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ISSUE 11: September 14, 2003

Yard Salers and eBayers: Issue 11! 1.10 – Sept. 14, 2003


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Back issues now available! Go to http://www.yardsalers.net

Greetings all!

Ahhh, Fall… the return of tolerable weather to the D.C. area…the crisp feel in the morning when you pad out to get the paper, the better to energize you for your a.m. raid on the area sales.

I’m looking forward to getting back to the “routine” of life…having the kids in school, more time (hopefully) to write, nice cool mornings to troll area yard and estate sales. The summer has to be one of the most busy and travel-filled as any I’ve had.

First, there was the trip to eBay Live in late June, which, if you’ve been a regular reader, you heard all about. (If not, check out my articles about it in YAB’s NEW ARCHIVES site! Most of the old issues are there, but not all yet. I will be adding the rest…hopefully soon).

Then there were various trips to visit friends and family, including two beach trips. My last trip, at the end of August, was to Bermuda with my husband, Nick, for our tenth wedding anniversary.

It was a wonderful, fun week with great weather, and lots of down time. But does that mean this yardsaler and eBayer didn’t have time to check out some bargains along the way? Not at all!

OK, so Bermuda isn’t exactly the best place in the world to seek out rock-bottom prices. In fact, it’s known as a pricey getaway; a resort for the well-heeled who can afford the pink sand and red drinks. In fact, when Nick and I told a few people we know where we were going, they responded with a hearty, heart-felt, “Sounds expensive!” (I mean, how about “Ten years?? You go, guys! You deserve to swan-dive into a vat of Dom Perignon for making it that long!" OK, so I exaggerate a tad, but you get the response I was hoping for).

So there we are in Bermuda, trying to do like the Romans “when in Rome,” wearing our conservative attire, collared shirts and long shorts in various shades of pink, green, and bright blue, scooting around on scooters, trying to ignore the flesh wounds of fellow motorcyclists…and I come across…a closeout sale!

(I also at one time saw both a yard sale sign and flea market, but darn it if it wasn’t Sunday. Guess I’ll have to go back soon).

Next to Onion Jack’s, in the town of Hamilton, one of the stores was going out of business (or, at least, they tried to act like they were). I got some white canvas Bermuda tote bags for half off! Which means about twelve bucks instead of $25.

But, still, I mourn what might have been, if I’d made it to that flea market.

Well, there is much to tell you, I better get to the rest of this newsletter, or it will never get out on time.

Now let’s get to it!

**Don’t have five minutes to read the newsletter now? Print it out; take it to bed with you! (That’s my favorite place to read my newsletters!). **


In This Issue:

1) More on the World’s Longest Yard Sale

2) Feast and Famine: Wins and Losses of the month

3) Emo: Three Letters that Could Mean Big Money to You

4) Halloween Opportunities



NEW ebook offered:

Get my NEW ebook, "How to Spot Fakes," for only $3.95! It covers how to tell some of the major upscale-brand designer handbags and accessories are authentic.

{This is something of an experiment for this newsletter; my first time to insert a Paypal icon into it -- so let's see how it goes! If you for any reason are not able to get the link, and want the book, or have any other problems, email me at juliawilk@aol.com.}


1) More on the World’s Longest Yard Sale


Remember last issue’s piece on for her article about the “World’s Longest Yard Sale,” by awesome YAB reader Kimberly Stasa?

Well, it seems “Budget Living Magazine” (I hadn’t heard of it either; it’s available at Borders, though) took a cue from YAB and decided to cover it. (OK, so I don’t know if they got the idea from us).

At any rate, they did a very nice, long piece about the Highway 127 sale – aka “The World’s Longest Yard Sale” in the Aug./Sept. issue.

But, if you don’t want to go out and get the mag, or can’t, fear not, ‘coz I’m gonna sum it up here. (I can’t include the pix though..I do commend them for running so many interesting, funny pix that sum up the breadth and beauty of not just the sale but the lovely countryside in which the sale takes place).

How did this yard sale come about, you ask? It seems the sale, stretching from Gadsden, Alabama to just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a gimmick that was dreamt up by Tennessee county executive Mike Walker in 1987 to drum up more business and tourism in Highway 127, which he felt had been passed over by Interstate 40. The sale has grown exponentially since that first year, according to Walker. This year they expected a half million browsers and more than 4000 individual sellers.

Among author Donovan Webster’s finds/contemplated purchases:

- an iron farm bed, circa 1880s (alas, this one was snatched out from under him by another shopper)

- a full size Bob’s Big Boy sign for $250

- six Flintstone jelly jar glasses

- a rusting Mobil Oil sign (“wider than a queen-size bed”)

- toys: a Frisbee, a raft, a heavy rubber torpedo (?)

- original slave tags for $650 (actually he didn’t really contemplate buying this; he was disgusted by it – but he noted they are collectible)

Along the way they ate steaks the size of “an art book,” pulled pork, hot dogs, and met all kinds of friendly/kooky characters, my favorite of whom is someone named “She-She” (and why is there not a photo of She-She in the article, Donovan??).

