Saturday, July 31, 2010

For every thing there is a season...

I always think of that line when someone dies or something changes dramatically. This blog, was originally intended to "relieve" pressure. We have so many weird things go on in our lives, and if you look back, you'd say to yourself "Holy Cow! It's just like a soap opera". And so we were going to write our own soap opera.

Instead we've moved ahead here, writing about our selling experiences and our specialities. We have shared some of our exasperation with the changes at THE BIG E and we've vented about some folks who weren't really "Top Rated Buyers" or sellers either for that matter. As we move into the second half of 2010, we hope to bring you with us on our journey, learning, improving and expanding our businesses and our blogging abilities.

And so, stay tuned because next week? We're having another sale and we'll have more featured stores, items, people and fun! And I'm sure we'll have more "soap opera" stories.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why All the Fuss about Facebook?

Recently a lot of the discussion on our group has centered around Facebook and is this just 'one more thing' we busy entreprenuers should add to our already overful plates.  Many have talked about how they 'hate' Facebook and others have chimed in about the dangers of their 'private' information being availalble online.

Others, myself included, have talked about how they enjoy Facebook. I, for one, have gotten back in touch with several friends I've known throughout the many moves our family has made during my husband's military career and I get to touch base with each of my adult children almost daily thanks to this marvelous website.

Now, let's talk business - THIS PAGE shows Facebook's official press released statistics. That is pretty impressive, eh?

Do you start to see the value here?   The link above will take you to the full-size version of this graphic.

Here is another site Check Facebook . Com with some impressive statistics.
More Facebook trivia - did you know that Australia serves legally binding court notices via Facebook? Or that Michael Jackson has the #1 most popular page on Facebook (followed by Homer Simpson at #2 and Facebook itself at #3)? Would you have guessed that women over 55 make up the site's fastest growing American demographic?


Facebook Demographics & User Statistics
View more presentations from Daniel Riveong.

So - NOW do you realize WHY your business NEEDS to be on Facebook?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bob's Neat Store Participates in the CHRISTMAS in JULY Sale


Of course he does - Bob's Neat Store  His discount is  10% at this time and you're likedly to find just about anything tucked away in there.   I first met Bob about 5 years ago but lost track of him for a while and then WALA he turned up in the chat room of a podcast I was doing and we're back to being friends. 

Bob has a long and varied history - he's been a lot of things.  The one I find most fascinating is "AUCTIONEER" (did I tell you I'm addicted to auctions?? NO?? Wow...but I am)... so I love the input that Bob can give from his real-world experience.  But sheesh...enough about that, you came to shop! Check out Bob's store..BOB's NEAT STORE













Check that children's set out here  10 Volume Set BOOKSHELF

Bob's sold in a multitude of categories  - last year he helped me with instructions on taking pictures of the coins my husband wanted me to sell and recently he's help folks research a couple of other categories so like I said you never know what you'll find in his emporium... look at this one - (I think the eBay Hound ate the picture on this one and several others but we'll give Bob a HEADSUP and I'm sure he'll fix that asap... but What is it???
Belkin Universal Auto Air??   Bob? can you come to my house and show my husband and son how to use it?? Please if I pay extra??

He also sells music nonfiction books  and STUFF - go see! What are you waiting for?? Bob's standing ready to wrap box and ship your items ASAP and remember...10% off til July 31st at the stroke of midnight..... If, (Unlikely but possible,) BOB doesn't have what you want, need, crave or desire... check out the other sellers below.... we live to serve you...ya know?  










Online Business Success (OBS) is a wonderful eBay sellers group. We are celebrating with a big Christmas in July event. The participating members, below, are having month long sales at our eBay stores. You will find great treasures on vintage and new items of all varieties. I hope you'll drop by and visit this month! The links below are clickable:


Birdhouse Books (15% storewide sale through July; 25% - 50% sales on vintage sewing patterns and music CDs)

KD More Crafts and More (10% sale)

Kats Kloset (5% sale)

Depression Glass Warehouse (10% sale)

This-N-That-Freeland-Enterprises (5% sale)

Treasures from Trish (25% sale)

Book Corner Cafe (15% sale)

FamilyNiteMovies (15% sale)

Udderly Good Stuff (5% sale)

My Moms Books (20% after July 10)

Bob's Neat Store (10%)

Udderlygoodstuff Celebrates "Christmas in July" with a Sale!

