Monday, December 31, 2007

Crowley's Horse Auctions scaling down auction schedule

Heard it on the grapevine...

The weekly Thursday night sales at Crowley's for horses and tack are no longer.

Crowley's horse auctions will now be held on a bi-monthly basis on Saturdays. Starting in March of 2008, the regular auctions will be held on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. Auctions will begin with tack being sold first, at 10 AM.

According to their Web site, the Crowleys personally go west to buy at least 30 head of fresh stock for each sale. They have sold Throughbreds, Quarter Horses, Paints, Appaloosa, Belgians, Shires, Shetland Ponies, Grades and more, each selling for between $200 and $28,000.

Crowleys is located in Agawam, Massachusetts, about 3 miles from The Big E and Six Flags New England. They are open for private sales year round. Dealers and the public are welcome.

For more information:

Phone: 413-786-1744

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Easily create flyers 'on the fly' to sell locally

EBay has a new marketing feature available to sellers that can be used to gain local exposure and generate interest in auction and eBay store listings. Anyone can easily create a printable color flyer to promote any eBay item. Flyers can be posted at local restaurants, churches, laundrymats, and grocery stores — anywhere where there’s a community bulletin board available.

I was impressed with how simple the process is. By inputting your user ID, you can scroll through thumbnail views of items you’re currently selling. Choose the image of the item you want to promote in the flyer, and it’s is instantly created with details from the listing. You then have the option to make edits to text blocks — information such as the title, description, price, location and availability.

At the bottom of the flyer's page layout, there are compact URLs positioned in the form of tear-strips that potential buyers can can take with them for easy reference later at the computer.

You can preview your flyer design and then print it as a PDF.

eBay's announcement describes this marketing innovation feature as "Best for large, awkward or locale-specific items because who wants to pay shipping?"

I’ve always avoided posting oversized merchandise on eBay because of the shipping hassels, so it might not be a bad idea to give this local marketing approach a try... Certainly for big items like furniture or cars, but why not for anything? To top it off, it’s free!

Check out:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

When it comes to unwanted Christmas gifts, consider your options

The stores are super-busy this week while everyone flocks to return those unwanted holiday gifts and redeem gift cards.

If you go, bring your receipt.

If you don't feel comfortable asking a friend or loved-one for the receipt, don't clutter up your closet waiting to re-gift it, you might do better if you eBay it! Harris Interactive conducts an annual survey for eBay. They found that 83% of us get unwanted gifts during the holiday season.

While many stores relax their return policies this time of year, unless you have a receipt, most will give you store credit rather than cash. That might not be too bad (depending on the store and if you can find something else there more suitable to your tastes), but most stores will give you store credit on the sale price of an item. That means if the item you wish to return has been marked down since it was first put on the sales floor, you will not receive credit for the full retail price -- you'll get credit on the lowest mark-down price. Ebaying it might not be a bad idea!

Gift cards aren't always a stress-free option either. We have a family member who is into hunting. He was given a $250 gift card for Christmas so he could choose a gun of his liking for use in his sport. The store, located in Massachusetts, is known to be the largest in the area for having a huge selection. He and his girlfriend (who gave him the card) took a trip to the store together. Unfortunately, they found out that because he does not have a firearms license in Massachusetts, he cannot purchase a gun there. Not being a Massachusetts resident, he cannot obtain one.

In light of this predicament, they asked for a refund on the card. The store employee told them that because the gift card is of a substantial amount, they were unable to issue a refund.

The couple called me to ask what I thought might be their chances in selling the gift card online. Uhm... While many gift cards are bought and sold on eBay every day, I wouldn't recommend it.

For more helpful information about precautions for using gift cards

Here's another thought to consider:

What do stores do with all the merchandise accumulated in return stock?

Well, a lot of the time, those items end up at auction! You can check out online buying opportunities for store returns at

Locally, check out Danny's Auction in Foster, Rhode Island where they have weekly Monday night wholesale auctions. You might think at a wholesale auction that you'd be required to purchase merchandise in large quantities. While that is sometimes the case, frequently there are store returns that come through the auction that you can bid on and buy individually. Many of the items I've seen there originate from Target and Kohl's stores.

In fact, I bought a great Christmas gift at auction for my 17 year-old daughter, Kayla. She's a talented artist, and many of her paintings are displayed throughout my home. I was able to purchase a beautiful wooden easel for her, complete with a variety of artists' pencils, brushes and paints, in the original box for about $20. Not bad!

The only drawback with that is that it is NOT RETURNABLE!
Oh well, there's always eBay.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Flea Market open Sundays in Moosup

It's not just Santa Claus coming to town, there's a
brand new indoor flea market coming to town in Moosup!

Well, actually it's been operating for a couple of weeks now, although I'm not sure who's known about it. I hadn't heard a thing. But just this week the flea market is being promoted on WCTY radio and a few ads have shown up in small newspapers serving areas throughout eastern Connecticut.

They were closed last week because of the severe weather. But the flea market will be open this Sunday, from 9 AM to 4 PM, and every Sunday thereafter.

It's located on Main Street on the Marchensault block in the center of town in Moosup -- on the lower level, behind the Bank of America and Cuts Plus, and across from The Baker's Dozen doughnut shop.