Well, I think you get the idea. Actually, Budget Living is a pretty cool mag. I think I’ll check ‘em out again.


2) Feast and Famine: Wins and Losses of the month


With the return of the crisp air, and my kids in school, ol’ Julia (as I like to refer to myself when I need appreciation from my husband) has returned to the wonderful, challenging, time-consuming, addictive world of selling on eBay.

With all my summer travels, I wasn’t finding much time to list stuff, other than my ebooks. So finding I had itchy fingers on my return from Bermuda, I went into my special eBay holding area, which in my home happens to be a section of the floor of my closet, and weeded through my paused inventory. I went ahead and put some stuff up online, including a Dooney and Bourke bag, a couple of black skirts from a friend who moved to Japan, and some great dangly earrings that would be perfect for a Marilyn Monroe Halloween costume. I even finally put up a silly 1970s-vintage canvas hat with clear plastic-covered “eyeholes” and emblazoned with the politically incorrect erstwhile Benson & Hedges (?) slogan, “I’d Rather Fight than Switch!” And, I decided to put it up for the latest Bizarre Auction Challenge (BAC).

Speaking of which, if you’ve never participated in any of the “Bizarre Auction Challenges,” check them out. The eBay C&A/Clothing and Accessories board (and possibly some other boards?) sponsor the challenge, where you list something along the lines of what they suggest, and put “BAC” in the title. (Actually, it’s BAC followed by the number of that contest…e.g., my recent BAC auction is listed as “Canvas ‘Rather Fight Than Switch’ Hat BAC17,” since it’s the 17th BAC). And yes, if you want to bid on one of the ugliest hats ever, not to mention a great, politically incorrect compliment to a Halloween costume, check them out. [Update: I’m not sure if there’s a BAC running now, but my silly hat did sell for the whopping starting bid of $.99. Needless to say, said winning bidder feels very lucky to have such a prized piece of Americana Un-PC culture for such a bargain price].

So far my auctions are doing OK; not great. I am still finding that my stuff does not get bid on for the most part, until toward the last few days of the auction, if not the last day.

Last issue, I wrote about a maternity clothing lot I put up. Well, I’m sorry to say it didn’t do very well at all, given the time I put into it; it only went for around $30, which is only $20 more than I spent on it.

I am kicking myself for not buying a trunk of children’s Halloween clothing for $10 instead from the same yard sale where I got the maternity stuff. Halloween stuff is hot now, and only going to become hotter for the next few weeks, slowing down a bit within the last two weeks before the holiday itself. But, you’ll notice that eBay has been putting Halloween a lot on its front page, so if you want to piggyback on that free p.r (priceless!), list your stuff when they plug costumes on the main screen. Or, better yet, plan ahead to do so…check out what eBay plans to put on the main screen by going to their merchandising calendar at:


(Note: they don’t tell you everything they plan to put there; just general categories for given weeks.)

So, to make a long story short, I’d chalk up my maternity lot as a loss.

Wins? Well, I think for the past month I can only count my ebooks as a win. They have been selling steadily. Thank goodness for them.

But…this month I hope to do better! (Doesn’t hope spring eternal in the eBay world?)

Write me and tell me about your own wins and losses! I’d love to hear! 


Note: I am always open to reader articles, so if you want to write about something relating to yard sale-ing and eBaying, just flag me down! I will of course give you credit, using your eBay ID, web site, or any other contact info.


3) Emo: Three Letters that Could Mean Big Money to You


What the heck is Emo and why should you care?

Now, I never said I was “hip.” I don’t even try to be “hip” these days. I’ll settle for “stylish” a few times a month. (C’mon…I’ve got to have something!)

I hadn’t heard of Emo until I read about it on a thread in the C&A board on eBay.

But before I tell you what it is, let me just say:

Why the heck did I throw out all my cool 80s t-shirts???

Yes, those Who and Van Halen concert t-shirts could have served me well today on eBay…but no, I had to go and not save them! Or..perhaps my mother cleared them out in the infamous Purging of 1990, best known for the loss of my brother’s beer can collection. Anyhow, why don’t we go straight to the source and see how these bad boys are selling? (I’ll include item numbrs in case you want to look them up..they should still be in the system unless the seller deleted the pictures).

Let’s start with the high boys:

US $155.05

Vintage The Who Quadrophenia Tour T-Shirt Emo

Item number: 3346416513

This one is vintage…OK even I don’t remember when it came out…early 70s perhaps?

US $120.00


Item number: 2853683714

This one has the Stones’ “lips with tongue hanging out” logo – very worn-in look…and the tongue is an American flag design…(flags still seem to be hot). I don’t know how old this one is either. I’d guess early 70s as well.

US $78.00

Vintage Queen 1977 Tour T-Shirt NICE Emo Rock

Well, we know the year on this one, don’t we? This one has the weird “robot” head and faces of the Queen guys…(seems to me you either loved or hated Queen, but that’s neither here nor there..)

