Can you believe that it is July? Where has the year gone? Today is my birthday so I am in the spa at my favorite hotel (The Lodge in Rancho Mirage). I won’t tell you how old I am, but you can find out in the September issue of Good Housekeeping where I actually have to reveal my age. The horror of horrors! (Just kidding.) I am thrilled to be the featured Entrepreneur in the September issue that is on newsstands on August 15th. The magazine goes out to 5 million subscribers and I need your help. Please read more below. There is a prize involved!
I also want to share with you my super-secret tips for surviving the summer months on eBay!
This e-zine is published twice a month.
July 6, 2006 Volume II, Issue 8
- I need your help… Featured Entrepreneur in Good Housekeeping, September 2006
- How do you Survive the Summer Months on eBay?
- Book Signing at Village Books in Bellingham, August 20th
Good Housekeeping–I need your help!
I am the featured Entrepreneur in Good Housekeeping this September. It will be on the newsstands on August 15th. I will be pictured in my office holding my new book and GH will have a link on their website to some selected stories from More 100 Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay–Money Making Madness. (Click here to purchase.) I would appreciate it if you would email me to vote for your favorite story (stories) and tell me why. The two best “tell me why’s” will win a 1⁄2 hour consultation on the phone with me! Thank you.
How do you Survive the Summer Months on eBay?
The summer on eBay can be your slowest and worst month or it can be a great steady stream of income. I have some pointers to help you survive this summer without losing your shirt.
1. If it doesn’t sell the first time out–move it into your store immediately
My normal strategy is to list an item at $9.99 and then drop to $3.99 and try one more time at auction. In the slower and hot summer months, if it doesn’t sell at $9.99, I will not lower the price if it is a quality item. I move it immediately into my store to wait for the right buyer.
I just gave this advice to one of my students, JanetZ, and she emailed me on Tuesday to say that it worked! She had a lovely china set that she had broken out into many separate auctions. Her starting prices were from $19.99 to $49.99. It didn’t sell and she was bummed. So, I told her to just leave the prices and move it into her store. She did and two days later had sold almost the entire set! Now, I can’t promise you results as great as hers, but it is much better to park quality items in your store instead of giving them away for nothing. Remember, in the summer there are not as many people using their computers because they are trying to enjoy the sunshine!
2. Edit things in your store that have not sold
I actually took my own advice and did this last weekend. I had bought a really cute wooden ride-on-pony with the saddle at a charity sale last October. I paid $75.00 for it. I tried it at auction and just couldn’t sell it for enough so I moved it into my store at $199.00.
Well it had sat for eight months in my store and by the way–it was also sitting in my living room. I had had enough! Time to clean house–literally! I started to look at the horse in a new light and decided to try and sell the saddle and blanket separately. Then I could put the wooden horse in my garden as yard art and maybe, just maybe, get back my initial investment.
I am pleased to report that the saddle has been bid up to $52.00 with four days to go. Update- the saddle sold for $91.00. The blanket doesn’t have a bid yet, but I am thrilled to be selling the saddle!
3. Put those things on eBay that you have been avoiding all year
Once again, I took my own advice this week. Back in January of 2005, I had spent $50.00 for a vintage Schwinn Bike. I had delusions of grandeur and thought it was going to sell for thousands of dollars. Not! So, after doing my research, I never even listed it on eBay. It has sat alongside my car in the garage for over a year and a half. I decided to bite the bullet. Even if it didn’t sell for what I paid, at least it would be out of my way! It is on eBay this week and once again, I am thrilled to report that it has been bid up to $56.00 with four days left. Yippeeee!
4. If it is high garage sale season in your area—shop, shop, shop until you drop
This is a no-brainer and I have discussed it a lot. Even if your sales on eBay are not brisk, you can be stocking up for fall and winter when there may not be as many sales in your area of the country. I hope you are all out shopping until you drop.
5. If it is low garage sale season in your area–Don’t give up–There is less competition
This is the flip side to the high garage sale season. Some of us (like me) live in areas that are typically deserted in the summer. You can figure out why–it is 110 degrees outside right now! Anyway, I have found that even though there may only be four garage sales listed in the paper (as opposed to 30 or 40 during high season) there is a lot less competition. I am able to pick up bargains and not have to be fighting my way through the crowds. It is a very stress-free and relaxing time of year for me and I have found some great things this summer.
6. Don’t overlook your local Thrift Stores
I have picked up some great china sets this summer at my local thrift store. I have learned that most of their loyal customers are at the beach. The thrift stores are taking a lot of unannounced markdowns. I picked up one Mikasa set that they had originally priced at $330 last December. You know, a lot of thrift stores are pricing like a high-end retail store. I hope they are getting the point when nothing sells! They need a reality check.
Anyway, that is my two cents worth about the overpricing phenomenon at thrift stores. So, they finally marked the Mikasa set down to $55.00 and I bought it! You can pick up some great buys this summer. Go in on a regular basis. I also found a killer bakelite backgammon set last week for $5. It should sell for close to $200 and I am saving it to use as an example when I teach my three-day eBay strategy seminar in Palm Springs at the end of the month.
7. And Finally a tip from Mo (my assistant)—Wear your sunblock and take lots of naps!
Seriously, we just hope that you are having a very fun and relaxing summer!
Book Signing at Village Books–August 20th!
I will be back up in Bellingham this summer for a book signing at Village Books in Fairhaven. It is Sunday night, August 20th at 5 pm. August is a wonderful time of year in Bellingham and I hope to see a lot of you there! I will be reading from my new Wiley book The Unofficial Guide to Making Money on eBay (click here to purchase) and More 100 Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay–Money Making Madness (click here to purchase). Last year, my book signing was standing room only. Come help us to make this one just as fun!
The Pacific Northwest is beautiful in late summer. Stay tuned for a super special event I will be hosting there.
Happy Buying & Selling!
For more great eBay tips and stories, visit my website 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 an online auction click here.