Welcome to the world of Treasure Picking

Come along while we meet these buyers and sellers of treasures, keepsakes and memories who sell on the worldwide markets of eBay, Bonanzle, Etsy and eCommerce.

We celebrate Treasure Pickers, the ultimate recyclers. We will go along as they pick a vintage hat, antique firetruck, memorabilia that evokes another era. Even crafts from remote places in Africa. We will join in when an item that was bargained and bought for $5.00 ends up selling for $400!!!.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

eBay Power Couple III Snow Angels Rural Vistas and Good advice

eBay allows Sharon and John Ware the luxury of living in the country while they operate their successful eBay business. What do you suppose they find time to do once business for the day is tucked away?

They enjoy the view with the changing seasons.

Sharon said, "the beauty of eBay is its portability. We thought perhaps our business would suffer with the move (from Florida to Kentucky). But, interestingly, since moving here, our (eBay) consulting business has grown many times over and now includes several worldwide clients. How exciting! And of course, we continue to sell our fire trucks, rubber stamps and crafts in our own eBay stores."

They smell the flowers on the front porch when they aren't Treasure Picking.

"We enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the even bigger thrill when we discover ‘the find’! After all these years, my heart still races as we watch our auction items end. Especially when there are a lot of ‘watchers’. We are always hopeful that this one item will be ‘the’ big winner. But if not this one, there’s always the next, or the next or perhaps the one after that!"

And they make snow angels when winter snow sets in.

Sharon and John love the rural lifestyle that eBay allows them to enjoy but they have earned it with diligent attention to the detail and planning of a solid business

"I first became an Education Specialist Trained by eBay in 2005 and the following year, John joined the program as well and became an Education Specialist. We think team teaching is a blast and we enjoy bringing real life stories and experience to our classes."

"I very methodically worked my business, moving up through eBay's Education Specialist program. On March 15, 2007, I became eBay’s 19th Certified Business Consultant (there are only 30 of us worldwide today!)."

"After becoming Certified, John and I launched our current company, Dandelion Consulting, formed to better serve our worldwide corporate and business clients."

For our eBay Power Couple country living in Kentucky is the best of all worlds. Sharon and John offer up their advice for building and maintaining a successful eBay business in eBay Power Couple II. We hope they are still eBaying for their 50th anniversary.

Contact information DandelionConsulting
Telephone: 606-379-0000
email: myauctionteacher@aol.com today!

eBay Power Couple II Sharing Tips for Success

eBay Tips for Success...by Sharon and John Ware of Dandelion Consulting

Do something every day to advance or improve your business:
a. Learn something new
b. Research products and competitors
c. Learn to take great pictures
d. Create Professional Listings
e. Maintain sold and unsold items
f. Pack and ship
g. Hire help if you need it
h. Take time to rest.. away from your computer

Choose your battles:
a. It’s business, not personal… don’t sweat the small stuff
b. Know that you can’t please everyone all the time
c. Do your best, be kind and honest and that will shine through
everything you do

We can no longer ignore the importance of Branding when it comes to our eBay business. To be competitive with the larger companies who are penetrating the market today, it is imperative to take steps to ramp up our business and be professional.

How do we create a brand for our business?
• Take advantage of an eBay Store and all it has to offer:
o Create a strong Store Home page logo
o Use pleasing and consistent colors throughout the site
o Write a great About Me page
o Have a matching Small logo and My World logo
o Of course, it goes without saying, you must have a well written
description and customer-friendly store policies
o Utilize all 15 custom pages

Custom pages are important because they offer a great
opportunity for SEO. Write interesting stories, highlight
products you sell or services you offer, tell the buyer why
they should buy from you. Any relevant information you put
on your custom pages will help your buyers find you when
they start with a search ‘off’ eBay.

Places to promote your store name and brand on eBay:
o Invoice wording
o Automatic eMail responses to buyers
o Feedback
o Thank you included with shipment
o eBay Reviews
o eBay Guides
o eBay Neighborhoods
o eBay Discussion Forums

Places to promote your brand outside of eBay:
o eMail signatures
o local advertising
o t-shirts, ball caps, pens, any kind of promotional give-away
o community meetings and clubs
o any gathering of friends, family or business colleagues

Social Networking (just to name a few)
o Facebook Business or Fan page
o Twitter
o MySpace
o LinkedIn
o MyLife
o Squidoo
o Blogs
o Communities
o Groups
o Radio Programs
o Learning Sites

To save time AND money, print your own postage from your own printer with Stamps.com. With Stamps.com, you can also print First Class International Packages. It prints the custom form for you, which is a HUGE time saver over filling out the green customs form yourself and standing in line at the Post Office.
This was great for us because we have a lot of light weight crafts and stamps to ship to International customers. Easily import your eBay and Amazon orders and print your own postage on regular paper. Plus, save approximately 5% over buying postage at the Post Office! Check out the link here:

Get Free Postage

The impression we give our buyers when they view our listings or store
helps them decide whether they want to buy from us or leave. A well
designed eBay Store will allow you the opportunity to brand yourself with
colors and design. When you carry your design through to all your custom
store pages, your About Me page, your listing template and your logos,
the buyer sees a cohesive site that is pleasing; one that makes a positive
impression and puts your buyer at ease about doing business with you
again and again.

