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!!!.

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