Nov 26

Buying Collectibles at Online Vintage Auctions

Online vintage auctions are excellent sources for buying collectibles, and auctions such as eBay can offer you some marvelous pieces at very low prices. There are ways to use online vintage auctions to your advantage such as sniping software and looking for valuable pieces that are obviously going to sell for a lot less that their real value, but you have to know about them to use them.

Definition of Vintage

First, a definition of the word ‘vintage’. Many people confuse vintage with antique, but the two are not the same – nowhere near it in fact. If I tell you that the word is borrowed from the wine industry then that should give a clearer idea of its meaning. Just as a vintage wine is one made from grapes grown in certain years, or periods within a year, a vintage collectible has been made during a certain period, and that might not be old enough for it to be declared an antique.

For example, an art deco piece of 1950s vintage is only around 60 years old, while one of ‘the Beatles’ vintage would have been made in the 1960s. A true antique would be of Victorian vintage or even Edwardian, since it would then be at least 100 years old. Generally, an antique must be at least 100 years old, although some use the term more loosely than that. Nevertheless, try to sell some antique furniture that is younger than late Edwardian and you might find yourself in trouble.

If Unsure, Ask

Buying collectibles at a vintage auction involves checking the piece and making sure that it belongs to a specific era. If you are unsure of the era of a ‘vintage poster’ then ask the vendor. If you are using an online auction site there will be a link to the vendor’s email address where you can ask the question: ‘what vintage is your Sophia Loren poster?’

The vintage makes a difference with collectibles just as it does with wines, and a Marilyn Monroe poster of late 50s vintage will be more valuable than a Brook Shields poster of any vintage! Even an antique can be of a specific vintage, and that is something to be wary of when buying antiques online.

Vintage auctions offering antiques can word their furniture ‘of Thomas Sheraton vintage’. That is not to say that it is a Sheraton piece, only that Sheraton was alive when the seller’s great, great, great, grandfather who made it in his shed 1790 was alive. Yes, an antique, because it is over 100 years old, and yes, of Sheraton vintage, but worth anything? Likely only sentimental value which does not mean dollars!

So sometimes the term can give you valuable information, although it can also be confusing. Nevertheless, online auctions tend to demand accuracy in a description, and so you can be as sure as possible that the seller is not trying to mislead you on eBay, Cowan Alexander, Amazon, Copart, or any other online auction site.

Payment Protection

Each vintage auction site has its own way of doing things, but one factor is true of all of them: you will generally not be cheated with respect to definitions of ‘vintage’, but if you are then they should have protection for you. Look for it and if there is none ask the question by email, but never purchase using online vintage auctions if you have no protection other than your own credit card.

You are protected with eBay through PayPal, and Amazon has its own protection for you. Both are excellent at offering you refunds if the product is not as described. Generally, however, you will find that the description of the collectible or piece of furniture on offer is sufficient to enable you to make up your own mind on its provenance, and if you are not sure, as stated earlier, email the seller and retain their response in case you need it later.

Final Advice

Make sure that you never bid above your predetermined price, because while auctions can result in you getting real bargains, they can also result in the opposite if a number of people want the same item and inflate the price. Also, if you are buying collectibles at online vintage auctions, make sure you check the delivery or postage cost.

There is no limit to what the seller can charge you for ‘postage and packing’ and that can come to more than the price of the item itself. I recently saw a canteen of cutlery in a wooden box selling on an online auction site for $1.99. A fabulous deal, but, as always, I checked the postage price: $65.

$66.99 was still a bargain for the cutlery, but not the $1.99 that many would expect to be paying – so keep clever and keep your eyes open – that way you will make the best use of online vintage auctions and get real bargains at low prices.

Nov 18

Automotive Marketing: Buying or Leasing a Car

Automotive Marketing is one of the most complex processes on the business landscape. It is not just about famous automobile brands such as Volkswagen, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Ferrari. The components and aspects related to this business require unique skills and strategies. If you want to enter automotive marketing, you should be able to handle sourcing, selling, and servicing. You should also possess technical expertise as well as relationship building skills. You should aim to be like Brian Ongaro, one of the most prominent leaders associated with automotive marketing.

