Happy New Year!
Welcome to my first e-zine of the New Year. I have decided to issue my e-zine twice a month instead of every other Tuesday. Things have just gotten too crazy with teaching e-courses, writing new books, and still selling on eBay. This way you will be getting 24 issues each year and it will be a surprise when you see it in your email in-box! I have some great news to share with you and more great tips and tricks so please read on. Thanks for all the great comments you all send to me.
This e-zine is published twice a month.
January 18, 2006 Volume II, Issue 1
- Be careful of the New Email Scam
- The Lucrative World of Lamp Selling—$10 becomes $381—What You Need to Know
- Good News and I Need Your Help!
Be careful of the New Email Scam
It seems like every time I open my email in-box and check my emails there is a new scam. I want to share one of these with you today because it almost tricked me!
It looks like it is coming from eBay and that it is being sent through the eBay message system. Always remember, that the SAFEST AND ONLY way you should respond to an email is to go to the www.ebay.com home page and log in there. Then click on “My messages” or “Items with Questions”. DO NOT click on the yellow button in any email to respond—these can lead you to a fake eBay site that will then ask for your user id and password.
This email had a subject line that said “Question from eBay Member”. It also appeared to come from firstname.lastname@example.org. It looked legit until I realized that the text was very generic and when I tested it by hitting the “Respond Now” yellow button it took me to a site coded in Chinese that asked for my eBay user id and password. SCAM! Be very careful. The scam artists are getting better and better.
Here is what the email said:
“I’m still waiting for the package to arrive. What happened? Please mail me ASAP or I will report you to eBay.”
They are playing on our paranoia about getting bad feedback. The first thing we want to do is answer. When you get an upsetting email like this, take a deep breath and remember to always answer through the eBay website.
Screenshot of the email I received
The Lucrative World of Lamp Selling
I have had such great successes over the years with selling lamps that I wanted to share some tips and tricks with you in this e-zine. Often times we overlook lamps because they are like the white elephant sitting in the corner. They are big and bulky and we don’t even give them a second glance. Well, that needs to change!
I found a tiny green lamp at my favorite thrift store in January of 2005 for 50 cents. I put it on eBay with the title “Art Deco Eames Era California Pottery Green Lamp-Bauer?” and it sold for $53.00. The entire story will be coming out this March in my new book: More 100 Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay-Money-Making Madness.
Here is a photo of that lamp.
Last summer I was at a garage sale and saw two very interesting modern lamps. I thought they were modern because the paper shades were newer. Upon closer inspection, I found out that they were antique vases that had been made into lamps. This was all the rage from the 1920s to the 1950s. People thought that they were being so smart and took beautiful vases, drilled them, and made them into lamps. As I looked at these yellow lamps closer I discovered that they were Japanese cloisonné. Japanese cloisonné is the most expensive type. I quickly bought them for $5 each.
I took them home and immediately threw away the dirty paper shades. There was no reason to save these. Then I had my dad (who was visiting) undo them and we made them back into vases. I took pictures of both as lamps before taking them apart so that the buyer would have the option of requesting all the lamp parts and could have then built them back into lamps.
Of course, the vases still had a hole drilled into each base (and I showed this in a photo—see below), but I knew that I would get more for them as vases than as lamps. It turned out that they were not an exact matched pair so I decided to sell them individually. I sold one vase for $75.56 and the other for $83.00 for a total of $158.56. Quite a nice return on $10! By the way, neither buyer requested the parts to turn them back into lamps.
As a side note, if these had been in perfect condition (without the drilling) they would have sold in the $300 to $400 range. Japanese cloisonné is exquisite and very expensive. Do some research on eBay so that you know what to look for when out shopping for bargains.
Lamp, vase, and hole in the base.
So, let’s get to my great lamp find from last week. This is what prompted me to write this article on lamp selling. My mom and I went out on a Friday and got to a sale in a mobile home park after 10 am. It had started at 9 am and I typically don’t find much in mobile home parks. Boy, could I kick myself for making a hasty generalization like that! Another lady was there and she had already bought almost everything. The place was filled with small, wonderful eBay items.
I said to the son running the estate sale, “Is there anything left in the back bedrooms?” He said, “Yes, we have a pair of Alabaster Lamps”. I know that Alabaster lamps (a type of stone) can sell for big bucks. There is a story about a pair in my book Money-Making Madness coming out in March! I asked “How much?” and he told me “Ten dollars.” Sold! They were white and in pristine condition. Score!
The lamps had old cloth/paper big lampshades on them that made them look dated and dirty. I always throw away these types of shades immediately and just sell the lamps on their own. I say in my listing, “These lamps will look wonderful with the perfect lamp shades”. For one thing, I don’t want to have to ship the bulky shades and for another, the lamps look sleeker without them.
I started my auction at $9.99 with a $149.00 reserve. I know from experience that they go for at least $150.00 I was pleasantly surprised when they sold this week for $381.00. Now that was fun!
- Pairs typically sell the best
- Look for anything space age and mid-century modern—Eames era—always hot!
- Don’t worry if the lamp needs rewiring—just state that clearly in your listing.
- Throw away any dirty cloth lamp shades or shades that detract from the lamps—you don’t want to have to ship them anyway.
- Before throwing away any lampshades make sure that they are not original and a valuable part of the lamp. As an example, some mid-century modern lamps may require that you keep the original shades even if they are dirty. To be safe, you may want to hold on to the shades and only throw them away once the lamps are successfully sold and the buyer does not ask for them.
- Don’t overlook chandeliers or small prism lamps. These can sell for big bucks. I sold a chandelier for $2284 and this is a story in Money Making Madness.
- Always check lamps for signatures. Look on the base, around the neck, and all over the sides. Not many are signed but once in awhile you get lucky.
- Lamps are heavy and bulky to ship—Make sure you charge enough for s/h/i—I usually charge $25 to $50 UPS.
- Check the lamps to see if they were originally vases—If you can sell for more as vases then take them apart again.
- After you have toured a sale, go back again specifically focusing on the ceiling fixtures and table lamps.
- At every sale, ask if they have any lamps for sale.
- Good News and I Need Your Help! I just found out that I have been named an Expert for Working Moms on the www.ClubMom.com site. It is an incredible site that was co-founded by Meredith Vieira of The View. They have 2.5 million registered users and it is so exciting! I will be sharing 25 fun fact-filled articles with them that will be posted on the site—along with my bio and a photo. Please sign up as a member of this incredible site if you are a mom like me!
Also, I am writing like mad to finish More 100 Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay—Money Making Madness in time for a mid-March release date. I have written 25 of the 100 so far—so I am 25% finished. Yipppeeee! My brother and I have come up with a new cover. We have also decided to lower the price from $15.95 to $11.95. We would appreciate hearing any comments. Also, what should go on the back cover? The same grandma, eBay, author story? A new overview? Quotes from famous people? Quotes from my loyal e-zine readers (who may also be famous)? Thanks for taking the time to check it out. I appreciate it!
We are making a few changes to the website in the next few weeks to help us show higher on the search engine pages. Please check it out and let us know what you think. www.TheQueenofAuctions.com Thanks!
Happy Buying & Selling!
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Please contact me with any questions or suggestions for future issues. I would love to hear from you Lynn@TheQueenofAuctions.com
Lynn is an experienced eBay Power Seller, author, and teacher. If you want to know the eBay tips, tricks, and tools that Lynn uses for buying and selling at an online auction click here.