I have known Danni Udderlygoodstuff for about 5 years or so and I think she's one of the amazing people on eBay.  Danni sells antiques, lots more categories than I do and is very knowledgeable about them. She likes antiques so much she lived out a dream of mine, she apprenticed with a local auction house for 6 mos. 

She relocated recently several thousand miles from her original "hot spot" home and is now a "snowbird".  In the process she shed all her old stock and has lots of new stuff to list and she's put all of it on sale for a 5% discount. 

Here are some of her things I particularly like:
Fenton Melon Vase



and then there's this -
 (Danni, if my husband buys this, don't tell me.. it's a surprise)

Cat Wall Pocket

















And this?? HEY DEADHEADS!!







Beatles Scrapbook - 1964



Danni is adding stuff even as I type so you best just go and check it out... http://stores.ebay.com/Udderly-Good-STuff


When you're done there? Go here and check out the rest of us... No lines, no waiting and no having to walk to the car.
Online Business Success (OBS) is a wonderful eBay sellers group. We are celebrating with a big Christmas in July event. The participating members, below, are having month long sales at our eBay stores. You will find great treasures on vintage and new items of all varieties. I hope you'll drop by and visit this month! The links below are clickable:


Birdhouse Books (15% storewide sale through July; 25% - 50% sales on vintage sewing patterns and music CDs)

KD More Crafts and More (10% sale)

Kats Kloset (5% sale)

Depression Glass Warehouse (10% sale)

This-N-That-Freeland-Enterprises (5% sale)

Treasures from Trish (25% sale)

Book Corner Cafe (15% sale)

FamilyNiteMovies (15% sale)

Udderly Good Stuff (5% sale)

My Moms Books (20% after July 10)

Bob's Neat Store (10%)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Christmas In July at Bookcornercafe - Special Featured Store

I am here to tell you about a very special lady, a friend of mine named Deb and to tell you all about her store on eBay Book Corner Cafe n More

Deb is an extremely busy Lady. She has a landscaping business in PA which she and her husband Dennis run and she sells on eBay and Amazon and a few other online sites as well.

She is also a member of the online selling Group OnlineBusinessSuccess which was started by Beth of DepressionGlassWarehouse

Deb and about 48 other Ladies and a few men as well, are members of this terrific group .

Some of us got together and started a July Sale Special that we are calling "Christmas In July"

Deb`s store Book Corner Cafe n Morecarries a Variety of items from books to vintage racing items

Deb and Dennis are avid race fans and offer Nascar, Indy, CART, IRL, Dirt and Stock Car ">Racing items

Her store is offering a month long special 15% Discount!
But hurry in to see all the Specials because the Sale only lasts until July 31st

She also is a regular blogger and you can read all her posts here BookcornerCafe and at her website the REAL Bookcorner Cafe.

Many of the sellers offering specials this month have blogs right here and we have one as a group titled These Are The DSRs Of Our Lives

Stop in and shop at Deb`s store or any of the other stores featured here and hopefully you will become a regular reader of our blog.


DSRS Of Our Lives

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Night At The Movies for the Family

We're having a group-wide Christmas in July sale in my favorite yahoo group - each of us picked a % we'd offer as a discount and we marked down our store items on eBay.  So today I'l like to show you the VHS movies from my friend Bev...Her store Family Nite Movies has 1145 VHS tapes in 20+ categories.  So if you can't find it there? In all likelihood, it's out of print.

Here's an example - MY husband and son are BIG-TIME horror movie buffs - Look what she has in stock in this genre:

Scared enough?? Got little ones coming to stay with Grandma for the weekend??
Or just don't want the kiddies dealing with the DVD player?? Look what she has to entertain the younguns...

Family Nite also have very generous shipping - and she just got markdown manager so she could participate.  So go buy some movies.

Treasures from Trish's Christmas In July Special Sale

All Month long in July, some of the Group Members of the Online Selling Group that I belong to , (OBS) Onlinebusinesssuccess are running Sales "Christmas In July " in their ebay Stores and other selling Venues across the Web.

This Blog is dedicated to one of those sellers named Trish B.

Trish`s store is Treasures-from-Trish on ebay.

Her store carries items ranging from Back Issue Magazines to Vintage Glass and many items in between

Right now atTreasures from Trish you can purchase many items for 25% Off Original Prices.

Trish and her family are Located in a Mid Central town in Ohio .

