Nightmare in eBay Town With Spooky Buyer

Antique art meets nightmare Buyer

We sold a dreamy framed print of Pharaoh’s Horses on eBay. My husband remembers seeing it on the wall in his grandparent’s parlor, and we were hoping to find someone who would treasure it, which we did … but first came a nightmare eBayer.

Packing with care Pharaoh's Horses with bubble wrap and customized foam cutout
Packing with care Pharaoh’s Horses

Hubby photographed the art for eBay and packed it for mailing: two of the five scary steps to selling on eBay:

  1. Photograph item,
  2. Write item description for listing,
  3. Package and weigh item for shipping,
  4. List item with proper information and photos,
  5. Ship sold item securely to Buyer.

Selling on eBay with fingers crossed

Even before my nightmare saga, we had misgivings concerning the pitfalls of selling online due to the drama of mailing fragile antiques.

The frame had a delicate gessoed border. The wood frame had a fragile veneer. And the rolled, antique glass was fragile. Hubby cut round foam spacers for the inset glass and customized the packing materials for travel into the great unknown, the postal system.

Pricing on eBay can be spooky

Continue reading Nightmare in eBay Town With Spooky Buyer

Selling on eBay Vs. Etsy – My Secret Life in PJs!

Steuben lamp globe
Gold, Steuben, Aurene lamp globe, sold on eBay to a happy customer in Florida

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.

celluloid tape measure in the shape of a cat
Vintage, celluloid, kitty-cat tape measure

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.

Would you like to know a few pros and cons between selling on Etsy and selling on eBay? Continue reading Selling on eBay Vs. Etsy – My Secret Life in PJs!

Selling Antiques Began at Barnes and Nobles

Bookstore and Antiques, Peas in a Pod

High antique neck sake bottle

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.

We were soon regaling each other with our antique collections. Not much later, we decided to buy his antiques to re-sell along with ours.

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.
Antique wooden gear mold

Kokeshi Dolls Mailed to Canada

Kokeshi lipstick and perfumer
Silver Kokeshi lipstick and perfumer

Silver Kokeshi Lipstick Dolls

Kokeshi dolls, another fun sale on eBay.

Selling a Kokeshi doll lipstick and perfumer brought back memories of our travels to Cabo San Lucas and of Canada, the mailing destination for this sale on eBay.

It’s a small world

Filling out the shipping label to Canada brought back some dubious memories of two Canadian tourists we met in Cabo San Lucas on vacation in 2008.
Darrell and I took an eco-tour with the promise of seeing fossils on the Baja Peninsula. The brochure  had in big letters, Wear hiking boots or other well structured footwear.

When the shuttle stopped to pick-up two Canada tourists who were joining the group tour, they were sporting slip-on, wedge sandals. The tour guide looked disapprovingly at their flimsy footwear as they boarded.

“It’s all the shoes we have,” they said.

So, we fossil hunters were limited on our exploration. We could only hike so high up the mountain before it became too dangerous for the ballet shoes the Canadians were wearing, forcing us to abort our search.

That happening left an altered view in my mind of Canada as a country without hiking shoes or tennis shoes.

Flash forward to 2010 Winter Olympics and Canada

I had another glimpse into the heart of the Canadian people as I sat in front of the TV watching the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. I would have hopped a plane to Canada if I could.

NBC showcased the beautiful country and lifestyle and took viewers on nightly tours of restaurants.

Then I was reminded of Canada’s hospitality after 911 and was ready to sing Oh Canada.

NBC’s Tom Brokaw reported on Gander, Newfoundland, and how they welcomed 7,000 passengers in 2001 when U.S. closed air space over New York following the attack on the Twin Towers.

Now, 9-years later, watching the report and reunions of U.S. citizens with the generous Canadians who welcomed them into their homes in a time of national distress endeared Canada and its people to me.

Kokeshi dolls for the makeup table
Kokeshi dolls for your purse, a lipstick and perfumer

A note regarding the Kokeshi dolls: They are Japanese in origin. The taller one is a lipstick tube and the shorter one a perfumer that holds a lasting, rich perfume scent.

The outer canisters have remarkable craftsmanship, making them mini sculptures of art from a country of artisans.

All tourists aboard – fossil hunting in Cabo

Darrell hunting fossils
Darrell wearing fossil hunting gear
Fossil hunting in Mexico
Our guides referred to their rig as a Mexican limousine
Guide testing a fossil for authenticity
Guide says fossil is real if it sticks to your tongue
Tourist Alvin tests fossil for authenticity
Alvin, an engineer and  tourist from California, found a fossil that stuck to his tongue
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Visit my Made in Japan page on Estate Trinkets & Treasures to see other objects of art, made in Japan.