This issue has all kinds of fun stuff for you. We're going to talk about readers' great new flips, with their accompanying strategies; ways to source on eBay; the World's Longest Yard Sale (yes it's coming again and I really plan to make it this time), and other goodies.
Sales seem to be picking up. Today some Spode teacups that had been festering on my dining room table for months, where they had their fashion shoot, up and sold, along with the bread plates.
I had listed the rest of almost a complete set of Spode "Wicker Lane" plates right before Christmas, as one of my first commission jobs, and all the sets just kept selling during the holidays. (Remember that..the holidays are a great time to list any of those bits and bobs of china/dishes/pottery you have yutzing about).
I also heard or read somewhere -- I have no idea where -- that the recession (or whatever it is) is supposed to ease up in September. Hm.
Meantime, I do seem to be seeing things selling at a bit brisker pace. But being of superstitious mind, I don't want to mouth it up too much.
A lot of my sales have been coming from overseas. I know I've preached about this before, but I really think sellers miss out on sales if they don't list items internationally.
Some high-end handbags I've sold have gone to Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, and Japan is also a place where I've shipped many a piece of fine china. In particular, the German Meissen plates, tea cups, and other table ware. Those also sell well in Europe. One of them got sold to a town right in eastern Germany near the town of Meissen itself, so I joked that it was "going home" in a sense.
Speaking of other countries, are you on Twitter yet? The whole world seems to be getting on there, and we've heard how it's been an Internet destination for reports out of Iran. This issue we'll talk about using twitter to boost your eBay and online sales.
By the way, if you want to follow me on Twitter, I am juliawww -- the link is: https://twitter.com/juliawww.
Oh yes...and we'll also cover the prizes for the next contest, and how you can get that 1/2 price discount for the new What Sells on eBay for What 2009 (Yes, Virginia, it's finally out), as well as Big Bucks Flips ebooks.
Before I go, I wanted to float an idea past you all. Getting back to our yard-saling roots a bit more, I thought it would be fun to post on our message boards some of the weirder, uglier, just plain strange things we come across in our weekly outings. I am going to start a thread on some of the...um...less than gorgeous dolls I've come across lately. So look for the ugly dolls thread on the Yard Salers Ning message board and the facebook group (see the yardsalers.net web site for links).
And if you're going to the World's Longest Yard Sale this year, drop me a line!
Now let's get to it.
********************************************** What Sells on eBay for What: The 2009 Update -- Half Price for Subscribers-- is Out! clickhere. ********************************************** Prints Make Profits!
I just finished reading Stuart Turnbull's newly updated guide, Prints Make Profits, and it made me want to jump on eBay and root out some of the many vintage prints getting bid up to $50, $100 and more. In this step-by-step guide, Stuart shows you exactly how to locate the prints that sell for the biggest bucks, and then how to source them so you are buying them at a fraction of their resell cost!
Includes a Web site that is a sourcer's dream. The even better news? There's plenty of room for us all in this niche!
Only $17.00! To order, clickhere. **********************************************
Articles in this Issue:
********************************************** 1) Using Twitter to Increase Your Sales 2) June's Flips Contest 3) What Sells on eBay for What: The 2009 Update -- is Out! Half Price 4) Reader Mail ***********************************************
Julia Recommends:EasyAuctionsTracker I tried the EasyAuctionsTracker accounting spreadsheet for eBay and loved it. It is an eBay seller's accounting dream! With a few clicks you can be looking at all your eBay sales data, costs and even keep track of your commissions. EasyAuctionsTracker uses an eBay token and imports all of your eBay transaction information into an Excel spreadsheet. There's a free trial that will retrieve June transactions. This can be used through August 31st, which will be the last day to get transactions back to June 1st. www.EasyAuctionsTracker.com. ~~~~~ Big Bucks Flips 2.0: The half price version of Big Bucks Flips for Yard Salers subscribers is here: Clickhereto order. Yard Salers' Readers best flips, and accompanying tips and rules of thumb, all in one convenient package. Plus, now you can make money reselling the book! To find out how to resell it for 50% of each sale, gohere. ~~~~~
Now without further ado, let's get to it!
