Buying and Selling to Make Money, General

19 Years Selling on eBay!

I’ve been on eBay since January 1999 if you can believe that!

It’s hard for me to believe sometimes, but this month marks 19 years that I first sold my first item on eBay. It was a 2-book set about the Wright Brothers. No picture; no template – just a brief description of what I had, and that was the start of it!

Of course a lot of things have changed in 19 years – some good, some not-so-good.

First, some of the good stuff.

International Shipping on eBay is Great

I have to say that one of the things that eBay did for me (us) that I’m most grateful for is that they made international shipping a whole lot easier than it was before.

In the past, I had to do a lot of research about whether or not I could send certain items to certain countries. I had to fill out customs forms, work on figuring out the postage, etc.  It made selling to customers outside the US really difficult, and sometimes I wouldn’t do it, depending on the item.

Today, however, all I have to do is send my international purchases to an address in Kentucky, and eBay takes care of the rest. They seriously have made international selling a pleasure again!

Still, there are a few things I don’t like

Of course, eBay is not without its faults. I still don’t like the fact that a seller cannot leave an honest negative feedback to a buyer; however, buyers have free reign on feedback. Also, buyers don’t always seem to understand that an item that is purchased through an auction is historically non-refundable. eBay tends to side with the buyer if they have buyer’s remorse.

You can’t get away with that in a live auction – that is, at a physical auction house. You buy it, you own it. Period.

And yet, through it all, eBay is still my selling venue of choice. I also buy a lot of stuff on the platform for my own use – both for business and for the household. I’ve looked at a number of different venues to sell my stuff, and I always wind up deciding to remain with eBay.

What about selling on Amazon?

Today, we all hear about selling on Amazon, and my wife and I both know people who do so, and many who do so with great success. Selling on Amazon isn’t something I’m ready to do myself, however, because the items that I typically purchase for resale seem to fit more into the eBay model.

And, if I find that my item isn’t quite right for eBay, depending what it is (furniture or glass products, for example), I’m happy to offer it on Craigslist, or send it to live auction. We sell at small, local auctions, and we have also been venturing into selling at larger auction houses (e.g. Swann Auction Galleries, where we’ve sent a few items).



My busiest “eBay season” tends to be winter, because once my building and carpentry season ends up north, Kathy and I head south where I can yard-sale to my heart’s content, and find an almost never-ending supply of great things to resell in order to make my living while I’m away.

Where I live in the north country of New Hampshire during the summer, as much as it’s awesome to drive around in the mountains and head down to the “big city” (e.g. North Conway or Littleton or into Maine towards Portland), we can put over 100 miles on the car in a single day and make it to only 5-10 yard sales – sometimes a few more, but also sometimes hardly any.

In Florida, I can drive around on any given Friday or Saturday morning, and hit 20 yard sales and drive less than 40 miles. That doesn’t include the dozens of thrift stores that are within a reasonable drive, and where I also find stuff to sell! Of course, it’s not in how many sales you hit, or how many miles you drive, but the results that matter.

In order to show you results, I’ve got a YouTube channel where I do my best to document the stuff I find – whether it’s profitable or not! If you haven’t subscribed to my channel, I hope you’ll consider doing so! You can find me on YouTube at my “Johns Yard Sale Finds” channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/JohnsYardSaleFinds.

In the meantime, thank you for stopping by the website! I appreciate your visit. Here’s the video I just uploaded today to get the ball rolling! This vid shows the results of Friday’s yard sale haul!

 

Best Things To Sell on eBay, Buying and Selling to Make Money, Selling at Auction

New Video As Promised! Results from Selling at Live Auction

Pottery Lot Sold at Jenkins AuctionOk guys and gals… I just uploaded a new video over at YouTube (my username or channel or whatever you call it at YouTube is “JohnsYardSaleFinds” for lack of any better ideas).

This video shows how we loaded up for a live country auction (as opposed to the virtual eBay auctions) up here in northern New England.

We happened upon Blakely Jenkins who, along with his partner in the auction business Kirby Parker run a weekly auction in St. Johnsbury, VT (Jenkins Auction Service).

In the video, we show EXACTLY how we lot things out – and you’ll see Blake’s reaction to our layout.

We then show you the results of some of the items that we mentioned by name, along with the entire take at the end of the night.

If you are going to be taking things over to a live auction, I can’t tell you how incredibly important it is to really take the time to lot out your items so that they are easy to display and easy to handle.

Think of how it is if you go to a flea market, yard sale or auction – isn’t it easier and more efficient for you to look at an item if it’s clean and laid out as though the seller really cares about it?

Well, it goes a long way in auctions.

Attend any country type of auction – especially if it’s the type of auction that caters to a number of consigners. Notice how a large majority of people just jam the stuff into boxes – dusty, dirty, and overall just ugly looking lots – and it almost says, “This is nothing but junk” to me. I want potential buyers to see my stuff – whether it’s “junk” or not – and say, “Hey, this guy cares about this stuff… must be worth something.”

You’ll see more what I mean in the video. Have a look here…

One other thing – there are so many ways to sell stuff. As you can see from this video, eBay is definitely not the only way. Neither is Craigslist. Don’t forget about Amazon! You can learn a LOT about this from Skip McGrath, who has been at this at least as long as I have.

Check Out Skip McGrath’s Best-Selling eBook, “The Virtual Peddler” by Clicking Here Now!

Buying and Selling to Make Money, General, Selling at Auction

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 “Follow Up! Buying and Selling More through GOOD PRESENTATION”

General, Selling at Auction

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