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Yard Salers Issue 82: Feb. 2015: Finding that "Bread and Butter" Item; Latest Flips Contest.

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Hello, all!

I hope everyone had a nice holiday season. Even though, as I recently read in some or other newspaper column, January may not be the best time for "resolutions," what with the cold weather (for some), and bloat from holiday sweets, many of us try to make a fresh start anyway.

In that vein (and even though it's now February), I once again resolve to get this newsletter out more often in 2015.

On my mind now, and on many other online sellers' minds, no doubt, is finding that perfect "bread and butter" item that will lead to lots of repeat sales. In the first article of this newsletter, you'll read all kinds of ideas about that.

Speaking of "bread and butter" items, since we have a number of new subscribers, I am once again going to mention that I recently updated one of my bestselling ebooks, Flip It Again Version 2.0: 20 Common Items You Can Sell (and Resell Again and Again) for $50 & Up: Click here to purchase it for $14.98 - half off the regular price of $24.98.

Well, I'm going to tell you about one of the items I talk about in the new ebook, because I just purchased a bunch of them. Textbooks! Yes, I have long been picking up textbooks - high school, college, home schooling -- for cheap at yard sales and estate sales, and reselling them on Amazon for a huge markup. But in the past few weeks I have become a big consumer of them. Why? Because I started home-schooling my tenth-grader.

It's a long story, why we decided to home school him, and I won't go into it all here, but suffice to say, when you are buying these things you can appreciate how expensive they can be and how people have a need to get them quickly!

And, we of course have our latest Flips and Flops contest with its $50 prize. This month's flips are particularly interesting and give us all food for thought, so don't miss reading them.

Do You Have a Large Annual or Biannual Yard Sale Near You?

Do you have a large, annual or bi-annual yard sale near you? As you probably know, our excellent forum moderator Jeff is keeping a list. I also am putting a note about it in my next newsletter, and on the yardsalers.net web site. If you have something you'd like to add to the directory, please post it in the YardSalers Facebook group, or email it to me at juliawilk@aol.com.

What Do You Want to Learn About? Help Me Pick My Next Ebook Topic

Another thing I want to accomplish in this newsletter is getting you all a new ebook that you will find most helpful. So help me choose my next topic. Here are two I am toying with, because I got questions about them:

- Packing and Shipping for Putzes
- An eBook about Flatware

OK, so the "putz" may not be the best word. It's just that a certain "D" word is taken. But, packing and shipping issues do come up a lot, whether from readers or just that I see posted in various forums online.

A reader asked me for info about Flatware that resells well. Lynn Dralle already has a book out about this, "Dinnerware Success with Lynn Dralle," so any kind of ebook I did would be largely research and analysis of what sells.

Which topic do you prefer? Or would you like to see an ebook about something else? Email me at juliawilk@aol.com.

Bulletin Boards Are Coming! I'm in the process of adding bulletin boards to the Yardsalers.net web site. I will send out a short announcement when they're up.

For those of you who use Facebook, there are two Facebook Yard Salers groups -- one is open, but for those of you who don't know about it, there is also a closed/"Secret" group, because the regulars did not necessarily want their best tips going to the whole Facebook world. Here's a direct link to it if you want to join it (I'll need to approve you, but I try to do that asap): https://www.facebook.com/groups/219812014811564/

Ten Little-Known Highly Profitable Niche Markets on eBay http://www.skipmcgrath.com/products/Niche-Markets.shtml Are you having trouble finding a profitable product to sell on eBay? Are you tired of eBay scams and drop shipping scams? Are eBay and PayPal fees eating up your profits? Do over 50% of your auctions close unsuccessfully? Are you tired of making 10%, 20% or 30% margins? Would you like to find products where you can make 100% to 200% margins? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions and yet you are one of the thousands of people who want to have a successful eBay business you need to learn the biggest key to successful eBay sellers: Niche Marketing! Click here for more info. **********************************************************************
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Yard Salers uses the automated email system, AWeber. If you received a link to this issue in email, you should have requested this newsletter, and should not be receiving it unless you opted in. If you have any problems or questions about links in the newsletter, or other issues, feel free to email me at juliawilk@aol.com.

Now, let's get to the rest of the issue!

