Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Making the BEST of Online Auctions ~ Part One: Buyers

Here at OLA, we are all gearing up for a new and exciting online presence, which is coming SOON!  I thought it might be in keeping to write my next couple of blogs about how to make the best of your OLA experience.  I will dedicate the first blog to the OLA buyers--because without you buyers, this site would not be here.  You make it possible for we OLA  sellers to survive in these tough economic times, and we are all grateful for your purchases.

Buying something from an OLA seller is pretty easy.  If you have never visited OLA before, you may want to familiarize yourself with the OLA Site Map.  On this page, you will see many links leading you to lots of How-To information.  For the purposes of this blog, I am going to refer you to two sections:  Buyers Hub, and Buyers Help.  

Under Buyers Hub, you will find links to YOUR Personal OLA Bookmarks, Current Bids, Completed Auctions, Feedback, and Wish List.  

Under Buyers Help, you will find links to Buyers Info and Tips, Using Search,  Bidding Explained, and Buyers Facts & Answers.

By following these links you can probably learn all that you really need to know about buying online on OLA, but as a long time seller (and buyer) on this site, I have a few more tips:

1.  If you find something you like, the pictures and description of the item look good, and you want to make sure that what you are bidding upon is what you really want, always ASK the Seller any specific questions that you may have about that item before placing your bid.  Here on OLA, most sellers are friendly, and happy to answer any questions that potential buyers may have, and would appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions, so you can feel good about your purchase.

2.  Read the Seller's Terms of Sale.  Each OLA seller is unique, and may have different Terms of Sale.  

3.  If you are unsure about a seller, then check their feedback rating.  Look at the comments made by previous customers.  This is the best way to find out about a seller's integrity.

4.  If you live outside of the U.S., let the seller know as soon as possible.  Some OLA sellers do not ship worldwide.  I do, but I like to know in advance, so I can properly estimate the shipping cost for that item.  Do not wait until after you have received your invoice to tell the seller that you live in Japan, England, Mexico, etc.  Shipping costs via the U.S. Post Office vary as to the destination of the package.

4.  Know that your bid is a contract to buy the item upon which you bid.  If you decide after bidding that you do not want the item, please do the right thing:  Contact the seller, and let them know.  As a long time seller, I can say that bidders who do not follow through on their sales probably represent the biggest problems we sellers have.  Why?  The answer is simple:  when an item receives a bid, then that item is considered sold--and off the market.  After someone bids on an item that I am selling, I immediately pull it from my inventory and prepare it for shipping.  If a buyer knows that he/she is not going to follow that transaction through, letting the seller know will allow the seller to make the appropriate changes so that item can stay listed on auction, so someone else can have the opportunity to buy it.  It is frustrating for me, as a seller, when I set aside merchandise for a non-paying bidder, especially if I have wrapped it for shipping.  It is a waste of our time, supplies, and energy and because it removes merchandise that could potentially sell to someone who will pay for it from the public eye.

5.  Pay promptly when you receive your invoice.  If there will be any delay, please communicate with your seller, so they are aware of your intentions.  Do not hesitate to ask any OLA seller to work with you if you see something that's way expensive.  I have had great experiences with open & communicative buyers.  

Note:  the picture above does not reflect all of the online payment options offered by OLA sellers.  If there are any questions about what the seller accepts as payments, ASK.

6.  Please leave feedback for the seller after you receive your item.  We want to know that the merchandise we shipped arrived safely.  The feedback rating is a good way to support your online seller.

I hope you have found this info to be helpful in your online buying experiences.  I know as an OLA seller, I aim to please my customers.  I try to accommodate all requests, if possible.  Know the answer to online buying is as easy as asking:  communication is the key to good relationships.

Next time, a blog for OLA Sellers.

Happy online Shopping until then,

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Power of Friendship

I would like to tell you about a great site called OLA.com!! 

Now, OLA.com is a great place to buy and sell but that isn't what makes it SOOOO special!! Oh, no, not in my opinion!!

Yes, I love the fact that there are no listing fees, no final value fees, and I have FREEDOM to do what I think is best for my business!!
And yes, I love the contests and the ability to decorate my listings AND my store!! Oh, yeah, I LOVE to decorate my store!!
And I love the fact that I can list up to 8000 listings! I can choose between Fixed, Classic, Dutch, Absolute, and Sealed!!
And I really love the fact that membership at this moment is only $96.00 each year!! If you join now!!
And I absolutely am thrilled about the new site, soon to be up and running!!
What I REALLY love best about OLA.com is the people!! They aren't just "other sellers" or just acquaintances they are friends!!! I have met very few of these friends face to face but I feel that I know them pretty well! And I wouldn't trade them for anything!! 
I've had a pretty rough couple of months and I have to tell you . . . . . my friends at OLA.com have been there to support me and my family!!
My friends at OLA.com have picked up the slack and posted, tweeted, promoted, and helped other members with no expectations other than the joy of being part of a bigger picture!
My friends at OLA.com are a wonderful group of people!! This is what it is all about!! So, while you still have time, come on over and join us at this special price!! It will go fast!!
Just go over to the website and call to get signed up!! But hurry!! This is a limited time offer!! The price of $96.00 per year for EVERYTHING as a founding member!! Now, how can you beat that??
Once the new site rolls out, you will be so glad you got signed up at this special offer!!

