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Buying Tips

Here's some information that can come in handy when shopping for an Ericofon.

  • Read a listing carefully. Read between the lines. Ask any questions you may have.

  • Common problems to look out for with Ericofons:

    • Low volume in the receiver. If they can't test the phone, then you will not know until it's too late. With this problem, you will have a difficult time hearing the person you are talking to, and eventually it will quit working all together. The worst thing is, the receiver is permanently glued in and is no easy task to repair, and usually leaves a scar as a result of the repair.

    • Static, and the louder you talk into the phone, the louder it gets. This is the transmitter and is not that difficult to fix, it's just more money. This is sometimes caused by a faulty linecord also, but that too is fixable.

    • Color fade. Some colors are more prone to this than others. Very frequently you will see "beige" or "off white" or "cream" colored phones that are actually faded white phones. If the fade is even over the whole phone, it really isn't noticeable and okay for the most part. You just won't be getting a true color Ericofon.

    • Gasket rot. The rubber gasket around the bottom gets hard and brittle. This is also replaceable.

    • Tiny stress cracks around the base of the phone. These are only cosmetic and rarely go beyond a fraction of an inch (unless you start using the phone as a baseball bat).

    • Cracks in the dial face. These are common and result from over-tightening of the screws.

  • Ringers. What kind of ringer does it have? If the seller says it doesn't ring, that doesn't mean there isn't a ringer in there, it just may need to be re-wired. The only Ericofons that will consistently (about 90% of the time) have the Ericotone (tweeter) ringers are the new case North Electric Ericofons, and about 20% of the old case North Electric Ericofons. If the Ericofon is Swedish made, then it is unlikely to have any ringer, and if it does, it will be the buzzer. There is also the possibility that the ringer is dead. Ask for a picture of the inside of the phone and compare what you see with the ringers section of this site. While you're there, read the section on "why ringers light up" for a quick education on what to expect with this. Also, an aftermarket company may have installed a warbler in the phone if there isn't a factory ringer. If this is okay with you, then so be it. A purist may not like the idea. To know if the phone has an aftermarket warbler, look up the inside of the phone. There should just be 2 white wires going to the receiver. If there are 4 wires, this phone has been fitted with a warbler.

  • Linecords. A factory linecord for an Ericofon is part straight, part coiled. The straight part connects to the phone, and the coiled part is the end that attaches to the wall. I frequently see curled cords on Ericofons that are nothing more than handset cords from something else.

  • Beware of "custom" phones made for this company or that organization. If you are buying the phone purely because you like it, that's fine. If you think you are getting an Ericofon, don't bet on it. Very little of the phone may be actual Ericofon parts. In most cases, only the shell is an Ericofon, the rest is aftermarket parts.

  • "Eureka", "Mercer", "Nick and Nora Candlestick" are some names given to modern knock offs of the Ericofon. These are cheaply made reproductions. They have a TouchTone dial pad in a circle on the bottom of the phone to mimic the rotary dial. These are unrepairable if anything goes wrong.

  • On TouchTone (or pushbutton) phones, beware the hookswitch mechanism! The hookswitch (what hangs up the phone) on this phone is the horseshoe shaped red bar. A design flaw causes the inner workings of this to be very fragile, and when broken is un-repairable (making the phone unusable). The damage usually occurs when the phone is dropped on a hard surface.

  • Model 700 phones were never marketed in North America. If you want to use one here, be prepared to have to re-wire it (instructions are here on the site). Also, even though the Model 700 has push buttons, it is not TouchTone dialing. It's pulse just as a rotary dial would be.

  • An Ericofon weighs 1 pound 2 ounces. With packaging that puts it at around 2 pounds. This phone should ship anywhere in the USA via USPS Priority mail for around $8.00 (not including optional services). When bidding, keep in mind what the seller wants for shipping, and if it's not spelled out, ask. No need for surprises after the auction ends.

  • Be sure to see the page about analyzing auction photos.

  • This is the list as I can think of it right now, I'll post more as it comes to mind.



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