Well, we did it. We pulled off the surprise of the century. Houston, Indy, and I showed up in Bellingham for my dad’s 75th. My Aunt Sandy walked into the party and said, “I read in your ezine that you were NOT going to be here. I am shocked!” Score!
- Lynn Recommends: Please Vote Again!
- Special Announcement: Live Boot Camp only nine seats left!
- Feature Article: Can I Bring You an Ashtray With That Coffee Mug?
- The Queen’s Update: Requesting more stories from YOU
This ezine is published every two weeks.
March 12, 2009, Volume V, Issue 6
Last Wednesday night was our Queen’s Court call, and I was dying to spill the beans about my dad’s 75th. Mo, however, wouldn’t let me–smart girl. On Thursday morning, Houston, Indy, and I were scheduled to fly to Bellingham to surprise my dad. Well, we got to the airport in the morning and due to snow in Bellingham, we were delayed until 4 pm that day.
We finally arrived in Bellingham at 7:30 pm and it was freezing. My mom picked us up and quickly drove us to my sister’s house and when we arrived we put Houston and Indy in a huge box that I had shipped up for the surprise.
My sister called my dad and said in a panic: “The sink you fixed is leaking can you come right over or should I call Uncle Rusty?” My dad was NOT happy. He had just sat down to watch his favorite basketball team (Gonzaga) play a game. He stormed into my sister’s house with a wrench and flashlight in hand. Kristin stopped him and said don’t you want to open this early Birthday present? No way. He was ANGRY.
So, after realizing that the sink was NOT leaking, he came into the living room and saw Indiana sticking out of the box. I have never seen anyone in such SHOCK. It was awesome.
Check out the photo with my dad still holding on tightly to his wrench!
I think he was in such shock because we had bought him a plane ticket to come and visit us as his birthday present. He was scheduled to fly in to see us in just six days. We had a very fun time in Bellingham and the best was yet to come.
Check out my family on the beach in the snow. What crazy weather! Houston said it was his best vacation ever. And you can see he is holding an axe handle that he uses to hit rocks into the ocean. No bat, no problem. Just give him a piece of wood.
There were still more surprises for my dad, and if anyone deserves to be treated well, it is him. My dad’s wife, Sue, and her daughters had planned a surprise birthday party for Saturday night. But before the party on Saturday afternoon, we hauled that big box over to my dad’s house, set it up on the porch and my brother Lee (who had just flown in from LA) got inside. We rang the doorbell and all of us started giggling. My dad comes out and says “Whatever is in that box, I don’t want it.” And then Lee popped out.
The party later that day was awesome! He was truly surprised and about 75 people showed up to help him celebrate.
While I was in Bellingham, I couldn’t help myself and do go out to garage sales with my mom. Unfortunately, the airline we flew charges $30 EACH way for EACH bag. What a rip-off.
I ended up buying a huge box full of Thomas the Tank Engine and Brio track and trains. I was going to ship it back to California and list it from here but then I decided why not list it from Bellingham and pack it up for my mom to ship. I got it listed and then packed for shipping about an hour before my dad’s surprise party. Check it out here! I can’t believe how much it sold for. And I had only paid $40.00. The lady paid immediately and my mom shipped it out for me by parcel post.
Check out the auction here.
The profit from this one purchase almost paid for one of our plane tickets. When we were in Bellingham, I also bought a pair of hiking boots for $5.00. Check them out here.
I couldn’t fit both of them in our ONE piece of luggage, so here is what my purse looked like going through the airport. Apparently, I don’t care too much about what other people think of me! (Just like Grandma – ed.)
After our whirlwind trip to Bellingham, we had another big day this past Saturday as Indiana competed in the Odyssey of the Mind competition. Her team took first in Spontaneous and third Overall. I am so proud of her!
As I was on the Queen’s Court boards today answering identification questions, one member (Reta) asked if ashtrays really sell. I have been doing quite well with them so thought I would talk about which ones sell in this week’s feature article. I also want to revisit coffee mugs since one of our ezine readers had an amazing coffee mug find this week. Don’t miss “Can I Bring You an Ashtray With That Coffee Mug?”
