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What does it take to Post an Item?

What does it take to Post an Item?

I have been asked often about what it takes to post items?

  • As you can see I need to take photos of each item.
  • Crop each picture and then reduce the size of the to make the size less than 1 meg in size.
  • Weigh each item and then measure it, so that postage can be calculated.
  • Upload the pictures.
  • Write the title and short description.
  • Once this is done, I wrap the item and box it waiting for the sale.
  • Catalogue the item so I know where the item is stored.
  • Then when the item is sold, I retrieve the item from storage.
  • Bubble wrap the items.
  • Box the item.
  • Take the item to the post office and send it.

It takes about 15 minutes to put one item up on the web page. Anyone that has ever sold something of FaceBook or eBay knows what it takes.

This why I was so proud of the long work of reaching 3000 items for sale on the web page. Just think 3000 X 15min = 45000 minuets.

or 750 hours of work, that’s not including so many other items that were already sold.

Unlike so many other Eshop pages, I have one-off items, as the nature of the secondhand business. While I do have another full-time job. Time to post items is hard to find at times.

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OMG – When things just do not work

OMG

I installed a plugin so that other people (Vendors) may also sell their items on my web page. I wanted to do this for free to those with an ABN. BUT…

I took in a deep breath of Oxygen.

I almost set fire to the computer so that it would burn like Magnesium.

The plugin had a great right-up about it. Lots of great reviews. But it looked good from the front end, that what all of you, the visitors, to this web page could see. But on the back end, that is a different story.

I could no longer write these blog postings.
I could no longer post items up on the page.
I could not edit my pages.

Really, in short, My page fell apart on the back end. I can only say that I am so glad that I made a backup of the page before I installed the plugin. 

I am sorry the page was down for about a day. But these things happen… Hopefully not that often. 

Thankfully any purchases that were made were recorded and they will be sent out ASAP. This all happened on the 6th of December 2019. 

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When to use: Cash ‘Vs’ Card

Cash Vs Card

I have transferred easily to being a cashless person, though I have found that I should carry both cash and card. This post is driven by an advertisement I saw on TV. There was a man telling the viewer that “if you are using cash you are still in the stone age”. This drove me to think about the Pros and Cons of Cash as opposed to Card.

When I started my Business life back in the mid-1980s everything was cash or cheque. Running an Auction with cash was not difficult at all. It was the manual paperwork back then that was time-consuming. Because Back then the computer systems to run an Auction was over $20,000 for the system.

Thus I think I can talk about this subject with the authority that experience has given me. When it comes to the paperwork there is one step that has changed from cash to EFTPOS. That is it is needed that the paid receipts need to equal the same amount of the cash and cheques tallied. then it is banked. The paperwork has remained the same.

I vividly recall when the GST (Goods and Services Tax (VAT in the UK)) was introduced the time spent on paperwork tripled, by the manual system. But now with computer systems like Quickbooks, Zero, or MYOB that has made it faster. This is why I find it strange that there is a report that states that 29 days in lost productivity a year in just doing paperwork in Mybusiness

However, now I walk it to any small store and they have their stock on the computer systems, record their food and beverage orders on computer systems. This practice I find amusing. I really feel that you do not need to spend money on computerizing your small business. Triplicate recept book is really all you need. Unless you do not trust your partner in business or the staff working for you. If this is the case you should not be in business with them in the first place. Then at the end of the business day you spend about 15 minutes on your bookkeeping package as you would do in any case. As for stock control, you can do that on your bookkeeping system or run a simple excel spreadsheet.

There really is one great advantage to running a Cash or semy-cash business. Small business has a really hard time just staying afloat in the first place, any savings that can be made is a bonus and money placed into stock. once your business expands its staff then yes the full computer system can prevent staff theft. There are other financial advantages that you can discover yourself. Operating during a blackout is one great one.

I once went to an Auction years ago, and yes there was a blackout. at the time the staff was in a panic on how to continue with the Auction without a computer. There were only 2 people in the Auction that knew how to do it. I and one of the older staff that worked there knew, and he had it all under control in no time. 

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What is the Value?

Value

What is the value of an Item?

This is not such a simple question. As there are a few variables that one must consider. Thus I will list them out and describe each one of these variables.

  • Willing Buyer – Willing Seller:

    • This is the most common form of sale. You see it almost everywhere. In the supermarkets, in second-hand shops, Hardware shops, and at the flea markets. 
    • This is where both the buyer and seller are willing to sell the item and buy the item. There is not duress in the dealing from either party.
  • Willing buyer – unwilling seller:

    • This mostly occurs when a collecter sees something in a collection and the owner of that collection does not want to part with it because of sentimental reasons. For example, You hear about a fantastic record collection and the owner has been collecting for years. You see a Beatles Single that you must have. It is not in your collection and you want it bad. You know that this record exists but could never find one for years. You want it so much that you offer a ridiculously high price, but the owner will not sell. You offer more, but they still will not sell. Finally, you reach a price that the owner knows they will never get again. reluctantly they sell.
    • As you can imagen this type of deal only happens with items that are rear or truly unique. Such as artwork, Limited editions of a hand made an item or a first edition book of age.
  • Willing Seller – Unwilling buyer:

    • This often happens when a second-hand dealer is overstocked and has no room to stoor the purchase anywhere. The item becomes undervalued and unwanted. The seller wants it moved on for whatever reason, they are moving town and do not want to take it with them, or whatever the reason. The same occurs when the items go to Auction and no-one bids on the item. The Auctioneer then will drastically devalue the item at the next auction.
    • This is sad for the seller because they know they are losing money by selling a perfectly good item.
  • Insurance Valuation:

    • When you have an item that needs to be valued for insurance purposes, the valuation is often inflated. This increases your premiums as well. But the primary reason is that the item you have to insure is a rear hard to get thing. This is where the valuer needs to do a lot of research. Scouting Auction houses and antique shops or specialty boutique shops are needed. Carters Antique Guide has done a lot of this work and that is why they charge so much for the information they are selling.  Auction price will give you a market value but for insurance, you cannot regularly buy the same item. Thus you will need to buy a similar item from a special place and then transport it home.  Hence insurance value is not a real value that you can sell your item for, a dealer will just laugh at you if you insist that the insurance value is what you want to sell the item for. Others that are not in the know may accept that value as a real value.
  • Market Value – Auction:

    • This is the real value that an item gets on the open market with a willing seller and many willing buyers. This is the arena where dealers and private people can complete together for the items on offer. The winning bidder can be assured that they can at least get their money back when trying to sell the item on. The general rule what I use is one-third of retail value is market value. But not always the case, and dealers will not even pay that. Why? because of the value of the item does depend on supply and demand. Why buy an item that is already saturated in the market place.
    • Do Not Think eBay is market value. The prices you see on eBay are only what people want to sell the item for. If you see an item with more than one bid on it and watch it till the eBay auction ends. Then that is the market value. But be warned, The item is being marketed around the world and some items are worth more in some places and not in others. This is because there may be a fad or something is in fashion. But on the other hand, you will see collectors competing to get the same item. Thus this may inflate the items market value because collectors will always pay more than dealers will.
  • Rare – Supply & Demand:

    • Supply is indicating the number of items that are on offer. While demand refers to how much people want that item. If the item is Rare then there are not that many of that item in existence. For example, a limited edition lithograph signed by the artist.
    • So if you are old enough that you can remember that items such as RC Aircrafts, Diamonds and Glomesh were once very expensive. So now you look at drones and other RC toys have come down in price to the point that it may only be worth an hour’s worth of work. Likewise, people are starting to realize that Diamonds are more common that what they were told in the past. While many people do not even know what Glomesh is nowadays. Thus we can see that the price of production has come down and the supply becomes abundant, with competing companies selling the same types of items which brings the price down. However, if an item becomes rare or in threat of becoming rare then the price will skyrocket because supply lessens but the demand increases. For example; I recall as a child there were reports of a really bad storm hitting Brazill and there was a threat that Coffee was going to soon run out in the world stock. Overnight the price of coffee increased and everyone was fighting at the shops to buy what was left on the shelf. 

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What is a Contract?

Contract

In short a contract is an agreement for the exchange of goods or services for the same or for money. This agreement must be fair. That is, an agreement cannot be so one-sided that one party is taking advantage of the other.

There must be a start date or time of the contract and an end date or time. So the shortest contract is when you buy something in a shop. You see the product, it is marked with a price, you like that price and take hold of the item. That is the start of the contract. you then go to the counter and pay for the contract, this is the end of the contract. A long contract is like that of a building contract, 30 year loan or a 99-year lease. Long-time contracts must hold the original agreement. If there is an alteration to the contract in any way, there must first be an agreement that in the first contract that the contract can come into the review, with timely notice. This is why if there is an increase in the price of materials or labor, this alters the agreed amount and there must be a review so that the contract remains fair.

Thus to take my web page as an example. I offer to you the goods on display. Be for you purchase the item you must first satisfy your self that the item is what you want. secondly, I have a price on display, this is the offer; “I have this you can have it for $ that”. You can make a counteroffer, “I like what you have, but I only want to pay this for it”. I then have 3 options, 1- I can accept your counteroffer, 2- reject your counteroffer, or 3 – “That is too low, would you buy ti for this?”. Then the purchaser can accept or reject the counteroffer. the contract is entered by one of the parties agreeing to the price. Then the contract is in action when the product is paid for, and then completed when the purchaser receives the product.

So far we can see that a contract can be entered in several ways.

  • Verbal – “I’ll take that item for this price”.
    • Buying from a person that is in front of you.
  • Written – “I’ll sign that, I like the agreement”.
    • Buying an item from a web page.
    • Contracting someone to build a house.
    • Getting into debt with a lending organization.
  • Indication – You hold up your hand to hail a taxi.
    • Bidding at an Auction
    • Hailing a Taxi.

This has some assumptions that are implied. That is, has the person poses the legal right to sell the item or make that agreement?

This question is not asked from a seller when selling on Facebook or eBay. This question is not even asked of me when selling on this my web page. I can assure you that those items that are not my property are stated as such in the Consignment category. However, I do have a license (permission) from the owner of the item to sell that item for them.

Thus when you go to the supermarket to buy your food. The person at the checkout that you buy the food from, does not own the products on the shelf. But by being employed by the supermarket they have a licence to act on behalf of the organization to make a deal with you. This is the same when you go to the bank to ask for a loan.

Then you get a receipt. the receipt is not the written contract, it is proof of the completed contract. This proof is really only used for 3 main reasons. 1 – Proof that you now own the item. 2 – For your own paperwork that you have a record of where you spent your money. 3 – lastly, for proof to the tax office that you have spent money and wish to claim a tax reduction for that purchase.

Please do not take this as a true legal interpretation. This information I have learned from tertiary education I have completed and my experience. over the years. 

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How to get your Stolen Goods Back?

Stolen goods

I have to say. This is the best blog post I have found online. Have a look at this Link.

How to Find Your Stolen Items After a Burglary

 

 

What can I add to what this blog talks about? Nothing. I will copy the post here just in case it may disappear… I is a really good read. 

 

We all know that burglars aren’t stealing your stuff to decorate their home. Instead, they want to turn your valuables into cash as quickly as possible. In fact, that is the number one criteria when choosing what to take.

So where does all your stuff go? Here are the top five most popular places.

1. PAWN SHOP

Burglars love pawn shops! They are the ideal place to trade miscellaneous valuables for cash without looking suspicious.

Depending on the experience and intelligence of the burglar, you may find your stolen goods at the closest pawn shop. Some burglars have even used their real name in the transaction! More experienced burglars will go a few suburbs away and use a fake ID or recruit someone to make the sale.

Looking in pawn shops in your surrounding areas within 24 hours of the crime could yield some good results. If you see your things, don’t tell the shopkeeper they are stolen. Instead act interested, ask to put them on hold, walk outside and call the police immediately. Let them take it from there.

2. SPECIALISED STORE

This is more time consuming but depending on the items which were stolen, you may find them in a specialised store.

If your jewellery is missing you may consider visiting jewellery stores in your area that say they “buy gold” or second hand items. Some of these places melt down the items so time is really of the essence.

You can try approaching the shop keeper and asking if items you are missing have been sold to the store in the last 24 hours. If you can provide an accurate description or produce a photo they are more likely to take you seriously.

Since the store has no obligation to disclose the information and police don’t have the manpower to search every store, you can only rely on the shopkeepers kindness.

If you have strong suspicion that a store has bought your stolen items, you should notify the police so they can conduct an investigation. Before approaching these shops make sure to notify police of your intentions so you don’t accidentally interfere with the investigation.

3. CRAIGSLIST/E-BAY/GUMTREE/FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE

Online consumer-to-consumer, e-commerce platforms are a popular choice for selling stolen goods.

Unlike pawn shops, online stores don’t require a burglar to make the trip in person and risk being caught on camera with the stolen goods. However, the burglar must acquire a variety of fake IDs, addresses and bank cards if they truly wish to stay out of the police spot light.

This method is reserved for either experienced thieves or amateur burglars using their real name.

If you come across an item listed that is unmistakably yours, do some digging and try to obtain as much information as you can. Do not contact the seller directly, you could risk spooking them. After you have your information, call the Police.

4. A “FENCE”

You may have heard the term ‘fence’ used in movies or around the internet, but what does it really mean? In most cases, a fence is a well connected middle man who helps turn valuable items into cash.

Sometimes a fence can give a “grocery list” of items to a burglar that a “client” has requested. The burglar must then collect everything on that list to get a reward. Burglars like doing these missions as they guarantee money and usually pay better than average burglaries.

Your small time burglar will not have access to these kinds of methods. This method is reserved for more expensive and higher profile burglaries.

Sadly, the chances of you recovering an item after a fence has “washed it” is extremely slim. If your stolen item is a truly unique, the best you can hope for is to stumble across it years later in a high end jewellery store.

5. DRUG DEALERS

Different burglars have different motives for committing crime. There are 7 common types of burglars who can access your home and each has their unique traits. A study conducted with 400 convicted burglars revealed that 58% look for illegal drugs specifically. To read more from the study click here.

Some burglars resort to crime to pay for drug additions and as a result some drug dealers accept stolen goods directly in exchange for drugs. These dealers act a fence themselves and may use any of the above methods to turn your valuables into cash.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

There are many measures you can take to prevent the burglary and make your items easier to track after it has happened. Here are 3 quick things you can do:

MARK YOUR TERRITORY

Marking you valuable items can help you quickly identify if the stolen item is yours. This will both assist the police and make the insurance claim process easier.

CREATE AN INVENTORY

Creating a list will go a long way to helping you find your things if they ever get stolen. This will also help with insurance claims and police reports.

INSTALL A SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEM

A security camera system can not only alert you when a crime is in progress but it can provide vital evidence of the thief. Catching the criminal before they have a chance to pawn your stuff is critical.

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What Is Caveat-Emptor

The principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.

The sad thing about this is that if you do not ask any questions or try the item out before money is exchanged, you really do buy what you see and that is what you get. 

When I bought fridges, freezers, and washing machines, I would put it through its paces before I would pay for them. I have had to return items back to their owner a number of times because what was said and the performance of the item was not congruent. I have been stupid many times as well because the seller looked, acted, or spoke in a trustworthy fashion and I was taken in. I had to wear it. As a shop, My reputation was worth more than the price of an item. So if I sold something that did not meet the purchase expectations I would either give the money back or exchange the item. I would think twice when buying from a private person online. Insist that you see the item working in front of you. Ask to have the fridge or freezer switched on 24 hours before you come to inspect the item.

Also, Look at the last post. Get a receipt stating the condition of the item you are buying. Furthermore, make sure the person you are dealing with is over 18years of age. Because a contract cannot be made with a person under this age. Likewise, the seller or buyer must be of a capacity to make an informed choice. Thus a person that is not of a mental capacity to understand a contract may not enter into a contract.

If you would like to argue this please do some research your self… You can start here:

https://www.australiancontractlaw.com/law/formation-capacity.html

It is so unfortunate that you cannot take a person at their word. But this is the nature of human behavior of one without moral fortitude. One only needs to watch the news or A Current Affears show to see an incident where someone has taken advantage of a person with incapacities in one way or another.

The name of the game is to protect your self. Do not be taken in for a deal that is too good to be true. or like what I have seen just recently, a 14 year old selling his X Box and 3D headset online, that was given to him by his parents, and his parents do not know about it.

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What is Receiving Stolen Goods?

Stolen goods

This can happen to the best of us and we just do not really know if the thing you bought from someone on social media truly owns the item or not. We go under the presumption that if the person is selling the item and has it in their possession that they own the item. But unfortunately, this is not always the case.

So you are questioned by the authorities about an item that you bought on a Buy, Swap & Sell page by the police. You know you bought it and all you have is some messages on the phone to prove you bought it. The other person claims that their account has been hacked. You don’t have any other proof. The matter goes to court, at worst you loos the item and get charged with receiving stolen goods and loos the item. At best you just lose the item without reimbursement.

How do you cover your Ass?

The simple answer is to get a receipt.

What should be on this receipt?

  • Date
  • Time
  • Sellers Name
  • Sellers Address
  • Sellers ID: (one of the following)
    • Drivers Licence Number
    • ABN Number
    • Medicare number
  • Item Description
  • Item Serial Number
  • Amount of the agreed price
  • Sellers Signature.

This creates a paper trail and demonstrates that you bought the item in good faith. Still, if the item is proven to be stolen, at worst you just lose the item, and the Majistrate may instruct the true owner to reimburse you part or full of the amount you paid for it.

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The Dangers of Dealing online.

As a secondhand dealer when buying white goods, that is fridges, freezers, washing machines, and dryers, I would agree on a price. But I would never pay for the items until I see the item working as it should. Yes, I too have been bitten, conned, or scammed a few times over the years. Such as the fridge that never stopped running. The thermostat was broken and did not cut off the motor when it reached the desired temperature. Or the washing machine that we tried out in the back yard, I did not see the leak from under the housing, because the water went straight to ground.

When I sell items online I have my reputation to worry about. I know that it only takes a customer that is unhappy to give me a bad reputation. I also have an ABN (Australia Business Number) with a registered business name.

When buying from a private person ALWAYS request a public place to exchange the item and money. Not too long ago a man went to a person’s home to buy a phone and got robbed for everything he had on him, the seller also ransacked the car he was driving. To make matters worse is that he met the buyer at a house that was not even the sellers home. This story was on TV not that long ago on Australia’s Current Affairs. This ensures your safety and you have the opportunity to try the item out. If they really want to sell the item to you they will not be in a hurry to leave.

I function like eBay and other E-commerce stores that you may visit.

You the Buyer sends me the money and then I post the item, packed as best I can. You know my address, my phone number, my email, my ABN. This is a business I love and have done for many years. I wish I still had a “bricks and mortar” shop so I can talk with customers directly. Many times I do on this platform as well because either they call me or they call them and have great conversations each time.

I have been playing around with the idea of inviting other people/businesses to become vendors on my E-commerce store, but I get that feeling, and question if it is worth it. I would love to have this as a free place for vendors to also sell their secondhand items.

  • But can I trust them?
  • Will they give me a bad name?
  • Will they represent the items correctly?
  • Will they respect the customers?

I have a few people in mind to join me as vendors. however, 3 of them are computer illiterate, and another is in a different country. All I can say is think of your safety first and then think of the quality of the item. Because as the law stands in Australia when the deal is done, you the buyer will have a very difficult time getting a refund if you are unhappy with the item.

Please leave a comment. 

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Smolle’s early Auctions

I was born the day after they had an auction. I had nothing but fond memories of those old auction days. My father John left our family soon after his mother came over from Austria. I never did see him again. I think I was about 5 years old at the time.

In this parking lot outside the Auction house was my back yard. I played ball in it when there noe one around. and when there was an auction on I would play with the kids that came to the auction with their parents. I recall that My Grandfather would call out from the rostrum “keep those kids quiet”. Then someone would then tell him that it’s his kids that are so loud. Then my Mum came out to chastise us.  

This picture must have been made around 1975. My grandmother is in the center of the photo holding my brother. and John my father is directly behind me.

After John left the family I started calling My Grandfather, Dad. Thus if I talk about Dad, it is my grandfather that I am talking about.

My Grandfather, Dad, held many charity Auctions. He donated his time to a lot of good charity organizations.

So in this picture. On the fare left is John, next to him is my Mother, Monica. The man in the middle, I have no idea how he is. then is Frank my Grandfather, Dad. then there is my Grandmother Louise.