The garage sales around here have been terrible. You may all be wondering why in the world would I even bring this up when the rest of the country is under 8 feet of snow, but you see, this time of year is typically our BEST season for garage sales. What is up?
- Lynn Recommends: Team Building Teleseminar with Lisa Suttora
- Special Announcement: Lynn on Location DVD Preorder (LOL)
- Special Announcement: Dates ??? for 2011 Live Boot Camp (at HQ)
- Feature Article: Garage Sales vs. Thrift Stores
This ezine is published every two weeks.
February 17th, 2011
Volume VII, Issue 4
I have NEVER seen the garage sale season so terrible out here in Palm Desert as it has been this year. Weekend after weekend I come back with my SUV empty or just a tiny box rolling around in the back. I have been trying to figure it out and all that we can come up with is that with the economy still in turnaround mode, more and more people are holding on to their stuff or selling it themselves through consignment stores or online.
Whatever the reason, I have been having some great luck with the thrift stores so thank goodness for them. I also spent a few days last week in San Diego (I love San Diego) and was able to hit some neat thrift stores there. Don’t miss my feature article, ‘Garage Sales vs. Thrift Stores.’
Here is my shopping cart full of stuff that I got at the AmVet store by the San Diego airport. What a wild place!
Notice that I bought a lot of plush (that is what you see in the huge plastic bags) and this is all thanks to Debbie Ybarra! As I was writing this ezine, I just sold a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal. Once again, Thank you to Debbie! It is amazing how well you can do with plush.
Click here to see what a fantastic price I got
for this used Winnie the Pooh bear.
Then, when I was back in the desert, I stopped by my local Goodwill after an appointment and totally scored! To be fair, I can’t totally discount garage sales. I did happen upon one really great one-two Saturday ago. That one will be featured in one of my LOL presentations next month in Las Vegas. At that garage sale I found a bunch of clothing at 75 cents per piece. Check out this wrap dress that sold for a great return.
See this listing here.
Speaking of clothing, my mom just bought 400 pieces of designer clothing during the last day of an estate sale for about $1 each. What a total score!
Check out this photo of her usually immaculate living room
with SOME of those clothes. Yikes!
Here is one of those pieces that she has up for sale on eBay.
It is a St. John Knit Jacket that she had bought for $10 on the first day of the sale and then got the matching striped tank for $1 in the closeout purchase on the last day! Go, mom!
And then you should check out this amazingly beautiful Oleg Cassini evening gown. I wish I had somewhere to wear this (my high school reunion is coming up and may conflict with Live Boot Camp at HQ, but more about that later!) The dress is just fantastic. (Although, I did just offer my mom some constructive criticism about moving her teal blue-colored chair and crazy watercolor painting out of the background.
You can see this listing here.
Selling clothing on eBay is a fantastic niche. I love it! Our third clothing teleseminar with Mel and Steve was earlier this month. If you are not a Queen’s Court member (it was their February gift), it can be purchased here along with Volumes I and II that are still available.
We also have Teleseminar Volumes I and II available as searchable pdf transcripts.
I can’t continue this ezine without a Hummingbird update! It is driving me crazy to know what happened to those two little eggs. When I was out taking pictures this weekend the babies had obviously hatched because there were eggshells on my photo table and the hummingbird was circling my head like nobody’s business–She was SUPER serious!
Check out this item that I have listed on eBay. Those white tiny dots are the cracked eggshells. Amazing!
The actual item is listed here. I cropped most of the baby eggshells out of the auction photo.
Well, I just went outside to see if there were any babies in the nest. I didn’t want to get too close and it appeared to be empty. The mother bird didn’t approach me at all. So, is it possible that the babies have already grown up and are out flying around? Seriously, in just a few days? I will keep you posted. But if they have flown the nest, it may be just the time for me to move that chandelier and reclaim my “at home” photo studio.
Well, Goose (Houston’s nickname and very fitting that it is also a bird species) just volunteered (after much prodding) to go and take a photo of the empty (we thought) nest. When he and I walked out to the photo studio, the mama was back on the nest. Mission aborted. Someday soon, we will get a photo of those babies!