In the Lynn Recommends section, I am asking for your help. One of my favorite students, DivaDawnLV, sent me the nicest email. It was about a contest to pick a favorite mom-run business and she thought I should enter. Please read this section to learn more and place your vote (you can vote every day). I would appreciate it greatly!
In the Special Announcement section, we have an awesome email from Judy/Trudy one of my returning live boot camp students. You will not want to miss out on her find of lamp parts. It was a score that stared her in the face for two years until she took the plunge and got them listed.
Don’t forget that Live Boot Camp is filling up! There are only nine seats left.
Two weeks ago also brought a terrible cold for me. If any of you Queen’s Court members were on the Lisa Suttora call or have listened to it–you will know how bad I sounded.
For those of you who are not members of the Queen’s Court, the 74-minute call with Lisa was amazing (as usual). Lisa is always such an inspiration and knows so much about marketing, product trends, and what is going on in the world of online selling. We do have this audio download available for sale for a short time at a great price. Click here to purchase now.
Finally, we are looking for more of your stories. Read below to find out how to submit your stories for consideration.
Here is that email I got from DivaDawnLV and why I signed up for the contest on StartupNation. Many of you have voted. Thank you! We are up to about 800 votes and would love to see it go higher.
Thank you to everyone who wrote in to tell us that you can vote once a day. So if you have the time, please vote every day! Cast your vote here.
The contest ends March 31st so there isn’t much time left. Thanks!
I’m sure you’ve received this email. I’m just forwarding it to encourage you to sign up for the Top Mom-Run Businesses competition. I think you do a marvelous job of both running your business and being a mom — not to mention being a friend, daughter, sister and all around terrific person. No one can sign you up, you have to do it yourself, so please do! And then let everyone know that you are participating. I can think of “one or two” folks who might vote for you!
Please go here and place your vote. I would really appreciate it! This has been a lot of fun so far.
I just want to tell you the story behind those chandelier parts I recently sold. It was in mid-October of 2007, a month after Live Boot Camp. I was still learning and practicing the yard sale techniques you taught. You may not remember but I had never been to a yard sale before Live Boot Camp and I was a really intimidated and nervous shopper. Anyway, this was a barn sale with really nice things, many overpriced by my estimation. There was a box with these lamp parts…
…as I was picking through, I remembered something I learned at Live Boot Camp about these types of items. I couldn’t remember what it was, but I knew I needed to buy. I asked the seller, “What if I buy all of the pieces?” She said, “How about $50?” and I said, “I don’t think I want to spend that much.” So she said $35 and I said, “Okay.” In my head I believe I said to myself, “SCORE!!“
But I had no idea that these lamp parts would do as well as they did. I also was completely daunted by the whole idea of listing them so they stayed packed in the box for over a year. Your advice on the Queen’s Court was invaluable. Breaking that lot into so many auctions really maximized the final tally. Final Tally total sale of $390.32!!!! Yippee!!!
So basically, you were a part of this whole process from start to finish and I thank you very very much! That’s why I am coming back to Boot Camp this year. I am hoping to fine tune many of the things I practice every day plus learn more!
Thanks again, Lynn! I so appreciate you!
Judy (Trudy) Sales by Trudy
Live Boot Camp is a wonderful and life-changing experience. I can’t wait to see my returning students and meet the new ones in La Quinta next August.
Click here to sign up now and remember we have a great six-part payment plan that is ending soon.
I hope to see you in La Quinta and we (Carmen, Lee, Mo, Indy, Houston, and I) can’t wait to help you change your life and your eBay business for the better!
We hope to see you there!
‘Can I Bring You an Ashtray With That Coffee Mug?‘
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
Before I get started on this week’s feature article, I want to update you on the bride’s basket that I broke out and sold as individual pieces. Here are Houston and Indy holding it.
