Monday, March 31, 2008

eBay Linking - What are you allowed to do?

More and more people are realizing that eBay is not only a marketplace to sell and buy products, but also an extremely valuable source of traffic to your own website. The thing is, like any business entity, eBay realizes this and has various measures in place to prevent abuse.

read more | digg story

Wow! What $3 can buy!

We slept late Saturday morning, but I still had a half hour left before closing to catch what was left of the Colossal Rummage Sale at Christ Church on Route 169 in Pomfret.

While I would normally prefer to be one of the first to check out such a sale, there are advantages to arriving near closing time.

After parking, we saw 3 possible entry doors, and no signs were placed to clearly direct sale-goers. We saw a woman enter a doorway, and decided to follow. Once inside, a white paper was taped to the wall with the words "Rummage Sale" on it, and it directed us down a long, turning hallway. Finally we found the room with the sale!

Once inside, three very pleasant ladies greeted us warmly, and one handed me a brown paper grocery bag.

"Fill the bag with everything you can fit for just $3."

While my husband poked around for just about 5 minutes, saw nothing worthwhile, and then waited in the car, I thought I'd explore a bit.

My four-year-old daughter immediately discovered a Little Tykes baby stroller. In it she placed two more toys -- a kids' karaoke machine and a toy telephone.

Believe it or not, here's what I was able to fit into a brown paper bag:
-- Three non-fiction books

-- One kids' book on potty training

-- A lovely ceramic lamp base with strawberries art on it (signed)

-- One deep pink salad plate

-- An electric wall sconce with hobnail milk-glass shade

-- An Old Navy sage green corduroy Spring jacket ~ junior size

-- An electric paper shredder

-- A box of vintage Scandinavian pastry molds

-- A complete audio tape package on Living Well by Deepak Chopra

I also picked up two bags of Barbie doll stuff -- one full of dolls, unclothed but in very good condition. The other bag had a bunch of Barbie schoolhouse accessories, plus a decorative Barbie case. Not too bad!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

eBay's new digital download policy: No more cheap 'info product' auctions

Stay up one of these nights when you're restless with your own ideas for generating more income, and you'll likely be further inspired by late-night infomercials claiming to hold the secrets behind making riches online.

People from all walks of life dream of becoming successful online entrepreneurs. And, there's no shortage of those claiming to have made big money on the Internet. (If they're so good at it, then why do they need to put out additional efforts in marketing their so-called "secrets".)

Late night sales pitches tout much-sought-after proprietary knowledge of an automated "system" that can be set up to operate (like a fine-tuned money-making machine) while you are otherwise enjoying carefree vacations on remote sunny paradise islands.

Although I've never bought in to any infomercial, much of what I've read on the subject has to do with creating multiple income streams, and those supposedly require very little effort or attention on your part. Common methods include affiliate programs, utilizing Google Adsense campaigns, drop-shipping, out-sourcing, and — the subject of eBay’s most recent policy change announcement — selling information products.

It's the selling of information products that will be hindered by eBay's new digital download policy. The policy affects products such as eBooks, MP3 files, PDFs, recipes, etc. -- anything that is "shipped" to a customer via email or a download link. These items can no longer be placed in auction-style or fixed price listings.

Of course, the appeal of becoming a seller of digital products on eBay was that no effort is required to process each sale. For a seller of digital goods, there are no costs involved in securing and maintaining fresh inventory. And, once content is created (or found — as copying is a common problem), with a simple file upload and completion of an auction or fixed price listing form, the work was done. Delivery is automatic. Feedback is easily earned.

That’s why feedback manipulation (artificially padding a member's score) is the issue eBay claims to be behind the reasoning for the new policy — but also most likely why there are so many digital products out there of little or no true value.

EBay's apparent strategy is to eliminate
sellers who sell cheap downloads
-- mostly copied content --
simply to boost their feedback ratings.

According to eBay, a perception is formed that even legitimate sellers of digital goods are manipulating the feedback system. This dynamic -- real or perceived -- undermines the sense of trust across the entire marketplace.

As a result, eBay is restricting sales of digital products to their classified ad format only. Because no feedback is exchanged between buyers and sellers on classified ad listings, concern about feedback manipulation will no longer be an issue.

