Make Money Tearing Up Old Books and Magazines … … and Selling Them on eBay http://www.magstoriches.com Make Money Tearing Up Old Books and Magazines and Selling Them on eBay Copyright Avril Harper, Meander Press. 2007 All information is provided in good faith and is accurate to the best of our knowledge. This document is for information purposes only and does not impart legal or financial advice to readers who must consult their own legal and professional advisors before spending money or taking action of any kind based on operating a business such as outlined in this document. No part of this course can be copied by any means whatsoever in part or total without the express written permission of the copyright holder. It is the reader’s responsibility to ascertain and abide by national and international legal, moral and ethical issues. 2 http://www.magstoriches.com 3 Make Money Tearing Up Old Books and Magazines and Selling Them on eBay IMPORTANT You can join our affiliate program and earn 60% by selling this eBook to your customers. You will find affiliate details at www.magstoriches.com/affiliate.html NOTE: Screenshots have been included throughout this book which may be difficult to view properly at actual paper size. Top of your screen in PDF Acrobat Reader you can increase the size of the page. Try 150%. That works well for me! BLOG eBay is a dynamic arena and it changes every day, as do the products being sold on eBay. I want you to succeed in this business and others I have planned to tell you about, so I’ve added a blog at www.magstoriches.com which you can access at a secret site I will email you about a few days after your purchase. I will change the blog site location frequently to prevent unauthorized access so please make sure my emails can circumvent any spam filters you may have in place. http://www.magstoriches.com C ontents Contents 4 P age Page Foreword Introduction Learn from Sellers With More Experience Than Yourself Starting Out on eBay Beginners’ Guide to eBay The Value of eBay Research Let Us Get Listing Together! The Magic of Second Chance Offers How to Start a Bidding War for Your eBay Listings Tips to Help Your Business Grow Quickly and Prosper Be Careful Using Templates for Your Listings Locate All Your Stock on eBay Problem of Perception Sell Photographs from Vintage Magazines and Newspapers Advertisements Articles Clippings Gifts and Advertising Novelties Patterns and Plans Posters Prints Decorate Your Products Turn Out of Copyright Publications into Top Selling Items on eBay Republish Early Book Illustrations Start Your Own Membership Site A Plethora of Profitable Product Ideas Summary 5 9 16 20 26 26 29 39 40 42 45 48 49 50 52 55 58 60 62 64 66 72 75 79 81 85 91 http://www.magstoriches.com 5 F or e wor d Foreword Personal Message from eBay PowerSeller Avril Harper, Chartered MCIPD “I Make Good Money Tearing Up Old Books and Magazines and Selling Them on eBay” (I’ll Show You How to Do the Same) For the past few years I’ve been tearing up old books and magazines and selling them on eBay and generating very good profits. The entire concept has made me an eBay PowerSeller – three times over – yet I genuinely am just touching the surface of this exciting opportunity. There’s much more to this business than any one person can ever hope to tackle and the market is wide open for more people to copy me exactly and generate some extra spending money or even earn a full-time living this way. No doubt you are wondering why I am giving you this vital information, why I should share my secrets with you. After all, if it’s this good why don’t I keep the entire business to myself and make sure no-one ever grabs a share of these easy profits? The truth is I have as much of the market as I can reasonably handle, and I genuinely don’t want to spend my entire working life cutting up old papers and magazines. I like writing, too, and publishing, and selling collectibles. So a few days a week is all I can manage for this business. The rest is wide open to you, and many more people, and there’s no way this market can ever be saturated even if thousands of people buy my guide. It’s all so easy, so profitable, so enjoyable, and when you see what’s involved you really will be amazed at the prices people all over the world will pay for items anyone can find, take home and dismantle, and ….. http://www.magstoriches.com 6 ………. Best of All ………. ….. you don’t have to learn for yourself how to get started making good money from tearing up easy-to-find books, newspapers and magazines, because Make Money Tearing Up Old Books and Magazines and Selling Them on eBay is packed with illustrations, showing you how to turn your finds into easy cash. You will discover, in precise detail, exactly how to operate one or a string of eBay businesses, all selling individual items removed from old books, magazines and newspapers, and how to turn almost every page of those publications into a profitable earnings source for you. It Gets Even Better Because ….. • No personal contact is required ………. Everything can be done by email, fax, telephone or post. • There is nothing else to buy ………. my guide, and the publications themselves ………. are all you need to get started and run this amazing business on eBay. • No special skills or knowledge are required ………. If you can open a book and carefully sift through the pages ………. you can operate this business. All you need are the publications themselves and knowledge of what to do with them next, alongside a complete step-by-step guide to placing your ads. on eBay at the right time, in the right place, at the right price. All this takes just a few minutes to do and costs very little. Even so there are many ways I will reveal to reduce the ‘work’ involved and lots of ways to cut costs to virtually zero and still those ads. can generate many dollars apiece and attract multiple bidders and lots of second chance offers. More about this second chance offer concept later where you won’t be surprised to find this is where the very biggest benefits exist in this easy business and where phenomenal profits are frequently made! • We have organized a special membership site to ensure you always have access to the very latest edition of this book and to provide access to new and upcoming bright ideas for turning a profit on newspapers and magazines you can buy for pennies and sell at very high profits. http://www.magstoriches.com 7 This Is What You Need to Know You Can: • Start this business right away with no risk whatsoever ….. there is little or no investment involved. I started with a book I already owned (It was a huge book about dogs and packed with pictures, text and diagrams) and a few pounds for eBay advertisements and some additional materials for presenting my stock (this is the big secret to turning sometimes absolute rubbish into valuable ‘must have’ items). I’ll give you precise examples in this book and show how you can emulate my success without ever encroaching on my market. • Run the whole thing from the comfort and privacy of your own home. • Be paid $5, $10 ….. even $100 or more by every customer. Remember some people will buy several of these items, others will bid up to incredible amounts for items that cost you pennies. Look at Illustration One, for example, look at prices paid for dog prints from a book that can easily be bought on eBay for less than $30, which contains dozens of prints that rarely go unsold at auction. I’ll tell you all about this type of product later, it’s a great niche market money spinner, and you could make a full time living on eBay by listing just one or two of this type of print each day. You’ll see illustrations of high bid items throughout this book including many for my own auctions. I’m working in the UK so £ signs are inevitable in parts of this book, but the business actually works better in the USA with its huge population and large niche market customer base on almost any subject you’d care to name. The fact is, although I started working mainly on ebay.co.uk I quickly discovered the bulk of my stocks went to America where the market is wide open for hundreds more people to market products similar to mine. The profits are unlimited, sometimes quite shocking, and only today someone paid me £29.01 for an item that cost me £10, and that £10 was for an entire book, still packed with pages for me to sell, and not just the few pages this customer purchased from me. It was that big dog book, Hutchinson’s Dog Encyclopaedia, http://www.magstoriches.com 8 that I mentioned earlier. If I get just ten more sales from that book, even at far lower bids, I’m sure you’ll agree the profits are well worthwhile. • Work when you like ……… mornings, evening or weekends ……… you choose the time and place. It really doesn’t get much easier, especially when you have someone already experienced in the business to guide you in the early days. So, without wasting any time, let’s get on with learning this business. Best wishes Avril Harper Avril Harper, Chartered MCIPD P. S. This document has been created as a FAST START GUIDE to selling items taken from old books and magazines on eBay. It was never intended to cover everything there is to know about selling on eBay. There is so much more to know about selling on eBay, so many different products to sell, so many tips and techniques to increase the perceived value of your items, and so much money waiting to be made. To help our readers I have added a selection of articles about selling on eBay to our sites at www.publishingcircles.com and www.avrilharper.com P. P. S. This document takes no account of the simple process of actually starting out in business, such as opening a business bank account, choosing a business name, registering to pay taxes, and so on. That information can easily be obtained from local libraries, government business advisory units, banks and accountants. It is the reader’s responsibility to comply with all local, regional, national and international rules and regulations affecting his or her business. http://www.magstoriches.com 9 IIntroduction ntroduction If you’re tired of buying business start up guides from people who tell you they are making lots of money on eBay but won’t give you their eBay ID to prove it, then worry no more. I will show you exactly what I do to generate good profits from this business. My eBay ID for this particular business is toppco – it stands for The Original Printed Paper Company because original paper items are my specialty. I’ll show you lots of screenshots and reveal my own selling secrets throughout this book and at the membership site set up to accompany it. Illustration One - Selling Section of One of My eBay Accounts Notice prices here are in £s, it’s my UK account, and it’s the one through which I sell most of my paper items, alongside other paper items here in the UK, while also attracting bids from all over the world. Note that my customer IDs have been obliterated for privacy purposes. http://www.magstoriches.com 10 Illustration One is an early screenshot for one of my eBay accounts, specializing in dog collectibles, which are essentially clippings and prints and other items taken from old books, magazines and newspapers. I chose this page because it highlights several types of items being sold and also introduces another profitable concept for anyone working with old newspapers and magazines, namely ‘The Public Domain’. More about this later. As you can see from the arrows at the left of the screen, out of ten items shown here, five are prints from old books and magazines, one is a book compiled from public domain information. Called Book of the Bulldog it’s essentially pictures and text copied, some of it retyped, most of it scanned, from early texts and illustrations. You may be surprised to know that the bulk of my stock comes from the United States, on ebay.com, where many suitable books are easily available at $50 a time or much less. The fact I can buy my stock so inexpensively from America is testament to the fact few people over there are running a business like mine. *** STOP PRESS *** Notice one of the items – PUG / PUGS. Named Dogs. Vintage Print. 1935/36 – currently has bids up to £26.81 - and still has several days left at auction. How much did that print cost me? About 20 pence, probably less, because it came from a book containing hundreds of pages, every one of which has an illustration of some kind. The final figure was £51 with two people bidding, one paying £51, the other accepting a second chance offer of £50. Both prints went to America. Let me show you more examples to illustrate the worldwide potential of this business. Some of these illustrations are several months old but that is irrelevant, they represent the same kind of things fetching very high profits today. I will add more examples later to prove the long term potential of this business. http://www.magstoriches.com Illustration Two - ‘Completed Listings’ for Keyword ‘Clippings’ Always lots of interest in articles, clippings and cuttings (mean much the same thing) about famous people, especially no longer living. Illustration Three - Cuttings Related to Popular Niche Market Always lots of interest for niche market subjects, in this case the paranormal. 