Back Home Again – New Videos Coming SOON! – And a Selling Tip

Another load of stuff from yardsales! Hey, if you'd like to learn from Skip McGrath, click here!Hi everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know that Kath and I are back home again after what seemed like a VERY fast 5 months in Florida… We’ve done some videos that Kath will be getting ready to post really soon (she promises!).

We’ve got a video in the works of hauling stuff off to a “country auction” that you might find interesting, as well as some real results of a typical yard sale day, and our subsequent efforts and results in reselling them.

Quick eBay and CraigsList Selling Tip

Over the winter, I sold a few items on eBay and Craigslist for some friends as well – and that’s a thought I wanted to share with you. If you know someone who would like to sell on eBay but they don’t really know how, you can certainly offer YOUR expertise and put the item up for sale on their behalf. It DOES need to be worthwhile for you though…

My general rule of thumb is that I won’t sell something for someone online if I don’t believe it can bring at least $50. I charge 50% off the hammer price (that is, the final price that the item sells for, and then I deduct my listing and final value fees from THAT). The person who is selling the item gets the whole 50%.

That’s just the way I do it personally. I’m sure other sellers have their own thoughts on that – but because I typically only sell items for family members or good friends, that’s how I do it.

But, it might be worth it to you to offer your services to others once in a while!

Skip McGrath, who has been selling on eBay as long as I have (since 1999), and is considered one of THE experts when it comes to selling on eBay, has a really good course out that receives rave reviews if you’re interested in learning a lot more about how and what to sell on eBay. I wish I had thought of making a course on selling on eBay – I actually HAVE taught some classes in a nearby town in the past – but I never put it together the way Skip has. Well, there’s certainly no point in my even attempting to reinvent the wheel here, so I’ll just give you the link to head on over and check Skip out yourself here => eBay Business System – Learn How to Sell on eBay

The Complete eBay Marketing System

Adding Video to your eBay Listings

Using Youtube Videos for eBay listingsI just made a quick video for you regarding how powerful it can be to add video – a short YouTube video, for example to your eBay listings.

It’s difficult to say whether this is one of my all-time favorite tips on selling on eBay, but it ranks right up there! Actually, adding video to the listings was my wife’s idea (thanks Hon!).

You know the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, if that’s true, then a video is worth even more.

The video idea is really most helpful (I think) when we need to show whether or not something is working. Continue reading →

What Are Some Ways You Can Improve Your eBay Sales?

We wrote a lot about this Fitz & Floyd Monkey TeapotThis post is primarily for beginners, or people who haven’t sold a lot on eBay yet. So for those of you who have been at this for a long time, bear with me.

I’m writing this because I just searched for something, and realized why I wouldn’t buy a couple of the items I saw listed in the category for the particular thing I was looking for.

Ok, new people: If you go over to eBay any time, you obviously see millions of things for sale. Check any category, or type in search term.

For example if you type in the word “teapot” and search for it, chances are you’re going to see hundreds if not thousands of them for sale. Right? Continue reading →

A Unique Way To Use eBay For Self Promotion

Crystal Pumps by an eBayer named Crystal HeelsWe were just addressing how to find the best things to sell on eBay, and while we were doing some research, we came across the wildest thing! And I thought, “Wow! What a great concept!” One of those, “Why didn’t I think of that!?”

Let me explain. I was working on an outline for someone, to show them the step by step ways a user can find out “what’s hot” on eBay. So, while going through the sequence of steps myself, I decided to take a look at what was trending on eBay today. The amazing pair of women’s designer shoes that you see here in the screen shot caught my eye.

I finished up my notes, and quickly came back to these shoes and this seller. The seller goes by the eBay name of  MyCrystalHeels.

At the time of this writing, MyCrystalHeels was offering a pair of designer shoes that were customized with “Custom Strassed Swarovski Crystals.”

While I was writing this post, more than 1,700 people had looked at the auction, and the shoes were being offered at $4,995.00.

Now, they may or may not sell – time will tell – but one thing we noticed in the auction was that the seller had a line in the description that offered services for customizing one’s own shoes. All the interested party needs to do is get in touch with the seller for a quote.

So, in this case, let’s say for just a moment that the shoes don’t sell. BUT, what if that brought the seller so much off-eBay business that he or she doesn’t need to ever try selling another shoe on eBay? Take a look at THIS screen shot: The seller, MyCrystalHeels is offering her (or his) services to customer YOUR OWN shoes.

Notice that Crystal Heels is saying that if you want YOUR shoes customized, merely get in touch for a quote!

Now, I think that this is absolutely brilliant.

This shows a way to use eBay to reach out to a target market in a way that isn’t ordinarily done.

I’ve never done it. But you can bet it’s got me thinking!

And hopefully it has YOU thinking as well.

PS: You might want to also have a look at this book, which can help you find the best things to sell on eBay:

Simply Click Here =>How and Where to Locate the Merchandise to Sell on eBay

Sell Vintage Stuff From Thrift Stores on Ebay

Some of the best things to sell on eBay come from thrift shops!