As the company focuses on improving buyer experiences, this policy is among a number of initiatives designed to improve the integrity of eBay as a whole, and better ensure buyer trust.

While classified ad listings will show up in default search results, they are denoted as a “classified ad.” These ads are not auctions, and no transactions actually happen on eBay. The ads are similar to Craigslist online classifieds, but they are not free. The cost for a classified ad on eBay is $9.95 per month. However, one advantage to this method is that you can combine multiple or similar items in one ad.

As a seller in the classifieds section, your marketing effort is focused on capturing leads in order to sell your product. The actual sale and download process will have to take place through another Web site. Building and maintaining a separate Web presence to facilitate that process will require a bit more effort and creativity on behalf of digital product marketers.

Remember, with any money-making scheme, strategies may appear work-able on the surface, but challenges and variables are great. Don't overlook the obvious fact that you're not the only one buying into these ideas. In my view, there's more likely a better reason why eBay implemented this new policy... Too many low quality download products that just don't deliver.

Read eBay's official statement:
New Policy Update: Digital Downloadable Goods in Classified Ads Format Only

Thursday, March 27, 2008

First there was Virgin Mary toast on eBay; Now Obama Miracle Toast?

From Southern California comes another weird food item auction...

Obama Miracle Toast
Current price: $330.00
End time: Mar-27-08 11:50:15 PDT

The seller claims that Hillary Clinton's campaign wants it.
But why?

The auction ends today... check it out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Saturday auction to support Killingly High School’s Project Graduation

An auction to benefit Killingly High School's Project Graduation will be held at 11 a.m. on March 29 in the high school cafeteria. Auction items to date include overnight stays, photography sessions, sports memorabilia, tickets to sporting events and family fun days at Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport. A preview is available at 10 a.m. New donations are welcome.

For more information, call 779-1452 or 779-1886.

Killingly High School
79 Westfield Ave., Danielson, CT

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Foster, RI Flea Market opening April 6th

A special deal is being offered to dealers and individuals interested in setting up a space at the new flea market coming to Foster, RI on Sunday, April 6th. Danny’s Auction Barn on Route 6 (5 minutes from the CT/RI state line) is offering the month of April free of charge for those who pay for the month of May up front. Spaces are first come, first serve. A 15’ x 20’ spot is just $25.

In light of the recent closing of Rocky Hill Flea Market in East Greenwich, Danny Calise is hoping his new venture will be a success. On the grand opening day of the flea market, Danny is also holding an Equipment Auction on the opposite side of the property at noon. That should help to generate interest, in addition to the fact that the flea market will be clearly viewable from Route 6.

Danny’s Auction Barn is online at
Reach Danny by phone at (401) 647-2558.

Friday, March 21, 2008

eBay Announces Feedback Extortion Policy

Changes to eBay's feedback system will begin in May to prohibit sellers from leaving negative or neutral feedback ratings for buyers. Yesterday, eBay's President of Global Marketplace Operation, Lorrie Norrington, posted an announcement stating that the company will protect sellers from dishonest buyers who use the Feedback system as a weapon.

read more | digg story

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Five tips for finding great deals at yard sales to sell on eBay

In spite of today's dreary clouds, the calendar tells us that Spring is here! For those of us who are yard sale and flea market junkies, the season is upon us!

While I do enjoy bargain hunting at weekend sales for anything that could be repurposed in my own home, I also search out inexpensive items to re-sell on eBay. So how does one know what might be a good seller online?

Here are 5 tips you can use to identify great selling eBay items at garage and yard sales.

1. Uniqueness
Look for items that are one-of-a-kind or hard-to-find. This could include something uncommon, hand-crafted, or a product that's no longer made.

2. New in the Box
If it's in it's original packaging, you have a good shot at getting close to retail on the item. If it's in the original box AND unique... You have a better chance of increasing your profit.

3. Collector Appeal
If the item is collectible, it's likely that you may have the perfect addition for someone's collection. Or possibly a buyer will purchase your item for a collector as a gift.

A good example is animals. A lot of people love them. People like to reflect what they love in their surroundings. Other examples might be a nautical theme, clowns, trains, etc.