Gary Hencey, owner the building, had the space available and came up with the idea. He says, "There's nothing like it in the area. Jewett City's flea market is like a museum, some of the dealers have been there so long."

Gary has 12 dealers set up to sell now, but some space is still available for permanent dealers or those who would like to hold their own yard sale there. A space costs $25. It measures 8 feet by 7 feet and includes the table. He does have one "table only" spot open for $15.

There is a catering truck that sometimes sets up outside. It offers breakfast sandwiches, coffee, and more.

Gary says, "The location is ideal, even if the caterer doesn't show up, with a Chinese Restaurant up around the other side of the building and Baker's Dozen next door."

Asked what one might find at the new flea market, Gary says there are lots of antiques and collectibles, household and kitchen items. They are also selling flooring materials — everything from tile to rolls of linoleum.

In light of the upcoming Christmas holiday, Gary tells me he has one dealer who will be selling an entire lighted Christmas village at the flea market. The sign at his table will read, "Make an offer". It may be worth checking out.

For more information about the Sunday Flea Market in Moosup, call Gary Hencey @ 860-428-2681.

FYI: I also wanted to remind everyone that this is the last weekend for Christmas Auctions! Both Allen's Auction Hall in Dayville and Danny's Auction Barn in Foster, RI are having huge Holiday Blowout Sales. What this means is that all inventory that has been put aside for these auctions will be sold off -- at just about any bid. It would be worth your time (and entertaining too, if you go on over to Danny's) to avoid the malls for your last minute shopping and raise your hand for some real deals.

You know... I'm pretty sure Danny's still has a couple of hot pink and turquoise blue Christmas trees available. I bet you could get one (if you're lucky) really dirt cheap!


Danny's Auction Barn
Route 6 (5 minutes from the CT line)
Foster, Rhode Island
phone: (401) 647-2558
Friday & Saturday night @ 7 PM

Allen's Auction Hall
164 Hartford Pike
Dayville, Connecticut
(860) 779-2444
Saturday night @ 5 PM

Thursday, December 20, 2007

An original KITT Trans-Am just might have to sell itself on eBay!

EBayers can now bid on an original computer-driven Pontiac Trans-Am featured on the Knight Rider TV show from the mid-80s.

This car is an original KITT that was used in the show which starred David Hasselhoff. It was last owned by slain real estate developer Andrew Kissel, who was found dead in his Greenwich, Connecticut mansion over a year ago.

Check out the complete story here.

This car is for sale, but the listing is not set up to sell. Where is the description? Where are the photos of the actual item up for bid??? (Snoopy just doesn't do it in this case!) The seller has zero feedback. Who is he?

If it weren't for the publicity surrounding this memorable car, I seriously doubt that this listing would sell anything. Apparently the sale of the car is being managed by a Connecticut attorney based in Greenwich, who is the handling the estate.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You can’t buy brains on eBay...

But you CAN buy an IQ Test.

However, the maker of the widely used intelligence tests has a problem with that. Harcourt Assessment, a company based in Texas, is asking eBay not to allow the sale of their tests on their Web site.

Schools commonly use IQ tests to determine if a student should be placed in advanced classes.

Intelligence tests are also ordered by prosecutors and defense attorneys in court to assess the mental competence of criminal defendants. A low IQ can be used to argue for leniency in sentencing.

Harcourt Assessment is concerned that the tests could end up in the wrong hands. They fear that coaching by parents or attorneys might sway results.

IQ tests are not inexpensive. A adult version of the test is currently listed on eBay for $249.99. It normally retails for $939.

Ebay chose not to restrict sales of the tests. Officials there say there is nothing illegal about selling them, and they cannot monitor every possible misuse of items sold through its network of 248 million buyers and sellers.

— Now let's see who's smart! —

If you really want to use your brain and you saw my previous posting about buying items at thrift stores to sell on eBay, you’ll find some value in the following video.

This guy is pretty smart!

This one, not so smart...

I wonder which one of these guys should bid on those IQ tests and find someone to coach him?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Salvation Army vs. Goodwill

My mother is the queen of Salvation Army shopping. She searches out just-like-new designer clothing, and her favorite is Liz Claiborne. She knows which day of the week offers discounts for seniors, and she knows what color tags are on special for each day of the week. If she spots something she wants, she’ll wait for the right time to return to the store. Since she's retired, there’s plenty of time to do it.

My grandmother (her mother) was an expert grocery shopper. She may have traveled to four different supermarkets, but her coupons were in order as she followed the bargains.

It could be there’s something in the genes. I don’t know. I generally don’t use grocery coupons. But I will frequent a thrift store now and then.

At one point in time, I was embarrassed about thrift store shopping. Not anymore. These days, I read anything and everything I can get my hands on about successfully selling on eBay, and this issue has been brought up. Here is an excerpt from one of the blogs I follow about reselling books.
“Charity shops don't exist to sell to disadvantaged people, they raise money to help disadvantaged people. This is a common misconception, and one I did not understand before I started going to them.”

“The Salvation Army is glad for every penny in sales, which funds their programs. They don't care who buys the stuff -- needy people or the general public.”
Read the entire article by clicking here.

I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve experienced my own success (on occasion) through following much of that advice -- which includes buying at thrift stores to sell on eBay.

