Friday, June 18, 2010

To List or Not To List That is the Question

This is Chip, those of you with small children may have recognized him. He's my mascot for this article. So why a mascot named Chip you ask?

Many times a seller will abandon listing an item because of damage. I'm here to tell ya - don't!
Well under the following circumstances that is.

1. What is the value of the piece without damage? If it is something that typically brings $40+ then by all means list it, I personally like a $9.95 starting bid, you'd be amazed where some of the pieces ending! If it a low selling item then I would probably redonate it back to the thrift store or if too bad just toss it. But remember one man's trash is another's treasure.

2. Value unknown? Can't find one like it? List it with a reasonable starting bid and see where it goes, again you may be pleasantly surprised. I just had a personal experience I can share with you. I picked up an interesting wall pocket at a local thrift store, It had a name and a date on the back so I thought what the heck. Research revealed very little about it, but did verify it was an artist who had been mentioned on Google at least once. it just so happened EBay was having their listing special so I started it at $79.95, something I wouldn't normally be prone to do. It received the opening bid almost immediately - ultimately it sold for $192!

In the above example this piece had a crack. I did not let this deter me, and what is important is that you take a close up photo and reveal to your potential customers the damage as best you can with complete honesty.

I can also tell you, as a collector of Early American Pressed Glass, I shop for pieces and overlook damage because I can't yet afford the mint condition pieces. I know many people who also do this, the items still display nicely and have some value - albeit not the same as with no damage but it is still nice to own them.

So How Do You Learn "The Eye"

I am writing these articles on research and I keep hearing, "but Danni you just have an eye for that stuff". I want to assure you it isn't something that just occurred, I have worked at it! And if you are serious about selling fine antiques and collectibles you can too! I am going to share my process... and believe me it is a continuing one! I am far from an expert on things.

Ok First, pick an area to work on, say glass or pottery, or primitives... whatever you think you have a good resource for in your area.

Now go out and get your hands on as many IDENTIFIED pieces as possible. Notice I sort of hollered that word, because this is key! You are not going out to buy right now, you are on a research mission. Visit your local antique mall as you are sure to find a lot of cool items already tagged and priced. Zone in on your expertise of the day, let's say American Pottery. This will include makers such as Roseville, Weller, McCoy, California Pottery... you name it! Pick up and handle and inspect those pieces. Look at the workmanship, feel the weight and the way the glaze appears on those quality pieces. Most of them will have a maker's mark, but some does not, this is why it's important to learn the attributes of good pottery.

Ok now that you've played with the good stuff - visit a thrift store (now not sayin' thrift stores don't have good stuff) you will have an abundance of cheaply made, low end pottery to now pick up and compare... and if you are real lucky you may hit a piece you now know something about and it's value!

To hone your skills and "your eye", consistently put your hands on good quality pieces, I know many tend to not even look their way knowing they are expensive, but if you don't scrutinize them, you won't learn the differences that only come from experiencing them with all senses (ok maybe you shouldn't taste them).

Do this with any area of niche you want to go into, glass is a real good one because most of it is unmarked and if you can learn a certain maker's trademarks, that is something a lot of people know nothing about and won't touch! Finding the items that a dealer may or may not know much about can often score you a nice resale.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Tidbits on Researching - the Hard to Find!

Ok so you think you hit pay dirt and found that one of a kind masterpiece that is gonna rake in millions! or not... But something that you can't find on EBay either active or completed searches. Here's what I do. Now there are paid services out there such as Terapeak and Hammertap, I have used those but find that the best research is free.

Once I have exhausted my efforts trying to find the item on EBay, and that means using as broad of search criteria as I could to even find something similar, I move on to Google. I love Google! First put in the search keywords the same way you would on eBay, just now you are searching the entire world wide web. Ok first place I look is under the shopping tab, this shows me any that may be for sale in other venues... can't search completed here but you can search the same way I taught you to do on EBay.

Still nothing? now go to images... see if something similar to yours comes up, if it does then you can go to where the picture is hosted and hopefully find more information, if not there's one last place to look... regular web search. It's very rare that I can find absolutely nothing on an item. There are usually little hints at least to how I can expand my search criteria to find an item... either by artist name, place of origin, or just a color or shape of the item.

If you still just can't find a thing, here's what I would do. These are the items I utilize EBay auction format for the most! List it, but not at a small starting price since you have no idea of value, list it high say around $99 or so, one of two things will happen, you will get no interest at all, that means no watchers and very low hit count... OR you hit pay dirt and you watch the bids come in and the watchers flock to it like crazy! These are sooooo fun!

