Thursday, January 31, 2008

Don't leave your stuff unattended when visiting a thrift store

As a Mom who has reminded kids (over & over) not to leave their bicycles lying around, I thought this story was pretty funny.

Updating software: Not always a simple process

While I don't normally discuss retail shopping issues in this blog, this story is typical of common consumer frustrations — but with an unusual series of events — so I thought it would be interesting to share.

My husband, Jeff, is a small business owner. To save on costs, he prints his own checks on the computer. He recently updated his computer system, and to his dismay, his check printing software would no longer run.

With payday approaching, Jeff took time out of his normal work day to drive to Staples to purchase an updated version of the Versa check printing software. Coming from the Pomfret area, it's a bit of a trip to either store location -- Willimantic or Norwich.

Since he had another stop to make that day in Plainfield, he phoned the Norwich location, and they confirmed having the software in stock. Pleased to hear that news, he drove to the store.

He did his shopping in Norwich, picking up a few more items while there.

The following morning, Jeff opened the software package. He was stunned to find that the CD had been opened. Hesitant, but not wanting to make another long drive to the store and back, he popped the CD into his computer. Although it wasn't totally unexpected, a message appeared on his screen stating that the software was already registered -- to someone else.

Worried that the store might not accept opened software for return, he called Staples and they assured him that it was fine to bring it back. Being closer to Willimantic, with no other reason to leave the office for the day, Jeff drove to the that Staples to make the exchange for a new package.

When he arrived, he took out his receipt and attempted to make the exchange. However, he was then informed that they no longer carried the product. Not only that, his receipt showed that he was charged just a penny for the package he picked up the previous day... So no refund.

In fact, when the clerk looked over the receipt, she noted that it stated clearly, the name of the software and the words, "DISCONTINUED: DO NOT SELL."

Surprisingly, he hadn't even noticed the lower-than-expected total when he signed the credit card slip. Both he and the clerk in Willimatic store stood in disbelief in the realization that the purchase passed through the register at the Norwich store unnoticed.

So now what?

A call to the Norwich store offered no explanation. With time and gas wasted, Jeff was not too happy.

Finally, for his inconvenience, the Staples employee issued him a $30 store certificate. Kudos to Staples store in Willimantic for their efforts in making the situation more bearable.

Jeff then looked around for a different check printing software, which he found and then proceeded to purchase. It works fine on his computer and it's even compatible with the remaining checks he has on hand.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

People selling low-end items will feel eBay fee increase the most

Looking at eBay's new fee structure, it's becoming clear that eBay gives a little, but take a little more. It's just not so obvious on the surface. Sellers are crunching their numbers, and most consider the new fee structure announced yesterday to be a increase in costs.

Here's how "eBay math" pans out for the typical seller:

Under the old rules, for example, selling a purse at auction for $25 would have cost the seller $1.91, including 60 cents for listing the item plus eBay’s commission of $1.31. Under the new structure, the seller would pay $2.74, including 55 cents to list the item plus a higher commission of $2.19.

Check out the full article for more...
EBay sellers don’t like fee changes; auction site cuts listing fees but some commissions rise

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For eBay sellers, changes in fees & feedback have been made official

List more. It will cost you less.

Sell more. It will cost you more.
Sell cheaper stuff; it will cost you a lot more.

For items selling under $25, eBay’s fee is going up to 8.75% of the final sale price. That's a 67% increase. eBay also announced that it will give PowerSellers up to a 15 percent discount on Final Value Fees based on Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) beginning in April 2008.

Although many sellers will benefit from these changes, the average eBay selling price is in the $10 range, so this is likely to affect those who sell small items infrequently and those who sell inexpensive goods -- no matter how often -- to a greater extent.

Additionally, the fees for including photos on listings will be eliminated.

Finally, in search results, sellers with higher rates of customer dissatisfaction will get lower exposure.

EBay's incoming Chief Executive, John Donahue, claims that most sellers will see their fees go down. He states that the new fee structure will be driven by the success of sellers.

For more information on this, check out the article on

Here's another interesting change on the horizon...

Sellers will no longer be allowed to leave negative or neutral feedback for buyers. Other changes in their feedback system are in the works as well. I'm sure this will cause a lot of chatter since buyers and sellers both have voiced strong opinions on the matter.

