Monday, August 31, 2009

Amazon Instituting "Charge When Ship" for Sellers is moving to a system for sellers where they must confirm a shipment of a product before they will get paid. The details are below, pasted from a seller email I recently received.

This is not a huge change for amazon sellers, in my mind; just another hoop to jump through. But as recently reported in USA Today, buyers like to track shipments of everything from shoes to pizzas these days, so the new criteria are in keeping with what consumers want.

Details are below, pasted from an email to amazon sellers:

Hello from Amazon Services.

Charge When Ship will be enabled within a
week in your Seller Account, and you will then be required to confirm shipment
of all new orders you receive. With Charge When Ship, if you do not confirm
shipment of an order through Manage Orders or a feed within 30 days of the date
the order was placed, you will not be paid for the order.

Once your
Seller Account is enabled for Charge When Ship, you will see "Confirm shipment"
and "Cancel order" buttons for new orders; the "Refund order" button will only
appear after you confirm shipment of an order. (Just as now, there will be no
"Cancel order" button for orders you received before your account is enabled for
Charge When Ship.)

Charge When Ship follows the current industry standard
for processing buyer payments and will also help keep buyers informed about the
status of their shipments. Though Charge When Ship is new for some sellers,
other sellers have been using it for quite a while. We are bringing this
functionality to you because of Amazon's commitment to providing the best
customer experience possible.

We strongly encourage you to start using
Charge When Ship today: On your Seller Account home page or in Manage Orders,
click the "Learn more" link in the yellow Charge When Ship sign-up

Here is how Charge When Ship works:

* When you ship an
order, you confirm the shipment and provide shipping information in Manage
Orders. If you have a Pro Merchant Subscription you can also use text-file feeds
for this.

* We charge the buyer after you confirm shipment (rather than
when the buyer places the order), and then we credit your Marketplace Payments
account. Amazon assumes the risk of buyer non-payment for every order in your
Unshipped Orders Reports or that has confirm and cancel buttons in Manage
Orders. As long as you confirm that the order was properly shipped, you will be
paid in accordance with the Marketplace Participation Agreement. Of course, just
as now, there may be circumstances where payment may later need to be refunded,
for example when the buyer does not receive the order, or it is not as

* To keep buyers informed about their shipments, we display
the shipping information in the buyer's Amazon account, and we also send the
buyer an e-mail notification with all the shipping information.

* You
can easily tell which orders you have not yet confirmed as shipped, in Manage
Orders or on the Unshipped Orders Report (available to Pro Merchant
subscribers). We will also send you an e-mail reminder if an order remains
unshipped past the promised ship date.

* You can cancel an order, if
necessary, instead of confirming the shipment, and then we will not charge the
buyer at all and you will not have to issue a refund.

See our Charge When
Ship video, FAQ, and recorded




We think you will find managing your orders is easier and more efficient
with Charge When Ship. To get started, click the "Learn more" link in the yellow
Charge When Ship sign-up notice in Manage Orders or on your Seller Account home

If you have questions, contact us using the "By e-mail" or "By
phone" button in the Seller Support box found on the right side of seller Help

Best regards,



You can confirm
shipments easily in Manage Orders:

1. In your Seller Account, under the
"Manage Your Orders" heading, click "View your orders" to find the order you
want to confirm.

2. Click the "Confirm shipment" button next to the order
(or below the order if you are looking at an order detail page).

Select the Ship Date and Carrier (such as USPS) from the drop-down

4. Enter the Shipping Service (such as Ground) and the Tracking
ID, if any (supplied by the carrier).

5. Click the "Confirm shipment"

For information on using a Shipping Confirmation feed to confirm
shipment of multiple orders at once, follow this path in Help:

Selling at > Confirming Shipment > How to Confirm
Shipment of Multiple Orders at the Same



If you are unable to ship an
order, you can cancel it easily in Manage Orders:

1. In your Seller
Account, under the "Manage Your Orders" heading, click "View your orders" to
find the order you want to cancel.

2. Click the "Cancel order" button
next to the order (or below the order if you are looking at an order detail

3. Select the appropriate reason, and then click

For information on cancelling orders using an Order Cancellation
feed, follow this path in Help:

Selling at >
Confirming Shipment > How to Cancel Orders

Monday, August 17, 2009

World's Longest Yard Sale 2009 Part 4: Fentress Field

After our obligatory stop at the Cumberland Mtn. General Store, Signe and I decided to get a little closer to Jamestown, Tennessee, the town that founded the whole concept of the World's Longest Yard Sale. We knew the next must-see was South Fentress field, where HGTV was rumored to be filming.