What are the Best Things to Sell on eBay?

If you’ve been reading my blog or watching any of my YouTube videos for any time now, you’ll notice that I definitely find my share of vintage stuff to sell. I can tell you that even though I find a lot of my inventory from yard sales, which is really a lot of fun, I also buy from individuals selling on Craigslist.

Also, I find some really good stuff at Thrift Stores. And, if you saw my post the other day, you’ll note that we had just arrived in Florida for the winter. The next day we drove around the area to get a feel for the lay of the land, and happened upon a Church Thrift Store.

Even though we weren’t out to go buying since we were really still unpacking and stocking up on some groceries, we couldn’t resist going into the store.

I’m glad we did. Kathy, who has a thing for cufflinks (ahem… if you read one of our first posts, you’ll see why! Here’s the original post about Kath’s experience with cufflinks => Click Here for the “Cufflink Post.”), saw that there was a small case of men’s jewelry behind the counter.

While I went through the clothes (and found a cool vintage Red Cross Wool Coat that I’ll write about later) and books, Kath made a beeline to the men’s jewelry.

A pair of blue and green enameled cufflinks caught her eye, and she put them in the pile of stuff we decided to buy. It turns out that these are Christian Dior sterling cufflinks, and we brought them home and processed them to sell on eBay. Kath found these Christian Dior Cufflinks at a Thrift Store

Now the fun part… We cannot yet tell you what they sell for – if they sell at all!

Next week or so, I’ll put together a post showing all the stuff we bought at that Thrift Store – our first stop since arriving here in Florida – and will share our results with you!

In the meantime, please believe me when I tell you that there is definitely a method for shopping for the best things to sell on eBay. We don’t just walk into a place and grab every vintage piece of jewelry and clothing that we find. If you do that, I can assure you that you’ll be ending up with a TON of smelly stuff that you’ll wind up donating to another Thrift Store.

It takes patience and perseverance! If you would like a little help with this, may I recommend you grab a copy of one or more of the different guides available. There are a bunch on Amazon – just see the small number of guides I found below! (Click the image, and you’ll go to the search results I saw on Amazon.)


Thanksgiving Day: Ready for Buying and Selling IN FLORIDA!

Hi everyone! This is just a quick note to let you know that on this very day, Thanksgiving Day, 2011, Kath and I have just arrived in Port Orange, Florida for the winter!

I know that we won’t be doing any yard-saleing before tomorrow or Saturday – or even mayby even NEXT week. But, I just wanted to let you know that we have arrived, and we are psyched to get going on our winter buying and selling!

We have some great videos and articles coming up – but wanted to every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving. We, personally, have a great deal to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my wife, Kathy, who encourages and helps me in my business. Oh, she also loves me! I am thankful for my parents, who taught me integrity and value. I am thankful that my beautiful daughter Sara has a healthy and happy little son (my grandson Tristan).

In one of Kathy’s blog posts today, she mentioned things that she is grateful for. I agree that it’s really easy to be thankful for the “easy things” like “food” or “shelter” etc.

Anyway, it’s getting late, and it’s about time for bed. But I did not want this day to go by without saying that I’m thankful for YOU, my readers and fellow entrepreneurs, for sharing the passion of buying and selling – the good times and the slow times – thank you.  To my customers, I thank you for purchasing from me and Kath.

I appreciate every one of you!


Despite High Fees Selling on eBay is Still the Best Game in Town

eBay goods, packaged to send to the Post OfficeThis year, eBay started adding fees to sellers’ postage charges. Now, let me go on record as saying I do NOT like this change – I’m not even sure how they were able to do this legally. But, there it is. They did it.

And I’m not stumping for eBay here, but after selling on eBay for 12+ years, and having looked around at a few other sites, for me eBay is still the best game in town.

As a seller, I have no choice but to abide by their rules. Oh, believe me, I definitely let eBay know what I think of some of their changes – for example, that whole bit about not being able to leave a buyer negative feedback. Since that particular little rule came into play, my percentage of non-paying bidders has risen considerably. Yes, I talked to eBay about it. But, we still cannot leave a buyer negative feedback.

Now, with the new fees on postage. Well… I’m still going to sell on eBay. Like I said, it’s still the best game in town – at least for me.

So here are my thoughts on this. I take a “non-resistance” approach to things (my wife and I are students of self development and growth, and we find a path of non-resistance to be the way to go). Sometimes, you really are better off just going with the flow. Don’t get all cranked up about it – it won’t do any good, and you’ll just be spending your valuable energy fighting something you can’t change anyway. Let your voice be heard, and then get back to work.

Before eBay added those fees, I rarely included shipping in my price. Primarily because I didn’t want to see additional fees. Now it doesn’t matter, and I’m tending to include shipping more often. But, I think about the price and cost first, and make sure I take the new fees into consideration before setting the cost.