Read about it here: .

Monday, January 28, 2008

Weird item of the week... Mallard Duck Gumball Machine

One of my favorite pastimes is hunting out interesting and unusual objects to post on eBay.

For the most part my buying judgment is pretty good, but I'm not always on target when it comes to figuring out what people will go for.

Part of the fun is definitely the element of chance. I suppose it can be compared to a gambler's high — the rush you'll get when an inexpensive item is bid up to levels you never expected.

Such was the case with my summertime purchase of a Miss Suzette Barbie-like doll. She came in her original vinyl carry case, along with a few outfits too! I picked her up at a church rummage sale for $5. She brought $108.

After experiencing that kind of excitement a few times, one keeps a keen eye out for anything that might have a remote chance of triggering a bidding war.

Just a word to the wise...

It's great to strike up a conversation with flea market sellers,
but don't always take their word at face value.

Jeff and I visited the new flea market in Central Village on Saturday.

We stepped inside and meandered around. There was nothing that immediately caught my attention.

The merchandise reminded me of what you might find at a tiny hole-in-the-wall antique shop. I was a little disappointed, because when I check out a flea market, I immediately seek out those selling used home goods. These are people who don't do flea markets for a living -- they just want to clean out the house and unload the stuff. Their spots usually have the greatest bargains. There were no tables like that on Saturday.

Jeff stopped to talk with Rob, one of the owners, so I browsed around to see what was for sale. I came across a corner set-up that had a couple of interesting finds... A Winnie the Pooh tea-pot in the original box. The seller asked $10 for it. An ET coin bank... He wanted $10 for that one too.

Oh, and here's what I thought was really neat -- a gumball machine that was also a mallard duck! Pretty cool, I thought.

It was heavy for it's size and the maker's name was on the bottom. It was interesting in how the gum was dispensed. It popped out one end and rolled down a shoot along the side of the bird.

Well, the seller probably sensed that I really wanted the thing. He asked $40 for it.

I didn't want it that badly. That's actually what I was guessing it might bring on eBay.

Thinking he'd jump at it because the place wasn't all that busy, and it was nearing the end of the day, I counter-offered $25. He didn't bite.

As I continued to look it over, the dealer started telling me what similar gumball machine-mallard ducks are going for on eBay — a lot more than $40 he boasted.

I was surprised to hear that there were more of these on eBay. I had never seen anything like it. But you know, I hate when flea market or yard sale sellers tell me what an item will bring on eBay. My immediate thought is, "Well, why don't YOU just put it on eBay???"

I left without the duck -- or anything else.

Out of curiosity, I checked eBay when I arrived home. I found two Mallard Duck Gumball Machines. There were none in completed listings, but both were going for less than $10 in price.

I'm glad I didn't buy it, even at $25.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cool price comparison tool for book lovers

Have any old books around the house?

There’s a great tool online that’s extremely useful for anyone who is looking to buy a particular book — or sell one. searches across the Internet and gathers prices by book title or ISBN number. You can also browse the site by searching with a keyword or author. is completely independent, and does not favor any book selling site over another. Purely functional, the service contains no advertising.

Using this website, you can find any book, view information about it, and compare total costs -- including shipping. Results link you directly into the book page of the book store site, where you can instantly place an order.

Try it here...
Enter Book Title or ISBN

Powered byNew & Used Books - Find the Lowest Price - Compare more than a hundred book stores, 60,000 sellers, in a click.
New & used books

Friday, January 25, 2008

EBay to change its fee structure and focus more on fixed priced listings

Changes are on the way for Ebay.

With a desire to "power down a bit" Meg Whitman has given up day-to-day control of eBay. Incoming chief executive John Donahoe says that eBay is not growing as rapidly as he would like, and he sees the greatest opportunity for growth in increasing the site’s offering of fixed-price items.

He plans to upgrade the site and change the way eBay charges sellers for listing items. Donahue indicated that they may lower the fees people pay to list an item for sale, but raise the commission that eBay takes on completed sales.

EBay is also going to cut the fees for adding photos to listings because that is more attractive to buyers.

