Monday, April 25, 2011

Whiskey Jack’s News Round-Up for April 24, 2011

Each day I scour the web in search of relevant news articles relating to antiques, collectibles and online selling, and each week I hope to present them to you here on the Whiskey Jack’s Trading Post blog. If a particular article looks interesting, just click on the headline to view the entire article. I hope you enjoy these articles and find them informative as well! Thanks for stopping by!

Internet Sales Tax to be Introduced in US Senate

Online companies already pay state taxes in the states in which they reside, but many politicians -- including those in New York, Illinois and Connecticut -- recently pushed to collect taxes from customers on purchases made outside the state if the sites have vendors that physically reside within their states.

Durbin's proposal intends to push internet vendors to collect state taxes on items purchased out of state….. (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Big Values for Antiques featuring Bugs

Insects spark great drama in the world of art and antiques. Since ancient times, bugs have had their rightful place in art and decorative objects. For instance, in ancient Egypt, bugs were revered in Egyptian culture and religion. The Egyptians believed that a divine….. (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Turn Your Collectible DVDs into Cash

If you've been buying DVDs for a while, there's a good chance that a few of those old, dusty boxes on your shelf might be worth a little something. We've heard of specialty out-of-print titles selling for as much as $500 on eBay….. (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Collectors Corner: Mining the eBay Exchange

eBay is the largest auction marketplace in the world - right? Actually, one could make a greater argument that the stock market is. However, there is a burgeoning "commodities" market on eBay. Gold and silver are bought not only for their numismatic value but also their intrinsic bullion value. Where a commodities exchange and eBay differ is that, on eBay, you always take physical delivery of the commodity.

But do not be under the false impression that the market for gold and silver is large, is in fact very small compared to the stock market. But there isn't a lack of buyers and sellers on eBay….. (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Antique shops shelved in downturn

Antique dealers have been forced to sell items from their personal collection to stay afloat, while Tirau once the nation's antique capital has just one antique shop left.

Business owners say the combination of online auction sites, selective buyers and selling a discretionary product during the recession had impacted sales…… (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Instill a love of antiques in your children

When our kids were little, we were always dragging them with us to antique shows, stores and flea markets…… (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Antiques: Ayer's collectibles full of deceptive advertising

Deceptive advertising has been a problem for centuries. The "cures" of Victorian times were promoted with posters, trade cards, almanacs, recipe books, calendars and other testimonials.

One of the prominent makers of cures, remedies and hair and skin products was James C. Ayer & Co…. (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Promoting your business with inexpensive collectibles

Although the economy is making some recovery, we would like to find some cost-saving ways to promote our business. Can I benefit from giving away inexpensive promotional items to customers, and where can I find them….. (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Economic problems cut into antique store sales

The smell of old leather, dust, mildew and furniture polish assails the nose as you enter a shop full of odds and ends of all sizes and shapes…. (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Authentic objects relating to a royal wedding hold their value long term

Which royal collectibles should you buy? I always advise people to collect objects that chronicle a historic event or relate to historic figures. It has been proven that in the market for art and antiques these historic and genuine objects will hold their value long term….. (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Analogue artists defying the digital age

Dusty vinyl records, vintage film cameras, rickety typewriters and antiquated recording equipment … these are the creative tools being used by some emerging artists. Pure nostalgia? Or a laudable refusal to escape the speed and sanitised perfection of contemporary digital culture? (Click on the headline to read the full article)

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Continuing Adventures of Whiskey Jack’s Trading Post

As some of you know, I have reached a point in my life where I simply cannot do all the things I was once able to do. Some of this is the inevitable result of age, and some due to health issues. Both were instrumental in my decision to retire two years ago. Because of this, however, I am now limited to just what I can do in the way of employment. Therefore I decided to really put forth an extra effort into my online sales ventures. Selling on eBay and Bonanza has been okay, but as with us all, an increase in sales would be very welcome! In my attempt to increase sales, I soon learned that I am woefully ignorant of the many ways to increase online sales.

Thanks to some excellent information out there on the web, and in books, and more importantly thanks to some very friendly and helpful folks out there who are extremely generous with their time and knowledge, I am working hard at expanding my customer base, and also engaging in several marketing venues.