11 http://www.magstoriches.com 12 Illustration Four - Articles for Niche Market Subjects, e.g. Boxing Sport is a hugely popular subject, especially boxing, baseball, football, golf, cricket. Illustration Five - Historical Subjects Are Also Hugely Profitable Al Capone and the Titanic Disaster are always popular sellers. http://www.magstoriches.com 13 Illustration Six - Infamous People Are Also Popular Legends, like Houdini, Elvis, Al Capone, Babe Ruth, have fetched huge prices on eBay. Illustration Seven - Influence of the Public Domain The public domain spawns an immense range of best selling products on and off eBay, such as these vintage patterns which are sent on CD or as an email attachment. http://www.magstoriches.com 14 Big Big Business Idea Articles, cuttings, patterns and other out of copyright, and so called ‘public domain’ items, can be copied – photocopied, scanned, photographed – and many will still sell very well today. Be sure to choose subjects which have a very strong collector following in their own right. Once you have a high priced article, relating to Houdini or the Titanic Disaster, for example, copy it before fulfilling the order. Offer the copies on eBay as I and lots of other PowerSellers do recreated as pictures, postcards, articles, prints. I could spend hours just researching and giving examples of items people are selling on eBay which you will shortly be selling, but that would just waste time that would be better spent on showing how to profit from all of this fabulous stuff. So let us content ourselves with a short list of the things you’ll be selling, all derived from books, magazines and newspapers: Prints Advertisements Publications Themselves Knitting, Sewing and Other Craftwork Patterns Free Gifts such as blotters, calendars, tape measures Puzzles Recipes How to Articles Historical Articles http://www.magstoriches.com 15 Famous People Articles Year Compilations Music Scores Stories, Novelettes and Other Out of Copyright Material etc., etc, etc. Illustration Eight - Items I am Currently Selling This advertisement for Pears’ Soap by Phil May is actually the back of a book containing hundreds of Phil May cartoons. It’s a bit grubby but it will clean up with a special soft eraser made especially for cleaning antiquarian books and prints. This page came from a huge book containing information, plans, patterns, and lots of information now classed as in the public domain. These toy patterns are great sellers on eBay and can be copied in print or digital format. http://www.magstoriches.com 16 Learn from Sellers With More Experience Than Yourself Today I discovered something even I didn’t think possible, namely eBayers all over the world specialising in clippings but, where I am happy with £20 a go for these items, some of these people were making hundreds of pounds a time for their clippings collections. The even bigger surprise was that many of these listings were not for original items, but rather they were photocopied versions, some had been retyped or otherwise copied, often as gif or jpeg files, and presented on CD. Here’s the proof of what I found that Sunday morning in a few simple screenshots and to find the exact same listings yourself do this using Illustration Nine as your starter point: 1) 2) 3) 4) Go to www.ebay.com - the biggest and best listings and business ideas are here. Go to ‘Search’ at the top of the screen. Wait for page to open. Go to ‘Advanced Search’. Wait for page to open. Type ‘articles’ – ‘clippings’ – ‘stories’ into the search category (A). (Do these on separate occasions, that is articles one time, clippings the next, and so on). 5) Go to ‘Completed Items’. Choose a search for ‘Any Country’ on all three options at the right side of the page (B) 6) Wait for listings to appear and click on one or two, especially those achieving highest prices, and once you find someone with a shop or PowerSeller status, click on ‘View Seller’s Other Items’ - I bet you will stay there for days just marvelling at the wonder of what you find. http://www.magstoriches.com 17 Illustration Nine - Using the Advanced Search Facility to Locate Hundreds of Ideas B A Illustration Ten - Screenshot Showing Completed Auctions from Advanced Search for ‘Clippings’ http://www.magstoriches.com 18 Notice the high prices achieved for some of these clippings. Notice, too, how sellers specialise, in pop music on this occasion, but in many other subjects also such as: cats, dogs, horses, China – the country, China – the material, great crimes, Jack the Ripper, and many, many, many more. Illustration Eleven - Immense Prices are Achievable Wow! This screenshot from recently completed auctions shows how wonderfully profitable this business can be. Look at those prices and wonder why you have waited so long to get started in this easy business. http://www.magstoriches.com 19 ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SELLERS OF DOGGY PRINTS And why, like me, you should look for a tiny niche with thousands of big spend bidders – then work hard to dominate it! Doggy Prints are Very Popular but There are Many Other Special Interest Subjects are Just as Prolific Auction Price Record Breakers, for example Sports Memorabilia, Topographical, Naval, Military, and Hundreds More. This is just one eBay seller who regularly makes very high profits (topping £100 a print on occasion) who has a very simple system for adding value to prints that cost literally pennies to buy and sell at incredible profits, especially in the run up to Christmas when prints make fabulous gifts. She simply adds a little color to her prints, adds a mount, and sells them as H/C (Hand Colored) thereby turning her very ordinary items into something quite unique. All names and listing numbers have been removed to preserve privacy of buyer and seller. READ MORE ABOUT DOGGY PRINTS later in this book and the fabulous prices they fetch when you apply a few easy techniques to improve the perceived value of your print. http://www.magstoriches.com 20 Starting Out on eBay Very little is required to get your business of the ground, just enthusiasm and commitment, alongside: • A computer. Nothing special is needed as long as you have Internet access but generally speaking the more up-to-date and faster the computer, the more successful you’re likely to be. • Internet access. Any ISP will do but if you don’t have Broadband then aim for a one-fee service provider, such as AOL, for which you pay a standard fee regardless of how many hours you spend online. If you have Broadband you already pay a fixed fee with no additional telephone charges. • Digital camera or scanner. Quality illustrations are paramount to successfully selling paper collectibles and ephemera on eBay. • Credit Card (to prove you are genuine, it won’t necessarily be charged). • eBay sellers’ account. • PayPal account (not compulsory but it tempts impulse buys and many people won’t buy from non-PayPal sellers). PayPal is almost essential for selling overseas and means you can charge and be paid in domestic currency which PayPal converts to local currency at the buyers’ end. PayPal takes a variable percentage of the transaction fee from sellers. Go to www.paypal.com to open an account. • Broadband helps again because the more items you list the more money you’ll make and you can list many times faster with Broadband (in my case about thirty items an hour listing vintage prints, compared to ten or so without Broadband). • Something to sell, better still lots of things to sell. And there are so many things to sell, you’ll be totally spoiled for choice, as you are about to find out. http://www.magstoriches.com 21 About Feedback Feedback is a process whereby buyers and sellers rate one another based on actual experience. Getting positive feedback is important for building a business on eBay and a reputation based on what other eBayers say about you. Negative feedback is represented as a proportion of overall feedback, so the lower your feedback rating, the higher the impact negative feedback has, unlike PowerSellers with, say, 10,000 feedbacks, for whom one more negative has almost zero effect. Once feedback is given, even in the heat of the moment, it can’t be changed, so a negative stays with you for life. That’s more or less what eBay say, but in reality it isn’t always so. Most feedback is constructive, not destructive or the result of a tantrum, unlike the only one I got, last Christmas, when an item I posted did not arrive next day. IT WAS CHRISTMAS REMEMBER! I got that removed on advice from eBay to join SquareTrade – www.squaretrade.com - who, for a low price, about twenty dollars, will mediate between parties to a negative feedback in a bid to have the feedback removed. Adverse feedback can also be removed by mutual agreement between parties via eBay’s negotiation system. These are some of the reasons you’ll get bad feedback: • Delay in sending product. • Sending product badly wrapped. • Not sending product at all. • Item not as described. • Not answering emails. • Charging high postage and trying to make more money that way. • In retaliation for you giving negative feedback to another eBayer. This is the most worrying aspect of all for serious business eBayers who, though they know it’s their duty to warn other sellers about undesirable customers, are often too http://www.magstoriches.com 22 afraid of incurring negative feedback purely as a result of leaving it for others. I AM GOING TO ADMIT here that I never give feedback first, I always give it when good feedback has been left for me by individual buyers or sellers. That may be breaking eBay’s unwritten rules, I don’t know, but I do believe the feedback system is seriously flawed and very subjective. • Just Because! Sorry, but some people will complain about anything and nothing, and will leave feedback out of jealousy, because they are having a bad day, or because the Christmas post slowed down the item you sent to them! Or Just Because! Illustrations Twelve and Thirteen how feedback appears in an eBay account and how it helps distinguish ‘good’ from ‘bad’ eBayers. But remember some negatives are given out of spite and pure nastiness and, likewise, many positive feedbacks are given purely to avoid reciprocal negative feedback. Which would you prefer to buy from given the following real life eBayers as judged from their feedback review? Illustration Twelve – Example of Negative Feedback Would you buy from this person? The ‘No Longer a Registered User’ message at the top right of the screen probably means the person has chosen to leave eBay of his or her own accord or else has been removed by eBay as an unsuitable - very unsuitable - member of the eBay fraternity. http://www.magstoriches.com 23 Illustration Thirteen – Example of Positive Feedback Much better wouldn’t you say? You Also Need • A friendly, considerate disposition, and the ability to handle difficult people, all help avoid the ‘Big N*’ which can seriously damage your business. (*Negative feedback!!!). • Cash to get started is minimal. For example, most items with a starting price of less than $9.99 cost about $0.50 to list on eBay. • The business can be self-financing. I’ve got my selling activities down to a fine art. Most eBayers use PayPal, including eBay itself for collecting selling fees (not surprising as eBay actually owns PayPal). So every few days I click on ‘Accounts’ in my personal eBay area, view the amount I owe eBay, then click on ‘Pay Using PayPal’. Easy, and because I know everything left in my PayPal account now belongs to me, I can confidently list more and more items, take more money into my PayPal account from winning bidders, and every few days use PayPal to clear my eBay fees. All this means I need never worry about nasty listing bills appearing later. http://www.magstoriches.com 24 • Time to list items and handle fulfilment as well as to communicate with eBayers who will ask questions about points not mentioned in your listing. Obviously, the more items you offer, the more time you’ll need to run your business properly. As a rule of thumb, I’d say anyone could easily offer ten different repeat sale items, and get by on just a few hours a week for listing, relisting and fulfilling orders, and half an hour each day for answering emails, and so on. EXPERT AND NOVICE EBAY SELLERS ALIKE! There is obviously much more to know about selling on eBay which is largely outside the purview of this book. But because I want you to succeed, new and old eBay hands alike, you’ll find a selection of free guides to download about eBay at www.avrilharper.com http://www.magstoriches.com 25 LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED - because you can find spectacular profits in the most unexpected of places. The print below sold for £120 plus on eBay. It is an original watercolor, of Peel Harbour in the Isle of Man. It isn’t especially good and I could have worked far harder at presenting it. See the tiny crinkles on the scan? They could easily have been ironed out (iron from the back with thin cloth between iron and paper item) and it could in fact have generated much higher bidding. But then I never expected a page torn out from a child’s autograph album, dated 1911, would be worth anything more than £3 or £4. More fool me! This album came with a large bundle of postcards I really wanted, the autograph album I considered worthless rubbish. Given the fabulous profits from this album, there were actually ten more similar prints in the book which also sold well on eBay, I will definitely allow at least another few hours for studying autograph albums as well as photograph albums and scrapbooks at auction. http://www.magstoriches.com 26 The Value of eBay Research You can discover exactly which areas people visit most on eBay and consequently help determine suitable subjects for you to check out in books and other publications containing prints and other potential single page sellers. You can also determine which words they use to find products like yours, allowing you to choose carefully those important keywords required in your auction titles. There are several places where eBay provides this assistance. This is how to do it using eBay’s Pulse Pages. The Pulse Pages denote eBay’s most active listings and