To top it off, an advantage will be given in search results to sellers who offer reasonable and fast shipping — even free shipping. The increased visibility is a reward for those merchants who treat customers best.

Ebay had nearly $60 billion worth of merchandise trading hands last year. Changes in eBay’s fee structure are expected to be formally announced next week.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What can be said for a decorative copper plate?

This photo was emailed to me by a reader curious about her plate. I haven't come across anything like this myself, so I'm unable to offer much useful information.

Maybe you can tell us something? If you have a similar item or possibly bought or sold one, please comment below or send me an email.

One trend I have been seeing lately is (a few) auction-goers who will bid on anything that can be re-sold for scrap. Apparently, copper prices have increased recently, making that a worthwhile practice.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Broken iPods, video game players, and MP3 players really have resale value?

Do you have any broken electronics around the house?

A little over a year ago, 25-year-old Brett Mosley taught himself to repair his broken iPod. Now he wants yours. He has a Web site up that will pay you for about 100 different electronic devices -- mostly iPods.

He doesn't mind if they're broken. He repairs and resells them on eBay, or strips them out for parts.

He'll also buy your broken iPhone, Wii, Xbox, Playstation, laptop computer, cell phone or Zune MP3 player.

If you're interested in selling a used or broken electronic item, you can log onto his Web site, complete a simple form, and get a quote. A price comes up on the screen. If it's acceptable, you just ship the item to Mosley and you'll be paid through PayPal or by check.

Or, try eBay.

This is something I've tried myself. Broken video game players and old cell phones have always sold well on eBay.

Last year, my teenage son bought a used Xbox from a friend down the street. It did have a problem periodically stalling, which at first he didn't think would bother him too much. However, after a while the difficulties with the game player became very frustrating. He asked me to post it on eBay for him. We split the components and games into 4 different listings. His $30 investment turned into $180.

What makes this guy super smart, is that he brought the concept to the next level. He created a nicely done Web site which lent him a professional image. Add to that, he managed to get some positive publicity. Making approximately a 25% profit on each sale, he now has a growing business, increasing 30 percent a month within the past six months. Not too bad!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Learn how to sell on eBay with a local "certified" specialist

Just getting started on eBay? Or maybe you have a business that might do better if you sold your products online as well?

Did you know that there are there are fewer than 30 people nationwide who meet the qualifications of being an official ‘eBay Certified Educational Specialist’?

Certified Education Specialists are trained through eBay. We have two here in Connecticut.

I spoke at length with Marlene Gavens of Suffield last night. She’s extremely knowledgeable, and it’s clearly evident that she loves her work!

Marlene offers group classes through area colleges, including Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson. (Her next class there is on April 5th, from noon to 4:30 PM.) She also provides individual marketing & business consultations for large, small and home based businesses.

Most of Marlene’s classes are for those who know the basics of how to get around on the computer, but may be new to eBay. Many of her students have purchased items on the site, but have been hesitant to sell. There’s a lot of information to absorb in a few hours time, so Marlene offers 30 days of support by email or phone for those who have attended a class.

Courses include The Basics of Buying and The Basics of Selling. She also offers a class for those more advanced who would like to learn about setting up an eBay store. Whether you already have an eBay Store or are considering opening one, this class may be perfect for you! Having an eBay Store can definitely increase sales -- if it's set up properly.

In the class, Marlene teaches how to build an eBay store, customize it, manage it and promote it -- plus you'll learn to better understand your business through eBay's traffic and sales reports.

In Marlene’s own eBay store, she offers Gift Certificates for her services too!

Marlene Gavens poses with Jim Griffith, Dean of eBay Education
and author of "The Official eBay Bible."

Additionally, Marlene is a mentor for those who are interested in teaching others on how to do eBay!

Although I’ve been buying and selling on eBay for quite a long time (10 years now), Marlene shared a few of her favorite resources with me, which I found very helpful. She is an absolute pleasure to speak with... Her enthusiasm for her work comes through loud and clear!

For more information, contact:
Marlene Gavens, Certified eBay Education Specialist

Phone: 860-655-3009

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Auctioneer's daughter: Everyone knows Katie!

Today is our little girl’s birthday. A time to celebrate, Katie is 4 years old!!

Time does go by amazingly fast.

