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ISSUE 27: Mar. 2007

Yard Salers: Issue 27! Making More w/ Less, The High-Tech Garage Saler, The Secret, and Fabulous 50s Finds - Mar. 07

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Yard Salers: Issue 27! Making More w/ Less, The High-Tech Garage Saler, The Secret, and Fabulous 50s Finds - Mar. 07

Hello, all!

I have so much to tell you all about and am very excited about this issue. The stories in this issue will all tie together, but it may not be apparent right away how. But bear with me; I think you'll be glad you did.

I mentioned in the last Yard Salers issue, I recently had an "aha" moment about my auctions. I've been really trying to ramp up me eBay sales income, as my book projects have wound down for the time being and I have more time to devote to actual selling (as well as this newsletter and updating my ebooks). See the first story in this issue for how I've been increasing my sales with less time -- this is something that should work for all of us selling on eBay and other sites.

If you haven't had a chance yet, check out our forum. We have some very interesting folks there already, including Mike, of Silicon Valley who started weekendtreasure.com; Dee, who collects vintage beaded purses; Chuck, who is full of advice about what's selling; Rick, who just moved his inventory from his eBay Store to a space in an offline antique mall; and several others. You could win a free package of all my ebooks and signed copies of my paperbacks just for posting. I'll be picking my favorite post soon and awarding the prizes.

Spring is popping up (in its schizophrenic, cold-one-day-blazing-hot-the-next way that it does here in the D.C. area), and with it are budding more yard and estate sales. I hit a couple sales this weekend, including one estate sale that reaped huge rewards. The lady's house was one of those "frozen in time" type homes with a lot of accumulated stuff. I picked up some great collectible jewelry, and also some new-in box makeup which I will be writing about in the second story in this issue.

(If you are a guy, you may hear the words "makeup and jewelry" and immediately glaze over and want to skip to the next story. But just as I've learned more about more traditional "guy things," like militaria and sports collectibles, because they can sell very well, I urge you to read the story, if only because health & beauty products can be very lucrative, with amazing profit margins. In fact, I reflected that they might as well call it "mark-up" and not "make-up"..ha!).

Also, I am very excited to publish the first reader-written article I've run in a while..it's a super-helpful piece called "The High-Tech Garage Saler" by Tim of www.happyhourcomics.com. I may also run that piece on my blog, as I find that the people who see the blog vs. the newsletter aren't often the same.

Another thing I am covering in this issue is something I've been wanting to write about for a while. I kept hearing more and more about it, until now it's all over the media so I decided I couldn't ignore covering it any longer.

What is it? It's called "The Secret," and it's a book and DVD that has been featured on Oprah, Ellen, and various news programs and other media outlets. It's all about something called the "Law of Attraction," but I was first exposed to it by a book called "The Science of Getting Rich," by one Wallace Wattles (yes, that's really his name).

Can you really get rich by thinking positive thoughts? If not, is there anything in the philosophy that can help us? Or is there more to it, and if so what? We explore these and other deep thoughts in the third article in this issue.

I know I said I was trying to do shorter issues, but this issue just sort of ballooned out. C'est la vie. Anyway, it's technically still March, so I've kept to my issue-per-month goal.

So with a lot to cover, without further ado, let's get to it!

Julia's Make Money Selling Kids' Clothes on eBay ebook has been updated for 2007! Now 42 pages,it's jam-packed with brand analyses; high, median and low prices; and tips about where to find the best children's clothes to resell. Buy it!.
Lynn Dralle's famous "boot camp" is now in a box! "My success was no accident...It has taken me eight years to perfect my system and hit the six-figure sales level on eBay. I've done it and so can you. And now I'm doing the unthinkable -- I am sharing all of my secrets - step by step, in my eBay Boot Camp in a Box!" Click here for Lynn's Boot Camp in a Box!
Put eBay on AUTOPILOT! Earn a serious income with a part-time effort.
FROM A PAPER CLIP TO A HOUSE: How did one man trade up from a single red paper clip to a his own house? With craigslist. How can craigslist benefit you? For success stories and ideas about how to get the most out of craigslist, click here!
The eBay Seller's News is the largest Opt-In, FREE monthly newsletter for professional eBay sellers.

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**Don't have five minutes to read the newsletter now? Print it out and read later.**

In This Issue:
1) Making More with Less: How to Group Your Auctions to Make More per Hour
2) Fabulous 50s Finds: What Sells: Makeup and Perfume
3) "The Secret": or, Who Was Wallace Wattles and Why Should You Care?
4) The High-Tech Garage Saler
5) Reader Mail -- Auction Links, Hand-held Scanners and More

1) Making More with Less: How to Group Your Auctions to Make More per Hour

I promised you a while back I had an "aha" moment I would be sharing with you. I actually have written some about this topic before, but it didn't strike me as important as it is until now.