************************************ 1) Using Twitter to Increase Your eBay Sales ************************************
In the past few months, Twitter seems to have gone from a niche for Internet nerds to a phenomenon...every tv network, news show, newspaper columnist, etc etc seemed to suddenly have a presence there.
Oprah did a show about it, they talk about it all the time on the View, and of course, with the recent unrest in Iran, it's been all over CNN.
But one of the criticisms of Twitter by some in the media has been: those who tweet supposedly are answering the question, "What are you doing?" -- which Twitter poses on their main screen -- and they say, "Who cares?"
Well, the thing is, most of the people I see tweet -- or "follow," as they say on Twitter -- aren't actually answering that question. They're posting newsy updates, or links to articles they've written, or links to their web sites.
In the case of eBay sellers, they may be posting a quick link to an auction they're running, and a short note on why it's interesting, or a good deal, or what have you.
But how do you post a long auction link within the 140-character limit of a Twitter post? It's simple...tinyurl.com. Just go to tinyurl.com, enter your long url, and cut and paste the shortened url they give you into your tweet.
Of course, you can use twitter to link to more than just your eBay auctions..you can post links to a blog post, your own standalone web site, if you have one, an etsy or amazon listing, or what have you.
You can even link to an Youtube video.
Some people are getting Twitter notoriety just by posting unusual, funny or thoughtful observations. You can see a list of the people on Twitter with the most followers at: http://twitterholic.com/.
Something funny..I started this article about Twitter today, and later left the house to meet a friend for lunch. I grabbed part of the paper to take with me, and there was a whole article in there from USA Today, talking about how businesses are using Twitter to reach customers. (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2009-06-25-twitter-businesses-consumers_N.htm).
"When a Stanley Cup broadcast suddenly went black in late April, many Comcast subscribers simply scooted to Twitter to find out why. It was there -- not on a phone system with multiple options -- they discovered that a lightning storm in Atlanta had caused a power outage during the Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins hockey playoff game, and that the transmission would be restored soon," writes Jon Swartz in the piece.
The article also tells the tale of a lady who bought a sweater from a small co., had a problem with it, found the company's twitter page, and used that as a contact point to get her situation resolved within 24 hours.
Another social networking site that dovetails nicely with eBay is Youtube. In fact, it's one of the only ways ebay approves of you inserting a link into your listing. (The video is supposed to be related to your item).
I recently made a video of a Chanel handbag I was selling. I didn't feel the still photos did it justice. Well, I don't know if it was the video or not but several days later the bag sold.
I used my new "Flip" video camera to take the video...if you do go that route, I highly recommend a Flip. It's so easy to use, is small and easily transported, and easily lets you post to Youtube and other popular sites.
Oe funny thing about that video, though...my foot made an inadvertent cameo appearance. This was as I was maneuvering the camera with one arm to try to film the inside of the bag. My foot notwithstanding, though, the video seems to have helped the purse sell.
************************************** Garage sale and wholesaler expert Pat Bateman has put together a fabulous ebook about making regular income with yard sales, finding wholesale goods to sell, using drop shippers, and more. Right now I'm offering it at a special preview price for $8.95. PayPal me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive the ebook via email, usually within hours.
*************************************** Succeed as an eBay Affiliate: Click Here! Build A Niche Store (BANS) is a store / website development platform which enables you to create content-based sites that generate income through the eBay affiliate programs. ************************************** 2) June's Flips Contest **************************************
June brings us a nice crop of Flip entries. Let's take a look. First, let's recall what the prize is:
Prizes for this Contest:
- The Unofficial Guide to Making Money on eBay, by our friend Lynn Dralle - eBay Strategies, by the illustrious Scot Wingo - A really fun vintage notebook from a previous eBay Live, with "You're the Star" on it. - A binder system, "Insider Secrets to Selling on eBay" by Derek Gehl. Retail value of all this stuff? A wholelottamoney. Actually, that last one is currently selling for $177. I have not read it myself.
