After writing about a nightmare experience selling online on eBay, I want to follow-up with a few stories of angelic Buyers who gave me the benefit-of-the-doubt.
Nothing is straight forward when selling and shipping antiques online.
My workflow: I research the item in our library and on the Internet. I place a value on the item and write an ad for eBay or Etsy. I take phone photos and hubby takes studio photos if needed. When the item sells, he packs & mails. We work for perfection — but to error is human.
And when we make an error, things can go north or south.
EBayer purchases one frog gig – we mailed six
Inadvertently, we had mailed every gig in our toolbox. The Buyer calls after he opened the package to find the gig he ordered plus five more.
In good spirits, he wraps and returns the extra gigs. We paid the return postage and said, Thanks – you are an angel!
Really, had the Buyer not alerted us to this packing error and mailed back the extra five gigs, we could have spent months wondering, “What happened to all of our frog gigs?”
We sold a pitchfork online to Australia. The Buyer did not pay immediately, and I was beginning to wonder when I would receive payment. The following week, I opened the mailbox to find a hand-addressed envelope filled with bills and coins. The Buyer had mailed cash from Australia for his purchase. Lovely trust between Buyer and Seller – and the postal system. Continue reading Angelic Buyers When Sales Go Awry on eBay
First came Estate Trinkets & Treasures –next came Swim Yellow Duck!
Estate Trinkets & Treasures dot com
Estates is an online reference guide for antiques and collectibles. The website came about because we wanted to post our research and photos of antiques. After years of selling online, we had a boatload of photos and a ton of sticky notes, all about the thingamabobs we were selling.
Darrell came up with the snappy name for the website, Estate Trinkets And Treasures, thinking it was descriptive. Although, we cannot boast about the name name being memorable or easy to type in a search bar.
Swim Yellow Duck dot com
To sell antiques online, I needed a User ID. I decided on SwimYellowDuck after many failed attempts to create a unique ID on eBay with its multi-million buyers and sellers.
It followed that after being SwimYellowDuck online for years, I wanted to connect with collectors I had met, which sponsored a new website, SwimYellowDuck.com.
Further, I fell in love with the art of the antiques and the hand-painting that embellished china and porcelain, the gloss and matte glazes on pottery, the art of blown and molded glass and especially, antique dolls.
I sell antiques and baubles on eBay and Etsy because I have a lot of stuff and it’s a world-wide market, a marketplace a million times greater than the one where I live in Arkansas.
On Etsy, I have two Shops. I sell antiques and vintage at Pazazz and fledgling art projects at SwimYellowDuck.
On eBay, I’ve sold everything under the sun since 2007. My user name is swimyellowduck, and I became a Power Seller on eBay, grossing over $69,000 in a seven-year period. My husband and I have sold so many antiques and collectibles that I filled a website (estatetrinketsandtreasures.com) with my research and photos to help other sellers research their antiques.
Currently, I am a Power-Seller has-been. In order to be an eBay Bronze Power Seller, you must sell 100 items with revenues of $3,000 in a 12-month period, and I am at the midway point with 42 items and $1,800 in sales, having taken a selling hiatus this past year.
One of our favorite pit stops is Barnes & Nobles and the Starbucks coffee bar at Barnes and Noble (Springfield, Mo). On one such memorable outing, I was sitting with my husband, pouring over a pile of antique books with a vanilla latte in hand (and an oatmeal cookie) when a man asked if I liked antiques.
He had inherited antiques from his mother’s antique store, as well as Asian imports he had collected personally. At first thought, he planned to open a shop himself; on second thought, he decided against it. It was at that fateful time we bumped into each other at B&N.
His collection of antiques included family pieces from New York, Asian pieces he had bought as an importer, and his mother’s shop inventory. He kept his favorite pieces, but everything else was for sale.
He delivered the inventory the following week, and gave us wholesale prices on each item. When we tallied the items, the sale total was $3,000. He was delighted when we wrote the check but we were rather dismayed, wondering what we had done.
Selling a truck load of antiques
Since we had shelled out $3,000, we were anxious to make money. So we jumped into action, taking photographs, researching items, and firing up eBay.
Fortunately for us, this young man was generous of heart and wished us well. The next time we bumped into each other at B&N, he gave us two mini loads of vintage farm tools and other eclectic items, free of charge.
