Saturday, September 20, 2008

eBay Descriptions


I'm fairly well set with my pince-nez collection but every few days I peruse the eBay listings for interesting items. You never know when you'll stumble across a unique item or great buy. Now that I've acquired some expertise with pince-nez, I pay careful attention to the seller's descriptions of the eyewear. I am not looking down on these people. A year ago, my knowledge was very limited in this esoteric field. I didn't know an Oxford from a hoop spring.

Many sellers aren't even aware of the term pince-nez. This isn't a surprise to me as many antique dealers are not familiar with this eyewear. Here in Fremont, California we have a row of antique dealers in the Niles District. At several stores I asked the owners if they had any pince-nez in stock. Not one dealer knew what I meant! It is no surprise that you'll often find pince-nez not properly labeled as such on eBay.

Earlier this week I ran across an eBay listing which perpetuates a myth harmful to the purpose of this blog. In relevant part it reads "Usually there was a chain that served to hook around the ear and prevent the spectacles from crashing to the floor when they inevitably fell off."* I take offense by the word inevitably. There is nothing inevitable about pince-nez falling off one's face, provided they are a proper fit. Let me assure you that you do not need to wear an ear loop (chain) if you want to wear pince-nez.

I've seen many descriptions wherein the seller describes the pince-nez as sized for a child or lady. These are usually incorrect. These sellers do not realize that pince-nez are considerably smaller in size than spectacles.

Also, I've noticed many sellers copying text from Wikipedia and some other well-known eyewear sites. Since the information on pince-nez is very limited, it is easy to attribute the source.

Even if you are just browsing, it is a lot of fun to look at eBay listings.
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*Technically speaking, pince-nez are eyeglasses and not spectacles.

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