My most memorable purchase from a thrift store was a lot of five soft cover judo books. Two of the books have a resale value of over $100 each. One sold within a couple of weeks and the other currently awaits a buyer in my eBay store. I didn’t know the value or the liklyhood of profit through resale when I picked them up. I acted on a hunch based on some of the buying strategies I’ve learned.

Back to my recent experience shopping at the Goodwill Store in Norwich...

I normally frequent Salvation Army Stores simply because I've never lived anywhere near a Goodwill Store. Since I work in Norwich, I thought I'd stop over at lunchtime to check it out.

Is it me, or are Goodwill stores a bit pricier than Salvation Army stores?

I did buy two clothing items for my 3-year-old daughter. Both were priced at $3.99. One was a darling green corduroy jumper dress with candy canes on front for the holidays — I love it! It looks like it's been worn maybe just once. Perfect!

But it’s not a complete outfit. I need to find a shirt to go along with it.

The second item I bought was a pair of denim jeans. These are cute, but worn at the knees. At $3.99, I wasn’t quite sure about buying them. In looking over the condition of this pair of pants, I’d guess that at Salvation Army, they might be priced around $1.99.

Books at the Goodwill were priced quite a bit higher than those at Salvation Army also.

The gap in pricing is enough to make me more selective. Whereas at Sals, I’ll fill up a carriage and not think much about the prices, at Goodwill I thought about it.

I suppose if I can use an item myself, it's still be a bargain. On the other hand, if I see something I suspect might sell well online, I probably won’t take too much of a chance with goods from Goodwill.

The other thing I noticed was that in general, items appeared to be of better quality at Salvation Army. Since Goodwill also sells goods online through a Web site of their own, could it be that things most likely to sell easily online are pulled from their stores?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Shipping like crazy for Christmas... and buying too!

In light of my harrowing drive home in a winter storm on Thursday, I really needed my well-deserved vacation days which extended my weekend. It gave us time to celebrate my husband Jeff’s birthday and (hopefully) catch up on my eBay shipping also. I had over 25 orders to fill, and with Christmas coming right at us at lightening speed, I’ve been scurrying to keep up!

There were also two auctions over the weekend that Jeff auctioneered — a Christmas Auction on Friday and a general merchandise auction on Saturday. Since we were expecting another storm overnight Saturday to Sunday, attendance was down a bit for Saturday’s auction. I was the highest bidder for a few unusual lots of vintage items which I’ll be posting on eBay soon. Included were a few old interlocking puzzles, several pieces of white enamel kitchenware, and a medical accessories kit in stainless steel.

However, my most exciting deal of the week was one that was offered last week as well — a dealer brought in a lot of quality jewelry items, mostly Monet and Liz Claiborne. The pieces were boxed, with tagged prices ranging from $18 to $35 each. The jewelry was mostly bracelets and earrings, with some necklaces and even a few bejeweled compact mirrors. Pretty fancy! These were available at the auction for $3 each or four for $10. I did the 'four for $10 deal' a few times over! It was an even spilt with half for myself, some set aside for Christmas gifts, and the rest going up on eBay. It’s just too irresistible to pass up a bargain like this!

Here are a few pictures of some jewelry I’ll post on eBay.

And what else have I been buying lately?

Little girl dresses!

My daughter Katie, at 3 years old, is 100% girl! With all the cold weather we’ve been having, I’ve been having a hard time getting Katie to wear pants. She’ll tell me that only a Prince wears pants, and she’s a Princess. She wants to wear a dress every day! But she didn’t own many dresses... Especially those casual enough to wear on an daily basis. I searched on eBay and won a couple of dress lot auctions that included those pictured above.

My bidding limit is $10 on dress lots, so I think I made out with a few fantastic deals here! I love when the packages arrive and inside is something for Katie – She gets VERY excited! That, of course, makes buying at auction all the more fun.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Auctions in the News

One thing is for sure, there's no way to make reliable predictions when it comes to auctions! Whatever anyone can imagine putting up for bid, and what people will actually pay never seizes to surprise.

A lock of John Lennon’s hair sold for $48,000 Wednesday in an auction of Beatles’ memorabilia. The auction house had estimated the hair would bring $4,000 to $6,000.

When it comes to entertainment memorabilia, it's interesting to note that of the three leading ladies competing for space in the celebrity gossip magazines, sales on eBay for Britney Spears related items topped those for Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan in 2007. Fragrances were the most popular items sold for both Spears and Hilton.

Right here in Connecticut, there’s an unusual offering of a different sort: electricity. MXEnergy is one of several electricity suppliers in our state’s deregulated market. On eBay, their feedback rating is currently a “0”, but with the high cost of power these days, it will certainly be worth checking back to see how this auction turns out.

Here is an excerpt from their listing:

This auction is for a megawatt of electricty. The retail value is $119.00. The cost of electricity -- like the weather -- is something people discuss but never do anything about. But now, a select group of consumers can name their own price for power.

MXenergy is offering a brand-new megawatt (1,000 kilowatt hours) of electricity in excellent condition, only to bidders who live in Connecticut’s United Illuminating market, which serves customers in 17 municipalities from Fairfield to North Branford and north to Hamden.