If your item sells great! If not pick a price that earns you a respectable profit margin, list it as fixed price with best offer and see what happens.

Oh one last thing, in your item listing be sure and request that your viewers email you if they do happen to know anything about the piece, you would be surprised how many knowledgeable people will share what they know!

Thoughts From a Chair

I feel like I have spent more time in the dentist chair in the last month than anywhere else! Ugh! Nothing like moving to a new place, knowing no one and boom having you jaw swell up like a cantaloupe! I ran for the yellow pages....uhhhhh errrrr..... Google search and found a local dentist, went in, got some xrays to find I had a severe abscess in my lower left molar... great.

They sent me off to a specialist, an endodontist, I guess that means someone more professionally trained in torture? Xrays showed I not only needed 1 root canal redone, but the tooth behind it was bad also - so 2 root canals now doesn't that sound fun?

Well first they needed to get the swelling down so had a nice round of two different antibiotics. It took a full week to start feeling and looking normal again. I went in for my dreaded appointment, it was two hours of drilling, drooling and suction and I came out thinking the worst was over.... wrong!

The next morning I swelled back up again, oh yes find out this is common as they stirred up the bacteria - so onto the antibiotics again, just when I was getting my gut back to normal from the last time! This time I was in much worse pain though from the recent dental surgery, I actually took pain pills, those that know me know I don't take pain pills! So it was bad.

So then I had to go in yet again today and have the temporary medication pulled out and permanent root canal material put in, basically a root canal all over again! I left there numb and being told it would wear off in about an hour, 2 1/2 hours later I can finally feel my cheek again!

So you would think this is the end of it right? Nope I went to a regular dentist yesterday for a full exam to see what else is brewing, turns out I have to get 2 other crowns redone as well as crowns for the two root canals just done, So four crowns at about $1100 each, how special, and I need a few fillings and a good cleaning... there goes my new car!! I'll be sitting in the dentist chair for the next year I guess!

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog posting...

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Little Lesson in Researching

I think I have a bit of a knack for finding things that others seem not to, so i want to share my method and hope it helps someone else!

So let's say I have a pink widget to sell, hmmmm.... this particular widget has rhinestones and pearls and is on a base of Bakelite - ok so I like jewelry ;-)

First thing I do is go to an EBay search and type in pink rhinestone widget - I try to use as few words as possible at first, so this brought up 256 live listings - too many for my purposes! So I add pearl, brought it down to 184, better but not quite there... add Bakelite.... ahhhhh a manageable 43. ok So I look at those... and oh yes sort by highest first as I want to definitely look at the ones asking a higher price, then I go to completed listings - this will give me a very good idea what the very current market trend is since eBay's completed search only covers the last week. There are 25 ended listings - about half sold.

So I take this information and look for what is common between the successful listings as far as keywords in the title. I also examine did the higher priced ones sell in auction format or fixed price? There is so much valuable information you can gather very quickly using this method.
Just remember when putting in words to search less is more! You can pull up the listings which sold the highest based on the very basic information - then narrow it down from there.

Now if there are none of your item listed on eBay or completed.... well come back tomorrow for that lesson!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I love Purple Unless It is on THIS!

Now don't get me wrong I really do love the color purple, but this site today at a local antique show almost made me cry.
There seems to be a market for this "sun purpled" glass. Sure it's a pretty color but did you know that it is actually ruined? Well ruined for those of us who truly treasure this over 100 year old glass.

It was discovered that this old glass, usually early American pressed glass and old bottles, would turn purple when exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun, this is due to the manganese used in the formulation of the glass in manufacturing. I'm not sure where or when it started but some people got into their minds that this must mean a true rare antique glass has been found - so they sought out purple glass. As the trend grew many dealers learned to artificially turn the glass purple using special ultra violet lamps.

It breaks my heart that so many people don't understand the importance of NOT turning this old glass purple but preserving the history that is an endangered species, after all it's glass and we all know how fragile it is, there are only so many pieces out there and many are rare sought after makers and patterns, when a dealer does this to them, they are lost forever to the true collector.

Now I'm not saying this to step on anyone's toes or make you feel guilty if you accidentally left a piece of EAPG in the window and it turned purple, I'm talking about those who purposefully ruin glass this way as I saw today on more than one table.