are a great source of information to help sellers increase their profits. This is where you not only find the currently most commonly visited listings within specific eBay categories, but you can also check out most commonly used keywords and phrases used by potential bidders to locate products within a specific category or sub-category. Go to the pulse page at http://ebay.pulse.com and at the bottom of the page you’ll see the currently most visited listings on eBay, left of the screen is a portion dedicated to currently most popular keywords. These listings can be narrowed down by manoeuvring within the categories menu and sub-menu shown in the next illustration. Illustration Fourteen – eBay’s Home Page on its .com Site This is where you can access all eBay categories, like this: http://www.magstoriches.com 27 Illustration Fifteen – Lots of Categories to Choose From Let us go with ‘Crafts’ for now which the next illustration shows we can further subcategorise, in this case we will choose ‘Crocheting’. Illustration Sixteen – Finding a Niche Sub-Category The next page shows the most popular searches, that is keywords, for Crocheting includes ‘Vintage Crochet’. http://www.magstoriches.com 28 Illustration Seventeen – Finding Hot Keywords and Phrases Click on ‘Vintage Crochet’ and you’ll see current listed items with bids. Illustration Eighteen – Researching Hot Keyword Listings This is a great place to research publications containing patterns for you to list as original items as well as to copy for today’s craftworkers. http://www.magstoriches.com 29 Let Us Get Listing Together! Selling looks complicated when you first begin but it’s actually quite easy. My first few weeks of selling made me dread getting up on a morning. So much to do, so many things to check, so many things to go wrong. Nothing much ever did really go wrong! The first time you list an item the whole process feels complicated but with a few weeks’ experience it’s a simple question of pressing a few buttons, making changes if you like. Let’s look at what’s involved for your first sale. We’ll use one of my products, a doggy print, as our example. Illustration Nineteen – Print from National Geographic Dogs Edition 1919 Brief Description of the Product This is one of our most popular prints and a consistently good seller. It’s a picture of Greyhounds by an artist called Louis A. Fuertes and it is an original print or book plate, not a reprint or copy, taken from a genuine copy of National Geographic Magazine, March 1919. It has been mounted ready to frame and the outside measurement is 10 inches by 8 inches. It is in good condition and I have produced a certificate of authenticity testifying that it is an original. Big Tip: Once I have listed this item, I then have a template for all identical items as well as all other breeds of dog from the magazine concerned given that all were by the same http://www.magstoriches.com 30 artist. So the one template works for all dog breeds in the publication with just a few amendments required to reflect breed and listing category. The same goes for clippings of all breeds of dog taken from a specific source which can be created in simple template format and amended purely to suit individual breeds, number of pages in the clippings package, age and condition of the items, and so on. Now let’s see how to sell – or more appropriately, list my Greyhound print. Go to your chosen eBay site. Go to ‘Sell’ as the top of the screen and click through. You’ll be asked to provide your ID and password, then click on ‘SIGN IN’. Now choose a selling format: auction, buy it now, shop, describing the various selling methods available. Choosing Categories Now you’ll be asked to choose a category for your listing, this being the place you consider buyers most likely to congregate. Sometimes the choice is simple and there’ll be a category just perfect for you, for example ‘Collecting > Advertising’ and ‘Art > Prints’, whatever best suits your product. You may also choose a second category for the same listing if appropriate. eBay also has a Category Selector Tool into which you key a few words describing your item, in response to which you’ll receive a list of possible places to list your item. TIPS • Sometimes eBay’s own suggestions are perfect, sometimes they’re a waste of time and can actually restrict your selling chances. All depends on the words used to describe your item. If your choice of words or description are wrong or is misunderstood by eBay’s Category Selector Tool, you’ll be worse off than using a pin to choose your category. • Learn from experience and spend time studying eBay’s categories, noticing where other sellers have placed similar items, how they’ve described them, what starting prices and reserve prices apply. By the way, most buyers hate reserve prices and prefer to see a realistic starting price which is just as useful to you and less confusing for them. http://www.magstoriches.com 31 Illustration Twenty – Learning from Other Sellers’ Listings This is the home page of ebay.co.uk – I’m using this illustration because the .com version was used in a previous illustration and because front pages change, making it useful to understand the variations right away. Click here and you will be taken through to the page shown in Illustration Twenty-One. You can also search here. http://www.magstoriches.com 32 Illustration Twenty-One – Advanced Search Facility Type Words To Describe Your Product Here Note the Completed Listings Option Here – more about this later. When listings appear to your search, click on those that most resemble your product and when the listing opens, at the very top you can see the category chosen for the listing. http://www.magstoriches.com 33 Illustration Twenty-Two – Checking Someone Else’s Chosen Category This is the category chosen for this advertisement. • Don’t use a second category until you have experience; work at getting the first category right before expanding. • Once you’ve chosen the category, click through to the next page which may require you to choose a sub-category. If you chose ‘Collectibles’ as your first category, for example, you’ll now have to choose from types of collectible postcards, animals, pez dispensers – again, be precise, and learn what you can from other sellers before wasting your hard earned cash on mistakes. NOTE: In time, I discovered the best place for my greyhound print in the UK was ‘Collectibles’, sub-category ‘Animals’, sub-sub-category ‘Dogs’, last category ‘Greyhound/Whippet’. http://www.magstoriches.com 34 Creating Titles and Descriptions After categories come ‘Titles and Descriptions’, where you provide information about your product which hopefully encourages bids and discourages dozens of emails for more information. Creating listings is an art form, and a science, too, and must never be hurried or guessed at. AIDA is the formula to which all sales materials comply - it stands for the process of selling by: Attracting ATTENTION Gaining INTEREST Creating DESIRE Forcing ACTION On eBay this means getting people to notice your advertisement, get them interested and make them click on your listing, get them to want your item, and finally get them to act – namely to bid. Experience taught me that, for prints, the most important words for the headline were: ‘Vintage’, ‘Early’, ‘Original’, ‘Print’, ‘Book Plate’, and others, coupled with breed of dog and year the print was published. http://www.magstoriches.com 35 Illustration Twenty-Three - Typical Listing for the Greyhound Print GREYHOUND. Vintage Original Print / Book Plate. 1919 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE – DOGS ISSUE MARCH 1919 GREYHOUNDS Beautiful print of Greyhounds from original by Louis A. Fuertes. Not a reprint or copy. Good condition. Mounted ready to frame. Mount size: 10 inches x 8 inches, aperture approximately 8 inches x 6 inches. BIG TIP: Spend as long as you can studying other people’s advertisements for products similar to those you are selling. Remember to use the ADVANCED SEARCH facility to find successful finished auctions to locate similar items and determine what helped some sell, and why others failed. Spend time studying listings, categories, words used, etc. Once you’re finished, click through to the next page where you’ll provide pictures and details. Adding Pictures and Payment/Fulfillment Details ‘Pictures’ is self-explanatory; ‘details’ is all about using special devices to create impact for your listings, such as emboldening text, using special highlight colors, having your listings appear in high-traffic locations, and more. Until you gain experience, just create a simple listing and forget the add-ons with the exception of having your illustration featured alongside the title in all eBay listings. This Gallery feature is useful given that pictures really do help sell products. It costs nothing to have your first picture listed inside your description where people only see it once your headline has attracted their attention and made them want to know more (This is where AIDA comes to the fore). http://www.magstoriches.com 36 You can also pay more for extra features to make your listing more noticeable, such as emboldened text, featured top spot in your chosen category, and others. My advice: forget the expensive add-ons, they are not at all necessary for the type of products you are selling. If you just get the title right in your listing and use keywords to attract your potential buyers, those people will work hard to find you, not vice versa. Payment and Postage Details Click through to the next page were you’ll give Payment and Postage details. This is all very straightforward, you’ll give the starting price for your product, state whether a reserve price is required, and if you are offering BUY IT NOW you’ll give the appropriate price. You’ll also state what payment options are available, such as PayPal, check or postal order, credit card, other. SPECIAL NOTE: If you decide to sell worldwide, I recommend you insist overseas buyers use PayPal or other intermediary payment processor but not Western Union which is banned by eBay. I also recommend your starting price is one you’d be happy to accept if only one person bids. The higher bidding goes the better for you,, and by setting an acceptable starting price you won’t risk selling your item at way below the price you paid for it. You will come by many eBayers who swear you should set a really low starting price, regardless of how much the item is actually worth. This is to save on listing costs and also to generate bidding from people ‘trying their luck’ and hoping they’ll get a real bargain if theirs is the only bid. The theory is that once a bid has been placed, others will invariably follow. I’m not altogether in agreement as very often you’ll end up selling the item at a silly bargain price. I recommend your starting price is the very minimum you want to make on the item. Finally, click through to the next page where you’ll ‘Review and Submit’ your listing. Reviewing and Submitting Your Listing Details Be careful, study everything, check for misprints and mistakes, and then press to submit. If you discover a mistake you can revise your listing, subject to conditions, by entering your eBay Summary page and clicking on the little arrow under ‘Action’ right side of the page. You can make other changes at this particular place as you’ll discover if you spend a short while studying the various elements of the page. Now You Wait, Look and Learn! http://www.magstoriches.com 37 The listing’s up there, your products are ready to sell, and there are still seven days (other options exist though seven days seems most popular) to go before your first auction ends. Now it’s time to sit back awhile, take a break, and spend time learning about what happens when items do sell, and what happens if they don’t! Go to www.ebay.com (or other area) and click on ‘My eBay’ at the top of the screen where you’ll be asked to sign in using your ID and password. On some computers your ID will be stored but unless you store your password personally – not recommended – you’ll have to remember it each time you access your personal panel. Sometimes you’ll be connected directly with your personal panel, sometimes you’ll reach a page where you can click on ‘My eBay’ to see how your listings are progressing. http://www.magstoriches.com 38 Why the best item to buy to resell is something nobody wants and would never contemplate buying. But wait, there is an incredibly good reason for you to buy that item and with just a few minutes’ effort I’ll show you how to turn it into something people will fall over themselves to buy! This is the stuff bidding wars and eBay record breaking auction prices are made of. The very best type of item is a book, packed with prints, even damaged and dirty prints, with covers that are torn and tattered, dirty and totally useless to collectors and booksellers. Like a book I bought at Hexham Auction Mart a few weeks ago, it cost £10, but as a collectors’ item in good condition it was worth several hundred pounds. It contained lots of cat prints by Louis Wain, which are always hugely collectable and can fetch really high finishing prices on eBay. The secret here is to dismantle the book, separate the prints and neaten the edges. Discard any that are really dirty and damaged, these will just spoil your reputation on eBay and lower the perceived of your other prints. Now all you do is add a mount, call the whole thing a ‘matted print’ (it just means ‘mounted ready to frame’) and list it on eBay. My purchase had about thirty Louis Wain prints still in good condition, some of which fetch $20, some $50, It is not a good idea to list all prints together from a package such as the one I bought as this floods your own little market and again lowers the perceived value of your prints and makes bidding wars less likely. http://www.magstoriches.com 39 The Magic of Second Chance Offers You will often find your listings attract plentiful bidders and lots of scope for Second Chance Offers where duplicate items exist. I don’t personally agree with this feature, it just does not seem fair that the winning bid is really the losing bidder where second chance offers are made after the sale. Let’s see how this works on eBay. Let’s say you auctioned a dog print, by Lucy Dawson, from her Dogs as I See Them book. The auction attracted four eager buyers, and a finishing price of $42. Imagine, too, that you can easily obtain copies of the book at $100 a time, and that these are the final bids of your four eager bidders. Bidder 1 - $42 Bidder 2 - $41 Bidder 3 - $31 Bidder 4 - $21 When the auction ends, Bidder Number 1 gets the print for $42. If you already have duplicate stock you might consider offering bidders 2 to 4 the print at their finishing bids. But notice that, if bidder number 4 gets the print for $21, then he pays $21 less than the ‘winning’ bidder. This is why I consider Second Chance offers a tad unfair at times. But if there is money to be made from it, who am I to complain? You, the seller, must decide which Second Chance Offer orders to make based on the price you paid for stock you already have and the cost and ease of obtaining duplicate items in sufficient time to fulfill second chance orders without risking delivery delays or eating too heavily into your profits. Oftentimes a book will be so rare that duplicate stock is almost impossible to find but there is another potentially very profitable option here, namely one of offering reprints of prints and other items which are in the public domain, that is out of copyright or for which copyright never applied. Be careful however and be absolutely sure your customers know which items are genuine one hundred per cent original and which are recent copies. http://www.magstoriches.com 40 How to Start a Bidding War for Your eBay Listings You’ll see how, for a little extra ‘work’ you can increase your prices significantly and still have people fighting between themselves to buy whatever you are selling. This is so easy, yet most people on eBay just don’t know this secret I reveal here, even though it costs nothing and takes just a few minutes to do. One-off items such as you will soon be selling, emanating from publications which may have been published in limited edition and are now quite rare usually attract multiple bidders and start a frantic bidding war where even the smallest item, such as a pattern or advertisement. Bidding wars are great, you can make many more times for one of hundreds of pages derived from a magazine than whatever you paid for the entire magazine. There are a few other things you can do to start your own private bidding war, such as: • List two items in one listing, to appeal to potential buyers or different interests. So, for example, you might list an article about Houdini with a magic game that came free with an early magazine, meaning your listing will attract both Houdini fans and magic fans in general, as well as people seeking unusual new tricks to actually use today. • You can choose two categories to suit a single item listing or a multiple item listing such as the Houdini / magic trick listing. Different categories attract different people but only if items you list actually do appeal to people searching through those categories. Get it right and one listing can attract multiple bidders from each of two different categories and culminate in a fierce bidding war. http://www.magstoriches.com Illustration Twenty-Four – Article Turned into A Decorative Piece This article from a publication dated 1954 isn’t what you’d call ‘old’ but it did attract several bidders but who knows whether they bid on the poem itself or because the seller had turned it into such a decorative piece? 41 http://www.magstoriches.com 42 Tips to Help Your Business Grow Quickly and Prosper Let us go with lots of tips but don’t forget there is so much more to learn about selling on eBay a great deal of which is included in articles at my sites www.avrilharper.com and www.publishingcircles.com. • Don’t think if an item goes unsold first time round that no-one really wants it. It usually isn’t so. I have listed items that attracted no bids at all in their first listing, only to have people fighting over them and generating great prices second time round. eBay is one of the fastest changing markets ever. New people register daily, some leave, sometimes people find categories they hadn’t noticed before, people’s needs change, fashions change. Items that don’t sell first time can easily be best sellers just a few weeks later. • Market your most likely best sellers off the Internet. For example, I had a postcard recently depicting a very famous classical concert conductor from the late 1890s. I found a list of newspapers from all over the world, dedicated to classical music, and sent an email about the card, including its listing number on eBay. I don’t know if my actions influenced the steady bidding on the item, but it took just a few minutes to send the press release by email and bidding was better than I expected. • Be honest in all aspects of your business and treat customers with utmost care and attention. Be honest in all your product listings and descriptions. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Offer a satisfaction or money back guarantee to generate more bidders and to help alleviate whatever negative feedback might result from dissatisfied buyers. • Offer as many payment options as possible, to tempt more buyers. Some people prefer to pay by check, or cash, some prefer PayPal. But see the next tip first. • There is no such thing as the ‘right price’. No-one knows how much an item is really worth, even at auction. Price is what someone is prepared to pay at any point in time. At auction an item might go for many times its catalogue value, or for a pittance if your product is badly described or goes in an unsuitable category! Regarding price being what people are prepared to pay, today I sold four miniature postcards for TWENTY ONE POUNDS. I have more than forty years’ experience http://www.magstoriches.com 43 of buying and selling old postcards, and never in my wildest dreams did I expect more than a fiver, for all four cards! • Most paper items with just light stains can be left as they are and still attract eager bidders. People expect items aged 100 years or so to show a few signs of age, it shows they are more likely to be genuine than other items in pristine condition. But grime and dust, scribbles and pencil notes do not look good and can detract from the appearance of the item and its selling potential. Most such blemishes can be removed with a light eraser or piece of dry bread. Rub the eraser or dry bread carefully across the problem area, in one direction not back and forwards or you could cause the item to crinkle or tear. There are ways to remove heavy foxing and really dirty stains from antique prints which involves chemicals and wet cleaning which is well outside the scope of most eBay sellers and not often commensurate with the extra value added to the item. If you think you have a valuable, but very dirty print, and you want to test its value in good clean condition, then leave it to a professional, the kind you’ll find advertising in journals targeted at collectors of antiquarian books. • Look for add-on profits from every sale by either directing buyers to your eBay shop for similar or complementary items or by adding a catalogue or list of offers in their product delivery package. • Think economies of scale. Buy products in bulk but only if you have a winning product on your hands. The more you buy, generally speaking the less you pay, and the cumulative effect on your profits can be immense. • Save every listing you make. If you followed my advice above, and you’re specializing in one area, all you have to do for new listings is adjust your description, take a new picture and relist the item. eBay’s software Turbo Lister allows you to create and keep listings offline which can be edited and uploaded in bulk. It is absolutely wonderful and I recommend you obtain Turbo Lister right away. You’ll find it available under ‘Selling Links’ at the left side of all your personal eBay pages. • Some items naturally attract more people in their country of origin, especially collectibles such as vintage prints of New York City (they’ll attract more interest on eBay.com), and others from Melbourne, Australia (best on eBay.com.au), and Berlin, Germany (ebay.de). In reality, really enthusiastic bidders check the entire eBay marketplace through the ‘Search’ facility, but you can never be sure, so http://www.magstoriches.com 44 consider your market carefully for every new listing (‘new’ meaning untested items which can be obtained again later if listings go well). • Regarding packing, for paper items such as clippings and framed prints, pack them first in a see-through envelope and fold to fit the items without squashing them in. For clippings, just place them inside a white envelope of appropriate size and again into a hard backed envelope ready for posting. Prints are a little more delicate and I always pack the print inside pieces of hard card just a little bigger than the print itself, before placing it into a hard-backed envelope or other suitable wrapping. Do not, EVER, fold a print or other item for any reason, especially to force it inside a package for posting. A long circular posting tube is best for very big prints and maps, for example, but be careful of textured surfaces which might crack from being rolled to fit the tube. http://www.magstoriches.com 45 Be Careful Using Templates for Your eBay Listings I’m one of many people who list sometimes hundreds of items every day using templates such as provided by Turbo Lister. They are great, you create a title and description just once to suit virtually all ‘same-kind’ items, like postcards, music sheets, first day covers, prints and advertisements. It makes listing so much faster when all you do is change one or two words in the title, change the illustration, and press to upload. Here’s an example, based on postcards I was selling last month, all from the early 1900s, all in the same condition. The very same problems can ensue wherever you list items that have very similar qualities and lend themselves well to using a template. My title for an original postcard template was this: LOCATION OF POSTCARD c1900 Postcard The description in all said something like ‘Old postcard, dated 1900, good condition’. This remained constant throughout so I just changed the illustration and Postcard Topographical Location in titles for every one of those 100 listings. Listing number one looked like this: STOCKTON-ON-TEES c1900 Postcard I uploaded it right away, then it occurred to me there was something else I should include in the title. These were wonderfully attractive real photographic postcards from a well-known and very popular north eastern photographer, namely Brittain and Wright of Gateshead well known for their Phoenix series. I wanted some of that information to go in my title, so I changed my original template, to look like this: TOPOGRAPHICAL LOCATION c1900 Brittain & Wright Postcard This became my master template and all I did then was change the title of the http://www.magstoriches.com 46 topographical area in the title, like this: STOCKTON-ON-TEES c1900 Brittain & Wright Postcard And this: EAGLESCLIFFE - STOCKTON-ON-TEES c1900 Brittain & Wright Postcard And This: BILLINGHAM - STOCKTON-ON-TEES c1900 Brittain & Wright Postcard My 99 listings with Brittain & Wright looked so better and said so much more than my first listing without Brittain & Wright. But strangely, only the first item sold, the others didn’t even attract one bidder. I wondered why, I began to check. The main word ‘Postcard’ would attract lots of eager bidders and buyers, in fact the first listing, the one that sold, had over 20 viewers as spotted from the free eBay visitor counters available in Turbo Lister. It was ages later before the reason hit me as to why those 99 listings failed and it had all to do with being too eager to list, and even more to do with complacency commonly confronting ‘same item’ listings using templates. The fact was those extra words Brittain & Wright had knocked my title outside the 55 characters allowed in eBay’s listing titles. I checked the first template, the one without Brittain & Wright, that template would have fitted all of my postcard titles. But I failed to check what effect those extra words Brittain & Wright would have on my title. The end result was 99 listings ending in such as: postc, postca, postcar, and lots more variations depending on just how many of the final characters were thrown out when I included my postcard titles. NINETY NINE listings and not one including that most important word to make my products sell ‘Postcard’. Some did however include ‘Post’, ‘Postc’, and some longer variations, but not one had the word in full meaning people searching for ‘Postcard’ would find just one of my listings. The most important thing to remember here is that few http://www.magstoriches.com 47 people look into actual categories, such as Collectibles > Postcards to find what they want, most simply key a main word used to describe their collecting interest into eBay’s search engines, in this case ‘Postcard’. It doesn’t happen often, it wouldn’t have to or I’d lose money fast, but it does mean I need to cast at least a cursory