Happy New Year!! I hope 2008 is your best year yet–both on and off eBay!
- Lynn Recommends: Making 2008 Your Best Year
- Special Announcement: We have chosen dates for Live Boot Camp 2008!
- Feature Article: eBay New Year’s Resolutions
- The Queen’s Update: We want to hear your eBay success stories!
This ezine is published once a week.
January 3, 2008 Volume IV, Issue 1
Well, I was right. I did actually have to touch that Christmas tree. I promised the kids a trip to Disneyland if they would help take down the lights and pack up the ornaments and decorations.
So, at 5 am on Wednesday morning I hear someone tossing ornaments into boxes. I just knew it was Indy and then I heard a sneeze and it was definitely NOT Indy. It was Houston. What? That kid is the last one to help but I guess that Disneyland really motivated him. He had all the ornaments packed up in the boxes and actually back out on the shelves in the garage by 7 am. Amazing!
Then Indy tried to get the lights off–that really is one of the hardest parts. So, that was when I had to touch the tree for the first time. I took off the rest of the lights and my mom and I hauled it out the front door. Not a pretty sight.
Oh well, at least our house is getting back to somewhat normal. But as you know, eBay business can be anything but normal. On Monday evening, the office computer (that has our UPS World ship) finally crashed for the last time. It had been on its last legs for some time but it kept limping along.
Indy and I had to power it down and it NEVER came back on. So with 50 packages to ship and UPS online not working, we didn’t know what to do! I called Mo and asked her if we could come over and use her UPS Worldship and Bless her heart she offered to actually input all of them for us! You gotta love Mo! And Carmen!!!
It is sooo stressful when your main shipping computer doesn’t work. We did actually bite the bullet and ordered a new computer yesterday. So, as I sit here with my eBay world crashing down around us– I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what to write about for this week’s feature article.
Well, it is the new year and I am working on my resolutions, so I decided to share my eBay New Years Resolutions with you all! I also got an awesome post from one of the Queen’s Court members and we will share her success story with you also. Don’t miss this article.
I sold a pair of candlesticks (Waterford) for my friend Terry this week. It was scary because I started them at $9.99. Yikes! You just never know what is going to happen and don’t want to lose friends over things like this. That is why I usually just say “NO!” But she and her husband have done so many nice things for my family that I just had to say “YES.” All turned out well.
Click here to see how well!
What comes around goes around and the good deed with the candlesticks paid off with a HUGE box of cookies that came in the mail from Sally K. (Kimbesa’s Closet). Sally is a member of the Queen’s Court and sent me the nicest thank you letter and most delicious cookies ever. My mom (who has a master’s in-home economics) was extremely impressed and couldn’t stop talking about how they even came wrapped in the wax paper!! Thank you Sally K!
Sally also wanted to share this neat postcard that she is putting into every box she ships. It is a picture of her famous cobbler with the recipe on the back. She had www.modernpostcard.com make them up when they were having a sale (500 for the price of 1000). She thinks that they are really helping her business! What a great idea. Thanks, Sally K!
In the Lynn Recommends section, we still have a very special offer to help you start using the Dralle Boot Camp in a Box method to make your 2008 awesome!!
In the Special Announcement section, we have chosen the dates and location for our only Live eBay Boot Camp of the year. Mark your calendars now and watch for the on-sale date coming up soon. This one will sell out quickly. Especially with the infomercial coming out the weekend of February 2nd.
Remember that PriceMiner‘s Jim Kamnikar is going to give away a 2-year subscription to one of my lucky ezine readers. Click here to enter the drawing. We will choose the winner around February 1st. Good Luck!
And as an ending note, Happy New Year!!! I wish the best for you and your family in this coming year.
Here’s to Successful eBaying!
Check out this email we just got from Sally K. (Kimbesa’s Closet):
When I look over everything I’ve done in my business this year (creeping up on Silver PowerSeller), I can only reiterate: Thanks again for everything you do…You really help me and a lot of people to be more and do more, to achieve a better balance between home and work, between having fun and making money. Words are not enough to express my appreciation!
And that came with the big tin of cookies you saw pictured above!!! Sally K. Rocks!
To make it even easier for you to put the Dralle Method into action, I have come up with a super special payment plan. Just click on either Boot Camp in a Box or Boot Camp in a Box Lite to see how easy it is.