An average household uses approximately 10 megawatt hours per year, and bidders have been 'empowered' to set their own rate for electricity.

We are auctioning one Megawatt since a kWh is too small for eBay. So at the end of the auction we will divide the winning bid by 1,000 to determine the kWh rate. The high bidder can purchase their electricity from MXenergy for one year at that rate.

The winning bidder would be required to sign up for MXenergy electricity service in the United Illuminating territory, but unlike other customers, would pay the price set through an online auction.

United Illuminating will deliver electricity to your meter, and it will be as reliable as ever. You will continue to receive one bill from UI and you will still call UI for service or to report a power outage. No hassles, no fuss.

Electricity will be purchased from MXenergy , a licensed supplier of electricity for the United Illuminating Company. They are in no way affiliated with this offer.

As of the end of the day on Wednesday, the auction was bid up to US $247.50, with 42 bids. It ends on Friday. You can view the actual auction on eBay by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Save money on groceries by getting food items at auction

It was bananas and potatoes this week. That’s the surprise buy-of-the-week my husband brought home from the auction on Thursday night. The potatoes are great, but it just so happens that I already had a loaf of freshly baked banana bread on the countertop — I didn’t quite know how much more the kids would eat. What in the world will I do with a fully packed banana box?

For those who frequent auctions on a regular basis, there will be terrific bargains in food items now and then. This is especially true for dry goods.

At wholesale auctions, it’s common to see bulk food items like what you might find at wholesale club stores. Oftentimes you’ll see lots come up for bid where there are a few items with slightly damaged packaging, but most packages will be fine. It seems that if a pallet is damaged in transport, the entire load goes out for auction. We get great goodies for the kids this way – things like granola bars, fruit snacks, and crackers.

Sometimes food items come through the auction that are approaching their sell-by date, but these items are fine for consumption now. We see a variety of Hostess pastry and bread products come through like that.

Occasionally, there will be food products identified at the auction as “animal feed”. These are packages that have reached their sell-by date. Pig farmers will often buy these lots, although I suspect that some bidders buy for themselves anyway.

In addition to dry goods offered at wholesale auctions, food items from local farmers are sometimes brought in, mostly at livestock auctions (Thursday evenings at 7 pm at Danny’s Auction Barn). What you'll find changes with the season, from tomatoes, to eggplants and squashes, apples, pears and more.

Also, did you know...

When buying animals at a livestock auction, rabbits, pigs, turkeys and chickens are often sold. You’ll pay tax on the purchase if you are buying the animal to raise or keep as a pet. If it is to be eaten it as a food item, you won’t pay a sales tax.

(Regarding the tax issue, there was an interesting news story out recently about pumpkins sold in Iowa during Halloween time. The issue concerned pumpkins sold for decorating which were taxed vs. those sold for pies, which were not. Read about it here.)

Surprisingly, a few food items show up unexpectedly at other auctions. Last Saturday, while at a “general merchandise” auction (in other words, a lot of good used stuff) also at Danny’s Auction Barn, a lot came up for bid that included a mix of items you might expect to find under someone’s kitchen sink and bathroom – an assortment of common household cleaners and such and numerous packages of pretty pink bath soaps. Then, there was also an assortment of unopened food cans that must have come out of a pantry – all well within code (the sell-by date stamped on the side of the can).

The dealer who brought that lot cleans out estates. Other items he put up for auction included a Lazy Boy recliner that brought $60 after a round of fierce bidding, and a giant box of yarn!

The cans of food probably came from the home of some sweet old lady. I realize that canned food within code is safe; I’m just a little hesitant to take home certain food products that I have absolutely no clue of where it’s been. Someone else bid on and won that lot... Lucky for them, I did not offer any competition.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Art, Antiques & Collectibles Sale held Tuesday in Norwich

You may be familiar with their famous outdoor field auctions in Sterling, Connecticut, but on On Tuesday December 11, 2007 Robert Glass Auctions will hold a special auction of a different nature — It’s their Annual Holiday Antique Auction at the Holiday Inn Norwich.

5:00 P.M. –
Art (also sold on eBay live) includes 19 ink drawings by Edward Borein; 50 plus drawings and watercolors by Otto Plaug including western scenes; cows by G.A. Hays; 3 Pueblo paintings by O. Plaug; gouache by Maxwell Mays; very nice oil of girl with sheep; 1830s Italian school painting with erupting volcano; oil by T.R. Dibble; seascape by Arnold ?Hoffmann; French street scene by Jean Fous; pair of European portrait paintings on panel; 4 watercolors by W. Lester Stevens; clipper ship by Ellery Thompson; “Russian Troopers in a Storm” by Adolphe Schreyer (needs complete restoration); landscape by James Scott; clowns by S. Brecher; California Building by S.F.H.; lady with mirror, gouache by S. Krishna; oil of harbor by T.W. Ball; watercolor of Recipe Brazil, sailboats by Arthur Shilstone; Eagle Lake Haliburton, Canada by WJ Hopkinson; French café by Edith Blum; abstract oil by Manoucher ?Yektai; nice 18/19th century of boy in red clothing; abstract angel by Gunvor Bull-Teilman, landscape by Charles Stepule.