Funny thing, as I was cleaning up files on my computer last week, I came across a photo of Katie when she was just a baby, sitting up on the block with her father while he auctioneered.

Katie has been exposed to the world of auctions, flea markets and yard sales for all of her existence on this earth -- and even earlier! The sound of her father’s voice and the familiar auction chant is likely something she heard while in the womb!

She was brought to auctions regularly until she was about 2 and 1/2, at which point she just wouldn’t sit still long enough for me to be able to do much else but chase her. Since then, her visits have been infrequent, but she’ll go on occasion. She does have her favorite auction friends that she visits. She is an extremely outgoing child, and she knows all the regular attendees. Katie will climb up on a chair and sit next to them, even helping herself to their french-fries!

Many times, people who I don’t always readily recognize will approach me and ask how Katie is doing. They remember her at the auctions in her baby carrier! Of course, when she does come in now, everyone is surprised to see how much she’s grown.

Katie and I at her family birthday party Sunday.

Being cute, sweet, and outgoing does have its benefits too! When we go to the flea market or stop by yard sales, Katie loves it. More times than not, she’ll pick up a toy and the seller will just give it to her. After a while, she has so many things, we need to put together a lot of her previously-loved toys for the auction ourselves.

She has a Hanna-Montana microphone she was given for Christmas. Yes, she sings into it (She thinks she’s on her way to American Idol!), but she also does her own version of the auctioneer chant, mimicking her Daddy and giggling through most of it... She knows we get a kick out of it too!

Katie smiles at a family gathering over the weekend in honor of her birthday

No longer a toddler, she’s a big girl now. Happy birthday, Katie!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A 66 year old man finds his own baby book on eBay

"It's unreal. Of everything you see on eBay, it's pretty amazing to see something that belonged to you 65 years ago."

Quite frequently, personal family mementos are discovered in box lots that come up for auction. Often sold as “instant family”, these once-treasured framed family photos, yearbooks, and collections of hand-written greeting cards are sorted out and held up for all to see at bidding time.

I can’t help but wonder about the families and how their items may have been lost along the way.

Here’s one man’s story of how he was shocked to find his own baby book on eBay!

read more | digg story

Friday, January 18, 2008

There's a new auction / flea market in town

There's a new auction / flea market in town at at 35 Norwich Road in Central Village.

Rob Justice and Jason Denis have just opened Village Auction Gallery. (It's near the intersection of Route 14 and Route 12, just beyond the corner where Subway Restaurant is located.) Their first auction was last night.

Rob reported a fairly good showing for their debut auction, with 26 bidders in attendance. A promising start, they hope to continue with auctions every other Thursday evening, and host a weekly Saturday flea market as well.

The first auction included oil paintings, prints, chalkware, vintage hubcaps, a hanging light, hockey cards, hot wheels, military items, rugs, furniture, glassware, and more.

Rob said, "We're looking forward to holding an outside flea market, but we didn't realize that the existing permit had lapsed. We have an indoor permit for now, while we're working on site maps and fire safety issues to clear the way for our future business plans."

The Saturday Flea Market opened last weekend with just three dealers. However, this week they've picked up a few more, and there are now nine dealers participating. Added to that, a couple of 1-day sellers have signed up, making a total of twelve different sellers who are ready to display their wares this weekend.

If you're interested in selling, spots are available for as little as $15.

I asked Rob, who is an auto dealer by day, if he ever auctioneered before. He told me that he used to run an auction at the old A&P store, directly across the street from his current location.

Looking back, Rob says, "It was in February of 1998 when I first started. It's been 10 years, but I'm ready to try again."

Rob's partner, Jason Dennis was born into the auction business. He's involved with auctions that operate every other Friday in Jewett City.

With this new flea market operating on Saturdays and Moosup's new flea market on running Sundays, Plainfield offers bargain hunters a place to explore all weekend!

For more information:
Call 860-564-7998 or 860-625-0286

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A glimpse into the past: How a Cabinetmaker got into Auctioneering

Evident by the title of this blog, my husband, Jeff is an Auctioneer. By trade, he is a cabinet-maker. He has a custom cabinetry shop located in Tolland, which he operates with the help of his two sons.