I borrowed this from another blog -

Jerry Greenblatt has well put the dastardly practice in perspective:
"People who change the color of glass objects must have had no regard for them, since they are no longer what they were. Making them purple is like painting them gold or adding attractive cracks. That old article uses glass chemistry to justify altering color, as if clear glass is like photographic film that must be developed to see what was within. Think of what might emerge by irradiating colored glass! Think of the abstract images that might emerge by using a blowtorch on the Mona Lisa!"

Friday, June 11, 2010

What's In a Name? Or Why Udderlygoodstuff

I meant to go to this post after talking about my aunt and got a bit sidetracked, so forgive me as I backtrack! While my aunt was a huge influence on my love of antiques and collectibles, she must have gotten it from somewhere! My grandmother, we called her Mimi, was the one who started it all.

Growing up I remember going to Mimi's house, she was usually in the kitchen cooking something yummy and her counters were filled with cookies, candy and all sorts of good things! Most of my most loved memories are in that house, it's where family all came together, where I felt nurtured, loved and safe.

Mimi had two main collections, Hummel figurines and cows. I learned a tremendous amount about Hummels growing up. Mimi had two large curio cabinets and several shelves full of Hummels. I guess she is the reason I can't collect just one or two of something I need every single one ever made! LOL! I'll go into Hummels more in another post - this one is about the name right? Oh what's that? You read Mimi's other collection was cows? Yep!

So now we aren't talking just a few cows around the house, we are talking cow everything! It was what you gave Mimi for birthdays and Christmas, everyone gave her cows! She had figurines of course, but also towels, pillows, hot pads, cookie jars, rugs, aprons, trinkets and gadgets and anything with a cow! Don't ask me how this came about, I don't remember a time she didn't have the cows!

As an adult I went through a spurt in my life where I raised and showed dairy goats, Nubians to be exact. This was about the same time I discovered ebay. Well at first my ebay id was my email address back when that was the thing to do! but when Ebay did away with this I had to come up with something clever and memorable. So it seemed only fitting that it would be something to do with udders, both to honor my favorite grandmother AND to go with what my life was all about... so Udderlygoodstuff is what happened!

While I no longer have the goats and Mimi is in a much better place, I still have the name and the good memories and the Good Stuff!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Is It too Big for Ebay?

Most people probably don't think of Craigslist first when it comes to selling online, but let me tell ya... it is fantastic! I have made tons of money and moved some large items through Craigslist as well as finding and buying many items.

First of all - create a user account so that you can sign in and see all your listings on one page. No one else sees your name or account information so just use something you can remember.

Next list your item using the same principles you would anywhere else good keywords in your title as well as making it sound enticing, so let's sell a child's dresser for instance.

Used Dresser for Kids OR Adorable Functional White Painted Dresser Great for Kids

Then describe it in your listing but something to know with Craigslist, don't make it too wordy, I have found less is better! So give size, color and basic info but don't go into great detail, since the person is probably coming to your home or meeting you somewhere to pick it up they will see before paying... a little sales trick get them there and committed!

Craigslist allows you 4 pictures - make them good ones! A picture speaks a thousand words. And if it is something you don't have a picture for - then put a picture of a for sale sign or something that triggers the listing to get the pic symbol next to it because most people will not click into an item without pictures.

Now I know the rules say one listing in one category every 3 days... here are some workarounds... shhhhh don't tell them I told you this!

Take that same kids dresser - list it in the furniture category AND here's how to get it in a second category... change up the title and description a bit for instance:
White Children's Dresser Chest ADORABLE! Functional! and then move things around in the listing.

Now if it's something that is going to get lost in say the furniture category which posts hundreds of items a day (in my city anyways), figure out ways to change up the listing so you can trick the bots into letting you list it every day!

I find if something is going to sell I will at least get some questions in the first 24 hours - otherwise I may need to look at my price... that seems to be the key on Craigslist! Shoppers are looking to find that item they want or need quickly!

Some tips when the emails come in... you will get spam! If there are no indicators someone is a real person it's probably spam, better to use a return email address like yahoo or gmail that can weed these out if you do respond. A serious buyer is more likely to ask some specifics about the item, not just ask still available? Also need I even mention if someone wants to pay by cashier's check and it's a million dollars over the amount but they trust you and all... run! Scammers delight on Craigslist.