The idea came as I was brainstorming how to make more per week on eBay, and at the same time lamenting that I had too much inventory lying around and was having a hard time trying to find time to list it.

I know many of you are having the same struggles, as I have read about it on the message boards and also heard about it from other sellers I talk to offline. For a single auction with a photo, there is the buying of the item (or digging it out of your closet, etc.); the staging and photographing, the uploading and editing the photo, the writing of the description, the answering of bidders' questions, the post-sale communicating with the bidders and buyer, the beloved packing and shipping, sometimes with excruciating post office waits if it's an international shipment or needs other postal attention; and finally, any post-sale communication and bookkeeping. (As my husband reminds me, I need to get all my eBay tax records in order).

Whew. OK, so, in a nutshell, the idea is simply to group your items in lots that make sense, so as to make (preferably) $50 per auction or more. When I say $50, ideally I mean in profit, but as I am experimenting and refining this process, I may make less until I get it right (or more, but that's not a problem). I'd really like to see $100 per auction but I'm not there yet.

(Actually, there are a couple exceptions to the $50 rule of thumb..one being if you have identical items that can be relisted with a couple clicks on the mouse. Then I think it's worth listing things that can make you more like $10-$20 per item. More on this later, as well).

OK, so that idea may not sound so new, and as I said, I've touched on it before, but I found that as time passed, I got out of that mentality and was listing items singly. You may have found yourself doing the same..whether out of habit or sometimes out of a mistaken sense of what an item would bring.

This has happened to me with items such as a collectible book for which I am not sure of the value. For example, I just listed a copy of The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner that was circa 1950s. I thought it might be pretty rare because it had a cover graphic I had never seen and could not find online. But it wound up only bringing $13.95. But at least that auction had potential, and I think it's Ok to experiment with one-off items as single auctions...but in limited quantities.

So what have I grouped? After splitting out what I determined to be the most valuable piece of those three big bags of vintage jewelry I wrote about in the previous issue, such as the copper Rebajes set that went for $60.65, I started listing sets of earrings, necklaces and brooches in lots of 19 or 20.

The most successful of these auction so far has been a big lot of jewelry I wound up selling to a lady in Australia for $65.88. So I met my goals in both those cases. A couple other lots were not so fortunate: A lot of 19 pairs of earrings, including Trifari, Coro, Vendome and Napier, sold for $16.69 to a lady in Italy. So I am learning that quite a few of these vintage pieces, even if a recognizable designer name, don't go for a lot, and you have to group many, many together unlss you have something special from that designer (like, e.g., a "jelly belly" Trifari pin).

What else should you group together, and how? Here are some examples off the top of my head:

- Videos: group children's videos in lots of 20, 30 or more and offer media mail shipping as an option..much cheaper. Group Disney videos together..people tend to search for them together. Research ahead of time any that seem especially rare or special, such as Song of the South, which you should list individually. (A lot of 32 Disney and Pixar movies recently sold for about $57).

- Magazines: Group in lots of a year or more of issues: e.g., 1960-65 National Geographic; a 12 issue lot of 2006 Real Simples, 3 years of Reader's Digest, etc. (Check completed prices ahead of time to get an idea of how many issues you'll need to lump together to reach your sweet spot).

- Pottery and Dishes: sell quality pieces individually; otherwise, group together in sets of 2, 4, 8 or 10 plates, for example, per your completed items research.

- Books: group series together (obviously). All the Harry Potter books, Lord of the Rings, etc. Try grouping genres together: diet books, writing books, trave. Etc. etc. usw.

Now, you may not be able to reach the $50 sweet spot with every auction grouping. and that's OK. The important thing is you learn about what sells in your niche for how much so that with every auction you become closer to learning about how and what to group together.

As I said, I'll be fine-tuning my costume jewelry lots, and also listing groups of makeup and vintage perfume in the coming weeks, so I'll be able to tell you what worked best for me. Has it worked so far? My sales for the month so far are higher than they've been since before I completed my last book project, so yes.

2) Fabulous 50s Finds: What Sells: Makeup and Perfume

As the days have been getting warmer, the estate sales around here just keep getting better and better. I waited outside a sale last weekend for half an hour for the sale to open, but the wait paid off.

Because I had hit another sale previous to that one, and also because I was slightly lazy that morning and didn't get up super early, I didn't get there as early as some people. I had, like, number 56. So some people got in before me, and I was worried as I stood there that there would be nothing good left.

