Happy Holiday Season! We are right in the midst of our busiest listing and selling time (25 cent listings until November 16th) so I will try and make this a short ezine!
- Lynn Recommends: eBay Radio with Griff & Lee
- Special Announcement: Lynn on Location (LOL) in Las Vegas
- Feature Article: Sourcing Secrets
This ezine is published every two weeks.
November 11, 2010 Volume VI, Issue 21
Since the last newsletter, I have been all over the Southland (Southern California). I knew that my quiet days were going to be short lived!
The Friday night after I wrote the last ezine, we decided to clear out my storage unit and get it all moved into the new office space, Headquarters as Houston has named it, or HQ for short. I love it! Little did I know how much work it would be to move a 200 square foot storage unit with a tiny U-Haul and my two kids.
Here is what it looked like when we started. (Dad, do you remember moving all of this into the storage unit? Boy are you lucky you missed this job!)
Indy, Houston, and I moved about 17,000 books, furniture, and eBay items (that still need to be listed) in 5 1/2 hours. It took two full U-Haul loads. We were sooooo exhausted afterward and I could barely move. I am hiring movers for the next phase of this adventure!
Here are the kids with the last truckload. We are all expert packers–it is hereditary. No one could pack my grandma’s van for antique shows like my brother, sister and I could. We learned from the best (Cheryl Leaf).
What a joy it was to see that storage unit completely emptied out on October 29th. I saved myself $184.00 in monthly rent by being out before November 1st. Yipppeeee!
Here it is almost empty. What a job or should l say Nightmare on Storage Unit Row?
The next day WAS the Saturday before Halloween and I drove off to the USC campus for my college reunion. It was a blast (although I could barely walk after that storage unit move). Here I am with three of my girlfriends that I did the Spain semester.
Natalie, me, Juliette and Joanne
The next day it was off to Riverside to watch Houston play some baseball. Then I had to whisk the kids back to the desert in time for trick or treating. This may be one of the last years that they dress up. But they were so cute!
Here is Houston as Reggae Bush (instead of Reggie Bush)…I thought it was pretty cute. And Indy as Alice in Wonderland…I thought she was very cute!
I have been finding a lot of really great items lately, at garage sales, estates sales, and in thrift stores. I thought it would be the perfect time to write a feature article about some of my sourcing secrets. Don’t miss this one. I even include some of my mistakes.
By the way, the footage from Live Boot Camp 2010 is finished! Jason says that it is the best EVER. The kids have been watching it and it is fantastic. So, for all of you who have pre-ordered, please be watching for them to come by priority mail. All of them have been shipped out.
The footage for my reality show “Trash to Cash” 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 item that just sold. It was a beautiful bowl and pitcher set.
This one sold for a pretty penny!
I was on the Griff show this past Tuesday 11/9 with both Griff and Lee. Please read the Lynn Recommends section to learn more and hear why I was late getting on the line.
LOL (Lynn on Location) will be happening in Las Vegas on Saturday and Sunday, March 12th and 13th 2011 at the Paris Hotel. THE PRICE IS GOING UP ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd. 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. Reserve your spot at the lowest rate today.
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!
Lynn Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions,’
Creator of the best-selling eBay Boot Camp in a Box.
I was on the Radio with Griff and Lee this past Tuesday. If you missed the call, instructions for listening in are here. I almost missed the call myself!
I was late making the call was because in all this madness (that is my life), I had canceled one of my four home and office phone numbers to move it to the new HQ (Headquarters)!
I remembered at the last second and got the correct number to Melissa. Close call! The call was fun and we discussed the big news going on here at The Queen of Auctions. Our move this month! Don’t miss it. Click here to listen to the download (It’s in the archives).
The Price is Going Up!
Reserve Your Spot before
Monday, November 22nd!
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. (Many of you have been asking what those rates are…Friday night $119.00, Saturday night $129.00, and Sunday night $89.00.)
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 expert, and Diva Dawn, the organizational expert, will be joining us.
This just in…Now we have confirmation from Lisa Suttora who will be speaking about sourcing new products 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 at midnight on Wednesday, November 22nd and it will keep rising 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.)
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
I have had some interesting things happen to me lately when outsourcing unique one-of-a-kind items so I thought this week’s feature article would be the perfect place to share some of these tips and tricks.
One of the things that keep coming back to me as I write this article is that I am too darn trustworthy. I tend to believe everything that people tell me. This is a good trait SOMETIMES, just not all the time.
I am also noticing that this article has information about some things that I have done correctly, but more often than not, mistakes I have made. Oh well, that is how we learn!
1. Ask the seller what they know about an item or items
When I do this right at the beginning it can save me hours of frustration and lots of money!
I bought a bunch of purses once from one of my favorite estate sellers. They were all added up, paid for, and in garbage bags when I asked him where they all came from. Guess what? The lady had loved to shop on QVC. Not the kind of information you want to hear after your purchase. If I had heard this as I was beginning to shop, I would NOT have spent several hundred dollars on QVC handbags. Yikes!
Oh well, it has turned out OK. I have sold quite a few of them and have recouped my investment.
Here is one that I still have up for sale.
2. Don’t ALWAYS believe the sellers
Here is a very big word of warning, do not always believe what the sellers tell you. This is hard for me because I tend to always look for the best in people and I believe MOST of what people say.