All that being said, Craigslist gives you a way to negotiate with a real person via phone or email. You can sell just about anything there! Of course things like firearms and pets are no no's. There are no fees so nothing ventured nothing gained!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why I Love Selling Antiques and Collectibles

The thing that keeps me going with this online selling stuff, is the thrill of the hunt! There are so many interesting and unusual things out there to learn about, I can never get enough! Here's my newest discovery, Sang de Boeuf Pottery. I found these beautiful pottery pieces at a local estate auction. What made me bid on them was this auction was filled with some pretty nice Oriental antiques and furniture so I guess I assumed these were also good quality pieces and they had the feel. Remember my last post talking about that gut feeling? Yeah that one is what I went on with these! Well it turns out the Sang de Boeuf glaze was used by the Chinese starting back in the 16th Century during the Ming Dynasty, quite fascinating how this extremely difficult technique using copper and iron oxides was hidden from the Europeans until the late 19th century.

What is hard to see in the pictures is the true color, they don't call it oxblood red for nothin'! And there are small flecks of a purplish blue that seems to pool up by the edges... oh and speaking of pooling, at the base the glaze thickens and settles in what looks like a pool of blood as well.

On these pieces I acquired, one of them has some Chinese symbols inside the lid, if only I had an interpreter! It's not like I can just put it in an online translator! LOL! So if you know Chinese and can help me out here I would love it!

I'm always fascinated by what the history of an antique piece could be. What do you think these were used for? Food storage? Spices? Hide gold or silver coins? And to think who in history may have held these pieces, I mean we're talking a couple hundred years of history! When did these make it to the United States? Were they someone's prized treasures or just utility vessels for a wealthy family? So many questions!

I do have these currently listed for sale online if you'd like to take a look at more photos

Monday, June 7, 2010

Go With Your Gut aka Product Sourcing the Fun Way

Something I've learned over my nearly 12 years selling online, go with your gut! When I am out and about shopping I don't even have one of those new fangled phones to check if something is going to be a good seller or not, and yes often I get some duds BUT many times I hit a good one meerly by listening to that little voice in my head that says.... hmmmmm that looks interesting.

Someone once told me if you are not losing money on 10% of what you buy for resale you aren't buying aggressively enough to hit the big one! And this has worked well for me over the years. now you need to stick with something you know at least a little about, enough to be dangerous so they say. For me I tend to veer towards glass and pottery, mostly because I'm fascinated by all the different styles, types and forms.

Most glass is unmarked and you just have to get a sense of what is good glass and what isn't, best way is to handle as many pieces as you can! Go to antique shops and other places where you can handle quality glass that is already identified, soak it in... then when you are out shopping for resale pieces you can start getting a feel for what might be a good piece.

Same goes with pottery, good pottery just has a feel about it. I'll give you my latest example and success story. I picked up this interesting wall pocket at a local thrift store, why? It was different, and not knowing a thing about it I knew for the price I could even sell it as a contemporary decorator piece so home it came with me. I then deciphered the name on the back, Richenda Stevick 1935. Hmmmm.... wasn't much on a google search except for some information about a piece someone was selling back in 2002! They called it CA Faience, so I did a bit more research and came up with a good enough description to list it on Ebay. The fun part is Ebay was having a listing sale so I started it at $79.95 why not? I immediately got the opening bid!! Wow! I would have been pleasantly surprised right then! It sat with a few watchers all week and ended at $191.34!! Can we say I did a little happy dance?

So moral of the story... take a chance if something speaks to you! Is it unusual? Weird? Seems to be one of a kind? Go for it if the price is right (my rule of thumb under $10 for the unknowns). Now go find that treasure!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What are Your Thoughts on Speed of Shipping?

There has been a recent discussion on Facebook about the speed in which sellers in the e-commerce world are expected to get things shipped. It seems the single person do-it-all business is supposed to work as instantaneously as the big multi-employee business who has a shipping department where that is all they do!

Now don't get me wrong, I think shipping should be timely, and I myself ship almost instantaneously when something is purchased and paid for, but there have been times where this wasn't possible, and my stated policy is 2 days handling to allow for such things that come up from time to time.

So is this stated handling time hurting sales? Do people really look at this before they purchase or only after the fact when they are leaving stars on eBay? Personally I think if I get the item in a timely fashion that's what matters, within a 5 day window works for me if I have paid for Priority rate.

Is it even fair of a customer who takes a week to pay, to then expect instant shipping turn around time? EBay still lets them rate me on how quickly I ship no matter how slowly they paid. I don't know about you, but I am a mom of two small children, one of which is autistic. I do the laundry and dishes for our family of four, I handle all of life's little emergencies around here and run the household while my husband works. I manage my time as well as I can, but most buyers don't realize what goes into selling online.

