I had sooooo much fun in Chicago. I think it was my favorite eBay on Location yet. They just keep getting better and better! I hope that you will consider joining us in San Jose in September.
- Lynn Recommends: Dinnerware eBook & Shipping eReport
- Special Announcement: 3 Seats Left for Live Boot Camp & Hotel Room price is going up
- Feature Article: Christmas in July
This ezine is published every two weeks.
July 15, 2010 Volume VI, Issue 13
I flew into Albuquerque before I went to Chicago. I had a blast in Albuquerque for my birthday and then I took a direct flight to Chicago. When I landed, Lynn H, Queen’s Court member extraordinaire, picked me up at the airport. She is such a doll! Check out her auctions at Dazy-Dog62. I was there early to speak at the eBay sellers Chicagoland meet and greet on Thursday night, July 8th.
The founders of the group, Rich and Nila, are so adorable! They invited Lynn H and I out to lunch, so we joined them and had a fantastic time. I got to hear all about their fun river tubing adventure planned for this week.
Here is a picture of the four of us.
Then, Lynn H took me thrift store shopping. I think I love Chicago! I found some interesting items and a great set of silverplate flatware for only $24.99. Here is a listing of some of the spoons.
And here is a listing for the box that (when it sells) will probably pay for the entire set! Lynn H emailed me this morning to tell me that she was watching for the listing to make sure that I had gotten it in my suitcase successfully. She was going to be so mad at me if I didn’t make it home with the wooden storage box!
See the listing here.
After our thrift store shopping, Lynn H (now known as the Duchess of eBay–love it) and I headed over to the Bank for the Chicagoland sellers meeting.
Before I started speaking, the sellers’ group presented me with a birthday cake that was made by Lynn H’s niece. It was amazing.
I seriously almost started crying. This group is an awesome bunch of eBayers!
After I spoke, I got a ride to the hotel. The Chicago Hilton is amazing! It was built in the 1900s as the Ambassador and reminded quite a few of us of The Shining with its long-deserted hallways. What a trip! Literally and figuratively.
Once I checked in and received a complimentary upgrade to a suite, I headed to the nearby Irish restaurant for a nightcap. When I walked into the pub, I ran into quite a few people from the Chicagoland event (including Melinda Jackson TheRivertheRanchandtheBay.com), and Joel (Producer Main Stage). They are awesome! We had such a blast.
Check out this photo of all of us.
From left to right we have an eBayer, Bev England, Andy Chase (Top Seller Account Manager at eBay and eBay_Andy on Twitter), Me, Joel Arnold (Producer Main Stage), Nick Perry (Concurrent Room Producer), Melinda Jackson, and another eBayer. Sorry, couldn’t remember everyone’s names!
So that was my first day in Chicago. What a great experience! The next day I met Griff, Elizabeth, Cindy, Jordan, and Cara (from eBay’s PR group) to run through our on-stage presentation. After our run-through, Griff, Elizabeth, Cindy, and I all went to lunch together. At lunch, something happened that made us all laugh so hard that we were crying. I don’t think it will ever be possible to explain it to anyone so will leave it at this: “mister.”
That night, Elizabeth Summers (BookLovertoo) and her husband Brian took me and Mo’s sister (Anne) to the James Taylor/Carole King Concert. Elizabeth & Brian thank you so much for this incredible experience. Third row. Wow!
Here are the four of us before we headed to our seats.
But I get ahead of myself. When Anne and I got in the cab at the hotel, the cab driver turned around, looked at both of us girls, and said, “How are you fellows doing this evening?” I looked at Anne and said, “Seriously?” We started cracking up and I don’t think I ever stopped laughing the entire time I was in Chicago. I think it is my new favorite city.
As soon as we got out of the cab at the United Center (where the Blackhawks had just won the Stanley cup–Yeah!!!) we told Elizabeth and Brian the story. We were still laughing so hard we were crying so had Elizabeth take a photo of Anne and me in front of the men’s bathroom.
Doesn’t Anne look just like Mo (Maureen)? Then we headed to our seats and as Anne and I followed Elizabeth and Brian down the stairs to the floor we kept saying “this is just getting better and better”! Check out our view from the third row.
After that experience, How could it get any better? Well, it did! The next day, we did our third eBay on Location Top Sellers Forum with Griff moderating. What an awesome experience. Don’t miss San Jose!
Unfortunately, while I was on stage in Chicago I was missing Houston’s 14th birthday. Not to worry, he was well taken care of with my mom, my brother Lee, and Indiana celebrating his birthday at the happiest place on earth…Disneyland.
The Chicago trip was awesome. I got to meet with a lot of eBay executives, amazing Queen’s Court members and awesome eBay sellers. It was all very positive!
Before I had left Palm Desert for Chicago, I locked myself in my office on July 4th and finished my eReport on shipping. It turned out amazingly well. If you want to learn more about it, please read the Lynn Recommends section. Yeah!!! The shipping eReport is done!