Remember, I am an eBay Certified Service Provider. eBay lets me put their name on all of my products. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I want you to be as successful as I am.
Well, we have finally chosen a date for this year’s ONE and ONLY Live eBay Boot Camp. It will be held (once again) at the amazing La Quinta Resort here in the Palm Springs area.
To get the best room rates for my students (and myself!) it will be held the weekend after Labor Day; Friday through Sunday, September 5th-7th. 2008.
Watch for a special email with your invitation.
This Boot Camp will sell out–especially with the infomercial coming out on February 2nd, so I encourage you to reserve your seat as soon as you can.
I am so excited to have another fun bunch of students meet us here this Fall.
‘My eBay Business New Year’s Resolutions‘
by Lynn A. Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions’
Well, it all started when my dad and I hauled that huge truckload to the dump (ezine volume 3 issue 48.) I started looking around my house/eBay office and realized that I had better make some serious eBay New Year’s Resolutions.
You see, I have lived and worked out of this house for over five years. That is the longest I have ever lived in the same house. With a packrat like me (you know I come by it honestly), I try to move at least every two years so that my accumulations don’t get out of control. Well, guess what? They are out of control!
One of the closets in my master bedroom was completely filled with wrapping paper, gifts I put away, and overflow. Check out this photo:
I have five eBay Business Resolutions this year and here they come:
#1: Clean up the clutter in my house by selling Everything Unnecessary on eBay
The closet is what got me going. I decided to completely clean it out. Not one thing would be left in it when I was done. Why was I keeping gifts to give from five years ago that I had never given? It was crazy. I had boxes full of Crabtree & Evelyn from the shop, items for the kids, my parents, and my friends. It was really fun once I got going.
I started filling boxes with stuff to sell on eBay. My mom wrote up a bunch of it and some of the items are even selling for quite a bit. It was so liberating.
Check out this toy train that I bought at a garage sale five years ago to give to Houston. He is not even into trains anymore–As it is all baseball now! Turns out it was a Starbucks item. I bought it before I even knew how collectible Starbucks items are. How exciting!
Click here to see what it is up to.
Another thing I listed was a Greek or Roman Warrior statue that I was thinking about giving as a gift but never did. It is doing really well on eBay and over 56 people have already looked at it! Cool. Hey by the way, did you see my USC Trojans on New Years Day? It was awesome!
Click here to see what it is up to.
My plan this year is to attack every closet like that first one. I am going to clean them and sell things on eBay until they are empty. Once I am done with the extra closets, I am going to go through every room in my home with a fine-tooth comb. This house is going minimalist this year! Very Eames-era retro…sleek and empty! Wish me luck.
#2: Make Sales and Profit Margin Goals
I love numbers and truly believe you need to analyze them. What better time to do this than at the end of a year. It’s great to make plans and to set goals for the new year.
Hands down, Lynn’s system works!!! I’ve been following it for the past few months but over Christmas kicked it up a notch. (I’ve purchased many of Lynn’s items and the Boot Camp in the Box.) Although I must admit getting those 100 items listed every week sometimes was very difficult.
A couple of things I did to analyze my figures was first to add up all my sales for November and December. You could even look at these figures for the whole year. But I chose not to since I was not using Lynn’s system the whole time.
Figure out all your expenses, make sure you include your help, shipping supplies, all fee’s etc.
Next figure out how many items you sold during the time frame you are looking at.
My figures were very interesting in that I sold approximately 31 items a week. Which is approximately 1/3rd of the 100 items listed.
Next, take your sales minus your expenses to get your profit. Hopefully it’s a nice high number.
Divide this number by the number of items sold to get the cost of profit per item.
Mine was $25. Which is pretty high, but I do sell some expensive items, so I’m sure this is why mine might be higher.
Now the fun part. How much do you want to make a week? $100, $500, $1000.
I personally would like to make $750 a week or more.
So how many items do I need to sell? I need to sell 30 items per week. 30 x $25.00 profit per item equals $750 per week. Giving me a salary of $39K per year.
Based on the information for the past six weeks it really shows that I need to list 100 items per week, approximately 31 of the 100 items will sell and for a total profit of $25.00 per item.
Now I really have the proof that 100 items is my number.
Even though not all my items sold, I’m listing them in the store. I’m assuming with all these not sold items going into the store, it should be easy to make even more money. But I’ll have to look at the end of 2008 to test my theory!
