what kind of packaging you want and how fast you want it delivered; we offer a variety of shipping solutions to accommodate one of the largest varieties of customers of any eBay seller. It also depends on what is being shipped- ads and prints make up 99% of our items on eBay; the flat-rate prices below are for up to six ads or prints.

For most packages going to the United States of America

We have two flat rate fee shipping and handling options:
$4.00 ships your purchase to a US address, bagged and rolled in a thick tube, via USPS 1st class mail (shipping code A)

$6.50 ships your purchase flat to a US address, bagged with a backing board, in a box with packing paper, via USPS Priority Mail (shipping code B). The green arrow points to the ad in it's sleeve with a backing board- we have the boards made to fit the length of the boxes so they don't move around during shipping.

The backing boards we use are 15.25" x 11.75" and are thick and sturdy- the tape roll sitting on the backing board weighs a full pound. Nothing else is supporting the board except the large volume on the desk at the right.

Please be aware that there are certain conditions (fragility, thickness, etc) that make shipping items flat a requirement, not an option.

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For most packages going to Canada

We have two flat rate fee shipping and handling options:
$4.25 ships your purchase to a Canadian address, bagged and rolled in a thick tube, via air mail (shipping code A)

$6.25 ships your purchase flat, bagged with a backing board, in a padded envelope with packing cardboard, via Airmail (shipping code B).

The backing boards we use are 15.25" x 11.75" and are thick and sturdy- the tape roll sitting on the backing board weighs a full pound. Nothing else is supporting the board except the large volume on the desk at the right.

Please be aware that there are certain conditions (fragility, thickness, etc) that make shipping items flat a requirement, not an option.

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For most packages going to countries other than the US and Canada

We have two flat rate fee shipping and handling options:
$6.25 ships your purchase to an overseas address, bagged and rolled in a thick tube, via air mail (shipping code A)

$12.50 ships your purchase flat, bagged with a backing board, in a padded envelope with packing cardboard, via Airmail (shipping code B).

The backing boards we use are 15.25" x 11.75" and are thick and sturdy- the tape roll sitting on the backing board weighs a full pound. Nothing else is supporting the board except the large volume on the desk at the right.

Please be aware that there are certain conditions (fragility, thickness, etc) that make shipping items flat a requirement, not an option.

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4. What's this I read about getting a "valuable surprise" with my order?

You'll have to wait for your order- it's a surprise.

5. What forms of payment do you accept?

We prefer money orders or other forms of guaranteed funds, or checks, through the mail. Checks may have to clear before shipment. We do take credit cards through the online payment service www.paypal.com.

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6. What is the email address to use with an online payment service?

It's the same email address used to communicate with us- EBAY@237.com .

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7. How do I use the online services to pay for an auction?

After registering with them, log in, click the "Send Cash" button, and follow the directions there! It takes almost no time.

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8. Where do I mail a payment?

The address is

237.com
P.O. Box 6054
Denver, CO 80206

Please make checks and money orders payable to Tom Ostrowski.

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9. Should I always put the eBay item # in my email subject line?

Actually, no one ever asks this, but some should. It's always good practice to put your eBay item # in the subject line of your email message- we have thousands of items going around most of the time, and need that number to get a response to you quickly. We get many email messages each week without that number in subject line, and since we don't know what the person is asking about, there are some very unnecessary delays.

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10. When will you ship my package?

We ship packages within 24 hours of the receipt of funds, unless an unforseen circumstance occurs such as a snow storm, emergency with the kids, etc.

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11. How long will it take for my package to arrive?

To a US address, 1st class mail takes 2-5 days, usually. Priority Mail takes 2-3 days, usually.
To other countries, airmail takes 4-7 days. The post office does not guarantee these times, but we all do our best.

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12. How does your grading system work?