5:00 P.M. –
Jewelry & Silver – Antique diamond ring; gold wedding bands; Peridot and diamond gold ring; other gold rings; marcasite earrings, pins, rings; black jet pieces; 3 pocket watches – Lucerne, Illinois, Bornand Geneve; wrist watches; large lot of earrings; 4 bakelite pins; sterling silver bangles; Indian rings, earrings; Zuni ring; Taxco earrings; 2 turquoise and silver pins; Mexican bracelet; Japanese bracelet; photo pin; photo mirror; 14K gold chains; 14K leaf pin; rhinestone pieces; signed costume jewelry including Coro, Trifari, BSK, JJ, Napier; animal pins; crystal beads; costume rings; Christmas pins; Whiting and Davis gold mail purse; 48 pieces of sterling silver flatware; sterling silver compote; sterling silver serving dish; assorted flatware; silver candelabra; silver creamer and sugar; plated silver figural cherub napkin ring.

6:30 P.M. –
Dolls (also sold on eBay Live) – 14” Gebruder Heubach crying boy character bisque body; #275 6/0 Heubach Koppelsdorf German 18” bisque head doll with kid body; 17” & 21” Heinrich Handwerk German bisque head dolls with compo bodies; 23” K*R; 16” French Fashion doll; 34” A.M. bisque doll; 24” Paris bisque doll; 2 A.M. bisque dolls; 29” Queen Louise German Bisque doll; 18” Unis France bisque doll; 13” Floradora A&M bisque doll; 20” A.M. bisque doll; 13” and 22” Germany bisque doll # 154; 2/0 Japanese bisque baby doll; 4.5” Minerva tin head doll by Buschow & Beck, Germany; turn of the century blonde china head educational doll with alphabetical letters and words on cotton body; Mary Kate designer doll; 16” china black head doll.

7:00 P.M. –
Main Auction: Furniture - 2 wonderful tip top candle stands; grain painted blanket box; 6 Windsor chairs; black walnut 3 drawer desk; black walnut oval table; 6 drawer Victorian side lock chest; huge oak server with large top box and 15” wing Griffins supports walnut bow front china closet; 8’ tall Victorian fancy hall tree; mahogany slant front secretary; mahogany bedroom set; several oak chest; Hunzinger style rocker with ebony and metal frame; Windsor rocker/child’s rocker; child Adirondack chair; whatnot shelf; Eames storage unit; very nice acorn finial rope bed; black walnut Victorian rope bed; brass bed; black walnut drop leaf table; low black walnut marble top table; black walnut marble top turtle top table; Eastlake style loveseat with floral upholstery.

Glass & China: Limoges plates; Chinese horse; Bavarian plates; (2) early French plates; statues; box lots; smalls; red and white Staffordshire bowl, 12” x 8”; fancy Lenox bowl; pair of china figural lamps; miscellaneous china and glass.

Miscellaneous: Hall mirrors with coyotes; early Chinese plate; Clarice Cliff plate of Queen Elizabeth; 5 early wallpaper box with tree of life; 1910 Baseball cards, “Sovereigh Cigarettes; Toby cookie jar; Ziotone tin windup musical piano; 2 Fox framed prints; miscellaneous prints; Dutch wag on the wall clock; 4 hand tinted photos by Sawyer; miniature sedan chair; David Davidson interior “Hearthside Comfort;” Wallace Nutting landscape “Shadows Athwart;” several nice statues including ethnic man and woman; 25+ assorted photographs; 25 assorted tin types – several soldiers; diorama of lead soldiers; wooden golf clubs; alligator cane; several fancy mirrors; Sarouk scatter rug; Sarouk 10’ x 12’ rug; early box camera; 2 pantry boxes; early basket; gingerbread mantel clock; gallery clock; kerosene lamps; 3 sets of brass andirons; Ansonia clock; African statue; 2 National brass cash registers; Freihofers country store display case.

Terms: 15% Buyers Premium. 3% discount for cash;
Online bidders 18% Buyers Premium. MC/VISA/CASH.
Personal Checks are accepted from regular customers.

— Schedule —

Art Auction at 5:00 p.m.

Jewelry & Silver at 5:00 p.m.

Doll Auction at 6:30 p.m.

Furniture & Collectibles at 7:00 p.m.

Wine and Cheese at 4:00 p.m.

* The Art and Doll Auctions are available for bidding via eBay Live. *

— Where to Go —

Take Exit 80 or 80W off I-395.

The Holiday Inn Hotel is visible from exit.
10 Laura Blvd, Norwich CT 06360

For more information, contact Robert H. Glass Auctions LLC at (860) 564-7318.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Craigslist ~ Find whatever it is you're dreaming about

Craigslist ( is an expansive online classifieds marketplace. While the scope of users is international, it is mostly a resource for those in the USA. Much like eBay, you’ll find “it” and much more there — just about anything you can imagine! Craigslist is free to use, both for buyers and sellers. While it is large in scope, listings are categorized, and you can easily search locally.

If you have something to sell — especially if it’s something that’s too heavy or bulky to make shipping a reasonable option — posting an ad on Craigslist is a great way to go. The entire process takes just a few minutes, and your item is on display to the world.

It was during a recent move when we most utilized Craigslist.