But along the way we made one more stop. We passed many makeshift yard sale signs, including many that enticingly led off the road and down long, windy driveways. These were the real "Mom 'n' Pop" garage sales that no doubt hid some of the best bargains, and next year I plan to make it to more of those off the beaten track type sales.

A little red Caboose and a lot of tents set up to our left caught our attention on the way, so we decided to make one more stop before hitting Fentress field. We pulled in to a back parking lot, past a hot dog and drink vendor. I went to get a hot dog and Signe went off to troll for vases she could mosaic over.

After scarfing down my lunch quickly, I drifted off to a table with a lot of vintage jewelry laid out. I was looking for old bracelets and whatever else caught my eye. I wound up finding a great coral and turquoise cocktail ring for $2.50, a sterling silver pair of earrings with black beads for $3.50, and two silver necklaces for $1.50. One of them had a lovely mother-of-pearl pendant, the other two shimmer blue beads.

And finally, a very fun goldtone vintage charm bracelet with all kinds of fun charms, like a little Liberty Bell.

Next we were off to South Fentress field. You could tell something big was going on here by the sheer scope of the field, parking lot, and number of tents. Here is a video of our approach to the field:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

World's Longest Yard Sale 2009, Part 3: Cumberland Mtn. General Store

Inside the Cumberland Mountain General Store, in addition to the quaint old soda fountain / ice cream parlor, there are numerous old collectibles and antiques, and, of course, the World's Longest Yard Sale t-shirts.

Here's a link to a short YouTube video I made of the store:

IMG_0144 Here's another view of the aforementioned soda fountain.

Though they were not making milkshakes, I ordered an ice cream with hot fudge, which the fountain worker on the left is dutifully making.

Also inside the store are all kinds of collectibles and antiques...glassware, an antique hallway table with mirror, Mr. Peanut figurines, soda bottles, books, you name it.

Here they were selling the Highway 127 / World's Longest Yard Sale t-shirts, so I snagged one in XL as L was all sold out.

Rooster1 Left: The metal rooster which captivated me, on the right outside corner of the store. Note the old traffic light and cafe sign, two of many fun artifacts inside and outside the place.

After doing a little filming and snagging an ice cream, I wandered around outside to check out the wares for sale.

There was a lot of pottery, glassware, many old tools, and all kinds of collectibles. And a smaller amount of furniture.

I saw some Roseville pottery on one table, though the prices were what you would expect it to be.

I came across some Avon ruby red "Cape Cod" glassware, and decided I'd add a couple plates to my collection at home. I picked up the plates for $8 -- not a bad price, if not rock-bottom; but I had something to take away from the General Store area.

Signe admired some of the wilder figurines on display, such as a wooden devil with his tongue sticking out, but left without buying anything there.

In the next post, I'll write about our next stop along the way, in a field with an old red Caboose, and the stuff we picked up there.

World's Longest Yard Sale 2009, Part 2: Of Harleys and Bargains

More from our saga at the World's Longest Yard Sale 2009:

One thing we noticed a lot of were motorcycles, Harley Davidsons in particular. They seem to have a very dedicated following. I don't know if the below is a Harley, but Signe was pretending it was hers:

IMG_0139 Next to the bike you can see a bit of the Americana culture-type art and decor that was for sale. Prices were a bit high for my taste, tho.

I did, however, score a great deal on a new set of King sized sheets - just $20. A vendor had a few tables piled up with all size sheet sets, 800 thread count. Or at least it said it was 800 thread count..guess I'll find out when I sleep on them..ha!

Signe bought a mosaic vase that she couldn't resist for around $6..but later bemoaned her purchase when she realized it was made in China. LOL. Still, it was a good price.

She was on the hunt for vases and other items that she could do mosaic over.

Our next stop was going to be the Cumberland Mountain General Store, which boasts the old soda fountain, and a funky porch brimming with old antique signs and other decoratives such as a tin rooster.

Me in front of the General Store:


But first, it was on to a couple more sales a bit further down the road. We spied a cute red caboose and a bunch of tables and tents to the left, so pulled down a long gravel driveway and parked on a grass lot.