OK, one more high one, then let’s look at some lows.

US $76.00

Vintage 1986 Beastie Boys Emo Retro T-shirt M

So, not all vintage shirts have to go back to the 70s. But, they have to be an in-demand band and a “cool” design…this one says (don’t read if you might be offended) “Get Off My Dick.” (Hey, I didn’t write it!). I imagine this has some sort of “cool” appeal for certain teenage boys..or..whoever. ;)

Now, I don’t mean to give the impression that all old t-shirts will command such prices. Here are a few that didn’t:

US $.01

Punk, emo, Indie Classic Dixie T-shirt

Item number: 2852212584

US .99


Item number: 2853171849

US 1.95

The Offspring Rock Band PUNK EMO T Shirt

Item number: 2852988747

If there is a rule of thumb here, I’d say it’s to look for the “classic” rock bands, as we see from the above.

It helps to have something with a retro edge, e.g., the late Keith Moon is featured on the Who t-shirt.

Now, you’re wondering, where do I find these t-shirts?

Well, I have to admit, it’s harder than I thought it would be. I thought I could just saunter into my local thrift and there would be a treasure trove of ‘em there. Well, it seems there are plenty of t-shirts, but they’re much more recent. Finding a good, vintage tee, esp. a rock t-shirt, is not easy.

I think your best bet is to simply haunt yard and estate sales, and hope that Mom and Dad are finally selling the contents of their basement or attic, where Junior (who is now in his late thirties, probably) had stored those tees of yore.

And yes, keep an eye out at thrifts.

I did uncover one vintage tee in my storage area..it’s a wonderful old “Easters” party weekend shirt from the University of Virginia, circa 1979 or so.

But, I don’t know if I have the heart to sell it.


4) Scaring up some Halloween Fun


We are getting close to our one-year anniversary of Yardsalers and eBayers. What does that have to do with Halloween? I have this déjà vu feeling that Halloween costumes were among the first things I wrote about when I got the idea for this newsletter.

Halloween is a great time to dig out those odd items that you didn’t think you could sell as part of a “normal” outfit.

For example, got a really ugly old leather jacket? How about a heavy gold chain? Well, there you have a pimp costume, right there!

How about some garish jewelry? Yes…you could have the makings of a movie star outfit, hooker, “disco” babe, or maybe even an 80s chick!

Use your imagination.

I’m going to put together a “magician” costume for a kid..consisting of a black hat, red cape, and magic wand, which I think were all parts of different ensembles.

Let’s look at some of what’s selling for big bucks:

US $555.00


US $320.01


US $255.00

Big Skull Pirate Halloween Costume

US $233.88

Vintage Halloween Costume With Hat – nr

US $200.00

Renaissance Dress Gown Halloween Costume

US $153


OK, I’m gonna have to stop now, or I’ll never get this newsletter out!


Reader Mail



I just read your info re antiques and you mentioned how misspelling can hinder a sale. Well you said Shaeffer pens can easily be misspelled. You are right and you misspelled it. I have several of these and they all have it spelled Sheaffer engraved on the pen point or the clip. - Aggie


Hi Aggie,

Is that right? LOL! Whoops. Thanks for letting me know! I'll put it on my list to correct..thanks again,


That's it for this issue. See y'all next month!



More reader mail in the next issue.

I’m still looking for feedback on the following (from the last issue):

- Are you using online auctions other than eBay, and how are they working for you? Let me know!

- Going back to the first article, what is the silliest, or even most useless, item you bought? What were you inexplicably drawn to?

*** -------------------------

6) YOUR FEEDBACK WANTED: An Update to “What Sells on eBay”: Secrets of the (High-Margin!) Powersellers; The Real Deal on Wholesalers, and What Else Do You Want to See?


The following is a repeat from previous issues but still valid: In future issues, I plan to carefully examine powersellers, especially the high-margin powersellers who make tidy profits per item (not the ones who spend all day and night listing penny items, since I don’t want you or me to have to live like that!). I’m going to see if any of them will share their secrets, and if not, well, we’ll just see what we can learn from their listings as to how they do it.

I’d love your feedback on this topic, as well as other topics you’d like to see me address.


That’s it for this issue. Until next time, happy yardsale-ing and eBaying!



eBooks by Julia L. Wilkinson: [all my ebooks are offered at substantial discounts from their regular price of $8.95 to the subscribers of this newsletter. Only $4.95 each! If interested in any of them, please email me at juliawilk@aol.com.]

New eBooks:

- Making Big Bucks off Catalogs on eBay: http://www.aolmemorabilia.com/clkslcat.html

- Over 100 Books that Sell for $50-$100 on eBay: email me!

- Selling Kids Clothes on eBay: email me! (these last two will be available for purchase via my site soon).

Julia Classic:

What Sells on eBay for What:


My Life at AOL (available at amazon.com, booklocker.com, and 1stbooks.com)


Copyright 2003 Julia L. Wilkinson


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