But then as I saw people coming out, I noticed a lot of them were empty handed. "Nothing for me in there," they'd say, or such. (Mostly these were men, and as you read on you'll see why).

I remembered the ads had said the sale would have lots of makeup and 50s jewelry. So when I finally got in, I made a beeline to the perfume and cosmetics room. Sure enough, there were boxes and boxes of unopened lipstick, compacts, serums, and perfumes. And name brands like Christian Dior, MAC, and Chanel.

I grabbed some of the perfumes first..the ones that were higher-end, like the French perfumes such as Joy by Jean Patou. I should have grabbed more Shalimars by Guerlain, but at that point I was trying to be very selective.

Why would anyone buy an empty perfume bottle? Two words: Crystal. Designer. Some of the old bottles were designed by such glass luminaries as Baccarat and Lalique. So always flip that bad boy over and see what it says on the bottom. Even if it's not Lalique or such, if it's beautiful crystal, it's worth snapping up, if you can get it for $5-$10, I think.

I also got a few of the MAC lipsticks, and some Christian Diors. I knew MAC was a very popular brand of makeup, and also that it was not cheap. But on odd thing about all the lipsticks and lipliners; they were all bright red. I didn't know how popular that shade would be, so I didn't pick up too many at that time.

But when I got home, being the good little eBay price nerd that I am, I looked them up. "Come to find out," that blue-red matte shade of MAC lipstick, called "Ruby Woo," is evidently a rare, sold-out shade, and had recently sold for $32.99 and $14.95, respectively. Yes, identical auctions, selling for an $18 price difference. Go figure. Anyway, at $2 a lipstick at the sale (and $1 per stick on the 1/2 price day, later), what did I care? I went back to the sale and grabbed all the new-in-box red MACs, Christian Diors, and Chanels.

They're currently up there now, on eBay, and for the MAC, I have 2 bids at the opening price of $9.95. But there are 9 people watching it, and from my Sellathon tool I can tell they're all over the world. So this ought to be interesting.

But even if I get $33 for one lipstick, I know you're thinking, "Julia, you just got done telling us we should strive to make at least $50 per auction. What gives?"

Ah..this is one of those auctions that, after the initial time commitment, can be easily relisted, because I have many such identical items, so it makes sense to list one at a time. (You don't want to cannibalize your own market by listing them all at once). I won't have to invest much time to resell them, just click "relist." They're pretty easy to pack and ship. And thanks to my estate sale, I have a nice little stash of these little red bad boys.

Well, I don't want to get too cocky. We'll wait until the fat auction lady sings (which may mean I'll be singing). The other 50s finds, in addition to one of the old perfumes, were such beauties as a carved ivory necklace, earring amd bracelet set I snapped up for $6 on the 1/2 price day, and a Miriam Haskell (circa 50s jewelry designer) bracelet for $30. That one I'm taking a bigger chance on..we'll see. I also got a big Kenneth Jay Lane faux pearl necklace for $15.

The key here is again, to be efficient. Buy quality, take a few chances, but not too many. Group smartly. Make money. Eat well. And stay in nice hotels.

And speaking of efficiency, that brings me to the next article.

Still haven't read my bestselling eBay book, "What Sells on eBay for What"! You can buy it and download it instantly -- click What Sells on eBay for What or go to www.aolmemorabilia.com/whatsells.
A Market Report for Booksellers

50/50 is a detailed market report that lists and annotate 50 books that typically sell for more than $50 online and - here's the best part - surface at sales and other venues with some regularity. This is information you can use and profit from often. Uncommon books will not be included.

Click here to subscribe.

3) "The Secret": or, Who Was Wallace Wattles and Why Should You Care?

As I said, I've been wanting to write about this for a long time. But after a new book came out, called "The Secret," accompanied by related appearances on "Ellen" and "Oprah" (Opren?), I felt compelled to address it now.

I'd heard of the whole "Power of Positive Thinking," Norman Vincent Peale kind of thing before. But it was another eBay-related newsletter writer who first mentioned a book called "The Science of Getting Rich," by one Wallace D. Wattles. (I think it was Sydney Johnston, who writes Auction Gold, but my memory is not great these days). Wallace lived 1860-1911 and he studied the religious and philosophical beliefs of the world including those of Descartes, Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Hegel, Swedenborg, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

His theories seemed to go beyond the whole "think happy" thing. It espoused that by keeping a clear vision in your mind of what you want, great riches, a beautiful house, or whatever it is you want, it will come to you. Others call it the "Law of Attraction." You attract what you think about. Think positive thoughts, and good things come to you. Think negative thoughts, and you bring on bad things (Fortunately, one of the Secret people said that good thoughts outweigh bad thoughts manyfold).