Most collectors and dealers don't grade ads as strictly as they would other paper collectibles such as postage stamps, baseball cards and comic books. Postage stamps are scrutinized with magnifying glasses, while most dealers barely look at the condition of a vintage ad. This is due to vintage advertising's more-recent emergence as a collectible than those other, longer-established paper collectibles- and the resultant lower prices for vintage ads. The collectible difference/comparison between a stamp, baseball card and an ad (all are made of paper, most were discarded, etc) is a discussion for some other place.... Although there are many recognized ads that consistently demand more interest than others, the relative affordability of ads will continue on, encouraging more people to begin collecting. This will likely change over the next twenty years, as more people begin to understand the beauty, desirability and significance of ads. Eventually there will be an established, comprehensive annual price guide, more adherence to a strict grading system, vintage ad conventions and exhibitions, and readily available storage/display materials designed for long-term preservation -things which have transformed many collectible fields already.

We pay attention to grading, owing to the future; we use the following terms for grading ads:

Mint. This condition is exceedingly rare, even for recent ads, and is more of an ideal than anything else. We use it for maybe one out of every 10,000 ads. It indicates a basically flawless piece. When scrutinizing anything, one is bound to find a flaw somewhere, in the paper quality, printing ink coverage, gloss coverage, color registration- something is flawed somewhere on everything if you look long enough. We grade something "Mint" with real reservation, and only if we can't find any kind of flaw after taking a couple of minutes with it.

Near Mint (NM). This condition describes an ad that 'looks perfect', and has only the smallest and subtlest of flaws, which could include very minor stress marks (the marks that result from turning a page, which in this grade can only be seen at certain angles) or very minor printing imperfections. There is no surface wear, tearing, yellowing, staining, pencil/pen marks or creasing. We use this grade sparingly.

Very Fine (VF). This condition is nearly perfect, and allows for only slightly more subtle flaws than Near Mint. Minor stress marks, minor printing imperfections, with no surface wear, staining, tearing, yellowing, pen/pencil marks or creasing. Most people would see nothing wrong with an ad in this grade.

Fine (F). This condition allows for only slightly more flaws than VF. There can be light stress marks barely visible or minor printing imperfections, a corner crease smaller than 1/4" or two slightly less than perfectly sharp corners, or some yellowing at the edges (but not in the image area), possibly one edge tear smaller than 1/4", very faint ink ghosting (the presence of ink on the surface from a facing page, or from the reverse side), some light tanning overall from age. No surface wear, creasing in the image area, staining or pen/pencil marks. An ad in excellent shape, with no color fading. Most of the ads we select to offer on eBay are in this grade or better.

Very Good (VG). This condition allows for more flaws than Fine, but no significant flaws. There can be some stress marks that are visible, some light printer's ink marks, some light ink ghosting, light creasing, a light subscription fold, some light pencil marks, some light surface or edge wear, light surface staining in a small area, edge tears shorter than 1.5", tanning overall but not brittle. This condition can also describe an otherwise NM ad with only one significant flaw such as a strong subscription crease or waterstain. It will look nice in a frame.

Good (G). This condition allows for more flaws than VG. There may be waterstaining with some discoloration, but not over the majority of the ad. There can be pen marks, a strong subscription crease, surface wear, foxing, soiling, ink ghosting, improper trimming into (but not through) a printed border, tears less than 3", edge wear, tanning overall, surface staining, and other flaws that one might expect from an ad that comes from a back cover or has been improperly stored for years. There are a lot of ads out there in this kind of shape. We offer very few ads in this conditon on eBay unless the artist, subject or style is of much higher-than-average interest. This will look like an average 'old ad' (or will be 'authentic', if you're a good salesman). It can also describe an otherwise "Fine" ad with one significant flaw such as a strong subscription crease or waterstain.

Fair (Fr). This condition allows for some serious flaws, and an ad in this shape will challenge your framer. All the flaws of the "Good" condition ad may be present on a "Fair" ad, along with others such as pieces missing, tape repairs, heavy staining and soiling, ragged edges, brittle/flaking paper, crayon marks, holes, etc. Rough shape.

We sometimes combine conditions when an ad does not quite seem to fit into one category ("VG/Fine" indicates an ad that's nicer than VG but might have one too many flaws to be called "Fine". "VG/M" would be a typo, and it's been pointed out that we do have a few typos in our listings at times- sorry about that.)

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13. Who else buys your ads, and what do they do with them?

