Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Selling Vintage Typewriters on eBay

Today's post is by my friend and fellow seller, Lori McAulliffe, eBay ID – rocketcitysales.

After reading Suzanne’s post about others finding and selling old manual typewriters making a nice profit, my husband began looking for old typewriters out on his visits to Auctions, Thrift Stores and the like. Well I can finally report he stumbled across an old typewriter at a local thrift store this past Tuesday (July 13, 2010). The typewriter was marked $20 he talked them down to $15. This particular model came with the case and key to lock the case. The typewriter and case had been very well kept and clean for its age. Once he brought it home, I immediately began the process of researching Royal Quiet Deluxe Typewriters. What I discovered was very exciting.

Using Terapeak research, I discovered this model would sell for an average of $50 on eBay, plus I learned for the same model that came in colors (pink, red, blue and white) these can sell for upwards to $300 and more depending on the color. That made for great information to keep on file when out searching for other typewriter finds. Upon completing my research in Terapeak, I began formulating a Keyword title and description in TurboLister.

I soon discovered that this item is searched for by DeLuxe and De Luxe, so I was sure to include both spellings in my listing title. I also discovered that the word Manual was an important keyword to include. I would have thought the word vintage was a good keyword, but soon discovered this word did not improve searchability or increase views. The auction listing description I created included a self story as well as accurate information about the item and links to detailed information about buying typewriter ribbons and other manual typewriter sites. I also found an instruction manual for this typewriter posted on the web in a PDF file that I could print and include with my Typewriter since it did not come with the original manual. Here are links to some websites about Typewriters I located:


The Classic Typewriter Page

Your Royal Portable

Next step was taking detailed pictures to show off the condition of this typewriter, plus actually typing on a piece of paper and including this in a photo I found was key to showing buyers item worked and verifying clarity of the keystrokes. I took over 12 pictures of this item and since it was the middle of the week, decided to try to sell my item in a one day listing with starting price at $39.xx and a Buy It Now of $50.00.
I can testify that all this hard work paid off. In less than 12 hours our $15 find sold for $50.00 plus shipping. Here is the listing:

Thanks for this great information, Lori! Congratulations on your sale.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vintage Perfume Bottles

Today's post is provided by Amy Kagey, our resident vintage perfume bottle expert on the eBay Mom's Facebook Group. Amy keeps us informed and always shares her great finds with the group. Here is Amy's advice:

It is always a good idea to look for perfume and even empty perfume bottles at garage sales, thrift stores and estate sales for resale purposes. Many people collect vintage perfumes and others are simply looking for their favorite perfume that has been discontinued. Other times, buyers are searching Ebay for designer fragrances so they can get a lower price.

I will usually purchase perfumes that aren't completely full, also, if they are collectible or sought after.

I look for:

1. Current designer brands (Chanel, Burberry, Armani, Dolce & Gabanna....)

2. Discontinued fragrances (Almost any discontinued perfume has a disappointed fan somewhere. Some older Mary Kay does well in this category.)

3. Older perfume bottles are very collectible, even if they are empty. These tend to be bottles from higher-end fragrances. Look for heavy, well-made bottles, unusual designs or figural bottles and anything marked France. Some very collectible bottles were made by Lalique, Tiffany, Baccarat, and Steuben.

I'm often asked about Avon bottles. Avon made many hundreds of styles of bottles, most labeled as collectible. I have found that most don't bring much money on Ebay at all. The exception to this are the newer high-end fragrances that Avon has been producing recently and some fragrances that were discontinued.

I have found perfumes to resell at garage sales, estate sales (check the bathrooms and dresser tops), thrift stores, auctions, and overstock stores. There is a great market out there for collectors and just people searching for their discontinued favorites. I hope this article will help you in your Ebay travels!

Thanks so much for sharing this information with us, Amy! Visit Amy's blog at Collectibles Online Sales, and her eBay store called Collectibilities.