He maintains ther is actually some "thinking stuff" in the universe that is flowing out there that sets off these chains of events.

An Australian producer named Rhonda Byrne was given a copy of the book by her daughter, when she was at a down point in her life. Byrne was inspired and researched the origins of this philosophy, centuries back to people like Leonardo da Vinci and other greats. (Evidently it's been out there in various forms a long time).

She put together a book and also a DVD entitled "The Secret," which is burning up the bestseller charts.

All this may sound hocus-pocus to you, and perhaps it is. But some parts of Wallace Wattle's philosophy make common sense in terms of what to do to succeed. Here are the parts that I think can help us. I'm going to paraphrase from his book and put it in words I think make the most sense:

- Keep a vision and goal in mind. Write it down..it helps to see it in writing.

- Do your work each day well, and just as important, in an efficient manner.

(I think the efficient point is so important, because it is so easy to get distracted in this age of the cell phone and YouTube video).

This next point I think is really critical:

- Give to every person a use value in excess of the cash value you receive.

What does this mean, exactly? It means that the things or services you sell should contain inherent value -- preferably more "use value" than the item's cost -- meaning that by using the thing or service, they get more out of it than the cash value you received for it

That sounds confusing. Here's an example. With my ebooks, I currently sell most of them for around $8.95. But I believe they get a much greater "use value" out of them. If I spend 15 hours researching a book, even if they value their time at only $10 per hour, they've just saved around $140 in the value of their time doing the same research. And hopefully they make even more via trying the tips and strategies.

I think one of the biggest criticisms of the whole "Secret" philosophy is the idea, even if it's just an implication, that people bring on diseases and other accidental-seeming misfortunes themselves, due to their negative thinking. It would be like saying someone brought cancer on themselves. And yet some people believe that.

Still, the practical parts of the book, I think, make sense. The whole idea of efficiency is wrapped up in the idea of grouping your auction items together, for example. And it can't hurt to write down your goals.

So take or leave whatever parts of the philosophy you think can help you.

One other quick story I just have to share.

One of the "experts" for the Secret on Ellen told a story that I found pretty incredible. He said after he moved into his dream home, he was going through boxes that contained business records and things such as the old visualization notes he'd kept. One was a picture of a mansion he'd clipped from a magazine as an inspiration for what he wanted as a dream home.

Well..you guessed it..it turned out that this house was the very home he'd moved into!

Hey, I'm just reporting it..you can decide if you think it's true.

4) The High-Tech Garage Saler

This one came to me from Tim, of www.happyhourcomics.com. (Thanks, Tim!) See his cover note, below:

Hi Julia,

I have enjoyed reading you news letter over the last year or so and thought I would put someting together to share with your readers.

I am a Power Seller with over 7 years of eBay experience and 9200 feedback. I recently won the power seller challenge and was interviewed on eBay radio. My eBay seller name is happyhourcollectables and my wife and I just started a kitchen speciality eBay store with the user name victoriaskitchen with sales of over $1000.00 in the first month- all local garage sale finds. You can find out more about me at http://www.happyhourcomics.com/aboutme/ and http://www.happyhourcomics.com/consulting/. Hopefully you find the artcle interesting and can use it.

The High-Tech Garage Saler

The competition for re-saleable items has really heated up in the last couple of years with a surge a part time eBayers hitting the circuit. Adding a few pieces of technology can help you get ahead by getting you to more sales faster and helping you with your purchase decisions.

First of all just looking in the classified adds in your local paper is not enough. The daily paper in my area charges $35.00 for a garage sale ad, so most people have started listing on craigslist.org.

They have separate listings for every metropolitan area and even if you are suburban or rural you will find many listings. It is searchable so you can look up your community easily.

The posts go up real time so you don't have to wait to get the morning paper and you will often find sales in the middle of the week.

I take my laptop computer in the car with me when I go out sailing with a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver that plugs into a USB port and sits on my dashboard. The software that interprets the data from the GPS receiver shows your position on a map and gives you a route to your destination. With Microsoft Streets and Trips I can put in all of my sales and use a feature called optimize stops and the computer organizes the sales into the quickest route around the city. It also allows my to put a pushpin with a label into the map so I can put notes with the start and end time and other info such as apt number 304, in the alley, rummage sale don't miss, etc.