The tulips sold for $680.39 in 26 separate auctions. Grand total for all the parts was $1,588.28. You can click below to see the price for the frame and the lampshade. I can’t believe how high the lampshade went for! Anyway, it does reinforce my philosophy from two weeks ago. Just let go and get it listed! That is a lot of money!
Here is the frame.
Here is the lampshade.
Now let’s move on to our feature article. This past week, Mo has been forwarding me emails from a gal that found a super rare Starbucks Coffee mug. It was from Minneapolis St. Paul (Mo’s hometown) and it turns out that there were only 50 or so made before it was pulled from the shelves, because of trademark issues.
See the auction here.
Lynn’s (not mine darnit!) coffee mug sold for more than my grandmother’s bride’s basket. Can you believe it? It got me thinking that I need to write about coffee mugs again.
Then on the Queen’s Court, we started discussing ashtrays. Reta posted a question and asked, “Do they really sell?” Yes, they do! Also on the Queen’s Court this past week, were luncheon sets that had a place for a coffee mug and an ashtray. Voila, my feature article was born.
So here are my top three tips for coffee mugs followed by my top three tips for ashtrays.
Here are my top three tips for selling coffee mugs:
1. Look for good brand names
Pretty much anything from Starbucks sells. Even the thermal (thermos) types do really well.
Other great brand names are Fire King, Taylor & Ng, Arabia Finland, Dansk, and other European and U.S. makers
Remember my Fire King mug from Story #49 in MMM? It sold for $36.00! And it had been in my grandmother’s kitchen cupboard for as long as I can remember. We used to drink out of it!
2. Look for great subject matter
With coffee mugs, it seems like the maker or brand name doesn’t seem to matter as much as the subject matter. I was just looking on eBay and a John Wayne Coffee mug sold for $480.00! I want one of those.
Things to watch for: horses, cats, dogs, vacation spots, hotels, advertising, boats, and anything that people collect.
Here is an example of a boating coffee mug that I just sold this week.
3. Buy in bulk and list them all the same week.
Let’s face it. Coffee mugs are cheap. You can usually pick them up for 10 cents to a quarter and they seem to eventually sell for at least $9.99.
And during slow garage sale weeks, the local thrift stores are always fully stocked with coffee mugs. Take your time and go through them.
Then, once you have your pile of mugs, try and list 20-30 during the same week. This way your listing speeds up (since you aren’t changing eBay categories or your internal store categories) and you may sell multiples to one buyer.
Check out these two coffee mugs that just sold out of my eBay store. Same coffee mug series (hotels) but different designs and the same buyer did purchase two (not one)!
Now, here are my top three tips for selling Ashtrays:
1. Look for Hotel, Restaurant and Cruise Line Ashtrays
Check out this ashtray that I sold this week from a cruise line.
Some of the best ashtrays I have sold have been (most likely) stolen from famous hotels and restaurants. I didn’t steal them (of course), but I did buy them at a garage and estate sales.
2. Look for good brand named ashtrays
Most big-name dinnerware makers made ashtrays in their different patterns back in the 1950s to 1980s. Not so much anymore, but these ashtrays can be quite hard to find and very collectible.
Remember that huge set of Heath pottery I bought and sold a few months ago? Well, there were two ashtrays in with that dinnerware and they sold quickly.
A Heath ashtray auction is here.
3. Look for advertising ashtrays
Advertising items sell. Whether they are jugs, vases, coffee mugs or ashtrays–it is usually a good bet to pick them up when you can find them for a reasonable price.
Put advertising in your title and also spell ashtray two ways–ashtray and ashtray.
I searched for some completed auctions on eBay. You won’t believe what some of them sold for!
Check this one out here.
It is from the University of North Dakota School of Mines.
How about this 1960 Green Bay Packers Ashtray Ash Tray?
I hope that this article will help you think outside of the box because people buy the darndest things! And as my Queen’s Court members like to remind me (something my grandmother used to say over and over): “Leave your own tastes outside the door when buying.”
WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?
See Lynn’s past ezines here.
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.
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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.