There was tons of glassware, pottery, clothing, books, you name it. I honed in on some great vintage jewelry items where the prices were right:

A charm bracelet for $2.50, sterling silver earrings for $3.50, and a cute coral and turquoise big ring for $2.50.

Signe didn't find much of interest at this sale, so it was on to the General Store after a hot dog break. Did I mention it was hot as Hades?


Below (and left) is a better view of the store, where you can actually read its name:

Inside the store is a charming old soda fountain / ice cream shop...below is a picture of that (I went to order a chocolate milkshake, but to my great disappointment they said they stopped making them on Thursday because last year their machine had gotten "burned out" making them during the yard sale.

A guy sitting on the front porch was extolling the virtues of the burgers they make there, too.

(Continued in the next post: more about the Cumberland Mountain General Store Soda Fountain and the rest of the yard sale).                                                


Monday, August 10, 2009

Report from The World's Longest Yard Sale, Near Jamestown,TN

After years of trying, I finally made it to the World's Longest Yard Sale, which stretches from southern Ohio down into Tennessee and below into Georgia.

My sister Signe and I tooled down 81 south from Alexandria, VA, down into Tennessee. Our goal was to hit Highway 127, the rural road where the yard sales are, just south of Jamestown and move north into that town for the night, which is the capital of the Highway 127 sale.

We stayed the first night in Knoxville, TN, and had dinner near the University of TN area. We sat in a charming outdoor cafe and watched the students, couples, and various cars of all makes and ages roll by,


Above: Signe standing on the street in Knoxville, TN, near where we stopped for dinner.


Left: a kind lady offered to take a pic of the two of us at the restaurant in Knoxville. It's a cliche, but it made us think about the adage that Southerners are friendlier than people in some other localities.

We got to bed early so we'd be up and cracking for the sale in the a.m.

When we got to the turnoff to 127 off 40 west, suddenly we hit the yard sale traffic. Cars came to a virtual stop as the line of cars on the exit merging into heavy traffic on 127 waited their turn. We decided to turn left and start our sales adventure just south of there, as the traffic going south was much lighter.

We parked in a furniture store parking lot, where there were several sales and tents set up all around in the adjacent fields and business lots. We headed into our very first sale!

Signe spied some nice striped sheets for only 25 cents. But she waited a bit to buy them, and they were gone later! You've got to strike while the iron is hot, I guess!

But..she did find this fab Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt, which said "Support Southern Rock" on the back. I was envious of her find until I learned she bought it from nice! ;) (And did you know Lynyrd Skynrd was named for one of the band member's teachers, one Leonard Skinner?).


Signe proudly displays her World's Longest Yard Sale find.


Signe paying for her t-shirt find, her first World's Longest Yard Sale purchase.

It was Saturday, August 8, and did I mention it was HOT? It was already in the 90s in the morning, at the time of this photo, and it just kept getting (or feeling) hotter as the day went on. Vendors with tents were definitely at an advantage, as it became too unbearable not to be in the shade.

We had parked in front of this furniture store near Jamestown, where the lady inside gave us some hot tips on the famous sale people come from far and wide to see:

IMG_0138 <----  Signe in front of BaLou's Furniture Gallery, where they were kind to let us park, and gave us great yard sale tips!

- Two must-see stops: 

1) The old country store in Clarkrange, just after the stop for the town. It's on the right if you're heading north.

She said there was an old soda fountain where they had milkshakes and other treats, and vendors set up outside, too.

2) South Fentress Park, a large field/park with lots of vendors and tents, and where HGTV films.

(Check out my YouTube videos of both locations).

I picked up a couple of My Little Pony dolls for a quarter each at a sale close to where Signe got the t-shirt.

Next we went over to the other field where the vendors seemed more like professional dealers.

The lady in the furniture store had warned us about this -- that the 127 sale in its early days had been more like real "yard sales," with good deals and low prices..and now there were a lot of sellers asking close to store prices. I had also heard this from readers of my newsletter and via word of mouth.

One of the first lots had a number of metal/tin sculptures in the classic Americana country style..things like a metal rooster, However, prices here were boutique style, around the $100 realm, so we didn't linger long. (I also saw some nice chunky turquoise and coral jewelry..priced around $175..I wasn't in the market for that kind of price even though no doubt it's a fair retail price. Hey, we're at a yard sale!).

One thing that was particularly fun was a huge long bin of nothing but collectible salt and pepper shakers: