June was a very good month for us. It was also the end of the 2nd quarter, which causes a fanatical urge to compare quarters so I shall do so, briefly.
We know exactly why June was a very good month. In May we bought 10 cabinet cards of Native American Indians. We paid a bit more than usual for a group of 10, but they looked very interesting. The person who sold them didn't know if they were original or reprints.
We couldn't tell for sure either - we do not consider ourselves experts or authorities, but we are gaining quite a bit of experience. We've sold hundreds of 19th century, early and mid-20th century photographs, so we know what they look like. There is a big difference between the looks of a snapshot from the 1940's, a gelatin silver photo from the early 20th century and a late 19th century albumen print. I'm talking about he physical characteristics of the photo, not the subject matter. We've gotten pretty good at estimating the age of a photo with a glance. The photos we received did not look like 20th century photos to us. We looked at them pretty closely too. We scanned them to see if we saw dots or lines, we looked at them under a magnifying glass. I made my peace with the world and stared at them. We saw nothing that would absolutely place these photos in the 20th century.
But still, we had no way to absolutely authenticate them, so we do what we always do when we think we have an original but aren't 100% positive or can't prove it: we took good pictures, and described it to death. And included our caveat that we weren't sure. We started these at a fairly low auction starting price - especially if these are originals. And we weren't going to argue with anyone - if some one didn't like the photo or it wasn't what they thought we'd refund their money, no questions asked. After we received the item back, of course.
Every one sold, most sold for MUCH more than our asking price & we made a very good profit on them. This is the reason we had a very good June. If these were originals, even the ones who paid a lot of money for them got a bargain. The people who bought them seem to be happy - so far all our feedback for them has been positive, and we haven't received any low dsr marks.
Our sales of single postcards were down slightly, in fact they were the lowest this year, but not by much. All in all post card sales continue to remain steady. As usual it is the photo sales which seem to determine if we have a better than average month or not. In June, the photos sales were very good.
Our net for the 2nd quarter - after expenses and stuff - was about 9.5% higher than our net for the 1st quarter of this year. We are doing much better in 2011 than 2010. Our net for last month alone was almost as much as our total net for the whole 2nd quarter of 2010. And our net for the 1st quarter of 2011 almost doubled our net for the 1st quarter of 2010.
I doubt July will repeat June, but you never know. You just keep plugging away at this stuff and sometimes good things happen.
On July 6th eBay is implementing "new lower rates" for sellers and they're also rolling out a shopping-cart. I've been with eBay long enough to know that when they implement "new lower rates", it always costs sellers more. Always. It will this time too. I made a prediction awhile back that prices on eBay are going to go up overall, maybe by as much as 20%. I hold to that, though I can't defend it with any hard data.
As for a shopping cart, that may bring eBay up to industry standards - it's a common thing on most online sites. Hopefully it'll work with no glitches. As sellers we shouldn't even be aware of it's existence.
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