On to the flips.
Library Sale Clearance
I always enjoy your newsletter, and get something useful out of every issue.
My flip of the week is a book I bought at a local library book sale. This particular library always has a box near the entrance with a hand-lettered sign on it that says "clearance books, $.10 each." It's the first place I go when I enter the library. Yesterday, I found a book in the box on Programming C computer language. It was a little rough around the edges, but the pages were clean and unmarked, so I picked it up. I listed it on half.com when I got home, and last night it sold for $15.00. Not a bad return for a ten cent investment.
Thanks again for the great newsletter!
Thanks so much for the kind words, and for sending that flip!
Great idea to look for technical books like computer programming. I didn't know about clearance bins at library sales..now I will look for them!
Thanks again and you are entered into the next contest. :-) Happy flipping, and much success to you!
"The River" Floats a Nice Profit
Here are a couple of books that sell for a nice profit on the river.
- Crocheting For Fun & Profit by Sims, Darla (Paperback) Sold 39.95, Cost 0.50
- Urban Economics and Real Estate Markets (Paperback) by Denise DiPasquale (Author), William C. Wheaton (Author) Sold 64.95, Cost 0.50
My book was a hardback,probably could have gotten more for the hardback.
Sweet! Thanks for the great flip! I love selling books on "the River" (that's amazon.com, for the uninitiated) coz it is so easy. And fun when they sell. :)
I see crochet books a lot but have not picked many up..think I will start!
If you don't mind my asking, where did u find these..yard sale, library sale, thrift, other? :) And do u use an electronic pricing device?
I bought the Real Estate book at a local Salvation Army store, the Crochet book at a Church sale. I usually have a pretty good instinct about a book when I see one that looks interesting and I also use asellertool on my phone. asellertool is only $5.00 a month and is well worth it.
Slot Cars for Fun and Profit
Love your newsletter and all the tips, thanks always.
Here's an entry for your flip contest please.
I picked up a vintage slot car set at a garage sale for $20.00 one day. I was not exactly familiar with these but thought they may have some collectible interest. Little did I know that after flipping it it brought me over $250.00.
The cars are the the things worth the money, in fact they are worth separating from a complete set as some of them will bring way more money than selling complete. I sold a couple cars for $79.00 and $75.00 and a few in the $30-40 range. The names to look for are Eldon, Strombecker and Cox. Here is a pic of one of the cox cars that was similar to what I sold for $39.00.
Very cool car, and great flip! Love the photo, too.
Slot cars are another area I just hadn't thought of selling. Sounds like they are well worth looking out for!
I don't know that much about them..my sense is they are toy cars that have electrical bottoms that let them go around a track? I remember we had a track like that as kids..maybe it was Hot Wheels..I don't know if that qualifies.
Thx again for the find, and you are entered into the next contest. :)
Thanks very much for the entry in your flip contest, I always love getting your newsletter and seeing what people are flipping etc. and thought the slot cars might be of interest to you too.
I think the slot cars will be of interest to your readers too as I didn't know that much about them either. You are correct they go around a slotted track. Bit different from the hotwheels (which also are very collectible especially the ones with redline tires) but I've found that the slot track isn't worth anything but all the accessories such as the little men, the grandstands and the cars are all worth it.
There seems to be a hardcore group that are into these cars as I've sold them to Australia, Portugal, UK and of course Canada and the U.S.A. Keep an eye peeled for them and the buildings or grandstands etc. that they place around the track are also excellent too. I bought one little building for $2.00 and flipped it for $120.00 (was some rarely seen building).
I had no idea; I just picked it up with a few other models I purchased at this sale. Needless to say I'm watching for those again!
You Can Hear It on the Transistor Radio
Recently I bought a Raytheon Transistor Radio at a yard sale for $1. I had no idea what it was or if it would sell on ebay. I have heard that older transistor radios do well. I listed it on a Sunday afternoon and within a few minutes someone offered me $300 -- but at that point I already had two bids. I never cancel an auction to sell an item to someone who makes an offer. The next day the same person offered me $350 -- I turned him down again. The auction ended at $527.11.