In this Issue:
1) Finding that "Bread and Butter" Item
2) Latest Flips & Flops, and Next Flips Contest
3) Reader Mail
********************************************************************* ***********************************
Queen of Auctions Lynn Dralle's Executive Summit
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1) Finding that "Bread and Butter" Item

My sister has found a great, profitable niche on Etsy (yes, Etsy!) with a couple kinds of household items that she has made customizable. (I won't say exactly what they are, because I don't want to piss her off, potentially giving her more competitors). In any event, with creating her own line of customizable products, she has found her "bread and butter" item -- the kind of thing that sells and resells again and again. (Reselling the same item again and again is the theme of "Flip It Again 2.0, but in that ebook I am talking about existing items you can buy and resell again and again. In this article, I am talking also about things you can create).

Although I do resell my "Flip It Again" items frequently, I am also looking for a line of products I can create (or produce by "upcycling" or tweaking existing items). For a while I had one of these types of products, but, alas, that item is now no longer allowed on most of the major marketplaces. (Another long story).

Suffice to say, that item was a kind of jewelry, and I am now experimenting with a new kind of jewelry item that will hopefully be one of my "bread and butter" products.

Have you found your "bread and butter" item yet? If not, I suggest you look at the types of things you already sell, and see what you can do to make them more trendy. Another thing you can do is make them customizable, like my sister does. She puts people's initials or the color and design of their choice on the edges of her items.

One example of someone who had a "bread and butter" item is a painter with whom I am acquainted. She sells full-size paintings from her studio, which is open to the public most days. When chatting with her once, she said that the miniature paintings she did and sold on greeting cards for $20 each used to pay her mortgage every month!

That tells me that people may want to buy art, but not everyone will spend $300 on a full-fledged painting. What about making miniature paintings or greeting cards; or creating a design for a t-shirt, mug,or other item that can be printed in batches?

Here are some other ideas for "bread and butter" items:

- Sell supplies for other sellers, who are already on the sites selling. For example, a full-time Etsy seller, "Boston bag lady" (https://www.etsy.com/shop/bostonbaglady if that link doesn't work for you), who was recently featured on the Etsy blog, sells craft supplies like small vintage doll heads. (She also sells paper and ephemera like vintage cards and flash cards). She says she gets repeat business from other Etsy sellers. Packing and shipping supplies are good examples of supplies sellers need and buy all the time. I buy large, clear plastic poly bags again and again from the same eBay seller, because they have what I need at a reasonable price.

- Find an inexpensive "Made in China"-type item and then improve on it or embellish it. (Note: cats do well n just about any kind of product). :)

- Sell "replenishables," things that people need to buy again and again. This could be anything from a certain type of coffee to health and beauty items like cosmetics and shampoo. (If you want to sell these kinds of things on Amazon, you do need to apply to sell in these categories. But I know a lot of sellers who have gotten into these "gated" categories without difficulty).

- Keep an eye on trends and see what other sellers are selling well. For example, I've also noticed art deco and "art nouveau" era styles and items are selling well. Perhaps these two are the influence of "Downton Abbey"?

Finally, this doesn't mean you give up your treasure hunt fun at yard and estate sales. But adding a "bread and butter item" (or two, or three) ;) can beef up your overall sales, along with sales of the ready-made stuff you find while you're out.

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2) Tribal Mask, White House Ornaments and...Bull Semen? Latest Flips and Flops, and Next Flips Contest ******************************************************

And now, without further ado, this is the part of the newsletter where someone gets to make fifty bucks. Yes it's our faithful Flips (and Flops) contest! This month brings us some *heh-hem* unusual finds, from a cool tribal item to...well,. you'll just have to keep reading. ;)

1) Susan's Tribal Mask

"Hi Julia,

I'm a new subscriber to your newsletter and fairly new to selling on eBay (August 2013). Recently, I ran across a $5.99 find at one of my local thrift stores and was able to sell it on eBay for $342.

It appeared to be a carved wood tribal mask, and when I turned it over I saw that it was marked "LAHOLondon."

When I returned home I did some research and found that LAHO was the studio name of pieces produced by Laszlo Hoenig. He worked primarily during the Art Deco period in London. It was a very attractive piece and photographed beautifully.

Unfortunately, this piece was part of a pair - nearly identical masks - of which I chose to only purchase one. This was a valuable lesson learned, but still my best flip of the year. I can email a copy of the completed listing if you like.

Thanks, Susan T."



I replied:

Hi Susan! Got a pic of the mask...very cool! :)

Thanks so much for the flip! Hope to have a new issue out asap.

Thx again, and may you flip well and happily!


