ISSUE 8: June 4, 2003
Yard Salers and eBayers: Issue 8! 1.8 – June 4, 2003
Yes, Yard Salers and eBayers is still alive…it is a bit later than usual this month, but I was gratified to get some emails from readers that indicated they were awaiting the next issue. So it’s nice to know you care.
The biggest reason there has been a dearth of YAB this month is…the RAIN. And I do mean RAIN. Here in the Washington, D.C. area, it seems like the entire last month has been overcast or rainy. I think we’ve had maybe two clear days all month! So there haven’t been many yard sales to go to.
In fact, I was just at one yard sale this morning, and just as I got there, the raindrops started falling. It was supposed to be a community sale, but only one family was putting stuff out. Or, I should say, taking stuff back in, just as I arrived.
There was a confused scene as the owners picked up stuff and put it back in their townhouse, and bemused lookers-on debated whether the owners were then holding the sale inside the house. One lady started going inside the house, but was abruptly turned away at the door when the sale owner said “there’s nothing for sale in there.” Hmm… I think the sellers could have handled it better. (Not that the lady couldn’t have asked if she could go in…lol!).
Just one of the many examples of human behavior we observe as these sales.
So if there were no yard sales, Julia, what are you going to talk about? And are you going to continue referring to yourself in the third person?
As a matter of fact, I have a treat in store for you all…well, I think so anyway. I am going to share with you the SECRETS OF THE FAKES…HOW TO TELL AN AUTHENTIC BAG.
Then I have a tip on a great wholesale site, and I want to tell you a little more about my new part-time “day job.”
And finally, will let you know that Yes, Virginia, YAB is going to be attending eBay Live! So if you’re not going, we can be your eyes and ears!
In case you didn’t hear, the first issue of the new newsletter about Ecommerce (of which I am editor): the "MyEZsale Ecommerce Guide,” launched in late May. Check out the site, and first issue, on www.myezsale.com. MES is published by Ina and David Steiner, who have the premier auction news and resource site at www.auctionbytes.com. (Not that I’m biased, but if you haven’t checked out AuctionBytes, you owe it to yourself and your business to do so!).
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) Secrets of the Fakes: How to Tell an Authentic Bag
2) A Great, Reliable Wholesale Source
3) Julia to Attend eBay Live
4) Reader Mail
6) YOUR FEEDBACK WANTED
1) Secrets of the Fakes: How to Tell an Authentic Bag
As Elaine said on “Seinfeld,” when Jerry and she discussed their…er, relationship, and he asked her, ”What about the breathing? The panting? The moaning? The screaming?”
“Fake! Fake! Fake! Fake!”
What does any of this have to do with eBaying?
The influx of fake designer bags on the market! These fakes are getting harder to spot, but some of the very savvy clothing experts who sell on eBay have athered tips and tricks to tell the real McCoys (and Vuittons).
Now, for the first time, YAB has collected and edited the best of these hints, and is giving you, my readers, a FREE preview of her forthcoming eBook, “Secrets of the Fakes: How to Tell if a Bag’s Authentic.”
(OK, guys, bear with me here, if this topic seems about as exciting to you as watching paint dry. Remember this: even if you are not female, selling designer bags can be very lucrative! And, some of these tips about quality and authenticity apply to other types of merchandise as well, such as luggage, etc.).
Let’s take a look at a few top brands and a sampling of what to look for:
- Authentic Burberry has a dark blue tag with product number, color and sizing codes, and a product ID barcode. The words 'BURBERRY LONDON' will disappear when it is heated with your thumb for 20 seconds or so or with a match and appear again after five seconds (remember, don't touch the tag with the match). Make sure your thumb is warm. If the words don't disappear, then these shirts are not authentic.
2) Usually the Burberry tag is wrapped around the Burberry London label or around the button hole but not the button itself. Also there should be a Burberry material content somewhere inside the shirt.
3) All buttons should have BURBERRY embossed.
(Thanks to Burberry Princess on eBay).
Chanel, on their web site, says to watch out for these key phrases when searching for authentic bags or other items – if you come across these, the merchandise is likely to be fake:
• CANNOT GUARANTEE AUTHENTICITY
• AUTHENTICITY NOT WARRANTED OR IMPLIED
• NO GUARANTEES OR WARRANTIES
• CHANEL REPLICA
• CHANEL STYLE
• CHANEL COPY • LIKE CHANEL • NOT CHANEL • CHANEL TYPE • CC LIKE, CC STYLE, CC TYPE
(Chanel does not provide a list of what to look for to guarantee authenticity; they say this may help counterfeiters in making their goods more Chanel-like).
I love Coach products myself; they are just good, quality products. I have owned numerous Coach purses and bought my last one on eBay from a reputable dealer (I always scrutinize feedback very carefully, and you should too).
Here are some tips to tell authentic Coach from bogus, from various Coach mavens on eBay:
- The hats MUST have a leather band around them. 99% of Coach signature hats on ebay are fake. Some will have the leather band, but will have a little bow on the side - FAKE.
- Look for details like if the brim or the stitching on the patch inside is at all uneven. In an genuine Coach,the stitching should be perfect.
- Serial Numbers. Yes, it should have a serial number, but if it has one, does that automatically make it real? Not necessarily. It may have a creed and serial #, but the font used in the print needs to match Coach’s, and the stitching can’t be sloppy. Also, remember the serial number has four numbers after the dash -- not three.
Tip: Go to Coach.com and look at these hats. Study the shape and details closely; then compare what you see to the ones on ebay.
Dooney & Bourke
- Check the tag inside with the serial number on the back. Very few fake Dooney's will have this. The cut tag is not a giveaway for a fake bag, though; Dooney typically will cut their tags when they have been purchased at an outlet store or when they have been marked out as seconds.
