Quite a few of you have been having problems viewing the photos in my ezine. Just remember there is always that link at the top that says
“If you are unable to view this email in your mail reader,
you can read it here.
If you click on that link, you will be taken to my website and all the photos should show up just fine.
Happy July and Happy Canada Day! We are back from our travels for a while. At least until next week when I head out to Chicago for eBay on Location.
- Lynn Recommends: Dinnerware eBook & Shipping eReport
- Special Announcement: 3 Seats Left for Live Boot Camp
- Feature Article: Product Sourcing on craigslist
This ezine is published every two weeks.
July 1, 2010 Volume VI, Issue 12
Another crazy two weeks. Planes, trains, and automobiles! Indy and I drove four hours to Las Vegas in my SUV and then flew to Omaha on June 19th to meet my dad for Houston’s Slumpbuster baseball tournament. We arrived two hours before my dad, so we picked up our rental car and hit Goodwill! Didn’t find much other than a nutcracker and two folding chairs to use at the tournament.
Then we headed back to the airport to pick up my dad and drive to South Dakota. I have never been to this part of the Midwest before and it was a trip! One-lane highways, cornfields, and no big cities.
My dad was born in Gayville, SD, and worked and lived on his parent’s farm until he was twelve years old. He had not been back there since they left 65 years ago. It was such a treat for me and Indy to experience it with him.
Here is a photo of my dad and Indy in front of the sign for his city. Check out that population! Only 418. My dad had twelve brothers and sisters, so when his family moved out the population fell by fifteen!
While I was in South Dakota I got an offer on two more of the soaps on a rope. Can you believe it? Check them out here. They sold for more out of my store than the one did at auction. Unbelievable! (Don’t forget to check the bathroom when at estate sales.)
See this listing here.
Back in South Dakota, my dad’s family farm buildings had been torn down but we still found the land and were able to walk the fields. It was pretty cool. Here are my dad and Indy on the land.
After South Dakota, we drove back to Omaha, NE to meet up with Houston and his baseball team. Unfortunately, we were there for terrible thunder, lightning, and rainstorms. The boys only got to play two games.
They won the games with a score of 10 to 0 and 9 to 0, so that record gave them 2nd place out of 49 teams. The rest of the tournament was canceled. It was pretty depressing for the boys to have driven 3,000 miles round trip and only play two games.
Most of the team had even gotten Mohawks. Yikes! At least their hair will grow back out and they have the memory of attending a few of the College World Series games.
Here is the team with their haircuts.
On our last day in Omaha, I stumbled across a brilliant thrift store. I ended up spending $100 and got some great items and some awesome clothes for Indy.
This case full of vintage handmade doll clothes was $9.98.
I can’t wait to see how they sell when I get them all listed individually.
This bag of shiny sparkly plastic fruit was $2.98.
Once again I will break it all out and list them individually.
I showed this bag at the eBay Radio Party in Las Vegas when I did my presentation and a nice man came up after and said, “Why in the world would you buy fruit”? And I said, “because people collect it.” He thought about it for a moment and said, “You know my wife collects fruit but she buys it at garage sales, she would never buy it on eBay.” Well, guess what? Lots of people DO buy it on eBay! Wish me luck with my $2.98 investment.
My last and biggest investment was the $60.00 I spent on costume brooches. I don’t think that there is anything really antique in this bunch but I got about 40 pieces (quite a few are signed) and that means I only paid $1.50 each. I will start them all at $9.99 each and should do quite well with the bunch.
Here is one of the brooches that I have up for auction.
It is a vintage cat with missing rhinestones.
Thanks to Kathy Flood and her awesome jewelry teleseminar for getting me motivated. That 90-minute recorded teleseminar is still available for purchase and instant download here.
Notice how all the items I bought were small and non-breakable. When you are traveling this summer, look for these types of things to bring back home with you.
Many of you have asked about the Dinnerware Shipping eReport. It is now available for pre-purchase. You can learn more about it in the Lynn Recommends section. It is nearly finished and the download will be available on July 12th!
After Omaha, Indy and I flew to Las Vegas where I was fortunate to be asked to speak at the eBay Radio Party. It was fun seeing so many Queen’s Court members and meeting some of you for the first time.
Here we are at a round table luncheon before my presentation.
My presentation was about product sourcing and positioning. The research I did for craigslist product sourcing and how to position those items was very interesting so I decided to write this week’s ezine article about sourcing items to sell on eBay from craigslist. Don’t miss it! It is a great resource for those of you who don’t like to get up early and hit the garage sales.
After Las Vegas and the awesome eBay Radio Party, we returned to Palm Desert for ONLY twelve hours to find that Houston was needed in Huntington Beach for another baseball tournament. Back into the SUV, we jumped.
Finally, on Sunday evening we were back home after traveling since June 18th. Ten days of planes, trains, and automobiles (We saw trains all over Iowa and Nebraska, but we never got on one. We did get stuck waiting for quite a few!).