As I mentioned above, to achieve this I have started selling on Addoway. You can view my store front by clicking here. I have also set up my Google Profile (here), as well as a profile on HotFrog (here) and LinkedIn (here). If you are also on LinkedIn, let’s connect up. One of the groups I have connected with is Bonanza Sell, which provides a venue to promote my booth, and visit with others who have joined this group. I am also looking into other “business profile” type sites as well, and I’ll keep you updated on my progress with those as well. These sites are free to set up your business profile, and can go a long way toward getting your name out there with regards to internet searches.

I have also signed on for both Twitter (click here), Google Buzz, and Face Book (click here). In fact, I have also started a second Face Book page exclusively for the genealogy research I do. You can view it by clicking here. You can find and either “friend”, “like” or “follow” Ol’ Whiskey Jack by clicking on the links here, and I’d love to see you on these sites! In the not too distant future, I will be exploring Digg, StumbleUpon, and Google Reader as viable marketing venues. And, of course, I will let you know how they work out.

As I mentioned above, I am now selling on Addoway, in addition to Bonanza and eBay. Along side of these online selling sites, I have also signed up with eCrater, BluJay and iOffer. As of yet, I do not have anything in these stores, and I have yet to personalize my profiles on these sites, but I am working on it. One step at a time, ya know. As soon as I get these stores up and running, I’ll let you know. I’ll also let you know if my plan, which is to expand my potential customer base by utilizing additional selling sites, is a success or not.

I did look at some other online selling sites, such as Yardsellr, Etsy and ArtFire, but as yet I have not made a decision on whether or not to use them. Except for Yardsellr that is. I realize some folks really like Yardsellr, and have had success on that site as well, but I have to say that when I visited the site my first impression of Yardsellr was less than positive. One of the first photos I saw of the Yardsellr team (see below), makes me feel as if the Yardsellr team is somewhat lackadaisical in their commitment to professionalism. Which leads me to wonder if their commitment is somewhat less than desirable in other areas, such as customer service, as well. I also do not care for two of their main policies. First, although they do not charge listing fees or final value fees, they do charge your customer $1.00 for the privilege of buying something on their site. I can’t say I like this idea, as it may discourage buyers. Although I do not like the idea of listing and Final Value fees (and who does?), I think they should charge the seller rather than the buyer, and leave it up to the seller to recoup those fees as they think best. More importantly, the number one thing I do not like, is their policy which states that the seller must ship the items before being paid for the item. I think this policy leaves the seller at a distinct disadvantage, and offer too many opportunities for the buyer to somehow defraud the seller.

Also on the horizon I will be utilizing some of the many free advertising sites on the web, to advertise not necessarily specific items, but primarily my online stores.

Hopefully, all of this will translate into the increased sales that have eluded me thus far. As in many things, time will tell. But I will keep you updated as the (hoped for) success, or lack of success that I experience, and will hopefully be able to pass along any hints, tips, and tricks that I learn on the way.

Until next time, stay good, stay safe, and I hope you all will prosper in all of your endeavors!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Who Knows...Maybe Someday!

I have recently started selling on Addoway (feel free to stop by and check out my new store: Whiskey Jack on Addoway) and this is in addition to my Bonanza Booth. No sales yet, but I am hopeful. While hanging out on Face Book the other day, trying to promote my two store fronts, there was a discussion concerning what would be the ideal online sales site. After thinking about it a bit, I came up with the following:

Welcome to SaleMart! Your One Stop Online Sales Source!

On SaleMart, you can choose to sell in our Auction Barn, or open your very own store front in our mall!

The Auction Barn runs auctions continually, and auction last anywhere from 7 days long down to 1 hour long. The choice is yours. Each seller determines the length of their auction, reserve prices (if any), starting bids, and sellers (known as Auctioneers here in the barn) will have the ability to lower the starting bid at any time. Registered sellers will have a real time live chat available to them, so they can interact with bidders during the course of their auction. Bidders are not required to complete a full registration to participate in auctions. However, buyers must sign up for each auction they attend, and provide a user name, email address, and agree to the terms of the auction. Bidders will use their user name when bidding. Buyers who complete the full registration (which is free), will not be required to sign up for any auction they participate in. Their initial registration with SaleMart will take the place of the auction sign up and will constitute the buyers agreement with any auction terms.

