Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How Old Is That Postcard?

Leo wrote the guide for eBay. A very interesting subject if you're a collector, buyer, seller of postcards.

Thanks, Leo, good job! (Click on title above to see the guide).

Buying and selling a grandfather clock

Okay, so you get some meatier content when you come to my blog. I can share a few experiences with buying and selling antiques.

The first is our grandfather clock. In August 2006 we bought a grandfather clock made from a kit at an auction for $225. I thought it was a good price. Hopefully, the resale would be about double that amount.

We had opened our first shop in that month on main street in Valdese. We took the clock to the shop and put $450 on the tag. The clock had worked at the auction, but quit when we put in in the shop. We were selling it "as is". It didn't sell.

We quickly realized the shop was a loser - costing more for rent and utilities than we were taking in - a lot more! So we closed the shop and put the clock in our living room.

In June 2007 we bought a house and moved the clock to our living room. It looked beautiful. Stately, elegant, but not over the top! Still, it didn't work and didn't get us any cash back.

In April 2008, we put the clock into our booth at Cornerstone Antiques: http://cornerstoneantiques.blogspot.com/. It started working right away! Loud, beautiful quarter hour strikes. The timing was perfect. A lovely clock.

And it sold for around $300. We had lowered the price feeling it was "shopworn", which it really wasn't. But with the economy the way it's been - and hoping to get some cash out of it - well, it's gone now.

What did I learn? Maybe that $225 was too much to pay for the clock in the beginning. To my credit, that was the first auction I've ever been at for the purpose of buying inventory.

Someone in Morganton, N. C., has a beautiful grandfather clock.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Liza Jane's Pig Lickin' Cake Recipe

Ms. Liza Jane Wooton of Bulan, Kentucky says this cake will be "Pig-Lickin'" good. She has no idea of how it got its name. She took it to the Ritchie-Fugate-Patrick reunion in 2007. Everyone who was lucky enough to get a piece of it, loved it.

Cake Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 small can mandarin oranges
2-3 eggs

Make cake with mandarin oranges instead of water. You might add a few tablespoons water if too dry looking. Bake in two cake pans.

1 can crushed pineapple, very well drained.
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
1 small tub Cool Whip.

Drain the pineapple until it's almost dry. Mix all ingredients together (do not add the pineapple juice). Drink the pineapple juice while you're waiting for the cake to bake.

After the cake is well cooled, frost it with the icing.

It is Pig-Lickin' good!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

43 cards sold!

See, told you they were great! We mailed them out this afternoon!

111 Year Old Postcard NYC Trinity Church

Now and then you run across the truly beautiful antique card.

This one is in good shape for being 111 years old. It is copyright 1897.

Just imagine - to survive that long!

Please give it a look by clicking on the title.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

43 Damaged Postcards

We listed 43 damaged postcards today on Etsy. They weren't ours; they're a commission item we're doing for a friend.

All the postcards are in some way interesting, but, boy, have they been mangled! Bends, creases, stains, rips, tears, dog bites, staple holes to name a few.

So why will anyone want them? Well, crafters can use them. So can scrapbookers. Anyone who wants old, interesting bits and pieces. I hesitate to call them "ephemera", but I guess they are.

Someone will enjoy the multitude of possibilities at a wonderful price!

View at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13618439 or click the title above.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Camp Devens Day Ayer, Massachusetts

We listed a lot of Camp Devens at Ayer, Massachusetts, postcards today. A lot as in "a bunch", not "lot of ...". Each is individually listed, that is.

Well, back in the day, Leo was stationed there for three months. He was in Intelligence School. While we were doing the cards, he'd mention "I remember that - it looks exactly the same". Or "I don't remember the hospital looking like that".

Some of these cards are in extraordinary shape for being World War I vintage. They look like they were stored away upon purchase and never used.

Take a walk down memory lane and visit our store to look at Camp Devens!

Monday, July 21, 2008

RepXchange for eBay Sellers

RepXchange's title says: "Are the eBay feedback changes making you worried? Proactively defend yourself against bad buyers – Join our growing community of sellers sharing blocked bidder lists today!".

Well, that fit my needs to a tee! I signed up and used the service to download a list of blocked buyers to add to my eBay site. In this case, I can take advantage of the experience of others with bad, non-paying or just downright nasty buyers without having to go through all the heartaches myself.

The signup process was easy and the site is very easy to use. Click on the title above to access the site or go to http://repxchange.com.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

No price increase since 2006

Just getting attention! Well, not really. Everybody knows prices have sky-rocketed on things.

Truthfully, we've not raised our prices since we started selling them in 2006. Now, I don't know if that's a good thing or not. Good for you, bad for us?

Actually, we have some of the best prices I've seen on all three sites we sell on. Our shipping covers our shipping and handling - we don't try to make a profit on it.

So, please come in to any of our stores. We're featuring Etsy in the link today.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Unpaid Item Dispute Questions

Sometimes you wonder why you bother! We sold a card at auction for $.99 plus s/h of $1.25 - $2.24 total. The person who bought it did so willingly. He deliberately bid on it and confirmed that he was responsible for buying the item.

That was mid June! The 10th! We sent him an invoice that day and a payment reminded on the 20th when he had not paid. He responded with an email saying he was having PayPal problems and would send a money order. Weeks pass. Finally in mid July, on the 10th, we filed a Unpaid Item Dispute and received our Final Value Fee back.

Now, eBay tried to contact him that whole week to let him know that there was a dispute. He had an additional week to pay. So from June 10th until July 17th - almost five weeks - he had plenty of time to pay.

So, finally, on July 17th he sends us another email - he is irate that we filed an Unpaid Item Dispute for $.99! How dare we! WE never contacted him (not true) and he thought he'd paid already ... wah, wah, wah!

Then he sent another email - please send our address again and he'll send a money order right away. He's having all these problems with PayPal. (same old story!)

Well, what we did was this: We cancelled the UID and ate the final value fee, then blocked him from further auctions and blocked his email from our email.

Is this the right way to handle it? I don't know anymore. On the one hand, he cost us the FVF and we got nothing in return. We'll just relist the item and hope it sells again.

On the other hand, a really lousy customer is out there most likely going to do the same thing to other sellers. Maybe a few of them will have the guts to follow through with the Dispute process and he'll be blocked for good.

All this said, I like eBay and will stay on it. One bad apple doesn't spoil the whole crop.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Selling, Selling, Selling

Leo and I have been trying hard to promote our online stores this week. So check out some links to the right.

Also, we've boosted our Cornerstone Antiques sales by moving out of Myra's. We hated to leave in some ways, but it was time. Profits took a nosedive.

So, we have a new booth at Cornerstone Antiques, 100 Main Street West, Valdese, NC. Stop by and enjoy your shopping experience in person!