Finding Profits At Estate Sales Part II: The Garage

August 28th, 2019 Comments off

If you’re interested in selling high-profit items on eBay, you should definitely be frequenting estate sales.  Part one of this multi-part series focused on the kitchen.  Next stop?  The garage!

Garages are filled with goodies just waiting to be snapped up by savvy sellers.  The more disorganized the garage, the better.  There’s gold hiding in them thar piles!

Tools

First of all, focus on tools – especially vintage tools.  Both modern and vintage tools can be worth quite a bit on the resale market.  We recently bought a planer for $5 and sold it for over $400 on eBay.  Tools made by brands such as Snap-on, Mac, and DEWALT are always in demand.  Vintage “Made in America” hand tools such as crescent wrenches should be on your radar.  Vintage axe heads are another favorite of ours. 

Home Improvement Items

In addition, look for home improvement items.  Higher-end faucets and sinks bring in the big bucks if they are new or almost new. And cabinet pulls can be sold in lots.  At a recent yard sale, we purchased a $950 sink new in the box for $20 and sold it for $300.  The man who sold it to us had won it at a Christmas party.  (He worked for a home improvement company.)  We didn’t have to ship it because we had it listed as local pickup only. 

Fly Fishing Gear

Oh, where to start?  Americans love to fish, and fly fishing is all the rage!  Look for newer gear by brands such as Scott, Sage, Echo, Thomas & Thomas, and G. Loomis.  Old bamboo fly rods and vintage Fenwick poles are fan favorites (be sure to ship fishing rods in USPS mailing tubes).  In addition, don’t miss out on buying fly reels.  They are easy to photograph, easy to sell, and easy to ship.  Next, pay attention to vintage lures – the older the better.  And don’t miss the clothing produced by Simms and Filson.  Use your phone to look up current selling prices. 

New and Vintage Christmas Ornaments

While hunting for treasures, don’t miss out on Christmas ornaments.  Christmas ornaments sell year-round. Vintage ornaments in their original boxes are especially valuable.  Modern ornaments are also in demand.  Christopher Radko pieces, for example, are strong sellers.  And be on the lookout for pieces made by Swarovski.  Swarovski designs a new ornament for each and every year.  These crystal masterpieces are hot property and can sell for hundreds of dollars.  The most valuable Swarovskis are those in the original boxes with certificates of authenticity. 

Automobile and Bicycle Parts

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for automobile and bicycle parts.  Sourcing them can be a bit complicated, so be sure to research each piece before you buy it.

Yup.  Estate sales can be full of amazing items just waiting to be flipped on eBay. So get in line early, and when the doors open, head for the garage!

See part one: Finding Profits At Estate Sales: The Kitchen

About the Author

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and credentialed teacher with 13 years’ experience selling on the site.  She was a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects.  Her blog, The eBay Life, is an all-in-one resource for eBay sellers.

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3 Money Saving Tips for eBay Sellers

July 25th, 2019 Comments off

We currently sell about $14,000 a month in preowned merchandise on eBay, but expenses are high, and we’re always looking for ways to save money. If you want to be a successful eBay seller, it’s extremely important to run your business lean and mean.  The following tips will help you keep as much money in your pocket as possible.

Tip #1 – Sign Up for the PayPal Business Debit Card

First of all, sign up for the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard.  The PayPal debit card allows you to spend the money in your PayPal account while you’re out and about.  Cardholders earn 1% back on all purchases when they use the card as credit. Stamps.com customers can even use their PayPal debit card to purchase postage – this is a great method to get cashback on one of that largest expenses for online sellers!  We basically live off our card, so we get about $50 back a month.

Tip #2 – Scrutinize Your eBay Invoice

Another way to save money, is to go through your eBay invoice each and every month with a fine-tooth comb.  I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t always done this.  In the past, if my eBay bill seemed about right, I didn’t bother to check it.  Not anymore.  A while back I was going through one of my invoices and realized that on a few of our listings, we were being charged for features that we didn’t want.  I’m not sure how that happened. For example, we were paying $1.50 per month for the item subtitle fee on a listing that had been sitting in our store for 10 months.  Uh oh.

Tip #3 – Perform a Physical Inventory Every Six Months

You can’t make money on merchandise that isn’t listed.  Once every six months eBay sellers should perform a physical inventory of the items they are selling.  I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve done inventory only to discover that, for some unknown reason, products we thought were listed were no longer on the site.  Many of the items we sell can get old over time, so it’s extremely important that we move product in and out as fast as possible.  If an item sits too long, we may have to throw it away.  What a waste of money!  It is extremely important to figure out what you have before going out and spending more money on inventory.

