I missed writing the ezine last week. It was very hard to just let it go and work on my new book. But I finally did it!
- Lynn Recommends: We have dates for Live Boot Camp 2009
- Special Announcement: Ezine is going to be twice monthly
- Feature Article: The Stranger/Weirder the Better
- The Queen’s Update: We want to hear your stories
This ezine is published once a week.
November 6, 2008 Volume IV, Issue 42
I hope you had a happy Halloween! My kids started out the day as a masquerade character and a baseball player (now that was a stretch!).
They ended the day and went trick or treating as a flapper and a USC Trojan. They changed their minds during the day at school. Luckily, we have a closet full of costumes that they can rummage through. It is my goal to get that cleaned out and emptied. I am on a major house-cleaning mission.
The thing that got me started on my house-cleaning mission was when my mom moved back to Bellingham last week–she gave me three huge white shelves. I do not have any extra wall space anywhere, so I was racking my brain trying to figure out where I could use them. I finally came up with the brilliant idea to use them as a room divider between my living room and the eBay room. My handyman, Leo Longo, came over on Monday and secured them for me and just as he and his wife were finishing up, the doorbell rang.
You won’t believe what was at the front door! A huge shipment of eBay merchandise. It was crazy. Talk about JIT (Just in Time). Carmen and I were able to get it all put onto the shelves and look at how neat it looks.
It makes a super neat divider and hallway into the eBay room. It is also going to allow me to get my living room back. As soon as I finish this ezine I am going to clean up the living room and move all the eBay items into the eBay room–very exciting!
My house-cleaning mission is going to extend from the costume closet and living room to other rooms also. I have never lived in a house for more than three years (as an adult) and moving every three years is such a great way to clean up and pare down your life. Since we have been here six years, I am going through everything with a fine-tooth comb and selling all sorts of extra stuff on eBay.
I even went through two boxes that I inherited from my grandmother’s antique store this past week. It was a lot of fun. There were some strange things in those boxes! Two of them (in particular) did quite well on eBay this week. They are the reason for my feature article, “The weirder the better”!
Check out this one crazy item that did not sell from that box. I am raising the price and moving it into my eBay store.
Check out this foot here.
By the way, Houston did end up getting his arm (not his foot!) x-rayed last week and it wasn’t broken. What a relief! If you missed what had happened, his arm (right beneath his elbow) was nailed by a pitch from a 6′ 4″ (12-year-old) kid.
In addition to worrying about Houston’s arm, I have been a little worried this past month with my eBay sales. My October was just even with last year, even though I was running a year-to-date 11% increase, so it made me nervous. However, I am happy to report that business is picking up. Just in time for the holidays! So remember list, list, list.
In the Lynn Recommends section, I am announcing the dates for my only Live Boot Camp of 2009. Mark your calendars now. We are taking only 24 students next year and two of the seats are already sold. Also, watch your email inbox for the special invitations that are going out this week.
I report in the Special Announcement section that I will only be writing two ezines a month for a while. Please read that section to learn about the contest we are having to name my new book!
Finally, we are continuing the section where you write in with your major scores! Please read The Queen’s Update section to learn more about submitting your stories.
Many of you have called or emailed to find out when our ONLY Live Boot Camp of 2009 is going to be. We have confirmed our dates and it is going to be Friday, August 28th, Saturday, August 29th, and Sunday, August 30th at the world-famous La Quinta Resort!
By holding it the last weekend in August, we were able to negotiate super great room rates for all you future students and the resort will not be very crowded. We will also be able to get the meeting rooms that we want.
Here are my 2008 Graduates! Not everyone sent in a photo but for those who did it made it easier for Carmen, Jason, Lee, Mo, and I to get to know you all faster!
Don’t you want to see your photo on this board next year? I want to see you in La Quinta. Please watch for a special invitation going out by email this week.
You probably read last week that I won’t be writing a weekly ezine for a while. I will now be doing my ezine every two weeks. I don’t want to say for how long, but quite honestly, I need a break. It is a major production to put this out every week and I need to focus on writing my new book.
I have wanted to start the Fourth 100 Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay since January and by writing the ezine (which usually takes me Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday), it has kept me from writing the book. I was talking to Lee about it and he agreed, it is almost like writing two 100 Best stories each week and I have written 41 ezines so far this year. I could have had the book finished!
So, please bear with us during our “under construction” phase. I will still email you with important information on off weeks and hopefully this won’t be a permanent change! Thanks for understanding.
An update. I have been able to pick the 100 items for the new book and email all the photos to Lee and that was done in just one week! I am so excited about being able to write this book. Thank you!