Just this past Saturday, I was at a home in my neighborhood that was having a sale. The lady had a ton of designer glasses and sunglasses. I asked, “Where did you get these?” following my first suggestion. She said, “My daughter had a very high-end store in Laguna Beach that went out of business. She paid 100’s of dollars for these glasses.” I asked if she had any Prada because my mom really wants a pair of Prada sunglasses.
Off the lady went inside to get the “more expensive” glasses. There were some Prada reading glasses and a pair of Louis Vuitton Sunglasses for $20.00 each. I LOVE Louis Vuitton so I bought them for myself. After I picked up Houston from the house to go to Indy’s soccer game, I showed him the glasses and said, “This lady around the corner has 100’s of pairs of designer sunglasses. I may go back after soccer and see what she would take for all of them.” I have that product-sourcing mindset that Lisa Suttora talks about!
Here they are.
Houston took a look at them and said, “Not only are these ugly but they are fake.” I said, “No way!” Then I took a closer look. That little stinker was right! They said “Made in China” and the LV logo was scraping off the side. What a sucker I am!
Here are the two best things that happened.
A. I didn’t go back and buy them all
B. I found out they were fake before I tried to list any of them on eBay. Nightmare averted!
Whenever a seller tells you something, make sure you do your own research and verify what they are telling you.
Check out this beautiful antique gas lamp font that I bought from a very reputable dealer recently. I KNOW that I can trust him after many successful transactions, however, no matter what he tells me, I still do my own investigation.
With this lamp font, I knew that it was antique (like he said) but on closer inspection, both the burner and the chimney were most likely reproductions, so I made sure that this information was in my listing.
The listing is here. It still sold for quite a bit!
You may have noticed that I am trying to raise my average selling price on eBay by investing in more expensive antique items. My average price has been hovering around $16.52. As you know I want to grow my business in the new HQ (headquarters) like Linda the Lawyer has done by moving her business from her home to office space. Linda’s average ticket price is much higher. From some research I have done, I am guessing that her average ticket price is close to $60.00. I am working on both listings more items and raising my ticket price.
3. No one knows everything…not even thrift store managers and estate sale professionals
I was at a thrift store (just this morning) where everything seemed to be overpriced. Then I spotted a Guy Buffet single dinner plate for $1.99. It wasn’t an entire set (darn!), but I got this plate for a bargain. It lists on a popular china replacement website for $35.99. I have it up for auction right now at about half of that price (remember it is 25 cent listing days until 11/16).
Check it out here.
I have also been to a lot of estate sales lately where you can still find bargains (even though many things are overpriced), because NO ONE can know everything there is to know about EVERYTHING. My grandma always said she was NOT an expert, because there was no such thing. She was so cute!
4. Being late can work in your favor
Last Saturday there was an estate sale (run by a professional) that I could not get to until after Indy’s soccer game. It sounded like it was amazing so I went even though it was quite late in the day! Many times they are ready to wheel and deal after the major crowds have died down.
When I walked in, most things seemed to be priced quite high, but the books were only $1.00 to $2.00. I couldn’t believe my luck when right on top of the pile was the Julia Child First Edition French Cook Book from 1961. WOW! It was almost 1 pm and the sale had been going on since 9 am and this book was still just sitting there.
Here is the listing for the book.
I have had this book before. It was in better condition, but I sold it for $224 within one week. SCORE! I priced this one quite high as you can see, but it is almost Christmas and I can always lower my price. My grandmother also taught me that you can always lower your price but it is much harder to raise it!
5. Let them add it all up and then YOU check their math
OK, I will end this article with my last mistake of the week. I have had quite a few lately. I was at a sale where all proceeds would be going to homeless animals. The same sweet ladies have it every year. I picked out quite a bit of dinnerware and then I spotted a box full of collector’s plates on the ground.
I normally won’t pay more than $1 to $2 for collector’s plates unless I know exactly what they are worth. Well, in this box was the first edition Goebel Hummel (as opposed to Berta Hummel which is flat…not bas relief) that used to sell for $1,000 with the original box in my grandmother’s antique store. Now, you are lucky to get $50 to $100 for it. Wow, have the times changed!
I asked how much and the lady said $50.00. There were 13 plates total in the box and I figured I could get my $50 back from the Goebel Hummel 1971 and it was helping a great cause.
I (stupid me) decided to help the ladies add up all of my goodies. I started with the $50 for the collector’s plates and then we added up all of the dishes and we were at $98.50 and then I ADDED in the $50 AGAIN. My grand total is $148.50. YIKES!
I didn’t realize my mistake until I was driving away and wondering how in the world could I have spent $150 on just 3 little boxes. Then I realized my mistake!
My advice is this. Always let the seller add it up and while they are adding it up double-check their work in your head and you may even want to add it up again yourself.
Oh well, hopefully, the 1971 Goebel will sell for close to $100 and pay for all of the plates (including my extra donation)! Check it out and see what it is up to.
See this listing here.
I have to say that karma does often work in your favor. My extra $50 donation to the dog and cat rescue fund has come back to me in many bonuses recently. I did find the Julia Child cookbook that same day and then I found this darling paperweight for $2.00. It was signed and is already up to quite a great price with many days left.
Here is the listing.
I hope that some of my mistakes and tips will help you with your sourcing strategies. Here’s to making 2010 and 2011 our best years on eBay yet!
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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.