First there has to be time to go find the merchandise. In my particular field that means scouting thrift stores, yard sales, auctions and wherever else treasures may be lurking. This takes usually about 10 hours minimum of my week. Then the items have to be cleaned up, photographed, the photographs have to be cropped and re sized as needed, the listing needs to be written up and launched. Oh and sometimes some pretty extensive research goes into my items as well. So you can see even before an item is sold there are many hours of work involved.

So the item sells, I am usually prepared for the closings and ready to ship the items paid for promptly, they go right out! But then come the stragglers. So keep in mind in order to ship those items quickly I have to stop the process of what I'm doing getting ready for the next batch of merchandise - so I think it's pretty fair to say shipping within 2 days is reasonable... don't you?

What are your expectations when shopping on the web, particularly EBay?

A Lesson Learned

I still tend to be one of those people who believes in doing business on a handshake and that someone is trustworthy until they prove otherwise. It does get me in trouble at times but therein lies my dilemma. Do I become suspicious and untrusting every time I have to deal with someone? Nope I just won't, it's not in me! But here's my latest in needing to be a little smarter in dealings on the internet.

I'll back up a little bit, Raja is my children's St Bernard, mainly for Noah who is autistic and needs someone to roughhouse with a bit. We acquired Raja from a lady we lived near in Tucson, AZ, she loved him but she was riddled with guilt as she worked away from home for long hours leaving Raja alone all day. She was so pleased when we got Raja and we stayed in touch and passed pictures and stories. When the time came for me to make a move to Reno, NV, it was diffficult finding transportation for him. Planes no longer allow animals checked as baggage, not that I would even have wanted that! And most transports wanted $1000 or more which just wasn't possible. I was turned on to an organization called Pilots N Paws and put out my request.

A man named Sam contacted me that he would be able to fly Raja up in his private plane, originally the date was a week before I was leaving but he said no problem I can keep him until you get there. This sounded like a dream come true! I kept insisting he take some payment and it was refused, he stated he was a volunteer and this is what he did. So plans went forward, then he emails that his travel was pushed to the week after I was due to leave, so I contacted Raja's previous owner and she was thrilled to be able to babysit him for me.... for a week.

I flew up to Reno as scheduled on April 24th leaving Raja in capable hands. Sam and I emailed back and forth trying to line up a new date... his plans kept changing but didn't seem like any worries as Raja was fine at his former owner's home. Then things started getting a bit more serious, Raja's babysitter was leaving on vacation! So I pressed Sam who agreed to go pick Raja up and keep him until the time came to come up to me. I was told June 1st and if not then the 17th at the very latest. I was becoming concerned as after all this is my son's therapy dog! Noah has cried himself to sleep missing his dog, and a day doesn't go by that he doesn't inquire if Raja is coming today... it's heart breaking to a mom! As I pressed Sam I kept hearing how much he was enjoying having Raja and that he was living it up and I needed to just shut up... the tone had turned!

I started investigating other options for getting Raja up here... I recommend anyone with anything of size to ship go through ! I found a kind soul there who for $200 would bring Raja to me so I contacted Sam with this information, he would not return my calls or my emails. I discovered the address he had given me was that of a gas station, so now I'm a bit panic stricken! I contacted the sherriff's department of Pima County, AZ, they were less than thrilled to take the report or help out at all, but did say they would contact him (apparently he showed up in their computers). In the meantime I let him know via email I had contacted the police, this got a response! He emailed back telling me how neglected and abused the dog was and that he was contacting the ASPCA and I would not get my dog back! I played a little hostage negotiator and emailed him back pleading a bit to remember I had not had the dog for over a month and to contact my veterinarian to check on Raja's condition before I left... he took the bait! Little did he know my vet was also a good friend and her husband is a police officer!

I'm not sure what she told him when he called but next thing I know the transporter is telling me a meeting is set up for 7pm to get Raja!

As you can imagine my heart is skipping beats by this time... 7:30 I got the call, Raja is safely in the possession of the transporter and will be on his way here shortly! My mom got to see Raja before he left and says he looks fine and is happy... I broke the news to the kids, probably not a good thing to do at bedtime! They were so excited it took a couple hours to bring them down.

So here I sit knowing Raja is on the road heading this way back to his family, his boy! And the lesson learned in all of this, know who you are dealing with! Things I should have done, get confirmed information on who this person was, verify address, and get him to sign some form of contract when he took possession of the dog stating what the terms were. At the very least this would have made it easier for the police to intervene had he not given Raja back.

So this is also why my post is late, a day of pure torturous stress consumed everything! but back on track and I will catch up with yet another post later tonight!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's Been One of Those Days!