Are you knowledgeable about a particular eBay niche, collectible, or vintage item? Submit your guest post for consideration to me at ebaycoach @ yahoo. My readers and I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

eBay Bulk Editing to Improve in September

Did you receive the email last week regarding eBay's Fall Seller Update? One of the features is improved bulk editing. The lack of this feature has been one of the most aggravating parts of eBay - when a rule or policy changes, sellers must change all of their listings to be in compliance. If you have hundreds or thousands of listings, this task can take weeks. It is about to get easier!

The update states the following:

Edit more fields - which includes shipping.
Bulk edit many more fields on your listing - item description, listing categories, shipping details and options, payment options, product details and specifics.

Use "find and replace" to make bulk changes to listing descriptions. If you make a global change to your policies and want to change several listings, you will be able to do this in bulk.

Revise more listings. Send fixed price listings to auction in bulk using Selling Manager Pro. The new functionality will allow revision of 500 listings at once.

Click here to read about the changes to bulk editing and learn how to use this great new feature!

Also, be sure to visit and subscribe to my column on The Examiner where you will find a library of more information about selling on eBay.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cache Jacket - eBay Seller Success Story

Karla from the eBay Mom's Facebook Group send in her success story:

"I bought this jacket yesterday at a yard sale for $5.00 and sold it today after posting it last night for $125.00." Here is the listing.

Karla made $120 on that item in one day (before fees) and the listing only had 7 page views. But all it takes is 1 buyer! Great sale Karla, and thanks for sharing.

For more ideas on what to sell on eBay, visit these posts:

Thrift Store Items to Sell on eBay

Vintage Items to Sell on eBay

Discontinued Items to Sell on eBay

Monday, July 19, 2010

Drive Traffic to Your eBay Store Using Amazon Reviews

Did you know you can write book and product reviews on Amazon? Here is a neat way to interact with your target audience and promote your eBay store just by writing short reviews on Amazon.

1. Sign into Amazon as either a buyer or a seller. If you do not have a profile set up, you will need to create one. This allows you to review books and products.

2. Go to the YOUR ACCOUNT page that looks like this:

2. Scroll to the bottom where it says PERSONALIZATION and choose YOUR PUBLIC PROFILE:

3. Set up your profile and include a link to your eBay Store as your web page. Amazon allows this. Your profile information is on the left side of the page:

4. Review books and products that your potential customers will be looking at. For example, let's say you sell baby items on eBay. Go to Amazon and look up books about pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, or infant care that you have read, like this one:

5. Click on where it says REVIEWS and you will be taken to a page where you can write your own review. Keep it short, around 300 words. Your review will show up with the others and people checking out this product may hover their mouse over your name and they will see this:

6. Shoppers (your target customers) may click on your profile where they will see your link to your eBay store. (You can also use this technique to promote your website or blog. )

Does this sound like too much work? Some will think so, however, it is a simple internet marketing technique. Here are the benefits of this strategy:

1. Google will find you. If you name your Amazon profile with your business name (ex. Earth Friendly Baby Products), your Amazon profile will show up on Google. If someone Googles the book or product you reviewed, they may find you as a reviewer. If someone is on Amazon and lands on the book or product you reviewed, they may find you.

2. You are putting your link in front of potential customers who are shopping on the competitor's site.

3. This is free advertising. All that is required is your time.

The strategy here is like article marketing - the more content on the internet you have leading back to you, the better. The more reviews you write RELATED TO YOUR EBAY PRODUCTS the more hooks you have in the water and the more fish you will catch.

So, have you read any good books lately?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Legos and Minifigs are Hot Sellers on eBay

Today's post is provided by Lynn from the eBay Facebook Group.

Lego is a great item to sell on eBay. It’s one of the most popular toys and it’s been around for a long time so there are a lot of Lego bricks out there. Lego is expensive to buy new and there are many enthusiastic Lego collectors.

Always buy Lego when you see it at garage sales, rummage sales and thrift stores. Buy complete sets, opened boxes, mixed lots and Bionicles. Especially buy Lego Technics (the robotics components) because these are very expensive and sought after by enthusiasts. If you’re at garage sales and you spot teenage children around, ask them if they have any Lego they want to sell. A few times this has resulted in a teenage boy going into their house and returning with a large tote of legos. Also, check on Craiglist regularly to see if any Lego is posted for sale.

