Tuesday, January 22, 2013

auction anyone?...

I've been spending some time selling stuff on eBay lately.

For the past couple of years I've been going to Salvation Army and Estate Sales looking for deals on glass Christmas ornaments for my wreath making and all the while I've been finding a lot of items that I thought would be worth putting up for sale.

As it turns out, I think I've quadrupled the money I've spent.  And I think I'm addicted now.

Three stories...

Story #1:



I had gone to Salvation Army just before Christmas this year looking for anything they might have as far as glass ornaments.  I typically do not care to spend more than 10 cents a bulb so if something is priced too high, I walk away.  This was the case with a couple sets of vintage Shiny Brite ornaments that I had seen that day.  They were in a bag that was priced at $3.99, for 15 bulbs.  That's more than twice as much as I am really all that willing to pay, so I passed them over and was all the way out to the car when I heard them calling to me "you can sell us on eBay for $9.99"...so I turned around and went back in to buy them.  So there were two sets; one set of Pink with some mica glitter patterns and silver stripes.  The other was similar, only in Green.  They were in really good condition for their age.  I put them up on eBay for $13.99 for a set of 9 Pinks and $9.99 for a set of 6 Greens.  

The set of 9 had immediate attention and had its first bid on the first day...and then nothing until the day before the auction ended.  That's when two different bidders started fighting over them.  They ended up going for over $100!  Can you believe that something that I spent 27 cents a bulb for ended up getting nearly $12 a bulb!  This is not typical, by the way, but it does get you hooked!

Story #2:

I went to an Estate Sale in Armada Michigan.  It was held at an old farmhouse.  I was late that day and had about 15 minutes to see if they had anything that I'd like.  I bought the ornaments I could see on the main floor and then was about to leave when I asked if they had anymore Christmas items.  They confirmed that there were more up in a bedroom, so I raced up there and grabbed everything I could see.  They had Ideals Magazines, some old Christmas light replacement bulbs, some glass ornaments and some 1970's Christmas posters.  I bought them all for $7.  When I got home, I separated everything and found that I had some C-6 GE bulbs (I'd sold some before and they had a few bidders) and some C-6 Edison style bulbs with the exhaust tip - I had never before seen bulbs like them.  I did a quick search to see how much they were going for and was blown away.  I put them up immediately and after almost 35 bids in a week between the two of them (C-6 light bulbs), they ended up selling for nearly $175 respectively!  C-R-A-Z-Y!  Again, not typical - just way cool!

Story #3:
This one is still playing out.  I can't remember where or when I got these vintage glass ornaments, but they had some nice coloring and are transparent.  You could see some unique bubbles in the glass and the clipped tip at the end of the bulb that indicates that they are blown glass.  They were not all the same size, but close and they had metal caps that were stamped West Germany.  I had a couple of bidders and I sent them out to the winner last week.  Over the weekend I got a message from the guy claiming they are plastic.  I just can't believe that they are.  There were no plastic mold markings (seams) and all the other things I've already mentioned, but I guess when he sends them back we will see if I was wrong.  Anyway, that is my first unhappy customer.  I will be giving him a full refund.  I am totally dwelling on this and I hope that I am correct and can offer it as a Second Chance to the other bidder, since this guy doesn't seem to want them.

I keep worrying that maybe he'll switch them out with some actual plastic ones - how do you resolve that?  Or that he won't take the same packing precautions that I do and they will break on their way back to me (since they ARE glass).

In time we will see and I will let my public know what happens ;)

*UPDATE: Got home today and found the box of ornaments had been dropped off at the backdoor.  Opened them up and they arrived perfectly fine in the same wrapping that I had put them in.  I had Jerome inspect them and he added a couple other reasons he thinks that they ARE glass; there are chips underneath the metal cap and they are not symmetrical spheres.

My plan is to bring them to the local art center and an Antique store and see what they think.  I have already offered them to the other bidder in a Second Chance offer.  We'll see if they still want it.

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