Pair of 1958 Royaume du Laos Elephant Postage Stamps SC41 and SC42

Here are two 1958 Laos stamps with colorful elephants!

This pair of stamps are in good condition...
neither stamp is postmarked and both have been hinged.
You'll find perforations on all 4 sides of each postage stamp.

From 1958, they are #'s SC41 and SC42.


Visit the listing for purchasing information.

And stamp collectors, please visit me to find
a variety stamps from the 40's, 50's and 60's!
I've got lots to list at OnlineAuction.com!

                   ~ FleaPirates

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Embed A Tweet!

I'm a Twitterholic. There! I admitted it. Today I found something really kewl. We can embed tweets in web pages and blogs (as long as they support html). Here is one from my Twitter account, that I tweeted for one of my OLA friends.

Why am I so excited about this? Because it isn't just a picture of a tweet. It's fully interactive. From this simple copy and paste, you can read the tweet, see the images, follow me, click through to Cathy's Amazon page, click through to Cathy's Twitter account, click through to my Twitter page, favorite the tweet, or retweet it from your own Twitter account.

So you non-programmers can appreciate this a little more, if I wanted to do this manually, first I would have to download the images, then I would have to copy the text, next I would have to put them together and format them in html, then I would have to copy and paste the link to my Twitter account, copy and paste the links to Cathy's pages, find the code for a follow button and copy/paste that into my code, and I'm not even sure the other stuff is even available.

Instead, I went to the tweet, clicked on "more" and "embed" at the bottom of it, clicked on the code and did Ctrl A, Ctrl C, to get the code, then came over here and did Ctrl V. DONE! It took longer to write this paragraph than it did to grab that tweet.

Gotta go play some more. HAPPY TWEETING EVERYBODY!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Hi there Folks,
We have had a few days of freezing cold temperatures here in Historic Richmond, VA, and there's snow all around, so I thought I would search OLA for all things SNOW...Here are a few things I came up with on my OLA winter weather search.  I hope you will find them interesting:

From my shop, I have a few Little Golden Books for sale with a winter--snow theme.  First up, is a 1977 version of Frosty the Snow Man for $1.49;

And I am offering a more recent 1989 version of Frosty the Snow Man for $1.99;

Here is an older 1971 version for $1.99

Here is something interesting from Marebob 1:  A lot of matchbook covers, including one for Jordan's SNOWBALL King!  The lot has an opening bid of $3.

Here's something sweet that came up in my search for snow-related items for sale on OLA:  A pendant necklace made from a Scrabble letter tile featuring a Sheepdog in the SNOW.  So cute and different from FleaPirates.  It can be yours for only $5.25.

Do you ski?  A fine winter sport!  Here is a ski suit offered by a new OLA seller, mylovelydolls.  At $19.99, this is a steal!

From JRFLEAMARKET, at $1.50, sheet music for Let it Snow!  If it looks like this out your window, perhaps you may want to stay in and play music.

Don't forget BARBIE.  Here is a real collectible offered by MajikMerlin.  This Snow Sensation Barbie is in her original box, and it can be yours for $50.

Another Cool Collectible found on OLA is this Canadian $5 bill that features a fun SNOW scene.  Offered by mrfindit, the opening bid for this bill is $9.99.

From raevenhow, here is what looks to me like an antique mustache cup with a SNOW scene.  The scene is titled Winter in the Country, and the price of $4.01 is totally RIGHT!

Here is a neat SNOWFLAKE Wrist Watch offered by seller 4llls, for $10.99.

From DraggonTagger, an Avon SNOWFLAKES silver bracelet for $8.  

The SNOW themed items that I listed above are just "flakes" in the Huge Drift of Snowy items showcased on OLA.  Do your own search, and see.  There's lots of cool things to be found on OLA  the best online auction site in the world.

Until next time, Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Interactive TOYS!

While perusing the auctions at onlineauction.com, I found some WONDERFUL toys that play with YOU!

This Big World Bongo Boogie Snook from secrtreasures intruigues me.... he dances while you play the bongo!