If you choose to open a store front in our mall, you will notice that our mall is sectioned into store categories such as Antiques stores, Collectibles stores, Craft stores, Clothing stores, Jewelry stores, Book stores, Sporting Goods stores, Variety stores, Thrift stores, and more. Simply choose which category best fits your store and set up your storefront! The mall is divided up into categories to better help buyers locate just what they are looking for, and also help the seller increase sales by avoiding having buyers wander aimlessly around looking for what they want (and soon getting discouraged and leaving!)

Sellers with storefronts can run sales either together or independent of other stores, and will always have the ability to show which items have been marked down and by how much! This way, when buyers enter your store, they will immediately see where prices have been rolled back!

In addition, the first four (or five) item windows in each store front are intentionally left blank. These windows provide the seller to insert sales flyers, promotional ads, etc.. to help inspire sales in their stores!

As with the Auction Barn, each store will have a live, real time chat window so they can converse with their customers! In addition, each store owner (as well as each auction seller) will have the ability to send and receive messages and quick texts right from their profile page!

SaleMart also offers dozens of free listing templates to sellers. Templates are found in the “Sellers Tools” section. A link to this is located on the sellers profile page. Other sellers tools include free shipping calculators, several counters, free google analytics, free sales analysis tools, and much more!

As you enter our main SaleMart page, you will see three separate “Notices” boards. One is the “Daily Coupons” board where sellers are able to post sale coupons by the day or week for their store. The next is the “Current Sales” board which lists all ongoing sales. Sellers can post here to show that they are having a sale, what is on sale, and what kind of savings customers can expect. The last is the “Auction Board” which shows what auctioneers are having auctions.

SaleMart also has a dispute resolution center that is committed to resolving any issues which may arise between sellers and buyers. Rest assured that SaleMart does not favor one side over the other, and strives to be fair in all its decisions. Buyers are strongly encouraged to work with sellers if they experience any problems, and SaleMart encourages all sellers to be honest and truthful in all their dealings with their customers. If a seller can be shown to have been dishonest in their item descriptions or titles, then SaleMart will likely side with the buyer. However, if the buyer does not purchase shipping insurance for items they purchase, then SaleMart will not hold sellers accountable for items damaged during shipping. Sellers are encouraged to provide shipping insurance or at least the option for the buyer to purchase this. Both sellers and buyers are required to agree to and abide by SaleMart’s established policies and rules, and both buyers and sellers will be held accountable for any attempts at fraudulent activity. Although buyers are not required to register to purchase items in SaleMart stores, only registered buyers can use the dispute resolution center. Registration is free, however, and buyers are encouraged to register.

SaleMart offers several different integrated payment options for buyers and sellers, including PayPal, Google Checkout, Cash, Check, Money Order, and others. Of course, it is completely up to the seller which payment option he or she chooses to use. Salemart also has several different integrated shipping options as well, including USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and more. Click on the shipping options tab for more information.

Although SaleMart encourages sellers to make use of the sellers forum and SaleMart bulletin board to advertise their individual stores, SaleMart also utilizes an aggressive marketing campaign. Our commercials can be seen on NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and other television stations. We also advertise in national newspapers, magazines and trade papers, both in print and online. The SaleMart car can now also be seen racing competitively on the NASCAR circuit! SaleMart is committed to letting the world know that SaleMart is by far the best online sales venue available today!

Well, it sounds pretty good to me, almost too good to be true. And of course, SaleMart isn’t real. It’s only what I would like to see in an online sales venue. And who knows….maybe someday!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

All the News That’s Fit To Print

Recently, I have begun selling (or attempting to sell) on Addoway. Ebay is okay, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. At least for sellers. At least for small time sellers like myself. I do still sell occasionally on ebay, and I still have my Bonanza booth open, but I thought I would give Addoway a shot in the hopes that just maybe Addoway has a different clientele than Bonanza does. So far, I think it’s about the same. But time will tell.