I had the Pleasure of meeting Trish, her husband Vern and their 2 teenage children Matt and Sarah back in September of 2008 when my husband Donald and I took a "buying road trip" out to her house to purchase items from her "many storage areas" for us to sell in our Flea Market Booth and my ebay store  KDCrafts And More

Trish comes from a selling Family. Her parents ran Flea Market Booths in Ohio for many years.

Through the years her Mother and Father collected and accumulated literally " thousands and thousands " of items and everything possible from Toys to Glassware.

All these items are stored in Storage Areas on Trish`s property including 5, YES I said 5, Semi Trailors and many Metal Storage Barns and Sheds.

Most of these storage areas are filled to the Brim with Books, Glass Ware, Knick Knacks, Vintage Collectible Toys and much more.

Trish`s father always told her, "you will never have a shortage of items to sell" to make a Living.
And after seeing the rows and rows of shelves of items and piles and piles of boxes that haven`t even been unloaded yet, of items available for her to list and sell, I AGREE WITH HIM LOL

If you are looking for a Great Bargain on just about ANYTHING check out Trish`s store Treasures-from-Trish
Make sure you add her store to your Favorites list too, because she is ALWAYS adding new and interesting items to her store.

Remember there are only 140 + shopping days till Christmas and this is an excellent place to start..

Christmas In July Special Seller

Several of my OBS Friends are holding Special Sales for the Month of July Advertising " Christmas In July" and I would like to tell you about one amazing Lady who is part of this group.
Her name is Marion, and her store is This-N-That-Freeland-Enterprises.

Marion`s store is offering a 5% Discount for the remainder of the Month of July.

This-N-That-Freeland-Enterprises is just that.


A Store that offers many different items including Books, Household Items, Beaded Jewelry and even AVON Products..

One of the things that Amazes me most about Marion, is that she runs her ebay business DOUBLE Time..

Here is just one of the Items she has to offer :

http://cgi.ebay.com/Womens-Victoria-Harbour-Embellish-Bead-Pullover-Top-Lg-/150459213063?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_CSA_WC_Shirts_Tops&hash=item2308116507

Why I say this, is because Marion and her husband Doug ( a Retired Telephone Company Worker ) live mostly in New Jersey BUT they also have a Farm House with many acres of land in Northern PA. and travel back and forth between the houses several times a month.

When they do this, Marion has to bring her Laptop for listing, ( and she has to deal with VERY Slow Dial Up Connection there ) and any Inventory and supplies she will need for shipping while she is "at the Farm".

Then she`s bringing things back to NJ to the Main house and continues to work from there.

She has been running her " Double Time" ebay store like this for several years now, and doing quite well at it

http://cgi.ebay.com/Necklace-Beaded-Lariat-w-Feather-Accents-48-w-clasp-NEW-/150459221387?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230811858b

Truly an Amazing Lady to deal with " Bouncing" like this because I don`t think I could handle juggling 2 houses with inventory etc. and keep my Sanity for very long. LOL

Please Visit Marion`s Store and take advantage of the " Christmas In July" Specials she has.

Then add her store to your Favorite List on ebay so you can keep an eye on her Great Listings

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blogging Tips from my EBSQart Blogger of the Week Interview


Copyright 2010 by Maria Soto Robbins "Royal Poinciana"
Sold

I have received a lot of positive feedback about my blogging tips from my friends over at my online group, unique women in business.  Since I didn't previously post my complete interview from the ebsqart Blogger of the Week, I'd like to share that part of it below:


First Tip:
Blog as frequently as you can. For me it's at least three times a week, usually more. I do see the benefits of blogging frequently (via google analytics) but sometimes I don't have time to craft a complete post and instead will just post a description of one of my paintings from one of my venues (Etsy or ebay), along with a picture. This is still good for the seo however it is lazy approach and I don't recommend you over do it. The point is to get something out there rather than go for days and days without posting anything on your blog!

Second Tip:
I'd like to share, a simple list I glance at each time I blog. It consists of these basic, but important reminders (adapted from http://www.dailyblogtips.com/):

1. Did I read the post after writing it? (You'd be amazed how many times, I'm in a hurry and forget to do this-lol.)
2. Is the post as complete as it could be?
3. Did I research any related keywords?
4. Did I think carefully about the title?
5. Did I link to one or more of my older posts?
6. Did I link to external resources when appropriate?
7. Did I check to make sure my links are working?
8. Did I include an interesting image?
9. Is this a good day for traffic?
10. Did I proofread and check my spelling?

