Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Presidential Candidate Cabbage Patch Dolls to be Auctioned on eBay

Four one-of-a-kind Cabbage Patch Kids have been created and dressed to look like Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain and VP candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. The dolls, which can be found on eBay starting on Thursday, October 30th.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Using Paypal... too risky?

I received an email this week from an online auction newbie. She wants to try buying on eBay, but she is hesitant to put her trust in Paypal, as it requires linking into your bank account.

The problem is that eBay’s current payment system leave buyers with few options. With eBay’s new rules, sellers are not permitted to advertise their willingness to accept alternate payment options on their actual eBay listings. However, sellers can still accept checks or money orders for payment if a request is made by the buyer.

While I did not explain that option in my response to Cyndi below, for those uncomfortable with Paypal it could be worth a try as well.

Hello Karen,

I was glad to find your blog. I'm starting to learn more about antiques and antiquing.

I'm interested in purchasing some items on ebay, but I don't want to be involved in pay pal or anything that would connect to my bank account. Do you know of anyone or any businesses that will do the purchasing for you on ebay? Or do you have any suggestions for someone like me who doesn't want to take financial risks like pay pal?

Thank you for your time.

-- Cyndi


Hi Cyndi,

While some eBay sellers may have the capability to accept credit cards themselves, Paypal is really the way to go if you want to buy or sell on eBay. Your bank account is not at risk, as Paypal will only access your account if you exceed the balance you have in your Paypal account.

I have been using Paypal for years and never experienced any problems using it as a buyer. As a seller -- yes. They will freeze your funds if there is a dispute over the item purchased. If you only want to buy, that policy only serves to protect you.

I do not know of any services that will buy for you. If you really don't want to try Paypal, maybe you can ask a friend or family member to do a favor by purchasing for you. Or link your Paypal account to a separate bank account that doesn't carry a large balance as a way of testing the waters.

Good luck in the online marketplace!

-- Karen

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lack of signage leads to weekend exploration ...and delicious lemon squares!

On our way to an advertised estate sale over the weekend and there were no signs posted anywhere! Don’t you hate that?

And then there’s the issue of people who have tag sales and never remove their old signs... These things can be awfully frustrating for us bargain hunters!

I recalled the general directions, but not the specific street name... We never found the sale, but it was a lovely ride through Woodstock on a colorful Autumn morning. Living in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut, we often overlook things to do and see just beyond our own backyards. Such was the case with the charming country tea house we discovered, situated just beyond the Woodstock Fairgrounds.

One one side of the dirt lot is a picturesque little country store selling fudge, candy, dried herb mixtures, a few antiques, cast irons pans, and handcrafted wisk brooms. On the other side there is an inviting tea house featuring a gift shop of all things tea-related, and a very pretty sitting area offering a variety of sandwich wraps, fresh pastries and teas of all imaginable kinds! The tea was warm and flavorful. The lemon squares there are to die for!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

With a tough economy, more online sellers; more scams

Welcome to the economic meltdown, where folks who have never before used the eBay auction site or Craigslist online classifieds might be looking for ways to generate extra cash by selling household items. Auction and classified-ad sites are prime territory for fraud. People who need the money are most vulnerable.

However, such problems are not restricted to merchandise sales online. I recently experienced reason for caution while job searching on Craigslist.

I noticed some positions listed in various categories of jobs and all of these similar ads listed rate of pay considerably higher than one might expect such a position to pay. Some of these ads seem extremely appealing. Then, once you email a resume, a reply is sent back asking you to complete an application online. Even at this point, the name and location of the company offering the job is not revealed. Yet, the online application you are asked to complete does request lots of personal information — including your social security number. Be careful!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Former Lego employee used company credit cards to buy collector toy sets and resell them on eBay

In April, Lego officials in Enfield, CT received a call from a man who told them he was a reseller of Lego products on eBay. He claimed he had recently purchased a Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon toy set on eBay and that there was a packing slip inside the box from the company’s “Shop at Home” division addressed to the eBay seller — who turned out to be an employee of Lego.

The original cost of the item on the slip revealed a much lower price than his cost for similar products. He wanted to know how he could purchase such items at the lower price.

His inquiry touched off an investigation which revealed the seller’s improper use of her company credit card.

According to an affidavit, Linda Hegarty, 46, said she was overwhelmed by bills. She admitted to purchasing and reselling about $4,688 worth of Lego products on eBay between March and April. However, company officials told police that further investigation revealed she had been using her company credit card to make improper purchases since 2002.

Looking at the prices some of these sets can bring on eBay, it’s probably not too surprising that this is not the first time a Lego employee has been in such a situation...

Completed auction prices show that these sets can bring close to $600 each on eBay!

In 2006, three former Lego employees stole thousands of dollars worth of Star Wars-themed Lego sets while working at the Enfield distribution center and selling them on eBay. The men were each charged with first-degree larceny for stealing 140 Lego Star Wars Destroyer sets. They were required to pay restitution to the company in the amount of $17,000.

To read more, click here.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Auction to benefit Girard family to be held at NFA this Saturday

A live and silent auction to benefit the Girard family of Voluntown will be held on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Norwich Free Academy, Norwich. Items up for auction include: a hundred gallons of heating oil, a quilt, Defenders sky box tickets, signed sports memorabilia, two tickets for “A Christmas Carol” at Hartford Stage, various restaurant gift certificates, ski tickets, and numerous themed baskets and gift certificates for local merchant services. Auction preview time is 6 p.m.

The Girard family suffered through a series of setbacks, including a fire, and then Carol Girard lost her husband, Thomas, and son, Marc, in a drowning accident in July. The community has come together to help this family through various volunteer efforts and fundraisers.

Memorial Video and Girard Family Story

To read more, click here.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fewer yard sales are weather cools; Tonight catch a horse and tack auction

A chill is in the air, and it was surely reflected last weekend with a huge decline in the number of decent yard sales going on! I caught one on Friday and that was about it. It was held at Owen Bell Park in Dayville, in support of Killingly Youth Soccer.

Aside from Sunday's Motorcycle Swap Meet over at Stafford Speedway (and other upcomming auto swap meets in Thompson and Lake Compounce) not much else happening outdoors as November closes in.

Auctions — on the other hand — are all over the place! Tonight, catch a Horse & Tack Auction over at Danny’s Auction Barn in Foster, RI at 6 pm.

Christmas auctions are also a weekly feature at many places throughout the area, selling mostly new merchandise at amazing prices for the upcoming gift-giving season. More about info those will be posted soon!