Monday, September 29, 2008

The Future of eBay Stores

For those of you that have an eBay store, I believe it is time to start thinking about what you will do if eBay decides to eliminate the store format. They have done so already in Italy, and more recently in the UK, as reported today on AuctionBytes.

I am leaning toward the idea that this is coming to eBay in the US - we all know that eBay is all about making changes that benefit eBay, and getting rid of stores would do that in a couple of ways:

Higher Fees

As with most of their changes, the fees will probably work out to be higher for most sellers. Sorry if I sound like a pessimist, after the last 8 months I just can't help it.

Less Ability to Brand

Having a store on eBay allows you to establish your own brand, in essence it gives you your own URL where all of your eBay items can be seen, in a category structure and design format that you choose. You can also send newsletters, allowing you to keep in touch and continually re-establish your business as its own entity in the mind of your buyers who subscribe.

I think eBay is looking to limit the ability of individual sellers to make themselves stand out from the crowd - they want buyers to think "I got it on eBay" not "I got it from XX Business on eBay".

They also want to make it as difficult as possible for sellers to move their eBay buyers off site - they tried changing the outside links policy but had to retract it, and this looks like another option that they could try to achieve similar results.

As a seller who relies on their eBay store for a good chunk of income, I'm worried. I am already in the process of backing up my store items on the new Bonanzle selling platform... It has an importer for your eBay listings and feedback, it's free to list, the final value fees are reasonable, and it has a lot of fun features and an overall friendly vibe that I really like.

So we'll see what happens - I just thought it was important to put this possibility out there, so that hopefully at least us vintage sellers won't be caught off guard if/when this huge change comes!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pam from Retro Renovation - Monday @ 9pm EST on the AuctionWally Show

I am so excited for the show Monday night! The lovely and inspiring Pam from Retro Renovation is going to be our special guest - plus it is the first time that I will be doing an interview on the show! It's going to be a good one, especially if you are interested in vintage decorating and renovation and how to create a super successful blog... Pam is the go-to gal on all of those things and more!

We will be on live at 9pm EST, the chat room will be open, and I believe we are going to try to take calls during the last part of the show. And if you can't listen live, the show is archived shortly after it ends, so you can listen at any time!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Harry Rinker on AuctionBytes Podcast - The eBay Discussion Continues

The article by Harry Rinker that I linked to yesterday has really struck a chord with a lot of people in the antiques and collectibles community online:

This morning I discovered my post was mentioned by Gary Hendrickson from the excellent Auction Rebel blog. He is in agreement with Mr. Rinker - as most people seem to be.

This evening I got an AuctionBytes newsflash email linking to an article by Ina Steiner about the Rinker post, and the podcast interview she did with him earlier today. You've got to give Ina credit - she is always on top of her game!

If you sell on eBay, now is the time to really sit up and pay attention to this stuff. I personally don't think the vintage community is on eBay's radar - I don't see them making a single change that benefits us, and I certainly don't see them doing anything to encourge us to stay on their site...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Selling Paper Ephemera - AuctionWally Show Monday @ 9pm EST

Yes, you read that correctly - Walt and I are moving the live podcast to a new night and time - Mondays at 9pm EST. It is a time slot that fits our personal schedules better, plus we are hoping it fits all of yours too, so you can tune in to the show live!

This week's show is all about old paper ephemera - Walt is going to cover buying and selling for collectors, and I am going to talk about the ephemera market on Etsy, which is geared more toward artists and crafters.

I'm also excited to announce that next week's show - September 29th - our special guest will be the lovely Pam from Retro Renovation. She has an amazing blog, I can't wait to have her on the show!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Collectible Glassware - AuctionWally Show @ 2pm

Today is the show about collectible glassware! - Tune in at 2pm EST for a great show with lots of good information, and as always you can chat in the chat room or call in at 646-378-1561.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Flipping Vintage - Kitchen Glassware - Pt 3 - The Best of Intentions

So this is post three in the Flipping Vintage - Kitchen Glassware series of posts. The funny thing is that it won't say one damn thing about kitchen glassware.

Instead, it's more like an intermission post. Is that even a thing?

It is now!

The truth is, my intention was to have all my kitchen glass posts done before the radio show on Sunday.

The trouble is that this weekend I am taking my first out of town trip in like 3 years. Yes, I am actually taking a vacation... it's only 2 days, but it is much needed!

So... tune in to the show on Sunday, then check back here next week for the rest of the Kitchen Glass series. It will be here (eventually) , I promise!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flipping Vintage - Kitchen Glassware - Pt 2 - Pyrex

Yesterday I gave some good general info regarding buying kitchen glass to sell online. Today I want to jump right in and start discussing some brands and patterns that are fairly easy to find and that will sell - starting with everyone's favorite -

Pyrex

Pyrex glass is a true classic - a mainstay that has never lost its popularity since it was first introduced by Corning Glass Works in 1915. The PyrexWare website has a wonderful detailed history here if you are interested.

The site Pyrex Love is the leading comprehensive informational website for vintage Pyrex, I will link to them often throughout this post in case you want a more detailed look at any of the pieces and patterns I am talking about...

Pyrex pieces from the 1930's through the 1950's are in demand, especially complete refrigerator dish sets, mixing bowl sets, and casserole dish sets. Average selling price: $30-$100 per set depending on pattern/condition. The highest prices are reserved for sets in mint or near mint condition, especially sets that have their original box.

You can buy and sell individual pieces, but the selling price will be on the lower end - $8 to $15 each. One way around this is to hold onto individual pieces until you create a complete set - it may take some time, but it is a great way to maximize your investment!

