Follow Up! Buying and Selling More through GOOD PRESENTATION

Buying and Selling to Make Money at Yard SalesIf you’re going to be buying and selling to make money on eBay or auction (or Craigslist), it is worth taking the time to make your stuff look good. A few weeks ago, we talked about the importance of having a nicely organized auction display. (If you missed that post, you can read it HERE – Importance of Good Presentation).

Yesterday, I received a check from the auction company for about $550. Not a bad chunk of change for hauling a bunch of stuff off to auction.How to Sell at Auction - Lot Your Stuff Correctly!

As we went through the list of what sold, and for what money, it occurred to me that the vintage kitchen utensils lot that we showed in the last post (see photo again here) sold for $20! Not bad for a couple of dollar items – or some free stuff – from a yard sale lot!

As we looked through the list of the box lots we sold, we were very pleased. Continue reading →

Selling at Auction and the Importance of Presentation

How to Sell at Auction - Lot Your Stuff Correctly!As you probably already know, selling at auction (that is, LIVE, PHYSICAL auction houses) is a bit different from selling on eBay. It did not take me long in this business 30 years ago to notice that I bypassed a number of box lots or other types of lots simply because I couldn’t stand the idea of sorting through piles of what looked like garbage to me.

Even at yard sales, if there’s a huge pile of junk on a tarp on someone’s lawn, I don’t spend a lot of time sorting through it. I value my time, and I want to spend it going through or looking at items where I have a clearer view. I know that a lot of folks enjoy “the hunt” and finding that little gold nugget among the sand, rocks and mud – and I enjoy finding gems as well. I’m just not as inclined to get on my hands and knees to sift through mud if there is a nicer looking display that’s easier to look through.

So, having said that, I want to talk a little today about the importance of presentation when selling at auction. Presentation is equally important for selling on eBay, by the way, which we’ll discuss in an upcoming video.

Generally, it’s safe to say that the better something looks, the more someone is likely to pay the right kind of attention to it. Sure, we can look at something nasty looking while driving by, and it might catch our attention.

Kind of like, “Wow, look at that gross thing…”

But rarely will I say, “Wow, look at that gross thing, I absolutely have to buy it!”

Let’s face it. The more care you take to lot and sort your items for sale, the better it will be received overall.

So, let’s say you have 10 vintage weight-lifting magazines, 25 pieces of depression glass, 5 books about horses, and a lot of old cookie cutters and bakeware – and you want to haul the whole bunch of it off to auction.

In this case, take the time to separate the lot into the logical categories. Don’t lump the depression glass in with the weight-lifting magazines. Take the time to put each category into its own box or flat.

Here’s an entire article I just devoted to this very topic => Sorting and Lotting Items for Selling at Auction Houses 


How to Sell on eBay Questions from a Reader

A Reader Writes with How to Sell on eBay QuestionsI really enjoy receiving letters from readers, and especially enjoy helping others learn how to sell on eBay. I recently received a very nice note from someone who is not only a reader of our “Buying and Selling to Make Money” blog, but also a viewer on my “John’s Yard Sale Finds” channel at YouTube.

This reader had some terrific questions about how to sell on eBay, and she explained to me that as a beginner, there were several things that were confusing to her, particularly around timing the end of auctions, determining postage costs, using PayPal – and just a few other things.

Posting her questions and my responses would take quite a bit of room here at the blog, so I devoted an entire article to the topic, which you can find here => How to Sell on eBay – A Reader’s Questions

It seems that a lot of people have wondered how much extra – if any – to charge on postage for sending items to their buyers. I have some pretty strong feelings about this topic, and I do address it in the article. Please head on over to it here => How to Sell on eBay – A Reader’s Questions 

Thanks for visiting!

Buying and Selling to Make Money at Yard Sales

Back Home – Buying and Selling to Make Money is Different Here!

Buying and Selling to Make Money at Yard SalesAfter being away for over 5 months, I had forgotten how different the buying and selling to make money is from one area of the country to another.

Just as one example, a couple of weeks ago in South Carolina, we couldn’t visit nearly as many yard sales on an ordinary Saturday morning as we wanted to. We would carefully map out our route in such a way to give us the biggest bang for our buck, and we almost never got to all of the sales in the region.

We arrived back in New Hampshire this past Monday evening, and were eager to hit the circuit today – our first Saturday back home. The weather looked pretty decent, so we figured it might be a nice day for yard saleing.

Of course, it’s a lot colder up here at this time of year than it is down in South Carolina – so we didn’t really expect too many sales. But we really didn’t expect “nearly none.” We drove through the nearby town of Gorham where one or two were listed – but they weren’t opening until 9:00 – and we were on the road by 7:00 am.

In South Carolina we’re considered almost late by 7:00 am since many people are opening their doors by 6:00 am – and there are dozens of cars lined up along the curbsides of all of them. I’m sure they start so early there because the heat can get pretty stifling by late morning.

At any rate, we drove down to the North Conway area where there were a few more sales listed. But not that many. We continued on downstate – we were going to visit our daughter and grandson, so it was the perfect route to pick up the “unadvertised specials” along the way. We found a great rummage sale in a neat little town that we decided we’d actually consider living in once our own house sells up in the mountains. In fact, we met a neat lady who is selling a house there and she invited us to go take a walk around. Very interesting! So, besides filling up at least 7 bags of great clothes for consignment, we also made a nice connection in the area.