Third and Most Important Tip:
Besides these things though, the most important thing is to have a certain degree of passion about that which you blog about and have those feelings shine through to the reader. It's a lot about your reader (not you necessarily) and what he hopes to find in your blog. Remember, they're reading because you inspire them somehow!




Thomas graduation

July Christmas Shopping


Sitting on my deck strolling the isles of Depression Glass Warehouse
http://stores.ebay.com/Depression-Glass-WarehouseNow this is how to shop for Christmas, not freezing waiting in lines for early bird specials. There is a 10% off Sale going on right now. I'm grabbing deals so I can relax and enjoy Christmas in December. Ahhhhh Life is Good!
I'm starting in the Book Isle for the history Buff in my family-
1958 Blay Civil War Slipcased 2nd ed VG US History http://cgi.ebay.com/1958-Blay-Civil-War-Slipcased-2nd-ed-VG-US-History-/360273574188?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_Nonfiction_Book&hash=item53e1fa792c">

Off to the Depression Glass Isle for Mom of course
5 pc Pink Pebble Rim Depression Glass Dinnerware
http://cgi.ebay.com/5-pc-Pink-Pebble-Rim-Depression-Glass-Dinnerware-/230460058664?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35a87d6c28
In the Collectible Isle I found something for Dad to remember his childhood
Sm tin windup Motorcycle Racer w/ Sidecar Vehicle Toy
http://cgi.ebay.com/Sm-tin-windup-Motorcycle-Racer-w-Sidecar-Vehicle-Toy-/360195903561?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53dd595049 Vintage Photographs Isle I found a perfect one for my son
Vtg 1948 Baseball B&W Game Photo Cleveland Detroit
http://cgi.ebay.com/Vtg-1948-Baseball-B-W-Game-Photo-Cleveland-Detroit-/360246788501?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item53e061c195

I also found some wonderful Christmas Decoration for my house.
Small Cut Hand-Blown Art Glass Friendship Witch Ball
http://cgi.ebay.com/Small-Cut-Hand-Blown-Art-Glass-Friendship-Witch-Ball-/230484172134?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35a9ed5d66and

4 Vtg Handpainted Glass Oriental style light bulbs 120v
http://cgi.ebay.com/4-Vtg-Handpainted-Glass-Oriental-style-light-bulbs-120v-/230355789590?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35a2466716 That's it for today, I'll go back and shop tomorrow. This sale is going on all month, much better than a few hours of early bird deals in December!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Christmas in July at My Moms Books


Online Business Success is a wonderful, supportive group of eBay sellers.  This month, July 2010, a number of us have gotten together to organize Christmas in July sales.  These sales last the entire month of July -- and end at midnight July 31.

I would love to highly recommend a great store and wonderful seller to you today.  Suzanne has an online bookstore called My Moms Books.  She has stellar customer service, and a wonderful variety of books.  Her children's books, like this vintage Cozy Corner picture book edition of Cinderella, are especially nice.  I also love this lot of five Doctor Dolittle books.   (What a great price on that lot too!) 

She also has some great sewing patterns.  I was particularly taken with this NO SEW pattern for poncho for owner and dog.  So cute!

I also like many of Suzanne's craft books, like this great Lot of 5 Art of Sewing Time Life 1960's Shortcuts Decor books.

When you visit Suzanne's store, please take a moment to sign up for one (or more!) of her newsletters -- see top right of store page:  My Moms Books - newsletters in top right corner.

I hope you'll enjoy visiting all the Online Business Success sellers' stores for many great Christmas in July bargains!  The links below are clickable:

Birdhouse Books (15% storewide sale through July; 25% - 50% sales on vintage sewing patterns and music CDs)


Kats Kloset (5% sale)




Book Corner Cafe (15% sale)

FamilyNiteMovies (15% sale)


My Moms Books (20% after July 10)


More of CHRISTMAS IN JULY SALE!!


Online Business Success (OBS) is a wonderful eBay sellers group. We are celebrating with a big Christmas in July event. The participating members, below, are having month long sales at our eBay stores. You will find great treasures on vintage and new items of all varieties. I hope you'll drop by and visit all of them during the month! (Remember these great discounts end on July 31 exactly at the stroke of midnight so don't dawdle... LOL)

I want to tell you specifically about my friend Kathy of KDMORE CRAFTS
KD More Crafts and More (10% sale)

Kathy makes quilted lap throws and custom blankets for cribs and kids' beds.... I have known her for probably 4-5 years online... but then in January of 2008 I was having a knee replacement. And a couple of days before I got this package.... inside was the most adorable lap blanket...red black and white puppy dog pattern. For my new knee!!