Check out this way cool mask, below:

These kinds of "tribal" and primitive items, be they sculptures, paintings, or even clothing, such as Native American moccasins, tend to do very well. They are also great because they are frequently overlooked by staff in places such as thrift stores, and even estate sales. Here is the description from Susan's listing:


2. Peggy Makes Industrial-Sized Profits on Business Liquidation Listings...and Bull what?

Peggy found some great flip-ables in a place I have not thought to look. But I won't ignore it in the future! She wrote to me shortly after the last newsletter ran with this gem:

"Hi Julia:

As always, I enjoy reading your newsletter and learn new things. I thought I'd tell you of my latest success. I buy many of my items at estate sales and look at estatesales.net for details.

But also listed on the site are auctions. No, I'm not talking about high-dollar art and collectibles; I mean the business closing auctions.

I used to ignore them, as I didn't really know where to sell a used commercial fryer, but when I needed some shelving for organizing my inventory, I started looking through them, as businesses have more than just their primary equipment.

My first auction I bought some digital products. First auction I won 2 lots of digital products. I listed the "Digital Juice Editor's Kit" individually for $39.99 each and they sold within a few hours of listing. I should have asked more!

The other lot I broke up and sold the Adobe for $150 and the other lot of Digital Juice I sold directly to the man who bought the other Digital Juice items for $100. So for a $21 investment (plus buyer's premium of 10%) I made $330. Not bad!"

[Here is a photo of the Adobe Product Peggy sold, below:]

And here is a screen shot of the Digital Juice listing:

Bull What?

Peggy continues:

"But my weirdest sale, and most profitable was this. Local auction of a full-time eBayer who culls his dead inventory every 6 months. Found this out when I went to pick up.

So I ended up winning 6 lots but want to talk about this one:

Lot 8069IMV TechnologiesVisotube7.1 MM Blue31 packages300 tubes per packhttp://www.equip-bid.com/cgi-bin/mnarclist.cgi

I had no idea what they were but looked on eBay and he did have some sales, but the last one was last December.

These are tubes to store bull semen until transfer!

So I picked them up Monday and listed them, but since I have 30 years of outside sales experience, wasn't prepared to wait a year. So I started thinking of who might buy these? Ahhh, large cattle operations, so found an article which talked about one in my state.

Called them and got nowhere. So in the article it listed several names, and one was the director of the Hereford Association. He said I needed a breeder, not a rancher, and sent me to the Breeders Association website.

They list their members' contact info, called one and the man I needed to speak with was out, so called the next one and got the owner. She was a little taken aback but they retail for $48 a pack from the manufacturer so was willing to listen. She ended up buying them for $20/pack, including shipping.So for my $12.50 investment (plus 15% buyers premium) I made $620! After shipping, the net was $577!

I like those margins, and no eBay or PayPal fees!"



So, there is no photo of the bull semen...sorry!

Peggy, I love those profit margins, too! And thank you so much for introducing many of us to the potential of business and industrial auctions!

3. Still Reaping Holiday Ornaments Profits in January

This next flip shows there is truth to the adage, which I have seen Suzanne Wells say, "Everything Sells All Year Long." Meaning, swimsuits might sell in winter and Christmas items might sell all year long.

Faithful reader Marilyn came across some holiday decorations that have been her ow "gift that keeps on giving":



I didn't think that I had a flip for you and realized that I'm in the middle of one.

I was looking for vintage Christmas items in a local thrift store when I found a large bin filled with beautiful boxed White House Christmas ornaments. The ornaments are issued by the White House Historical Association.

They were new, in the boxes with the paperwork. Priced at $0.49 ea. I bought them out, more than 50.

I asked where they came from, but the employees just knew that they were a donation.

I have them currently listed on EBay with a Buy-It-Now of $10. I have shipped several every day since I listed them. Then I just relist it.

I have more than made my investment back. It will be a while before I can say just how good a flip it is, but so far I have tripled my investment.

One thing that also made this a great flip is the ease of shipping. The boxed ornament fits easily into a large padded envelope. I can print the postage-shipping label & leave it in the mailbox to be picked up by my mailman.

Merry Christmas,

A short while later, I heard from Marilyn again:

"Dear Julia,

I sold 45 of the White House Christmas ornaments on EBay for $450. I paid .49 ea. for them; for a cost of $22.05.

After the eBay fees ($45) & shipping & handling ($157.50), I made $225.45. Plus, I sold one ornament on Amazon, $11.55, for a profit of $237.

This was a good flip. I gave a few of the extras as gifts.I look forward to your next newsletter,



I thanked her again. Those ornaments do make great gifts. I found several..nothing like Marilyn's find, but they were very nice and new-in-box, like hers -- at an estate sale last fall. I sold all mine on Amazon, but I also decided to keep some for myself, because they are so beautiful.