And the weirdest thing was that on July 4th while I was writing the eReport, I sold twelve Nikko Christmastime salad plates for $70.00! It made me realize that it can always be “Christmas in July” when you sell on eBay.
Check them out here.
So, I decided to write this week’s feature article on my top three tips for selling Christmas year-round. Don’t miss reading it. Christmas is a very lucrative year-round business!
Kathy Flood sent me this email on July 4th with the winners of her jewelry contest:
Happy 4th of July. I’ve been up for an hour checking and double checking to make sure every person who purchased my book, Warman’s Jewelry 4th Edition, has her/his name included in the drawing. Everyone is represented. After I complete the drawing for the red necklace, I am going to do three runners-up for additional jewelry prizes. Okay, here we go. I’m going to draw while emailing you. All names are in a Trifari box. Hold on…I’m excited…the winner of the red rhinestones necklace and bonus add-on red rhinestone earrings is …
The three runners-up are:
and Carolyn Wright!
Congrats to all of you!
My heart goes out to everyone whose names escaped my clutches. If it’s any consolation, if you bought the book, if you liked it, if you will leave comments or a review at krausebooks.com and amazon.com (the publisher believes reader comments help sales), I’ll give you an insider’s tip on where to find jewelry. Thank you all! Sincerely, Kathy
Congrats to the winners! And speaking of costume jewelry, let’s see how my recent experiment turned out.
If you remember, while I was in Omaha, I spent $60.00 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 didn’t get all 40 of them listed. I only listed 26. Of those 26, two pieces sold for a total of over $20.00. Not bad!
Here is a link to the brooch that sold for the most.
I can’t wait to get the rest listed and the others placed in my eBay store at higher prices with the Best Offer feature. I have found from years of selling jewelry on eBay that most pieces will sell from my eBay store. Not many sell at auction, so I am excited with my results so far!
I must thank 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.
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.
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. It is finished and available for immediate download. FINALLY!
We have already gotten some amazing feedback and pointers from those of you who have already purchased it.
Here is an email from Melissa:
Hi Lynn, Absolutely love the shipping report, so many great tips! Amazing! I am from a small town and this may be too good to be true in your area. But…have you ever thought of checking with a local newspaper for the newsprint paper? The local paper where I grew up, 30 miles from where I live now gives away their end rolls free for the asking. Just a thought, Melissa
And here is another email from Jennifer,
I have been meaning to email you that I think the Dinnerware eBook is just wonderful. I went through it quickly and made notes to take with me to garage sales. I am going to go through it again now that I know how to ship the dinnerware.
I received the shipping eReport today and was just totally immersed in it. (I almost missed a doctor’s appointment). I have gone through it today and watched the videos. It is fantastic. I have really been waiting for this as I have some dinnerware to sell.
Thank you so much for all this great information. I don’t think I would be able to sell dinnerware successfully without it.
Wishing you all the best,
Click here to purchase this amazing eReport.
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 starts 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 teach how to ship single pieces, serving pieces, and entire sets. Here is the Table of Contents.
- Common Materials and What You Should Pay
- Setting Up Your Shipping Area
- To Ship Internationally or Not
- Which Carrier to Use
- What to Charge for Shipping/Handling/Insurance
- 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 an instantly 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 purchase it.
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 and start reading it now!
P.P.P.S. To buy the Dinnerware Success eBook, click here.
Countdown to Live Boot Camp
42 days left until we kick it off!
3 Seats Left!
AND the Hotel will be releasing the room block in about a week.
NOW is the time to sign up and reserve your room at the low rates we have negotiated.
There is STILL a two-part payment plan
‘Christmas in July!’
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
I decided to write my ezine about Christmas in July when those Christmas salad plates sold on July 4th. Seriously, can you think of anything stranger selling on the 4th of July? Then it was even weirder when I was thrift store shopping with Lynn H in Chicago and she mentioned a sale that the Enesco outlet used to have called “Christmas in July.” It was starting to seem like this article was meant to be.
Then, my mom and I walked into one of my favorite thrift stores yesterday and look at the sign that was on the door. No way!
They had the store filled with Christmas items for sale. Probably because they didn’t have very many donations, they decided to pull out their boxed-up holiday items. Whatever the reason, it was all good for me!
Check out this pile of Christmas that I have purchased recently.
Let’s get right into the article. Here are my top 3 tips for selling Christmas year-round…
1. Buy anything Christmas–Even FTD
If it has a Christmas theme and it is reasonably priced you should buy it NOW! Even if the brand is not the best, I still recommend picking it up if the price is right. We were talking on the Queen’s court about FTD items and how they typically do not sell. But one Queen’s Court member Reta (thank you!) mentioned this, “I have had success with FTD Christmas containers, such as a ceramic sleigh and a Santa bowl. I haven’t tried Teleflora.”
Here are some of my favorite categories to look for when out shopping for Christmas merchandise YEAR ROUND.
In dinnerware, look it up and check the pricing on a china replacement website before you buy an entire Christmas set. Lynn H and I found a Holly Libbey set in the Chicago Goodwill, but it was priced too high. The dinner plates were only listed for $9.99 on a replacement site and Goodwill was asking $3.00 each. Pass something like that by.