Guess what?? I love that thing. I'm not wheel-chair bound thank heaven.. (I'm not even really old, just have crummy joints.. ) but I still use it...my living room is drafty and so all winter, while I watch my favorite TV shows on the big TV there, I have my blankie... just like a kid!
In fact, these days, I have to fight the husband and my two furburger cats for possession. They love it too. It's perfect for sitting around reading. (I'll put in a picture as soon as the cat wakes up and gets off the blanket. LOL)

I'm ordering two for my great nephews (sssssssssssh don't tell them their birthdays are coming up soon... ) as soon as her shoulder heals.. (she had rotator cuff surgery..so prayers for her to heal properly would be appreciated... send her well wishes here... )
KD More Crafts and More

Further back in the blog archives, Kathy had posted some info on how she makes these and also on some of the wonderful little girl fabrics she has
A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING
... but you need to order ahead cause during the real Christmas selling season she does craft shows and she's always sold out...and sewing like a mad woman... for the time being she's not sewing much because of that shoulder but watch out in a month or so...BTW she also got in her truck (well her hubby Donald and she...and just "dropped in" on me.  I'm in Pa, she's in CT.  NOT a 20 min drive...then, she and Donald decided to take a road trip and dropped in on our friend TrishTreasures from Trish (25% sale) who lives out past the Western Border of Penna... a WAY more than 20 min drive... so definitely if you want something adorable for the new neice or nephew or even a grade school size kid in your life.... see Kathy - email her thru her ebay store


The links below are clickable:


Birdhouse Books (15% storewide sale through July; 25% - 50% sales on vintage sewing patterns and music CDs)

KD More Crafts and More (10% sale)

Kats Kloset (5% sale)


This-N-That-Freeland-Enterprises (5% sale)

Treasures from Trish (25% sale)

Book Corner Cafe (15% sale)

FamilyNiteMovies (15% sale)

Udderly Good Stuff (5% sale)

My Moms Books (20% after July 10)


Have a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Christmas in July @ Depression Glass Warehouse

Our group Online Business Succehttp://stores.ebay.com/Depression-Glass-Warehousess is having a Christmas in July Sale. This was the idea of Trish from  Birdhouse Books and what a great idea. She decided to have a store wide Christmas in July sale in her Ebay Store and asked if we would like to join her. We decided to join in and we are all working hard to promote ourselves and each other with this sale. The list of our members that are doing this sale was posted in an earlier blog post. We are all doing a sale with some variations in the discount amount so stop by and check us all out for some great deals.

As our list mom, Beth Cherkowsky was the first to jump in and sign up her amazing eBay Store - Depression Glass Warehouse.


Now don't let the name of Beth's store fool you. Although she is the expert in all things depression glass, this woman entrepreneur is also becoming an expert at antique books, first editions, and sci-fi toys, just to mention a few areas!


You will find both auctions and Fixed Price items with Best Offer and Beth is happy to accept reasonable offers on all her items. She offers A+ customer service and quick shipping to all her customers so stop by today and check out her Christmas in July sale.

What makes a Blog good?


Yesterday I had the opportunity to submit some sample Blog articles to a company with the hopes that they would like my work well enough to consider giving me a Daily Blog on their website. Sounds simple enough, but I didn't have any samples pertaining to the subject matter that they wanted and...most of my Blog posts aren't really worthy of being considered as sample material for a query.





For me, the problem has been that I have always lacked a direction for my Blog and because of this I think my "voice" has suffered. This led me to the question - "What makes a Blog good?".
We already know that there are three "E"s that a Blog needs for it to succeed.
It must:
  • Educate
  • Entertain
  • Engage

There is more to that though. Good Blogs make us feel like we know the person. We want to know what happens to them next. Some people prefer to keep it "all business-all the time", but how many of those Blogs do YOU personally read on a daily basis? That is one thing that I like about this Blog that you are reading now. It has a mix of information, as well as a mix of writers. You may learn something one day (Educate), and be amused (Entertain) by something you read on here the next. If you like what you see and come back to read what's new (Engage), then it would appear that we have accomplished the objective of what makes a Blog good.

And...for today...at least....I hope...I have achieved this task!






