Well, I survived 10 days with my brother Lee out of the country. He is my tech expert and I think we did OK! But boy are we glad he is back.
- Lynn Recommends: Webinar Download with Lisa Suttora
- Lynn Also Recommends: Stamps.com Never go to the Post Office Again!
- Special Announcement: Lynn on Location (LOL) in Las Vegas
- Feature Article: Has your eBay Business Grown too Large for your Home?
This ezine is published every two weeks.
October 28, 2010 Volume VI, Issue 20
It has actually been quiet around here. No airplane travel and somewhat local baseball and soccer tournaments. With all this free time on my hands, I knew I needed a major project or two.
It made me motivated to re-write my basic eBay course…Six steps to eBay Success. I am about halfway finished and can’t wait to get it all done. It has been a lot of fun to do the research. Here are a few fun facts from the eBay motors section…
eBay reports that a passenger vehicle is sold through the site every 90 seconds. This works out to over 350,000 passenger vehicles sold every year. Now that is a lot of cars. As of September 2010, more than 3.9 million passenger vehicles have been sold on eBay!
In Q2 (the second quarter) of 2010…
- A Ford Mustang sold every 47 minutes
- A Classic car (20 years and older) sold every 5 minutes
- A motorcycle sold every 7 minutes
- A Honda motorcycle sold every 32 minutes
- A Yamaha motorcycle sold every hour
- A Harley Davidson Motorcycle sold every 32 minutes
- An RV or camper sold every 30 minutes
- A boat sold every 22 minutes!
Do you remember this classic car that I sold on eBay for my ex-husband?
He got $1,875.00 for it!
Well, if any of you know me very well, one major project is NEVER enough. So, after watching that amazing clip from Nightline (thank you Queen’s Court members Auntie Suzi & Debbie V for sharing), it has motivated me to make some MAJOR changes with my eBay business!
To watch the Nightline clip, click here.
In fact, I am heading out in a few minutes to drop off a check for my new office space!!! I am totally excited and this is the reason for this week’s feature article, “Has your eBay business grown too large for your home?” Don’t miss it!
Happy Halloween! I can’t believe that it is almost here. I just got an offer on this reindeer costume for a cabbage patch doll. I guess someone wants to dress up their cabbage patch doll for Halloween!
I was asking $29.99 and you won’t believe what I got for it. It was one of the items featured at this year’s Live Boot Camp. With this one sale, it paid for the cabbage patch doll and over 15 outfits!
See the listing here.
By the way, the footage from Live Boot Camp 2010 is finished! Jason says that it is the best EVER. I am duplicating discs this week and we should start shipping out at the end of this week/beginning of next week. So, for all of you who have pre-ordered, please be watching for it.
Speaking of Live Boot Camp, Live Boot Camper Mandy found a Lladró kitty cat on a shelf in my favorite Goodwill. Now I always go to that shelf first. Last week, I found the most darling polar bear on that shelf.
Check it out and see what it sold for here.
The footage for my reality show is in the can. We have ten hours to turn into a 30-minute pilot. It has been a blast. Crazy things we have been filming have been selling for A LOT of money. Seems like things are just flying off of our shelves. Auctions seem to have really picked up.
Check out this Tiki lamp that does NOT work. You won’t believe what it sold for at auction.
See the listing here.
I hope things are picking up for you also. Christmas is just around the corner. (Did I say that out loud?) Get your stores stocked and ready to sell, sell and sell some more.
Thank you to everyone who checked out and bid on the bra that Indy decorated for the Bling My Bra campaign. It sold for a great price!
Here is the listing for our bra.
Bling My Bra is a group of ordinary women getting together nationwide to raise money for breast cancer awareness, education, and research. They have hand-crafted and donated one-of-a-kind art bras to be auctioned on eBay throughout the month of October. All proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, global leader of the breast cancer movement.
New bras are being listed on eBay every day throughout October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Thank you to everyone involved with Bling my Bra! Last year they raised over $3,000 to help fight breast cancer and this year I KNOW that they are going to raise even more. My grandmother was a breast cancer survivor and it is a cause very near and dear to my heart. Please bid on the bras by going to BlingMyBra.com.