If your item is collectible, unique, AND in it's original packaging, you'll make even more money on it!

4. Target a Niche
Think hobbies and sports. People who are enthusiasts in a specific activity like to buy clothing, books and accessories related to their passion.

5. Nostalgic Value
If an item reminds you of your childhood, it may do quite well on eBay.

Again, if it reminds you of your childhood, AND it's unique, AND it's in the original packaging, etc.

I recently purchased these glasses at auction to sell on eBay. They are hand-blown, with carousel horses on them, and the name of an Amusement Park is on the side.

They may not be totally unique, but I've never come across anything like them before, and I was unable to find anything like these in online searches. That makes them unique enough. As a collectible, these glasses target several different groups. There are collectors of horses, carousel horses, amusement park memorabilia, advertising and hand-blown glass.

These should have a good chance of finding happy buyers on eBay!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Small businesses find variety of ways to get relief from rising costs of mailing and shipping

Although the price of a first-class postage stamp is going up a penny on May 12, small businesses will get a break for the first time on Express Mail and Priority Mail costs. That will help many companies, but business owners who do a lot of mailing and shipping say there are plenty of additional ways to cut expenses if you shop and ask around.

read more | digg story

Ebay pulled the corn flake auction!

Why? Well, they say the sisters selling the flake were in violation of eBay's policy on selling food.

"Something really dramatic just happened with our corn flake," Melissa McIntire, 23, of Chesapeake, Va., said Tuesday, explaining that they received an e-mail from eBay saying the state-shaped cereal was in violation of the site's food policy.

Here is an excerpt of eBay's policy on selling food.

  • Perishable items: Sellers who list perishable items should clearly identify in the item description the steps that they will take to ensure that the goods are delivered to the buyer safely. For example, sellers of perishable goods should offer overnight delivery and ensure that the goods are properly packaged.
  • Sealed Containers: All food and related products sold on eBay should be packaged or sealed to ensure that the buyer can identify evidence of possible tampering.
  • Expiration dates: All items must be delivered to buyers prior to a clearly marked expiration or "use by" date.

McIntire and her 15-year-old sister, Emily, said they've relisted the flake on eBay, but this time they're auctioning a coupon redeemable for it, instead of the cereal itself. Bids received were over $200,000 before the auction's removal late last night.

The first auction accumulated more than 171,000 page views, and the new one, as of 2:30 p.m. today, had 17,046 views. A total of 18 people have made 43 bids in the new auction, with a top bid so far of $255.00.

Check it out on eBay by clicking here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wacky Illinois-shaped corn flake on eBay; Sisters hope buyer won’t flake out

Don't eat your cereal too fast... you could have a hidden gem in the box. Someone has offered more than $1,300 on eBay for a piece of breakfast cereal that looks like to the state of Illinois.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Photo Gallery: Danny’s Palm Sunday Agricultural Auction

Farmers from all over gathered today to buy and sell at Danny’s Auction Barn in Foster, RI. The Annual Palm Sunday Agricultural Auction runs from noon until late tonight with a huge array of farm equipment and livestock for sale. Today’s event has everything from John Deere tractors to a donkey and peacocks! Here are a few photos from earlier today.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Biggest sale of the year: Danny's Palm Sunday Auction

The first sure sign of Spring is upon us! This weekend’s big event starts Sunday at noon at Danny’s Auction Barn in Foster, RI.

The Annual Palm Sunday Auction is one you won’t want to miss if you interested in buying anything from Easter bunnies, to chickens and ducks of all varieties, to goats or pigs. For those raising animals or preparing a garden, you’ll find everything you might need at bargain prices. Farmers bring goods to sell, and people of all walks of life are there to buy. Merchandise is new and used.

This auction is action-packed, as goods pass through quickly, and it runs late into the night. There’s lots of noise and activity too — with a variety of small animals being moved in and out of the barn and always, a packed house!

*Also, for horse lovers, tonight at Danny’s they’ll be a Horse Auction starting at 6 pm.

Saturday’s general merchandise auction will not be held this week, while Danny’s staff prepares for Sunday’s big day. See you there!