One might wonder how a Cabinetmaker ever got into auctioneering...

Jeff watches the Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auctions on television for hours at a time. He’s totally captivated.

But while he admires and appreciates the stunning beauty and engineering of each machine placed in the spotlight on the show, it’s not the cars that have him glued to the screen.

It’s the lure of the chant.

The auctioneer's chant is the driving force of the auction process. It adds excitement and builds momentum. The chant is a speedy song of numbers designed to grip the attention of bidders and hasten the pace of the sale.

In the competitive bidding process, an auctioneer's quick tongue encourages eager bidders to forge ahead in the cycle of rising price increments, all while denying them the luxury of time to mull over their next move. In a split second, one must decide if it’s worth another dollar (or more) out of pocket, or if the stakes are too high.

I asked Jeff to share with us how he became an Auctioneer.

To that he answers, “My family has been involved in the auction business all my life."

Jeff's father was a horse dealer when he was growing up. "I was probably five years old when I first went to an auction. I would sit and listen to the auctioneers, amazed at how fast they could talk."

Back then, his father brought him along to a few different horse and livestock auctions. Jeff recalls going to one in Hebron and another in Canaan, Connecticut. He has fond memories of many long drives to Luther’s Livestock Auctions in Wassaic, New York. It was way before the days of child restraints and safety seats, and Jeff's father would actually let him handle the shift stick to change gears in the truck while he stepped on the clutch.

"I started helping out at the auctions as soon as I was old enough and big enough to carry a box."

When he was 10 or 11, Jeff was given the responsibility of selling fruit from the back of the truck, while his father brought the horses inside to be auctioned.

Jeff was just a bit older in 1968, when his father passed away from cancer.
He then spent summers working with his older brother, Dick Norman.

Dick was a tack dealer and an accomplished auctioneer. Jeff worked hard for his brother, doing everything from cleaning horse stalls to moving merchandise. It wasn’t long before Jeff was helping out at the auctions as a Ringman. He would hold merchandise up in front of the crowd so they could clearly view the item up for bid.

Their schedule was busy.

On Mondays they were in New York at Luther’s Livestock Auction.

On Tuesdays, off to Shrewsbury, Massachusetts at Buttonwoods Stables.

Wednesdays were spent at Bunchy Grant’s Auction at of Roosevelt Sales Stable in Iselin, New Jersey.

Crowley’s Horse Auctions in Massachusetts were on on Thursdays.
(They were the main tack dealer back then.)

On Friday nights Dick auctioneered in Hebron, Connecticut.

And on Saturdays, Dick had a junk auction of his own in Hebron, Connecticut.

Jeff spent many summers with Dick, until his sons were born. He then made his way into the cabinetry business. It wasn’t until 20 years later, when Jeff’s sons were grown, that the lure of the auction chant would again enter his life.

Twenty years later, a invititation to go along...

Jeff received an phone call from Dick out of the blue, asking him if he’d like to take a ride with him to Herman Camara’s Horse Auction in Swansea, Massachusetts. He went along.

Not long after that, Dick was the auctioneer for a tool auction at Danny’s Auction Barn in Foster, Rhode Island. At that time, Dick handled all special auctions for Danny. Just like the old times, Jeff served as his Ringman. And so it was... for a while.

As time went on, with more experience at Danny's, Jeff was feeling increasingly comfortable with the crowd and his interest in auctions grew. He began helping Danny at Christmas Auctions.

Facing health difficulties, Danny’s eyesight was failing. He asked Jeff if he would sit up on the block and simply call numbers while Danny handled the merchandise from the table.

After doing that for a short time, and already up on block, Danny suddenly said to Jeff, “Why don’t you do some?”

With a chuckle, Jeff recalls experiencing a choking sensation -- for a second. But then he relaxed. He knew the people – simple country folks – and he let the words flow.

When he finished up that evening, Mary, who was the bookkeeper at the time, leaned over and asked “How long have you been an Auctioneer?”

Jeff replied, “About 45 minutes!”

Later, Danny walked over to Jeff and said, “You know, I always knew you were an Auctioneer.”

As I shared earlier, Jeff has always loved that sound... He knows it well.

His enthusiam for the Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auctions on television is because the show features the talents of many true professionals in the auction business.