glance over my listings on Turbo Lister before uploading them to eBay. http://www.magstoriches.com 48 Locate All Your Stock on eBay eBay is one of the best places to find publications to use in your business. I buy all my old dog prints on eBay in the form of books by popular artists like Lucy Dawson, Cecil Aldin, Nina Scott Langley. Few people bid on these books other than to read or collect them and they will bid up to the actual market value of the book which is often way below the possible eBay value for one item from the publication later turned into a print. Locate stock by maintaining careful records of publications from which your own and other eBay sellers’ best individually presented prints and posters, articles and other items come. Determine how much each book is worth to you in terms of resell values for those individual items, then actively search for similar items selling on eBay. Because you will make so much from your individually listed items you can afford to bid way above the typical price of the book collector. There’s an easy way to find thousands of books containing hundreds of illustrations (for posters, advertisements, prints, articles, etc.) for countless different high selling subjects. You do it using eBay’s search engine, at the top right of any screen, and mid-way down the home page. Choose ‘Books, Comics and Magazines’ as your main category and key in specific words such as ‘illustrated’, ‘illustration’, ‘advertisement’, to find potential good buys across a wide horizon of subjects. Or key in specific words to locate specific interest books, such as ‘dog illustrations’, ‘fire service advertisements’, ‘photographs New York’, and so on. The first search type, using one word commands, will leave lots of books to choose from. The second search type, more specific than its partner, will involve more work in the search stage but lets you hone in directly on books to suit you precisely. Tip: When you find someone offering products to suit you, add the seller to your ‘favourite sellers’ list because many specialise in particular subjects or collectibles and could represent regular suppliers for your business. http://www.magstoriches.com 49 Problem of Perception Some people see what they want to see in your eBay listing, and often see something you promise which actually is not promised at all. Let me explain: for many people the word ‘print’ means expensive, limited production, very rare. But they are wrong because ‘print’ is the actual process of preparing a printed item, it does not always refer to the item itself. So, because you say you are listing a ‘print by Cecil Aldin’, for example, some people will think you are offering an illustration that may be one of just a few created from an original of Aldin’s work., rather than the item being an illustration ‘printed’ in a rare vintage book which you have dismantled to resell individual items on eBay. I had this problem surface many times and once I explained their mistake to buyers, all was well, even if some still wanted a refund. The problem was eventually solved by very carefully wording my eBay listing and describing the item as a ‘book plate / print’ from an early book illustrated by ‘Named Artist’. The fact you are breaking no rules by referring to pages from magazines and books as ‘prints’ may antagonise some people, and even though it is their fault, their misconception, you should act to avoid any problems later and certainly to avoid complaints and refunds. This example shows how I word my listing to minimise problems: Original book plate / print from one of Lucy Dawson's (also known as 'Mac') spectacular books published in 1936. Genuine item, not a copy or reprint, guaranteed 70 years old. Matted ready to frame. Overall size in mount 8 inches by 10 inches. Would make a wonderful present. http://www.magstoriches.com 50 Sell Photographs From Vintage Magazines and Newspapers At the turn of the 19th / 20th centuries many newspapers and magazines began replacing hand drawn and engraved illustrations in their publications with photographic images which are collectable in their own right. On eBay, and elsewhere, you’ll find people selling pages clipped from magazines containing text and photographs and achieving very good prices. Here’s a big tip: rather than dismantle an old publication to sell photographic images separately, try scanning one or two items while still in their original binding. If these items sell, try a few more, if those sell, consider dismantling the main item and list individual articles with photographic images. I have often found this technique more than quadruples, sometimes much more than quadruples the potential resell value of the original publication. My most profitable sources for this technique include Illustrated London News, Graphic, Sphere, but there are many others you’ll usually find selling at low prices at local auction or on eBay itself http://www.magstoriches.com 51 Look Between the Covers It isn’t just text and illustrations many books contain. You’ll often find books used as places to store small flat collectibles, like separate prints, funeral cards, newspaper clippings, and these items can be immensely valuable in their own right. Here, for instance, is a funeral card I found in an old history book. At first glance it looks like any early In Memoriam card, but look more closely and you will see it is also a valuable piece of local history interest and also of import to collectors of mining memorabilia. I found several similar cards inside the book from which this one came, each pertaining to one of several miners killed during a fall of coal at New Shildon Colliery, County Durham, England in 1880. The original book packed with text and prints cost me about $100 (around $200) and will probably yield many times that amount for its bound contents once dismantled and sold individually. These small funeral cards fetched up to $16 each and sold on eBay the first time they were listed. http://www.magstoriches.com 52 Advertisements Here you are normally specializing in the kind of full-page advertisements found in great profusion in very early publications. Advertisements might be colored or black and white, photographic or artist-drawn. Whatever shape they take, framed and unframed, mounted and unmounted advertisements are very popular on eBay. You can sell advertisements displayed in see-through packages or they can be mounted ready to frame or even fully framed ready to display. I have always sold advertisements unframed, and find them highly popular with collectors and dealers alike. Many collectors buy handfuls of advertisements especially of their favorite subjects or if prices are low. Some publications are prolific sources of quality advertisements, especially Illustrated London News and National Geographic, The Graphic, The Sketch, and many more besides. To understand how profitable this business can be, consider that some early publications included twenty or more full-page advertisements, which can easily resell on eBay at $20 apiece or more. Better still, those magazines can be purchased in bulk for pennies at local auctions, flea markets and collectors’ fairs. The secret is to arrive early in the day at garage and boot sales, flea markets, jumble sales and collectors' fairs and buy every pre-1940 publication you can find featuring advertisements before the trade arrives and gives your bargain hunting game away. To know whether you are getting a bargain, count the ads in an average issue, multiply this by 50 cents (about 25p in the UK) and that's the very minimum the publication is worth to you. More likely you'll be offered the publication at much less than this, especially if you buy in bulk. As for most ephemera-based projects, the secret is to buy inexpensively, package and display well, and sell individually in specifically themed categories, such as Coca Cola, http://www.magstoriches.com 53 Dogs, Horses, Food and Drink, and more as you will see from sub-categories within eBay UK’s Collectibles/Advertising section which closely resemble other eBay sites: Chemist Distillery/Spirits Drinks Coca Cola Coffee/Tea/Cocoa Pepsi Soft Drinks Other Drinks Advertising Fashion/Clothing Food Bakery Cereal Confectionery Dairy Packaging/Drinks Signs Transportation Aeronautica Petrol/Oil Other Transportation Advert There are many, many categories in which to sell your prints, clippings and other paper items as you will discover by studying other people’s listings. Note, too, that some items which might more accurately go under ‘Advertisements’ could actually sell better in other categories, such as advertisements for early dog related items which I would personally sell in the dog collectibles section. The next illustration shows my own listing which has several popular collecting themes and should enjoy a high finishing price. It is a poster advertisement (so called because it http://www.magstoriches.com 54 is large and would make a good wall decoration), it is antique (published 1900 so officially antique), and it is the work of one of the world’s most popular artists, Cecil Aldin. Notice how I carefully ensured the artist, age, product and poster potential feature in my title? Illustration Twenty-Five – A Cecil Aldin Advertising Print http://www.magstoriches.com 55 Articles People have always enjoyed reading about subjects that interest them, which most of the time means buying newspapers and books or reading about their favorite subjects online. But people are also keen to read very old information about their favorite subjects, even if that information originally appeared several hundred years ago. And so you will find people bidding on eBay for articles taken from antique and recent publications, some just out of interest and for pure reading potential, others as collectors keen on owning anything ever written and illustrated about their popular subjects. Generally speaking, all you need do is remove the pages from the magazines that feature articles you want to sell which you then illustrate and describe in your eBay listings. One publication may in fact yield several profitable items for selling on eBay, some publications just one. The latter type, where just one subject might interest eBay buyers, are usually special interest niche type publications or from a specific topographical location. Where just one potential selling subject exists, you are faced with either selling the publication as one lot or dissected into individual articles. In such a case, I tend to scan the articles without removing them from the publication, list them separately, days apart, to see if the articles will sell individually and make it worth my while dissecting the magazine. If nothing sells, I list the publication as one lot next time. If just one of say five articles from the publications sell, I generally still dissect the magazine, fulfil the one article, and relist the others at a reduced price. The trick is to list your articles with a starting price where one sale covers your costs for the entire publication and still yields a profit for you. There is no real heavy or technical work listing articles for sale on eBay. As long as your title contains keywords to describe the collecting interest, for example: slavery, Civil War, Boxer Dogs, Kate Greenaway (and millions more collecting areas), potential bidders will find you, you won’t have to work hard to sell your item. Here’s an example of something I am selling, an article about slavery and the terrible conditions confronting the victims of this barbaric time in our history. The article appeared in a newspaper called THE MIRROR published in 1839. I realise that collectors of Black Americana, who also specialize in slavery, probably use keywords like ‘Slave’ and ‘Slavery’ to locate items that might interest them on eBay. http://www.magstoriches.com 56 So my title for the listing includes both those words in the title which means most people looking for similar items will find me. Having researched similar subject best selling items on eBay, I discovered that no specific category was involved and that most sellers chose a category specific to the type of product, not the subject, in this case ‘newspaper’. So I listed my items under Collecting > Paper and Ephemera > Newspapers > Antique (pre-1920). That would have sufficed but I had a real feel about this item so as you can see I chose an additional category: Collectables > Ethnographic > Americas. Illustration Twenty-Six - My Listing for an Article on Slavery Because very early articles, like my slavery article, are now in the public domain, I could copy them and sell them as reprints, either as downloadable pdf files or on CD. http://www.magstoriches.com 57 Illustration Twenty-Seven - A Unique Concept This is a truly unique concept and one well worth emulating. The individual has either purchased, written, or otherwise obtained rights to reproduce certain articles which are presented in newsletter format with spaces for individuals to add their own business details and create their own customer newsletter. Neat! http://www.magstoriches.com 58 Clippings ‘Clippings’, sometimes called ‘Cuttings’ as both names suggest, are simply items cut from books and other printed publications. They can be large or small, or even comprise entire sections of a book linked to a specific theme. Ideas and Suggestions • Sell a complete section of a particular book. For example a book about dogs in general can be broken into breeds and listed separately. Here’s one we sold as a complete section. It’s from Book of the Dog, 1910, and this section is for the Beagle. Our listing simply gave a headline the likes of: ‘BEAGLE. Vintage Clippings, 1910’. The description was also brief, giving just