LOL (Lynn on Location) will be happening in Las Vegas on Saturday and Sunday, March 12th and 13th 2011 at the Paris Hotel. We are so excited for this live event!!!. The doors are open and seats are for sale. Please read the special announcement section to learn more or click here.
Speaking of LOL, we have fantastic news! Lisa Suttora (eCommerce and trend expert) will be joining us as a featured speaker. I am sooooo excited. Lisa is awesome and joins a great group of speakers already in place!
Lisa hosted a free webinar with me yesterday. Please read the Lynn Recommends section to learn more and watch the video if you missed it.
Also, I don’t know what we did before Stamps.com. It has truly changed and improved our business. Please read the second Lynn Recommends section to learn more.
Lynn Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions,’
Creator of the best-selling eBay Boot Camp in a Box.
Sourcing Products That SELL!
It was amazing and a great way to help you expand and diversify your unique one-of-a-kind inventory.
As Lisa says, “Your product line is the engine of your business. Knowing what products your customers are interested in buying and how to source them is key to your selling success!
Fortunately, you don’t need a crystal ball to tap into the products your buyers want. :)”
Watch the video replay here. But hurry, the video will only be available through 10/30.
During the fr.ee webinar Lisa shared how to get into the Product Sourcing Mindset, tap into Idea Hotspots and find yourself in the enviable position of having an unending supply of products that SELL! In the webinar, she also revealed her 5 top sourcing methods for finding inventory. This was a don’t-miss webinar!
Watch the video replay here if you missed it.
Lisa Suttora is an eCommerce expert, Product Trendologist, and the founder of WhatDoISell.com. Since 2004, Lisa has helped online entrepreneurs master marketing, mindset, and product sourcing skills they need to build unique, thriving businesses in today’s top online marketplaces. A featured speaker at eBay LIVE for four years running, and the host of more than 30 popular eBay Workshops, including the #1 viewed eBay workshop of all time “10 Things No One Has Ever Told You About Starting Your eBay Business” Lisa has worked with entrepreneurs in 7 countries and more than 2500 niche markets to start and run successful online businesses.
Lisa brings a fresh approach to the topic of what to sell and how to sell it online.
Lisa Suttora and me at eBay Live! 2008.
Lisa has offered a super special deal on her Power of Ten product sourcing course to my ezine list ONLY. The bonuses are fantastic! This special offer for my ezine readers ends at midnight on 10/30.
Thank you to Lisa for offering such a wonderful learning tool that will help make you money. It took Lisa 18 months to prepare this course using her 15 years of internet experience–she has poured her heart and soul into it. It reminds me of how much work I put into my Dinnerware eBook. Don’t miss checking this out!
There is a fre.e (yes I did say f.ree) Stamps.com account available for eBay users. In our office, this account allows Carmen to print all our INTERNATIONAL USPS labels (even 1st class International) and also our priority mail postage, media mail, and most domestic so that we can put everything out for the Post Office to pick up. Yes, it is true, we never have to go to the post office. I want YOU to be able to do the same thing!
Here is a pile of our packages out for the mailman.
The Stamps.com program is an even bigger timesaver as eBay will be required the upload tracking numbers. Stamps.com makes it very easy for us to do this.
The fr.ee eBay program allows you to print shipping labels just like Stamp.com’s full paid version of the software. The main difference is how you get the data into the software for the delivery address. The fre.e eBay program requires you to import the package delivery data from your eBay account using their “batch import” process. To do that, your Stamps.com account must be connected to your eBay account. Once that connection is established, importing data is as easy as clicking on the “refresh” button. But other features such as printing domestic labels, printing on envelopes, printing stamps, etc. are turned off.
For sellers who are only selling on eBay, the free eBay program is definitely enough to start. Sign up for this program here.
FYI, Amazon.com finally got smart and now you can print your shipping labels right on Amazon through…drum roll please…Stamps.com. I LOVE THIS FEATURE. It has made Amazon so much easier to use. SIGN UP NOW!
Here are some of the awesome features of the fre.ee eBay service…
All USPS Services at your Fingertips
- All mail classes including Priority®, Express®, First Class®, Media Mail® and International Mail (including First Class Mail International).