I found 16 coffee mugs as you can see in the photo above just yesterday at the “Christmas in July” event at my thrift store. I paid $1.00 each and immediately got them listed at auction. Pick up Christmas-themed coffee mugs when priced at less than $1.00 each.
Check out one of the Waechtersbach mugs here.
Be very careful when buying collector’s plates. Many of the people who invested in Christmas and other collector’s plates back in the 1970s looked at these as their retirement. That is why so many are overpriced.
Unless you are looking at rare years in the Bing & Grondahl or Royal Copenhagen Christmas plate series, I wouldn’t pay more than $5.00 per plate. Realistically, you shouldn’t pay more than $1.00 to $2.00 for these items.
In my pile of Christmas stuff that I bought yesterday, I did pick up three Edna Hibel Mom’s day plates. I paid $4.64 each because I know that sometimes these can sell for around $30.00 if they are the right ones. I also figured that the worst thing that could happen would be that I would sell them for $9.99. Still doubling my money in a very short time frame.
Here is the listing for one of those collector plates.
I love to pick up neat Christmas ornaments at good prices when I find them. When I was touring Lynn H’s eBay room in Chicago, I saw that she had scored on large sets of blown glass Walt Disney ornaments. She told me that she would be breaking them out to sell individually. I highly recommend doing this also–sell them singularly. (That doesn’t sound like my advice does it?) Ha Ha!
I did see some neatly boxed sets of Joan Rivers Russian-inspired egg ornaments yesterday. The store had them priced at $28.00 for four in a box. Yikes, $7 each! I passed. Boy, am I glad I did. I just did complete auction research on eBay and that same set sold for $21.50.
Do you remember this Christmas ornament from Ka-Ching? It was signed by Christopher Radko (always a good name). I paid $3.33 for it and it sold for $112.50 on December 19, 2005.
I won’t get into detail for the rest of these categories but wanted to list them to get you thinking…
- Costume Jewelry
- Dept. 56 Villages
- Figural Santa Claus
- Christmas Stockings
Seriously, this list could go on and on. There are so many fun categories within the Christmas genre. Just remember to keep your eyes open and be buying and selling now–before it gets competitive and that leads me right into tip #2…
2. Don’t hold on to it until November–List it now
I get asked this question all the time, “If I have Christmas items (and let’s assume it is July) should I hold on to them until October/November to list?” My answer is always NO! Why would you want to tie up that money for six months?
You are not only tying up your initial investment, but you are tying up the profit that could be reinvested over and over and over again before October/November even rolls around. It is all about turnover and making that money work for you.
Christmas collectors are a VERY serious bunch and they hunt and buy all year round. You will also find that you have less competition from other sellers during the off months. This can help your business tremendously.
Do you remember this Christmas ornament from Money Making Madness story #85?
It was a West German blown glass mouse that was knitting. Remember to look for a signature on that gold fitting at the top of every ornament. This is where you will find the info you need to make good choices. I paid 25 cents for this. It sold for $25.56 on February 15th, 2005. That is 10 months BEFORE Christmas.
Even if your item sells for a little less during the off-season, the future value of that money can far exceed that small differential in profit.
Of course, you should take into consideration the time of year that you are putting it up for auction and then price accordingly. Wow, that brings us to my last tip…How to price during the different seasons.
3. How to Price Christmas During the Different Seasons
If I haven’t paid a lot for my Christmas Items, I will start them at $9.99 in the off-season and let the eBay marketplace take it away.
If it is a more expensive piece and it is the middle of summer (like right now), I may start it higher at auction. Here is an example from that bunch of stuff I just bought. I paid $2.99 for this Pfaltzgraff platter. It was listed on a china replacement website at $35.99 so I started the auction higher than my usual $9.99. Use your own judgment ALWAYS.
Here is the listing on eBay.
If it is the off-season and you have an “in demand” item I recommend starting it at $9.99. If it is October/November, I would start most items at $9.99 since it is a competitive time period.
But expounding on that “use your own judgment always,” my mom had a Steinbach nutcracker that she recently purchased. She found that it listed for quite a bit on a certain website (but remember that doesn’t mean that it has sold for that price). I told her that she should start it at $9.99 and make a quick profit because it would be in demand.
She took my advice and it got twelve bids and I thought it sold for a great price. She was hoping for it to go higher (don’t we all do this ). I just did some completed auction research for her and she got more than the four other ones I found that had sold recently.
I reminded her that now she has 40 times her purchase price to invest in more items and as they say “a bird in hand.” But again, make your own decisions.
See the nutcracker here.
Even if your item doesn’t sell during the off-season at auction, look at the bright side. You have already done all the work in getting it listed and now you can easily get it moved into your eBay store at a much higher fixed price with or Best Offer and let it sit there waiting for the right Christmas buyer.
The more Christmas you can get listed at auction and then in your eBay store NOW, the better your holiday season on eBay will be!
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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.