LOL is only 23 days away!!!! I have SO much work to do. That is all I will be focusing on for the next three weeks. This will be the last ezine for a while. Please read the Special Announcement section to learn more about preordering the DVD set. There are also still seats available for you to join us in Las Vegas. The price will be going up on March 1st to the full published price, so there is still time!
I am really looking forward to LOL and all the new content we will be sharing with the attendees. Part of that content will come to us from Lisa Suttora, sourcing guru extraordinaire. Lisa is amazing and always motivates and inspires me.
Lisa emailed me last week to see if I had time to do a teleseminar with her on Wednesday, February 16th. The topic was “How to Build a ‘6 Figure Team’ to Grow your Business (Without Breaking the Bank and Devouring Your Profit in the Process)”. I am incredibly busy getting ready for LOL, but I could not pass up this opportunity to talk with Lisa about a subject that is sooooo on my mind.
We have been experiencing growing pains at HQ and this was a great venue for me to share these experiences. Please read the Lynn Recommends section to learn more about this amazing teleseminar and how you can access the download.
Oh yeah, one last, last thing. In the second special announcement section, we have decided to do our Live Boot Camp this year at Headquarters (HQ). Read below for more.
Lynn Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions,’
Creator of the best-selling eBay Boot Camp in a Box.
Team Building Teleseminar with Lisa Suttora
Lisa Suttora is a great friend, an incredible sourcing guru, and an amazing motivational whirlwind. She and I did a teleseminar together on Wednesday, February 16th. The topic was “How to Build a ‘6 Figure Team’ to Grow your Business (Without Breaking the Bank and Devouring Your Profit in the Process)”.
She really caught me at the perfect moment (or should I say in the perfect storm), as I was definitely experiencing growing pains at HQ.
Our call was 73 minutes (usually we can chat forever) but we stayed focused and talked about the important points in the perfect amount of detail. Lisa just emailed me and she is such a perfectionist! She actually listened to the entire audio and cut out our uh’s and um’s making it a seriously perfect 65 minutes~!
Lisa Suttora and me at eBay Live! 2008.
This call is available for purchase and immediate download here.
Here is what Lisa and I chatted about:
- When I brought in my first eBay team member to work out of my home (it was way back in 2002—almost 9 years ago—Yikes!)
- How I chose the right person to start assisting me in my eBay business
- What my current team does and what I do
- What areas of YOUR business you should get help with first.
It was a great call and during the call, I got insight and inspiration from Lisa (as I always do ). I shared a lot of our growing pains with the new HQ and how we are handling them. This is a call that I highly recommend especially if you are considering expanding your business or already have a team in place.
You won’t want to miss this call. I am glad I didn’t. I learned a lot from Lisa and it helped me with some very important realizations and action plans for my business. AND she was the one interviewing me. Go figure!
After the call, I got this email from Lisa,
“GREAT call as always! I love that you show people that it’s not perfect nor does it have to be in order to get it done!”
We ended our 65-minute teleseminar with this new Lynn and Lisa quote “You can’t grow without growing pains.” Ain’t it the truth!
Click here to order now at the introductory price.
To learn more about Lisa, visit LisaSuttora.com
LOL, WOW—It is Crunch Time!
23 Days and counting
(If you can’t attend, we do have a
pre-event special for the DVD footage.
Click here to learn more.)
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.)
Click here to check out our proposed class schedule.
We now have Vendio, Terapeak, and Kabbage on board. A representative (or two) from each of those companies will be with us to answer all your questions!
It will be two jam-packed days of teaching, networking, and just plain having eBay fun. I have already gotten confirmation from some very special guest speakers. Lisa Suttora, sourcing expert, Diva Dawn, organizational expert, and Mel and Steve Woods, clothing experts will be joining us. (Although due to scheduling conflicts this may change).
Many of the usual suspects may be joining me. Carmen, Jason, Mo, 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, click here. The price will be going up on March 1st to the full published price.
(Sorry, no Queen’s Court discount or other coupons can be applied to Live Events.)
Dates for 2011 Live Boot Camp
OK, OK, I broke down. I was going to take a year off from Live Boot Camp and wait until 2012 to have our next one. But, way too many people have been emailing and asking me about it. Then I remembered that when we were looking to lease Headquarters, Deborah said to me, “Why don’t you have Live Boot Camp here next year?” My first thought was, No. I guess my initial reaction to most great ideas is NO.