If you are a serious eBay seller, you need to run your business like a well-oiled listing machine. Following these tips will help you reach that goal!

About the Author

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and credentialed teacher with 13 years’ experience selling on the site.  She was a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects.  Her blog, The eBay Life, is an all-in-one resource for eBay sellers.

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Finding Profits At Estate Sales – A Guide for eBay Sellers

June 21st, 2019 Comments off

 

Part 1 – The Kitchen

 

Estate sales can be overwhelming.  So much to look at, so little time.  In order to navigate the waters of this very special type of sourcing opportunity, it is important to stay focused and informed.  This is the first of a multi-part series that will help you narrow your search for profitable estate sale items to sell on eBay.

Cooking Up Profits

Always start your estate sale adventure by visiting the kitchen.  Every house has a kitchen, and many of them are filled with amazing finds that not everyone knows about.  The following items are relatively common and can be worth quite a bit of money.

Pots and Pans

First of all, look for high-end pots and pans.  High-end pots and pans are hot property on eBay, and they are often overlooked by pickers.  Brands such as All-Clad and SaladMaster bring in the big bucks, and copper pots made in France are always in demand.

Knives

Thereafter, check out the knife drawer.  Knives are high-profit, lightweight items that are easy to ship and can be purchased for next to nothing.

Look for brands such as Wüsthof, Henckels, and Cutco.  Note: When it comes to knives, the bigger the better.  For example, chef’s knives and cleavers usually sell for quite a bit more than steak knives.

In addition, be sure to pay attention to condition.  Unless you are skilled at restoring blades, only purchase knives with blades that are not bent or chipped.  Note: Knives that have been stored in drawers instead of knife blocks often have bent tips.   

Flatware Secrets

Flatware is another product found in the kitchen that can be quite valuable.  Flatware can, of course, be sold in sets, but many people buy individual place settings or pieces.  FYI:  When listing flatware on eBay, write the brand and style name in the title of each listing.

Sterling Silver

When looking for flatware, many sellers search for sterling.  Sterling silver flatware is difficult to find at a good price because most people realize that it is valuable.   Sometimes, however, sterling is not marked clearly or the markings are hard to see.  This is why it is important to use the magnifying glass feature on your cell phone or a loop to inspect flatware closely.

The Sterling Score

In addition to sterling silver flatware, look for sterling silver platters.   A few years back we purchased a silver platter for $8 at a professionally run estate sale.  The back of the platter was engraved with a series of symbols, but the word sterling was nowhere to be found.  After doing some research, we found a guide to these symbols online.  Eventually, we determined that the item we had purchased was, indeed, made of sterling silver.  A local silver buyer offered us $1000 for our $8 purchase.

 

Silverplate

In addition, we sell silverplate.  While it is true that certain brands of silver plated flatware sell for a fortune, we usually do not often find these brands.  That is why we focus on selling silverplate in lots.  Silverplate can often be purchased inexpensively at estate sales as many people do not believe it is worth much.  Crafters, however, love silverplate.  We store the silver plate we find in large flat rate boxes.  When a box is full, we list it on eBay.

Mixers and Blenders

Finally, look for high-end blenders and mixers.  Vitamix and Blendtec blenders, for example, can be worth a fortune.  Even broken blenders can be sold for parts.  KitchenAid and Bosch mixers are also quite popular.

So the next time you’re at an estate, head for the kitchen first.  It’s a goldmine if you know what to look for!

 

About the Author

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and credentialed teacher with 13 years’ experience selling on the site.  She was a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects.  Her blog, The eBay Life, is an all-in-one resource for eBay sellers.

Categories: Ebay Shipping Tags:

Stamps.com Offers Shipping Cost Refunds for eBay Guaranteed Delivery Door-to-Door Program

December 11th, 2017 Comments off

According to Deloitte, 54% of e-commerce buyers want to receive their products within 2 days of placing their order, while 89% expect to receive their product within 3-4 days of placing their order.  Customer expectations are changing, and online retailers need to deliver packages quickly in order to stay competitive.

