It is Sunday morning as I write this ezine. I am sitting in Hemet at the Diamond Lake Baseball park watching a triple-header. I had to get up at 5:30 am to have three boys here by 7 am. Seriously, I don’t even get up that early for garage sales.
I really hope that Houston appreciates all of this someday.
- Lynn Recommends: Flatware Success eBook–preorder
- Special Announcement: More info regarding Live Boot Camp
- Feature Article: Buying Trips are Fun and Profitable
This ezine is published every two weeks.
April 21st, 2011
Volume VII, Issue 7
Regarding last week’s ezine, I got a great email with an update from Serena. Thanks, Serena!
As always, I enjoyed reading your latest ezine. Your article on customer service and TRS status was really helpful, and I really liked how you handled that last situation. I thought I’d share one more idea regarding customer service. As you know, a lot of times, buyers don’t read the description or even look at all the photos. If a buyer purchases something from me that is in less than great condition – say the item has an obvious chip – I will take the extra step and call the buyer up and check with them to make sure that he/she understands what condition the item is in. This accomplishes two things. The buyer is happy that you took the time to contact them and let them know about their item, and it will save you the trouble of having to deal with a less than happy customer, (not to mention the time and energy to pack and ship the item). This is especially crucial around the holidays, when people are buying gifts for their loved ones.
Take care, and continued success to your goal of TRS :0)
Serena at LOL 2011
I think this is a great idea! And instead of calling them, I have been emailing buyers of defective merchandise prior to shipping to make sure that they have read the description. About 50% of the time, they did NOT read the description and I have canceled the sale. Great advice Serena!
You know, I really need a vacation (Who doesn’t?). But with eBay’s changes coming down the pipeline, I think that I need to focus on my eBay business and sell as much as I can before July 6th (the date they start charging final value fees on s/h/i). I found this coffee mug at a local thrift store recently for 50 cents. I can’t believe how much it sold for! It is vintage “travel” Pan Am and I may put the profit into a “Lynn’s Vacation Fund” Jar!
See the listing here.
Update on LOL footage
The crew at LOL 2011
The LOL footage is being edited by Jason and will be finished and shipped out in about three weeks. Mid-May is our target. Carmen has taken a peek at it and says the footage is fantastic!
Click here to learn more and place your pre-order. This set is going to rival Boot Camp in a Box and the final price will be going up accordingly.
Check out this email I just got from Nancy Kantor (Nancy is a Live Boot Camp and LOL graduate)!
Subject Line: Finally 1000 Listings!
When I attended Boot Camp in 2009, I’d never had more than 150 items listed at a time. Usually I listed 20-25 items for auction per week. This week I got 99 items listed for auction and a bunch into store. It is really exciting to reach 1000.
Thanks for showing me the way.
Our dates for Live Boot Camp at HQ are now set in stone. Four people have signed up! YAY…You can reserve your seat now. Read more about it in the Special Announcement section. Our info page is coming soon. Watch for it.
I did an interview last week with Kat and Karen from eCom Connections. We talked about a lot of interesting things including hiring employees. Here is a page where you can listen. I was a guest on show #14.
Check out this flatware we just sold out of our store. Flatware is flying off the shelves. I love flatware because it is one of those items that you can easily offer with free shipping!
See the listing here.
I have started writing the flatware eBook! I am so excited about it. The initial outline is finished and I have started on the first section. Just like the dinnerware eBook, it will be delivered in thirds. Section One will be out at the end of May. You can learn more and place your preorder in the Lynn Recommends Section.
The USPS raised rates on April 17th. It affected first class international and domestic. Media rates also increased. I have redone the rate chart and this download will be the Queen’s Court gift for this month.
Please remember an important deadline…May 25th eBay is requiring that if you state that you ship internationally, you will need to quote a price. If you state that you do not ship internationally, you will be fine.
To order the new laminated USPS rate chart with free shipping, click here.
I have a lot of fun and make a profit when I travel to different cities and get to check out thrift stores. So I decided to write this week’s article about buying trips. Don’t miss “Buying Trips are Fun and Profitable.”
Oh I almost forgot. Remember I mentioned that Indy earned an iPhone for all her work at LOL? Well, a loyal ezine reader, Lynn Vinnai, in Canada let me know that her daughter was selling one for her that had gotten some water damage but they had repaired it. You will have to read the description to see how they fixed it!
Thanks Lynn V! It was for sale on eBay and I got to buy it for Indy at a discount.
Hopefully, it will arrive soon. Indy is chomping at the bit (as my grandmother would have said.)
See the listing here.
Indy came to HQ with me last night to help take photos (What a doll!). I did manage to list one of the items that I had a hunch maybe a SCORE when we got back home. I couldn’t believe it but within the first 12 hours, it already had two bids. Let’s watch this one and I hope it goes sky high!
See the listing here.
Oh my goodness, apparently I wasn’t very lucid last night when I was listing this. I can’t believe I misspelled lucidity. Great! In case you are wondering, I picked this compact up at a garage sale this past Saturday for $3 or $5 (I can’t remember).
Lynn Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions,’
Creator of the best-selling eBay Boot Camp in a Box.
Flatware Success eBook!
Great news! I’ve started writing the Flatware eBook. Now you won’t be confused at thrift stores when looking at shelves like this anymore. Yay!
To learn more click here.
The Table of Contents looks like this. (This is subject to revision.)