Giggling Pillsbury Dough Boy from Draggontagger!  Sqeeeeeeze the l'il bugger and you know what happens!  

And a cute, playful TALKING pup from crittercache! Very affordable "adoption" fee of 1.00!!!

Here's another cute pup that sings and dances, from angelonthewind!

Also from secrtreasures a fun, rideable cow that MOOS!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Collecting Corgi Diecast Cars

I recently listed a lot of Corgi Batmobiles for my friend and neighbor.  When I say "a lot," I mean 24.  Twenty four Mint in their Original Boxes--Corgi Batmobiles.

Not having experience with Corgi toys made me want to examine the company's history, and I thought I would share it with you, my OLA Blog Readers.  I hope you find this info interesting and helpful.

The lot of Batmobiles that I am offering on OLA are pictured above.  On my auction, you can see individual pictures and get a complete description of the toys.  My friend wants to sell these as a collection, so this would be an exciting opportunity for beginning a Corgi toy car collector.

By the way, I heard just yesterday that the original Batmobile TV car just sold for a cool 4.2 million dollars!  The 1955 car has been on display in North Hollywood since the Batman series ended.  The car's original cost was a mere $15,000, and it took about two weeks (15 days) to build.  

The sale of the original Batmobile may increase the Corgi collector's interest.  The one pictured above is similar to the one that sold.

Corgi diecast toys have been offered to the world since 1956, are currently being made in Leicester, UK.  They are known for their high-quality diecast models of cars, buses and airplanes.  Many were made in limited editions, and have increased in value over time.  It is not unusual to see a Corgi car sell for much more than its original cost.

Here on OLA, there are Corgi toys listed from  a number of different sellers.  Here are a few of them:

Jaguar Mark X Saloon  from roundprarie2  $9.99

 Corgi Fiat X 1/9 $9.99 also from roundprarie2

Batman Jokermobile $7.99 from silverjack810

Many Corgi toys come with moving parts:  doors and hoods open, wheels turn.  Some have figures of the drivers included.  They are sturdy and durable toys, made for years of hard play.

Toys are fun to collect!  They serve as childhood reminders; of happy fun times gone by.  Collecting old toys can be great fun in and of itself.  Think of the thrill of the hunt--looking for and finding that special toy you had when young.  They are usually inexpensive, and depending on condition, will often increase in value over time.  

Here on OLA, our sellers are dedicated to helping our customers find exactly what they are looking for.  Don't hesitate to ask any seller about the items on your want list.  Many folks have items that have yet to be listed on auction, and appreciate the opportunity to help you.

So until next time, Happy Shopping!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I do not know about you but I am getting ready for OLA to launch their new server and new ways of doing things. This means I am getting my store up to date, making sure my listings are right and that all my pictures are there.

So I thought I would help OLA a little by sending out an omail to some people who do not have pictures even though they have lots of listings. I sent a lot and I just went and checked and only four were opened and I checked those four stores and it seems they chose to ignore my asking them to either get their pictures up or delete the listings without pictures. I tried.

So, here is what I am thinking. Why would anyone want to have over 100 listings with not one picture. Items sell with pictures. Buyers want pictures. I know that if I see something I am interested in and it has no picture I just move on and forget about it. Well in my travels through OLA today I did see something that interested me so I ask the seller a question. No reply as of yet but the omail was read.

Another thing that got my attention. There are those of us who participate in the chats in one form or another. I saw stores today that I have never seen a post in the chats. They are missing some good free advertisement and some good fun also. I share others items by putting them on face book and twitter them. I wonder if those who do not participate in the chats would like some of this free treatment and making friends that help with what ever is needed.

I ask them to please take care of this issue before OLA launches it's new site. I am going to think positive that a few will do it. It helps us all when everyone does their part to keep the site up to date and that means their photo's also. I even informed them that by putting pictures to their listings would probably increase their sales.

I do not know what else I can do. Maybe if some others did as I did and as Val is doing also the sellers will get tired of people reminding them about their listings and no pictures and maybe do something about it.

As for me I will keep mine up to date so I am totally ready for the change over. If anyone has any suggestions on how we might get to these people please let me know and I will do my part. I sent nice omails, maybe if I got a little testy with them they would at least get fired up enough to tell me to mind my own business to which I would be able to reply "OLA IS MY BUSINESS" just as it is theirs.

Thank you for reading this blog and I know some who will read it have already done as I am doing now and they got no positive response. My Omail sent folder has a full page plus that I sent out and as I said only four have been read and no responce to me whatsoever.

Sad thing when sellers lose pride in their stores.

I am not going to put this on face book as I do not want people thinking we have problems we cannot handle. This is for the ola community.

Be safe, be healthy, be happy and be prepared.