Also, as we did last time, we are going to have a contest to name this book. It will be The 4th 100 Best Things I have sold on eBay but we need a catchphrase like “Ka-Ching” or…….? Please submit your ideas. The first place will receive $100 in product and 2nd place $50. Email your ideas to Lynn@TheQueenofAuctions.com with the subject line ‘4th 100 Best.’ Good Luck!
It is funny, but last time, our 2nd place choice ended up being the title of the book. Here I am with Stephanie O’Leary at eBay Live in Boston who picked Ka-Ching.
‘The Weirder the Better”
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
My grandmother loved it when I called her weird. She knew it was a private joke between the two of us that meant she was hip and on my wavelength when I was a teenager. I always said to her that if you are weird, you can’t be old, and then she would laugh that great laugh of hers.
Click to watch:
So, because I like weird people and things, it has been a very natural fit for me to sell on eBay. The more unique the item is, the better it seems to sell!
This past Saturday, (before heading to Temecula for yes, yet another baseball tournament), I dragged myself out of the house to attend ten garage sales. I typically try and hit at least ten. I encourage you to pick a magic number for your garage saling days and stick with it until you hit that number. Sticktoitness “Stick to it ness” is something I also learned from my grandmother and it definitely pays off.
The first garage sale I hit wasn’t supposed to start until 9 am but at 8 am the lady had already started putting things out in her driveway. I spotted a pile of bowls that looked interesting and I turned one over. I had never heard of this maker or the artist before.
Here is what that signature looked like.
I asked how much and she said, “How about $3.00 for the pile of six?” I typically don’t buy much dinnerware that isn’t in complete sets but I thought, these are really cute and UNIQUE, so why not?
All of the bowls had polka dot borders and different vegetables in the center. Check out this bowl that has peas as a vegetable. It is already bid up quite high with four days to go!
Check it out here.
Unique = Weird = $$$!
I did some Google research on The Essex Collection, the designer Heather Outlaw Kurgis, and Raul Bernarda Portugal, but came up with my own eBay listings and not much else! All I can tell you is that Replacements.com did not have any of these bowls in stock and apparently it is a very desirable pattern.
This is a good tip to remember, the pattern is usually more important than the maker. Often people collect and buy dishes because they like the pattern–not necessarily the maker.
Since I am working very hard to clean up my life and my house, I brought in two of the boxes that I inherited from my Grandmother’s antique store. Talk about weird stuff! You saw the foot that I found in one of the boxes in my intro! But there were two more very strange items and they sold for quite a bit and that is what motivated me to write this article.
First, was this item.
I pulled this item out of the box from the antique store and couldn’t believe it when I saw a price tag written on masking tape in my grandmother’s handwriting.
It said, “Mouth Harp Holder $6.75.”
I love seeing price tags written in my grandmother’s handwriting. I had to laugh when I saw this one because I think a mouth harp is really a harmonica. We also figured out that you would wear it over your shoulders, put the harmonica in the spring-loaded holder, and then you could also play another instrument like a guitar. Weird!
I couldn’t believe how much this weird harmonica holder sold for on eBay. In the final weeks of closing the antique store, everything was 70% off, and to think that it could have been purchased for $2.03. Happy it was still there to be put in my inheritance box!
And then there was this item. Even more amazing.
Click here to see what it sold for.
This little owl had been in my grandmother’s antique store for probably 30 years. Check out the two price tags I took off of him. One was in her handwriting for $8.75 and the other was my price gun marking it down to $5.00. In the final weeks of closing the antique store, this owl could have been had (at 70% off) for $1.50! I am so glad that no one bought him!
Here are the price tags on my I Sell sheet.
As I was taking photos to list this owl, I noticed that the tree looked like a knife handle, the perch was a prong from a fork and the owl itself was a teaspoon. In my description, I said looks to be made out of silverware. In hindsight, I should have used that in the title. Oh well, live and learn.
You have probably all heard of trench art. This is what soldiers would do when they were bored in the trenches during the war. They would fashion items out of bullets and other artillery. Trench art is very collectible.
I had never heard of silverware art, but as I began to research what the bidders on my owl typically purchased, I saw that silverware art was a very collectible category and often done by Native Americans. Another very unique item that ended up selling for quite a bit! Over 38 times what it could have been purchased for at the antique store. You have got to love eBay.
Remember this, eBay is a wonderful place for selling unique one-of-a-kind items. Unique=Weird=$$$!
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.
If you liked today’s issue, you’ll love this step-by-step course that is guaranteed to be the most complete and enjoyable guide to selling on eBay that MAKES YOU MONEY.
Read all about it here.
The Queen of Auctions also offers articles, teleseminars, how-to books, tracking guides, DVDs, eBay Boot Camp training, and other resources to help entrepreneurs make their eBay business a six-figure sales machine. Click here to learn more.
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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.