If you need help with a store set up or re-design, we would love to speak
with you. Just give us a call at 606-379-0000. You can also find other
store designers by doing a search in eBay. The important thing is to step
up your business and add a professional brand that let’s your buyers know
you are a serious business.

Happy Selling!
Sharon and John Ware
Dandelion Consulting
your partner in growing your business

Monday, August 30, 2010

eBay Treasure Picking Power Couple John and Sharon Ware Part I

When it comes to power couples John and Sharon Ware are the best example of what eBay can offer as a business. They have made several moves in the past few years and their eBay business went with them. They both worked 30 years for a St Louis Fortune 500 company, where Sharon was in customer service and a computer analyst and John was in Corporate Marketing. When John’s father became ill and needed their assistance, they retired from their jobs and moved to Florida to take care of him.

The move left them looki
ng for alternative income and eBay was it. Sharon tells the story of how it came about, “It was that set of 1970's Coca Cola glasses that did it. After I listed the glasses and the days ticked down I got a few bids. It was pretty exciting! In the last half hour of the auction, I was glued to my computer as I sat and cheered on the bidders. BID! Come on, BID again! My heart raced as I anxiously watched the item bid up and up in the last few seconds and then finally it was over. Boy! What a rush! Oh my gosh, it SOLD...IT SOLD! And I actually made money! Okay...so now what ELSE can I sell?”

“John and I started sellin
g a few things on eBay after moving to Florida, John is a retired volunteer Fire Chief and collects replica collectible model fire trucks. He now sells them and the rest is history.”
John’s user name
is ssfdretiredchief and store is Station 4 Collectibles. His sell through rate is about 40% with 100% Feedback (Statistics by Terapeak)

Sharon is an eBay Top Rated seller who sells rubber stamps and crafts on eBay and explains, “I have been an avid crafter all my life and fell in love with a rubber stamping store in Orlando. When I found out they were closing up shop, we bought out the entire store. And now, I am the ‘Rubber Stamp Lady’, LOL!” Sharon's user name is wareskscrapbooks and her store is: Dandy Rubber Stamps and Crafts. Sharon's sell through rate is approximately 35% (Terapeak may vary from day to day) with 100% Feedback and DSRs 4.9/5.0.

Being organized is essential to a smooth eBay business

Sharon and John just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in J
une and are looking forward to the fun and excitement the next 25 will bring. Life is definitely an adventure and they embrace it together every day!

"We enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the even bigger thrill when we discover ‘the find’! After all these years, my heart still races as we watch our auction items end. Especially when there are a lot of ‘watchers’. We are always hopeful that this one item will be ‘the’ big winner. But if not this one, there’s always the next, or the next or perhaps the one after that!"

Sharon and John have taken their eBay career to the top level. Sharon is a world acclaimed professional eBay Store designer and an eBay Certified Business Consultant. In Part II she will talk about their lifestyle and her move into design work and education

But for now she is hard at work slaving over a hot computer in a rural setting that makes life beautiful.

Contact information DandelionConsulting
Telephone: 606-379-0000
email: myauctionteacher@aol.com today!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tokyo Days Part II Success Come with Passion and Hard work

Tokyo Days Comics Garage Chris sells his comics on eBay in his eBay Store: Store name TokyoDays Comics-user name tokoyodays, He currently has a sell through rate of 98% , with 100% feedback,nearly 10,000 transactions since 1999. (Statistics from Terapeak may vary from day to day).

His passion for comics led him to profits in the business. When asked for a few tips about his success with comics on eBay Stores he shared this information:
its fun. Do it so long as its profitable. Carefully weigh how you spend your time—do you get lots of requests for extra pictures? Do they translate into sales? If they don’t, why do you bother answering these requests if they don’t have a payoff? (I don’t take extra pictures anymore—my stats showed that it only resulted in a sale about 7% of the time)."

"Streamline as much as possible. I use Endicia which I absolutely could not do without. It’s $15.95 a month plus actual postage costs, it keeps a record of my shipping, saves me on delivery confirmation fees, and it’s generally FASTER and EASIER than using the Paypal or eBay shipping/postal options. Worth every penny. Plus it gives you a wealth of data for your shipping costs."

"Shipping: Comic in a bag and board taped to a tough piece of cardboard, with a flimsy piece of chipboard on the opposite side, then slid into a 9x12 envelope. Easy peasy. Some folks will requests comics shipping boxes and I will accommodate them when requested—but the number of items I get complaints about in terms of my shipping is minimal. If one item a month is claimed damaged upon arrival, it’s cheaper to simply give a refund rather than pay possibly 4-5x that much on shipping boxes (usually around 40¢ apiece!!)"

"Customer is ALWAYS RIGHT. Swallow your pride—deal with the complainers and presume that they’re being honest. Nothing can smack you down more than being righteous and indignant with a ripoff buyer who will then neg your ass into next week and give you 1s on your DSRS. Swallow your possible pride, refund the guy and move on."

