Well, the year is flying by already and here we are in the middle of January! Yikes.
- Lynn Recommends: Live Boot Camp
- Special Announcement: USPS Rate Changes & eBay Deadlines
- Feature Article: Don’t Make the Same Mistakes I Have!
- The Queen’s Update: Requesting more stories from YOU
This ezine is published every two weeks.
January 15, 2009, Volume V, Issue 2
I got the cutest email from my friend Kimberly Wallace in Bellingham after the last ezine.
Happy New Year! I love the article of you and your grandma. I love the pics of her rolling your hair. It made me remember the perfect, tightly rolled curls she had in her hair. You inspire me with these articles, maybe one day I’ll put more than five things on eBay and see what happens.
Congrats on your great sales!
When I read her email it brought back an amazing memory. Thanks Kimberly! Here is my email back to her.
Thanks for the email! Great to hear from you. You know what is so funny and I just realized it–I used to roll my grandmother’s hair for her to get those perfect curls. What goes around comes around.
Happy New Year!
When I emailed Kimberly, what I was talking about was that when my grandma broke her hip and I moved back to Bellingham to take care of her in 1993, I was the one who used to roll her hair! Check out this photo of her perfectly coifed curls.
We have had a long two weeks here in California. I have been super busy but we did have a baseball tournament last weekend that was incredible. It was the biggest tournament that a team Houston has been on has ever won. I was so proud of his team and even Indiana was into it! That is a miracle in itself. She actually watched the games!
The boys won the PGGA tournament in Murrieta, CA, and beat 13 other teams to take home the championship and a $1,050 check towards our Cooperstown, NY trip this summer in August. WOW! Houston said to me, “Mom, I feel like I am finally in the majors because we got paid for our win!” FYI, I will be running some charity auctions at the end of February or the beginning of March to benefit the team. Please watch for those.
To win that tournament, the boys had to go four for four, winning four games on Sunday. Can you even imagine playing two games on Saturday and then four games on Sunday? The boys played twelve hours of Baseball plus six hours of warming up (18 hours total) in just 36 hours. The team did in fact win those four games!!! It was AMAZING.
Houston hit a ball over the fence in the first game for a home run. It looked to me like the ball fell just in front of the fence but when the umpire put his hand in the air and made the go around the sign of the base, I couldn’t believe it! The ball had landed just over the fence! WOW! Do you think I was a proud mom? Just a little bit.
Here is Houston being greeted by his teammates after his first home run (Doesn’t that make you think that there may be more than one?)
In the next game, Houston hit one so far over the center-field fence that there was no doubt that it was a home run. It went about 240 feet! Everyone started calling him H20. Which was pretty funny since his initials are HH, he always has tons of water in his bat bag and he had just hit two home runs.
Here he is running into home base.
And that was not the end of it. In the semi-finals, Houston hit a ball over the left field but it went in between a white pole and a big yellow pole. Everyone thought it was foul but it turned out that the small white pole was the baseline and the ump gave the “go around” sign for Houston to run the bases! I couldn’t believe it. Here he is with his buddy after that final home run. Thank goodness–if there were any more home runs, I would never get this ezine written!
I had been to an estate sale the day before we left for the tournament and had spent $1,000. Yikes! I needed to recoup that quickly, so was frantically trying to list while watching the games. I finally gave up during the semi-final and final games because it was just too exciting and too cold!
Anyway, I had bought four very expensive pieces of Royal Copenhagen for $240 and a HUGE collection of Heath pottery for $500. It is really weird but the photo that my brother used in last week’s ezine of my grandmother in high school was the side photo from story #75 in Money Making Madness that talks about Heath Pottery. Strange! I recommend you re-read that story to refresh your memory about Heath Pottery. It is an awesome brand!
The Royal Copenhagen pieces were the motivation for this week’s feature article called “Don’t make the same mistakes I have.” Don’t miss it.
Luckily, the Heath pieces are doing really well and I successfully finished listing them on Tuesday. I got 111 auctions out of the $500 spent and I have started at $49.99. I should do fine with these.
Check out this beautiful bowl that already has a bid.
It appears that most Heath is done in earth tones so the colored pieces are rare.
There are just 15 seats left for our one and only Live eBay Boot Camp of the year. Read more about it in the Lynn Recommends section.
In the special announcement section, we have some important announcements. Don’t miss this. It has key dates for making changes to your eBay auctions and some info about the USPS proposed rate changes.
Finally, we are bringing back the section where you write in with your major scores! We are looking for more of your stories. Read below to find out how to submit your stories for consideration.
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! If you can believe it, there are only 15 seats left! And five of the nine who are coming are return students. Too much fun!
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 2007 Graduates!
A postal employee friend of mine (Robin) has helped to clarify the changes that will be going into effect on January 18th….
Express Mail & Priority Mail change on January 18th
…there is a new Flat Rate box coming out soon, so there will be four Flat Rate boxes and the Flat Rate envelope to chose from.
