Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sales do happen

I have not been able to give much percentage of my time to my online sales because of college; however, some sales are happening! I find this encouraging and would love to be able to spend more time building an online business.

For those of you doing your business this holiday season, enjoy and I wish you all well!

If you want to know what I am up to instead of selling, check out my college blog. I have photos of the projects I am working on these days.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Monday, August 17, 2009


It has been around 6 weeks since I have written anything concerning Cabin Fever, but never fear, we are still here and sales are actually picking up! Lets hope that is a good indication of a wonderful holiday season ahead!!!

Actually, what has happened in my life (besides a new niece and a new puppy) is college! 6 weeks ago I re-entered the world of college learning with a pack of high school kids and a few "older folks" such as myself who are re-inventing themselves or just adding onto what they already have. It is an art school mixed with practical application, which is why I chose it.

I am blogging about it on Wordpress, if anyone wants to follow along.

In the meantime, I have continued to list on my Itzagiftshop ID and have been selling on all 3 booths. I love Bonanzle!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Old Board Games

I love old games. I grew up in a large family without tv, that is what you did of an evening. Now kids play electronic games, but back then...a good old card game like Old Maid, Authors, or Hearts. Or a board game like Life, Clue, or Candy Land. They still have these games, but they have changed and don't seem quite the same somehow as those built in the 60s and 70s.

Recently I began listing some of the vintage games we got in Itza Gift Shop. We have about 15-20 games that I need to list. Next thing you know, I had to go build a handpicked list just to see what was out there. Fun stuff and some are worth some money!!! And yep...I had to buy one (Animal Rummy) from Mendozam's booth (she has a lot of fun books too.)

Give the list a look-see and take a trip down memory lane with me!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Itza Gift Shop

Organizing like crazy, researching like a nut...and then getting cold feet and only listing some of the inexpensive items.

Well...except for this one purse that was sooooo fun to learn about! I have been fascinated with this little number and it took a lot of research to find one like it online. It is a Whiting and Davis mesh purse.

Then there is a book that is a first edition 1912 Organic Chemistry book that belonged to my friend's father. He used it when he was a pharmacist in WWII. The only thing I could find about it was 2 on Amazon that were listed for over $470.00 Somehow I can't believe that, but I do know that some of these books are worth something!

I am having sooooo much fun! And even though we did not plan on listing $4 items, the Girl Scouts and Brownies pins were irresistable and then the Old Maid game took me back to my childhood. Who can resist that?!

What I am having the hardest time with are the rings and gold bracelets. There is just so much you need to know about gem grading, types of gold, etc. My head is spinning. And then organizing all of thing about it, I am not bored!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Never Ending Learning Experience

One of the things I love the most about selling online is the fact that you can dip into so many different subjects! The problem is...learning all about each and every one of those before you make a serious gaffe and sell off a million dollar find for ten bucks!

A friend recently asked me to help her start a Bonanzle store to sell some of her vintage items. We have not yet begun to fill her booth as we are in the "organizing" phase. It is fascinating! On the other can be a bit of a scary and humbling experience because I know so little, so we have been doing a lot of online research.

Do you like old coins? There is sooooo much to know! I was reading where certain 1995 pennies are worth $25!!! Yipes! How many of those may have passed through my hands over the past 14 years??? (That is a side-trail, because my friend does not have any of those either, but it was interesting to learn!)

How about old hats? And then there are the books from 1908 that may be worth nothing, but are fascinating in their leather binding. Old violins? How about vintage jewelry? And the German steins were a lot of fun to research. The list goes on and I think what we are going to do is start out with something from each of the categories in order to get her booth rolling.

And if any of my Bonanzle buddies who hang out at estate sales or resell old items have suggestions on how to do this, please let me know! I have suggested she take some of her items to get them assessed because I am afraid I might miss something online and give bad advice. On the other hand...we are having a lot of fun together!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Handpicked Addiction

Bonanzle has a very addicting past-time they offer to their site members called handpicked lists. These were fun when first introduced, but a few months ago they began using them for their front page, thus engaging the members in showing off favorite items.

Here are just a few of my recent creations:

It is all in the Trunk (Elephants and trunks)
A Cardinal Sin (some suprises in this one)
Froggy Went a Courtin' (Frogs are fun!)
Pop Art Kitty (love the kitties!)
Watercolor Wash (Watercolors on Bonanzle....mmmmmm)
Full of Hot Air (can you see the humor?)
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Carousel Horses)

Over the past month I have noticed that I actually have become a fan of certain list makers!!! Eyecatchingbeauty has to be one of the most prolific list makers and the creator of some of the most stunning lists I have ever seen. Hers often end up on the front page. She is very creative and has quite an eye for the classy look. Where does she get these ideas?!!! They are gorgeous! Here are a few of her recent ones:

Love My Mama
Under the Boardwalk
Imortal Beauty
Save Me A Seat

Should we start a fan club?!!! "did good" by making these the front page views.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wanna Trade?