The more I thought about Deborah’s idea, the more brilliant I realized it was. Now, our select handful of students will be able to experience the entire process from start to finish in our actual office! We won’t just be teaching it, we will all be living it where it all takes place. I am very excited to announce that this year’s Live Boot Camp will take place in
Palm Desert, CA at Headquarters (HQ)
HEADS UP….These dates may be changing as I just found out that my ?th year high school reunion may be that weekend. I will know for certain in the next few days and we will make a concrete announcement.
on Friday, September 23rd, Saturday, September 24th, and Sunday, September 25th, 2011
Seats are limited.
Reservations are open, email me for your customized link to reserve your spot.
‘Garage Sales vs. Thrift Stores’
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
I LOVE sourcing (sourcing=shopping for profit). It is ironic but Lisa Suttora and I talked about this in our teleseminar yesterday and she wanted to know if that was something you could outsource. OF COURSE, you can outsource anything, but why in the world would you want to? This is absolutely my favorite part of the eBay experience and probably why I write about it sooooo often!
So let’s jump into looking at the pros and cons of sourcing from Garage Sales vs. Thrift Stores.
Fast: There is no doubt about it. Buying at garage sales in high season is a fast and furious way to accumulate a lot of stock quickly. If you plan your route the night before, have plenty of small bills in your pocket and empty boxes in the back of your vehicle, you can be very successful.
Cheap: Garage sales are typically the cheapest way to acquire the most inventory. Most garage salers do not price to gouge the market, but rather price to move items and make more room in their homes.
Check out these clothing pieces that I picked up recently at a Saturday morning garage sale for about 75 cents per piece. There were amazing brands in the pile, Ed Hardy, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, Roxy, and the list goes on. This photo shows just half of the clothes and I even got a Trina Turk dress for myself. Now, I just need a tropical vacation to pack it for
Unfortunately, the majority of the pieces fit Indiana. I am just kidding! I bought most of them with her in mind. Out of the 70 pieces or so I purchased, she kept about 40. Imagine that, I only had to spend $30 to wardrobe my daughter for an entire season or two, when normally it costs just $30 (at least) for one piece of teenage clothing.
Here is Indy in one of her darling outfits, a brand new sweater (with tags), great wide-leg jeans, and a shiny tank top. I think she looks adorable and it cost me an entire $2.25! Another bonus of garage sales is that I find A LOT of items that I can use for my home and family.
Out of that garage sale purchase of clothing, I sold three pieces at auction for over $50.00. You may remember the wrap dress from the introduction–it is one of those pieces. Those three pieces paid for the entire bunch. Garage sales can rock!
Here is another of the clothing pieces that sold at auction.
Too early: I know that Mo and Carmen can sympathize with me on this one. Garage sales are just too darn early. Who wants to get up at 5 am on your only day off? Not moi. I went out to some garage sales a few weeks ago and I got to one at 8:20 am (pretty darn good I thought).
After I bought the Midwinter Wedgwood set they had for $6.00, my next question was do you have any flatware? The gal told me, “no, we had a guy here at 5:30 am that bought all seven sets we had”. I was like, Yikes!
I can’t compete with that. Never have and never will. I just hope he didn’t get any sterling flatware. That would put me over the edge.
Here is one of the Midwinter plates that did sell at auction.
Another Con…Can be a total waste of gas: Lately in Palm Desert, I go out to garage sales and there are only a few advertised in the paper or on craigslist and there is nothing there to even consider buying. Seriously, the sales lately have been so bad that my gas costs me more than I ever spend.
I can’t figure it out, but my friend Lori’s husband Lou agrees with me. The sales have been a pile of junk on the ground. Nothing even worth picking up. I am hoping this changes soon or I am going to start hitting Orange County and San Diego because I have heard their garage sales still rock!
I really can’t believe that I am expounding upon the virtues of thrift stores but Yes, I am! I love my local thrift stores. I have been having great luck in these lately while the garage sales have been waning away to nothing.
I went out last weekend and found absolutely nothing but one tiny box at garage sales and then I hit my Goodwill and in 10 minutes look at what was loaded in the back of my SUV for only $77.