This obviously is going to be different for different people. But I just wanted to share. So many people want to know if it’s possible to do this full time and the answer is a resounding yes. We all want to be like Lynn and sell as much as she does! I know I’m on my way, thanks to her.”
No, Thanks to Dawn for sharing how she analyzed her business and is setting goals!!
Here is my plan for 2008: I sold $117,877 on eBay in 2007. I want to sell $200,000 on eBay in 2008. I want to do about 1/2 in higher-margin (80% to 90% margins) unique one-of-a-kind items and 1/2 in lower margin (30 to 50% margins) brand new goods. What is your plan?
#3: Clean up Slow Selling Merchandise
This is really funny. I was looking around my eBay rec room and decided to start clearing out slow-selling merchandise as a goal for 2008. I know where it is and about how long it has been there–especially since we implemented Mo’s system about 1 1/2 years ago. If you have the shipping DVD, you have seen the letters and dates on each shelf.
So, if there is no letter or date on a shelf–I know it has been in my eBay store for about two years. One of the items I fixated on was this set of 12 really neat plastic plates with cups that fit into the center. Very mid-century minimalist (like my house is going to be).
They were on the shelf near the ceiling above my treadmill. I said to myself, “That will be one of the first things to go.” Too bad because I really thought they were neat. Guess what? I wake up the next morning and all three store auctions have sold!!!
Check out this auction for four of the dinner sets.
And, the bidder has even paid for them all! These three store items were listed in my store on February 1, 2005–almost 3 years ago!! You just never know. So it cost me 35 months at 6 cents each ($2.10) plus a selling fee of 99 cents. Grand total per set is $3.09. I paid $5.00 for all of the sets. $14.27 in total cost for $29.97 in sales. Still a 52.3% gross margin. I think most retail stores would be extremely happy with that. I know I was.
So, when you or I do decide to take slow-selling merchandise out of our eBay stores, we need to do it on a case-by-case basis and take a little time before hitting those “end auction buttons.” But, not too much time, because time is money!!
#4: Look for more flatware and dinnerware
This year I am going to find and SELL more dinnerware and flatware. These are the items that I can list faster and make the most money on.
To do this:
A. I will ASK at every garage and estate sale if they have dinnerware or flatware sets that I have not seen.
B. I will stop into my local thrift stores at least THREE times per week and start asking the managers to call me when dinnerware and flatware sets come in.
C. I will post wanted to buy ads on www.CraigsList.org and try another ad in the Antique Trader.
Check out these Pfaltzgraff plates that I paid 50 cents each for that sold for over my $9.99 asking price. I know, I know, I swore off Pfaltzgraff but I thought this pattern was really neat and I still hear Mo’s voice in my head.
Visit this auction here.
I challenge you to pick one category that is working extremely well for you and write down strategies to find more merchandise.
#5: Have fun
Last but definitely not least, as Sally K said so perfectly…”You really help me….to achieve a better balance between home and work, and between having fun and making money!” I love her quote.
I am going to have more fun (than I already do) this year. I am actually going to go on two vacations and NOT take my computer. I tried this once last year and it was pretty amazing.
I went scuba diving on Catalina Island with Peter for three days and did not bring my laptop. I vow to do that at least twice this year. Maybe even for an entire week. I don’t know–that last sentence is making me a little nervous. So, I will leave you with this….
I wish all the best for you and your family this year. I wish all the best for you and your eBay business this year. Make eBay resolutions that make sense for you and your family and make this your best year ever both on and off eBay!!!
Happy New Year!!!
Here’s to a very successful 2008 on eBay and off!
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We are looking for your eBay success stories to share with our ezine readers and possibly make it into a book of our reader’s best eBay stories.
A big thanks to everyone who has already submitted a story! We are looking for more great stories of your eBay adventures. We know there are many great tales out there, so please submit your story along the lines of the stories from the 100 Best Books and a great side story with photos will help. If we use your story, you will receive a $35 merchandise credit on my website and you will have your story featured–along with your user ID–in my ezine! It may also eventually end up in a published book!
By the way, when I mention my ezine readers’ user IDs with links to their auctions–it actually helps their sales! Amazing how that works. Click here for the guidelines for submitting your stories.
eBay PowerSeller and third-generation antique dealer, Lynn Dralle, is the creator of Boot Camp in a Box, the home-study course where you can learn to implement the Dralle Method to maximize your eBay profits.
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