"If you have a problem with a buyer—always include a printed NOTE in the package stating simply that if there’s a problem with your order, LET ME KNOW and I’ll fix it before they throw negs (negatives) your way. If you have to refund someone, tell them they get to choose the refund. Full refund? Partial? Credit? People seem to do the right thing—trust that they will. If they don’t, leave pride aside, give them what they request, and MOVE ON."

"Communicate, communicate, communicate. Very important. A lot of buyers want their hands held a loong time. Do what you can.'

Chris has fantastic success to back up his selling philosophy. Niche market, satisfy the customer and do it as long it is profitable and fun. A true Treasure Picker.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Meet Tokyodays eBay Store Owner with a Passion for Comics Part I

We never know where a true passion will take us, maybe relaxing in the bathtub with a good comic book?

"I’ve loved comics and read comics since I was a kid and around 1966 I truly turned the corner to become the fan I still am some 44 years later."

He has a lot of experience in treasure picking in the comic book field. He has, "worked as a comic book dealer; written and drawn his own published mini-comics; worked for Viz Comics as sales manager in the early 90s; became a prolific LOCer (Letter of Comment) having had over 70 letters published in various DC Comics from the 1960s through the 1970s; continued writing as a letter-writing fool in the pages of Oh, So; Comics Buyers Guide—something like over 50 letters published there!"

Tokyo Days Comics Garage
Chris sells his comics on eBay in his eBay Store: Store name TokyoDays Comics-user name tokoyodays, He currently has a sell through rate of 98% , with 100% feedback,nearly 10,000 transactions since 1999. (Statistics from Terapeak may vary from day to day)

"Every year my sales increased by double-digits except for 2009 where they dropped about 15%--still not too bad considering everything. About three years ago I expanded to selling through an Amazon store where now might account for about 20% of my total sales each year. One thing about Amazon, though— I only sell books there—and I’ll sell any book. If I get an opportunity to buy books on the lowdown cheap, I’ll do so happily regardless of subject matter. It’s always a roll of the dice buying books—some are worthless at your typical 1¢ plus shipping model, but if the book is potentially worth anywhere from $5 or more, I’ll go ahead and list it. They’re not moneymakers by a longshot, but occasionally one will come across some odd book that is worth $30...40...$50 in these piles and that makes it all worthwhile...on some level."

Chris maintains eBay is part-time, "Originally, TokyoDays comics was a part-time gig (still is) which currently is the wellspring of cash and financing to keep our son in college down in Santa Monica, CA. After that I’ll probably turn that income toward more mundane things like strengthening the inventory (hard to do these days), paying down our mortgage and enjoying life a bit more."

He believes in doing what you love and doing it well, "I sell comics because I know them well, I’m familiar with the marketplace, and I can’t imagine trading in this business to sell something that I really don’t have a care or feeling about. If I were into gardening, I’d sell gardening items, etc. But it’s comics, so here we are."

Stay tuned for Part II of TokyoDays when Chris shares his some of his treasure picking sources, plans for the future and tips on selling on eBay and other places.

(A quick check on eBay's completed listings shows a Spider-man comic book selling for as much as $14,5000 on an eBay auction!!!) Wow!!! Maybe it's time we checked out comics at the next yard sale, auction or thrift shop.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

eBay - Meet granny74 Master Treasure Picker

Let's take a look at this family operated business by starting with two of their completed auctions. This is treasure picking at its best. Both of these auctions reaped big rewards.

Black Terri Lee Benji $3059.86
Black Terri Lee doll in cowgirl outfit $2550

Meet master Treasure Pickers Pam and Carol Ferguson aka
granny74 on eBay.
The story began with Pam and Carol's mother who loved real time auctions and eventually opened an antique store in LaCross, KS (pop 1300) and later moved to Alexander, KS (pop 64). In 1999, when their mother was 74, they discovered eBay and the eBay seller 'granny74' was born. (Note: their mother passed away in 2008 but the family legend lives on in her family)
Inside the new store location in Wilson KS
This family operated business is currently a Top Rated Seller on eBay. Granny74 has over 51,000 transactions to date, 100% Feedback, high Detailed Seller Ratings (4.9) They use only the eBay auction style listings with a starting bid of under $.95!!!

Not just customer service but customer service extraordinaire
When asked how they managed to be so
successful Pam explained, "Mother loved auctions" and so all their treasures are found at local auctions, thrift shops and garage/estate sales. They live and buy in rural Kansas. Here is a some of their exceptional business philosophy.

Pam said, "we allow our customers to combine shipping up to thirty days and it's nice to see the money come in from big combined orders."

How do they pick treasures: "We look for things that are easy to pack and ship."

Repeat customers. "We have a core of customers that buy from us on a regular basis and they acco
unt for the major income from eBay.

Where do they sell

"We only sell on eBay

They recently moved their retail store from Alexander, KS to Wilson, KS (pop 864): Granny's Junktiques - 427 27th (hwy 40) St, Wilson, KS
Hours 10am - 7pm on Friday's only.

The store merchandise allows them to sell memories, treasures and keepsakes that are better designed for a local market.

More of the inside of Granny74 Store, items that do not make it to eBay