Now, I am home for a whole five days until I leave for eBay on Location in Chicago. Hope to see a lot of you there! It has been one crazy summer!
LIVE BOOT CAMP is filling up, we have ONLY THREE SEATS LEFT for 2010. If you are considering joining us, we recommend that you reserve your spot soon. This one will sell out. Here is a link to read more. We hope to see you there.
Lynn Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions,’
Creator of the best-selling eBay Boot Camp in a Box.
You can ship your dinnerware
sales safely and securely!
When I was finishing up the Dinnerware Success eBook, I got emails from a lot of you saying that you didn’t know how to ship dinnerware and that was a major reason keeping you from selling it.
Learn how to pack to satisfy even
the stringent requirements of UPS.
Here is one of those emails:
I am thinking of purchasing the eBook. Truthfully the only thing holding me back from dinnerware is my fear of shipping breakable items like this. I have a whole dinnerware set ready to list and think your book would help me identify it and know how to list it- but every time I look at it- I see broken plates and emails from buyers complaining that the pieces are broken or chipped.
Do you explain how to ship dinnerware in the book or can you tell me how you do it so you don’t end up with broken pieces?
Thanks much- LOVE your newsletter. My business has quadrupled since I started receiving your newsletter and implementing your tips.
When I read these I realized that I needed to help you with the specific shipping challenges of shipping dinnerware–from one piece to forty-five. Or hopefully more! In this great companion to the Dinnerware Success eBook, I share the knowledge you need to give you the confidence to ship this valuable and fragile merchandise. We are putting the finishing touches on this eReport and it will be ready to release on July 12th. FINALLY!
Click here to pre-purchase this eReport at the low introductory price.
Luckily, when I started to write the Dinnerware Shipping eReport, my friend Lori called and said, “Lynn, HELP! I have a dinnerware set to ship and I need your help.” I said, “OK, as long as you let me film it.” What a great friend, she said yes. That video has become part of the teaching in the eReport.
The Shipping eReport will start out by covering the basics: The shipping materials you should have on hand, what you should pay for them, what you should charge for shipping, handling, and insurance. Then we will teach how to ship single pieces, serving pieces, and entire sets. Here is the proposed Table of Contents.
- Common Materials and What You Should Pay
- To Ship Internationally or Not
- Which Carrier to Use
- What to Charge for s/h/i
- How to Pack a Single Piece
- How to Pack a Serving Piece
- How to Ship an Entire Set
The eReport comes like the Dinnerware eBook as a downloadable PDF including text, photos, and over fifteen minutes of online video. It is a great resource and will help take the mystery out of shipping dinnerware!
Don’t pass up this very lucrative category!
Click here to pre-purchase it. The price will go up when the downloadable report is released on July 12th.
P.S. This could be just what you need to give yourself the confidence to expand your eBay business into this profitable category.
P.P.S. Get it here before the price goes up.
Countdown to Live Boot Camp
56 days left until we kick it off!
3 Seats Left!
There is a two-part payment plan
Here is your link to read more.
(Boot Camp in a Box Owners and past attendees,
email me to get your exclusive ordering page.)
‘Product Sourcing on craigslist!‘
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
Over the cold winter months, I hear from a lot of you that there are no garage sales, there are no estates sales, and the thrift stores’ prices are too high! Now that it is summer, I can totally sympathize with you. Here in the desert, when the temperatures soar up to 120, there are not many garage and estate sales either.
craigslist.org is our answer! I got to do some fun research buying on craigslist for my presentation at the eBay Radio Party in Las Vegas last Thursday.
I am going to share my tips and tricks for sourcing on Craigslist.org with you here.
1. Search the craigslist.org website or post your own wanted ad
First you must pick your city. As you can see in this screenshot, I have chosen my city as Palm Springs. See the arrow on the right that shows where you can click on your city.
On craigslist there are two ways to search (by keywords or by category) in addition to posting a “wanted ad.”
To search by keywords, just type in some of your favorite “buzz” words.
See the arrow on the left-hand side of the image that shows the blank search box.
Some of my favorite “buzz” words are: China, Flatware, Sterling, Collectibles, Dinnerware, Books, Estate, Lots, Closeouts, Serving Pieces.
For my craigslist experiment, I scored when I typed in Sterling and China. This ad is what returned from that search and really intrigued me.
There were a lot of photos posted and it looked like my kind of stuff!
To search by category, just click on the category that you are interested in and peruse the advertisements. I like the antiques, collectibles, jewelry, and garage sales categories.
See the arrow in the center of the image that shows the categories.
You can also place merchandise wanted ads on craigslist.org.
By the way, It is FREE to post these ads! Just click on the link in the upper left-hand corner that says “post to classifieds”. Then on the next page, click on the “item wanted” link and post away.
2. craigslist protocol
Now we get to the tricky part, the protocol. I always call or email first to get more information. There is nothing worse than a wasted trip, when you get there all they have is “alotta nada.” My mom and I say that quite a bit when out yard saling. It means a lot of nothing. Nada is “nothing” in Spanish and when you say it with a lotta (for a lot of) in front it rhymes and is a fun thing to say when you get back to the car and are discouraged!