If you buy a Lego set and want to check if it’s complete, a great site is If you enter the item number, it will give the year of manufacture, a complete inventory of all the pieces in the set and sometimes assembly instructions which can be downloaded. If there are just a couple of pieces missing, you might want to think about replacing them. Used Lego sets generally sell for 70% - 90% of the original retail price (although some vintage sets can sell for 200% and up). The electrified train sets, pirates, castle, and Star Wars are especially sought after. If it’s a large set and you don’t want to spend the time doing an inventory, you can just stockpile the pieces to sell later.

Which brings me on to selling mixed bulk lots of Lego. Generally, I like to sell items that don’t require a lot of effort to list and re-sell, but large Lego lots are an exception. If you take the time and effort to pre-sort the lot, your return on investment is going to be many times more than it would have been otherwise. Here are the steps for listing a large lot of Lego:

1) Remove anything that isn’t Lego from the box.This can be easy if we’re talking about a few stray Lincoln logs and Playmobil people. It’s a lot trickier if the previous owner mixed their Mega Blocks in with the Lego. Just remember that almost all Lego pieces are marked “Lego” on them somewhere. If you do this, you can put “100% Lego” in your title. Other good key words are “bulk “ or “large lot”

2) Separate all the minifigure people, assemble them and photograph them separately. Identify the number and kind of minifig (Stars, Knight, Harry Potter etc.) in your eBay title as this helps buyers identify the kinds of blocks which are likely to be in the lot. A good eBay title might be “30+ lbs 100% LEGO Bulk Vintage Lot Star Wars 50 minifigs”. Note that not all of the minifigs would have to be Star Wars in this lot, just some of them.

3) For bulk lots, start the bidding at $9.99. This will guarantee that you get plenty of bidders. You can expect to get around $6 per pound plus $1 for each minifigure, although some minifigures are worth more ($2-$3 for Western, Space and Pirate, and $4 and up for Star Wars). A 30 lbs lot of Lego with 50 minifigures will sell for at least $230. I’ve sold bulk Lego lots for over $450.

Now, think about how many people are out there with valuable Lego items and need an eBay seller to turn that into cash. Consignment is a great way to add another income stream to your business. Make sure you are listed in my eBay Seller's Consignment Directory so people with Lego gold can find you to sell their items for a commission.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Free Shipping Supplies!

I LOVE getting anything free. I have figured out a way to get my poly mailers, bubble mailers, labels, tape, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and other shipping supplies FREE!

You may remember reading my posts about using Swagbucks rewards to buy gift cards to resell on eBay. Swagbucks is a site that offers rewards for using their search engine. You don't have to use it exclusively, but just use it a few times a day.

Then I realized that electronic gift cards are not allowed on eBay any more - so that strategy went out the window. Now I am using my Swagbucks points to buy Amazon gift cards, which I then redeem for shipping supplies on Amazon. When you order $25 of products that qualify for Super Saver Shipping, shipping is free. I ship a lot of items First Class domestic and international, so I need materials other than priority mail supplies I get free at the post office. Here is a screen shot of my rewards from January through May of this year:

You can see that I am earning about $150 a month in gift cards which pays for all of my shipping supplies (and a few extras for myself!). The key is that you have to use the search engine and refer others. You can earn up to 1,000 points per referral. Click here to sign up now and start earning points that you can redeem for whatever you like.

Related Articles:

How eBay Helped me Pull $62 Out of Thin Air

Get Free Starbucks Gift Cards

Monthly Swagbucks Report

Friday, July 9, 2010

How to Promote Your eBay Trading Assistant Business

The eBay Trading Assistant program provides templates for marketing materials including flyers, business cards, and even scripts for radio commercials. Sign into your TA account and look for the Tool Kit on the left side of the page.

Print off the business cards and keep plenty of them with you at all times. You never know when an opportunity will present itself for you to hand out a business card.