Danny's Auction Barn is located in on Route 6 in Foster, Rhode Island, about 5 minutes over the Connecticut line. For more information, call (401) 647-2558.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Interested in old toys? Something for everyone at this weekend's 2-day auction

This weekend:
An unbelievable "no reserve" antique toy auction!

Chein Happy Hooligan ca 1932 & Wyandotte "Humphrey Mobile" tin wind ups

This weekend, the auctioneer at Stanton Auctions in Hamden, Massachusetts, will be auctioning off a collection probably more dear to him than most that pass through the gallery.

Peter S. Imler said his father, who lived for 35 years in Springfield, Massachusetts until he retired with his wife to the Cape, collected toys as a hobby. At the age of 86, he has decided that it is time for him to downsize and simplify his life.

His father, Joseph S. “Bud” Imler, used to dust off each toy a couple of times a month. He jokes that he now wants others to have that opportunity. He hopes his collection will now find its way to a new generation of antique toy collectors who will have as much fun hunting for them as he & his wife did.

His father's favorite toys were cast iron and tin, but they had to be original, Imler said. He was not interested in a cast iron or tin toy which had been repainted, and he wanted only mechanical toys that worked.

Antique horse drawn wagon toys including "Ice"and "Sand & Gravel" wagons

While I normally keep my recommendations for upcoming auctions local to eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, this one just might be worth the drive!

More information:


Stanton Auctions
106 East Longmeadow Rd.
Hampden, MA 01036

Download the advertisement with a complete listing of toys.

Phone: (413) 566-3161
Fax: (413) 566-2023


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Help to identify this unusual object

Pam Stedman of Danielson, Connecticut purchased this unusual object, and she would love to know what it is and what it was used for. She guesses, "To me it looks like something that may have held a candle to light lamps or something."

Does anyone out there have a clue??

If so, please comment or email me and I'll post the information received.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Selling Modified (OOAK or Misfit?) Dolls on eBay

One thing that amazes me about eBay is how odd stuff can somehow sell at outrageous levels. As a kind of online selling experiment, I posted a “redesigned” baby doll on eBay this weekend. If being "odd" is part of the criteria for an auction to stand out, I'd say that our listing certainly fulfils that requirement.

Even though this was a terribly homely and previously played with doll, our three year old daughter, Katie, chose this "misfit" (among many others much more beautiful) from a big toy bin at a yard sale. It quickly became hers and she treasured it.

Then one day, Katie sneaked a couple of markers from my desk, and she was artfully inspired to draw a pair of self-designed eye glasses on her baby. In spite of her altered appearance, Katie's affection remained strong for her now one-of-a-kind bespectacled "baby".

But when we visited relatives on the following weekend, they were shocked at our child's choice of toys... All in the spirit of fun, Katie's "baby" was dubbed "Psycho Doll".

The funny thing is that after a while, Katie put this doll aside. Weeks later, she rediscovered "Psycho Doll" at the bottom of her toy basket. A piercing shriek was heard from her room! Suddenly she saw her doll with a new perspective, and it totally freaked her out. I dutifully tucked the once-loved toy into the attic.

As a result, we've decided to offer Katie's Psycho Doll to the highest bidder. It's sure to be great entertainment at someone's family parties!

I'm not sure if Katie's doll will have mass appeal.
However, while exploring related auctions, I learned quite a bit!

This seller sells mutilated dolls as art on eBay!

Finally, I found an eBay seller that seems to be selling modified dolls at a decent profit.

This one sold for $399.

Joe Bourland of Texas sells hand painted, redesigned dolls on eBay under the user name rjbapex2000. She started designing OOAK (one-of-a-kind) dolls in March of 2001 with the encouragement of her sister. With no degrees or formal training in design work, her dreams are the institutions of learning for her doll designs.

“I never imagined myself designing dolls, now it's an every day love affair.”

While gothic themed doll designs seems be popular right now, I discovered that redesigning old dolls can actually be an art form.

Wow... Katie may be on to something!

Friday, March 7, 2008

8 Tips for Making a Consistent Income on eBay

On eBay, it is very common to have good sales days with a particular product and then see sales drop off for a couple of days. The problem with sales fluctuations is that they can wreak havoc with establishing a regular income. However, there are sellers who are able to maintain consistent sales day in and day out.