One of these sets is amazing and the soup bowls will sell for about $25 EACH at auction. The amazing set that I paid $19.99 for is Pfaltzgraff and Mo is already in the process of listing that set.
Here is what else I am finding.
Reliable and always open: I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to beat the 5:30 am flatware guy. I love this about thrift stores! They are open during reasonable hours. Say, 9 am (most are 10 am) to 5 pm or even 6 pm. What a goldmine! I can stroll into any of our 50 plus thrift stores whenever I am in the neighborhood. You have got to love that convenience.
Also, the thrift stores that I hit in San Diego during my recent mini-vacation had great items. I got a pile of eight Mary Engelbreit dishes that I paid $3.99 for in San Diego. We got these listed immediately with a starting bid price of $14.99 EACH.
Gotta love those thrift stores that just move the goods in and move the goods out. They don’t care what they price their items for as they are just looking for turnover. Out here in the desert, it seems like the donations are getting fewer and further between so the thrift stores are spending more time researching and pricing. That is detrimental to us!
Here is one of those Mary Engelbreit salad plates
that we have up at auction.
Rotating stock: I just mentioned this above but let’s reiterate this important point. You want to find those thrift stores that care more about the volume than the individual items. The thrift stores that are overwhelmed with donations are the ones you want to hit. They will price it, throw it (not literally) out on the floor and if it doesn’t sell they will mark it down quickly.
From my experience, the thrift stores that have a fleet of trucks at their disposal to pick up from your place of residence are the ones that are overwhelmed with donations. As you drive around your city, take note of the charities that own trucks that they use to pick up donations for free. These are the thrift stores you want to frequent.
I just had amazing luck with this in San Diego. I went to a Salvation Army thrift store that really had nothing that I was interested in buying but I overheard one really nice sales lady say that every Monday at 3 pm the entire store goes 1⁄2 price. What? It was Monday at 2:45 pm. I couldn’t figure out why there were still customers paying for things with only 15 minutes left to go.
I found my few items and was waiting in line to pay when I saw a dinnerware set in the glass case. It was priced at $45.00 and I asked to see a piece. Wedgwood. Score. Done deal. And then she said that three German lusterware pieces also came with it at the new marked-down price of $22.50.
The Wedgwood has no bids, but check out what this chipped German Luster Teapot is already bid up to. I Love CERTAIN thrift stores!
See this listing here.
Overpriced: Too many of our local thrift stores are overpriced. I was in one of them this morning after the gym and they had finally gotten in a new group of items. Seriously, they are not getting many donations at all. They did have a set of Le Creuset in a display cabinet.
I was really excited until I saw the eBay printout sheets taped on each piece and then the thrift store prices were half of those prices. Give me a break. Those eBay auction item prices were for brand new pieces. Not used and donated thrift store items. I just walked out. NEXT.
Tempted to buy your own items: I am the worst at this. After I donate things, I don’t remember and sometimes almost buy them back. And if that isn’t bad enough, I will often buy what Mo or Carmen has donated.
Recently, I called Mo from a local thrift store and said, “Did you donate Dansk Rondure in yellow?” I knew that she had purchased some about a year ago and I thought for sure the pile was her donation. She said, “No, but it doesn’t sell.” I am a sucker for Dansk and bought the set anyway for $39.99 without heeding her advice. It turned out just fine as I sold five of the bowls at auction for $15 each! Yay!
Here is one of those bowls.
Another lesson happened the other night. Indy, Houston, and I were in one of our local thrift stores before going out to dinner. Indy was standing and staring at a shelf and said, “Those look like our Jim Beam Bottles.” OMG, she was right. I had donated a HUGE pile recently and they were “in actuality” the Jim Beam bottles that I had my kids help me clean about two years ago (remember the cock roach story from the ezine?). What a great memory! Or maybe I have scarred my amazing kids for life. Just kidding. We will always have the memories…”Memories..like the corner of my mind…”
I just tried to go by and run into the thrift store and take a photo, but they had just closed. Darn it! Oh well, I am sure you can picture it in a corner of your mind.
In any event, I hope this article gives you some ideas for sourcing from garage sales and thrift stores and some tips and tricks to help you navigate these fun and challenging venues. I LOVE the sourcing part of this entire exciting venture.
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