092: The Queen of Auctions – Lynn Dralle

For over 18 years, Lynn has made her living buying and selling on eBay.

She is a third-generation antiques dealer with over 40 years experience in the antiques business. She started helping her grandmother in the antiques store and at shows when she was just 4.

She is also an eBay consultant, author, and teacher. Her learning tools & free ezine will teach you how to sell online with eBay while staying organized, turning a profit, and having fun!

She loves selling on eBay and can't stop– some people think she is addicted! In 2015, she sold over $100,000 worth of unique items on eBay and she wants to help you do the same.

Interesting Notes

  • In 1967, there's a law to call something antique when it should be a 100-year-old. In today's time, you can consider a 50-year-old item antique.
  • Lynn describes a thing Vintage if it is anywhere between 10 to 40 years old. Like a computer 10 years ago can be Vintage. Anything over than 40 years old can be called either Antique or Vintage. It is your choice whatever you call it. Sometimes, it depends on what it is.
  • Lynn only has praises to her grandma, Cheryl Leaf. She is the reason why Lynn is doing what she is doing today. Her grandma has more energy and more entertaining than anybody Lynn knew.
  • Lynn's grandma started selling on eBay before antiques and collectibles were even anything big. She opened a store in 1950 out of the front of her living room.
  • Lynn used to work for her grandma every day after school. Her grandma would give her a $100 after the weekend. She learned so much from her.
  • Lynn's grandma used to write a column about reproduction for the National Antique Dealers Association. She was the founder of the said association.
  • Her grandma taught classes in the late 60's. One time, Lynn and her grandma were going through her grandma's stuff. Lynn found the notes her grandma had written for classes. They are 300 pages and are all typewritten.
  • The notes made Lynn start her “Antiques from A to Z”. It is a compilation of the notes of her grandma. Lynn sorted her grandma's notes by letter of the alphabet. Then Lynn writes at least one lesson for each letter of the alphabet. She would explain her take on applying those lessons in today's eBay world.
  • Lynn feels like she is writing a new book with her grandma.
  • Lynn ran her grandma's antique store 10 years after she passed away. It took Lynn 2 years to liquidate because her grandma had millions of items in her store. 80% of the items are still in boxes and packed up. And Lynn has 120 huge boxes that she has not gone through yet.
  • Lynn started selling on eBay in 1998 when there is no competition. She observes that competition has driven prices down on some items. And on other items, it drives it up. As a seller, it is a must to follow the market and know what is going on.
  • At present, Lynn has 17,600 listings on her eBay. They are a combination of Fixed Price and Auctions. In a lot of her listing title, she would put Help, Maker, and a question mark. It indicates that she doesn't know who made the stuff. She doesn't know what the stuff is. And she is willing to learn from anybody that does it.
  • Lynn does not believe on Free Shipping. Why? Because it is like cutting out your international customers. The international customers end up paying the US Shipping plus the international shipping.
  • She does not use Global Shipping Program. Smart buyers search by price plus shipping.
  • She does not believe in a niche. She has specific niches that do well for her. Dinnerware is her number 1 category on eBay. She sells $40,000 to $50,000 a year. Next categories are flatware and coffee mugs. They are not broad niches. But she can sell anything she can make money on.
  • Lynn's family love recycling. Her kids never buy new things. If they want something, they can find it on eBay or at thrift stores. If they have worn something, they give it to Lynn and she would sell it on eBay.
  • One time her daughter came to her about a school project. It is about showing the brain. Lynn remembered her doll heads in the Auction. She brought it home to her daughter. Her daughter picked the perfect one and put the brain on. She got the highest grade in the class. Her teacher told her, “Yours is the only one I am keeping!”
  • Lynn taught her kids about selling on eBay. She only gets 20% for PayPal and eBay fees, and they get the rest.
  • Indy's Fashion Find category is her daughter's Indiana finds. One time, they went to a sale in Washington.Indy spent about $5 and filled up 5 grocery bags full. And she sold everything. There is nothing left in Indy's Fashion Finds.
  • Another instance, she told her son to grab any textbooks he can on campus. The kids are not going to care about their textbooks anyway. Her son came home with a couple of cases full. He lists it on eBay and they have been selling. Lynn just sold one for $200. The cash that will come from the sales will go to her son for his college in Germany.
  • In 1998, Lynn invented a system for keeping track of her items. It is a paper sheet which she calls iSell binder. Today, she added a PayPal to the backside for the payment plan and a ruler on the front.

Advice, Tips, and Tricks

  • Lynn has 10 rules on how to be successful on eBay. Among them are:
    1. You have to consistently use Markdown Manager all the time. You have to be running the Markdown Manager on a consistent basis. You have to put the Best Offer on every single item.
    2. You have to price super high. The higher you priced your item, the higher it's perceived value. People would think it as a better item and of a higher quality.
    3. You have to put your items on Auction first for a week. You don't want to leave money on the table. You could have something super rare that you would price it at $200 fixed price, but it could worth a thousand.
    4. Always raise the price after every Auction.
    5. You have to use Promoted Listings. That is where you can go and pick a percentage range of an item that has multiple quantities. Since Lynn started to use it in June, it added about $40 to $100 to her sales.
    6. You have to use Promotions. Lynn has this promo “Spend $50, Get 10% Off!” Normally, when the buyers look at your listings, it won't take them away from other sellers' items. That is where
    Promotions come in. It would direct the buyers back to your inventory. If you are running a sale, promote it by saying “pick up one of these things and spend up to $50 and get the extra 10%”.
  • Lynn spends her free time watching TV and list on eBay. She can watch TV and list at the same time. And while doing it, she is making money.
  • Listing to her is easy because she keeps on saying this to herself: “Sell Some More! Sell Some More!”
  • She always keeps 100 items on Auctions. Listing in Auction is a must because it drives traffic to your other Fixed Price listings. If people stop listing in Auction, eBay puts you down on Best Match. eBay does not promote anything that is not changing and updating.
  • Lynn goes out every weekend. She has made good friends with the Estate Sales dealers so she goes in first. She makes it a point to spend at least $100 so she can be invited back, before any dealer in the valley. She spends $500 to $2,000 in high-end quality stuff.
  • Lynn uses her iSell binder that allows her to keep track of the 17,000 different things she has. It shows the list of things that sell and don't sell on eBay. If it sells, the sheet goes in a pile of things that needs to be pulled. It got the shelf number and the buyer's name on it. When the items are pulled, it goes back to the shipping table for packing.

Quotes

  • “I'm willing to learn from anybody that does it!”
  • “Our inventory only gets better. We are not a grocery store. We are not a clothing store. Our inventory getsbetter with age. Theirs get worse.”
  • “The higher you priced the item, the higher its perceived value.”
  • “There is nothing I like better than watching TV and list on eBay! Because it is totally mindless.”
  • “A new stuff is a fun stuff!”

Tools

  • 1. Markdown Manager
  • 2. Promotions
  • 3. Promoted Listings

Contact Information

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