What To Look For When Buying A Clock Or Clock Movement On eBay

I have been buying and selling clocks and clock parts for many years. Here are some pointers I have learned when buying clocks/movements on eBay.


1.)  The seller provides a video of the clock or movement in operation.

2.)  The description states that it has bench tested for 8 or 31 days as applicable.

3.)  The seller states that it does have power to the escape wheel and hammer.

4.)  The seller has good pictures of the front and back pallets. This is so you can see any excessive wear to the pivot holes. You can also see if some wanna be clock repair man has installed Rathburn bushings, soldered around the pivot holes, installed their own idea of a bushing, etc...

5.)  The seller has good clear pictures that let you see if a mainspring may be blown, suspension post is intact, etc..

6.)  The item description lists any issues (i.e. Time train #2 does show wear), does need cleaning, has not been bench tested, etc...

7.)  The seller has good feedback and a reputation for dealing in clocks.


1.)  The only thing in the "Sellers Notes" field is "As is" or "No Returns".

2.)  The seller says it is untested. I have also seen some that state it untested because they have no key. When you pull up thier other items for sale they have 15+ clocks listed. Kind of hard to believe they don't have a key?

3.)  Feedback is important, if they have less than 50 I am cautious (also look at thier feedback as a seller). Any negatives and I will move on.

4.)  Not having any or poor pictures of the movement.

5.)  Statements such as: 

      I know nothing about clocks.

      As Is.

      No returns.

      Pictures are a part of my description.

      I don't have a key to test.

6.)  Someone that has limited experience in selling clocks (check their feedback), how would they know if is missing parts/operates correctly?

7.)  When a seller has a fixed price of $1.99 on a item and want to charge $78.89 for shipping. There is something shady going on.

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