Then there’s Leroy Van Dyke’s auctioneer song... The years rewind in time to the best-ever auction chant from his childhood, back to Luther’s Livestock Auction in New York.

An auctioneer's job requires a combination of expertise – both as a salesman and an entertainer. For some auction-goers, if they’re not buying at the moment, the auctioneer’s voice may just fade into the background. Until, of course, the item they’ve been eyeing comes up for bid. At that point, the bidder is totally focused as they carefully listen to track the numbers rolling from his lips. However, Jeff has a great talent in his ability to engage an audience all the way through. He makes them laugh, whether they are buying at the moment or not.

For Jeff, chanting is more than just a method of auction selling. Done right, it's music to his ears. He picks up every nuance in tone and timing.

While each auctioneer is unique in his own style, a good auctioneer has the sound and the rhythm down pat. A great one can pull you in and nudge you to spend your last dime -- even before you’ve realized what’s happened!

If you would like to be profiled in this blog, send me an email! I would love to hear from other auctioneers, flea market vendors, antique enthusiasts, and anyone who uses second-hand goods in a creatively.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ebay Sellers, get ready to list

They never give you much advance notice, but eBay will run listing sales periodically. On Wednesday, January 16th, 2008, all auction-style and fixed priced listings are just 20 cents for the insertion fee. If you're a high-volume seller, you could save a ton of money!

There are some exclusions, in eBay Motors (including Parts & Accessories) and some buiness and industrial categories.

Check out:

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Flea Market in Foster?

Rocky Hill Flea Market in East Greenwich, RI

Well, maybe.

Danny Calise of Danny’s Auction Barn made an announcement at last week’s Saturday night auction that there may be a new flea market opening at his location on Route 6 in Foster, RI in the Spring. This is in light of the shaky future of the widely popular Rocky Hill Flea Market in East Greenwich, RI — which is my very favorite flea market of all time.

The phone number for Rocky Hill Flea Market rings endlessly, so I have no official word... but what I’ve heard from unofficial sources is that the land used by the flea market operators in East Greenwich was bought by Brooks Drug, and they were later purchased by Rite Aid. Since Rite Aid will not be utilizing a corporate headquarters at the location, the land was recently sold again. To whom, and what the plans are... We’re not sure.

As long as Rocky Hill is happening, I’ll be there. I hope they survive, even if they relocate.

If Danny opens a flea market in Foster, I’ll definitely make an effort check it out. In my opinion, he shouldn't base his decision on the fate of Rocky Hill. Foster is far enough from East Greenwich, and there's room enough in Rhode Island for both!

Friday, January 11, 2008

From leather to lumber... How about a fur ball? There's something for everyone this weekend!

What's happening this weekend with auctions & flea markets?
Certainly something for everyone!


Where can you go to see people in cardigan sweaters and others in head-to-toe spiked latex? Well, it would have to be The Fetish Flea Market in Providence at the Rhode Island Convention Center, January 11-13, 2008!

According to the founder and creator of the event, Cecilia Tan, "The city of Providence has welcomed us with open arms and we will be taking over the convention center."

Items range from bargains under $10 to custom-fitted pieces topping $800.

At the Boston events, which draw up to 3500 at a time, as many as 50% of attendees say they have never been to any kind of event quite like this before. But the other 50% are repeat customers!

For more information, see their Web site at


Danny's Auction Barn in Foster, RI is holding a lumber auction – PLUS sheet rock and plywood, a front-end loader, used power tools, and a couple of snowmobiles. Maybe a lawn tractor... To be held at noon on Saturday, January 12.

Danny's Auction Barn
Route 6
Foster, RI

phone: (401) 647-2558

Fur Ball -- Featuring a silent auction

Kitty Harbor will hold its first Annual Fur Ball from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Jacques Cartier Club, 1 Wilson St. Extension, Jewett City.

There will be a cash bar from 6:30 to 10:30 and a buffet dinner at 7 p.m. Music by Acoustic Bruce and The Cartells will be featured, along with door prizes, a silent auction and basket raffle. Tickets are $25 per person.

Proceeds benefit Kitty Harbor and the abused and abandoned cats they house.