We sold a few things, including a beautiful mahogany crib our daughter had outgrown and a big old farm table that we had no room for in our new home. The crib sold quickly.

The farm table was a bit of a hassle. I had lots of inquiries, but not so many from anyone who wanted to come by to see it. Finally, at the last minute — on our actual moving day — I went online and lowered the asking price to unload it quickly. We had two buyers show up within a half hour of each other, all while the moving guys were scurrying around, carrying out just about everything that was left! The first interested party to arrive was very fortunate. He hadn’t seen my earlier ad, his wife always dreamed of having a farm table, and he got a fantastic deal!

When we finally settled into our new home, I envisioned a lovely braided rug for our dining room. I saw two online that were equally beautiful — one was priced at $250 and the other at just $50, And that one had a matching hallway rug to go along with it! The drive to Providence was well worth our time. It was perfect!

The making of a young entrepreneur

While moving time may be when Craigslist is most useful, my 13 year-old son, Sean, had a different idea. He has always wanted to compete at the fairs in lawn tractor racing.

He posted an ad on Craigslist stating that he was looking for an inexpensive tractor. Someone replied to his posting that he had one to sell, but it wasn’t running. That didn’t phase Sean one bit. He was glad to buy it for $20.

He was at his father’s house that weekend, so he borrowed the $20 he needed from his stepmother. The lawn tractor was brought back to their place, and Sean cleaned up the carburetor and put fluid in it. He had it running in no time! I received a very excited phone call from him telling me of his success.

Then, Sean earned $20 for cutting the lawn with the newly repaired tractor, and he paid back his stepmother.

However, he soon discovered that the tractor he was so excited about didn’t have quite enough power in it to be very competitive in a race. He decided to sell it — on Craigslist, of course!

He gave it a decent paint job and a little pin striping, snapped a photo, and posted an ad. In the listing, he asked $250 for it. A man from Norwich responded and offered Sean $180. Sold!

Sean wasn’t able to compete at the fairs this year. Now he has a bigger idea. He wants a Bush Hog Tractor in which he’d like to put in a Chevy 305 motor...
Hmmm, I wonder what will come of that!

Be aware
Parents, monitor your children’s Internet activities. Since Sean was too young to engage in such transactions on his own, his father participated in the process.

Safety first
Unlike eBay, where most transactions are made through Paypal and the postal service, Craigslist purchases are usually local and require face-to-face contact between a buyer and seller. Both parties should use caution when meeting someone from Craigslist in person. When arranging a meeting, ALWAYS have someone accompany you. Buyers should be especially wary if carrying cash. Remember, most individual sellers don’t accept checks or credit cards.

Buy at Your Own Risk
Know that transactions you make through Craigslist are done at your own risk. Craigslist is not responsible if you get scammed by a seller, nor do they offer any recourse if you do.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Special Horse Auction to be held this Sunday

In light of a nationwide hay shortage, costs for our local area breeders, farms and stables have risen. With this in mind, if you — or someone you know — is into horses, a big buying opportunity awaits you!

A special horse auction is to be held on Sunday, December 9th at Danny’s Auction Barn in Foster, Rhode Island. Horses and ponies will be sold at 1:00 pm. Tack, equipment, and giftware will be sold off starting at 2:00 pm.

Among the usual horse auction offerings will be 100-foot-rolls of wire fencing and a couple of horse drawn farm wagons and buckboards. Here is a general list of what else you’ll see at the horse auction:

* grooming tools
* stable blankets
* mane, tail, and hoof products
* blankets
* barn supplies & hardware items
* equestrian giftware
* many high-end saddlery items in both English & Western styles

You’ll find that selling prices are far less than you’d expect. This could be a great way to make for a spectacular surprise this Christmas for anyone on your list who is involved in raising or riding horses.


Danny's Auction Barn

Route 6 (5 minutes from the CT line)
Foster, Rhode Island
phone: (401) 647-2558

Osbourne's memorabilia auction raises $800,000 for charity

Wacky stuff can bring in big money under the right circumstances.

Memorabilia from Ozzy Osbourne’s Beverly Hills mansion and his family's MTV show, "The Osbournes" went up for auction on Friday and Saturday. Heavy Metal fans joined fine art collectors in a bidding frenzy that attracted buyers from as far away as Germany.

More than 500 lots were sold. Among the collectibles offered were a coat with embroidered bats and sneakers with skulls on them. Links were created on Ebay for each item of the Osbourne’s auction so that those not able to attend could place absentee bids.

The bat coat sold for $3,300, the skull sneakers brought in $2,625 and a pair of the rocker’s trademark round glasses went for $5,250. In total, the auction brought in $800,000.

It was a charity sale conducted by Julien’s Auctions in West Hollywood, California to support Sharon Osbourne's Colon Cancer Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Sharon, age 55, was treated for cancer five years ago.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A small town Saturday morning... including hitting a garage sale in December!

Hooray to the lovely lady on Belair Road in Moosup who is having a garage sale this weekend!

You won’t find too many yard or garage sales going on in December in this part of the country! But a small classified ad in The Norwich Bulletin caught my eye. So on Saturday morning while catching up on a few errands, my husband Jeff and I made plans to also stop by that garage sale and then have breakfast out.