Pyrex is marked on the bottom with the logo and also with size and series numbers. This is a handy way to know what you have, and what you are missing. Always list the size and series numbers in your listings, many buyers use them as search terms to zero in on the pieces they need for their collections.

Let's take a look at some of the most sought after patterns that have recently sold or are currently on eBay:

Primary Colors

Primary Colors is the iconic representation of vintage Pyrex - both the mixing bowl sets as well as the refrigerator dish sets are must-haves for any collector.

Nested Mixing Bowl Set - $79.99 - Still Available

Other Solid Colors

The two colors that are hot right now are Turquoise or Aqua Blue and Pink - this trend seems to apply to all vintage kitchen collectibles, as people are decorating their kitchens in classic retro style!

Turquoise Refrigerator Dish Set - sold for $125.82

Pink Mixing Bowl Set - $65.00 - Still Available

Gooseberry and Butterprint

Two patterns that were done in Pink and Turquoise are Gooseberry and Butterprint, and their current popularity I think is a reflection of the love for those two colors.

Pink Gooseberry Casserole Dish Set - Mint in Box - $135 - Still Available

Turquoise Butterprint Refrigerator Dish Set - sold for $36.99

Other patterns were done in Turquoise and Pink - don't count them out if they aren't Butterprint or Gooseberry, they will most likely be on someone's want list!

All The Rest - And There's A Lot!

The great thing about Pyrex is the wide variety of colors, patterns, styles and pieces that are available - it's a collector's dream, really! Unfortunately I don't have time to write a comprehensive overview here, so I covered the colors and patterns that seem to be in the most demand right now...

If Pyrex is something you want to collect, or something you would like to add to your inventory, head on over to the awesome Pyrex Love website - it's taken years of work and research to build, and the amount of information there is really second to none!

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Flipping Vintage - Kitchen Glassware - Pt 1

This coming Sunday on the AuctionWally show Walt & I are going to talk about vintage and antique Glassware. It is a huge area of collecting, with thousands of styles, brands, and patterns!

I tend to sell a lot of kitchen glass in my shops, it is one of those things that can be found and sold consistently, which is the type of inventory you have to include when you are trying to create a sustainable business. It has the advantage of being utilitarian - people can actually use it - as well as collectible - people fall in love with a particular pattern or brand, and want to collect everything that is available.

I will get into specific makers and patterns in my next post, but for now let's look at some of the factors that you have to consider when buying kitchen glass for resale:

Condition

Like most collectibles, condition is key. It is hard sometimes to walk away from a cool piece because it has a flaw. Unless you know that it is particularly rare, or you are getting it for free (or practically free) and think you can sell it despite its flaw, you should probably leave it behind.

One thing to keep in mind is that selling an item with flaws takes more work and carries more risk than selling an item in great condition - you need to take more photos, you have to describe the flaws in your listing, and because sometimes buyers don't read carefully, you might have to deal with an unhappy customer wanting a refund or return.

What to avoid: chips, cracks, stains, multiple large and/or dark scratches, fading, pieces that are missing lids or other parts

What to look for: pieces in their original box, pieces that look like they were rarely or never used (shiny, free of scratches and fading), sets that are complete or nearly complete

Rarity & Popularity

Just like most collectibles, rarity and popularity play a big role in the final price you can get for an item. This is where research and experience come into play - you will learn which patterns and styles are the most sought after, and which ones will languish on your shelves even if they are in mint condition.

Just remember this important rule -it may be old, but that doesn't automatically make it valuable!

Shipping

Another factor to consider when selling glassware is shipping. Sending breakables through the mail requires extra care when packaging, and you will have to factor in the extra expense of packing materials - boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, air pillows, etc.

On the plus side, if you package carefully and your item arrives safely, your buyer is more likely to be very happy and become a repeat customer, because they trust that you are honest and professional.

Here is good basic eBay Guide about shipping breakables.

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will get into specific brands and patterns to look for...

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, September 8, 2008

What's Hot From Member Shops

It's time for another installment of What's Hot From Member Shops! The Vintage List has had quite a few new shops join over the last couple of weeks, so I am excited to be able to post some of the amazing items that are up for sale!

From Haute Country Vintage - Vintage Monet Rhinestone Dragonfly Brooch

From Tacky Back In Time - Large Blooms On Black Fabric

From Vintage Goodness Too - Vintage Wooden Stacking Rings Toy

From VintageDay - Large Vintage Floral Lucite Compact

From Whimsical Vintage - Otagiri Scalloped Leaf Tea Set

From BlackStar Jewelry - Nautilus Earrings

From BeadRee - Love Potion Number Nine Necklace

From Vintage Goodness on Etsy - Set of 2 Vintage Cottage Floral Ceramic Vases

From Orange Cat Collectibles - Vintage 1920's Photo Booth Photos

From Lisa's RetroStyle - Purple and Blue Handmade Vintage Tablecloth Flea Market Bag

From Moxie Thrift - Vintage Hermes Rocket Typewriter

From Black Star Beads - Vintage Turquoise & White Partly Cloudy Beads

From C'est Chouette - Dove On Blue Pillow

Saturday, September 6, 2008

CEO of WorthPoint.com on the AuctionWally Show Sunday @ 2pm!

Hey everyone, another exciting radio show this week - Walt interviewed Will Seippel, the CEO of WorthPoint.com!

As you may have heard, WorthPoint recently announced that they are acquiring GoAntiques - I can't wait to hear what they have in the works!