1. Types of Flatware/Hollowware
2. Manufacturers to ALWAYS buy
3. Tricky Manufacturers
4. Manufacturers to NEVER buy
5. Best Selling Patterns of All Times
6. Patterns to Buy
7. Designer/Artists to Buy
8. Good Colors—Gold wash, Plastic?
9. Good Themes
10. Different Countries
11. Identifying the Different Pieces
12. Terms and Definitions
13. Where to Buy?
14. Research in the Field to Make Quick Purchase Decisions
15. How much should you pay?
16. Single pieces to purchase vs. Entire Sets
17. Research at Home
18. Pricing and How to Sell
20. Condition and Seconds
Let’s put it to the test–a Case Study
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)
These dates are set…
Friday, September 23rd to Sunday, September 25th, 2011
Seats are very limited. Only 20 students will be admitted.
Four seats are already spoken for.
Will you fill one of the remaining 16?
Reservations are open, email me for your customized link to reserve your spot.
‘Local Buying Trips are FUN’
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
On Sunday in Hemet, the boys won their first two baseball games. Yay! The second game was a nailbiter that Houston pitched innings 4 through 7. In the top of the 7th we were down 0 to 2. Somehow the boys scored 3 runs and we went into the bottom of the 7th with a 1 run lead and Houston on the mound. The first kid bunted and got to first. Then there was a sacrifice that got him to third. One out and the tying run on 3rd base. That is when I walk away and hide behind the snack bar . I can never watch.
Houston was pitching to his buddy Ian and Ian caught an incredible game. They intentionally walked the next batter Eric (a great hitter who the boys have played with before on different teams). Now, there are runners on first and third. Houston strikes out the next kid. Two outs.
The final batter hit a dinker and was thrown out at first. YAY! It was incredible. When I saw the boys leave the field running, jumping, and yelling I knew it was time for me to head back!
It was lunchtime so I took some of the boys to Carl’s Jr for lunch. It was fun to hear about the final inning from Houston and Ian during the car ride. Ian said it was nerve-wracking because he knew that he needed to call pitches with a lot of movement but nothing that could get past him or a run would score. Houston said it got stressful with that tying run on third and the go-ahead run at first.
Houston and Ian at Dodger Stadium
I can’t imagine how it was for the boys. I wasn’t even on the field and I was a nervous wreck.
After lunch, I dropped the boys back at the baseball field, and with an hour to kill, I headed into downtown Hemet to shop the thrift stores before the championship game.
There is a fantastic site for finding thrift stores when you are out of town, TheThriftshopper.com. I think Victoria from Bakersfield told me about it at a live eBay Boot Camp. Here is what came in when I put in Hemet.
I ended up in the Goodwill for about an hour. I spent $34.00 and got two boxes full of dinnerware, etc. There were two awesome Tabletops Unlimited patterns (once called H20 and one called Barcelona), some Wedgwood, and an iced tea set that said “Big K” brewed tea.
Mo got a lot of it listed for me on Monday and Tuesday. She refused to list the “Big K” tea set when we found out it stood for “Kroger.” (Just kidding).
All kidding aside, apparently I will be listing that one myself.
Here is one of the listings for the Barcelona plates.
I also got some Pfaltzgraff Rooster Luncheon plates. I have been having great luck lately with Pfaltzgraff and these were darling and half price. I got four of them for $2.50.
See the listing here.
Remember that buying trip I took to San Diego back in February? The stuff I got on that trip is still selling for top dollar! It is seriously amazing.
I was at a Salvation Army in San Diego in a really bad part of town. I was almost afraid to go inside alone. I am so glad I did! It was 12:30 pm and I overheard someone saying that at 1 pm on Monday (yes it was a Monday) that everything goes for half price. I thought it was insane that people were buying things before 1:00 pm but the registers were humming.
At 1:00 pm exactly, I took my things up to the register. At that point, I noticed a set of dishes marked $45.00 in the showcase. I asked to see one and couldn’t believe it when they were Wedgwood! I said, “I will take that set” and to my complete astonishment a lusterware coffee pot, creamer, and sugar also came with it. You can see that if I sell everything in my recap below, I will make over $900. Buying trips out of town can be fun and profitable!
Here is a little recap I did for a presentation at LOL.
I have sold almost all of the Wedgwood in just two months! Here is what I have left in the set.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are lucky enough to be in another town and have some time to go out and source.
1. It doesn’t matter why you are in a different town. You could be there for your “real” job, vacation, errand, or a child’s sporting event. MAKE TIME to CHECK OUT the local Thrift Stores. Keep a Sourcing Mindset (Lisa Suttora!)
2. Use TheThriftshopper.com or another similar site to find all the thrift stores in your new area.
3. Once in your first thrift store talk to the regulars and salespeople and ask them which thrift stores are their favorites. This will help get you to the best ones the quickest.
4. Ask what colored tags or items are on sale. It amazed me how many things I got last Sunday in Hemet that were red tag (1/2 price) that had been just sitting there for months! Don’t forget that you are a new set of eyes in that thrift store.
5. Take your time and poke around. Look high and low. My grandmother always taught me that if I couldn’t find what I was looking for in her antique store/house to look up and down. Many times things were hidden from my usual line of vision.
I did this just last week here at home in one of my usual thrift stores. There was nothing on the dinnerware shelves, so I bent down and sat on the ground and started pulling out serving pieces. They all looked boring but I thought, why not? The second one I pulled out was the Mexico pattern by Bing & Grondahl. TOTAL SCORE! I got it for $5.99 and I have it priced super high at auction right now. I don’t care if it doesn’t sell. I will raise the price and move it into my eBay store.
See this listing here.
One of the beautiful things about selling on eBay is that we can take our job with us. We can list from anywhere and we can source anywhere. Have fun with it! Like my grandmother always told me, “If you follow your passion, the money will follow.”
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.
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.
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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.