Brian Ongaro has now became part of the Boardwalk Auto Group. Previously, he was appointed as market manager and executive VP of AMFM, Inc’s station group based in Dallas, Texas in 1997. This was considered as one of the biggest markets in the United States in terms of revenue. Then, he became the executive VP for CBS Radio in 2002. After twenty-eight years in broadcast management, he learned a lot and applied this knowledge to Boardwalk Auto Group. He brought a wealth of innovative marketing and organizational management knowledge.

Nonetheless, if you are perplexed with the thought of buying or leasing a car, you should weigh their pros and cons. As you know, buying and leasing has their own set of advantages and disadvantages. You cannot just go ahead and buy a car without thinking of the consequences of your actions. Similarly, you cannot always lease a car when buying one may seem like a more practical choice. You should weigh your options carefully so that you can make the most of your money.

Remember that buying a car using a loan is basically like putting your money into a savings account that declines in value. This means that you will never be able to get out as much as you put in. A certain portion of the money you pay for the car will be lost to finance charges and depreciation. Whatever you have to show for your investment once your loan has been paid off will only be a part of what is left after interest and depreciation. This option is not the most ideal. So, if you plan on making any investments, you should not buy a car with a loan.

Leasing a car, on the other hand, is like buying one but without the equity savings account. This means that you will only pay for what you use. There is no need to put anything extra in a declining savings account. Yes, it is true that you will not own anything at the end of the lease except if you decide to purchase the car at its declining value. After the lease, you need to return the car after you have paid off for the length of time that you used it.

Then again, whatever option you have chosen, you should realize that the value of the car will depreciate eventually. So, make sure that you use your money wisely and make a careful decision on whether to buy a car or lease it. Choose the option that is most suitable for your budget and lifestyle.

Nov 11

Car Auctions: Savvy Guide To Buying Cars At Auctions

Gone are the days when you just look at the hood and assess the physical appearance of a repossessed car when you are aiming to buy at a car auction. You need to make further research into important factors about the used car you are eying.

If you want to eliminate this need, you should opt to buy a brand new car. A car auction is not the suitable place to buy such cars. Expect to find old, second hand and repossessed cars at any car auction event.

You need to be savvy enough if you are aiming to buy a good and reliable used car. It is not enough that the car you are eyeing looks good or its tag price is significantly higher compared to other used cars. You should be careful because some used cars put on sale at car auctions may be relatively expensive, but does that not mean the status and quality of the car is A-ok.

Here is a list of comprehensive and effective guidelines that you may observe to make your purchase really worthwhile.

1. Bring with you a mechanical expert so that you would have access to first-hand expert opinion. Check the car thoroughly. The engine and the overall condition should be in good status. Almost all car auction organizers make sure the used cars for sale at the their events are in reliable, if not superior, condition.

2. Before bidding, make sure you look at the given history of the car. Used cars that previously had been involved in any accident should be dubious and should not be priced too much because such cars may not function well and may be involved again at possible car incidences in the future.

3. Do not bid too much for any car. Bidding is necessary and is a common occurrence in every car auction. If a car is already priced too much because bidders are competing with each other, let the winning bidder have it. If it becomes expensive, it may not be a good deal.

4. Check the pedals. A simple tip for you: for used cars, pedals are not usually replaced or changed. Thus, you can determine and have a hint of the original condition of the car by looking at the pedals.

The paint and the exterior of the car may have been modified and repaired thoroughly to make the car look extravagant and almost new. But the pedals would give out the car’s deepest, darkest secrets. Likewise, check the steering wheel. There should be no clunking noise if you try to jiggle back and forth the car’s steering wheel.

5. Look closely at the frame. A frame-damaged used car indicates that the car has been involved in a major accident in the past.

6. When checking the paint on the exterior, run a finger into the edges. If there are rough spots, it may be an indication that there has been a major repair possibly from a major collision or crash. The roughness comes from residues from masking tape used during the repainting.

Most of all, rely on your intuition. Your overall feel and impression on a used car would certainly be the best reading. As you prepare to go to a car auction, remember to bear in mind: You are there to find and make the best deal.

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