The signs for the sale were out on all corners around the neighborhood. Large readable yellow signs — not just cardboard stuck on telephone poles — these were supported on their very own stands! I was impressed already.

The next great thing we discovered was that it was held inside a heated garage! Arrows clearly pointed to the entry door, and we were greeted with a cheerful “hello” once we stepped inside. The first thing I saw was a table full of vintage ornaments. Many were homemade, and I was delighted!

As I browsed around, I noticed that more than half of what was offered was holiday themed — decorative plates and even a few sets of dinnerware, lights, kitchen linens and table cloths, figurines and wall art, and lots more ornaments of all kinds — most priced at just .50 cents! All items were carefully arranged on shelves and tables, with plenty of room to walk around comfortably. They also had clothing, carefully hung and arranged by size. Each piece was tagged with an asking price.

My three-year-old daughter immediately found treasures for herself — a vintage ornament, a Santa Claus Pez candy dispenser, and a Barbie trinket box that held a tiny ballet slipper on a string and a small ring.

Jeff picked up a few Matchbox collectible trucks. Most were old and in pretty decent condition. He also found a great wooden cabinet that he will place on the wall in our kitchen for easy access to spices.

My finds were varied — lots of ornaments (some for our Christmas tree and some for eBay), a vintage cookbook, a few holiday plates — and my very favorite finds of the day: two large Annalee Santas!

The lady who hosted this sale told me that she did have a steady stream of customers for the day, most who remember her previous sales and return. She did a great job!

After finishing up at the garage sale, we went over for a bite at ‘Why Cook?’, our favorite small restaurant in the area (on Route 12 in Central Village) for a late breakfast. With good food and friendly service in a family atmosphere, our visit to this local eatery topped off a pleasant afternoon.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas ornaments and holiday plates are super-hot sellers on eBay right now

As you’re starting to get your home ready for this holiday season, digging through boxes of old decorations you’ve had packed away in your attic or basement, you may find that there are some things you just don’t put out anymore. Maybe the children have grown, or you’ve recently moved to a home with a new style, or maybe you’ve moved in with someone else — it could be time for a change.

It’s a great time to post some of your old holiday décor on eBay! Christmas ornaments and holiday plates are super-hot sellers right now.

Look for decorations that have a potential to offer the best return on your time in photographing and listing. Many of these things are likely to be vintage or collectible. Pick out items that may remind others of their childhood times. Remember those funky lighted color wheels people used to shine on aluminum trees? Ornaments and decorations with a theme, such as Precious Moments, Snow Babies, or ornaments related to an occupation can also be popular.

Get ‘em online ASAP, and...

In the spirit of the season, you’ll definitely want to be sure you are timely with your packing & shipping.

Here are the USPS holiday cut-off dates:

December 11th US Postal Service Priority Mail International service to Canada
December 14th US Postal Service Parcel Post
December 18th US Postal Service Global Express Mail International service to Canada
December 19th US Postal Service First Class Mail
December 20th US Postal Service Global Express Guaranteed service to Canada
December 21st US Postal Service Priority Mail
December 23rd US Postal Service Express Mail

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Check out Eastford Elementary School’s 6th Annual Goods & Services Live & Silent Auction

On Saturday, December 1st, you could have an enjoyable night out (dinner included), snap up a few terrific deals, and help to give an 8th grader a class trip experience to remember for a lifetime. There are 24 students in the class, and it costs $600 for each to be able to go to our Nation’s capitol.

Nancy Gingras, a parent of an 8th grade girl at Eastford Elementary School, has taken a role in the organization of this special event.

According to Nancy, there will be approximately 20 live auction items and 200 silent auction items. “It’s a social evening out and there’s a chance for real bargains.”

There will also be a baked goods section and a basket raffle.

Held in the EES gymnasium, there will be a bistro-style dinner from 5:00-7:00 pm, with the silent auction throughout. Following the dinner, there will be a live auction conducted by Golden Gavel Auctions. Advance dinner orders are recommended, although a limited number of walk-ins can be accommodated. Please call EES at 974-1130 to make your reservations.

A sampling of items being offered:
  • Antique Saxophone (from Paris, France)
  • Cashmere Burberry Scarf
  • Lunch for two at 85 Main in Putnam
  • UCONN Windbreaker Pullover (Men's)
  • Tickets to Pawtucket Red Sox Game (4)
  • Large Stuffed Horse
List of Silent Auction Items
List of Live Auction Items

For more information, you can call Nancy Gingras at (860) 974-2517.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

eBay has had a huge effect on antique dealers and flea marketers

I thought I would offer my point of view regarding this comment I received on my first posting to this blog.

“EBay has become the scourge of EZ money. It has ruined brick and mortar antiquing and flea marketing in general. It has ripped off countless Americans because of its scams and buyer bewares. It has affected every transaction we as consumers make whether at Brimfield, Carlisle, Hershey, or at the local auction. Consumers lose big time in my opinion. The world was a better place before EBay. You actually had to work to make money on either side. Now any chump with an account can rip you and others off. I'd rather buy from a physical person or dealer. Anyone who supports EBay deserves what they get. EBay is for slackers.”