I have a few stories like this one I could submit to you. My daughter sold a pair of Levi jeans for $3,049.00 that she bought at a church yard sale for $2. I sold a set of Jane Austen books for $800 that I got for free. I sell as a hobby on ebay and it�s addicting.
Raytheon Transistor Portable Radio No Tubes T-100-4 Up for auction is a Vintage Raytheon Transistor Portable Radio No Tubes - uses Four Raytheon Transistors - Model T-100-4. In the original box with paperwork and Owner's Guide. Box in good condition - one corner is split. Appears to be in great condition for the age. I got this radio at a local estate sale, I am not sure if it works. It does not come with a leather case - I am not sure that it originally did - there's no room in the box for one.
Hi JoAnn! Wow...I love it! I knew that old tube amp stereos did well (we had one as a flip a while back) but had no idea about the transistor radios! How cool..also that it had its original packaging and is in such good shape!
OK, I have to hear the story of those Levi's jeans..were they, like, really old or something? LOL. I know that one very old pair of Levi's was discovered a while back..I think in a gold mine -- they were a miner's pair, one of the first...and sold for $46,532..to the Levi Strauss Co!
Also love to hear the Jane Austen books story..but maybe send it in to an upcoming contest. I plan to have better and better prizes as we go along.
Thanks again for the wonderful entry, and welcome to Yard Salers! :-)
Dahl Jensen figurine and Tips for Sourcing on eBay
I have a great flip. I bought a Dahl Jensen figure on an ebay Buy it Now for $25 + & $7.70 shipping, my total cost $32.70. I sold it on ebay for $499.90. I have attached a photo of the figure. Thanks for your great newsletter, I always enjoy reading it!
How have you been? Great to hear from you again.
Oh my gosh...an eBay-sourced item tip! I love it! And whoaaa..$500!! Thanks so much!
Actually that's a good chance for me to talk about how people can actually make money reselling things they find on eBay itself. Do you have any tips u can give readers about that...do quick scans for Buy It Nows that are newly listed, etc?
In fact, while I have everyone, I will give you the latest tip I heard for sourcing on eBay. It's called PicClick.com, and what it does is let you page through lots of eBay photos quickly, so you can pick things out with visual clues.
I must give credit for this tip to Craig Stark of BookThink.com (an excellent bookseller's reference site which I've mentioned before). As he wrote in one piece:
"Last month I purchased a book on eBay for under $30 that recently sold for about $250. Apart from making a nice profit on it, there were several interesting things associated with this process, not the least of which was that I didn't find the book using eBay Search or by browsing on eBay - or doing anything at all on eBay. Another interesting thing: During the course of the auction, just for the heck of it, I went to eBay Search and typed in a search string that I'd been using for years to find just this kind of book. Guess what? It didn't come up at or near the top of the results returned, nor did it come up further down the list. It didn't come up at all!"
He says "With my display settings maximized on both my computer and PicClick itself, I can view 120 items at once, and I must tell you that scanning through them is many times faster than scrolling through lines of text on eBay (and trying to make out thumbnails that are so small as to be nearly useless), so much so that I'm able to perform a more general search in significantly less time than it would take me to do a more specific search on eBay - in other words, I'm much more thorough now, and this is part explains why I'm finding more and better things." (You can read the whole piece at http://www.bookthink.com/0135/135pic.htm).
Another method of making money by sourcing items on eBay itself to resell on eBay in another...well, incarnation, as it were, see Stuart Turnbull's book (there's an ad for it near the top of this newsletter) and the helpful ebooks of Avril Harper.
Back to reality, and Susie..Thanks so much, and you are entered into the contest!
Susie writes back:
This was actually just a fluke. It had been listed for about 1 day by the time I saw it. Don't know why it didn't get snatched up. Probably people assumed there must be something terribly wrong with it & didn't even check it out. That's what I thought, but decided to look anyway, thinking it might be worth a professional repair. I was shocked to see it was listed as excellent. They said they had just purchased it at an auction, apparently didn't realize what it was worth.
