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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:

USPS Rate Changes – DIM Weight Pricing

June 11th, 2019 Comments off

 

Beginning June 23rd, 2019 the USPS will enact rate changes that will affect Dimensional Weight Pricing for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and Parcel Select Ground. To ensure a smooth transition for your business be sure to review the upcoming changes listed below.

 

What Is Dimensional Weight?

Dimensional weight reflects package density, which is the amount of space a package occupies on a delivery truck in relation to its actual weight. Space is important for shipping carriers since they want to keep costs low by filling their delivery trucks with as many packages as possible.

 

Dimensional Weight can be calculated using the formula:

DIM Weight = (length x width x height)/DIM Divisor

 

Change #1: DIM Divisor Will Decrease

The DIM divisor will decrease from 194 to 166; this means packages greater than one cubic foot will have a higher billable weight. To illustrate this point, let’s look at a sample package with the dimensions 16” x 14” x 12” going to Zone 4 via Priority Mail:

 

Old DIM Divisor

Using the Dimensional Weight formula we can determine the package’s billable weight under the old Dim Divisor.

(16” x 14” x 12”)/194

(2688 cubic inches)/194 = 13.85 lbs.

 

The USPS Priority Mail Rate for this package would be $17.57

 

New DIM Divisor

Using the same formula, but with the new divisor, we see that billable weight is now higher.

(16” x 14” x 12”)/166

(2688 cubic inches)/166 = 16.19 lbs.

 

The USPS Priority Mail Rate for this package would be $20.35 ($2.78 increase)

 

Change #2: DIM Weight Pricing will be applied to New Zones

Currently, DIM Weight Pricing is only applied to zones 5-9 within select mail classes. Beginning June 23rd, 2019 the USPS will expand the list of zones in which DIM Weight Pricing is applied.

  • Priority Mail: DIM Weight Pricing will be expanded to include zones 1-4 for packages over 1 cubic foot. Currently, DIM Weight Pricing only applies to zones 5-9 for packages over 1 cubic foot*.
  • Priority Mail Express: DIM Weight Pricing will be applied to packages over 1 cubic foot for zones 1-9. Currently, DIM Weight Pricing is not applied to Priority Mail Express.
  • Parcel Select Ground: DIM Weight Pricing will be applied to packages over 1 cubic foot for zones 1-9. Currently, DIM Weight Pricing is not applied to Parcel Select Ground*.

*Prior to January 27, 2019, balloon pricing was used for Priority Mail (zones 1-4) and Parcel Select Ground (zones 1-9) packages under 20 lbs. if the combined length and girth measured more than 84 inches but 108 inches or less.

 

Stamps.com Makes Dimensional Weight Pricing Easy

Stamps.com software includes everything customers need to calculate current postage rates. For mail classes with Dimensional Weight Pricing all you need to do is weigh your mail piece, enter your package’s dimensions, enter your destination and Stamps.com will automatically calculate the required postage.

Categories: USPS News Tags:

Integration Spotlight: Shopify

May 31st, 2019 Comments off

Did you know that your Shopify store can easily connect to your Stamps.com account? Stamps.com makes it simple to import Shopify orders, print domestic and international shipping labels, and much more.

About Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that supports more than 100,000 online stores that sell over $4 billion in products in 100 different countries. With over 100+ professional themes and a full-featured Content Management system, creating the store of your dreams has never been easier. In addition to customization features, Shopify offers unlimited web hosting worldwide on an existing domain or a free myshopify.com podcast. Shopify doesn’t stop at website management—it also offers point of sale functionality along with full e-commerce reporting and order management.

 

How to Connect Your Shopify Store to Stamps.com

  1. Select the Orders Tab and click the Settings icon.
  2. In the Orders Setting Window select the Stores tab and click Add.
  3. The Stores Connect window will open. Select Shopify
  4. Enter your Shopify Domain, then Click Connect.
  5. Log in to Shopify and Visit the Shopify App Store
  6. Select Stamps.com and click Get

With the Stamps.com integration, Shopify customers can batch print shipping labels for all USPS mail classes, and automatically import orders. Once the USPS label is printed, the order status details such as the USPS tracking number, shipping date, and mail class are automatically posted to your Shopify account. Shopify customers also get access to additional Stamps.com features such as hidden postage, discounts on USPS postage rates and insurance and return shipping labels.

Categories: Software Plug-ins Tags:

Reusing Boxes – 5 Tips To Help You Stay Out of Trouble

May 21st, 2019 Comments off

Reusing boxes can make you feel good.  You’re saving the environment!  You’re reducing waste!   You’re saving money!  But are you making a mistake?  Well, that depends.

Cover Unfamiliar Markings

First of all, it is extremely important to cover all markings and symbols with which you’re not familiar.  When I first started selling on eBay, I sent a pair of shoes in a box marked “ORM-D.”  Packages bearing this mark contain hazardous materials. The package didn’t get far.  It was held hostage in a city 45 minutes away.  The Postal Service wanted me to pick it up.  I drove to the agreed upon location—an out-of-the-way USPS warehouse. I was shipping shoes, I tell you. Shoes! What a nightmare.

Hide or Remove Old Address Labels

In addition, be sure to cover or remove any old address labels.  As an eBay newbie, I had several boxes returned to me because the USPS only saw the original address label which showed the destination address as being my own!

Avoid Alcohol Containers

Sending items via the USPS in boxes that once contained alcohol can also be a problem.  I would avoid using them.  According to the USPS website, beer, wine, and liquor may not be sent through the mail. If you want to reuse a box for shipping that has alcoholic beverage labels on it, remove all logos and labels, so your package will pass through the mail system.

Check the Stability of the Box

If you plan to reuse a box, make sure it hasn’t lost its strength.  For example, a box that has endured the process of traveling across the United States is often not strong enough to protect the products you are shipping.  If you’re sending a stuffed animal, you might be OK.  But don’t expect Grandma’s dishes to arrive safely if you‘re shipping them in a box that has already seen the other side of the country.

Make a Good Impression

Finally, think about the impression you are making on your customer.  If you are planning to recycle boxes, reuse those boxes that are clean and professional looking.  I belong to quite a few eBay-related Facebook groups.  Every once in a while someone will post a picture of a box they received from an eBay seller that originally contained adult diapers. Not good!

Reusing boxes is a good idea, as long as you’re smart about it.  Stick to professional-looking, clean, sturdy boxes, and you’ll stay out of trouble.  Follow these tips, and your shipping journey will be smooth sailing!

Don’t forget – the USPS provides sellers free boxes for products being shipped via Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express.  And they’ll ship these free shipping supplies to your work or home for free.

 

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: Ecommerce Shipping Tags:

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive – May 11, 2019

May 8th, 2019 Comments off

On Saturday, May 11, USPS and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) are hosting the 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The USPS and NALC are asking communities across America to come together and tackle one of the nation’s biggest problems—hunger. This year the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive hopes to surpass last year’s total of 71.6 million pounds of food collected. Food donations are distributed to food banks, pantries, shelters, and those in need all across America.

 

How to Participate in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

To participate in the 27th Stamp Out Hunger food drive, residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox before regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 11. Letter carriers will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail and take them to their local food bank or pantry, including many affiliated with Feeding America. Please note that expired products or products in glass containers will not be accepted.

 

What to Donate

Most-wanted foods include:

  • Canned meats and fish (tuna, chicken)
  • Canned and boxed meals (macaroni and cheese, soup, chili)
  • Pasta
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Cooking oil
  • Canned or dried beans and peas (black, pinto, lentils)
  • Boxed cooking mixes
  • Fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed)
Categories: USPS News Tags:

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