 

eBay(R) launched the Guaranteed Delivery Program, allowing buyers to easily find products that are guaranteed to be delivered within 3 days or less.  With this eBay program, sellers have two Guaranteed Delivery options:

  • Door-to-door: With this option, sellers determine and guarantee their own delivery dates based on their ability to deliver to various regions and their carriers’ service level by region.
  • Handling time: With this option, eBay determines and guarantees the delivery date. Sellers must guarantee same-day or one-day handling and must print their labels on eBay Shipping.

Stamps.com Offers Refunds on Late USPS Deliveries
For eBay sellers who use the “Door-to-Door” option and print their labels on Stamps.com, we’re happy to announce that you will now receive refunds on shipping cost and return shipping labels if your orders are delivered late. This feature applies to all eBay Guaranteed Delivery “Door-to-Door” orders that are using one of the following shipping services:  Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail or First Class Package Service.

If an order that is part of the eBay Guaranteed Delivered “Door-to-Door” program is delivered late from the USPS, the seller will have the following options:

eBay Guaranteed Delivery (Door-to-Door) Options for Late Delivery on eBay Orders
Buyer Options: Seller Responsibility: Stamps.com Offers:
Return the item purchased 1) Refund item price
2) Refund shipping costs
3) Provide free return shipping label
1)  Stamps.com will provide credit for shipping costs

2) Stamps.com will provide credit for return shipping label cost

Keep the item purchased – shipping fee paid by buyer 1) Refund shipping costs 1) Stamps.com will provide credit for return shipping label cost
Keep the item purchased – product included free shipping 1) No action needed by seller (eBay will provide buyer with $5 voucher on next purchase) 1) No action by Stamps.com (eBay will provide buyer with $5 voucher on next purchase)

 

Requesting Refunds for eBay Guaranteed Delivery Program through Stamps.com
Stamps.com is offering the same guarantee that eBay provides for sellers who use the Guaranteed Delivery Door-to-Door option. When a guaranteed item doesn’t arrive in allocated delivery time communicated to the buyer, you can request a refund for postage paid through Stamps.com.

To request a refund, send an email to [email protected].  In the email, please include:

A) Your Stamps.com Username:
We use this to verify shipments and will apply refunds to your account balance.

B) Package Tracking Number (for product delivered late):
We use the package tracking number to verify that shipments meet our Guaranteed Delivery requirements using the following information:

  • Order Date
  • USPS Arrival Scan Date and Time (Must be scanned into the USPS before the end of the business day following the order date.)
  • USPS Delivery Scan Date and Time

C) Refund Requested (Shipping Cost and/or Return Shipping Label Cost):

  • Shipping Refund only:  Enter the amount eBay refunded to buyer.
  • Return of Item plus Shipping Costs:  Enter the shipping cost to the buyer as well as the cost for the return label.

D) Proof of Compensation:
Go to the eBay listing in question, print the details of eBay compensation to buyer as a PDF, and include it in the email.

Stamps.com will review the eBay Guaranteed Delivery refund request(s) and respond within 7 days.  Any refunds will be applied to your Stamps.com account balance.

Get more info on the eBay Guaranteed Delivery program.

Source: Deloitte – 2017 Holiday Survey: Retail in Transition

5 Tips for Easy Holiday Shipping

December 4th, 2013 Comments off

blog_5-holiday-shipping-tips-headline2Follow these simple tips to maxmize your shipping just in time for the holidays.

#1 Ship Products as Fast as Possible
During the holidays, expectations for delivery are high and tolerance for delays is low. Try to ship products out the same day the order was placed to keep customers happy! Maintain an accurate list of shipping carrier pickup times to ensure your shipments are mailed at the earliest possible opportunity.

#2 Pre-Pack Your Orders During Downtime
Survive the holidays by pre-packing orders during the calm before the storm. Fulfill orders for commonly shipped items and write package weights on the surface of boxes. This way, you’ll be ready for an unexpected rush.

#3 Keep a Healthy Inventory of Shipping Supplies
The last thing you want is a lot of holiday orders and nothing to package them with. Keep a good inventory of supplies and order enough necessities and free USPS packaging to last you throughout the holidays.

#4 Eliminate Trips to the Post Office
If you are shipping with Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express, save time by scheduling a free USPS Pickup online. There’s absolutely no additional charge for home or office pickups, no matter how many packages you have.

#5  Always Update Your Customers
Use Email Notifications for Package Tracking: When a purchase is made online, customers want to know that their packages are in transit. Make sure your shipping system can automatically send out a shipment notification email that includes a link to the tracking number. It will help eliminate Customer Support calls and make for happier customers.

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