Karsten Ping 'Eye 2' red-dot golf iron set, $30.

I know very little about golf, and I don't trust my ability to spot the 'hot' golf stuff people want. What looks really pricey to me often ends up to be relatively worthless. So I do what works - I learn about the golf clubs that I'm most likely to find at a good price, and which lots of eBay buyers are looking for.

One of my ongoing goals in this business is to become familiar with at least something about as many different areas as possible. And when it comes to golf clubs it's the Ping Eyes. They're not too hard to find, you can usually pick them up for cheap and they sell very well on eBay. Of course, there are lots of expensive golf clubs that sell well on eBay, but your chances of stealing them at a yard sale aren't very good.

A guy with a set of expensive, newer clubs often knows just what he has and will price them accordingly. But Ping Eye clubs are a little different, because since they don't really look like anything special, sellers will often let them go for really cheap. Now, let's go over a few of the basics you should be aware of to make life a little easier when you find a set of these beauties.

Check the serial numbers of the clubs. Ping golf clubs have serial numbers that are stamped into the 'hosen' - the part of the club head that the shaft fits into. The first time I sold a set of Ping clubs, people kept e-mailing me asking me what the serial numbers were, and if they were all matching numbers. At that time, I didn't even know about the serial numbers, so I was expecting to find the clubs with consecutively numbered serial numbers. Instead, I discovered that all the clubs in a set have the same serial number.

You may be wondering why this happens, and why people would be concerned about serial numbers, and it has to do with weight. Ping club heads are 'cast,' in that they’re made from molten metal that’s poured into a mold. Although casting is more than adequate for the purpose of making golf club heads, one drawback of the process is that tiny air bubbles are often trapped into the cast head, causing the resulting club head to weigh a bit less than a head without any bubbles. So, to ensure that all the club heads in any given set have the same weight, Ping weighs every head and assembles sets that have the same head weights. That's why people want matched serial numbers!

Although you're likely to encounter any combination of these clubs, you'll often find them in sets. You'll encounter 8-club sets, known as '3-W' because they consist of the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 irons, as well as a pitching wedge (which may actually be considered a 10 iron.) But a complete set of these clubs is known as a '2-S' because it consists of all the aforementioned clubs, plus a 2-iron and a sand wedge (which is easy to spot in the lower photo because it's much shorter than the rest of the clubs.) You should never be afraid of listing single clubs or partial sets, but it doesn't hurt to know what constitutes a complete set.

Now, what's with all the different dot colors? Position a club on the ground in front of you as if you're ready to hit the ball, with the bottom of the club flat against the ground. Now, looking at the club from the front (the side facing the ball,) notice that the club shaft angles away from the ball, back toward you. This angle is known as the club's lie angle, and each of the different Ping Eye colors - red, black, green and orange - all represent different lie angles. Although it's not a common practice, it's not unheard of for unscrupulous sellers to change the color of the dots on a club to match a set, or to actually change all the dot colors in a particular set. Again, this isn't too common but it could happen. Remember that if there's ever a doubt, just contact Ping with the serial number and they can tell you the club's real color.

Beware of replaced club shafts. As one with rather rudimentary knowledge of gold clubs, I love to see those fancy clubs with the high-tech composite shafts because they look so expensive. Contrast that with the almost agricultural look of the Ping Eye's steel shafts, with the little Ping sticker on each one. It's not that your bidders will be too concerned that a set of shafts were replaced, but they will care how those shafts were replaced, because there are many ways to do it wrong. Ideally, your bidders will want to see a bunch of original steel shafts on the clubs they're looking to buy.

I've found that an excess of information in one, tiny area will rarely help you out as much as a nice, general understanding of many different areas. I hope my summary of Ping Eye golf clubs will come in handy. I'm sure any real Ping enthusiast could tell you in painful detail the differences between all these various types of Eye clubs, but all I have to know is that for $30, this set has a great deal of profit built in.

This set of Ping Eye 2 irons sold on eBay for $185.

Photo of Karsten Ping Eye 2 golf irons set