I hope everything is going great for you on eBay and beyond. Happy Spring! What an exciting time to be selling on eBay because of all the garage, estate and charity sales. I will be at BEA (Book Expo America) in Washington DC this month from May 19th to 21st. I will be doing a traditional autographing at 4:30 pm on May 19th at table 22 and an in-booth autographing in the Midpoint Trade Booth on Saturday, May 20th at 1:00 pm. If any of you are book buyers, authors, publishers, or librarians and will be attending BEA — please come and see me. I would love to meet you!
This e-zine is published twice a month.
May 4, 2006 Volume II, Issue 5
- Don’t Overlook Anything when out Hunting — Stock Up!
- A Needlepoint Belt that sells for over $200
- My new Blog and Podcast
Don’t Overlook Anything when out Hunting & Please Stock Up!
With Spring upon us and dozens if not hundreds, of garage sales to choose from — now it is critical to spend some time and stock up. Don’t quit after your normal two-hour routine — Keep going until the fat lady sings!
On Saturday, April 22nd, we were all packed to leave for a baseball tournament in San Diego. We didn’t have to depart until 11 am. So, I was NOT sleeping in and leisurely packing the car prior to 11 am. Oh NO, I was up very late Friday making sure everything was ready to go and at 6:30 am on Saturday — my mom and I went out the door on our usual hunt. We make no excuses for missing garage sales.
We found quite a few great items that morning and I got back in time to actually photograph some of them before our trip. At 10:50 am the phone rang and it was my mom telling me that my sister had gone into early labor in Bellingham, WA. She wasn’t due until May 6th! All of a sudden we were thrown into a panic. My dad was here visiting and in ten minutes my mom and I decided to fly home to Bellingham to help her and my dad would take the kids to the baseball tournament in San Diego.
What a whirlwind. My sister had a beautiful baby boy on Sunday, April 23rd and we were so glad that we could be there.
Zachary: 6 pounds 9 ounces
Even though we were out of town, it didn’t stop us from hitting garage sales. On Wednesday of that week, there was an incredible charity sale at the Episcopalian Church. We found lamps for my sister’s house, a rug for the baby’s room (see photo below) and 4 huge boxes of eBay items to ship back down to California. I walked around that sale at least four times and made myself look under every table, dig through every box and try and notice things that I had missed the first several times. This is key.
Check out my sister’s nursery with the glider rocker, trellis (on the wall behind the chair), little lamp, and rug that my mom and I bought at garage and charity sales in Bellingham, WA. Amazing what you can find for your own house and we had so much fun decorating!
Back to the charity sale –There was a dinner set there marked $175.00. It had about 50 pieces and was the Stangl Star Flower pattern. It was gorgeous. I asked the ladies running the sale if they would consider taking any less. “No, Honey”, they said, “but if you come back tomorrow, everything will be 1/2 price”. Guess who was first in line tomorrow (Thursday)? Me! I got the set for $87.50 and shipped it home to CA. It is listed now as your read this so checks out my auctions here. I am confident that I will triple my investment (even factoring in the cost of shipping).
Our Saturday morning in Bellingham (while we were welcoming little Zach), also found my mom and I hitting the garage sale circuit. There were over 30 garage sales in our local paper and another 30 or so that weren’t advertised. I think we hit every single one!
The moral of this story and what to remember every Spring is this:
1. Hit every garage sale in your city — even if there are 100 and it takes you 8 hours. Don’t give up — STOCK UP. I like that slogan!
2. Make no excuses for missing garage sales. Even if you are out of town — Every city has sales. Even if you have plans that day — garage sales start early enough that you can usually hit quite a few before your activities.
3. When you find a great charity sale — walk around a lot of times. Look under tables, pick through boxes and be nice to the people running it. Ask a lot of questions and always come back on the 1/2 price day.
4. At a large charity sale, make yourself look at every section. Even if you don’t like to sell jewelry, clothing, toys or electronics — check out every single area. You never know what you will find. On the Christmas table (where I don’t typically look) at this same charity sale in Bellingham, I found a Lladro bell for 50 cents.
5. Even if you can’t be at a sale when it opens, doesn’t mean that there is nothing left. Many times things get overlooked in the flurry. Even if you can’t get there until right at closing time, you should still go to a sale. Sometimes sellers are giving things away and sometimes they put out things that they had forgotten about earlier.
6. At garage sales, if you don’t see what you are looking for, ask politely. At a recent moving sale, I asked if they had any china or flatware. “As a matter of fact we do”, she said, “I just haven’t had time to put out”. She took me inside and I bought a set of Dansk Mesa with a ton of serving pieces for $60. That little question made me over $500.
A Needlepoint Belt that sells for over $200
This is such a great story and really illustrates the points made above. A student from my last e-course, Janet King, told me about a recent find during our teleconference. She had bought a needlepoint belt with sailboats on it at her local thrift store for $1. She spotted it in the belt section where she typically doesn’t look. She knows that sailboat items sell well and with that knowledge, she was able to smoke it out from an area that is often overlooked.
She listed it on eBay with the title “Vintage SAILBOAT America’s Cup Needlepoint Belt”. Janet was smart to put America’s Cup and sailboat in the title. She was also smart to take a risk on a belt. Who would have thought to buy a needlepoint belt? Not me!
While we were on the teleconference the auction was still ongoing and the belt was up to over $60. We discuss it during the telephone conference call. (Watch your email next Tuesday for your chance to get this 90-minute audio full of great, inspiring eBay stories for fr–ee.) Anyway, I was shocked. I was even more shocked when our teleconference ended and I checked on her auction and found that it had sold for $237.50!!
Not in a million years would I ever look for belts at garage, estate sales or in thrift stores. Guess where I head first now? Think outside the box!
My new Blog and Podcast
I am very excited to report that I will be doing a weekly Podcast (about 5-10 minutes of downloadable audio) and updating my blog twice a week. I already have the Podcasts recorded for the month of May and it is so exciting! The Podcasts for this month are stories from my new book, More 100 Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay — Money Making Madness. I will post a new story each week. It is free to listen!
We will send out an email announcement next week telling you where to go to tune in. Please watch for it!
Happy Buying & Selling!
For more great eBay tips and stories, visit my web site at:
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 online auction click here.