Saturday, July 10, 2010

Something I Re-Learned Today - A Picture Speaks a 1000 Words

I have always been one to preach about taking good pictures in an auction (and now fixed price) listing. That being said I was reminded today just how important it can be.
We all know how critical not getting low DSRs are to our well being on EBay. I had sold some expensive pottery pieces recently, packed well, shipped and then never heard anything... until 2 weeks later.
I awoke to an email from the customer stating the lid on one piece had a discoloration on it and he wasn't happy. After my adrenaline rush subsided I went to look at my description and photos. It was then I realized first off my auction software had removed the photos from the listing already yikes! I went and reloaded them and looked and sure enough I had put in a closeup of the discoloration.
I wrote back to the customer first stating I was sorry they were not happy but that I had clearly pictured the lid in my listing and what would he like me to do to make this transaction satisfactory for him. I was surprised to get a response that yes it was their mistake for not noticing the picture and that I had done nothing wrong in my description.
I'm still always disappointed when a customer is unhappy with a transaction, and I was prepared to make this right however that may have turned out to be for this customer, but relieved they took responsibility and held no bad feelings to me as the seller since I had carefully photoed the item.
So the lessons here:
1. Make sure your photos are clear, thorough showing front, back, sides, top and bottom and especially ANY damage, discoloration or quirks of the item.
2. Make sure your photos remain on the listing until the item has been received and all is well (customer leaves feedback etc) or 90 days... after that they really can't come back on us if they then decided not to like the item.

Christmas In July Sale Featuring Birdhouse Books

Our group Online Business Success is having a Christmas in July Sale. This was the idea of Trish from  Birdhouse Books and what a great idea. She decided to have a store wide Christmas in July sale in her Ebay Store and asked if we would like to join her. We decided to join in and we are all working hard to promote ourselves and each other with this sale. The list of our members that are doing this sale was posted in an earlier blog post. We are all doing a sale with some variations in the discount amount so stop by and check us all out for some great deals.

Trish has a wonderful store filled with over 2000 items and what a great selection. You can find many vintage items such as children's books, cards, sewing patterns and all types of ephemera. She has many unique and one of a kind items that would make for some great Christmas gifts and when you think about it Christmas will be here before you know it.

You will find both auctions and Fixed Price items with Best Offer and she is happy to accept reasonable offers on all her items. She offers A+ customer service and quick shipping to all her customers so stop by today and check out her Christmas in July sale.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How to Accept Credit Cards at Your Next Garage Sale

How to accept credit cards at your next garage sale

By Cynthia Drake

Published: July 01, 2010

Garage sales have always been relatively low-tech affairs -- hand-labeled price stickers and an old cash box full of dollar bills are the usual tools of the trade. But if you want to sell a higher-priced item, such as a flat-screen TV or that barely used elliptical machine, the old-fashioned way might not be good enough anymore.

That's where credit cards come in. Because people tend to carry around more plastic than cash these days, it's worthwhile for garage sale proprietors to consider their options for taking credit cards. If you don't, you're limiting your audience to those who carry around a wad of cash, or perhaps risking getting ripped off by a bouncing personal check.



Here are a few ways you can accept credit cards at your next sale this summer, and take your garage, yard or moving sale into the 21st century.



Online payment services: quick and easy

If you've got a laptop and an Internet connection, you're set up to offer credit card payments through websites such as PayPal, ProPay and Google.



Consider creating a free website using Weebly or Google to make your checkout process look professional and reliable. You can incorporate a shopping cart into your website using code from the online pay service.



The advantages of using online payment services are the ease of setup and use. Many of your garage sale patrons will already be familiar with sites like PayPal and may have accounts already set up. If not, they will still be able to use any major credit card on these sites. Most of these sites also allow you to e-mail a receipt to your buyers.



Of course, there's a cost that comes with using these services. Each site comes with its own fee system.



PayPal and Google base their rates on your sales volume. As an average garage sale proprietor takes in less than $3,000, your charge on either site would be 2.9 percent plus 30 cents for every transaction ($3.20 on a $100 sale).



ProPay charges an annual fee to use their service plus 3.5 percent plus 35 cents for every transaction ($3.85 on a $100 sale). The company also offers a card reader for sale for swiping cards -- perhaps more useful for a flea marketer or someone with a regular side business.



Because the fees can add up, you might consider only offering a credit card payment option to your high-ticket item buyers.



