ebay : june 2000

yours truly
Madeline Meyerowitz
City/State : St. Louis, Mo.
Business name : enokiworld

Previous careers : I ws an illustrator when I still lived in New York (where I'm originally from) and ended up in St. Louis via Raleigh, N.C., where I was a chef in some of the area's best restaurants. We picked up a few awards along the way, but when I moved to St. Louis, I decided to be a "medium" for selling and buying great vintage clothing.

Amount of time per week/day spent online : 64 hours a week, sometimes more.

Route to online selling : I started as a buyer and realized somewhere along the way, "Hey, I can do this and I can do a darn fine job too!"

First online sales experience : I bought a Nerf ball from the '60s, still in the box for 10 cents at an estate sale and sold it on eBay for $45. You could say that was convincing.

Average number of auctions per week/month : In the 'high season', anywhere from 50 to 100 a month. But for me, it's not about volume, it's about getting the right stuff to the right buyer. I can't crank it out. That's not how I work.

Most interesting or unusual sale : I bought an Andre Courreges dress, green wool from the 60s, and held it for a little over a year. I originally bought it because it was so cool and the price was so great but it wasn't my size so I couldn't keep it. I was buying it from a collector's point of view. A year later I sold it for almost nine times the price. A lot of it is about knowing when to buy, what to buy and then knowing when to let it go.

Top tips : For buyers - Buying things that were manufactured as collectibles is not usually the smartest way to go. Things that you think are interesting and things that are well made are smart bets. For sellers - Decide on what price you want and be happy with it, rather than looking to maximize every single penny you can get for something. Decide and let it go. Otherwise, you're going to end up with a lot of stuff you can't let go of because you're not getting the price you want.

I'm not a huge fan of those listings where it makes your computer flash disco lights and play digitally generated elevator music. Spellcheck is a MUST and, in my case since I sell vintage items, explicit condition information is essential. Don't just say "good condition".

Tell how much paint is left on it, where there are imperfections. You have to give them all the facts. One sentence about the item and three paragraphs after about how fast you want the payment and how you won't ship it internationally is not tops on my list either.

Concentrate on the item, make sure your grammar and spelling mistakes don't distract from the description and love what you do. It shows in your work.