As far as First Class, we are still being told next May, up a penny on stamps…but with this economy, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s incorrect. Sorry I don’t know much. Lame, right? Hahaha! They love keeping us in the dark. Happy New Year to you, too, Lynn!
The priority international rates are part of this change, so I will be redoing the USPS International Postal Rate Chart. Get yours here at a great preorder price with free shipping and be ready for the new changes!
Some important eBay dates:
January 15th (Yes that was yesterday): Paper payments as an option (Personal check, money order, or cashier check) must be removed from the item description.
January 20th: The old “My eBay” is going away. According to eBay, only 10% are using the old page and 90% have already migrated to the new “My eBay.”
March 16th to the 31st: Sellers must specify return policy and handling time in their listings.
FYI: I have been working on updating all of my older listings and because I had 8,000 items in Turbo Lister, it completely crashed. Turbo Lister tells me that it is best suited for sellers with 1,000 or fewer items. Bummer! They recommended that I sign up for Blackthorne (which I have), but it costs me $9.00 a month extra! I have not been able to find out how to sort by the date listed in Blackthorne–which was such a great feature in Turbo Lister.
‘Don’t Make the Same Mistakes I Have!‘
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
Let’s face it. We all make mistakes. The one great thing about making mistakes is that you usually learn a valuable lesson from them, especially if they cost you money. And some are more costly than others!
I am currently writing story #5 for my fourth 100 Best book. It is about a mistake I made buying 50+ trading pins at Walt Disney World several years ago.
Mistake Tip #1: Don’t buy in quantity unless you know what you are doing or have done the research.
If I had known anything at all about Walt Disney World trading pins, I wouldn’t have bought so many! I spent almost $500 on them in 2006. They have been selling–slowly but surely–out of my eBay store but that was a large investment to make. The margins weren’t high and it has been a long time to have my money tied up.
Here is one of them.
I am pleasantly surprised to find that only 13 remain in my eBay store. That is great news!
Mistake Tip #2: Look at Signatures Very Carefully.
This tip is what prompted this article. I was at an estate sale last Friday and saw two beautiful Royal Copenhagen Figurines. I love Royal Copenhagen for many reasons but the biggest reason is that my grandmother loved RC. She had a vendor account with the company way back in 1950 and would bring older years of the Christmas plates over from Denmark throughout the years.
The two polar bear figurines were priced at $75 each. Quite a lot to try and make a profit on. But I just couldn’t resist. I also bought two ginger jars from Royal Copenhagen at $45.00 each.
Well, when I got home and started writing them up, it was then that I noticed that 3 out of the 4 pieces were seconds! Seconds are pieces with minor flaws that can’t be sold as first quality, but are sold at a discounted price and marked to indicate their status as seconds.
Here is a picture of an RC second Signature.
A Royal Copenhagen second is marked with a slash line through the three-wavy-lined signature as you can see in the photo above. Sometimes it is harder to see and you can just feel it with your fingernail.
I can’t believe I didn’t check this before spending so much money! I was so mad at myself but decided to get them listed anyway.
Here is one of the Bears. Please read the auction description carefully to see how I made the second quality bear sound much more appealing.
Here is another of the Bears that was not a second.
Here is one of the Ginger Jars that did not sell.
I think it will eventually sell out of my eBay store.
This lesson learned was luckily NOT an expensive one as I actually made some money on the bears. And what was really interesting was that the 2nd quality polar bear sold for more than the 1st quality one. You never know!
Mistake Tip #3: Examine Expensive Items Carefully
While I was at that same estate sale last Friday, I was telling my friends (who run the sale) that I have been buying a lot of damaged items lately (without knowing it). One, in particular, had really made me upset.
As I was leaving one of my favorite thrift stores, I spotted a HUGE figurine that just had to be Lladró. I turned it over and it was signed with NAO Valencia Spain. NAO is a division of Lladró. It was priced at $16.00, which I thought was quite a bit for a thrift store. But I figured a figurine of this size should sell for close to $100.
The auction is here.
I didn’t examine it very closely and once again when I got it home and was writing her up, I noticed that her neck had been broken and repaired.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, I didn’t see that there was a hole and crack on the back of her skirt. As you can or can’t see in this photo, that damage was harder to notice.
I listed her on eBay for a starting bid price of $24.99 and she didn’t sell. I moved her into my eBay store at $39.99 and a nice Canadian lady bought her when I was having my 10% off sale–so she got her for $35.99. The buyer was going to have her professionally repaired.
The moral of this story is: examine items very carefully and/or carry a small pocket black light
with you to shine over items. It will point out the glued and repaired areas very clearly.
Another thing to be aware of is that most antique dealers & estate sale professionals will mark on the price tag if there is damage. Most garage sales and thrift stores don’t do this. So Caveat Emptor…Buyer Beware!
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.