Something new to me is online trading. Around Christmas, money was tight...well...actually, it was pretty much non-existent! I had just gotten a job after being out of work for nearly 2 years (and out of ebay since Feb.) I was playing catch-up with everything and yet...Christmas was coming!

As we all talked about being in this meager boat together, fellow Bonanzlers started doing the old swap meet idea online! Something I had never done before! I acquired some wonderful and unusual gifts for my mom and other friends and family members by swapping fabrics with other sellers. I acquired a couple of handmade dolls including this one named Nancy for my niece, soaps, and several other items.

Recently I swapped with Beach Cat Rescue ...loads of fabric for one of her high quality handmade wreaths. This will be a Mother's Day gift (don't worry...Mom doesn't read my blog, or Facebook, or Twitter.)

I have been very impressed with not only the traded items, but also the other handmade gifts I have picked up on Bonanzle. They have been high quality, unique, and loads of fun to share with others. It has been fun trading!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Pleasure Doing Business With You!

What I enjoy so much about selling online in a venue where I am not having to "push" my product is that the people buying my product really want it! I remember my first venture into sales in a small town in Indiana. I loved the newspaper, but just did not know how to do the "value add proposition" for customers who did not see why they should spend their money advertising in a small town paper. When they pushed back, well...much as I loved the paper, I had to agree with them. Later in life I learned how to demonstrate value for a product I really believed in...but then I hated asking people to pay money for it. No amount of "sales" training could put that in me. And I tried...oh how I tried.

However, with the online stores the customers come looking for something specific and find in one of my sales this week, they find something similar to what they are seeking and then ask if I could tweak it!

This is where the pleasure of the new social marketplace comes into play and Bonanzle encourages it. With a few emails and q&a sessions, the buyer bought a set of 12 homespun fat quarters...but I mixed and matched the set so she got what she wanted.

It is always a pleasure doing business when you know the customer is pleased.

Friday, February 20, 2009

To Theme or not to Theme...that is my question

One of the things I am noticing on Bonanzle that is different from many of the other venues is the niche markets that are coming in! I am falling in love with the whole concept of having a store be something specific and unique...not that I don't love the eclectic mixes also! Don't get me wrong there...but here are a few I have found and have even bought from that are just FUN! And what is interesting...I remember them and go searching for them! Why? I think it is because they have a theme!

You like honey and bees? Check out JandTGarden
I had to pick up some of these recycled items...what a cool idea! Reuseit
It is all about the clay. Pumpkin Pie Boutique
This booth makes me hungry: The Clack House
Whirlygigs and wooden cutouts: SomethingPretty
Polished petrified wood: Rockpolisher
You like to bake-I bet she could help: Baking Treasures
It's all about kids racks: Kidzrackz
Only quilt stencils: QuiltStencilsandMore
This one is funny: Poop Pals

These are just a few of my favorites, but I am beginning to get into this themed booth thing! So...armed with this thought and lots of creative juices flowing, I have been trying to hone down and focus the direction of my own booth in my long range plan. My avatar puppy has been giving me lots of ideas ( he doesn't talk to me, but it sounds better than saying I am talking to myself!)

I am planning this Spring for Cabin Fever to get an updated look and I just might start with some airbrushed t-shirts of my puppy. I would really like to concentrate more on my art and airbrushing of children's items. At least with this idea I could pretend I am out on a beach somewhere warm painting for fun!!!

Whatever it ends up being, I will absolutely announce it! What with Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, LinkDIn, PSU, Blogspot, Bonanzle's own forums, and I am sure a few more places...think I can keep anything a secret any more?!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Let Simplicity Reign!

Last year, after much angst over all the problems selling on eBay and signing up and trying nearly 20 other alternative sites, I landed on Bonanzle.

I did it because someone on PSU recommended I try other reason (I was trying them all!)...and my first impression could probably be described as "light shock." The venue was simple! Within minutes I had a booth and in a couple more moments a very nice looking listing with 4 photos! I remember sitting back and wondering what had just happened - all the other venues that had been previously tried took hours and days to figure out and set up.

That was in August of 2008 shortly after Bonanzle was named the best eBay alternative by Ecommerce Guide. Half a year later, they have again been named the best eBay alternative, this time by SmallBusinessComputing! The buzz on the web is pretty strong about this "simple" little site and I plan to stay!!!

In this blog, I will be posting short "bites" of why this venue works, what I like about it, and links to news stories about what is happening in the online world of "small" sellers.