As long as there is competition, with smart and creative people involved in the marketplace, change is inevitable. Granted, eBay has had a huge effect on antique dealers and flea marketers. The playing field has changed in big ways for other business areas too.

A good businessperson always has an eye on the horizon. The challenge is to watch for it, and be prepared to respond. It’s your response to change that determines if you sink or swim.

Consumers don’t lose by the presence of eBay in the marketplace — they win. Big time. If you are a collector, you can shop at home, save searches, and have matching results emailed to your computer. You can research prices, make comparisons, and name your price. Plus, you’re not restricted to shops within driving distance.

Scammers and shoddy businesspeople have always been around. It’s just that today there are new ways to do it. I’ve been buying and selling regularly on eBay for almost a decade now. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had a bad experience.

If you’re shopping on the Web, educate yourself about safe online buying practices. Be aware of phish emails, look for secure Internet pages when providing payment information, and on eBay, check your seller’s feedback.

In my opinion, eBay is not a venue for easy money. It takes considerable time, effort and planning to sell successfully over the long run. There are many variables in listing options and a whole array of not-so-obvious fees and costs in doing business on eBay.

For me, online auctions have not ruined antique shopping, flea markets, or local auctions. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and it’s at the local level where I search out treasures to offer to the larger world online.

No small dealer or shop owner can know everything about all niche markets. If you buy at the local level to sell online, choose your specialties. Learn as much as you can, and maximize the opportunity to sell online. If the dealer isn’t aware of the potential value of what they sell, they will make a modest profit. You’ll make a greater one. What’s so bad about that?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A totally different holiday shopping experience

Where do you think you might shop if you were dreaming of owning a bright purple Christmas tree, completely decorated with oversized silver ornament balls? How about a fully decorated purple Christmas tree that was at one time a centerpiece decoration at Filenes Department Store?

Have you ever been to a Christmas Auction? It’s certainly true, that you never know what you might find!
Christmas auctions have a wide variety of merchandise — mostly new, but sometimes used. There are often oddities in the mix.

Among the used items might be an assortment of vintage Christmas ornaments or greeting cards. For last week’s auction, at Danny’s Auction Barn in Foster, Rhode Island, there were lots of old-time bubble lights in their original boxes.

For new items, you’ll see lots and lots of toys! From stocking stuffers to larger items like a rocking horse to a go-cart to an indoor basketball hoop set-up, there’s always a huge variety. Sometimes there will be traditional gift items like bath sets, hat and scarf sets, and fragrances. Or even small kitchen appliances.

If you’re not sure what to buy for someone on your shopping list, just sit and watch for a while, you might see something come up for bid that you never thought of before!

If you’ve never been, it’s easy to get started. You might want to arrive a little bit early to look over what’s going to be sold. You’ll need a number to bid and one is available through a simple sign-up process where you’ll need to show ID, like a driver’s license. At auctions, the buyer sets the price. The bidding process is usually explained at the start of the auction, especially if the auctioneer sees a lot of new faces in the mix.

The fully decorated purple Christmas tree was won for a $40 bid. In fact, after the winning bidder had her pick of fully decorated trees, the remaining assortment of holiday trees were offered to others attending the same auction that evening, at the same price.


Danny's Auction Barn

Route 6 (5 minutes from the CT line)
Foster, Rhode Island
phone: (401) 647-2558
> Every Friday night @ 7 PM until Christmas <

Allen's Auction Hall
164 Hartford Pike
Dayville, Connecticut
(860) 779-2444
> Every Saturday night @ 5 PM until Christmas <

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How it all started

When I was a little girl, I’d often accompany my grandmother to yard sales and antique auctions. While that may not seem like an activity of choice for a kid, I never felt like I was being dragged along with Grammie. I loved it. Her home was beautiful. Always clean and spotless, everything always in its place. The auction finds that won a spot for display in her home were those of quality and of course, lovingly chosen.

I recall when I was about 12 yeas old, and Grammie allowed me to bid on an item that I admired. It was a solid lead crystal fish that appeared to be swimming on a wave. The fish was of substantial size, about 10 inches in length and 7 inches high. It was impressive.

There were two of those fish there that day. Mine was won for a $25 bid. The other had a signature clearly evident on the bottom. It went for much more.

Even though the signature had worn off of my fish, I knew it was something special. Today, the crystal fish sits upon my dresser at home. I’ve never researched it’s value. I simply admire it.

My grandmother passed away last January. The time she spent with me then made a huge impact on my life. Inviting me to tag along with her was a special gift — not only in her time and attention — but she introduced me to a much-loved pastime that continues to be part of my life.

Today, I am a mother of five. When my kids were babies, I’d often search out area yard sales to look for baby things that were “just like new." Aside from baby stuff like feeding chairs, bouncers and toys, sometimes I’d find great quality clothing items — brands like Baby Gap and Gymboree. It was a thrill to pick up a barely worn $25 dress for $1.

When my own children outgrew their clothes, I’d take them over to the local consignment store. Sometimes I’d make out with more than I paid for their things!

Then, when eBay came about, I posted my first item online. It was an exquisite flower girl dress my then 7-year-old daughter wore just one time. It sold for more than half of what I paid, saving me a bundle!

That was in 1998. Today, I am an eBay PowerSeller.

I am also the wife of an auctioneer.