Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Presidential Candidate Cabbage Patch Dolls to be Auctioned on eBay

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

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Using Paypal... too risky?

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

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

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

Hello Karen,

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

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

Thank you for your time.

-- Cyndi


Hi Cyndi,

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

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

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

Good luck in the online marketplace!

-- Karen

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 27, 2008

With a tough economy, more online sellers; more scams

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

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

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


Thursday, October 23, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To read more, click here.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

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

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

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

Memorial Video and Girard Family Story

To read more, click here.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, October 17, 2008

Got Questions? There’s a new online discussion forum on AuctionZip

By design, the frenzied selling style of auctions can sometimes be confusing. If you’ve ever seen something going at an auction that you didn’t quite understand or maybe you have a question on how to sell your own goods through auction format, there’s a terrific new online forum in place over at AuctionZip.

AuctionZip is a great Web site resource where you can find out what auctions are happening -- where & when -- within so many miles of your zip code.

On this new forum, there are various viewpoints posted on common practices and questions in general on all kinds of auctions: antique and collectible auctions, car auctions, storage unit auctions, charity events, and more! Lots of chatter here among dealers and those in the auction business too. If you’re an avid auction-goer, a newbie, or anyone in the business, it’s well worth the time to check it out!

Find local auctions on AuctionZip.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday is half price day at Salvation Army Thrift Store in Brooklyn

I discovered this morning that I’m not the only one who knows the secret. It was a super-busy place this morning over at The Salvation Army Store in Brooklyn, CT. With two check-out lines going at once, it’s evident that more and more people are on the lookout for alternative ways to save money these days.

Every day features a discount on items with certain color tags, but on Wednesday, most everything (with few exceptions) is half price at this store location for their Family Day special.

These were the early-birds shopping during my visit today, and some of them were a little pushy... While I was surprised at the number of people sharing aisle space, I was also somewhat dismayed at the rudeness of a few. I guess people can get anxious when the prices are cut in half and every item is one-of-a-kind.

I scored at the checkout with 15 items that came to a grand total of $25!! Some of the brand names of clothing I purchased include: Abercrombie, Lands End, The Children’s Place and Disney. The average price per item: $1.66

Not too bad!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Swap Meets: Hottest buying opportunities for auto enthusiasts this fall

What will get a guy out of bed at before dawn on a chilly Autumn weekend morning? If it’s not hunting or fishing, it must be a swap meet!

These events are great opportunities to search out everything motorheads love -- from hard-to-find auto parts to old muscle car magazine collections. You never know what will be for sale when you get there, but these events attract enthusiasts from far and wide.

Here’s what’s happening in our area
within the next few weeks:

Ty-Rods 34th Fall All-Automotive Swap Meet
Stafford Speedway, Rt. 140, Staford Springs, CT
Sunday, October 19th, Gates open at 7 am

Interested in Motorcycles?
Check out the Motorcycle Swap Meet
Sunday, October 26th from 7 am to 4 pm


Don Hoeing’s Original 37th Annual Automotive Swap Meet & Flea Market
Thompson Speedway, Thompson, CT
November 1st & 2nd, 7 am to 5 pm, rain or shine
General admission is $10; kids under 12 are free

Everything from spark plugs to whole cars and much more! Over 1,000 vendors on over 100 acres.


Connecticut Street Rod Association 19th Annual Fall Swap Meet
Lake Compounce, Bristol, CT
Sunday, November 9th 2008
Spectators: $10.00; free parking

Connecticut Street Rod Association presents it's 19th Annual Fall Swap Meet. It will be held on November 9th, 2008 in the Lake Compounce parking lot from 6:00 am till 3:00 pm, rain or shine. Saturday set-ups are okay but no overnight stays. The parking lot is lit and secure.

Due to insurance regulations, no one is allowed to drive a vehicle inside the swap meet area except for approved CSRA people. CSRA staff will be available to assist anyone in removing parts from the swap meet area. The service is free of charge, but donations are accepted for the Connecticut Breast Cancer Research Fund.

15'X20' Vendor spots: $40.00 each.
Cars for sale: $20.00 + Additional $20.00 for trailers.

Take exit 31 off of I-84, from either direction, and follow the signs to the swap meet.
More info, call 203-697-9113.


Want a few tips??
Read the Do’s & Don’ts of Swap Meet Shopping --

Swap Meet for Dummies: from Hemmings Muscle Machines


Monday, October 13, 2008

Photos from Monday's holiday: Scituate Art Festival in Rhode Island

The Scituate Art Festival happens every year on Columbus Day weekend in Scituate, Rhode Island. This has to be the most beautiful event of the year — it’s one I always look forward to attending!

Obviously, there is art to be seen and sold, and artists of all kinds to meet. In addition -- there is a huge variety of creative arts and crafts on display, food and music, a fantastic library book sale and church and home yard sales too!! Add to all that, stunning scenery surrounds you, and for those who enjoy people-watching, it’s incredible! Not only people galore, but so many pet owners take this event as an opportunity to show off their dogs. I’ve saw a real assortment -- from pretty little fluffy ones with bows in their hair to others that looked downright dangerous.

This year, all three days were bright and beautiful!! I made my visit today along with my four-year-old daughter, Katelyn. The long walk to and from our parking spot was great exercise for us both — although lugging all of the books I could gather from the library sale was a bit challenging on the way back to the car for me! Katelyn did super with all the walking, but as you might expect, within five minutes of being strapped into her seat, she was fast asleep for the ride home!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A real bargain basement: House goes for $1.75 on eBay

This house was auctioned off on eBay.
The winning bid? $1.75.

Joanne Smith, 30, hadn't even seen the house, which is located in Saginaw, Michigan, before she named her price - she just figured that for less than 2 bucks, it was a decent investment.

read more | digg story


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Yard sale finds can bring on good times

Half the fun of checking out Saturday morning yard sales is not only discovering bargains and enjoying the beauty of a crisp Autumn day, but sometimes the smallest finds can bring the greatest enjoyment!

My 4-year-old daughter, Katie and I stopped at a yard sale in our neighborhood yesterday morning just before heading out to the Roger Williams Park in RI for our day’s activities. There was the usual assortment of pre-owned household goods, clothing spread out on tarps over the lawn, and boxes overflowing with stuffed animals of all kinds...

But they also had a great selection of old music CDs — some of the songs brought back memories of sounds I enjoyed from the past, but I hadn’t heard in a long, long time!

Such was the case with Carly Simon’s Greatest Hits Live album. I’ve always loved the sweet smoothness of her voice. I picked out that CD from a pile where it was amid so many others. (I have to say, the assortment at that yard sale was incredible!)

I spotted the Itsy Bitsy Spider song on the list. Knowing how much Katie loves to sing along in the car with me, I thought here was a great opportunity for her to hear it done a little differently — not your typical nursery rhyme rant! I gladly put out the dollar — not only to revisit reminiscent songs of way-back-when for me — but to involve my daughter in a fun musical experience we could both share in together.

Sure enough, as I pushed the button to hear track number 10, Katie had the words down pat! She chimed in as soon as the spider part came on. Katie even asked me to play it again, making for a happy car ride as we continued on our way to the zoo!

Carly Simon Itsy Bitsy Spider Music via

I hope she’ll remember singing along in
the car with Mom when she is older!

It reminded me of the sing-along songs I most enjoyed with my older kids when they were little... (My oldest is 22 now!)

I hopped online and logged onto eBay when we got home last night to buy the CD Katie’s older siblings enjoyed almost a decade earlier: ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: BEATLES SONGS FOR KIDS. Once about a time, that music was played and replayed constantly in my car! I think Katie will love singing to those songs too...