In our twelve+ years on eBay, we've sold ads to an incredible variety of people all over the world. As one of the most-established and trusted eBay sellers, we get a large number of corporate buyers picking up ads showing their company, ads that they did not save when originally published. Companies buy them for their archives, and sometimes put them on display. During 2001, there were at least six locations around New York City where ads we sold were on public display, including a few in at least three prominent store windows on 5th Avenue at Christmas! In the interest of privacy, we never divulge customer names.

Our other customers include:
a number of museums who've needed unusual materials to accompany exhibitions, or who have presented the ads as the sole subjects of exhibitions,
many police museums who buy Harley Davidson motorcycle ads with photos featuring their own precinct(!),
relatives of ad illustrators, and sometimes the illustrators themselves,
book editors who use the ads to accompany text in books,
musicians featured in their own promotional ads (both obscure and world-famous),
teachers and professors of art,
directors of regional and National foundations specializing in a focused area of study, who buy ads related to that field,
interior decorators looking for a certain 'look' for their clients,
restaurant owners decorating their restaurants and bars,
People speculating on price increases, as ads are still very reasonably priced when compared with other fields of paper-item collecting,
artists who use the ads as part of their own projects,
film and TV producers, who have used ads from us on movie and television show sets as decoration,
and of course, a huge number of vintage advertising collectors looking for something special!

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14. What's so great about ads anyway?

Most ads feature images and designs that were published at one time only, and with very few exceptions, the images never appeared anywhere else! If you like the design, you have to buy the ad to have it. That's just one reason the collecting of ads is so rewarding- you've found something beautiful, and uncommon.

Some of the world's most-prominent artists worked in advertising. The list of renowned painters who also created images specifically for ad work is extensive. Maxfield Parrish, Anne Harriet Fish, J.C. Leyendecker, Robert Lawson, Norman Rockwell, Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Salvador Dali, Rockwell Kent, Alexis Kow, Maud Earl, Leonetto Cappiello, A.M. Cassandre, Achille Mauzan, Marcel Vertes, Rene Vincent, Bob Peak, Robert Williams, Peter Max, George Ham, Bernard Krigstein, Jesse Willcox Smith, Alphonse Mucha, Coles Phillips, Jack Davis, Georges Barbier, Paul Rand, Roger Duvoisin, Ludwig Bemelmans- this list of famous artists in advertising could go on for pages and pages.

There are so many more that are unheralded outside of the industry, creators of beautiful images, who don't have the following of Maxfield Parrish- at this time. But time witnesses the shifting of prominence, and the work of some currently-unknown ad artist from the 1950's will certainly wind up being more highly-considered in another fifty years. What makes that happen is the discovery of the unknown, and in exploring the incredible array of advertising that's been produced over the last 120 years we'll all find a lot to like. We at 237studio continually list items on eBay that feature 'known' and 'unknown' painters, photographers and other illustrators, and we hope you discover something great in our listings.

Sometimes it's not the creator of the image, but what's in the image that's most appealing. We sell promotional ads that record-labels commissioned for their singers and musicians. Again, the images of these musicians in the ads probably never appeared anywhere else. If you want a Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra that few other people have, you need an ad. We sell ads for fire engines that show innovations in fire-fighting from 1930. A fan of the Chrysler Imperial might want an elegant Imperial ad framed on their wall. A grower of Chrysler Imperial roses might want one, too. Some of the most heavily-collected (and most-beautiful) ads are those from the Coca-Cola company; the collecting of these ads is so widespread that there are at least two price-guides specifically for Coke ads (and one just for collecting Coke ads from The National Geographic Magazine)! Everyone wants to design their environment with a style that says something about themselves, and sometimes a beautiful but common, mass-reproduced print isn't personal enough. Not that we don't appreciate or love Munch's The Scream. But the incredible variety of ad subjects and styles opens up an entirely different world.

There's a lot more to say on this; if you're reading this far, thanks very much. Let us know what you think.

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15. Can you sell me a color xerox of that ad?

We never make copies of anything we list for bids on eBay, nor do we sell or give away scans of the items. When someone buys an ad, they agree with us that it has value. We feel that making a copy or scan of the image, and selling or giving away that copy or scan to someone who is not the buyer violates the integrity of the value the buyer places on the item.

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National Center for Missing & Exploited Children