Auction Finds - Light Up My Life!

Yes, the title is really corny but I really can't help myself. I recently listed a lovely selection of vintage lamps, including mining lamps. 

This lamp is by far my favourite. I've had a few of these Wolf lamps over the years, and their popularity and value keeps on growing. They were used mainly in mines. I sold this one for R650 ($51), but I have seen one go recently for almost R1000 ($78). A quick tip for aspiring online sellers. Never charge the highest price you think you can get for your item. If you are a beginner, keep it as low as you can manage. Even sell a few items at cost to gain customers and most importantly, reputation! If you have built up an established customer base, keep your prices reasonable to keep your customers. 

This is rather a poor example of a carbide lamp, which were also commonly used in mines. I've had some brass beauties, which generally sell for around R300 ($23). Due to it's condition, I sold this one for R95 ($7), but it did sell quickly. Another quick tip. As a seller, you have to keep in mind the buyer also has the additional expense of paying for the shipping, which is a good argument for keeping your prices reasonable. For bigger, bulkier, or fragile items, shipping can be really costly. In South Africa our Post Office has deteriorated significantly. I mostly use a semi-courier company which delivers from store to store, in various towns. For parcels under 5kg, this costs R100 ($8). If the parcel is big, volumetric weight is charged, even if the parcel weighs less than 5kg. 

These two pretty lamps were listed for R150 ($12) and R120 ($9) respectively. Tip 3: Don't forget about packaging! It is vital as an online seller to package your item so securely, it will survive being used as a soccer ball by the courier/post office staff. Try to use neat packaging materials too. I have heard horrific stories of re-used bubble wrap and tatty newspaper. I buy my bubble wrap in bulk, 100 metres for about R450 ($35), which will last 2 to 3 months. I also employ a staff member who spends about 3 hours a day packing my sales. I only charge between R7-R15 ($0,50 - $1) for packaging, because it is so vital to remain competitive. I paste fragile stickers on almost everything, not because I believe greater care will be taken by the postal staff, but because it impresses the customers that I care!


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