I don't have any great tips. I do have some searches I check regularly (I sort by newly listed, but generally only check them 2-3 times per week- just don't have more time to spend on it).
I collect dogs myself, so while I'm looking for items for my collection I often run across other things I can resell. The main key is being expert in some area. I am so familiar with the dog figures, I can often tell even with a poor description, bad photos, or a large group shot with a valuable dog lost in the middle that there is something there worth buying. Usually where I find the best bargains - bad photos & large groups, or listed in the wrong category. That's probably the main lesson out of this for sellers is to be sure & post good photos & research the items you are selling.
My seller id is luvthosedogs. I don't have anything listed right now, but will be starting to list some more items about the 2nd week of July. We just got a new puppy (7 week old yellow lab) so my time right now is very limited!
OK everyone, it's time to pick the winners and almost-winners! It was close, and there were a lot of good ones this month, but I am going with JoAnn's Raytheon Radio as the grand prize winner! And also, because I hope to hear her story about the Levi's jeans next! LOL. She wins the grand prize of the big stack of eBay-related books.
But, everyone else who entered gets something good, too..because they get a free copy of the brand-new ginormous ebook, What Sells on eBay for What! The 2009 edition.
Mike, Lee, Brad and Susie, please email me if you don't receive your ebook by Monday night.
Now I know you're wondering what this next Flip Contest's prizes will be. We've got another big stack of eBay Books, including Titanium eBay by my friend Skip McGrath; the DK Collectibles Price Guide 2007 (OK, so I have to clear it out of my library..it's still good!); Book Finds: How to Find, Buy and Sell Used and Rare Books; and "Bitter, Party of One," the complete funny saga of Larry Star, the infamous eBay "wedding dress" guy.
Seize the day and send in those next flips for one of our best sets of prizes ever! Just email your story of something you recently sold for a nice profit to email@example.com. ************************************** 3) What Sells on eBay for What: The 2009 Update is Out! **************************************
Well, that pretty much says it all. After almost a year of research, collecting data from every eBay category, the latest version of "What Sells on eBay for What," the first and bestselling ebook of eBay prices, is here!
And, you can get it for half price as a Yard Salers subscriber.
********************* 4) Reader Mail *********************
A Super Cheap Way to Send Overseas, from a Postal Authority
Thanks for the newsletter. I really look forward to reading them. And thanks for all of the good info regarding the Post Office. I work for the postal service. I got started on eBay because of all of the wonderful eBay sellers that were shipping their items. My feedback score is up to 275!
There is another bit of information that you may want to share with your readers about their shipping options. If you ship an international item, you can ship it as First Class International letter rate if it weighs no more than 4 pounds. It is a lot cheaper than Priority Mail International. You have to take it to the post office for postage because you can't print it on www.usps.com or on eBay/PayPal. The customs forms can be done online, too. And there is a discount for online postage. Delivery Confirmation is free for Priority Mail or .18 for other shipping methods. There is also free carrier pick up if at least one package is Priority which means no waiting in line. You can request it online when you print the postage.
Thanks for your newsletter! Donna
Ohhh..I am so glad I found you! I have been looking for a postal worker who could help me clear up stuff, and answer occasional questions for me.
Great info in your letter..I didn't realize you couldn't do First Class Int'l Letter online, but then I take all my international packages to the p.o. because the workers there told me I should. LOL. I still don't know if I can just set international shipments outside my house with the customs forms attached, but I never want to take that chance. :)
Thx again for writing!
Happy selling (and shipping),
More info from Donna below: ~~
Regarding the First Class International letter rate for packages (4 pounds or less), make sure you tell the clerk that you want FCI.
There is a website that compares shipping rates for USPS, UPS and FedEx. [Donna wrote back later to tell me the comparison website is www.shipgooder.com.] You just have to plug in the dimensions and weight and it will calculate the postage for all three carriers. The post office is the best choice most of the time.