For tickets and information call 376-9062.

Hummel and Toy Auction

Saturday, Jan. 12th at 1:00 pm at the Westbrook Elks Lodge, 142 Seaside Ave, Westbrook, CT. The preview starts at 11 a.m.

Bid online at
Photos at

Robert H. Glass Auctions, LLC
Sterling, CT

Phone: 860-564-7318

If it's worth the travel time, here are a couple of noteworthy auction events elsewhere in the country...

Americana Week in NYC -- last 2 weeks in January

The American Antiques Show is all about Americana, from Baltimore quilts to American Indian baskets, school girl needlework to American Queen Anne furniture.

New York City is host to a variety of shows and auctions during this time, including the Winter Antiques Show at the Seventh Regiment Armory, and events at local museums including The American Antiques Show at the Folk Art Museum which includes a gala benefit where Martha Stewart will receive this year's American Spirit Award.


The World's Greatest Classic Car Auction -- Barrett-Jackson

There are seven collector-car auctions starting Saturday in Scottsdale, Arizona, with each offering something slightly different from the rest. The famous Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction is held each January for thousands of car collectors and auto enthusiasts.

Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction
3020 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251-7210

Phone: 480-421-6694

The first Barrett-Jackson car show took place in 1967 and was a fundraising event for local charities. In 1971, the first classic car auction was organized. With the sale of Barrett's Mercedes 770 Phaeton for $153,000, the auction garnered amazing press and also the attention of collectors worldwide. Sales volume for the inaugural event reached $600,000.

For more info, check out:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

You Bought What?! 10 Extraordinarily Peculiar eBay Purchases

The worldwide garage sale. Some of the items are quite hilarious, some are rather interesting, and others are just plain weird. Perhaps the strangest phenomena is the ridiculous amounts of money people are willing to pay for some of this stuff.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mid-winter Lumber Auction to be held Saturday, January 12th at Noon

Danny's Auction Barn in Foster, RI is holding an unusual auction this weekend. It's mostly lumber – with a few odds 'n ends in the mix – including sheet rock and plywood, a front-end loader, used power tools, and a couple of snowmobiles. There may be a lawn tractor or two there as well.

While it may be unusual for this time of year, Danny feels that with the current state of the real estate market, many people may opt to remodel rather than move. The holidays are over, and spring is just around the corner, making this a great time for do-it-yourself home projects!

The lumber auction will start at noon. Most of it will be held inside the barn (with my husband Jeff as the auctioneer!), so no worry if we see an end to the stretch of mild weather we've been enjoying!

Danny's regular Saturday night used merchandise auction will go on as usual – later that day, at 7 pm.


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

Monday, January 7, 2008

Now is a great time to check thrift stores for hot selling eBay items

If you're an eBay seller, now is a great time to check in with your local Salvation Army or Goodwill Store. This is particularly true if you sell toys.

One reason is that before Christmas, parents are anxious to clean out toy boxes to make room for new play-things. Many clean-outs will find their way to the nearest thrift store bin. On top of that, those who may be looking to take charitable deductions before the end of the tax year have recently donated as well.

Before visiting the thrift store, have an idea about what you're looking to buy. If it's toys, remember what you enjoyed as a child. Even toys that aren't very old can sell well on eBay -- especially classics like original Tinker Toys and See-N-Says which can sometimes bring as much as 20 times the money!

Before you go, look on eBay at completed auctions using the Advanced Search tool for your chosen category. Sort results from highest to lowest, and you'll see what brands are most likely to bring more.

Another useful tip is to note how hot-selling items are described in their auction listings. Having great descriptions can make a huge difference in the overall success of your sales.

Also, don't overlook off-season clothing and holiday-related goods. Buy when the prices are super-low, and hold on to these things. This is valuable advice for eBay sellers browsing through any kind of store. I've purchased off season clothing on clearance at Walmart which have done very well online when posted at the right time of year.

Right now, snap up anything priced right with a heart theme -- Valentine's Day is coming up fast! To account for payment and shipping, you should be a month early in your timing. Don't forget to mention the holiday in your descriptions. It will give your listings an added edge!