So I thought I would go get these root canals, be a little sore, then off and running life as usual right? Oh noooooo..... My face is back to be swelled up like a chipmunk storing a winter's worth of nuts!

So I call and get told how oh yeah we probably should have put you on antibiotics, we'll call something in... so back on yucky antibiotics for a week, and hoping they work really fast as to not ruin my weekend with a chipmunk cheek!

So as if that isn't bad enough I go to transfer some funds from one account to another and discover our account got hacked and someone has had a hay day charging up things with our money. Thankfully they weren't smart enough to wait until payday to do this and we didn't have too much in there... but geeze! The bank has frozen the account and we get to dispute all the charges which shouldn't be too terribly painful, but I sure want to catch whoever did this and have them taught a little lesson.

I may have done a major faux pais with a recent thrift shop purchase. I bought a whole big bag full of Polly Pocket toys and dolls, I am watching the kids play with them as we speak. I'm not sure what possessed me to look them up on Ebay but shoot shoot shoot they are big sellers!! How soon do you think a 3 and 5 year old will get tired of Polly Pocket toys? Am I wishful thinking? Evil mom? I mean could you take a toy away from these two?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why I Sell What I Sell or Thoughts From the Dentist Chair

So little else to do while sitting there getting a double whammy root canal but think. Trying to distract my brain from the chilling grind of the drill, ache of the jaw being held open by the blue latex drape of doom.... I stare up at the fluorescent light fixtures... hmmm how does a bug get inside there anyway?

Oh yes... distraction.... where did it all begin? I won't go into the whole sordid take of my childhood except for the part of my favorite aunt who lived in Carpinteria, CA... just south of Santa Barbara. It was an escape I looked forward to each summer, 2 weeks spent with Aunty Lynn and Uncle Bob.

Aunty Lynn was a collector. The first collection I can remember was dolls, gorgeous antique dolls made of porcelain bisque. I didn't know then what I do now about them, they were just so awe inspiring for me back then with their lifelike skin color and pouty faces, and the clothes! I just loved the clothes those French fashion dolls wore. My aunt had some of the best, Bru, Jumeau, German made too... her entire room was FILLED with them! She got me started with some smaller versions of my own. My family always talked about how I would surely inherit that doll collection since Aunty Lynn had only one child who had no interest in them.

Then one summer they were gone...all gone! She had changed her passion to Native American artifacts like baskets, pottery and paintings. My Aunt was like that, yet she had a love of all things antique and shared that passion with me by taking me to local antique stores, and teaching me what things were. She also volunteered in a local thrift store and here are where some of my most cherished memories lie.

I can remember being so excited to go work at the thrift store. We would go in the employee entrance in the back... that always made me feel so special... and inside we would start going through the new donations, oh the great things we would find! I think I was fully ward robed from that thrift shop for many years... is why I am such an avid thrifter to this day.

In that store my Aunt would let me help run the cash register, this is where I learned my first customer service and retail skills. I cringe thinking how nowadays if the electricity went out and the calculator broke kids today would not know how to make change for a $20 bill!

So before this grows into a novel I will wrap it up saying.... finding my niche in antiques and collectibles came naturally, through the love of an Aunt who I think still goes with me to the thrift and antique stores, I miss her so much... lesson learned sell what you love and you will love selling and sharing that love with others.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Can She Do It? 30 Articles in 30 Days! the Challenge Begins!

So I have taken on the challenge of writing 30 blog posts in 30 days, I know the first few days I will be fine, but those of you who know me, know that after that it will be a challenge, I get sidetracked easily! But here goes!

I have been on this roller coaster known as e-commerce since 1998, that is a long time considering EBay was really in it's infancy back then. Do you all remember when you could list things to sell on EBay without pictures... and they would sell!! I do!

I also remember this as the time before digital cameras (we are so spoiled now) and I would take my pictures, go drop the film off to get developed, get the pics back and hope they were usable! Oh and then had to scan them to get them onto the computer and then... high tech eBay listings with pictures! woohoo!

I had a huge addiction to eBay back then, I bought and bought and bought - it was SO FUN!!! Selling was pretty fun also - remember when priority mail rates were the same no matter where in the country it was going? just went by weight.... ahhhhh the good ol' days.

So my challenge these days is to keep it fun, especially since my items are mostly impulse items and those a collector would buy if they didn't already have one. I am always trying to keep in mind what would entice me to buy this item, good photos, good price and good quality... GOOD STUFF!!