The latest payment tech: Square

The latest technology available for credit card processing comes from Twitter creator Jack Dorsey. Square is a payment device that will allow you to turn your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a credit card reader.



Download the free Square application for your device, set up an account and order your free card reader, which plugs into your audio input jack. The app allows your iPhone to process buyer signatures and verify your customers' identities through photos. Plus you'll have ability to e-mail receipts to your customers.



Square's fees are competitive with other online pay sites, at 2.75 percent plus 15 cents per transaction using the card swipe or $2.90 per $100. (The service costs slightly more to key in rather than swipe credit card information.) There are no additional fees for the service or equipment.



One potential downside is that you might encounter some skepticism among your buyers when swiping their card information into your iPhone or other device. Especially since the concept of mobile payments is so new, people might shy away from handing over their cards.



How to head off security concerns

Your buyers may be understandably wary of sharing their credit card information, especially at an informal setting such as a garage sale. Though any credit card transaction carries a certain level of risk, dishonest merchants can use key tracking to cache credit card information -- and there's no foolproof way for buyers to establish that their information is safe.



In the event that they don't feel comfortable using your computer or iPhone to send you money, you can offer them the option of using their own. Many people carry their own smart phones and can send you money via PayPal or similar sites on the spot. Or they may wish to go home and send you the money from their own computer before picking up their purchase.



No matter which method you choose, the important part is to offer your garage sale patrons several payment options -- the easier you make it for them to pay you, the more luck you'll have in selling your unwanted stuff.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Hot Summer Day

We are in the hot days of summer here that is for sure. I have a landscaping business and so I work outside every day no matter what the weather is. My day starts as any other by doing a few house things and then heading out for some mowing well not a lot just making places look neat. This time of year and this hot weather means lots of brown grass and weeds sticking up that need to be trimmed. I never mind doing this since work really slows this time of year and it keeps me working. There are a few customers that water their lawns and those I love.

I always start my day drinking water and as much as I can before I even leave. The cooler is filled with water and 2 ice teas since I love ice tea but try not to drink to much of it on days like this. I stopped for gas at our local WaWa and love the comments I get such as I can't believe you are working in this heat. Hello I do this for a living and really don't have a choice if I want to make some money. I of course don't say that but I think it. I tend to answer things like yes I have been doing this a long time and really don't mind the heat. Which believe it or not is usually true.

The funny thing is when it is a nice cool spring day about 70 and beautiful out I get lots of comments like oh you are so lucky you work outside. I always have to laugh to myself on those days knowing what is often ahead once summer gets here.

I know this is probably hard to believe but we don't have air conditioning in our house. I know many people think we are nuts but I learned a lot time ago that it is a lot easier to deal with the heat when you don't go back and forth in air conditioning. I use fans and lots of little tricks I have learned over the years. That doesn't mean that we don't own an air conditioner we just haven't put it in the window yet.

I know many people say they couldn't live without air conditioning but you would be amazed. I don't mean older people or people with illnesses that need it I mean young healthy people. The best thing of all is when I see my electric bill for the month and it is only $55.00 I am very happy.

About lunch time I heard on the radio it was official we hit 100 and broke the record of 98. I really am not sure how different 98 feels then 100 or even 90 really. Once you work outside hot is just hot and you learn to deal with it.

So since I spent the day out in this heat I thought I would write about it. I will be getting up tomorrow and doing the same thing and it looks like the end of the week it may start to cool down. The weather man's idea of cooling down is near 90 so we shall see. For many that work outside in any profession we just look at the weather as part of the job and dress and deal with it accordingly.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Christmas in July on eBay with your Online Business Success OBS Friends

Online Business Success (OBS) is a wonderful eBay sellers group. We are celebrating with a big Christmas in July event. The participating members, below, are having month long sales at our eBay stores. You will find great treasures on vintage and new items of all varieties. I hope you'll drop by and visit this month! The links below are clickable:


Birdhouse Books (15% storewide sale through July; 25% - 50% sales on vintage sewing patterns and music CDs)

KD More Crafts and More (10% sale)

Kats Kloset (5% sale)

Depression Glass Warehouse (10% sale)

This-N-That-Freeland-Enterprises (5% sale)

Treasures from Trish (25% sale)

Book Corner Cafe (15% sale)

FamilyNiteMovies (15% sale)

Udderly Good Stuff (5% sale)

My Moms Books (20% after July 10)

Bob's Neat Store (10%)