As an eBay seller, there are lots of tips and tricks you pick up along the way. I encourage you to share yours by sending me an email at

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Defining a bargain: The price of a candy bar in 2008

The first Hershey bar was made in 1900.
It cost 1 cent in 1930.
In 1962, a candy bar cost 5¢. In 1972, it cost 25¢. In 2004, the average cost of a candy bar was 60¢.

A dollar today is not the same as a dollar in 1962. Inflation makes dollar-to-dollar comparisons impossible. Generally speaking, today you need $586 to buy what $100 would buy in 1962.

But a very curious phenomenon is happening in a vending machine in our lunch room... There are 2 rows in this machine that dispense candy. On one of the rows, prices vary from 75¢ to $1. That row holds only candy bars.

The funny thing is that while I don’t frequent the machine too often, on more than one occasion I’ve seen the Almond Joy candy bars positioned in both the 75¢ position AND the $1 slots.

It’s amazing when we look at how costs have increased so quickly over the span of time. Evidently, inflation is inevitable. I suppose it shouldn’t be especially surprising to expect to pay $1 for a candy bar in 2008. But you know, I really feel like I’m getting an incredible bargain when I pick E9 instead of E2, where I can see the very same candy bar being offered (at the same point in time) for 25¢ more!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Saturday Auction to raise money for a Mission Trip to El Salvador

How would you like to bid for a week’s vacation on Cape Cod in a brand new custom built Saltbox style home in a private setting? It’s in East Harwich and it comes completely equipped with everything brand new -- state of the art appliances, furnishings and amenities. With 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, it sleeps 6.

This is but one of the fantastic items available tomorrow night at a charity auction in Eastford at the Eastford Baptist Church. The auction is to benefit a Missions Trip to El Salvador. The trip will take place in February to help build homes for poor families. Aside from providing aid to poorer communities, the experience is of benefit to the volunteers as well, who share in a goal-orientated, team-building experience.

There is a wide variety of items being offered — everything from a sailboat, exercise equipment, tools, a television, furniture, and more. A complete listing of auctions items and photos can be seen on their Web site:

If you are unable to attend, bids will be accepted by email or phone. Contact Chris Nickerson at 455-0805, or email

Eastford Baptist Church

Saturday, JANUARY 5th

It starts @ 6pm

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Indoor Yard Sale in Montville this Saturday to help Animal Rescue Group

Pet Pals Northeast Inc., a local animal rescue group, is holding an indoor yard sale on Saturday, January 5th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Montville. The sale will be held at the Fair Oaks School on Old Colchester Road, across from the Montville High School.

According to Linda Orr, program administrator of Pet Pals Northeast, the focus of their efforts is mostly on stray cats. "One of the biggest things we do is TNR, which stands for trap, neuter, and return."

The group does not have a shelter for the animals, so they work on reducing the population. If a cat appears healthy, they will neuter it and return it outdoors. For those that may be endangered, the group works with volunteers to provide shelter. For the most part, they utilize people who are willing to feed the animals and allow them to stay in a garage or barn on their property. These cats are good mousers -- especially for those on a farm -- as they keep gardens, grain and hay areas free of rodents.

Linda says, "It's not unusual for us to discover 30 or 40 cats living in a back yard. Unless the animals are neutered, they will continue to reproduce."

Pet Pals Northeast also works closely with local humane societies to help find foster and permanent homes for the cats. You can see some of the cats and kittens in need of placement online by clicking here.

Fortunately, the group has access to a wonderful veterinarian who gives them a substantial discount on services.

The indoor yard sale is an annual event. They also have another yard sale in the Spring which is held at the home of one of the organizers in Canterbury.

Linda explains, "That way, we conduct fundraising efforts in both Windham and New London counties."

As of now, they have a great variety of items that have been donated for the yard sale. Everything from household items to toys, and a lot that's going to be a surprise because new items are coming in every day.

The group is continuing to collect donations of yard sale items. Items must be like new and in good condition. It might not be a bad idea to clean out your closets and basements to help a good cause. Donations can also be brought in on the day of the sale.

Since there aren't too many yard sales going on at this time of year, it might be worth your time to check out this one. All proceeds will benefit local animal rescue efforts.

Call Linda Orr at 464-2296 or 912-3098 for more information.
Visit their Web site online at