This has really helped me organize my day and can get to 25% more sales. I also have an Internet card for my laptop that works with the cell phone network (available from most cell phone providers). I have the unlimited data plan for about $60.00 per month so I can stay on all day and have it when I need it. You will find people posting adds on craigslist til and even after noon so keep checking and add them to your route.

Also I find that sometimes when I get to a sale, I cannot find it, and I can go back to the craigslist ad using the search feature to quickly find the listing and look at the notes to make sure I am in the right place at the right time.

Many times I find I am close and able to find the sale that I otherwise would have driven away from. The card also allows me to be on eBay and I can run out to the car and look things up to see if it is a good buy. Not only will you find yourself buying items you would have passed on, more importantly you will pass on duds you would have bought. I make better purchase decisions every week that more than pay for the cost of the card for the whole month. Hopefully these tips will help you and increase your eBay sales.

Hi Tim,
Awesome tips! Thank you soo much for sharing them with us! You've inpired me to get a GPS. Great idea to have the ability to look things up on a laptop in a car, too.
Thanks again!

5) Reader Mail: JuliasAuctionLinks and More

Came across your site, nice place!
Had a link for suggestion, for your AuctionLinks ... www.auctionquests.com.
We've been around for 2 years - Still kickin!
Come one over and visit with us!
Best regards,

Hi Ray!
Thanks so much! It's added it in!
This is what I was hoping would happen when I put the site together..people would send me great links like that. :) And I love your tagline.."we've got stuff." ...I try to put a few words to a sentence for each site so people can see at one glace what the site is all about or what differentiates it.
Best of luck w. it. Thanks again! :)


I'm a recent subscriber and really enjoy the newsletter.
Do you have any back issue in which you recommend a hand held device that can be used to track book prices while at a book sale or garage sale?
I've even seen people scan the bar code and then look to see what the item is worth.
What kind of software is this called? And do recommend any?
Did you explain all this in a previous newsletter or on an ebay site. If so, where would I go to retrieve it?
Thanks for any information you can give me.

Hi Bob!
So sorry for the delay. I've been scrambling to get my new site, www.yardsalers.net, up and running, and also dealing with everyone in the family hit w flu..fun! ;)
Good question. I do know of one service that is favored by many booksellers called Scoutpal, at www.scoutpal.com. I think Craig Stark writes about it extensively at www.bookthink.com so check it out.
There are many handheld scanners, and I suggest going on amazon.com, doing a search for "handheld scanner" or "scanner" and see what comes up, read the product reviews and see what people like and what comments match what you want.
I personally haven't used one, tho I am thinking of trying it out, one, because a lot of what I buy is older stuff w/ out barcodes, and two, because I just feel silly using them (which is not a good reason).
If you do decide on one, I'd love to hear back from u as to how you like it!
Thanks, and happy hunting! Oh, another service Craig recommends is Bookhunt, which I do own, and you can run in the background while you do other stuff.
Anyone else out there using hand-held scanners, pda devices, etc, to look up prices? Email me and I'll put it in the next issue! Or post on the Yard Salers board. Thanks!


That's it for this issue. Until next time! - Julia


Questions about My eBooks Ordering

You can certainly purchase from me directly, as can anyone. All you have to do is email me and let me know which ebook(s) you want, if you are a subscriber and thus eligible for the discount, and then PayPal me to my PayPal id at juliawilk@aol.com. I'll be tweaking and updating the ebooks page on my web site soon.

YOUR FEEDBACK WANTED: What Else Do You Want to See in Yardsalers?

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.


eBooks by Julia L. Wilkinson:
[All my ebooks are offered at 1/2 price from their regular prices to the subscribers of this newsletter. If interested in any of them, please email me at juliawilk@aol.com.]

- Making Big Bucks off Catalogs on eBay:

- Over 100 Books that Sell for $50-$100 on eBay

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

- How to Spot Fakes: email me!

Julia Classic:

What Sells on eBay for What: $8.95, 1/2 price from the $17.95 retail price.


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

Blogs, Blogs, and More Blogs
Check out My amazon.com Author Blog

Those of you who just can't get enough of my writing (are there any of you?) will be happy to know I now have a new blog on amazon.com. Amazon.com has created an "author blog" tool for authors to...well, blog. You'll see it if you bring up either of my books on the amazon site, but for good measure, it's at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1593270550. (Scroll down to "amazonConnect").

My GoWholesale Blog

You can also check out my blog on gowholesale.com: bidbits

The url is:



Do you have your copy of Julia's book, eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks?

It's available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. If you do want to order the book, I'd appreciate if you'd support Yard Salers and eBayers by using my affiliate link below.

ebay top 100


Copyright 2007 Julia L. Wilkinson

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