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EUGENE, OR, January 09, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Sharon and Joel Hellmann, a.k.a. "Gusfirefly", started selling online 15 years ago to expand their mall store. Recently they became "Seller of the month" and top seller on a website known as OnlineAuction.com (OLA.com). In just 14 months they have conducted over 10,233 positive transactions.
"Having thousands of additional shoppers helped us to move more inventory," says Gusfirefly.
"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 online sales over our brick-and-mortar store. The huge savings in rent and expenses has been an enormous benefit for us. We just keep listing as much as we can! The more new items, the more bidders look at what we've got."
The family enjoys the community nature of OLA.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 so we can ALL be successful."
"The most interesting thing we've ever sold online was a single half-cent coin, we 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 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 finding someone who knows 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!"
You will find Gusfirefly on www.OLA.com.
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