- Straps leather and stitching: on an authentic Fendi bag should have smooth leather and same color stitching, and stitching should be straight and even.
- Strap Backs and Sides: The back of the strap on some fake bags is made of vinyl. The back of the strap on authentic bags is leather. Also if you look at the side of the straps, you may see "layers" on a fake bag. The side of the strap on the authentic bag looks like one solid piece.
- Buckles: The buckle on the fake bag shows poor quality. Buckles on authentic bags are perfectly square, are weighty and have FENDI engraved on the sides. Also this fake has gold hardware. Brown Zucca is only done with silver hardware.
The back of the buckle on fakes may be lined in vinyl; Fendi never uses vinyl in its bags. Also the magnetic clasp is always square, and the screws on authentic bags are aligned. (Meaning even the indentation lines where the screwdriver would go are lined up evenly, going the same direction).
- Linings: Authentic Fendis have smooth, silky jacquard linings that have the word FENDI woven throughout, or smooth satin that is soft as silk. The color of the lining depends on the outside color of the bag, but it is usually complementary.
- Serial Numbers: The authentic bag has a serial number, as all Fendi leather goods do. The auction for the bag on the left never mentioned the bag having it. But beware; some fakes may have serial numbers too, so it’s best to ask lots of questions and/or see lots of photos.
(Tips and some great photos on the Fendi Bag Lady site at http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/fendi-bag-lady).
Well, those are enough tips for now. If you liked these, let me know, and I will put you on the list to receive the complete “Authentic Brands” ebook which I am finishing. As always, my subscribers get half price, which at this point should be $4.95. Also, the feedback I get will help me determine how much more time and effort to put into the ebook.
2) A Great, Reliable Wholesale Source
One of the most common questions I get is about wholesale sources. What is a good wholesale source, and how can I not get ripped off?
Well, one thing I have learned is that there are many wholesale sources out there, and I have yet to find a substitution for doing careful research yourself.
However, if it’s a reputable site you’re looking for, I can vouch for at least one service: Liquidation.com (at, you guessed it, www.liquidation.com).
The site uses the auction model to match buyers and sellers of wholesale/closeout merchandise.
They do stand behind their auctions; if a lot has been misrepresented, you can get your money back.
I wrote a short piece about this site for AuctionBytes, at http://www.auctionbytes.com/pages/abu/y203/m05/abu0094/s02
If you want more detail about this site, check it out!
3) Alert the Media: Julia to Attend eBay Live
Sometimes, when I offhandedly mention something banal, like that I am going to go into the other room to get the newspaper, etc., my sister loves to respond with a snappy, sarcastic “alert the media!” (Oh, but in a nice way).
Well, here I am mentioning one of my plans that hopefully you *will* be interested in: I am attending eBay Live!
I don’t know how many of you plan to go, but in case you don’t, rest assured that I will be there, poking around, checking out vendor booths, attending seminars, snapping pix with my trusty digital camera, and in general being a roving reporting presence.
Ina Steiner of AuctionBytes.com is also going, and AuctionBytes will have great coverage of the event, so be sure to check that out (at http://www.auctionbytes.com)
So, if you can’t go, and want to go, or have specific questions you would have hoped to get answered at the conference, let me know!
And if you are planning on going, let me know that too! Maybe we can meet up and exchange cards. ;)
5) Reader Mail
I have been receiving your news letters on selling in auctions and also ordered one of your online books (What $ells on eBay For What) and it has been very helpful to me.
The main reason for this email is that I would like to ask you a question concerning opening up my own store website.
I had a website before but it was coming from Homstead.com so I didn't really have my own domain.
Since then I have now purchased my own domain name. Now I am looking for a site that had a reasonable price of which to start my own store, to either design myself or have designed for me. I would appreciate your good advice and information on this subject.
Hi Carol! Thx so much for writing.
Well, you are absolutely right, that is a big issue. And one I will be grappling with myself as I get new domain names and web sites for my ebooks and Yardsalers newsletter.
I actually plan on doing a whole investigative series on this, in a newsletter I will be editing come late May, called myezsale.com...(check out the fledgling [now not so fledgling anymore] site at www.myezsale.com).
So I hope to have more and better info for you then. Meantime, I can tell you, you are on the right track with having ownership of your own name, and paying careful attention to the design. Right now I myself use Yahoo, but I want to look into different options too.
I wish I had more info for you, but as it is such a huge topic, I don't want to advise you until I myself have more info. So hang in there, and good luck. You can register for the myezsale newsletter via that site or AuctionBytes at www.AuctionBytes.com. :)
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!
- What is the silliest, or even most useless, item you bought? What were you inexplicably (or explicably) drawn to?
eBay Patent Lawsuit: I find the whole patent lawsuit of MercExchange vs. eBay fascinating. I want to comment on it in depth, but if I take the time to do that in this issue, it will be even later than it already is, so rest assured I am following it and plan to comment on it in the next issue.
7) 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?
I’ve updated my “classic” ebook (now that we’re on internet time, I can call it “classic” since it’s over year old), What Sells on eBay for What.
I added a section about Electronics, and some Collectibles. I would still dearly love your feedback. What subcategories of electronics interest you the most? Do you sell electronics? If so, why, and if not, any reason why? Lack of knowledge? What knowledge would you like about it?
And yes, every subscriber to this newsletter will get emailed a FREE copy of the update! My current plan is to send you a link in the next newsletter. This issue is already late enough. (Wait, Julia, you said that in the last issue. OK, so I did, what of it? Well, are you ever going to send it? Yes, I am! Now stop talking to yourself!)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.]
-- Making Big Bucks off Catalogs on eBay:
- 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).
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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