Below is a screen shot of some of these ornaments which recently sold on eBay (within the last 90 days; some are in lots):

Above: A sampling of "lots" of White House Christmas Ornaments; and also some single ornaments that did well.


Flips Winner

Now it's time to announce the winner. This is always a difficult decision, as all the flips stories are amazing in their own right. But this month's Flip Contest Fifty Dollars goes to....well, shucks..software and bull semen steal the day, so Peggy is the winner! I also like that she gets us to "think outside the box" and start looking into business / company liquidation listings.

But as always, the other entrants, in this case Susan and Marilyn, will not go home without a prize.. They win a copy of my new updated ebook, Flip It Again 2.0! Ladies, I will email it to you by the end of this week. Email me if you do not get it by then: juliawilk@aol.com.

Peggy, please email me with either your PayPal email address to send the money to, or your mailing address to send a check to, at juliawilk@aol.com. :)

Everyone else, remember we have another contest coming 'round next month, so if you want to officially enter the contest, just email me at juliawilk@aol.com.

Readers, if you have a question, comment, rave or rant, email it on to me at juliawilk@aol.com.

Great tips useful (and free) to all sellers: https://www.facebook.com/ilovetobeselling

3) Reader Mail

Reader Mail will return when someone emails me with a question, tip, bit of gossip or rant. This issue is already too long. ;)

FREE REPORT: Top Mistakes eBay Sellers Make and How to Avoid Them!
OK, everyone, that's it for this issue. See you all next issue, and remember to email those flips and flops to me at juliawilk@aol.com!

Any questions, comments, compliments, rants or raves, send to juliawilk@aol.com. On second thought, send the rants to my gmail account, juliawgal@gmail.com...I don't check it as often. ;)

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OK, everyone, that's it for this issue. See you all next issue, and remember to email those flips and flops to me at juliawilk@aol.com!

Enjoy the rest of the summer yard sale season, and remember things will be cooling down soon! (Oh, the humanity! But then we still have estate and library sales, not to mention thrift shops).
Any questions, comments, compliments, rants or raves, send to juliawilk@aol.com. On second thought, send the rants to my gmail account, juliawgal@gmail.com...I don't check it as often. ;)



What $ells on eBay for What - $24.98

Chanel on eBay Price Guide - $9.95

Make Big Bucks Selling Albums on eBay - $19.95

Make Big Bucks off Catalogs on eBay - $12.49
http://www.yardsalers.net/bookstore.asp and scroll to "Make Big Bucks off Catalogs on eBay"

Making Money (and Getting a Life?) via Craigslist - $8.95
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Make Money Selling Kids' Clothes on eBay - $8.95
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Nonfiction Books that Sell for $50-$250 on eBay (eBooks) - $4.50 (This is already half-price)

Over 500 Books that Sell for $50-$5000 on eBay - $8.95
http://www.yardsalers.net/bookstore.asp and scroll to http://www.yardsalers.net/500Books.asp

How to Spot Fakes: a Special Report - $4.50
(email me at juliawilk@aol.com)

New Special Report: "A Book that Looks Like Nothing" - $4.50
16 - plus pages about "sleeper" books that look like nothing, but sell for "something" -- some up to 
(email me at juliawilk@aol.com)

How to Make Big Bucks with Garage & Yard Sales - $8.95 (only available by email; PayPal 
me $8.95 or email me at juliawilk@aol.com; this one not available at hald price)

Garage sale and wholesaler expert Pat Bateman has put together a fabulous ebook about making regular income with yard sales, finding wholesale goods to sell, using drop shippers, and more. Right now I'm offering it at a special preview price for $8.95. PayPal me at juliawilk@aol.com and you will receive the ebook via email, usually within hours.

Paperback Books by Julia L. Wilkinson:

Copyright 2012 J.L. Wilkinson LLC 

Thank you for subscribing to Yard Salers. Yard Salers email newsletter may be freely distributed in its entirety, so please pass it on. You may reprint any of the articles in this newsletter for any purpose as long as no portion of the article is modified without permission, and this tagline is included:

Yard Salers, www.yardsalers.net

Publisher, Julia Wilkinson, author of the award-winning "eBay Price Guide." and "What Sells on eBay for What"

No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Yard Salers makes diligent efforts to obtain accurate and timely information. However, Yard Salers disclaims any liability to any party for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in Yard Salers, whether or not such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or any other cause.




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