In other news, I scour the web almost daily for web articles that highlight antiques, collectibles and online selling. I have decided that each week I will post a listing of those articles I find that will (hopefully) be interesting to my readers. Here is the first installment, and you can just click on the headline of whichever article you would like to read (the headlines are links to the articles themselves). Enjoy, and I hope you find these articles as interesting as I have. Thanks for stopping by!

Antiques & Collectibles: Older casino gaming chips, tokens bring fair return on investment

Question: I am enclosing photos of five gambling chips found among my late husband's things. Are they collectible and, if so, what is their worth? (click on the headline to read the article)

Lara Spencer to launch antique-centered reality show

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Lara Spencer is in search of new treasures - and a network hit.

Enter "It's Worth What," a summer reality series on NBC. The game show, which Spencer created and will executive produce, will tap into America's curiosity with cost and value. In what would seem an "Antiques Roadshow" meets "Price is Right,"… (click on the headline to read the article)

Kovels Antiques: Unusual articles of furniture often uncomfortable

Should a chair be a “conversation piece” or be comfortable? Twentieth-century designers’ chairs can be either, but they’re rarely both…. (click on the headline to read the article)

President Signs Repeal of Tax Rules That Would Have Hit Online Sellers

It's official. With a stroke of the pen on Thursday, President Obama codified the repeal of a set of controversial new tax reporting requirements for businesses included in his health-care overhaul bill.

At issue was a provision that would have required all businesses - large and small - to submit a 1099 form to any vendor from whom they had purchased goods or services totaling $600 or more in a tax year…. (click on the headline to read the article)

7 Tips To Help You Successfully Auction On Ebay

Tip #1 Another secret source of collectibles is eBay itself and other auction sites. Yes, the power of leveraging eBay is in fact a secret of many eBay sellers. Many items for sale on auction sites can be purchased and then resold on the same or another site. This is actually a common practice. The main difference in your auction is…. (click on the headline to read the article)

Antiques & Collectibles: Much variety, availability in salt and pepper shakers

Not only are salt and pepper shakers fun to collect, but they are everywhere — at yard and estate sales, second hand shops, consignment shops, antique shops and online. With the vast presence of these popular collectibles, it is possible to build a good-sized collection for a moderate price…. (click on the headline to read the article)

Tips make antique care easy

Taking care of our antiques is an ongoing task. I’ve been collecting helpful tips for many years. Most are simple things that have saved me time and money. Here are a few I hope will help you, too. Feel free to share your tips with me, and I’ll pass them on to other readers. … (click on the headline to read the article)


Innocent buy at swap meet ignites passion for collecting

Private museum covers 20,000 square feet; Toy vehicles sit along an authentic-looking street and upstairs are cowboy toys and Meccano sets…. (click on the headline to read the article)

SPOTLIGHT: Illinois woman has more 250,000 buttons

SHELBYVILLE, Ill.—Mankind has long been uptight about buttons.

Once some enterprising clothier had invented the buttonhole (they appeared in 13th-century Europe) the button was sure to follow, and then people started getting obsessed with them….. (click on the headline to read the article)

How to Appraise, Insure, and Sell Your Collectibles

Everyone dreams of finding a priceless antique in their attic. But how do you determine whether your treasure is a valuable heirloom or something better suited for donation to Goodwill?... (click on the headline to read the article)

Ten Valuable Rudolph Valentino Movie Collectibles

Here are ten valuable Rudolph Valentino movie collectibles that are sure to please and excite silent movie memorabilia buffs. “Women are not in love with me but with the picture of me on the screen. I am merely the canvas on which women paint their dreams.” - Rudolph Valentino …. (click on the headline to read the article)

What is the Future of Antiques?

A majority of people who appear on the popular PBS TV show The Antiques Road Show have no idea what their item is worth and a majority of the items brought to the show are worth about $75, said Stuart Slavid to the crowd assembled at yesterday's monthly Temple Beth Am Brotherhood breakfast…. (click on the headline to read the article)

Pickin' and grinnin'

With their plaid shirts, blue jeans and cowboy hats, Scott Cozens and Sheldon Smithens look like a couple of down-home boys having a good time as they drive around the country picking.

Picking, for the uninitiated, means hunting, identifying and negotiating for hidden gems like antiques and collectibles tucked away in barns, basements, sheds and attics…. (click on the headline to read the article)