- International customs forms integration
- Tracking is available on every package
- Free Delivery Confirmation with Priority Mail®
USPS Shipping Rate Discounts
- 3% – 14% off USPS retail rates for Express Mail® and Priority Mail®
- Up to 8% discount off international rates for Express Mail® and Priority Mail®
- 10% discount on package insurance
- Insure packages up to $2500 in value
Rapid Order Processing
- Retrieve order data directly from eBay
- Batch label processing
- High-speed thermal printer support
- Automatic post-back to eBay
Valuable eCommerce Features
- Hidden postage
- Automatic address correction
- Presets for commonly shipped products
- Return shipping labels for easy customer returns
- Bulk acceptance scans/SCAN forms
Sign up for this program here.
For customers who upgrade to a paid $15.99 per month account, they’ll get all the same features above as well as these additional features:
Import Sales Order Data from Ecommerce Marketplaces
Along with importing sales order data from eBay, the subscription program offers customers the ability to import data from other marketplaces/platforms such as Amazon.com Pro Merchant, Google Checkout, PayPal, and Yahoo! Stores. They also have shopping cart software being added (ZenCart, OSCommerce, Magento, and Xcart).
Import Sales Order via ODBC or XML file formats.
Easily manage and print labels for orders from multiple sources (eCommerce store, ODBC data source, and XML file) – all from a single interface. Retrieve data in various formats including CSV, Excel, Access, SQL database, and Oracle® via an ODBC connection.
Get wide-ranging visibility into how your company is using its Stamps.com account. The Reports Tool collates and organizes all of your important expense and postage-use data into one interface, allowing you to analyze your postage spending habits by mail class, month, or special services expenses. View your expenses and prints in both graphic and tabular formats.
Print Postage on Your Envelopes
Print Postage Stamps
Address Book Integration
Thanks, Eric and Stamps.com. Sign up here for the f.ree basic plan if you aren’t already using this amazing service!
Sign up here for the upgraded plan at $15.95 a month if you use multiple selling platforms or want advanced reporting tools. Stamps.com is also offering an extra $20 in fr.ee postage when you sign up from our link here.
We love Stamps.com! It really saves us time, gas, and the hassle of hauling our packages to the Post Office every day.
LOL — Lynn on Location…Laugh out Loud and Learn with Lynn & her associates at our first ever LOL event. I want to point out that this will be different than a Live Boot Camp where each student gets hand-holding and actual work done. Rather this is an event to network, brainstorm, and learn from the speakers and the attendees.
This very special 2-day event will be held in Las Vegas on March 12th and 13th, 2011 (Saturday and Sunday) at the fantastique Paris Hotel in the Champagne Ballroom! We have negotiated super room rates with Paris for those attending the event.
It will be two jam-packed days of teaching, networking and just plain having eBay fun. I have already gotten confirmation from four very special guest speakers. Kathy Flood, jewelry expert, Mel & Steve Woods, clothing experts and Diva Dawn, organizational expert, will be joining us.
This just in…Now we have confirmation from Lisa Suttora who will be speaking about sourcing new product on a shoestring! Can’t wait!
Many of the usual suspects will be joining me. Carmen, Jason, Mo, Deborah, my brother Lee, Houston, Indy and my mom hope to join us.
We can’t wait to see you all in Vegas!
To learn more, click here.
To purchase your seat at our low introductory offer click here. The price will be going up until it reaches its full published price sometime before LOL.
(Sorry, no Queen’s Court discount or other coupons can be applied to Live Events.)
We want to say a special ‘Thank You’ to the first twelve who sign up for LOL. The first twelve will receive the bonus $397 Gift Bag that is normally reserved for those who attend a Live Boot Camp or buy my Boot Camp in a Box. This amazing bag is filled with lots of goodies that we use on a daily basis in running our eBay business. And this can be yours if you are one of the first twelve.
ONLY 4 (FOUR) GIFT BAGS REMAINING…..Sign up now before the price goes up. If you are one of the first 12, we are going to ship these out to you so that you don’t have to worry about carrying them home from Las Vegas. We want to make this as easy as we can for you!!!
‘Has Your eBay Business Grown too Large for your Home?‘
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
During the twelve years, I have sold on eBay, I have often toyed with the idea of getting my eBay business out of my house! I guess the first time was six years ago when my brother was out visiting and he said, “This is starting to look like Grandma’s.” That scared me. My grandmother NEVER moved her business out of her home and she ran it very successfully for over 50 years.