the title of the book, the appropriate breed, the number of pages and illustrations included, and the fact that the item is a genuine original, not a reprint. Much the same could be done for almost any book on any subject. Illustration Twenty-Eight – One of my Own Clippings Packages http://www.magstoriches.com 59 • Sell items taken from several different sources, preferably on a common theme, and present in a plastic wallet or see through paper-backed bag. • Clip items on one theme, say a specific breed of dog, taken from various parts of the same publication. This is especially profitable from yearbooks which included lots of new information about the subject at hand as well as being packed with advertisements dotted throughout the text. • Sell the items in specially made scrapbook format. All you need is a children’s scrapbook into which you paste all the items you have about a specific subject. Illustration Twenty-Nine - Screenshot showing write up for one item, namely Bon Jovi! Notice the write up here which is very detailed. Notice, too, the high number of bids achieved. http://www.magstoriches.com 60 Gifts and Advertising Novelties Early publications often contained useful free gifts for readers, some of which are profitable collectors' items today. The most common free gifts were advertising inserts and sometimes advertising blotters. These were common in small-size publications from the 1890s to 1920s. Most important of all, they are fairly easy to find and can be marked up at a very high profit. I have often purchased dozens of publications, as a batch, for just a few dollars and priced them several hundred times higher mainly for their free gifts and novelties. Advertising inserts are especially beautiful and highly collectable. They normally appear as a page, smaller than the magazine page itself and they are often bound into the body of the magazine. Many are highly colored, others quite plain. Best of all, however, those magazines most commonly containing inserts are a very, very rich source of full-page advertisements ready for you to clip and sell as they are or to hand-tint and frame for display. Inserts can be sold separately, as collectors' items, or framed, as does a colleague who frames and sells all types of early advertising ephemera. And I know of more than one specialist dealer who buys privately and sells entirely through eBay. Many early publications also included bonus gifts, normally bearing an advertising message. For example, paper measuring rulers were common in books of knitting and sewing patterns. Offering something the recipient will actually use, as for a ruler or color shade chart, for example, was highly targeted advertising and would doubtless generate many sales for the firm promoting the gift. Other common freebies include whist score cards, children’s painting books, quality knitting patterns, and more. All highly collectable and very popular sellers on eBay. The next few illustrations give you an idea of what to look for. http://www.magstoriches.com Illustration Thirty - Advertising Insert Illustration Thirty-One - Advertising Blotter 61 http://www.magstoriches.com 62 Patterns and Plans Patterns and plans are popular with collectors and others who want to actually make whatever items are depicted on them. They can be sold in their original format, as pages or pullouts or, in the case of public domain items, they can be recreated on paper or in pdf or other digital format. Knitting and other craftwork patterns are hugely popular sellers on eBay, especially unusual and niche market types, such as dolls’ clothing, war-time economy designs, clothes for animals, fancy dress and so on. Woodwork plans are immensely popular and, like knitting and crochet patterns, any that featured just once, many years ago, in a tiny low-circulation publication, can be worth a premium today in original or reprinted format. Illustration Thirty-Two - Vintage Pattern Reproduced for Today’s Craftworkers http://www.magstoriches.com 63 Neat Tip Here's a tip I find very useful each time I come by a really nice craftwork pattern in some very early magazine which I consider might also appeal to knitting, sewing and crochet enthusiasts today. Given that Victorian patterns, in magazines, were usually printed with a hand drawn illustration of the end product, those items hardly look appealing for craftworkers today. But many crochet, sewing and knitting enthusiasts are keen to buy very old patterns of the type no longer available in craftwork supply shops. A nice picture is vital to your chances of selling old time knitting, sewing and crochet patterns on eBay, and that early picture from the original magazine is not going to fit the bill. You need to have the product properly created, in physical format, and then use this as the illustration for whatever knitting, sewing and crochet patterns you are selling on eBay. You could do it yourself, of course, but that wastes time you would better be spending locating more items to sell on eBay, so I recommend you either look round for a local craftworker or contact managers of local hospitals and care homes and ask if any of their patients or residents is skilled in crochet, knitting or sewing, and wants to profit from their craftwork skills. I do not want you to use this tip to generate quality products without paying the commercial rate for the work done on your behalf. The only reason I mention hospitals and care homes is that many elderly people are very highly skilled craftworkers and unable due to age or infirmity to make money on their own behalf. I would like to think my readers would pay well above the going commercial rate for quality craftwork created for them. Once the product is created, take photographs and either sell the original item or return it to the creator who might sell it again at local fundraising events. To avoid hurting any feelings, emphasise you needed the item to illustrate knitting, crochet and sewing patterns, which the creator has helped you do magnificently, and now you want that person to make even more money from their skills. http://www.magstoriches.com 64 Posters These are hot sellers on eBay and many are just pages out of early and more recent magazines. Some early publications, larger ones, had double center page spreads that make great posters and prints. They can fetch bids of $20 and more. At online and offline auctions and other suppliers, look for special interest magazines, targeting a specific audience, say dog lovers, train enthusiasts, classic car owners, and so on. This way you will be able to buy huge bundles of similar titles. Most are from once avid collectors who have given up their interest or maybe died and consequently their entire collection will almost certainly be available as one lot at local auctions and their online counterparts. Before attempting to sell these magazines in their own right, that is complete, scan a few of the advertisements and other interesting full-page features and offer these on eBay as individual advertisements or posters. Many magazines contain twenty, thirty, or more, great items, and some will easily fetch more offered as individual posters, prints or advertisements, than the price they’ll achieve as a complete book. But always check first before cutting. Many early magazines, such as Illustrated London News, contained special news features, at Christmas, for example, and on the occasion of special events such as a Royal Coronation, Guy Fawkes’ Night, and so on, when some spectacular prints and advertisements are found that can generate great prices at appropriate times of year. Fireworks advertisements, in particular, were highly colored and often drawn by wellknown illustrators and can fetch great prices offered just before November’s big day. Generally, the more affluent the audience targeted by early magazines, the better the contents will be, and the fewer the number of magazines printed for the minority affluent classes and so the rarer and more valuable those magazines and their contents are likely to be today. http://www.magstoriches.com 65 Illustration Thirty-Three - Poster and Article as One Lot Selling on eBay http://www.magstoriches.com 66 Prints Old prints are valuable collectors' pieces and there's a good income to be made simply from packaging prints neatly and categorizing them according to theme. Most popular themes include: animals, sports (especially golf and horse racing), royalty, music hall artists, topographical (named locations) and children. Very early magazines containing lots of prints which can be picked up for pennies at garage sales and flea markets include: Illustrated London News, The Graphic, Sketch and The Sphere, alongside a multitude of books and magazines targeted at specific subjects, such as dogs, railways, cats, horses, woodworking, travel, topography, and thousands more popular themes. Illustration Thirty-Four - The Sort of Items You Are Looking For This is a page from the 1958 Book of Dogs published by National Geographic. It’s a first edition, so that makes it more desirable for many people. It’s a book that’s packed with prints, all great sellers, and even at £9.99 per print we make numerous sales each day from a book you can easily buy on eBay for less than £50 a go! Sometimes much less! This print is by Cecil Aldin and most of his books contained numerous prints, up to twenty or thirty a time. Books are readily available at around £50 a time and virtually all prints will sell at between £9.99 and £30 each! The mount we add increases value significantly. http://www.magstoriches.com 67 This print is interesting for several reasons: it’s about bats which is a very collectable subject, and it is from a book by Oliver Goldsmith, himself a popular collecting subject, not forgetting it was published in the late 1840s so it is officially an antique. Notice that, although I have used examples of vintage prints in this book that does not meant modern prints are not also popular on eBay. The trick to selling modern prints on eBay is to locate publications from one country which were not marketed elsewhere and sell your items on other eBay country sites. Prints need to be carefully removed and made to look more attractive. Most will have jagged edges from being removed from the publication. Cut the jagged edges, removing as little as you can. Aim for an even border all round. Now get some stiff card, available from art shops and most stationers. Cut this to a similar size to the print and place it behind. Now cover the whole thing with a see-through bag and sellotape the package closed. This applies to colored and black and white prints you want to sell in their original state. Look for old (antique and modern) picture frames at boot and garage sales, flea markets and collectors' fairs, and make a point of visiting auctions where boxes of frames can be bought at a pittance and used to increase the perceived value of your prints as well as to add significantly to their resale value. http://www.magstoriches.com 68 Multiply the Value of Your Prints 1) Add a mount to the cheapest print and immediately it is more attractive and valuable to potential buyers. The benefits are several and include: • Makes the item appear more professional. • Hides text on the other side of the print. • The print can now be classed as ‘matted’ - sounds good, but simply means ‘with a mount, ready to frame’. • Makes a great gift compared to the unmounted version. • Makes the item appear much bigger and increases perceived value. • Cuts competition since many other sellers are too lazy or lack time to mount prints this way. • Increases perceived value of item and incites high bidding. • Hides jagged or foxed borders on many early prints which do not encroach on the picture itself. Without the mount the print is far less attractive than its counterpart and will generally attract low bids. 2) Have black and white prints and engravings hand colored and mounted or framed to increase the value of even the most common and cheapest print. 3) Give a Certificate of Authenticity. This is simply a sheet of paper, with or without decorative border, which testifies that the print is original and taken from a specific source published on a particular date. The certificate is always taped lightly to the back of the print in the mount so that it can not be removed and added to another print obtained elsewhere. Next illustration is a close copy of one we use which you are free to adapt for your business. http://www.magstoriches.com 69 Illustration Thirty-Five – Certificate of Authenticity CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY This is an original print from The Book of the Dog by Robert Leighton, 1910. Signed …………………….. Castle Eden Books, Avallan, High Hesleden, etc. Tel: Fax: 4) Make your advertisement for the print descriptive and include details that are likely to attract bidders and be sure to include words they might use to find products like yours. Not everyone searches through eBay categories to find things they want to buy. For example, someone collecting Boxer dog memorabilia, to whom we offer Boxer dog prints, postcards, and other paper items, is more likely to go to the search box at the top of eBay’s front page and key in ‘Boxer Dog’, than is likely to click on ‘Collectibles’, then ‘Animals’, then ‘Dogs’, then ‘Boxer’! http://www.magstoriches.com 70 5) Make sure your advertisements include age, theme, date and source of your prints. Bear in mind when people use the search box instead of making their way through the various categories, their keywords will search for headlines featuring those words and also descriptions. Consequently, most important features of your product should be included in both headline and descriptions. Also remember that some people type important words in single and plural format, for example: Boxer dog/Boxer dogs, boxer/boxers. Make sure your listings also include single and plurals of important keywords and descriptions. There are also spelling and grammatical variations to consider where you sell internationally. 