Always enter restaurant giveaways - those bowls they have at the register where you can drop in your business card. Try to get it in there facing out if it is a glass container. Passersby and restaurant employees will see your card.

Post flyers on bulletin boards in high traffic areas. (Always ask before posting a flyer on a bulletin board.) See if you can post them at your gym, church, dry cleaner, Laundromat, library, grocery store, break room at work, or clubhouse. Ask your friends to place them in their break rooms at work and their church.

Promote your business using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Partner with local businesses. Talk to owners of consignment stores, thrift stores, boutiques, or retail stores and ask them if they have someone selling their merchandise on eBay. You may be able to strike up a deal where you sell their merchandise for a commission.

Also check with your dry cleaner to see what they do with unclaimed items. You may be able to work out a deal where you sell the better unclaimed items for a commission.

Give plenty of cards to connectors and explain your TA business. Connectors are people who know lots of other people and are good networkers. Examples include realtors, teachers, public officials, volunteer workers, receptionists, bank tellers, little league coaches, etc. Think of people you know who come in contact with lots of other people every day, and may see an opportunity to connect you with someone who could use your service.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Starting a Website - Should You Sell on Your Own?

Many of my clients and readers ask if they should start their own website and sell beyond eBay. I want share my experience with you because I did not find the success I had hoped for when I started my own site.

People find safety, security, and a sense of protection in buying from eBay, Amazon,, Bonanzle, and other large sites because there are systems in place for recourse if the buyer is not satisfied or if there is a problem with the transaction. Starting your own website not only involves a great deal of time and work in establishing the site and moving up in the Google rankings to get traffic, but buyers simply are not comfortable buying from John Doe online who they do not know.

Last year I thought starting a website to sell American health and beauty products was a good idea – I promoted my website to my international customers (300+ a month and many repeat customers) and they continued to purchase the items from eBay. I asked my customers why they were not buying from my site. They stated that they were just more comfortable buying from a large site like eBay that offers buyer protection. Even if they had to pay a little bit more, they still bought from eBay. I had 3 sales within 6 months (and my products only cost $10-$20 each) so I shut down the site. Definitely a learning experience.

I understand the concern with paying eBay fees, but you will be spending money on your own website for domain name registration, hosting fees, web design, marketing, and spending a lot of valuable time on this venture. eBay fees may be the most cost effective and time efficient way to go.

You may not be able to sell anything on your own website, even after all the work. You may want to focus on optimizing your efforts on eBay and other sites along with affiliate marketing, writing articles, and blogging. eBay has millions of buyers congregated in one place ready to buy. You won’t find that with your own website. eBay fees are a small price to pay for access to millions of buyers.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Selling Athletic Apparel on eBay

Today's post is provided by Paula who lives in the Lake Tahoe area. Paula is always sharing her great finds and sales on the Facebook group, so she agreed to write up something special for my readers.

Living in a ski town has given me access to an abundance of athletic apparel and sports equipment. At garage sales and thrift stores in my town it is not uncommon to find name brand sports apparel at rock bottom prices. Thus my ebay niche was born. When I am in a thrift store I first head over to the T-shirt aisle. I go by feel, if it’s silky feeling then I stop and look at it to see what brand it is. If its cotton I don’t bother. This is where I find my cycling jerseys, base layer shirts and team jerseys. I do the same thing with the pants section, if it feels like nylon or silky I stop to look at it. In the sweatshirt aisle I only look at the fleece. These are the brands I buy:

The North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, REI, Pearl Izumi, Nike (Dri Fit), Spyder, Hot Chilly’s, Decente DNA, Mountain Hardwear, Under Armour, Maxit, Lowe Alpine, Sporthill. Those are the main ones that come to mind.If you see something that looks and feels like quality by all means look it up and see what the completed listings show. If I can’t find something on Ebay then I will go to the company’s website and see what the item is selling for brand new. This will give me an idea of what to price mine at. Almost all of my items are “Buy it Now”. I would rather wait for the right buyer to come along who knows what the item is worth than to sell it for next to nothing at auction.