Once you get the seller on the phone or email them, ask a lot of questions. I ask prices, patterns, conditions, number of pieces available, etc.
From the craigslist advertisement above, I called to ask what pattern of Lenox were they selling, the condition, and how much they were asking for the set. I also inquired about the sterling flatware set (that is what I really wanted) but he was asking $1,500. I ran the numbers and there was no way I could make anything on that.
He told me that he wanted between $300 and $500 for the Lenox set. It was a service for 8 and the pattern was Laurent. He also told me that there were quite a few serving pieces (as I could see in the photos).
Laurent is a very good classic pattern! I quickly checked my favorite dinnerware replacement site and the dinner plate listed for $49.99. I made an appointment to see the items that afternoon.
Here is a photo of the Lenox that I purchased for $400.
Now here is the most valuable lesson that I want you to take away from this article. NEVER GO ALONE. I am going to repeat this. NEVER GO ALONE.
I made the mistake of going alone that day in May and I knew the entire time I was driving there that I should never have done this. It is stupid. You should either take someone with you or meet in a public place. Period.
3. craigslist negotiations
In any negotiation, I always let the seller name the first price. It is their merchandise and they should know at what price they are willing to sell.
At that same house, there was a table of merchandise that looked really neat. It was the kind of stuff that my grandma would have carried in her antique store.
I asked how much. The seller told me that he had done his research and he wanted $400. No way, I thought in my head.
My second tip for Craiglist negotiations is to have done YOUR research. I was able to research the Lenox prior to arriving and knew that based on the replacement prices I would do just fine with the set within that $300 to $500 range.
I wasn’t able to do any research on that wonderful table full of antique merchandise that was presented to me, but I was able to use one of my grandma’s tried and true tricks.
COUNT THE ITEMS.
I pretended to be thinking and while I was doing that I just counted the items. Hmmm, 40 items on the table. There were some great antique maker’s marks on that table. I knew that if I paid an average of $5 each, I would be fine. Even if I just started each auction at $9.99 and they all sold, I would double my money.
I countered at $200 and he agreed. Well, I had already spent $400 on a dish set and the seller did not want the public walking through his aunt’s house. It was a done deal!
4. craigslist sales strategies
Since you typically pay more for items from craigslist (because these people are Internet savvy and have probably done some research) I suggest that you list your items at higher starting prices at auction to try and cover your initial investment.
Here are my Auction examples from this “experiment.”
Of the $600 I spent that day, only four things were sold at Auction. But don’t worry. It is all going to turn out just fine in the end. Here are the four items that sold at auctions.
Flow Blue Cup and Saucer Set. I started this at $49.99–quite a high starting price for me. Click here to see what it sold for.
Iris Staffordshire Antique Pitcher. I started this at $49.99 and was really happy when it sold for a lot! Click here to see the listing.
Lenox Cabbage Large Serving Bowl. I started this at $49.99 and click here to see what it sold for. Click here for the listing.
Handpainted Roses Cake Plate. I started this at $24.99. This listing is here.
If your items don’t sell at auction, raise the price and wait for the right buyer! I do this because my craigslist finds are typically higher quality items.
5. My Results from my craigslist Experiment
I quickly raised the prices and moved every item into my eBay store. Very quickly, I sold these items:
Lenox Gold Cabbage Bowl. I had eight of these and they were originally listed at auction for $9.99 each. In my eBay store, I listed these at $19.99 each and within a week had an offer at $13.50 each. Sold! $108.00 towards my initial investment. Awesome!
Here is what those looked like and more info from the listing.
Then I sold this Lenox tray for my asking price. Higher than the $9.99 I had it listed for at auction. See the eBay page here.
You have got to love eBay stores! In any event, since I did this presentation for eBay Radio (last Thursday) I have sold a vase for $55.00 (that was listed at $69.99 OBO), another vase for $24.99, and a creamer and sugar (today!) for $19.99 each.
With the initial auctions and eBay store sales, I have recovered $476.47 within a few weeks from my initial $600 investment. This should be your goal. Cover that initial investment right away and then wait for the rest to sell from your eBay store.
Remember that while your investment is being covered, you will be selling older eBay store items. It is an awesome way to do business. Keep adding merchandise and rely on the older stuff to add the profit.
Bottom line, I sold $476.47 right away at an auction and from my eBay store…and in my eBay store, I have another $2,702.80 listed at full price with OBO (or best offer). If I sell it all at the listed price, I will have sold $3,194.27 from that $600 investment. That is a 5.3 X return on my investment.
Awesome! Much better than the stock market or gambling in Vegas! When I revealed these numbers in Las Vegas at the eBay radio party, Griff cheered. I said “Thanks Griff!” and he said, “I love it when you all make money.” He is awesome!
Here’s to eBay and your awesome sales this summer!
Visit my eBay Store.
Visit my eBay auctions.
For more great eBay tips and stories, visit my website at:
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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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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.