Check out these tips.
As an experienced eBay seller, this article offers smart advice!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What kind of pay-off can you expect for your old gold?

— Turning old bling into fresh green —

There's no shortage of places to go with your old jewelry. Stepping just outside our offices here in Norwich, I had no further to go than across the street to see a sidewalk sign enticing me to bring in my old gold.

Check out this story from The Wall Street Journal about one woman's experience in trying to get the highest prices for her old jewelry in today's rising market for metals.

"Like many women, I ’ve collected an assortment of gold jewelry over the years, and some of it I never wear anymore. So recently, I decided it was time to join the growing number of people who are taking advantage of skyrocketing gold prices to turn old bling into fast cash."

Here's another related story from The Norwich Bulletin.
Price of gold is on the rise

read more | digg story

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Weird item of the week — Vintage Heated Hat Warmer

While I haven't come across anything particularly strange recently with my own bargain hunting, apparently someone else has! Check out this eBay auction for a vintage heated hat warmer / press.

Unusual Vintage Heated Hat Warmer / Press

"This item up for bids is a vintage Hat warmer ???? I was told by the old lady I bought this from that it was used for heating up your hats to take the wrinkles out of them to put them back into shape. It stands about 12 inches tall and warms up when you plug it in. It is made from cast aluminum and would shine up nicely. It would make a nice display item in a clothing store or you could use it to heat up your hat before you head outside, it works well."

Got any old wrinkly hats around the house? The current bid is just $19.99.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Salvation Army find has a value beyond price alone

Jeff had a wholesale auction to do last night, so we met up for dinner before he went off to work and I took Katie home. We stopped to eat at Hanks in Brooklyn, so I thought I’d make a quick stop at the Salvation Army nearby before they closed, to see if they had anything new.

I spent $19 total. I was able to get Katie a cute pink skirt, a navy blue top decorated with silver stars (both unworn) and a pretty princess nightgown. I also found a few items I plan to post on eBay. These include two pocketbooks, an Everlast bathing suit, and an Adidas tennis skirt. All look brand new.

Then I found something quite interesting. A pair of kids’ fireman rain boots. Again, they look new and unworn. At $3.99, not a bad price! These were so cute — with pull-on handles and all — I definitely wanted to pick them up.

There was one thing about them however that I didn’t realize... When Jeff got home after the auction, he checked out my buys. Immediately, he says, “Those are 9-11 fireman boots.”

“How do you know that?” I ask.

Jeff replies, “The number on front, 343. That’s how many fireman died on 9-11.”

So I googled it. He was right. By Western Chief, these boots were made in honor of the number of fire fighters who died during 9-11.

They sell for $24.95 brand new. But somehow, it seems these boots have a greater value beyond price alone.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Your old socks may be worth a bundle!

Would you ever guess that your old socks might be worth more than a brand new pair?? On eBay, that’s very likely to be the case.

You might imagine, as a Mom of five, I’ve done a lot of laundry. My oldest is 21 now, and I still haven’t solved the mystery of how so many socks get lost in the process. While sorting and folding clean clothes, I usually end up with a few singles. I toss them into a bin, in the hope that the other will be found and matched up later. Inevitably, after some time, I have a full bin of single and out-gown socks.

I hate to throw useful things away. Being a creative and resourceful individual, I wondered if maybe a scout troop or arts & crafts teacher might have a need for a pile of clean old socks. I thought... maybe they could make sock puppets?

I questioned whether such a lot would sell at all, but I figured it was worth a try. So, in my apparent naivety, I put up a lot of about 100 loose socks on eBay. They were of a mixed up variety of all kinds, colors, and sizes. I placed them under the ‘craft supplies’ category.

Immediately a bid came in at my starting price of $9.97. To my surprise, the lot eventually brought $33.

While I won’t speculate who’s buying or why, you can come to your own conclusions. Once I researched others selling previously worn socks online, it appears that this practice does effectively tap into a niche market.

Completed auctions for used socks on eBay

And, if that’s not enough to make you wonder... Check this out.

This morning, while reviewing completed auctions for previously worn socks to create the screenshot above. I came across this auction! Not only is Michael Jackson’s ranch going up for auction, but his socks are too?