I have never, ever inflated my shipping charges. I’m known for fair shipping prices, and I intend to keep it that way. I have never wanted to or attempted to make money on shipping, and I’m not going to start now. I’ll just make sure that I don’t take a loss.

Let’s say I have an item that I’m willing to earn only $5.00 on, and let’s say I can send that item for $3 or $4. If I start the bidding – or Buy it Now price at $9.95, I’ll still only be charged the minimal fees, be able to include the shipping, and still make the $5.00 on the item anyway. The buyer gets a good deal, the shipping’s included (which, psychologically, people seem to like), and everyone is happy.

Obviously, that’s a very simplistic example. But, what if you’re thinking, “Why go to all that trouble for 5 measely dollars?”

Don’t forget about live auctions! The old fashioned live country auction is alive and well! If you have a bunch of $5 items that you don’t really want to spend the time or effort for eBay given the low return, load up the truck and haul it off to auction and be done with it.

Just my 2 cents on this whole thing. Thanks for reading!

And Some Days Are A Wash…Example of a BAD Yard Sale Day

That's IT? That's ALL we got for a day's Yard Saleing efforts? LOLEver have one of those “buying and selling to make money days” where you 1) get up before the sun, ready for a huge day of yard-saleing, and 2) you’re rarin’ to go with a pocket full of buying cash, and 3) you’re FIRST at just about every yard sale you hit, and………

4) You hardly buy a single thing?

Sigh. It happens. In fact, it happened this very weekend.

On Friday, Kath & I decided to try to get away for a day or so. Neither of us have had much of any days off this summer – nature of the beast in construction. So, we knew it was going to be a gorgeous weekend, and decided to head on over to the Maine coast.

It’s only about 2, maybe 2 1/2 hours to the coast from our place here in the mountains. We figured we’d leave nice and early, and get to as many yard sales as we could while en route to the beach. This way, we could actually get a little buying work done! Continue reading →

Tools You Need for Selling – Part 1: Counterfeit Bill Tester

A Counterfeit Testing Pen is a MUST if you are selling at yardsales or on Craigslist!
Buy a Counterfeit Testing Pen – Click the image to see a similar one on Amazon

Tools. Yes, there are definitely tools that are required for successful buying and selling. And not just for eBay. Even if you are buying to sell at live auction houses or on CraigsList or your own yardsale – or even in your neighborhood newspaper, there are a few things that I personally feel you should have.

In my experience, you don’t need a ton of things, but there are a few things I feel you will find very handy to have!

For example, if you are selling on eBay, you need certain tools in order to process payments (for example, PayPal). Actually, sellers are now required to take PayPal, so if you are considering selling on eBay at all, just go ahead and get yourself set up with an account.

But, there are other, physical tools that are handy. I’ll talk about some of these in other posts in detail, but let’s look at a yard sale or CraigsList transaction.

Suppose you’re selling your piano (which, incidentally, we are doing right now). Now, a piano can be a fairly good sized transaction – anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple thousand.

So… for example:

If you put your ad on CraigsList, you will be saying something like, “Spinet piano – good shape… First $600 in cash takes it!” So, let’s say someone comes over with $600 in cash (by the way, you should ALWAYS insist on cash – NEVER agree to a “Western Union” or “3rd party pick up” situation… It will likely be a scam. More on this in another post).Photo of our Piano for our CraigsList Ad

So, you have someone at your door with 6 100-dollar bills. Nice! Before you shake hands on the transaction, you will take out your trusty Counterfeit Testing Pen and mark each bill to ensure that you aren’t getting a counterfeit bill.

This is NOT being paranoid. This is being a smart business person.
If you present anything larger than a $20 bill at a supermarket, see if the cashier doesn’t test the bill with a pen first. That’s not a reflection on your character at all!

I did a short video about this, which you can watch below this post – below the Amazon examples.

So, this is a VERY simple tool. It’s inexpensive. Yes, you can step up a level and buy a bill scanner that is a little more high tech, but at very least, you want a counterfeit bill tester. There are a few on Amazon (below) that are extremely affordable – Just click the image, and you’ll go to a page where you can choose from any number of them. It’s one of the tools I feel is very important.

Selling Shoes and Odd Lots on eBay

You can never go wrong with Converse shoes!Hi everyone! I realize I haven’t posted in a while… My apologies! I wanted to share a video we made a few months ago about selling shoes and odd lots on eBay. It’s only about 2 minutes long, but hopefully it will give you a little insight on what we typically look for when buying used footwear.

We also sell shoes at our favorite consignment store as well – and we’ll have an article and video about that as well pretty soon. Now that the carpentry season is starting to wind down, I’ll hopefully be updating the blog here more often.

Anyway, we actually made this video back in April when we were still down in South Carolina – and even though it’s a few months old, the concepts are the same no matter what time of year.

For example, during the spring, while we may be more inclined to sell sandals and running shoes, the way we choose which types of shoes to buy in the first place are the exact same criteria we use when buying snow boots and other cold weather gear to sell in the fall. Here is the short video that explains this criteria. I hope you like it and find it helpful!