However, after 50 years it would have probably been impossible to move it. Remember, it took us over two years to liquidate her estate and I still have many more boxes to go through. I think that proves just how impossible it would have been.
Here is a photo of my grandma in her living room sitting on her couch with a bunch of necklaces she had just strung to sell in the shop.
After eight years of living in our Palm Desert house, I began thinking that we needed a change. I like to move primary residences at least every 2 to 3 years. It helps me to stay organized and for some reason, I love moving. I am a Cancer (astrological sign) and supposedly we don’t like to move but I am an anomaly and I really enjoy the process.
Then Auntie Suzi and Debbie V posted a link on the Queen’s Court to the Nightline piece about eBay turning 15 years old. I was impressed with Linda the Lawyer! She took her clothing consignment business from her home to a 7 million dollar a year gross eBay business. I thought to myself if she can do it, so can I.
Yikes! What was I getting myself into? Carmen (my assistant) and Lori (my friend) had both been urging me for some time to move eBay out of my home. And with office/industrial space at an all-time low, now was the time to start shopping around!
I called three different brokers and looked at about 25 different properties with Mo, Carmen, Deborah, and my mom in tow. What a sight that was!
I finally decided on one of the properties last Friday. Here are some of the questions that I hope you ask yourself and decide if a move like this makes sense for you and your business.
1. Is your eBay business taking over your home and your life?
I think one of the first signs is when your dining room and living room look like this. (At least I have always been able to keep the eBay business out of the kitchen!)
When it does get like this and it is always staring you in the face, you really feel like you should always be working. It is not the healthiest way to live.
BTW, when I was thinking about moving the business and really growing it like Linda the Lawyer, I went into the “official” eBay room to brainstorm with Carmen. I asked her to watch the Nightline piece and wondered what she thought. Carmen is really great to brainstorm with.
I said to Carmen, “I don’t EVER want to do consignment as Linda does…it just doesn’t work in 99% of the situations (as my grandmother taught me years ago and has been proven by the demise of all the “I Sold It” franchises). The fact that it is working for Linda is an exception (or an anomaly like me & my moving fetish). I did some research on Linda’s business and her average sales price is $63. My average sales price is about $16. That is one of our challenges. Carmen, do you think that we can find enough stuff to sell and make it work?”
She looked at me and said, “Are you kidding? Sourcing unique one-of-a-kind items are your forte. It will absolutely work! That is not going to be our problem.” Carmen is awesome!
And then we started looking at property. The ball had started to roll and there was no stopping it. Fun, scary, and super exciting all at once!
2. Do you feel guilty just sitting on the couch and watching TV…Do you feel like you should be working?
As I write this ezine I am sitting on the couch and watching one of my favorite shows, 2 1/2 Men. You see, with the business in my house, I NEVER feel that I can NOT work. It is a really terrible affliction.
However, I realized when writing this article that one of my favorite things to do is work. My work is my passion. And my grandmother always taught me that if you follow your passion, the money would come. I will always continue to love my work and I hope you do also.
So, even though I do work a lot, I really really enjoy it. I also believe that moving the clutter out of my home it will make me feel more peaceful and less stressed by all the merchandise that is piling up in my dining room, living room, and foyer!
And Carmen had a great point. How can we unpack all the boxes of stuff in the garage and sort it without anywhere to organize it? We have reached our limits here!
Here is a photo of the new building!
I am sooo excited that my new office space has a room for plush (thanks Debbie Ybarra), a room for books/CDs/DVDs (thanks Sheila), a room for new clothing (thanks Mel & Steve), and specific shelves for dinnerware (eBook), flatware, coffee mugs, etc. that other people will be able to list for me. These are specific niches that anybody can list. I am working on employee manuals (Thank you VICTORIA!) and other systems that I can put in place so that others can list successfully for me. It is a very exciting time here at the Queen of Auctions!
3. How do you know how much space to move into?
You may want to start out small by renting some storage unit space. That is what I did about five years ago. I got a 20 by 10-foot storage unit space that runs $189 per month. It worked for a while but no more!
Mo is still using storage unit space and it is working for her. When I started pricing office space, I realized that saving almost $200 per month by getting rid of that space, would allow me to stretch a little.
You can also put a small storage unit on your property. There are ones at Home Depot that you can build and put outside. They aren’t huge but I know they work for a lot of sellers. Debbie Ybarra has her plush in bins outside in one of these tiny units. My advice is this: start small and get your feet wet.
My feet are not wet but soaking. I have totally outgrown my garage, my storage unit, and my 4,000 square foot house. What is taking up the majority of that space is unlisted and unpacked items. It is time to move on.
My good friend Dean Factor and I had a meeting about my reality show and he said to me, “Your fortune is in your garage!!!” Thank you, Dean. He also told me that I needed to get over my sentimentality towards my grandmother and get it all listed. Sounds like a great plan coming from a multi-millionaire who understands a little bit about selling on eBay. It really got me thinking. Always a good thing!
BTW, office/industrial space and storage unit space is at an all-time low price. You can get incredible deals right now. Keep that in mind and get exactly what you want and need for the best deal. Cash is king! Wow, I am really starting to sound like my grandma.
Anyway, when we started looking, I called three brokers and asked about 2,000 square feet of warehouse space. What I quickly learned was that there are many different types of industrial warehouse space.
Some have more built-out office space than others. Most of the space we looked at was mainly an industrial cement floor warehouse with roll-up doors and tiny, tiny built-out offices.
Here is a photo of what most of the space will look like.
When all of us (My mom, Carmen, Deborah, Mo, and I) were out looking we realized that we wanted more built out space with carpets, lights, etc. so that our items would not be housed on shelves on a cement floor (earthquakes) and that there would be plenty of room to list and write up items.
One place that I loved was only 1500 square feet. I was about to take it but when we started talking and analyzing what size space we were already using we realized it would give us NO room to grow. I HIGHLY recommend that you analyze your space needs also.
When we got realistic and started adding up our current used space here is what we came up with:
- 600 square foot Rec Room (eBay room) used for storing eBay items, shipping eBay items, storing shipping items, and housing Carmen and Deborah.
- 80 square feet in a wet bar (any old port in a storm) that we use to store some book products and Boot Camp in a Box.
- 600 square foot 3-bay garage, which is practically filled up wall to wall.200 square foot storage unit used to store unlisted eBay items and books.
- 160 square foot current home office for me that is housed in a guest bedroom. BTW, we may never move that office out of the house but I am starting to like the idea!
So, when we add up all that space, 600 + 80 + 600 + 200 + 160 we get 1640 square feet.
We all agreed that to make this new part of my life work, it would need to be more than 2000 sq feet and maybe even 2500 to 3000 square feet. With 1640 square feet already being utilized in my house & storage unit, we should look for larger space.
On the last day of looking (It is always the last day when you find the best stuff!), we came across a 3100 square foot property (quite the stretch). BUT, We were finally shown a property that was 70% built out and had upgraded office space. Newly painted white walls, new gray carpet, two bathrooms, and a small kitchen. It was awesome. And my choice!!
It fits who we are and who we want to be. Wish us luck and hopefully, we will move in right before Thanksgiving.
Don’t be afraid to grow, the marketplace is ripe for those with vision & fearlessness. Commercial owners are ready to deal. I encourage you to take baby steps but make a plan for growth. You can do it!!!! I can (and will) do it! Watch me in the next few months/years. It will be fun and exciting as we grow together!
An update, I signed lease papers today and got the keys. Here I am opening the front door. Houston and Indy took the photo and they are so excited also!
Here are Mo, Carmen, and Jason helping me celebrate outback! Life is great and we can’t wait to start this new chapter in our eBay business. Carmen made a commitment to me tonight, that we would start listing 300 new and unique items each week (now that we have this wonderful office space). I am ready to reach new heights and I hope you are also!
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WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR ON YOUR WEBSITE? Yes, you may – just as long as you include all links as they are and append this complete blurb with it: The Queen of Auctions and eBay Power Seller, Lynn Dralle, publishes ‘eBay Tips & Tricks’ a weekly ezine with 10,000+ subscribers. If you’re ready to jump-start your eBay business, make more money and have more time, get your FREE tips now at www.thequeenofauctions.com
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.
The Queen of Auctions/All Aboard Inc.
PO Box 14103
Palm Desert, CA 92255
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.