Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Collecting and Selling Vintage Sewing Patterns

Vintage sewing patterns help bring history to life. They allow previous fashions to be worn again, giving the wearer something unique and normally well designed. They’re also popular collector’s items because they represent a piece of history. Vintage sewing patterns can even be used as art - the envelopes look beautiful framed.

Paper patterns came into existence in the 1860s. Patterns were available in fashion magazines and by mail. Butterick also began to make tissue patterns around this time period. These patterns are difficult to find.

Collectors prefer patterns that are in very good condition - unused and with factory folds. Some wear is normal, such as fading or yellowing. A lot of collectors focus on certain pattern categories - such as 40s dresses or accessory patterns.

If you’re purchasing a pattern online, make sure all the pieces are included and find out if the pattern has been cut. Be sure you know exactly what you’re buying.

How rare a pattern is determines most of its selling price, but the popularity of the fashion in today’s styles also plays a role. For example, bias cut evening gown patterns have been popular recently. The majority of them sell for $25-$100, but some can be worth as much as $400.

Thrift stores are one of the best places to find vintage sewing pattern. Prices usually run from .25 to $1. You can also find patterns at estate auctions. Prices will depend on the amount of interest from other buyers.

If you’re looking for a hard to find pattern, online auctions are a great resource. There are also entire online stores dedicated to vintage sewing patterns.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Amazon Kindle Will Not Make Printed Books Obsolete

I've been getting a lot of questions about my free report, 90 Days to $400 Profit a Week on Amazon. There is some concern that going into the book business is not a good idea with the invention of electronic book readers like the Kindle. This is an area of heated debate out in the blogosphere.

The Kindle and electronic readers are amazing gadgets, and this article certainly isn’t Kindle-bashing. But, as amazing as the Kindle is, it will never completely replace printed books. Much of the speculation of the demise of the book industry stems from the comparison of what MP3 and digital music did to the music industry, which is completely different than the book and print industry. Think about it this way – did instant coffee put an end to regular coffee? Absolutely not!

Ultimately the Kindle is a gadget - and all gadgets are eventually replaced with something new. Although manufacturers and a lot of buyers may believe that people will automatically prefer an electronic way to read, that’s not true. Computers are great for a lot of things, but reading isn’t always one of them.

Reading a book is about more than just the words and story - it is a tactile experience for many people. Feeling the book in your hands (and the textures and smells that go along with that) is an important part of the reading experience. The majority of people are ready for a break from their computer and cell phone by the time the work day ends. Reading allows an escape from technology and allows you to appreciate it more when you come back to it.

Printed books are more versatile - you can lend a book to a friend, make notes in it, underline your favorite passages, and fold down pages. It’s easy to take with you anywhere, and once you’ve finished with it can be sold or passed on to someone else. Books can be traded between people or donated to libraries for others to read.

A lot of readers enjoy saving books and developing a physical library of books that they’ve loved for years. Books can represent periods of time in our lives and remind us of strong emotions. Don’t you still have books in your collection that you read in high school?

Not all books are easily compatible with a Kindle. Art books, children’s books, coffee table books, repair manuals, sheet music, and cookbooks are not going to translate easily to a Kindle. Books can also be seen as art. They fill up shelves, provide visual stimuli, and texture to home and office d├ęcor. Books can be the focal point of a room.

You also run the risk of losing your entire library if you lose your Kindle. (The price of a Kindle ready book is sometimes more than a brand new paperback.) Books are more forgiving - if one falls into the pool or gets left in a hotel room you don’t lose nearly as much.

I am still seeing success with my Amazon business. I purchase about 50 books a week for resale and am selling about that many each week.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Florence Ceramics Figurines

Today's post is contributed by Amy Kagey who is a regular contributor on the eBay Seller's Facebook group. Amy is always finding the most amazing stuff!

The Florence Ceramics Company made beautiful collectible figurines that can still be found at garage sales and estate sales. It was founded by Florence Ward in Pasadena, Ca. in 1939 and it continued into the '60's. Florence began creating the figurines at home as a hobby to help herself cope with the loss of her son. She displayed them in her garage and soon began getting orders from high-end department stores and jewelry stores. She moved her business then into a large factory.

Florence Ceramics figurines are primarily Victorian ladies and gentlemen, as well as some children and famous historical figures. Some identifying features of Florence figurines are merry, usually brown eyes with brown painted lashes, gold trim and extended arms with articulated fingers. Many of her figurines are decorated with lots of lace that was dipped in slip and fired. The intricate details of the fingers and lace leave these collectibles very prone to damage. Almost all of these figurines have their names hand-written in cursive on the bottoms and most have a Florence Ceramics circle-shaped stamp.

In the 1960s the Lefton Company copied many of Florence Ward's designs and used overseas workers to reproduce them. They were then sold more cheaply in the US. Florence Ceramics won several copyright infringement battles against Lefton but the Lefton Company simply modified their figures and continued to sell them. These cheaper-made imitations were the downfall of the Florence Ceramics Company.

Some Florence figurines are:

Scarlett, Melanie and Rhett from Gone with the Wind
Napoleon and Josephine
a VERY collectible series of mermaids

I always buy Florence figurines when I see them, even if damaged and have started a small collection of my own. Florence figurines will still sell on Ebay even if damaged and some people buy them and repair them. They are very lovely examples of California pottery with great attention to detail. You can visit Amy's eBay store here.

Know when to sell on eBay

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Discontinued Item to Sell on eBay - Neutrogena After Sun Lotion

This item was discontinued about 2 years ago. It is hard to find locally. It is out of stock on Amazon also, but some sellers have reported finding it at closeout centers for $5 - $8 a tube. Here is a listing for 2 tubes that sold for $45 on September 9:

Want to find out how to learn about discontinued products, how to find them and make money selling them on eBay? I can help you learn. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

FREE Wholesale Sources for eBay Inventory

Finding wholesale sources for eBay, Amazon, and online inventory is not as hard as you might think. You don't have to buy lists or pay memberships to wholesaler sites. Here are a few ways to uncover sources for eBay inventory from wholesalers.

Exhaust your personal network. Do you know someone with connections? Maybe someone who owns their own business and has to order from wholesalers? Even if you think the product line won't transfer (such as a restaurant owner), investigate it anyway. You never know what connections someone else has that can help you. If you don't ask, you don't get.

Look locally. Could you possibly find this product locally through a wholesaler in your city? Check your local yellow pages – you may hit on something you didn’t even know existed. Remember, not everyone has access to the same things you do. You may be able to walk into a wholesale warehouse and shop there in person. The only way you will know is to investigate this option. (Example - I passed a billboard in Atlanta one day for a lingerie wholesaler. I went to their location and was able to deal with someone face to face, buy the quantity I wanted, and test small amounts of different kinds of inventory in a very low risk situation.)

Place ads on Craigslist. Ask for what you seek. People scour CL ads every day looking for things they may have that others will pay for. Place ads in your own city and surrounding cities. Word your ad like this:

“Cash paid for vintage rotary phones (or whatever you seek). Quality and condition of item determine the price we will pay. Email us a photo and description of your item for a quote.”

Google the product name followed by the word supplier, wholesale, wholesaler, or manufacturer. Use synonyms in your search. Stick with domestic companies at first – working with overseas suppliers is complicated and you can lose money and be scammed easily.

Click here for a list of 395 eBay friendly wholesalers along with 5 important facts for choosing profitable wholesale products to sell on eBay.

The eBay Wholesale Buying System