6) If your original book is special, say a first edition, or a limited edition, then say so in your listing. To the expert book collector it might be unimportant, to people viewing your listings it might make the difference between a sale and giving your product the miss. It might also increase the perceived value of your product and hence attract frenzied bidding. 7) Take great care removing prints from publications. We tend to open the book midway and fold it back on itself, so the spine is inside the fold and the inside pages appear on the outside. The object of turning the book inside of itself is to break or weaken the spine and therefore loosen the pages. Many times the pages will break loose and just need trimming. If pages are difficult to remove take the staples out of the book, where appropriate, or begin breaking the spine by hand from the outside or by individually removing threads that hold the pages together. Tips • We find the best place to get quality mounts very inexpensively is on eBay itself. Go to the search facility, request a search for items locally (so many available it isn’t worth looking long distance), and use keywords like: ‘mounts’, ‘photo mounts’, and wait for a nice selection of suppliers to appear, some selling items by auction, others offering Buy It Now. • When you find a good supplier we recommend you stick to that person and even buy their items outside of eBay without breaking eBay’s rules of course. • Search other items available from your chosen suppliers in both their auction and shop listings. http://www.magstoriches.com 71 • Buy items in bulk and save on postage costs. • Use prints as decorations for letterheads, greetings cards, notelets, and so on. I recently attended a flea market where someone purchased every single print I had of the area and other places close by. Later in the day I took a look around and noticed she had a stall, selling stationery. The prints she bought were used to illustrate letterheads, greetings cards and notelets. And she was doing a roaring trade. She told me the majority of her customers were private individuals who liked to choose their own print which was then transferred onto notelets and letterheads my customer created for them. Naturally, she holds the original print meaning most customers purchase again rather than risking poor quality copies of their own. Soon she says she'll expand into her own exclusive range of Christmas cards and view cards and tells me early views are always more popular than recent ones. These items are frequently seen attracting multiple bids on eBay and other online auctions. http://www.magstoriches.com 72 Decorate Your Products A great many all early publications contained prints which are collectable today. But very often those prints are bland and sometimes very lightly printed and not always very attractive. But I have seen those very same items given a ten minute touch up and sell at up to $200 a time. I have actually seen them sell way above that but let’s not get too excited because really high prices like that don’t happen every day. But it is very easy to make thirty or forty dollars from the vast majority of sometimes hundreds of prints contained in one publication. That ten minute touch up involves either hand coloring the items or mounting them or even framing them. For the record, when a print is mounted it is often referred to as ‘matted’. Hand coloring is a simple job and there are many places to turn for help. Very basically, it took me about half an hour to look at how others were coloring and matting (adding mount) to their prints on eBay and increasing the value of their prints many times over. Often all that is needed is a pastel crayon to add a little color to the print which you then color tone with a mount. The various colors can create a very dramatic change on a very basic and rather nondescript print. Let me show you how it’s done with this following print, a view of WEST COWES IN THE ISLE OF WIGHT. The print is from the European Magazine and was published in 1806. The European Magazine contained hundreds of prints in every annual issue and they look absolutely wonderful colored and matted. http://www.magstoriches.com Illustration Thirty-Six - Print Before Treatment Illustration Thirty-Seven - Print After Color and Matting Treatment 73 http://www.magstoriches.com 74 Pastel coloring is simply a matter of sweeping the crayon or chalk piece very lightly across the print then quickly blending the color across your target area using your finger tip or a small piece of cotton wool and using a cotton wool bud for smaller more complicated areas of the print. Do not rub back and forwards or the print will crinkle and tear. Rub lightly with the pastel coloring, one way only, then very quickly blend the coloring across the print before it takes root and over-colors in parts on the print. Illustration Thirty-Eight - Print Before Coloring - Hugely Popular Subject – Dogs Illustration Thirty-Nine - Print After Coloring and Mounted (Matted) Ready to Frame http://www.magstoriches.com 75 Turn Out of Copyright and Public Domain Pubications Into Top Selling Items on eBay There are millions of books in the public domain, just a tiny handful have been reproduced for today’s readers. Many, many more exist just waiting to be found. A good example is Illustrated Book of the Dog by Vero Shaw c1880. Vero Shaw’s Illustrated Book of the Dog was the first real attempt to catalogue, describe and illustrate the breeds in existence at that time. It went out of copyright many years ago. An original copy today costs more than one thousand pounds. So many people want to read it, so few can afford that kind of money. A tiny handful of people have brought the product back to life, using public domain sources. A large US publishing company recreated the entire book, in print format, with a new title, but the words and pictures remain true to the original (other than changes to fonts and colors entitling the company to copyright their book). Another firm offers a CD version of the original book with pages scanned into pdf format, while another sells paper copies of individual breed titles mainly on eBay. There’s still lots of scope for someone to sell the entire version of the book, text and illustrations, either as a full printed book (very big) or on CD (a bit of hard work scanning the pages but eventually a winning product potentially for life). Don’t let that one thousand pound price tag bother you, the book is in the public domain, and though I have not yet found a downloadable or other free source of the original text, it will exist somewhere. Couldn’t I just use the republished version from the American company and retype that for my book? No, those few changes to pictures and text means the book is copyright to them. Even changes to layout such as shorter paragraphs, explanations in the text to outdated words and such, belong to them and copying anything means risking legal action. Besides, I can’t be sure the words in their book are definitely identical to the http://www.magstoriches.com 76 original, unless I read both books alongside one another, meaning double or triple reading time, and I’d still need the original to work from. The best answer is to find an original copy and work from that, either by scanning pages in graphic or text format and compiling into a Microsoft Word or other editor document. Originals do sometimes become available, inexpensively, some publishers sell damaged copies, you can sometimes find copies at local auctions, and the original text and illustrations will be available somewhere from an online public domain source. The harder that information is to find, the better for resellers, so be prepared to spend time and effort locating items for your business. Illustration Forty - eBay, a Great Place to Look for Product Ideas There you go, eight items, seven are books, one a print, all (seemingly) suitable for reprinting from the public domain. Notice I said ‘seemingly’ because I have no idea, without checking, if these books were the originals published in the USA or if they have been reprinted later and still bear the original title. I must check that before assuming I can reprint any of these items. http://www.magstoriches.com 77 I play it safe by obtaining only original items, not later reprints, hence the reason I buy quite a lot of originals from eBay or at flea markets and offline auctions. Next I decided to check out another very popular subject, Magic. Next illustration shows what I got. Illustration Forty-One - eBay, a Search for Books on Magic Wow, just look at those books and all (seemingly, remember) suitable for reprinting for today’s readers. Let’s leave magic for a while, I have some great ideas concerning magic for you to use which you’ll find in the next project. Next I looked into the ‘Illustrated’ section of ‘Antiquarian and Collectible’, I found some great titles there, and some wonderful prints which can be sold as originals first and later as reprints. I don’t always sell the originals if I intend to sell reprinted items. I keep the originals just in case someone challenges my entitlement later. http://www.magstoriches.com Illustration Forty-Two - More Books, Illustrated This Time The above illustration shows a book that took my fancy, second picture down, Photo Album of Washington D.C., and I began looking again at that magic book we discussed earlier Magic and Card Tricks (1859). 78 http://www.magstoriches.com 79 Republish Early Book Illustrations That book about Washington, called Photo Album of Washington, D.C., got me thinking about my own love of early topographical postcards which I reproduce and sell on eBay. I reckon if several people fight over an original postcard from my listing, then at least some will be happy with a reprinted version. I always make very definite mention in my listings to whatever might be a reprint of one previously or still existing in my own collection. Back to that Washington D.C. book, and these two pictures below are from the eBay seller’s listing. Look at the fabulous old photographs involved. They’re perfect for reproducing as postcards, but there’s nothing to stop you selling reprints as wall posters, framed prints, letterheads, or hundreds of different items. I decided to look further amongst this massive section of illustrated books published between 1850 and 1899, and very definitely in the public domain, where I found dozens of great items to reproduce as pictures and photographs, as well as artist drawings, maps, and a great deal more. Illustration Forty-Three – Illustrations Now in the Public Domain These panoramic photographs are very popular as reproductions, they are much more rare than their postcard size counterparts and look more unusual than their traditional size counterparts when mounted or framed. http://www.magstoriches.com 80 Illustration Forty-Four – More Great Illustrations from the Public Domain More great photos, well animated, making them much more interesting than buildings only pictures. They’re postcard size and very clear. Several companies, on and off the Internet, specialise in creating reproduction postcards from original topographicals such as those in the 1886 book. One such company, Nostalgia, created hundreds of different postcards from the 1990s onwards. Their cards are in great demand, even after so short a time. Visit any postcard fair and you’ll see numerous sellers of reproduction postcards standing alongside their counterparts of vintage only collectibles. Be careful how you describe your reprinted items. If you’re selling to collectors you must say they are reproductions or risk possible legal action. I describe my reproduction products as: ‘Reproduced from an original photograph, 1886’. Copy my wording, I don’t mind a bit. http://www.magstoriches.com 81 Start Your Own Membership Site Illustration Forty-Five - A Book Selling Today on eBay and a Great Idea for a Private Membership Site That magic book mentioned earlier, Magic and Card Tricks 1859, contains more than 1000 tricks. The book could form the basis of a membership site where magicians and others interested in card tricks and magic, pay an upfront membership fee and monthly payments thereafter. That entitles them to download items and read articles and other news items intended just for them. The site could include part of the book as a New Member Offer followed by twenty new tricks every month. That would keep you going for a good few years. But wait, don’t worry, that book was one of several magic books available on eBay today. For very little effort you could make yours the biggest and best membership site, or sites, given the vast range of public domain subject materials to work from. http://www.magstoriches.com 82 Why Membership Sites are Such a Good Idea Compare converting that book of 1000 tricks in book format, printed or digital, and as a membership site as just described. The benefits of membership site over the book are: • Greater perceived value. The site looks to contain way more information than the book. The book is just a pdf file, takes seconds to download, a day to read. The membership site, that looks really big, and members will be reading from it for months, maybe years to come. Who would guess that both products contain exactly the same information? • Members will call back regularly, to access new download files and to see other items you are promoting. • You can begin making money right away with the membership site, unlike the book which might take weeks to convert to pdf. The site can be uploaded in a week or so, needing just a chapter or two converted to digital format and uploaded ready for early members. The rest can be done in your own time as long as monthly deadlines are met. Incidentally, that week mentioned for creating the book is at your discretion. A book of that size can easily be scanned in a day, but it can be boring, repetitive, tiring work. But if you want money quickly, it’s worth the effort. • Far greater earnings potential for the site than for the book. Books have notoriously low perceived value, especially in digital format. But a membership site, that is well worth buying, even at ten times the book price!! Tips Aim to provide membership sites for niche markets, such as retailers, restaurant owners, musicians, people with closely shared interests who like to keep up to date on their special subject. Go for people with money to spend, mainly because they are making it from whatever their shared interest is, and be sure to emphasise the ‘tax deductible’ element of paying to access your site. http://www.magstoriches.com 83 Individual Books with Copy Potential for PDF Files and Hard Copy Reprints Books you will be reprinting and selling this way are obviously not intended as collectable books but rather for the information they contain. For example, a few months ago, at auction, I bought a large quantity of copies of the Mirror newspaper in year bound volumes, published in the early 1800s. Those newspapers contained contemporaneous news of the day, from people who actually lived through the events reported in the newspapers. Lots of this information has been lost in the midst of time or distorted by being reported inaccurately down the decades. Particularly exciting were articles about the final days of Slave Trading, the Second French Revolution in the 1930s, the events of the Mutiny on the Bounty, and various articles about major towns and cities such as China (always a collectable subject) and strange events in early 19th Century London. Many of these events and their write up in those newspapers are little known today and given these are contemporaneous accounts the original newspapers sold very well on eBay at around £70 a time (about $150). I reckoned that, given people were bidding so high for original newspapers, a very good market may exist for copies of these articles and complete newspapers. So I took a few articles to test the market, I scanned them and added the scans to a Microsoft Word document then converted them to pdf. As instant download files, selling at a few dollars apiece, you only need sell thirty or so to make a good daily living on eBay, or elsewhere. Potential is immense for taking articles and complete books and turning them into pdf or hard copy reprints for people wanting to buy the most popular and profitable product of all time: information! There’s a free guide to creating and selling eBooks on eBay which you can download at www.avrilharper.com (Go for the eBay option at the right side of the page and you will be able to access the book with others about making money on eBay). http://www.magstoriches.com Illustration Forty-Six - USA Copyright Law at a Glance For UK copyright law and other matters of importance concerning the Public Domain go to www.public-domain.biz 84 http://www.magstoriches.com 85 A Plethora of Profitable Product Ideas Comics • These are best sellers in their own right and very commonly found in bulk alongside other paper collectibles commonly found at local auction houses, especially those in out-of-the-way areas where few bigger traders are likely to travel • They can be sold individually, or in bulk, say in year groups, or listed individually with date and issue number in auction title and description. • But we found if an item doesn’t sell individually after one or two appearances on eBay, it can be sold either mounted or already framed. Illustration Forty-Seven – A Comic With More Eye Appeal than Reading Potential Here is one we couldn’t sell on its own, but which went quickly at a great price once it was mounted. http://www.magstoriches.com 86 Maps One of the very best moneymakers of all. Most atlases contain maps from all over the world, from well-known and sometimes out of the way locations, and therefore fit very tight niche markets on eBay. They can often be purchased very inexpensively especially at smaller, not so well advertised auctions. Just a week ago I bought a massive book published in 1903, which contained 140 plus maps all in good condition. It cost me £3. When I got home I checked into eBay’s Advanced Search facility for completed auctions and found the very same maps selling at upwards of £20 each. More than this I also clicked on the menu on the screen showing these items and chose ‘Highest Priced’ to learn exactly which maps fetched the highest prices once those auctions had ended, and those, naturally, were the ones I listed first. Fashions, Patterns, Fancy Dress Another very easy project where all you have to do is look for copyright-free patterns and designs which you can combine into books or sell individually. • History repeats itself, especially in the fashion world, and many early 20th-century designs are popular today. This means you can copy early knitting, sewing and other craftwork patterns and sell them on eBay. Alternatively, you could use the pattern as the basis for a new design, perhaps incorporating several earlier patterns and including new features of your own. • For sewing and craftwork projects based on templates and picture patterns and now in the public domain, you can simply copy the original item, reword the instructions and sell the product as your own. For recent designs, make a few changes to the original and reword the instructions. • Compile a book of fancy dress outfits with patterns and instructions for mothers to make these items themselves. • Compile knitting patterns for baby garments and sell to parents and craftworkers looking for unusual creations. • Compile a pattern book of early 1920s fashions: knitting, sewing, embroidery, etc. (Other decades can be used as desired). http://www.magstoriches.com 87 Cartoons The secret here is to look for copyright-free cartoons which you can publish as they are or revamp to suit today’s market. • As for other copyright-free material, although there is no law against lifting and using cartoons, it is arguably immoral and unethical to claim the work as your own. • Overcome whatever problems might exist by redrawing or tracing and reworking the cartoon or at least changing something significant about the drawing or caption. Cater for Lovers …. Of Anything and Everything! Actually, that title is a little misleading because this project covers virtually every interest for which there is a large, better still, indeterminate audience. • This is my particular favourite and, arguably, the easiest to profit from. All you do here is clip, collect and collate as many snippets as you can relating to one particular subject or theme. Cats, dogs, golf, writing, children, Amish recipes, fortune-telling, witchcraft, and more, are useful ideas for books that are simply compilations of everything you find on the topic. • Here are a few ideas to get you started: 1001 Great Golfing Jokes Everything You Didn’t Know About Cats Psychic Cat and Dog Stories 1001 Great Dating Tips 500 Amish Recipes Candles and Witchcraft: Ten True Stories to Brighten Your Life http://www.magstoriches.com 88 50 Ways to Reduce Everyday Stress 101 Ways to Market Your Writing Early Veterinary Practices • Other copyright-free items you can pick up and publish verbatim include recipes, fancy dress and knitting patterns, party games for children, seasonal topics including Christmas and Easter, and many, many more. Make Money From Specific Dates Look in any magazine and you’ll find a common theme running throughout: anniversaries and seasonal material. In fact, the need for such contributions is so great that many firms work exclusively with items reflecting things that happened 100 years ago, people (living and dead) who are celebrating an important milestone (birthdays, deaths, marriages, etc.) and other pieces relating to regular events, like Christmas, Bonfire Night, Easter, and so on. Here are some ideas to get you started: • Produce a range of birthday cards including information of interest to anyone born on that date or during a certain month or year or sharing a particular star sign. The more specific, the higher the price and the more carefully targeted your marketing must be. • Locate, package and sell newspapers printed on the recipients’ date of birth. These can be originals or reproductions, where appropriate, and your customers must know whether yours are genuine or copies. For this business you’ll need good storage facilities, even if you offer reproductions. More About Knitting Patterns • Knitting patterns are hugely popular sellers on eBay, especially unusual and niche market types, such as dolls’ clothing, war-time economy designs, clothes for animals, fancy dress and so on. • Again, look for out-of-copyright items and other patterns that never had legal copyright. See the Copyright Chart featured earlier. http://www.magstoriches.com 89 • Many old publications included free patterns as loose items or pull-out publications which need no additional work on them to sell. However, you are not always allowed to copy these items unless they are in the public domain so where you have a good seller, work hard to obtain as many copies of the parent copy publication as possible. Sell The Publications Themselves • Another of my all-time favourites and another business I have operated for many years. This project centres around the magazines and newspapers themselves, in their original state. • Publications are a major collecting interest while other customers just want a jolly good read. Again, publications sell very well on eBay especially in their proper categories. • For this project you will be categorising publications according to whether they are collectible per se or whether they are more appropriately reading material. This will influence your choice of eBay selling categories for those items. Craftwork and Artistic Creations There are literally hundreds of different things I have seen selling on eBay which are essentially made from books, magazines and newspapers, both old and new. I will include just a few ideas here for you to integrate into your business: • I bought a beautiful trinket box, made from wood, which had a picture of a Boxer dog applied to the top, and the whole thing glued to protect the picture and add a lovely sheen. The same seller uses all manner of pictures for his trinket boxes, including early named location street scenes, advertisements for products long since disappeared, early movie and theatre stars, and so on. • Another eBayer sells decoupage items, again very early pictures and scenes, and stated to be original items from early publications. Decoupage is a bit of a timeconsuming art but simply means applying layers of paper onto one another, http://www.magstoriches.com 90 creating a few bends and folds, to eventually create a 3-D effect that can be mounted and framed. • Jigsaw puzzles can be created from early pictures. These can be physical items or computer desktop puzzles which we have made ourselves and offered as free gifts with our doggy prints and collectibles. You could use the original paper item to create a really exclusive one-off product for physical items or you could use reprints instead where the item is in the public domain. • We’ve also seen original and reprint items laminated and sold as tablemats for humans and animals. • Items in the public domain can be used to create your own unique brand of giftwrap and gift tags. We’ve seen such items selling very well through niche market categories such as, our favourite doggy categories, railway memorabilia, angels, witchcraft for Halloween, equestrian, and so on. All you have to do is scan in your favourite pictures, open a Word document, and manoeuvre the pictures into place on a page of appropriate size. A4 works best for giftwrap and almost any size works well for tags which can also be laminated and cut to size. • Woodwork plans are especially good sellers. They can be for log houses, sledges, anything, and they will always attract a ready audience. If they are in the public domain you can even copy them and sell as many copies as you like. http://www.magstoriches.com 91 Summary So there you have it, almost one hundred pages and many more to come in free gifts and a blog site accompanying this product. I hope you find something that interests you and helps make money for you from this profitable world of tearing up old books and magazines and turning them into hot selling products on eBay. http://www.magstoriches.com 92 About The Author Avril Harper is an eBay PowerSeller and has been writing business opportunities books and articles for almost twenty years. (Read her articles at: http://www.avrilharper.com) She has authored several books on the subject of making money on eBay and also offers a large selection of free to download books and reports at: http://www.selling-on-ebay.biz Her books include Make Money Tearing Up Old Books and Magazines and Selling Them on eBay The Insiders’ Guide to Making a Full Time Living Selling Vintage Topographical View Postcards on eBay Avril has hundreds of articles and tips about making money on eBay at: http://www.selling-on-ebay.biz Click the image below to download your free eBay PowerSeller reports.
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