But, by and large, buying and selling to make money on the yard sale circuit is still a little sparse ’round these parts! Typically up here in New Hampshire, Memorial Day really kicks off the yard sale season. We’re looking forward to seeing what comes up in the next couple of weeks! In the meantime, all of you buyers in warmer parts of the country, enjoy the head start! We’ll be catching up soon.

What NOT to buy and sell on eBay - Purchases with no return on investment

What About the LOSERS?

What NOT to buy and sell on eBay - Purchases with no return on investmentIt happens. Once in a while, you’re just going to buy something you clearly shouldn’t have bought. It happens all the time.

These are the losers.

Now, the issue isn’t always that they didn’t sell – but that the time spent buying and then listing it just wasn’t worth it.

For example, take the little candy tin pictured here.

It’s a really nice little tin, and it was made in Holland. It only cost $1 at a yard sale, so what’s the harm?

It’s ok to take a chance for just a few pennies.

I really thought this would sell for at least $10. After all, people like that “Wedgewood” look, and I figured that this was a natural for eBay.

So, up it went on eBay where it sold for …. $5. Five whole dollars.

Well, someone was really pleased with it – and they got a great deal. But, let’s look at the break down here:

  • Purchase price = $1.00
  • Research on line to see where I should list it
  • Take photo of item
  • Type up the item listing
  • Pay the listing fee
  • Answer questions about how much to ship the item here or there (we offer international shipping on many of our items)
  • Auction closes for $5.00
  • eBay takes its Final Value Fee
  • Send customer invoice
  • Prepare paperwork/receipts and package the item
  • Put item in mail

Now, once you add up the costs in time, materials, and effort, it is clearly easy to see how it would be tough to make a living on $5.00 items – unless your budget is only $200 – $500/week.

Unfortunately, I need much more than $200-$500/week to live (ah, the good ol’ days… I remember when my budget was only about $500 per MONTH!).

So, while the issue of spending the time and effort on an item that sells for $100 doesn’t feel too bad, it digs in pretty deep on a $5.00 item.

We posted an article that further discusses what to do about “the losers” here on the blog. Have a look here! => What About The Losers? 
IN THE MEANTIME… Enjoy the following video that we made about this topic!

Buying and Selling Identical Items on eBay

New Tips on Selling on eBay Featured Article

Buying and Selling Identical Items on eBayKath and I were talking about some tips on selling on eBay today, and we realized that we often purchase lots of “identical” items – that is, a lot or pallet of numerous items that are all the same.

We thought you might find the idea appealing, especially since buying and selling on eBay this way can really be a time saver. Of course, there are a few things that are important to keep in mind when looking at buying a large lot like this. You definitely want to be sure that more than one person actually wants these things!

We’ve bought and sold some interesting things this way – “Vision Board Kits,” pewter cups, abacus (abaci?), die-cast cars…

Last year, I came across a large lot of centrifuge tubes for example. Now, those things can be expensive in a science catalog. But I bought the lot for about $15 – and over the course of the year, sold them all for about $400. Yes, it took some time for me to realise that profit – but as you’ll see from the article (which you can read here => Benefits of Buying and Selling Identical Items on eBay)  – it isn’t really all that difficult to do.

Have a look at our strategy, and let me know what you think!


One of this week's Buying and Selling to Make Money on eBay Winners!

Buying and Selling on eBay – 4/11/11 Results

One of this week's Buying and Selling to Make Money on eBay Winners!

Hello again! Time for this week’s “Buying and Selling on eBay” results. Today’s video shows you our results from our auctions that closed Sunday night, April 10, 2011.

I worked on the format of the video, and made it a little shorter and “lighter” so that it doesn’t take long to load. You’ll get an idea of some of this last week’s buying and selling to make money realities.

Recognizing that you may want to also see some of the “duds” instead of seeing just “the studs,” I promise that in an upcoming video, I’ll show you some of our less spectacular buys – the kinds of things that we wind up sending off to the local Salvation Army or off to auction.

One of our better finds over the course of this last week was a lot of spray guns by Binks – the kind of spray guns used in painting. Kathy spotted them, and we got all 3 for $20. As you’ll see in the video, they sold for a nice profit. (Big pat on the back to my lovely wife! Good job hon!) 🙂

You’ll also see a few places where we bought something for $1.00 and only sold it for $5.00. Oh well, the person who bought it was happy with it – and that carries some weight of its own! It’s nice that someone got a good deal. We all like good deals, so as sellers, we need to be prepared to share that good feeling with others.

Enjoy the video, and we’ll see you again soon! (PS: If you like the video and my blog, would you be so kind as to let your Facebook friends know about it? Simply comment on our “Facebook Comment” section below! Thanks so much! Enjoy!)

Buying and Selling to Make Money on eBay

Make Money Selling on eBay-Results for April 3, 2011

Buying and Selling to Make Money on eBay

Although it wasn’t an absolutely stellar week  for us to make money selling on ebay, we decided to kick off our website with a rundown of our results anyway!

As you’ll see, we’ll be posting not only when we have hot items selling on eBay and other auctions, but also the duds! We’ll also be offering our strategies and tips on selling on eBay. This particular post is really just the starting point.

We are looking forward to sharing not only our own adventures buying and selling to make money, but hope you will join the conversation and share your own thoughts as well.

If you would like to view our results for this week, we invite you to click on the video below!

AND… if you enjoyed hearing about our finds for the week, please share this page with your Facebook Friends by leaving a Facebook Comment! Thanks so much!