From those two trunk loads of free tools, we sold pitchforks and bicycle seats and horse shoes and goat bells – all over the world – which turned out to be fun and profitable.
Selling antiques brings new friends
We have learned much about the world around us and artisans from the past as we researched the incredible items our new friend sold us that day. And we always look forward to seeing him again on our trips to Barnes & Noble because the conversations are always good.
I tell you all this because an ingredient to the intrigue of selling antiques is the people you meet. It’s paramount to have a good inventory. Then, when you pair up a great item with a customer, sales takes on a rewarding dimension.
From our library and sold on eBay, The Stories from Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris: six classic “Uncle Remus” tales that spell adventure:
–Why Mr. Possum Has No Hair on His Tail
–Mr. Rabbit Meets His Match
–The Wonderful Tar-Baby
–Mr. Wolf Makes a Failure
–Mr. Fox Tackles Old Man Tarrypin –Old Mr. Rabbit, He’s a Good Fisherman.
It was one of those things we inherited, and inasmuch as I love books and story telling, I only glimpsed the book before selling it for $29 on eBay.
I was glad to hear from the buyer she bought Uncle Remus to read to her grandchildren, a perfect ending to any good book.
Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Tar-Baby
Here’s how the classic story goes …
Brer Fox was always trying to catch Brer Rabbit; but Brer Rabbit was mighty pert and spry, and he never let Brer Fox catch him. So Brer Fox pretended to be friendly, and asked Brer Rabbit to come to dinner with him. But Brer Rabbit did not come; he knew what was going to be eaten at that dinner. Brer Fox then thought of something else. He went to work and got some tar and some turpentine, and fixed up a thing he called a Tar-Baby. He set up this Tar-Baby by the road near Brer Rabbit’s house, and laid low beneath the bramble-bushes nearby to watch what would happen.
By and by Brer Rabbit came prancing along, lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity, as saucy as a jay-bird. When he saw Tar-Baby he sat up on his legs in astonishment.
“Good-morning,” says Brer Rabbit, very politely and nicely. “Fine weather this morning,” says he.
Tar-Baby said nothing, and Brer Fox he laid low.
“Are you deaf?” said Brer Rabbit. “I can shout if you are.”
And he shouted. But Tar-Baby kept on saying nothing; and Brer Fox he winked his eye slowly, and laid low.
At last Brer Rabbit raised his fist and hit Tar-Baby on the side of her head. And there his fist stuck in the tar, and he couldn’t pull it away.
“Let me go, or I’ll strike you again!” says Brer Rabbit. And he hit out with his other hand, and that stuck on Tar-Baby.
Brer Rabbit kicked out angrily with his feet and they got stuck on Tar-Baby. Then he butted her with his head, and his head also got fixed.
“Howdydo?” says Brer Fox, coming out of the bushes, and looking as innocent as a dicky-bird. “You seem rather stuck up, Brer Rabbit, this morning.”
And then Brer Fox rolled about the ground and laughed.
“I expect you’ll come to dinner with me now, Brer Rabbit,” says he. “We’re going to have some nice roast rabbit. You won’t play any more tricks on me. You’re too saucy by far.
“Who asked you to strike up an acquaintance with this Tar-Baby? Now you’re going to have a warm time, as soon as I can get some firewood together.”
Then Brer Rabbit began to talk mighty humble.
“I don’t care what you do with me, Brer Fox,” says he, “so long as you don’t’ fling me on those prickly bramble-bushes.”
“It’s too much trouble to light a fire, says Brer Fox. I’ll have to hang you.”
“Hang me, or drown me?” says Brer Rabbit. “I don’t mind. But for pity’s sake don’t fling me on those prickly bramble-bushes.”
But Brer Fox wanted to hurt Brer Rabbit as much as he could, so he took him by the hind legs and pulled him off Tar-Baby, and flung him right into the middle of the prickly bramble-bushes. There was a considerable flutter where Brer Rabbit struck the bushes, and Brer Fox wanted to see what was going to happen. By and by he heard someone calling up the hill, and there he saw Brer Rabbit sitting on a log, combing the tar out of his hair with a chip of wood.
“I was bred and born in a briar bush, Brer Fox—bred and born in it — says Brer Rabbit, with a laugh. And with that he skipped off home as lively as a cricket.
SOURCE: The Human Interest Library, The National Home and School Association, The Midland Press, Chicago, 1922; pp. 346-347