I mentioned team jerseys. These do very well. Again buy the ones that have a silky feel. Any jersey from the Pro Football, Baseball , Basketball or Soccer teams do well. I recently sold a used soccer jersey to a guy in Brazil for $50. Any type of cycling apparel does well. Jerseys, shorts, wind vests have all done well for me in the past. Some brands to look for are, Biemme, Voler, Hind, Pearl Izumi, She Beest, REI, Performance, Aussie just to name a few. You can’t go wrong with Cycling apparel.

Water sports apparel is also a very good seller. I have sold many wetsuits and surf shirts also known as rash guards. I have sold wetsuits for little toddlers for about the same price as the adult sizes. I think the toddler sizes must be harder to come by. Here’s some brands to look for : O’Neil, Jobe, Body Glove, Rip Curl.

Don’t forget shoes and boots. Water sport sandals are great sellers. My top selling brands are Teva and Chaco. Hiking boots and Snow boots are very popular and high dollar items. Sorel snow boots, Kamik , Vasque, Lowa, Columbia are just a few that come to mind.

Lastly I do sell sports equipment. Don’t forget about hats! I have sold many ski hats at a very good profit. Look for the name brands I listed above. I have found wrestling ear pads, helmets , motocross and hockey pads and have done well. A couple of brands of helmets that get top dollar are Bieffe, Boeri, Pro Tec and Giro. Cross country ski boots are good sellers, but I don’t bother with downhill ski boots.

I am a skier, snowboarder and cyclist so this niche is FUN for me; I hope this information will help you find some great stuff!

You can visit Paula's eBay Store here.

If you would like to contribute a guest post, send me an email at ebaycoach @ with your idea.

14 Day Free Trial from Doba

Friday, July 2, 2010

Independence Day Giveaway - Statue of Liberty Barbie

In honor of Independence Day, I am holding a giveaway for the newest Collectible Barbie - Statue of Liberty Barbie. She is part of the Dolls Around the World Collection, featuring Barbie dolls dressed in native costumes. Statue of Liberty Barbie is part of a brand new line, Landmark Collection, which celebrates world renowned landmarks.

Statue of Liberty Barbie will be one for the collectors! She will only be available for a limited time at a retail price of $34.95. One winner will be chosen at random to receive this unique Barbie doll. Not a fan of Barbie? No problem! You can always sell her on eBay to a collector. Some collectible Barbies can sell for hundreds of dollars. Click here to view completed eBay listings for collectible Barbies.

To enter, just leave a comment below. (Please leave contact email in your comment so I can reach you if you win!) For extra entries (and a better chance of winning), do any of the following:

Post a link to this giveaway on:

Your own blog
Your Facebook page
A Facebook group’s wall
A group or forum
Your MySpace page
Bulk email your friends in your email address book

Be sure to leave a comment for each “extra” that you do. Good luck! The winner will be announced on Friday, July 9.

Mens Ferragamo Shoes - eBay Seller Success Story

Diana (one of my former clients) send in this success story:

Suzanne - I had to tell you about one of my sisters "big" sales. She called me last week and I was on the phone with another person and couldn't get off the phone with them. After the conversation ended, I called my sister back to see what she wanted. She said too late now for she had already left the Goodwill to go home. She said she found a pair of mens Ferragamo shoes for $3.99 but put them back because the soles were pretty worn. I looked them up on e-Bay and told her she should have gotten them. She then proceeded to take a u-turn and head back to the Goodwill to pick them up and sold them tonight for $79.99!!! Unbelievable. I told her I need to start getting a percentage of what she sells (HA!). What I wouldn't give to have that type of Goodwill near my house. It is in a high end part of town so therefore there are more high end items for sale there. Here is the listing:

Thrift store cost: $3.99
eBay sale price: $79.99
Profit before fees: $76

Wow! is about all I can say! If you have a success story to share, send it in to me at eBaycoach @

To learn more about thrift store finds to sell on eBay, check out my eBook: