EUGENE, OR, January 05, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- In fourteen short months "Gusfirefly" OnlineAuction.com's FIRST
Seller of the Month in 2012
has received over ten thousand (10,000) positive feedbacks from members of OnlineAuction.com
Sharon and Joel Hellmann, a.k.a. "Gusfirefly"
, started selling online about 15 years ago as a natural expansion of their mall store.
"Having thousands of additional shoppers helped us to move inventory."
"It's also really fun! Putting an item on a shelf with a price tag is fine, but putting a starting price, picture, and description online and watching to see what happens for a week is a game as well as a business! Over time, we realized that we were happier with the online sales than the brick-and-mortar arrangement. The huge savings in rent and other expenses has been an enormous benefit for us. It's also great not to have the store open 12 hours a day, 365 days a year."
"We just keep listing as much as we can! The more variety, the more new items, the more bidders come look at what we've got. We note our once-a-week-invoice policy, encouraging bidders to combine many items into one shipment, saving them S&H, so they bid more. We add totals from other sites to the invoice's S&H line giving a single grand total. Then the buyer only needs to pay one invoice." Gusfirefly says, "My buyers seem to love it, and I have lots of buyers who bid across all our sites, every week. The flexible S&H line on the OnlineAuction.com invoice makes that super simple."
They especially appreciate the community nature of OnlineAuction.com
. "Much of what we've learned over the past 14 months has been through experimentation, which we can afford because OLA
doesn't charge per-item fees - and through the help of other users. We love that! Even direct competitors are willing to help out their competition so we can ALL be successful."
Best Single Item Sold?
The most interesting thing Gusfirefly ever sold online was a single half-cent coin, which they believed to be a 1773 Colonial half-cent. "I think we paid about $4 for the coin. We listed the coin on New Year's Eve, with a starting price of $5.99." The 30% margin would have been a good sale, but that's not how the story ends.
"At about 6 a.m. on New Year's Day, we got a phone call from a bidder offering us $500 on the spot. We thanked him but told him we never end auctions early, preferring to let the marketplace set the final price. That way he might get it for $5.99, but we might also get more than the $500!
"He assured us we'd get far more than the $500. He explained that this coin was actually something called a Machin's Mills Contemporary Counterfeit, variety Vlack 7, one of the 3-4 best known examples.
"At his suggestion, we re-listed the coin with correct information, and, one week later, we watched that $4 coin sell for $13,899! That kind of quirky event is what makes online auctioning so cool! In little Rhode Island, the chance of our finding someone who knows much about Machin's Mills coins is minimal. On the web, however, we've got so many other folks with so much knowledge. What a great way to learn new things while making a living!"
Hobbies? With six kids from age 11 to 22? "When we have time!"
Sharon enjoys knitting, sewing, singing, and working out. For Joel - theater directing, acting, and just recently doing voice-overs on a newly created video game! Andrea likes singing, musical theater, and watching silly movie reviews online - plus she does a little school work now and then; hopefully, she'll be looking for a job for when she graduates in May! Sara also enjoys singing, along with baking, and all the new experiences of a college freshman. We should mention that we have 4 foster children in addition to Andrea and Sara. Joel's working from home helps to make our family a better place for the kids.
"Thank you, OnlineAuction.com
, for providing this great selling forum, and again, thanks you for the recognition as seller of the month. We really appreciate it."
"You help make our family work!"
OnlineAuction.com is entering its 8th (eighth) year online and is looking forward to a Booming 2012 with many Great Members just like "Gusfirefly".