[Donna also mentioned later that Priority Mail International is usually the cheapest for packages over 4 pounds if they won't fit in a flat rate box.]
If the package is heavy, flat rate is cheaper but it has to fit in the flat rate box. Our motto is, 'If it fits, it ships!' First Class International is for packages up to 4 pounds and it is letter rate even though it is a box. Anyone can use the postage calculator at www.usps.com. You can even request free carrier pickup as long as at least one package is shipped Priority. And you get a discount on the postage if you do it online. You can order free Priority boxes and labels and the shipping is free. You can also order them through the PayPal website for the co-branded eBay/Priority boxes. That is also free boxes and free shipping.
When I list an auction, I set it up as calculated shipping instead of flat rate. I have not been burned on postage since I started using calculated shipping. I even use it for international shipments. I can estimate the weight and offer up to 3 shipping options (ex: Media, First Class, Priority, Parcel Post, Express, flat rates, etc.). It lets me type the dimensions in the screen and it is very user friendly. I like user friendly! I use www.auctiva.com and I really like it.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Thanks! Donna ~~~
I just read your comments about the eBay changes. I would like to respond. First of all, it bothers me any time eBay adds rules or restrictions.
Example, virtually forcing us to have paypal accounts (their company of course). Then, not being able to list negative feedback for bad buyers. So now they are gong to force us to have a return policy in place. On the face of it, it doesn't seem like a bad idea. But, it would not surprise me if this leads to a "must allow returns" policy down the road.
And who was the bright guy who thought the "fakes" policy would fly?? There would have been a huge backlash if they kept that one in place. I have listed fewer and fewer lots as ebay has made more and more rules.
Just wanted to share my view (if you use this, plase don't use my name).
Great to hear from you again! How've you been?
I feel your pain. And yes, though with this particular change in the returns policy, it doesn't seem so bad, I agree with you that if it leads to some kind of forcing sellers to have a particular policy, it won't be good.
Of course, one would think that if eBay's restrictions got to be too much for sellers, they would vote with their feet. And some of them may be, but it is hard to do until another, similar site for unique items reaches critical mass.
Time will tell. :) Thanks again for writing, and yes, I'd love to use your letter in the newsletter (and possibly my blog too), but won't use your name.
In the next issue we'll get caught up with more of our backlog of viewer mail, have a new flips contest to share, discuss plans for this summer's World's Longest Yard Sale, and more.
See you next time, all!
Do you like this newsletter? Please forward it (in its entirety) to a friend! Just go to http://www.yardsalers.net and see the "Subscribe" box on top.
**Don't have five minutes to read the newsletter now? Print it out and read later.** [For more writing and photos throughout the month, check out Julia's bidbits blog at http://www.bidbits,net ]
****************************** "Selling on 'The River': Hedging Your Bets on Amazon"
Between eBay and amazon, you're looking at over 100 million visitors per month. Why not harness the power of both?
At $29.97, I think it's a good value. And you also get:
- "25 Things eBay Sellers Must Know about Selling on Amazon" and - SPECIAL BONUS - "How to Scout for Top Sellers with Your Cell Phone."
****************************** The eBay Seller's Guide to Finding Profitable Hidden Bargains at Garage Sales Find out here. ******************* Would you like your own fully customisable ebook website pulling in profits day after day, month after month, year after year, complete with video tutorials showing you EXACTLY how to get set up and running?Find out here. *******************
That's it for this issue. Until next time! - Julia
Questions about My eBooks Ordering
You can certainly purchase from me directly, as can anyone. Most of my ebooks are now available via the website's bookstore at www.yardsalers.net/bookstore. Any others you have questions about, all you have to do is email me and let me know which ebook(s) you want, if you are a subscriber and thus eligible for the discount, and then PayPal me to my PayPal id at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be tweaking and updating the ebooks page on my web site soon.
Do you have a Flip of the Week? I'd love to hear about it! Email me at email@example.com and let me know. -----------------------------------------------